What are the differences between the Coptic Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church?
There are many differences between these two churches; and unfortunately, these differences are increasing. It is important to read about them and understand their details which are found in the two links posted below where you will discover and learn that our church's traditions have not been replaced by neither modern conveniences nor contemporary thoughts:
In these links, http://www.suscopts.org/resources/literature/orthodox-faith/difference-between-catholicism-and-orthodoxy/, you will find the biblical references on which the Coptic Orthodox Church has based her stance and traditions. A few more differences between the two churches as witnessed today are:
The Coptic Orthodox Church
- The nature of our Lord Jesus Christ
- The Filioque Controversy
- Infallibility of the Pope
- Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin
- Primacy of St. Peter
- False Traditions
The Roman Catholic Church
- All seven Sacraments are only to be administered by an ordained priest. An Archdeacon can assist in dispensing the Holy Blood from the chalice using the utensil. Only in extreme cases where a priest is not accessible and a yet to be baptized baby is in a critical health condition, can a person of the Orthodox faith baptize the child. The Sacrament of Confirmation or Chrismation, (anointing with the Holy Myron Oil) must be administered in the nearest opportunity, if the child survives the danger. In such cases, the Sacrament of Baptism would not need to be repeated.
- The Eucharist (Body & Blood) is dispensed by the priest; and no part of them can be left over. (Exodus 12:10).
- Priests marry or take a vow of celibacy prior to their ordination.
- The Sacrament of Confirmation is the anointing with the Holy Myron Oil immediately following the administering of the Sacrament of Baptism.
- The church is biblical and traditional.
- An Orthodox person can only marry someone confirmed in the Orthodox faith.
- Divorce is not permitted except in the case of sexual immorality (Matthew 5:32).
- The Divine Liturgy is one and the same all over the world in all its daily readings.
- The same altar cannot host the celebration of the Divine Liturgy more than once a day.
- Three Sacraments can be administered by an ordained Deacon: Baptism, Marriage, and Communion. The other four Sacraments can be administered only by an ordained priest. These are: Unction of the Sick, Confirmation, Holy Orders, and Confession.
- Eucharistic Ministers are lay people (men and women) who are granted the privilege to administer Communion, once "the Host" i.e., the Body and Blood of Christ, has been consecrated by the priest. This consecration can be prearranged days prior and administered at a Communion Service by a lay person days later. Remnants of the Communion may remain and be used for another Mass.
- Religious and Diocesan Priests take a vow of celibacy and obedience before they are ordained. The vow of poverty is optional for diocesan priests, but mandatory for religious priests.
- The Sacrament of Confirmation is a ceremonial declaration of faith by a preteen or older.
- The church is traditional (The Holy Scriptures are assumed to be more symbolic than literal and therefore not readily studied nor emphasized).
- Catholics may marry non-Catholics.
- Divorce is not permitted at all.
- Celebration of the Mass – The priest can exercise his pastoral discretion and choose readings appropriate to his selection or purpose of a declared special mass.
- Several masses are permitted on the same altar each day.