Regarding “The Byzantine Catholic Church saved my life,” May 21, Page 22:

I very much enjoyed Sam Schroetke’s article about his journey with the Byzantine Catholic Church, as I have also enjoyed the experience of Mass at a Maronite Catholic Church on a few occasions. I fear, however, that the author might have created confusion in the minds of some readers by mention of beginning his journey with liturgies at a Greek Orthodox church.

For sure these are all good Christian churches and part of the mystical body of Christ. However, the article did not make clear that the Eastern-rite churches (such as the Byzantine, Maronite, etc.) he refers to are not “Orthodox” but rather are in full communion with the bishop of Rome.

As such they share some major if subtle theological doctrine with Roman-rite churches that the Orthodox do not accept. The most famous of which is the wording of the Nicene Creed that says that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son.

That was the tip of the wedge that split Christendom in two. The Byzantine liturgy does indeed share many similarities with other Eastern and Orthodox churches, but their bishop’s allegiance is ultimately to the pope in Rome, which was the other major point of departure for the Orthodox.

William Prendergast