This article on Eastern Catholicism will begin (or attempt) to give an overview of the churches that make up the Eastern branches of the Catholic Communion. It is believed by some that the Catholic Communion only consists of the Roman Church. However, the Catholic Communion worldwide consists of the Roman Church as well as 22 other distinct churches with their own rites and traditions. These 22 will be covered in detail later.

The Roman church or the Roman Catholic Church as it is more commonly known, is also referred to as the Latin rite church. This is how the Roman Catholics are distinguished from the other various catholics. Also used is the term Church of Rome which is shorthand for the Latin rite churches or refers specifically to the Office of the Pope and Latin rite church he directly administers (which is in Rome, Italy). Eastern Catholic Churches are sometimes referred to as the Uniate Churches as well.

Although some religious historians and members of the Eastern Orthodox Churches may disagree, Eastern Catholic Churches by and large believe themselves to have always had unbroken or at least "interrupted" unbroken communion with the Church of Rome. This without getting into any particular history of each tradition is how the Uniate churches view their religious history. Needless to say from this some of the Uniates, especially the ones that are related to the Eastern Orthodox tradition are accused of betrayal by the Orthodox Church. At times in history for somewhat similar reasons, some Roman Catholics have also regarded the Eastern Catholics as somewhat heretical (especially in the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries). Much of this conflict and rift was not properly healed until Vatican II. However, as Uniates feel about their history, this suffering is comparable to the suffering that Jesus suffered when being crucified. They see it as part of being a witness to having remained faithful to the Christian vision of one universal church as the Catholic Church claims itself to be.

This is just an introductory overview to Eastern Catholicism. It would be informative to conclude by including a list of the various traditions and major church groups they are cateogized as:


I. Armenian Catholic Church
II. Byzantine (also known as Greek) Catholic Church
A. Belarussian (rooted in Belarus)
B. Bulgarian (rooted in Bulgaria)
C. Georgian (rooted in Georgia, Former Soviet State of)
D. Hellenic (or the Byzantine designation in Greece itself)
E. Hungarian (rooted in Hungary)
F. Italo-Albanian (rooted in Albanian Community in Italy)
G .Macedonian (rooted in Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia)
H. Melkite (rooted in Arab countries)
I. Romanian (rooted in Romania)
J. Russian (rooted in Russia...it is currently reviving)
K. Ruthenian (rooted in Carpatho-Ruthenia)
L. Serbian (rooted in the Former Yugoslavia)
M. Slovak (rooted in Slovakia, a lot are Latin rite today)
N. Ukrainian (rooted in Ukraine, strongly related to Belarus)
III. Chaldean Catholic Church (rooted in Iraq and Iran)
IV. Coptic Catholic Church (rooted in Egypt)
V. Ge'ez Catholic Church (rooted in Ethiopia and Eritrea)
VI. Maronite Catholic Church (rooted in Lebanon and other Arab countries)
VII. Syriac Catholic Church (rooted in Near East)
VIII. Syro-Malabar Catholic Church (rooted in India also known as the St. Thomas Christians)
IX. Syro-Malankar Catholic Church (rooted in India)

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