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Byzantine Christians descended from those who remained faithful to the Council of Chalcedon (451) when large numbers in the Near East accepted the Monophysite heresy. They gradually became dependent on the Patriarch of Constantinople and joined him in the Greek Schism in the ninth to the eleventh centuries. They were reunited with Rome in the eighteenth century under the Patriarch Cyril VI, who, with his successors, represents the original episcopal line of Antioch. Since the twelfth century they have followed the Byzantine Rite, mainly in the Arabic language.
All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.