Theological differences between the Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem – a centre of Christian pilgrimage long shared and disputed among the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and Catholic Churches.

The Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church have been in a state of official schism from one another since the East–West Schism of 1054. This schism was caused by historical and linguistic developments, and the ensuing theological differences between the Western and Eastern churches.

Main points of discontent for the Catholic Church are the papal primacy[1][2][3] and the filioque clause.[1][2] For Eastern Orthodox the main point of discontent is voiced by neo-Palamism, which sees the essence-energy distinction, and the experiential vision of God as attained in theoria and theosis, as the main point of divergence between East and West.

Although the 20th century saw a growth of anti-western sentiments with the rise of neo-Palamism, "the future of East–West rapprochement appears to be overcoming the modern polemics of neo-scholasticism and neo-Palamism".[4] Since the Second Vatican Council, the Catholic Church has generally taken the approach that the schism is primarily ecclesiological in nature, that the doctrinal teachings of the Eastern Orthodox churches are generally sound, and that "the vision of the full communion to be sought is that of unity in legitimate diversity"[5] as before the division.[6]

Areas of doctrinal agreement

Both churches accept the decisions of the first seven Ecumenical Councils of the undivided Church. These are:

There is therefore doctrinal agreement on:

Neither Church community subscribes to the Protestant teachings expressed in the five solae, especially regarding the teachings of salvation through faith alone (which these two communities understand as requiring no acts of love and charity) or of sola Scriptura (which they understand as excluding doctrinal teachings passed down through the Church from the apostles in the form of sacred tradition).