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  Wikipedia: Eastern Orthodox Church organization

Wikipedia: Eastern Orthodox Church organization
Eastern Orthodox Church organization
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

This article treats the manner in which the Eastern Orthodox Church is organized, rather than the doctrines, traditions, practices, or other aspects of Eastern Orthodoxy, which see.

The Eastern Orthodox Church is a communion comprising the collective body of sixteen separate autocephalous hierarchical churches that recognize each other as "canonical" Orthodox Christian churches.

The head of the communion is the Patriarch of Constantinople, who is also head of one of the sixteen churches. The sixteen organizations are in full communion with each other, so any priest of any of those churches may lawfully minister to any member of any of them, and no member of any is excluded from any form of worship in any of the others. Despite the fact that, like the Roman Catholic church, they are "closed communion" churches, i.e. with rare exceptions excluding non-members from receiving the Eucharist, nonetheless they admit each other's members to that sacrament. Friction among them is over matters of church politics rather than doctrine.

Like the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church claims to be the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.

All the disagreements among persons of differing religious beliefs beget strange nomenclature, and accordingly the so-called Western Orthodox Church is a part of the Eastern Orthodox Church as that term is defined here.

Note that Oriental Orthodoxy separated from the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church in the 5th century, well before the 11th century Great Schism. It should not be confused with Eastern Orthodoxy.

Some history

At the beginning of the 11th century, the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church was ruled by five patriarchs: those of Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem. Each had jurisdiction over bishops in a specified geographic region. The patriarch of Rome was "first in place of honor" among the five patriarchs. Did that mean he had authority over the other four patriarchs, or was his primacy merely honorary? Disagreement about the answer to that question was one of the causes of the Great Schism. After the schism, in the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Patriarch of Constaninople has always had honorary primacy. The importance of the insistence that one patriarch does not have authority over others is seen in the fact that these separate churches are autocephalous.

Autocephalous Churches

Autonomous Churches

See also

External link


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 
Modified by Geona