EWTN Catholic Q&A
Greek Popes
Question from Frankie on 01-20-2014:

I am aware that there were Greek popes and Syrian popes in the Early Church. Those Greek popes were Catholics or Orthodox popes.? Quite a few Eastern popes are revered as Orthodox popes by the Orthodox Churches.

Answer by Richard Geraghty on 01-21-2014:

Dear Frankie,

In the Early Church all were Catholics. The only difference was that there were the Catholics of the West centered in Rome and the Catholics in the East centered in Constantinople. There was only one Pope, who usually lived in Rome. But around the eleventh century there was a split, the Roman Catholic Church on the one side and the Eastern Orthodox Catholic Church on the other side. Even to this day Patriarchs of the Eastern Orthodox Church do not recognize the Pope in Rome as the head of the whole church. But that may change in the future. That is the hope of the Pope in Rome.

Dr. Geraghty