"Orthodox Catholic"

Some parishes in the Western world incorporate this phrase in their names. We have every right to call ourselves Catholic, though here it could be confusing. Sometimes in the Eastern world we’re known as Orthodox Greek Catholics (even non-Hellenic churches), where Greek denotes Byzantine or Eastern, and Orthodox differentiates us from Greek Catholics, better known in the West as Eastern Catholics or Byzantine Catholics (and better known among Orthodox as “Uniat[e]s” – which they may or may not find offensive), ie, in union with First Rome.

(Here’s some trivia: the former corporate name of The OCA was The Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church in America, where Russian didn’t necessarily mean Russian, Greek definitely didn’t mean Greek, and Catholic didn’t mean Catholic! One could argue that when they became The Orthodox Church in America, they weren’t making some grand claim…merely dropping the potentially-confusing adjectives!!!)

Sometimes in Catholic (ie, Latin) discourse, the phrase “orthodox Catholic” denotes theological “conservatives” and/or Papal loyalists…usually as used by themselves. Such “orthodox Catholics” have as much to do with Orthodox Catholics as do “Orthodox Presbyterians”!

Just to round things out, sometimes theologically “conservative” Protestants will refer to themselves as “orthodox Christians” when they’re not talking about us…whom they may not consider “orthodox” at all!

For what it’s worth….


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