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Question about "Orthodox" religion

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
I'm putting this here because religion tends to be an explosive topic.

The other day on my way to the gym, the driver and the other passenger got to talking religion. I can't remember where he was born and grew up (some place in Africa that no longer exists... started with an "S" I think), but he said "Orthodox", and she said "Catholic?" and he said "No. Orthodox". She replied that Orthodox is the same as Catholic and sited "Greek Orthodox" and "Ukranian Orthodox" which are "Catholic" faiths. He insisted that he is "Orthodox" and not "Catholic."

I wasn't really paying much attention because I tend to avoid getting into discussions of religions and politics. However, I'm reading a book and it mentions "Orthodox Judaism" and I know that is certainly not Catholic.

Can someone who knows about religion please explain what "Orthodox" actually means?
post #2 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalie_ca View Post
I'm putting this here because religion tends to be an explosive topic.

The other day on my way to the gym, the driver and the other passenger got to talking religion. I can't remember where he was born and grew up (some place in Africa that no longer exists... started with an "S" I think), but he said "Orthodox", and she said "Catholic?" and he said "No. Orthodox". She replied that Orthodox is the same as Catholic and sited "Greek Orthodox" and "Ukranian Orthodox" which are "Catholic" faiths. He insisted that he is "Orthodox" and not "Catholic."

I wasn't really paying much attention because I tend to avoid getting into discussions of religions and politics. However, I'm reading a book and it mentions "Orthodox Judaism" and I know that is certainly not Catholic.

Can someone who knows about religion please explain what "Orthodox" actually means?

This most likely won't answer your question fully, but I'll tell you my experience. I grew up in a neighborhood with a Synagogue across the street from a Greek Orthodox church. Both got along well, and even held joint block parties. (As a side note baklava and gefilte fish don't go well together.) The Greek Orthodox church says Mass in Greek, and uses very traditional iconagrphy in their church. http://www.goarch.org/

Also Easter is celebrated at a different time than Catholics.
post #3 of 28
The word "orthodox" does not mean catholic as far as I know. In fact I've never heard a catholic being referred to as orthodox.

I've heard Greek Orthodox and Orthodox Judaism though.

Probably someone with much more religious knowledge than I will come along to sort it out for you.
post #4 of 28
There are several 'Orthodox' CHurches in the Christain religion, Greek, Russian, Ukrainian, Serbian that I know of and I am sure there are others. They are quite different from the Catholic Church in a number of ways, both as to practice and doctrine, and of course they do not recognise the Pope as Head of the Church as Catholics do. The Orthodox Churches split from the Catholics at different times, all pre-Protestant Reformation, and then also from each other, over such thngs as the nature of the Trinity, the divine/human natures of CHrist and the role of the Saints. The liturgy, religious art and even the design of their churches are also very distinctive. How is that from a devout atheist?
post #5 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyranson View Post
There are several 'Orthodox' CHurches in the Christain religion, Greek, Russian, Ukrainian, Serbian that I know of and I am sure there are others. They are quite different from the Catholic Church in a number of ways, both as to practice and doctrine, and of course they do not recognise the Pope as Head of the Church as Catholics do. The Orthodox Churches split from the Catholics at different times, all pre-Protestant Reformation, and then also from each other, over such thngs as the nature of the Trinity, the divine/human natures of CHrist and the role of the Saints. The liturgy, religious art and even the design of their churches are also very distinctive. How is that from a devout atheist?
I'd say that was pretty good Jenny! Actually I was thinking that Catholics are more often referred to as "devout" rather than orthodox.
post #6 of 28
Excellent summary Jennyransom! I also suggest looking at goarch.org- it does a great job at explaining the difference between Eastern Orthodox Churches and the Catholic Church. Wikipedia also has a great article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_Orthodox_Church

The history is very interesting. There were two popes at one point! There are Eastern Catholics that are in communion with the Roman Catholic Church. As a Roman Catholic I can techinically take communion in say a Greek Orthrodox Church, but that would likely be offensive to the Orthodox congregants and they are not allowed to take communion in a RC church. There are many, many similarities, but some important differences as well- differences powerful enough to cause a separation.
post #7 of 28
That, I think is wrong. If you are a Christian who believes that Jesus Christ is our Savior and the Son of God, you should be able to take communion in any Christian church in the World. That is the only prerequisite to taking Christ's Holy Sacrament, the fact that you believe Christ is the Savior of mankind.
post #8 of 28
Probably where the confusion lies is that there are Rites of the Catholic Church that sound very similar in name to the Eastern Orthodox Churches, which are not Catholic in the sense that they do not submit themselves to the Pope (or what we would refer to formally as the the Holy See).

As others have explained, the Orthodox Churches split from the Catholic Church in about the 1100s. Eastern Rites, however, are loyal to the Holy See, but celebrate the sacraments in a culturally different way than what most American usually see, which is the Latin Rite, otherwise more commonly (but incorrectly) known as Roman Catholics.

Here's a website to explain the different Rites, since someone already posted one to explain the Orthodox Churches. http://www.mncuf.org/rites.htm

Edit: Actually, my understanding is that a member of the Orthodox Churches can receive the Eucharist at a Catholic Church, because the sacramental understanding is the same, however, this should not be done lightly. If a Catholic or an Orthodox is able to attend their own church, they should do so as that is more proper, but in the case that their own church is not available, they can obtain permission from the local bishop to participate in the other liturgy, and that fulfills the Sunday obligation.
post #9 of 28
You may be right on the second point. I had a Greek Orthodox priest tell me that I could not commune with them, but of course the RC church teaches that if a RC church is not available, you should attend an Orthodox service and take communion.

Communion for many denominations- RC, LCMS Lutheran, Orthrodox, is different than the communion celebrated by other denominations. I could go into the difference between transubstantiation and consubstation- but essentially different denominations like RC or Orthodox believe that the wine and bread become literally the body and blood of Christ, Lutherans believe there is the real presense of Christ in the communion- most other Protestants believe communion is just a symbol. When you believe that the act of communing with others means that you believe all that that group believes and that what you are taking is truly the body and blood of Christ (or contains the essense of), communion takes on an entirely different meaning.
post #10 of 28
I don't think Jesus cares where you go to church as long as you believe in him and try to follow his teachings, that is what really matters, certainly not the pile of stones you go inside of to worship him.
post #11 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckblv View Post
I don't think Jesus cares where you go to church as long as you believe in him and try to follow his teachings, that is what really matters, certainly not the pile of stones you go inside of to worship him.
In Hawaii, I was denied partaking of the sacrament because I could not kneel before the Epsicopalian priest & kiss his ring (there was no other church within walking distance of me). I was so embarrassed when he told me! Even worse when my daughter asked him, " Are you supposed to be a king - that's why we kiss your hand?" - the glares all about us were overwhelming. That was my scariest time in a church -except for during a wedding in which a bat was dive-bombing the audience (animal control managed to catch it & it tested positive for rabies; the marriage soon ended in divorce )
post #12 of 28
Russian, Greek.. etc Orthodox are Christian religions. They believe pretty much the same thing as everyone else, but some of the little things are different. Most are much more strict then most Christian religions and the Catholic Church. ie most Jewish Orthodox families do not drive on Saturdays because of the sabbath.
post #13 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckblv View Post
I don't think Jesus cares where you go to church as long as you believe in him and try to follow his teachings, that is what really matters, certainly not the pile of stones you go inside of to worship him.
I agree 100%.
post #14 of 28
We seem to be straying from the question.

Quote:
Can someone who knows about religion please explain what "Orthodox" actually means?
Could we refrain from judgements about individual denominations and their practices -- particularly in cases where they do not pertain to what makes an "orthodox" religion, please?
post #15 of 28
I always thought that "Orthodox" just meant to absolutely obey an established doctrine without question. Now I'm going to have to go look it up
post #16 of 28
I thought so too...Course when I was growing up I mostly heard the term related with Jewish faith...i.e. I was taught that the Orthodox Jewish were very precise on following their faith, vs. Modern Jewish that went to temple, had a bar/bat mitzvah and celebrated Passover, Chanukkah, Rosh Hannah and Yom Kippur.

post #17 of 28
Orthodox Judaism and Orthodox Cristianity have nothing to do with one another. Orthodox in Judaism means traditional interpretation of Jewish law. Orthodox Christianity is a church with its roots in Bysantine Empire and popular in Eastern Europe. There is necessarily nothing conservative about Orthodox Christians. At least Finland's Orthodox minority are usually very laid back people.

Orthodox Christians have lot of interesting ceremonies. My brother's fiancee is Orthodox and they are going to be wed in her church even though my brother is a non-practicing Lutheran. I'm sure the wedding is going to be great.
post #18 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryn View Post
Orthodox Judaism and Orthodox Cristianity have nothing to do with one another. Orthodox in Judaism means traditional interpretation of Jewish law. Orthodox Christianity is a church with its roots in Bysantine Empire and popular in Eastern Europe. There is necessarily nothing conservative about Orthodox Christians. At least Finland's Orthodox minority are usually very laid back people.

Orthodox Christians have lot of interesting ceremonies. My brother's fiancee is Orthodox and they are going to be wed in her church even though my brother is a non-practicing Lutheran. I'm sure the wedding is going to be great.
I'd be interested in hearing about the ceremony. My BIL practices the Byzantine Catholic religion and their wedding was very different than the modern Catholic service.

When this subject came up, I was actually wondering in my mind if the Byzantine Catholic religion would be considered "orthodox". I may well be wrong but my understanding was that Byzantine Catholics practiced the very original Catholic church rites.
post #19 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite View Post
I'd be interested in hearing about the ceremony. My BIL practices the Byzantine Catholic religion and their wedding was very different than the modern Catholic service.

When this subject came up, I was actually wondering in my mind if the Byzantine Catholic religion would be considered "orthodox". I may well be wrong but my understanding was that Byzantine Catholics practiced the very original Catholic church rites.
Do they do a Latin Mass?

It's quite possible that the Byzantine Church got grumpy after Vatican II and split off.
post #20 of 28
I'm not positive, but I'm guessing it would mean someone that is more strictly following the rules of their religion.
post #21 of 28
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_Orthodox_Church

I can't remember if the above link was already posted or not.
post #22 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
I'm not positive, but I'm guessing it would mean someone that is more strictly following the rules of their religion.
But the guy said his religion was "Orthodox", not that he was following the rules of his un-named religion. When the woman kept insisting that Orthodox equalled Catholic, he kept saying that he was no "Catholic", that he was "Orthodox" like it was a religion in of itself.
post #23 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalie_ca View Post
But the guy said his religion was "Orthodox", not that he was following the rules of his un-named religion. When the woman kept insisting that Orthodox equalled Catholic, he kept saying that he was no "Catholic", that he was "Orthodox" like it was a religion in of itself.
I'm a lapsed Catholic, and attended an RC high school, with many Greek and Ukrainian students and faculty members, and a Jesuit university. Whenever anybody told me they were "Orthodox", I simply assumed "Greek" or "Eastern" Orthodox, neither of which is identical to Roman Catholicism, since the Great Schism was officially way back in 1054: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/East-West_Schism
post #24 of 28
1or·tho·dox
Pronunciation: \\ˈȯr-thə-ˌdäks\\
Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle English orthodoxe, from Middle French or Late Latin; Middle French orthodoxe, from Late Latin orthodoxus, from Late Greek orthodoxos, from Greek orth- + doxa opinion — more at doxology
Date: 15th century
1 a: conforming to established doctrine especially in religion b: conventional
2capitalized : of, relating to, or constituting any of various conservative religious or political groups: as a: eastern orthodox b: of or relating to Orthodox Judaism
— or·tho·dox·ly adverb
post #25 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite View Post
I'd be interested in hearing about the ceremony. My BIL practices the Byzantine Catholic religion and their wedding was very different than the modern Catholic service.
Here it goes something like this:

The bride and the groom have crowns carried above them by their friends, symbolizing their status as the masters of their household to be. The guests stand around the couple and the priest. There is lot of chanting and incense, but no singing hymns. At some point people walk around a pedestal with the Bilble lead by the priest and the wedding couple. The language of the ceremony is Finnish.
post #26 of 28
Another difference is the Orthodox Religion uses the Julian Calendar.
http://www.geocities.com/calendopaedia/julian.htm
http://www.yonks.co.uk/history.asp

Easter is Celebrated this year on April 27th. Christmas is always January 7th.
Most litergies are spoken in Russian, Greek, or Serbian. Some churches are getting away from that and speaking only English. Some are 1/2 and 1/2 just depends on the church.
post #27 of 28
Well.. both "Orthodox" and "Christians" believe in Jesus .
I find that Orthodox people believe more in saints than the Christians and they celebrate some of the holidays differently (easter in different dates / customs) etc..
Orthodox Jews is for the very religous/devoted jews
And what about all the other religios like puritans, protestants, they also have different customs i think but at the end they all belive in Jesus, dont they?
post #28 of 28
I can't speak for Puritans and I can't think of any real customs Protestents have but the Orthodox religion has alot of Saints, Chanting and Incense. They try to keep things as they were years ago from day 1. Of course they believe in Jesus, they are Christian
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