Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Eastern Catholic Churches

I have been asked to provide a list of Churches in union with Rome. Currently, there are twenty-one Eastern Catholic Churches. They are arranged here according to Rite:

Alexandrian Rite
Antiocene Rite
Armenian Rite
  • Armenian Church
Byzantine Rite
Chaldean Rite


Dave said...

Thanks for the list and links, John.

Dave said...

I think my sister's upset with me right now...

By the way, John, you were very strict about the ordinary usage of the term "Roman Catholic Church", but the use of the word "church" for all of these rites of the Catholic Church also seems incorrect. After all, there is only one church.

John R.P. Russell said...

The term "church" has more than two senses. There is the one Church - yes - but "church" also describes other things: St. Boniface is a church, the Diocese of Lafayette is a church, the Roman Catholic Church is a church, the Catholic Church is the Church.

These churches that I have listed are not rites. There are only five rites in use by the Eastern Catholic Churches. Yet, there are twenty one particular Eastern Catholic Churches. The language I am using is used by the Magisterium.

Furthermore, the term "Sister Churches" is used by the Magisterium to describe the Orthodox Churches.

John R.P. Russell said...

from the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

832 "The Church of Christ is really present in all legitimately organized local groups of the faithful, which, in so far as they are united to their pastors, are also quite appropriately called Churches in the New Testament. . . . In them the faithful are gathered together through the preaching of the Gospel of Christ, and the mystery of the Lord's Supper is celebrated. . . . In these communities, though they may often be small and poor, or existing in the diaspora, Christ is present, through whose power and influence the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church is constituted."312

833 The phrase "particular Church," which is first of all the diocese (or eparchy), refers to a community of the Christian faithful in communion of faith and sacraments with their bishop ordained in apostolic succession.313 These particular Churches "are constituted after the model of the universal Church; it is in these and formed out of them that the one and unique Catholic Church exists."314

834 Particular Churches are fully catholic through their communion with one of them, the Church of Rome "which presides in charity."315 "For with this church, by reason of its pre-eminence, the whole Church, that is the faithful everywhere, must necessarily be in accord."316 Indeed, "from the incarnate Word's descent to us, all Christian churches everywhere have held and hold the great Church that is here [at Rome] to be their only basis and foundation since, according to the Savior's promise, the gates of hell have never prevailed against her."317

835 "Let us be very careful not to conceive of the universal Church as the simple sum, or . . . the more or less anomalous federation of essentially different particular churches. In the mind of the Lord the Church is universal by vocation and mission, but when she put down her roots in a variety of cultural, social, and human terrains, she takes on different external expressions and appearances in each part of the world."318 The rich variety of ecclesiastical disciplines, liturgical rites, and theological and spiritual heritages proper to the local churches "unified in a common effort, shows all the more resplendently the catholicity of the undivided Church."319

John R.P. Russell said...

To put it another way - "Roman Catholic Church" is a good term. It is just like the term "Ruthenian Byzantine Catholic Church" - also a good term.

However, if I were to assert that either the Ruthenian Catholic Church or the Roman Catholic Church is the one true Church, I would make an error tantamount to saying that the Diocese of Lafayette is the Roman Catholic Church - or to saying that a person's lung is his whole body.

The Roman Catholic Church, the Ruthenian Catholic Church, and all the Catholic Churches each have equal claim in the one, holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

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