[[Image:Constantinople seal.gif|right|The Church of Constantinople]]
The '''Church of Constantinople''' is one of the fourteen or fifteen [[autocephaly|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 [[bishop]]s. The current Ecumenical Patriarch is His All-Holiness [[Bartholomew I (Archontonis) of Constantinople|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.
[[Image:Ecumenical Patriarchate.jpg|right|frame|The entrance to the headquarters of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in the Phanar in Constantinople]]
==Peculiar prerogatives of the patriarchate==
:''Main article: [[Prerogatives of the Ecumenical Patriarchate]]''
In history and in [[canons (law)|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 [[Prerogatives of the Ecumenical Patriarchate#Canonical claims|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]] [[monastery|monasteries]] even in the territories of other [[patriarchate]]s (the [[Epanagoge]], commentaries of [[Matthew Blastares]] and [[Theodore Balsamon]])
name= Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople|
founder= [[Apostle Andrew]]|
website=[http://www.ec-patr.org Church of Constantinople]
== Structure of the patriarchate == *[[Archdiocese of Constantinople]] **Metropolis of Chalcedon **Metropolis of Gokceada and Bozcaada (Imbros and Tenedos) **Metropolis of the Prince's Islands **Metropolis of Derkos *[[Orthodox Archdiocese of Crete|Archdiocese of Crete]] **Metropolis of Gortyna and Arkadia **Metropolis of Rethymna and Avlopotamos **Metropolis of Kydonia and Apokoronos **Metropolis of Lampi, Syvritos and Sfakia **Metropolis of Ierapytna and Siteia **Metropolis of Petra and Herronisos **Metropolis of Kisamos and Selinos **Metropolis of Arkalohorion, Kastelio and Vianno *[[Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America|Archdiocese of America]] **Metropolis of Chicago **Metropolis of New Jersey **Metropolis of Atlanta **Metropolis of Denver **Metropolis of Pittsburgh **Metropolis of Boston **Metropolis of Detroit **Metropolis of San Francisco *[[Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia|Archdiocese of Australia]] *[[Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain|Archdiocese of Great Britain]] *Metropolis of Rhodes *Metropolis of Kos *Metropolis of Karpathos and Kasos *Metropolis of Leros, Kalymnos and Astypalaia *[[American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese]] *[[Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the USA]] *[[Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada]] *[[Orthodox Metropolis of Korea|Metropolis of Korea]] *[[Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Toronto (Canada)|Metropolis of Canada]] *Metropolis of Buenos Aires *Metropolis of Mexico *Metropolis of New Zealand *[[Orthodox Metropolitanate of Hong Kong and Southeast Asia|Metropolitanate of Hong Kong]] *[[Greek Orthodox Metropolis of France|Metropolis of France]] *Metropolis of Germany *Metropolis of Austria *Metropolis of Belgium *Metropolis of Scandinavia *[[Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Switzerland|Metropolis of Switzerland]] *Metropolis of Italy *Metropolis of Spain *[[Albanian Orthodox Diocese of America]] *[[Russian Orthodox Exarchate in Western Europe]]
There are also two [[ autonomy| autonomous]] churchs 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]] .
*[[List of Patriarchs of Constantinople]]
*[[Ecumenical Patriarchate in America]]
== External links ==* [http://www.ec-patr.
gr Official website of the Patriarchate of Constantinople] * [http://www.cnewa.org/ ecc-bodypg.aspx? eccpageID=13& IndexView= toc Eastern Christian Churches: Patriarchate of Constantinople] by Ronald Roberson, a Roman Catholic priest and scholar*[http://www.goarch.org/en/ourfaith/articles/article8148.asp The Origins and Authority of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of the Orthodox Church], by Demetrios J. Constantelos
*[http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/balsamon-cpl.html Caesaropapism?: Theodore Balsamon on the Powers of the Patriarch of Constantinople], by Paul Halsall
*[http://www.svots.edu/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=165&Itemid=116 Chalcedon Canon 28: Yesterday and Today], by Rev. [[John H. Erickson]]
*[http://www.myriobiblos.gr/texts/english/milton1_6.html Constantinople and Rome: A Survey of the Relations between the Byzantine and the Roman Churches], by Milton V. Anastos
*[http://www.ec-patr.gr/patrdisplay.php?lang=en&id=5 Brief Historical Note Regarding the Ecumenical Patriarchate], from the official website
* [http://www.patriarchate.org/ecumenical_patriarchate/timeline.swf Timeline]* [http://www.patriarchate.org/media/vrtour_patriarchate.php Virtual tour]* [http://www.archons.patriarchate.org/patriarchate/ History]* [http://realserver.goarch.org/ram/en/lightstillbright.ram History - video]* [http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/ea_patriarch.aspx Articles Critical of Actions of Positions of the Ecumenical Patriarchate]