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RELIGION LIBRARY

Eastern Rite Catholicism

Eastern Rite Catholicism, also known as the Eastern Catholic Church, represents Christian churches in the East that are in union with the Roman Catholic Church but still retain their own language as well as many of their traditional customs. These Eastern Rite Churches keep the seven sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church and are under the authority of the pope of Rome. This special status was reaffirmed in 1964 at the Second Vatican Council. The allowance for the Eastern Rite Catholic churches has made the tensions worse between the East and West. Many of these Eastern Rite churches have difficult relationships with the Eastern Orthodox Church because they still maintain this union with Rome. The Eastern Orthodox Church considers these Eastern Rite churches "hybrids" or "Uniate" because of the Latinizing of their churches. The "rite" in Eastern Rite refers not only to a different liturgy, but also to a different church hierarchy and a variety of theological expressions and traditions. The pope of Rome is still the highest authority, but under him is the Congregation for the Eastern Churches, which has its own Catholic cardinal to oversee it. Below that, there is great variety among church organizations depending on the church.

Quick Facts

Formed 1596
Adherents 10,000,000 - 12,000,000
Deity God (Trinity)
Sacred Text Bible
Origin Mediterranean
Headquarters Rome (jurisdiction)
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