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First of all, you have to define things. There are two kinds of eastern churches; or you could just as well say there are two kinds of Catholic churches. The Eastern churches are:

  • Eastern Catholic rites (Byzantine, Maronite, e.g.)
  • Eastern Orthodox Church
Or you could say the Catholic Church comprises:
  • Western Catholic rites (Roman [or Latin], e.g.)
  • Eastern Catholic rites (Byzantine, Maronite, e.g.)
Depending upon how they are defined, the Catholic Church has over 20 different rites. The largest, by far, of all rites is the (Western) Roman rite. The largest Eastern rite is the Byzantine. Technically, it is incorrect to refer to all of Catholicism as Roman Catholicism. However, since the headquarters of all of Catholicism is in Rome, in that geographical senseit is correct, but doesn't make much sense to say so, since there isn't any other Catholicism. As to similarities and differences, that question has been answered elsewhere. But as a generalization you could say that Eastern Churches seem more alike on the surface (appearance, traditions, etc.), but that Western and Eastern Catholic rites are more like each other in the deeper sense (doctrine).
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2007-07-17 19:14:44
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Q: What are the similarities and differences of the Catholic and eastern churches?
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