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Michael Cicero wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • What exactly is the relationship between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church(s)?
  • Is it something like fraternal twins as opposed to identical twins?
  • Can a Catholic participate in Orthodox sacraments and vice-versa?
  • If "0" is total separation and outright hostility and "100" is total union, how far along are both churches toward total unification?
  • If both churches are so similar would converting from Orthodoxy to Catholicism be a bit pointless or not?

I'm interested in this subject and would appreciate a reply.

Thank you!


  { What exactly is the relationship between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church(s)? }

Mike replied:

Hi, Michael —

Thanks for the question.

We agree on almost everything with the primary difference being the Papacy. Orthodox Churches have no icon of unity as the Catholic Church does.

They have groups of patriarchs, who many times agree on faith issues, but sometimes disagree. The Catholic Church and Orthodox churches have made great strides toward unity over the past few years.

Converting from Orthodoxy to Catholicism or vice versa, would not be an issue to take lightly, seeing we still have our disagreements in some key areas of doctrine, like the Papacy and having a mutual understand of the term Filioque.

Nevertheless, because we recognize that they have a valid Eucharist, if a Catholic cannot make it to any Catholic parish for any given Sunday, they may, for that week, go to an Orthodox Church.

Here is a list of postings from our knowledge base, which deal with related questions.

Hope this helps,


Michael replied:

Thanks, Mike!


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