Byzantine Catholic Church History

The Catholic Church as a whole is a communion of twenty-three autonomous (sui iuris) churches, the Western (Latin-Roman) and twenty-two Eastern Catholic churches.

The Byzantine Catholic Church traces its beginnings to the twelve Apostles of Christ. After being filled with the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, the twelve Apostles went out into the world to proclaim the Gospel. They first proclaimed the Gospel in Jerusalem and then went out to the Gentiles, to Antioch, Rome and Alexandra. St. Paul began his missionary activity in Antioch and it was there that the first disciples were called Christians. The Gospel was received by these various nations and cultures which became known as the four centers of Christianity. They influenced the growth of the Church. Gradually two main heritages developed; the Eastern (Greek) tradition and the Western (Latin-Roman) tradition. The Western (Latin-Roman) tradition developed from Rome which also used the Latin language. The Eastern (Greek) tradition developed from the Churches in Jerusalem, Antioch and Alexandria. The language these Churches shared was Greek. The Byzantine Catholic Church shares in the Eastern tradition.

In 325, the Roman Emperor Constantine moved the imperial capital from Rome to Byzantium and renamed the city Constantinople, creating a new, vibrant and expanding secular and religious center in the Christian East that spanned over a thousand years. The Church based in Constantinople which was within the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire grew and matured in the Christian East over this period and has many spiritual descendants in Eastern and Central Europe, the Middle East, Oceania, and North and South America.

The spiritual heritage of the Byzantine Catholic Church which includes doctrines, liturgical practices, theology and spirituality, given to us by the Apostles of Christ, matured in the Christian East and brought to various parts of the world, including North America, can be found in the Slovak Byzantine Catholic Church and among our sister Churches, the Ukrainian, Romanian, Ruthenian, Hungarian, Melkite, Czech, Italo-Albanian, Croatian (Križevci), Russian, Albanian, Bulgarian, Belarussian, Macedonian, Georgian and Greek " Byzantine Catholic Churches."