(1) Transubstantiation does not necessarily occur in the Words of Institution. In most of the non-Roman rites, including the Maronite and the Byzantine, the epiklesis occurs AFTER the Words of Institution - it is only afterward that the priest prays "make this bread the precious Body of Your Christ... and that which is in this chalice, the precious Blood of Your Christ... changing them by Your Holy Spirit, Amen, Amen, Amen." Byzantine theology (pace St. Nicolas Cabasilas, who placed the moment of transubstantiation quite firmly at the epiklesis) has tended to say that the whole anaphora, rather than one point during it, turns the prosphora into the Eucharist. Even the prosphora before consecration is regarded as so holy that during the Great Entrance when they are carried up to the altar before the anaphora, Archbishop Joseph Raya (the Melkite Catholic prelate in Galilee) would prostrate himself and have the gifts carried over his prostrate body, and when the antidoron (unconsecrated particles cut from the same loaf as the prosphora) is distributed after Divine Liturgy, the faithful are always careful to avoid spilling crumbs on the floor. Furthermore, the Anaphora of Mari and Addai does not even have the Words of Institution, yet it was declared by Pope Benedict XVI (then Cardinal Ratzinger, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) to confect a valid Eucharist.
(2) The Sacrament of Holy Orders is not limited to men - only the degrees of the presbyterate and episcopacy are. The Eastern Church used to ordain deaconesses. I will not quibble with the Latins over whether that is a "Sacrament" or "Sacramental". Grace is given, and no special powers are given to deacons anyway.
(3) The bishop is only the ordinary minister of the Sacrament of Holy Orders. Ordinations, even ordinations to the priesthood, can be performed validly by a simple priest. I quote Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, p. 459:
In regard to the sacramental Order grades of diaconate and presbyterate, most theologians, with St. Thomas, hold the opinion that a simple pries cannot validly administer these, even with plenary power from the Pope. But there are grave historical difficulties with regard to this opinion: Pope Boniface IX, in agreement with the teachings of numerous medieval canonists (for example, Huguccio + 1210), by the Bull "Sacrae religionis" of the 1st February, 1400, conferred on the Abbot of the Augustine Monastery of St. Osytha at Essex (Diocese of Lincoln) and his successors, the privilege of administering to those subject to them both the Minor Orders and those of the subdiaconate, diaconate, and priesthood. The privilege was withdrawn on 6th February, 1403, on the insistence of the Bishop of Lincoln. But the Orders conferred on the ground of the privilege were not declared invalid. Pope Martin V, by the Bull "Gerentes ad vos" of 16th November, 1427, conferred the privilege on the Abbot of the Cistercian Monastery of Altzelle (Diocese of Meissen) of promoting all his monks and others subject to him for the term of five years, to the higher Orders also (Sub-diaconate, Diaconate, and Presbyterate). Pope Innocent VIII, by the Bull "Exposcit tuae devotionis" of 9th April, 1489, conferred on the four Proto-Abbots of the Cistercian Order and their successors the privilege of ordaining their subordinates to the Sub-diaconate and the Diaconate. The Cistercian Abbots were still using this privilege in the 17th century without hindrance."4) The Catholic Church has saints on her calendar who were not only not Catholic but virulently anti-Catholic, who deliberately refused to embrace communion with Rome, and who even spent their life preaching against Union. St. Alexis Toth, who led 200,000 Rusyn Greek Catholics in the United States into Orthodoxy leading to the creation of the Orthodox Church of America and the American Carpatho-Rusyn Orthodox Diocese, is on the calendar of the Russian Catholic Church under the jurisdiction of the Roman Catholic bishops in California. The Russian Catholics simply use the OCA calendar. St. Gregory Palamas, who engaged in no few polemics himself against Rome, is celebrated on the Second Sunday of Great Lent as the theologian whose work completes the Triumph of Holy Orthodoxy. St. Photios the Great of the "Photian Schism" of 869 is on the Rusyn or Ruthenian Catholic calendar. All of the Orthodox saints are in principle on our calendar, though we do not have time to sing troparia to all of them, and you will find Ukrainian Catholics with strong devotions to St. Alexis Toth, St. Photios the Great, St. Cyril Loukaris (the "Calvinist Patriarch" who prevented the Union of Brest from being fully implemented), and even the "monophysite" Pope St. Dioscorus, despite the latter's mistreatment of St. Flavian at the latrocinium ("Robber's Council") of Ephesus. Eastern Catholics are quite liberal with our saints; we were first and foremost Orthodox before we returned to communion with Rome, and now that we are willing to venerate Roman Catholic saints, we'll venerate just about anybody. With Rome's blessing, too.
6) Purgatory is not a dogma of the Faith - only a statement of the Latin expression of it. Article V of the Union of Brest states, "We shall not debate about purgatory, but entrust ourselves to the teaching of the Holy Church." The Ukrainians did not want to define and give a term to something which we have always treated as a mystery, and which carries with it a lot of medieval baggage about a spatial place where physical combustion goes on (whereas in reality there are no bodies there to make it a place and no oxygen to permit combustion) - and Rome has not insisted that we do so.
7) The Catholic Church permits divorce and remarriage. In fact, it was canonically permitted - without pretense of declaring the marriage null from the beginning - right up until 1917. It was only permitted within the Byzantine rite, which brought the practice with them from Orthodoxy. This seems to be problematic. We have always been taught that the Catholic Church regards marriage as indissoluble. How are we to resolve this? This shall be the topic of my next post. The purpose of this post was to desensitize my reader to what I am going to say in the next one.