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Eastern Orthodox Roman Catholic Christianity. Early Church. Faced with numerous “heresies” (100-325 CE) Early Church instituted authority of bishops in major cities of the Roman Empire (Greek “ Epi-scopos ” lit: overseers) to protect uniformity of Christian belief

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early church
Early Church
  • Faced with numerous “heresies” (100-325 CE)
  • Early Church instituted authority of bishops in major cities of the Roman Empire (Greek “Epi-scopos” lit: overseers) to protect uniformity of Christian belief
  • “Orthodox” is Greek for “Right belief” “Catholic” is Latin for “Universal”
  • Bishops created the creeds (eg. Nicene, 325 CE), still recognized today by all major Christian denominations
east west split the great schism
East/West Split “The Great Schism”
  • Eastern bishops (who spoke Greek) rejected the claim that the Bishop of Rome (Latin) was the supreme leader of the church, but saw all bishops as being equals
  • Orthodox acknowledge the bishop of Constantinople as “first among equals”
  • Rejected the addition of “Filioque Clause” to Nicean Creed
  • The sacking of Constantinople in 1204 by Catholic Christians on their way to Crusade is viewed with some rancour to the present day by Orthodox Christians
the filioque theological controversy
The Filioque Theological Controversy
  • This dispute involved the words about the Holy Spirit in the Nicene Creed
  • Originally the phrase read: "I believe…in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of Life, who proceeds from the Father…."
  • This original form is still recited unchanged by the Orthodox Church
  • But the West gradually (9th-10th century) inserted an extra phrase "and from the Son" (in Latin, filioque), so that in the West, the Creed read "…who proceeds from the Father and the Son."
types of orthodox churches
Types of Orthodox Churches
  • Orthodox Churches adopt a national title (e.g. Albanian Orthodox, Bulgarian Orthodox, Georgian Orthodox, Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, Macedonian Orthodox, Romanian Orthodox, Serbian Orthodox, Ukrainian Orthodox etc.) and this title serves to distinguish which language is used for worship and which bishops is followed
stats
Stats
  • Based on the numbers of adherents, Orthodoxy is the second largest Christian communion in the world after the Roman Catholic Church
  • The most common estimates of the number of Orthodox Christians worldwide is approximately 300 million
  • Canada is the country with largest population of Eastern Orthodox outside Europe and Asia
rituals
Rituals
  • Sacraments = Ceremonies instituted by God & necessary for the full manifestation of God’s grace in the life of believers
  • Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholics recognize seven:
  • Baptism (emergency baptisms possible)
  • Holy Eucharist (Communion)
  • Penance (priest needed)
  • Anointing of the Sick (prayers over the sick & dying)
  • Confirmation
  • Orders
  • Matrimony
icons
Icons
  • The term 'icon' comes from the Greek word eikona, which simply means image
  • The Orthodox believe that the first icons of Christ and the Virgin Mary were painted by Luke the Evangelist
  • Orthodox patients might wish to have an icon next to their bed
abortion family planning
Abortion & Family Planning
  • Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox patients are supposed to consult a priest when medical decisions that can result in the termination of a pregnancy are to be made
  • Roman Catholic Church also rejects:
    • All forms of contraception except the “family planning method”
    • Sterilization
    • IVF
    • Surrogate motherhood
  • Some therapies needed to cure diseases are exempted, even if a foreseeable impediment to procreation should result (e.g., hysterectomy to remove cancerous womb)
eastern orthodoxy family planning
Eastern Orthodoxy & Family Planning
  • Until 70s Eastern Orthodox Church generally opposed the use of contraception, but since that time a "new consensus“ emerged
  • Contraception is acceptable within marriage if:
      • means is not abortifacient, such as condoms, diaphragms
      • it is used with the blessing of priest
      • children are not completely excluded from the marriage
  • Abortifacient=“destroys fertilized eggs”
other bioethical issues
Other Bioethical Issues
  • Many Christian groups (including Catholicism) allow removal of life sustaining treatment (passive euthanasia) is allowed “when the burdens outweigh the benefits” but “assisted suicide” (active euthanasia) is wrong
  • Orthodox and Conservative Judaism and many Muslims reject the removal of life sustaining treatment (passive euthanasia) and assisted suicide
  • For Catholics, genetic screening for research, education or counseling purposes is permitted (but not, obviously, for the purpose of considering abortion)