You have said "one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, the Orthodox Church." But aren´t catholic and orthodox two different churches? Please help I´m really confused! Thanks :)
Hello dear friend!
Speaking from the Orthodox Christian point of view, the “One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church” is the Orthodox Church. It appears in the Nicene Creed that Orthodox Christians confess:
“…And I believe in One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.”
It must be mentioned here that Catholics confess this creed as well, but, with a difference: when the creed comes to the phrase:
“And I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life, Who proceeds from the Father”,
Catholics confess “…who proceeds from the Father and the Son”. This is the Filioque, maybe you have heard of it. Filioque is a Latin word meaning “and the Son” which was added to the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed by the Church of Rome in the 11th century, one of the major factors leading to the Great Schism between East and West. This inclusion in the Creedal article regarding the Holy Spirit thus states that the Spirit “proceeds from the Father and the Son.” (Just to mention quickly here, that Orthodox don’t accept it because the addition in the Creed is considered a violation of the canons of the Third Ecumenical Council in 431, which forbade and anathematized any additions to the Creed.)
The word “catholic” is derived from the Greek adjective καθολικός, that means universal. So Catholics have taken their name from this greek word. But the Orthodox Church (Orthodox comes also from a greek word “ορθόδοξος” that means right faith), can also be called catholic, not in the sense of “Roman Catholic” but because she is the fullness of Christ’s body on earth.
As Fr. Thomas Hopko said about the catholicity of the Orthodox Church:
The term “catholic” as originally used to define the Church (as early as the first decades of the second century) was a definition of quality rather than quantity. Calling the Church catholic means to define how it is, namely, full and complete, all-embracing, and with nothing lacking.
Even before the Church was spread over the world, it was defined as catholic. The original Jerusalem Church of the apostles, or the early city-churches of Antioch, Ephesus, Corinth, or Rome, were catholic. These churches were catholic — as is each and every Orthodox church today — because nothing essential was lacking for them to be the genuine Church of Christ. God Himself is fully revealed and present in each church through Christ and the Holy Spirit, acting in the local community of believers with its apostolic doctrine, ministry (hierarchy), and sacraments, thus requiring nothing to be added to it in order for it to participate fully in the Kingdom of God.
I know it seems too complicated, maybe I didn’t explained it well, but I tried! :)
God bless you!
orthodoxbrit said: Big C Catholic is the Roman Patriarch’s church, little c catholic (as professed in the creed) means ‘universal’ so professing in “One Holy catholic and Apostolic Orthodox Church” means one holy universal right believing church.
andreisarb said: In Romanian, the Greek term Katholikin is “sobornicească” (from Slavonic); the Greek term was avoided, not to be made the confusion Katholikin - Catholic. But the meaning is the same: universal.