As a consequence of these differences, the doctrine of Purgatory is absent from Orthodoxy, just as it is absent from the faith of Rome prior to its introduction in the 12th century.Orthodox Christians and Roman Catholics both believe in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Transubstantiation as a Roman Catholic doctrine is the use of Aristotelian philosophical categories of “substance” (what makes a thing what it is) and “accidents” (incidental attributes of a thing) to explain how it is that the bread and wine of the Eucharist still appear to be bread and wine (in their “accidents”) while having undergone a change in their “substance” to be the Body and Blood of Christ.The language of worship has generally been the local language.In the case of some parishes in America with many immigrants, it is possible that one will hear a language in addition to English used in worship as part of the ministry to those immigrants. The Rosary dates from the 1400s, well after the split between Rome and the Orthodox Church, so the use of the Rosary is unknown in Orthodoxy.Orthodoxy has not made any similar alteration to its mode of worship.While Orthodox worship has changed somewhat over the centuries, the changes have been extremely gradual and comparatively minor.We also do not believe that “satisfaction” can be made for sins.
But beyond these initial impressions, there is actually much that continues to separate Rome from Orthodoxy.
Western theology tends to approach theological matters via the use of reason; this is a legacy of Augustinianism and the medieval Scholastics, who applied the techniques of Greek philosophy to the investigation of theological matters.
Orthodoxy believes that certain matters are beyond the use of reason, so it is presumptuous for us as limited human beings to think that we can use our reason to understand that which is beyond us.
By contrast, Rome’s primary expectation of the Orthodox is that they would accept the sovereignty of the Pope over all their churches.
Orthodox Christians cannot accept that condition, however, as they would understand it to mean an abandonment of the faith that they had received from the Apostles.