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Patriarch Ignatius Joseph III Yonan of the Syriac Catholic Church, an Eastern Catholic church based in Damascus, Syria, as seen during a conference about the "extermination of Christians in the Near East" (2015).
The Eastern Catholic churches are instead distinct particular churches sui iuris, although they maintain full and equal, mutual sacramental exchange with members of the Latin Church. Apart from its reference to the liturgical patrimony of a particular church, the word has been and is still sometimes, even if rarely, officially used of the particular church itself.
Thus the term Latin rite can refer either to the Latin Church or to one or more of the Western liturgical rites, which include the majority Roman Rite but also the Ambrosian Rite, the Mozarabic Rite, and others.
In the 1990 Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches (CCEO), A group of Christian faithful linked in accordance with the law by a hierarchy and expressly or tacitly recognized by the supreme authority of the Church as autonomous is in this Code called an autonomous Church (canon 27)." (canons 111 and 112), and also speaks of "a subject of an Eastern rite" (canon 1015 §2), "Ordinaries of another rite" (canon 450 §1), "the faithful of a specific rite" (canon 476), etc.
Major breaches of communion: In 431 the Churches that accepted the teaching of the Council of Ephesus (which condemned the views of Nestorius) classified as heretics those who rejected the Council's statements.
This article is about Eastern churches in full communion with the Catholic Church.
For other Eastern Christian churches, see Eastern Christianity.
On the other hand, the liturgical traditions of the 23 Eastern Catholic churches, including Byzantine, Alexandrian, Armenian, East Syriac, and West Syriac, are shared with other Eastern Christian churches: the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, the Assyrian Church of the East, and the Ancient Church of the East.
Although some theological issues divide the Eastern Catholic churches from other Eastern Christian ones, they do admit members of the latter to the Eucharist and the other sacraments, as governed by Oriental canon law.Notably, many Eastern Catholic churches take a different approach to clerical celibacy than the Latin Church does and allow the ordination of married men to the priesthood (although not to episcopacy).