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Melkite Greek Catholic Church Information Center

Catholic Churches

The Melkite Greek Catholic Church is a Catholic Church within the Greek variant within the Byzantine Rite within the Byzantine Great Tradition.

An explanation is below Catholic Rites and Churches EWTN, Answered by Anthony Dragani, 02-12-2002
"...The Catholic Church is actually a communion of Churches. According to the Constitution on the Church of the Second Vatican Council, Lumen Gentium, the Catholic Church is understood to be "a corporate body of Churches," united with the Pope of Rome, who serves as the guardian of unity (LG, no. 23). At present there are 22 Churches that comprise the Catholic Church. The new Code of Canon Law, promulgated by Pope John Paul II, uses the phrase "autonomous ritual Churches" to describe these various Churches (canon 112). Each Church has its own hierarchy, spirituality, and theological perspective.
Although there are 22 Churches, there are only eight "Rites" that are used among them. A rite is a "liturgical, theological, spiritual and disciplinary patrimony," (Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, canon 28). "Rite" best refers to the liturgical and disciplinary traditions used in celebrating the sacraments. Many Eastern Catholic Churches use the same rite, although they are distinct autonomous Churches. For example, the Ukrainian Catholic Church and the Melkite Catholic Church are distinct Churches with their own hierarchies. Yet they both use the Byzantine Rite.
Thus, Ukrainian Catholics, Ruthenian Catholics, Russian Catholics, Melkite Catholics, Romanian Catholics, etc. are all called "Byzantine Catholics" - because they use the Byzantine Rite. However, the Eastern Orthodox Churches ALSO use the Byzantine Rite. Byzantine Catholics are in full communion with Rome, and are just as Catholic as are Roman Catholics, who use the Roman Rite."

Another explanation is below Catholic Rites and Churches EWTN, Answered by Anthony Dragani, 08-13-2001
According to the Constitution on the Church of the Second Vatican Council, Lumen Gentium, the Catholic Church is understood to be "a corporate body of Churches," united with the Pope of Rome, who serves as the guardian of unity (LG, no. 23). At present there are 22 Churches that comprise the Catholic Church. The new Code of Canon Law, promulgated by Pope John Paul II, uses the phrase "autonomous ritual Churches" to describe these various Churches (canon 112). Each Church has its own hierarchy, spirituality, and theological perspective.
Although there are 22 Churches, there are only seven "Rites" that are used among them. A Rite is a "liturgical, theological, spiritual and disciplinary patrimony," (Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, canon 28). "Rite" best refers to the liturgical and disciplinary traditions used in celebrating the sacraments. Many Eastern Catholic Churches use the same Rite, although they are distinct autonomous Churches. For example, the Ukrainian Catholic Church and the Melkite Catholic Church are distinct Churches with their own hierarchies. Yet they both use the Byzantine Rite.
Also, it is not accurate to refer to the entire Catholic Church as the "Roman Catholic Church." In Church documents, you will not find the phrase "Roman Catholic" used to describe the universal Church. Instead, the only phrase used to describe it is simply "the Catholic Church." For instance, the recent Vatican document Dominus Iesus says the following in paragraph no. 16: "This Church, constituted and organized as a society in the present world, subsists in [subsistit in] the Catholic Church, governed by the Successor of Peter and by the Bishops in communion with him."
Nowhere does this document refer to the universal Church as the Roman Catholic Church. Likewise, the DOGMATIC CONSTITUTION ON THE CHURCH, Lumen Gentium, nowhere uses the term "Roman Catholic." Nor is it used in any documents of comparable authority. It does not appear in any code of canon law. From a strictly canonical standpoint, there is no "Roman Catholic" Church.
However, you will sometimes encounter the phrase "Church of Rome" in Church documents. This phrase is used to denote the actual Diocese of Rome. Sometimes it is also used to denote the bishop who presides over this diocese, the Holy Father.
In Church legislation and canons, the Western Church is referred to as the Latin Church. However, in everyday usage members of the Latin Church refer to it as the "Roman Catholic Church." For instance, in the small town of Toronto, Ohio there are two Catholic parishes. On one side of the town is St. Joseph's Byzantine Catholic Church. On the other side of town is St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church. That's exactly what the sign says in front of the parish. And everyone knows that this parish is part of the Latin Church.
This matter is further complicated because there exists in canon law a "Roman Rite." The Roman Rite is used exclusively by the Latin Church. Eastern Catholics object to being called "Roman Catholics" because we do not use the Roman Rite, as Latin Catholics do. It seems to us that the term "Roman Catholic" is best reserved for Catholics who use the Roman Rite.

More Information

Catholic Churches

Orientale Lumen Sources on Eastern Catholic Churches Mr. Paul A. Zalonski, S.J.


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Melkite Greek Catholic Church Information Center
Martha Liles
Web URL address: Melkite Greek Catholic Church Information Center or http://www.mliles.com/melkite/
E-mail: mliles@mliles.com or mliles@mliles.com

Melkite Greek Catholic Church Information Center is an unofficial Melkite Greek Catholic Web site and has not been reviewed or approved by any Melkite clergy person.
Melkite Greek Catholic Church Information Center contains a range of World Wide Web sites on Melkite faith, belief, practice, history, etc. Melkite Greek Catholic Church Information Center does not endorse any World Wide Web site nor takes any responsibility for the contents of any World Wide Web site. Melkite Greek Catholic Church Information Center offers these links with the understanding that Melkite Greek Catholic Church Information Center can not vouch for any of the contents on each site. Listing a site does not indicate acceptance nor endorsement of the doctrines / ideas / theology of the World Wide Web site. Please remember that Web sites will change their content and their location. It is the user's responsibility to decide whether or not the content on a particular World Wide Web site is appropripate.

Melkite Greek Catholic Church Information Center is dedicated to my cousins: Bucky (Richard C. Liles) and Shirley (Shirley Jean Liles Buck). Bucky fell asleep in the Lord on Dec. 12, 2000 and Shirley fell asleep in the Lord on Nov. 8, 2001.
O God of all spirits and of all flesh, who have destroyed death, overcome the devil, and given life to the world: grant, O Lord, to the souls of your servants Bucky and Shirley, who has departed from this life, that it may rest in a place of light, in a place of happiness, in a place of peace, where there is no pain, no grief, no sighing. And since You are a gracious God and the Lover of Mankind, forgive him/her every sin he/she has committed by thought, or word, or deed, for there is not a man who lives and does not sin : You alone are without sin, your righteousness is everlasting, and your word is true. You are the Resurrection and the Life, and the repose of your departed servants Bucky and Shirley. O Christ our God, and we send up glory to You, together with your eternal Father and your all-holy, good and life-givng Spirit, now and always and for ages upon ages. Amen.

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Last Updated: Saturday, August 08, 2009, 22:28:13, CDT
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