Eastern Catholic Churches

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The Eastern Catholic Churches are the "Eastern" or “Oriental” churches within the body of the Catholic Church which recognize the authority of the papacy, having a shared creed. Each church has its own forms of liturgy, devotions, and traditions. All of the churches are of equal dignity to each other and to the Latin Rite Western church, under the authority of the pope. All are encouraged to preserve and develop both their liturgy and "way of life." Each has its own hierarchy under a patriarch or archbishop, and distinctive Eastern legal canons. While the term "Eastern" refers to the Eastern half of the Roman Empire, these churches developed in regions from Egypt to Ukraine to India. These Eastern Rite churches are Catholic and do not belong to the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Liturgy and tradition

Liturgy is a defining aspect of these churches’ identity. All of these churches embody traditions and practices that are at least a millennium old, and are heirs to the original Christian tradition of a particular region. Many trace their origins back to the apostles or to apostolic times. Each of the churches grew out of a particular geographic place and culture, and each has been generally tied to strong nationalist sentiment, though these churches have now spread geographically to many parts of the globe. After the Great Schism of 1054 between East and West, most of these were aligned with Orthodoxy. Beginning in the late 16th century, some clergy and members of those churches united with the church of Rome.

Orientalium Ecclesiarum: manifest unity

Orientalium Ecclesiarum​, the Second Vatican Council's decree on the Eastern Catholic churches, asserts that the "variety" that the Eastern churches represent "within the church in no way harms its unity; rather it manifests it."

Five Eastern liturgical traditions

The Eastern Catholic Churches, listed below, are generally grouped in five liturgical traditions:

I. Alexandrian liturgical tradition, originating in Egypt

Coptic Catholic Church
Eritrean Catholic Church
Ethiopian Catholic Church

II. Antiochian liturgical tradition, originating in Antioch and West Syria

Maronite Church
Syrian Catholic Church
Syro-Malankara Catholic Church

III. Armenian liturgical tradition

Armenian Catholic Church

IV. Chaldean or East Syrian liturgical tradition, originating in Mesopotamia

Chaldean Catholic Church
Syro-Malabar Church

V. Byzantine or Constantinopolitan liturgical tradition, originating in Constantinople

Albanian Catholic Church
Belarusian Catholic Church
Bulgarian Catholic Church
Croatian Byzantine Catholic Church or Croatian Greek Catholic Church
Greek Catholic Church
Hungarian Catholic Church
Italo-Albanian Catholic Church
Macedonian Catholic Church
Melkite Greek Catholic Church
Romanian Church United with Rome
Russian Catholic Church
Ruthenian Catholic Church
Slovak Catholic Church
Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church

See also

Petrine Primacy

Apostles' Creed

Nicene Creed

Athanasian Creed

Orthodox Mysteries

Christian mysteries