Catholic denominations: rites and doctrines


pope-francis-south-korea-20[1] It seems appropriate to make some clarifications on the Catholic Church, which it has to be a united church and without internal ramifications, and that critical Protestantism as much disintegrated inside with several denominations. Perhaps not many people know that even within the Catholic Church there are several denominations with different rites and doctrines, some recognize the jurisdiction of the pope, others do not. Those who do not recognize the pope's figure are really a lot and have very different doctrines from Popish church and they believe they are the true church. But in this article we will restrict ourselves to analyzing the denominations that recognize the papal jurisdiction.

There are countless groups, movements and religious orders that are part of the Catholic Church: Catholic action, Neocatechumenal way, Focolare movement, Legionaries of Christ, Opus Dei, Communion and Liberation, Pax Christi, Renewal of the Spirit, Taizé, it's still: Augustinians, Benedictine, Carmelites, Cistercensi, Clarisse, Dehoniani, Dominican, Giuseppini, Filipinos, Franciscan, Jesuits, Guanelliani, Passionisti, Marist, Orionini, Pavoniani, Piamartini, Redentoristi, Rogationists, Scalabriniani, Somaschi, Stimmatini.

The truth is that the Catholic reality is somewhat fragmented, but officially it remains united under the papal hat.

They are part of the Roman Catholic Church, to all effects, the Eastern Catholic churches (churches sui iuris). In fact, for the Eastern Catholic churches, We do not mean the Orthodox churches, who reject papal authority, and veterocattoliche churches, but Catholic churches veritable recognized by the Holy See, which however differ in liturgies and some doctrinal aspects. The Eastern churches recognized by the Holy See as a Catholic, are very similar structurally and aesthetically to the Orthodox and have the same organization of the rite, altar and liturgy.

there are over 22 several Catholic churches that make up the world of the Catholic Church, They are the so-called "Catholic denominations”.

As the Catholic Church defines the various churches within Catholicism?

According to the canon law of the Catholic Church, a particular Church (church uniate) It is an ecclesial community, led by a bishop or by someone recognized as equivalent to a bishop.

There are two types of particular Churches:

  1. Churches Locals details. The diocese is the most common form of such Churches, but there are other forms, including the territorial abbey, the Vicariate Apostolic and the apostolic prefecture. Particular Churches are mostly dioceses. Unless otherwise apparent, They are equivalent to a territorial diocese, abbey or a vicariate, or an apostolic prefecture.
  2. Special Autonomous Churches (“sui iuris”). These are aggregations of local churches share a special liturgy, theology and tradition. The largest autonomous Church is from the Latin rite. The others are referred to collectively as the Eastern Catholic Churches, which they are governed by a bishop who has the title and rank of patriarch or major archbishop.



The following 22 churches are denominations within the Catholic Church. All are in communion with the pope and recognize the jurisdiction Universal and authority. Yet they have different doctrinal differences and different accents (for example, in the case of those from greek / byzantine rite, as well as differences in the liturgy also have different views on some points of doctrine, such as purgatory or ecclesiastical celibacy). The Eastern Catholic Churches and those from Latin rite still share the same sacraments, and then the same faith, the same way the various Protestant groups share the same doctrinal points, despite the conduction of the cult differences, just as it does within Catholicism.

  • Armenian Catholic Church
  • Belarusian Greek Catholic Church
  • Bulgarian Catholic Church
  • Chaldean Catholic Church
  • Coptic Catholic Church
  • Croatian Greek Catholic Church
  • Ethiopian Catholic Church
  • Catholic Church of Georgia
  • Greek-Catholic Church
  • Hungarian Greek Catholic Church
  • Italo-Albanian Catholic Church
  • Catholic Church Macedonian
  • Maronite Catholic Church
  • Melkite Catholic Church
  • Romanian Catholic Church
  • Russian Catholic Church
  • Chiesa Cattolica route (usually called “Byzantine Catholic Church” in the United States)
  • Slovak Greek Catholic Church
  • Catholic Syrian Church
  • Syro-Malabar
  • Catholic Syro-Malankara
  • Ukrainian Catholic Church

Some insights on the Eastern Catholic Churches in communion with the Pope of Rome

The Eastern Catholic churches they are autonomous, self-governed (in latino, sui iuris), particular churches in full communion with the Bishop of Rome, dad. Together with those from the Latin rite, make up the world of the Catholic Church. Retain some old Eastern liturgies and ancient theological traditions, shared in most cases with the various Eastern Christian churches that were once associated with them. Although most of these churches were previously associated with each other, they are not all in communion now. But the Eastern Catholic churches of all traditions are all in communion with each other and with the Latin Church or western. however, they vary for some theological aspect, forms of worship and liturgy and canonical discipline. All recognize the central role of the Bishop of Rome within the College of Bishops and his infallibility when he speaks ex cathedra. The communion of the members of these churches with the Church of Rome, It means that they are not in communion with the other Eastern Christian Churches (those known Orthodox).

The Eastern Catholic Churches have historically been located in Eastern Europe, l’Asia, Middle East, Nord Africa e India, but now because of migration, They are also found in Western Europe, America e Oceania, and form ecclesiastical structures alongside the Latin dioceses.

The terms Catholic-Byzantine e greek-catholic They are used for those who belong to these churches that use the Byzantine liturgical rite. The meaning is mainly this, but it can be wider, since even Catholics who follow the Alexandrian Rite, Armenian and Chaldean liturgical traditions can be called the same way.

The Catholic Church considers the A, Santa, Catholic and Apostolic, the Church that Christ founded. As such, The Catholic Church does not consider himself a name, although the designations are, but the original Church of Christ. But also the Orthodox church (one that does not recognize the authority of the Pope) It is regarded as the only true Christian church that Christ founded.

The rites of the Catholic Church

The rite of the Eastern Catholic churches is the Byzantine Greek, differently from that which is Roman Catholic in Latin. So the Oriental Churches retain the rite of Orthodox churches separated, but in 1911 They made an attempt at reunification with the Holy See, keeping their Orthodox traditions but adapting to some Catholic ones. The rituals that we find in the Catholic Church are different and also quite different between them, but we will just list them without going into detail, as there would be too much to write.

The rites within the Roman church:

  • Roman rite
  • Ambrosian rite
  • rite patriarchino
  • Rito mozarabico
  • rite Gallican
  • Rite of Braga
  • rite liturgical

Rites in the Eastern Catholic churches have:

  • Byzantine rite
  • Alexandrian rite

Rites and doctrines of the Eastern Catholic churches

The differences between the Latin Catholic Church or Roman and Oriental, They are mainly located in the ritual and in some liturgical traditions: for example in the Eastern churches it spreads the Eucharistic practice of using unleavened bread instead of the unleavened (the host) and not to stretch the wine with water, as in the Roman church. The Armenian Catholic Church, eg, regarding the celebration of the Eucharist, still retains beliefs monofisite, condemned as heretical by the Council of Chalcedon, which indicate one nature of Christ in which the human and divine aspect are indivisible and present alike. Also in the Eastern Catholic churches, although in communion with the Holy See, They are still having orthodox beliefs about purgatory and the Marian cult, much less clear that in Catholic churches with the Roman rite. Another difference is ecclesiastical celibacy, which we will see below.

Clerical celibacy

Catholic priest with a wife
Catholic priest with a wife

In Roman Catholic churches clergy can not marry, but this is not true of the Eastern Catholic churches. Many Eastern churches stand the monastic clergy from non monastic. The monastic not necessarily live like monks in monasteries, but they have spent part of their period of religious education in this context, so they have to do necessarily vow of chastity. I can not marry monastic. A large percentage of priests and deacons are celibate, while another large ecclesiastical circles, especially the priests, It is not bound to the vow of chastity. If a future priest or deacon should get married, this marriage is to be celebrated before ecclesial ordination. While marriage usually continues in some countries to be organized by families, some cultural changes sometimes make it difficult for some seminarians to find women prepared to be wives of a priest.

Who are the Catholics actually?

"Catholic" is the Christian who is part of the Universal Church of Christ, that is, the invisible church, and every born again Christian can be defined as a Catholic. The appointment Bible only the "universal church", just defined, and the local church (the visible and of a certain place or country, which can also be different from another local church). Never appear terms as a Catholic, evangelical, Protestant or followers of that character and that other.


Despite the usual Catholic pride to say that their church is the only true, because united, we can say, after what we have seen, that the very small differences which are inside of Catholic churches, we can find in churches or Protestant denominations. The latter have the same everywhere I: Scripture alone, only Dio Glory, salvation only through Christ, salvation by faith and grace and not by works, nothing ecclesiastical celibacy, free examination of the Scriptures and the two sacraments (Baptism and Lord's Supper). There are also some minor doctrinal differences (see the gifts of the Spirit in the Pentecostal or the respect of the Sabbath as a day of the Lord, among Adventists), but we do not find ourselves in the fundamental ones, which are those just mentioned. We can find churches who prefer a formal worship (the Reformed Churches) and those who prefer the modern cult, free and spontaneous. We can find churches that ask women to put a veil on her head during worship, and churches that do not require it; churches who order also women pastors and churches who do not. But all this should not be to undermine the faith and the centrality of Christ in the various Protestant churches. In fact, they feel all brothers to each other because they respect the Christian biblical principles, and they can pray quietly together, by whatever name they belong.

we can add, Lastly, another important consideration: despite the lack of a central authority or of a figure who serves as head of the church in the Protestant churches (as the pope for the Catholic Church) Protestants are too united doctrinally, and this is because they have always had faith as a source of the Word of God, and as a guide not a human head, but the one and only head of the church: Jesus Christ.

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