For many people who believe in faith, the word Orthodox can be confusing leaving many wondering exactly what the differences between Roman Catholic and Orthodox faith are.
The name “Orthodox” by definition means “conventional”. This means that those who practice their faith in the Orthodox traditions believe in conventional Christianity.
The name was originally intended to distinguish between those who chose to accept other teachings about the word of Christ that opposed the original doctrines that are commonly accepted by most practicing Christians. The division took place with the Great Schism of 1054 when the church was essentially divided into two camps, those who followed the “universal” or Catholic beliefs and those who followed the Orthodoxy or “conventional” beliefs.
The main difference between the two camps relates to the fallibility of the Pope that both recognize in very different ways.
The Roman Catholics believe that the Pope is the Vicar of Christ on Earth and that essentially anything that he says regarding the word of God or interpretation thereof is considered true and must be believed. The Orthodox tradition however believes that the word of God is contained in the original Gospels and Testaments in the Bible, and cannot be altered or changed by anyone at any time, including by the Pope.
There are other more philosophical differences and rationales between the two religions as well, but they are extremely difficult to interpret by ordinary and laymen. Suffice to say that the differences though may seem little to the outsider are enough to make both the Churches two complete and separate faiths.
Both do, however, believe that there is one God and he sent his son Jesus Christ to die on the cross to atone for the sin committed by Adam. There are differences between the two faiths as to the Holy Spirit and the way that the Trinity is interpreted as well, but both are referred to as essentially Christian faiths along with others such as Protestantism.