The Eastern Catholic Churches or Oriental Catholic Churches, also called the Eastern-rite Catholic Churches, and in some historical cases Uniate Churches, are twenty-three Eastern Christian autonomous (in Latin, sui iuris) particular churches in full communion with the Pope in Rome, as part of the worldwide Catholic Church. They are united with one another and with the Latin or Roman Church (also known as the Western Church). In particular, they recognize the central role of the Bishop of Rome within the College of Bishops and his infallibility when speaking ex cathedra. The majority of the Eastern Catholic Churches are groups from the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Oriental Orthodox churches, and the historic Church of the East that have returned to communion with the Bishop of Rome, either

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  • The Eastern Catholic Churches or Oriental Catholic Churches, also called the Eastern-rite Catholic Churches, and in some historical cases Uniate Churches, are twenty-three Eastern Christian autonomous (in Latin, sui iuris) particular churches in full communion with the Pope in Rome, as part of the worldwide Catholic Church. They are united with one another and with the Latin or Roman Church (also known as the Western Church). In particular, they recognize the central role of the Bishop of Rome within the College of Bishops and his infallibility when speaking ex cathedra. The majority of the Eastern Catholic Churches are groups from the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Oriental Orthodox churches, and the historic Church of the East that have returned to communion with the Bishop of Rome, either due to theological concerns or due to understanding the role of the Bishop of Rome as head of church. As such the five liturgical traditions of the twenty-three Eastern Catholic Churches, including the Alexandrian Rite, the Armenian Rite, the Byzantine Rite, the East Syriac Rite, and the West Syriac Rite, are shared with other Eastern Christian churches. Consequently, the Catholic Church is comprised of six liturgical rites; including the aforementioned five liturgical traditions of the Eastern Catholic Churches along with the Latin liturgical rites of the Latin Church. Headed by patriarchs, metropolitans, and major archbishops, the Eastern Catholic Churches are governed in accordance with the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, although each church also has its own canons and laws on top of this, and the preservation of their own traditions is explicitly encouraged. The total membership of the various churches accounts for about 18 million, according to the Annuario Pontificio (the annual directory of the Catholic Church), thus making up about 1.5 percent of the Catholic Church, with the rest of its more than 1.3 billion members belonging to the Latin Church. The Maronite Church is considered the only one of the Eastern Catholic Churches to have always remained in full communion with the Holy See, while most of the other churches unified from the 16th century onwards. However, the Melkite Catholic Church and the Italo-Albanian Greek Catholic Church also claim perpetual communion. The largest six churches based on membership are: the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (Byzantine Rite), the Syro-Malabar Church (East Syriac Rite), the Maronite Church (West Syriac Rite), the Melkite Catholic Church (Byzantine Rite), the Chaldean Catholic Church (East Syriac Rite) and the Armenian Catholic Church (Armenian Rite). These six churches account for about 85% of the membership of the Eastern Catholic Churches. Full communion constitutes mutual sacramental sharing between the Eastern Catholic Churches and the Latin Church, including Eucharistic intercommunion. 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 of the 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 the episcopacy). Eastern Catholic Churches have their origins in the Middle East, East Africa, Eastern Europe and India. However, since the 19th century, diaspora has spread to Western Europe, the Americas and Oceania in part because of persecution, where eparchies have been established to serve adherents alongside those of Latin Church dioceses. Latin Catholics in the Middle East, on the other hand, are traditionally cared for by the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem. (en)
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  • The Eastern Catholic Churches or Oriental Catholic Churches, also called the Eastern-rite Catholic Churches, and in some historical cases Uniate Churches, are twenty-three Eastern Christian autonomous (in Latin, sui iuris) particular churches in full communion with the Pope in Rome, as part of the worldwide Catholic Church. They are united with one another and with the Latin or Roman Church (also known as the Western Church). In particular, they recognize the central role of the Bishop of Rome within the College of Bishops and his infallibility when speaking ex cathedra. The majority of the Eastern Catholic Churches are groups from the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Oriental Orthodox churches, and the historic Church of the East that have returned to communion with the Bishop of Rome, either (en)
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  • Eastern Catholic Churches (en)
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