While the Roman Catholic Church is the largest rite in the Catholic Church, it’s not the only rite.
Around the world, there are twenty-four different Catholic rites that are in communion with the Holy Father. The Roman Catholic Rite, which most of us are familiar with, is dominant in the West, while the other rites are Eastern rites, although many have migrated and established Eastern Rite churches in the West.
In her book Being Catholic: What Every Catholic Should Know, Suzie Andres explains how according to the 1990 Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, within the Holy Catholic Church, there are different churches that have their own traditions, laws, and governance but are still under the ultimate authority of the Holy Father. Suzie Andres discusses why we have such diversity within the Holy Catholic Church:
There are at least two clear and beautiful reasons: First, considering this diversity from a divine perspective, “The mystery of Christ is so unfathomably rich that it cannot be exhausted by its expression in any single liturgical tradition” (CCC 1201). And second, from a more human perspective, the many lands into which the Gospel was brought and proclaimed naturally incorporated the mystery of Christ in ways particular to each of their cultures.
Stay tuned for more content on the richness within each Eastern rite and learn how these parts of our Holy Church contribute to the Mystical Body of Christ.
To learn more about the beauty and complexity of the Catholic Church, check out Suzie Andres’s Being Catholic, sold here.