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Melkite Greek Catholic Church
Melkite Greek Catholic Church
Meaning of church name
The Church in modern times
Church traditions
Article discussion

Meaning of church name

Melkite comes from the Syriac word melk for "King", which was originally a pejorative term for Middle-Eastern Christians who accepted the authority of the Council of Chalcedon (451) and the Byzantine Emperor.[1] It was given to them by anti-Chalcedonians (the Oriental Orthodox).[1] This term is now not generally used to refer to other Chalcedonian Christian groups (see Melkite for the history of this term) The Greek element signifies the Byzantine Rite heritage of the church, the liturgy used by all Eastern Orthodox Church.[2]

The term Catholic signifies the church's acknowledgment of the authority of the Pope. However, the word can also imply participation in the worldwide church (see Catholic). According to some theologians, the Melkite Church of Antioch is the "oldest continuous Christian community in the world".[3]

In Arabic, the official language of the church, it is called ar-Rūm al-Kathūlīk (Arabic: الروم الكاثوليك‎), which literally means "Roman" Catholic. However, in Arabic, "Rūm" can also refer to the Byzantine empire (the so-called "Second Rome"). Hence, it also can be translated as "Greek Catholic".

  1. 1.0 1.1 Dick (2004), p. 9
  2. Faulk (2007), p. 5
  3. Melkite Greek Catholic Church Information Center Unofficial History of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church / Grec Melkite Catholique

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