Comment Opinion & Features

Can you name all 23 Eastern Catholic Churches?

(CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Albanian Greek Catholic Church

Not to be confused with the Italo-Albanian Catholic Church, the 4,000 or so members of this Byzantine Rite community, established in 1628, live largely in Albania.

Armenian Catholic Church

Armenian Catholic Church: Pope Francis visits the Armenian Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Martyrs in Gyumri (CNS/Paul Haring)

Cilician Armenians accepted union with Rome in 1307, while those in Greater Armenia toyed with the idea but never followed through. The Armenian Catholic Church is therefore much smaller than the Armenian Apostolic Church.

Belarusian Greek Catholic Church

This Church’s members are the heirs in Belarus of those who entered into full communion with Rome through the Union of Brest in 1595/96.

Bulgarian Greek Catholic Church

Led by the merchant Dragan Tsankov, a group of Christians reconciled with Rome under Pope Pius IX in 1861, establishing this community.

Chaldean Catholic Church

Chaldean Catholic Church: Archbishop Bashar Warda celebrates Mass at the Chaldean Cathedral in Erbil (Mazur/

After centuries of confusion, the Patriarchate of Babylon (based in Baghdad) was established in 1930, with the customs and discipline of the Latin Rite combined with Syriac liturgical traditions.

Coptic Catholic Church

The Coptic Catholic Church was recognised by Rome from 1741 when a Coptic bishop in Jerusalem, Anba Athanasius, became a Catholic.

Eritrean Catholic Church

The newest of the Eastern Churches, it was granted autonomy from the Ethiopian Catholic Church in 2015.

Ethiopian Catholic Church

Ethiopian Catholic Church: Mass at Lideta Mariam Catholic Church in Alitena (Maheder Haileselassie Tadese/AFP/Getty)

Ethiopian Catholic liturgies follow the Alexandrian Rite and use Ge’ez, a South Semitic language that fell out of daily use centuries ago.

Greek Byzantine Catholic Church

Employing the Byzantine liturgical rite in both Koine Greek and Modern Greek, this Church has members in Greece and Turkey.

Greek Catholic Church of Croatia and Serbia

Greek Catholic Church of Croatia and Serbia: the iconostasis of the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in Križevci, Croatia (photo:

The Greek Catholic Church of Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia – to give it its full name – uses a Slavonic form of Byzantine Rite. Its structure changed following the break-up of Yugoslavia.

Hungarian Greek Catholic Church

Based in Debrecen – once known as the “Calvinist Rome” – this Church was recognised by Pope Pius X in 1912. He gave the community three years to switch from Hungarian to Greek in its liturgy, but the outbreak of war prolonged the use of Hungarian indefinitely.

Italo-Albanian Catholic Church

Italo-Albanian Catholic Church: an Arbëreshë priest celebrates Easter Sunday Mass in Piana degli Albanesi, Sicily (Getty)

This Church’s 61,000 members are concentrated in southern Italy and Sicily.

Macedonian Greek Catholic Church

Macedonian Greek Catholic Church: a Divine Liturgy at the Cathedral of Assumption of Blessed Virgin Mary in Strumica, Macedonia (Wikipedia)

Established in 2001 by St John Paul II, this Church, which comprises a single eparchy, celebrates the liturgy in Macedonian.

Maronite Church

Maronite Church

Officially known as the Syriac Maronite Church of Antioch, this community has more than three million members, a third of whom live in Lebanon.

Melkite Greek Catholic Church

Melkite Greek Catholic Church: Divine Liturgy at the Melkite Cathedral in Jerusalem

Based in the Syrian capital, Damascus, these Byzantine Rite Catholics trace their history back to the early Christians of Antioch.

Romanian Greek Catholic Church

Established in 1698, the Church was outlawed in 1948 under Stalin’s orders, but regained its freedom in 1990.

Russian Greek Catholic Church

Russian Greek Catholic Church: Fr Aleksandr Burgos prepares to celebrate Mass according to the Byzantine rite in the basement of a St Petersburg Catholic church (CNS/Robert Duncan)

The smallest of the Eastern Catholic Churches, with just 3,200 members.

Ruthenian Greek Catholic Church

St Michael’s Ruthenian Catholic Cathedral in Passaic, NJ

Known in the United States as the Byzantine Catholic Church, this community also has European eparchies in Ukraine and the Czech Republic.

Slovak Greek Catholic Church

There are some 350,000 members of this Church in Slovakia and 2,000 under its Canadian Eparchy of Saints Cyril and Methodius of Toronto.

Syriac Catholic Church

Syriac Catholic Church: Archbishop Yohanna Moshe celebrates the Divine Liturgy at St Thomas Syriac Catholic Church in Mosul, Iraq (CNS/Khalid al-Mousily, Reuters)

A Catholic minority within Syriac Christendom, its members experienced great persecution in the 18th century. Today, its headquarters are in Beirut.

Syro-Malabar Catholic Church

A Syro-Malabar liturgical procession with elephants

Tracing its origins back to St Thomas the Apostle, this Syriac Rite Church has more than five million members.

Syro-Malankara Catholic Church

Syro-Malankara Catholic Church: Women provide music at the installation of Bishop Thomas Naickamparampil in Uniondale, NY. The bishop was installed as head of the exarchate for the Syro-Malankara Church in the US (CNS)

After several failed attempts at union with Rome, this community, which uses the ancient Antiochene Rite, finally entered into full communion in 1930.

Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church

The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church: Divine Liturgy celebrated in the Cathedral Church of the Holy Family in London (Mazur/

Believed to be the largest of the Eastern Catholic Churches, it affirmed its full communion with Rome at the Union of Brest.