How many kinds of catholics are there?

Good morning,
I am wondering how many kinds of catholics there are ? I here terns such as Roman catholics or those of Eastern rites etc. ? Is there a main catholic church that was the original church and then these others broke away and are called by other names and practice different rites and days ? Im just not sure what the different references to catholics means ?

There is only one Catholic Church in communion with Rome and its bishop, the Pope. Anyone who belongs to a Christian group that is not in union with the Pope is not part of the Church founded by Christ. The Eastern Orthodox do, however, have valid sacraments because of their linage of apostolic succession. But since the great schism of 1054 they do not recognize the authority of the Pope and therefore lack the fullness of Christ’s Church.

So are you saying that the Roman Catholic Church and a Roman Catholic is the only Valid Catholic , that all others are lacking in something to be in fullness with the original church ?

This article helps explain the varying liturgical rites within the Catholic Church (sorry for the ads included on the page); each of these Churches is in union with the Bishop of Rome (whose Church celebrates the Latin Rite) and thus contain the fullness of the Faith:

There is only One Catholic Church .
There is only One Catholic Church however within the Church there are various rites.

A rite represents an ecclesiastical tradition about how the sacraments are to be celebrated. As the early Church grew and spread, it celebrated the sacraments as would be best understood and received in the context of individual cultures, without ever changing their essential form and matter. The early Church sought to evangelize in the major cultural centers of the first centuries A.D. These centers were Rome, Antioch (Syria), and Alexandria (Egypt). All the rites in use today evolved from the liturgical practices and ecclesiastical organization used by the churches in these cities.

The Catholic Encyclopedia describes the situation this way: "Within the Catholic Church … Canonical rites, which are of equal dignity, enjoy the same rights, and are under the same obligations. Although the particular churches possess their own hierarchy, differ in liturgical and ecclesiastical discipline, and possess their own spiritual heritage, they are all entrusted to the pastoral government of the Roman pontiff, the divinely appointed successor of St. Peter in the Primacy."1

The Catechism lists seven rites. These rites so listed: Latin, Byzantine, Alexandrian, Syriac, Armenian, Maronite, and Chaldean,2 are actually families of liturgical expression. These rites are the descendants of the liturgical practices that originated in centers of Rome, Antioch, and Alexandria.

All the rites of the Catholic Church are of equal dignity and equally valid. … The Catholic Church is truly universal since it unites so many diverse rites, whose members share a common faith.
Overview of rites in the Catholic Church

*Although the Diocese of Rome is central to the Catholic Church, this does not mean that the Roman rite, or, as is sometimes said, the Latin rite, is co-terminus with the Church as a whole; that would mean neglecting the Byzantine, Chaldean, Maronite or other Oriental rites which are all very much part of the Catholic Church today, as in the past. *


You got yourself some great answers up there…teachccd

Here is a link to an overview of the Rites of the Catholic Church.

All of the Rites listed are in union with the Pope, and as such are Catholics just as much as one who belongs to the Roman Rite.

A Maronite Rite Catholic or a Chaldean Rite Catholic, for example, is just as much Catholic as you or I who belong to the Roman Rite; we are all in union with the Pope.

[There are some eastern rites which are NOT in union with the Pope, and these are chiefly the Orthodox, who are doctrinally almost identical to Catholics, except in recognizing the primacy of the Pope.]

Only two kinds of Catholic.
Those in a state of grace and those in a state of mortal sin! :slight_smile:

There are 22 rites in the Catholic Church.