Church of Constantinople

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The Church of Constantinople is one of the fourteen or fifteen autocephalous churches, also referred to as the Ecumenical Patriarchate. It is headed by the Ecumenical Patriarch, who has the status of primus inter pares ("first among equals") among the world's Orthodox bishops. The current Ecumenical Patriarch is His All-Holiness Bartholomew I, Archbishop of Constantinople.

The local churches of the Ecumenical Patriarchate consist of five archdioceses, three churches, thirteen metropolises, and one diocese, each of which reports directly to the Patriarch of Constantinople with no intervening authority. In addition, three of the five archdioceses have internal metropolises (16 in all), which are part of their respective archdioceses rather than distinct administrative entities, unlike the other metropolises.

The entrance to the headquarters of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in the Phanar in Constantinople

Contents

Peculiar prerogatives of the patriarchate

Main article: Prerogatives of the Ecumenical Patriarchate

In history and in canonical literature (i.e. the Church's canons and traditional commentaries on them), the Ecumenical Patriarchate has been granted certain prerogatives (presbeia) which other autocephalous Orthodox churches do not have. Not all of these prerogatives are today universally acknowledged, though all do have precedents in history and canonical references. The nature of these prerogatives or even their very existence is hotly contested on canonical grounds by certain other Orthodox churches, particularly the Church of Russia.

The following is a (non-exhaustive) list of these prerogatives and their reference points:

Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople
The Church of Constantinople
Founder(s) Apostle Andrew
Autocephaly/Autonomy declared Traditional
Autocephaly/Autonomy recognized Traditional
Current primate Patriarch Bartholomew I
Headquarters Istanbul, Turkey
Primary territory Constantinople, most of Turkey, Mount Athos, Crete, parts of Northern Greece, the Dodecanese
Possessions abroad United States, Canada, Great Britain, Western Europe, South America, Central America, Australia, Southeast Asia
Liturgical language(s) Greek, English
Musical tradition Byzantine Chant
Calendar Revised Julian, Julian
Population estimate 3,500,000
Official website Church of Constantinople


Structure of the patriarchate

There are 36 Metropolitanates of the "New Lands" of Northern Greece and some of the Aegean Islands which also fall under the spiritual and canonical jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate; however, their administration has been entrusted to the Church of Greece on behalf of the Ecumenical Patriarchate since 1928.

Patriarchal and Stavropegial Monasteries outside of Turkey:


There are also two autonomous churches whose primates are confirmed by Constantinople, but which are not hierarchically or administratively part of the patriarchate, the Church of Finland, and the Church of Estonia.

See also


Autocephalous and Autonomous Churches of Orthodoxy
Autocephalous Churches
Four Ancient Patriarchates: Constantinople | Alexandria | Antioch | Jerusalem
Russia | Serbia | Romania | Bulgaria | Georgia | Cyprus | Greece | Poland | Albania | Czech Lands and Slovakia | OCA*
Autonomous Churches
Sinai | Finland | Estonia* | Japan* | China* | Ukraine*
The * designates a church whose autocephaly or autonomy is not universally recognized.



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