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Orthodoxy and Roman Catolicism

Our Church is the Apostolic Church, which means that it was founded by Jesus Christ and organized by the Holy Apostles. The teaching of Jesus Christ and His Holy Apostles has been faithfully preserved in our Church by the Holy Tradition.

During the first few centuries, within the Church five Patriarchates were established with the sees in the following cities: Antioch (in Syria), Jerusalem, Alexandria (in Egypt), Rome and Constantinople. These five Patriarchates were united into One Church until the middle of the 11th century.

In 1054, a split occurred between the four Eastern Patriarchates and the Roman (Western) Patriarchate. The formal reasons for the split were a number of innovations introduced in the Western Churches. All the Western Churches were under the sovereignty of the Roman Patriarch. The Roman Patriarch preferred to call himself ,,Pope”, which is a word of Greek origin, meaning ,,Father”.

The main reasons for the split among the Churches were as follows:

1. The Roman Church began to profess a new false teaching about the Holy Spirit. Namely, in the 4th century, it was defined that the Holy Spirit proceeds from God the Father. This definition was expressed in the eighth article of the Orthodox Creed. The Roman Church changed this article by inserting in it that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son. This was repudiated by the Orthodox Churches of the East.

2. The Orthodox Churches always used leavened bread (made with yeast) In the Holy Communion. The Roman Catholic  Church introduced the use of unleavened bread (made without yeast-wafers) in their Holy Communion. This innovation of the pope of Rome is contrary to the command of Jesus Christ, when at the Last Supper He used leavened bread.

3. The Orthodox Churches give Holy Communion to the faithful under both species, namely, the Body and Blood of Christ, since Jesus Christ Himself said: “Who eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood has eternal life (John, Chapter 7: Verse 54). He gave to the Apostles at His Last Supper both-His Body and His Blood through His blessing of bread and wine. The Roman Catholic Church practices Holy Communion under one form, namely, that of the Holy Body of Christ, depriving their faithful from communicating of the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ.

4. In the Fifth century, the Roman Catholic Church introduced the teaching that St. Peter the Apostle founded the Church of Rome and that he was the first Christian Bishop of Rome. Accordingly, all succeeding Roman Bishops are successors of St. Peter the Apostle, and vicars of Christ on earth. That is not correct since it is proven that the Church of Rome was founded by the disciples of Saint Paul, and the first Bishop of Rome was Linus, ordained by Saint Paul.

5. The Roman Popes introduced the teaching of the infallible supremacy of the popes on the basis that St. Peter was the Supreme head of all the Apostles. Jesus Christ did not appoint St. Peter as the Head of the Apostles, but gave to him the equal spiritual power as he gave to the other Apostles. Since Peter denied Christ three times, he was received again among the Apostles by thrice interrogation by Christ: “Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me?” It has never been historically confirmed that St. Peter was ever in Rome preaching the Gopsel, but in his latter years, he was brought to Rome by command of the Roman Emperor Nero, were he was crucified, as the Holy Tradition teaches.

6. The Roman Popes, along with their false teaching of Spiritual supremacy, introduced the teaching of their political supremacy over all states, rulers, kings and emperors. Upon this, their false capacity, many times, as is recorded in history, the pope blessed wars, kilings and persecutions against other Christian nations.

7. The Roman Popes imposed celibacy upon their priesthood,which means, they forbade the priest-candidates to get married. This again is contrary to the teaching of the New Testament in which is said: that celibacy or monkhood is received only voluntarily. At the First Ecumenical Council (325 A.D.) the celibacy of the priest had been repudiated.

8. In 1439, at the Council of Florence, the Roman Catholic Church introduced the teaching abaut purgatory. It is the belief that when people die,  they have to saffer temporal punishment for their forgivable sins, called “Venial” sins. After the Last Judgment, the unpardoned sinners will saffer eternal punishment. However, the Roman Catholic Church claims further, the pope has the authority to save from temporal suffering the person condemned to purgatory by his indulgence which is remission of sins if a person makes some monetary donation to the church.

9. The Roman Catholic Church does not grant church divorces, but only “separation from table and bed”.

10. In 1854, at the Council of Vatican, the Roman Catholic Church defined the teaching about the Immaculate conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This implies that the belief that the Blessed Virgin Mary was conceived and born without the stain of original sin. This was also an innovation in the teaching of the Church.

In 1870, at the Council of Vatican, the Roman Catholic Church defined the teaching that when the Pope of Rome officially speaks about faith or morals, his statements are final and guaranteed by God against error or mistake. Thus, the Roman pope was given the authority to perform single-handedly what was the privilege of Church Councils since the Apostolic times to do under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, namely, to define the teachings of the Church.

According to these innovations and teachings, the Pope of Rome is unmistakable !

They introduced in their church the worship of statues and the use of instrumental music (organs) in their church services, and so on.

The Roman Catholic Church preaches and teaches that there is no salvation outside its fold.

The Roman Catholic Church separated herself from the One, Holy, and Apostolic, Orthodox Church and through her false teachings, she became heretical. All other teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, which from the time of the Holy Apostles have remained unchanged are recognized by the Holy Orthodox Church !

From the ,,Serbian Orthodox DIVINE LITURGY – PRAYERS – CATECHISM”,
Published by St. Sava Seminary Fund, Inc. in U.S.A., 1979


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