Church of Constantinople
|Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople|
|Current primate||Patriarch Bartholomew I|
|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|
|Official website||Church of Constantinople|
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 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.
Structure of the Patriarchate
- See article on the Church of Constantinople Structure
The current Ecumenical Patriarch is His All-Holiness Bartholomew I, Archbishop of Constantinople.
- See also: List of Patriarchs of Constantinople
The Holy and Sacred Synod
- See Main Article: Holy Synod of Constantinople
The Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate is presided over by His All-Holiness Bartholomew I, Archbishop of Constantinople and is comprised of XX Metropolitans.
Places of Pilgrimage
Some sites of pilgrimage are no longer owned by the Church nor function as orthodox centres but are historically connected and of great significance to Orthodoxy.
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:
- Equal prerogatives to Old Rome (Canon 3 of the Second Ecumenical Council, Canon 28 of the Fourth Ecumenical Council, Canon 36 of the Quinisext Council)
- The right to hear appeals, if invited, regarding disputes between clergy (Canons 9 and 17 of the Fourth Ecumenical Council)
- The right to ordain bishops for areas outside defined canonical boundaries (Canon 28 of the Fourth Ecumenical Council)
- The right to establish stavropegial monasteries even in the territories of other patriarchates (the Epanagoge, commentaries of Matthew Blastares and Theodore Balsamon)
- See article on the Theological School of Halki
|Autocephalous and Autonomous Churches of Orthodoxy|
| Four Ancient Patriarchates: Constantinople | Alexandria | Antioch | Jerusalem |
Russia | Serbia | Romania | Bulgaria | Georgia | Cyprus | Greece | Poland | Albania | Czech Lands and Slovakia | OCA*
|Sinai | Finland | Estonia* | Japan* | China* | Ukraine*|
|The * designates a church whose autocephaly or autonomy is not universally recognized.|
- Official website of the Patriarchate of Constantinople
- Official website of the Permanent Representation of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to the World Council of Churches
- Eastern Christian Churches: Patriarchate of Constantinople by Ronald Roberson, a Roman Catholic priest and scholar
- The Origins and Authority of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of the Orthodox Church, by Demetrios J. Constantelos
- Caesaropapism?: Theodore Balsamon on the Powers of the Patriarch of Constantinople, by Paul Halsall
- Chalcedon Canon 28: Yesterday and Today, by Rev. John H. Erickson
- Constantinople and Rome: A Survey of the Relations between the Byzantine and the Roman Churches, by Milton V. Anastos
- Brief Historical Note Regarding the Ecumenical Patriarchate, from the official website
- Virtual tour
- History - video
- Articles Critical of Actions of Positions of the Ecumenical Patriarchate