Church of Greece

From OrthodoxWiki
Revision as of 07:40, April 7, 2008 by Ixthis888 (Talk | contribs) (Greek saints)

Jump to: navigation, search
Church of Greece
Founder(s) Apostles
Autocephaly/Autonomy declared 1833
Autocephaly/Autonomy recognized 1850 by Constantinople
Current primate Ieronymos II
Headquarters Athens, Greece
Primary territory Greece
Possessions abroad
Liturgical language(s) Greek
Musical tradition Byzantine Chant / Choral
Calendar Revised Julian
Population estimate 10,000,000 [1]
Official website Church of Greece

The Church of Greece, also called the Greek Orthodox Church, is one of the most important of the fourteen autocephalous churches of the Orthodox Christian communion, whose territory consists of the whole of Greece except for those parts which belong to the Patriarchate of Constantinople, such as the Dodecanese and Crete. Though bishops of the "new lands" (those that were liberated from 1912 and afterwards) are members of the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece, they refer to the Patriarch of Constantinople in the divine services.

The current primate of the Church of Greece is His Beatitude 2008, Ieronymos II (Liapis), Archbishop of Athens and All Greece.

History

See Main Article: Timeline of Orthodoxy in Greece

During the Byzantine Empire and the subsequent Turkish occupation of Greece, the Christian church in Greece was under the administration of the ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople. After the Greek War of Independence (1821-32), the provisional president of Greece Ioannis Kapodistrias(1776-1831), began negotiations with the patriarch for the independence of the Greek church. The final decision was made when Otto I(1815-1867), the new king of Greece, feared the Turkish government might still be able to influence the politics of Greece through the patriarchate of Constantinople and as such the Greek church was declared autocephalous in 1833. The independence was formalised by Constantinople in 1850, with some limitations specified in the "Tomos".

Hierarchy of the Church of Greece

The Church of Greece is organised as a state church, similar to the pattern adopted in the Russian church under Peter the Great of Russia. The ultimate authority is vested in the Synod of Bishops under the presidency of the archbishop of Athens and all Greece. A second synod, with the same presidency, consists of 12 bishops, each serving for one year only. The first synnod deals with general ecclesiastical questions, whereas the second synod deals with administrative details. The church is divided into 81 small dioceses; some of these, are nominally under the jurisdiction of Constantinople. The majority of the church's priests in Greece do not have a university education, with very little formal training beyond two years at higher seminaries after high school. An up-to-date listing, in order of seniority of ordination, of the Holy Synod can be accessed at the Church of Greece's official website.

Structure of the Church of Greece

Archdiocese of Athens, see also List of Archbishops of Athens

Greek saints

See Main Article: Greek Saints

Over the centuries, the Church of Greece has been associated with many saints on the Church's calendar. Some of these include:

Ecclesiastical organisations under the Holy Synod

  • Apostolic Ministration (Apostoliki Diakonia)
  • Communication and Cultural Service
  • Inter-Orthodox Centre
  • Foundation of Byzantine Musicology
  • Welfare Fund of Parish Clergy

Synodical Committees

The Holy Synod is organised into two key synodical committee areas. The first area is broken into committee groups that deal with standard issues such as:

  1. Ecclesiastical art, music and christian monuments;
  2. Divine worship and pastoral work;
  3. Doctrinal and nomocanonical matters;
  4. Monastic life;
  5. Christian education and youth;
  6. Inter-orthodox and christian relations;
  7. Ecclesiastical education and training of parish clergy;
  8. Press, public relations and enlightenment;
  9. Heresesies;
  10. Social welfare and chariry;
  11. Finance

Special synodical committee groups deal with issues such as:

  1. Women's issues;
  2. Monitoring European affairs;
  3. Bioethics;
  4. Academy of Ecclesiastical arts;
  5. Human rights;
  6. Marriage, family, child protection and demographic issues;
  7. pastoral matters and situations;
  8. Divine and secular dispensation and ecology;
  9. Liturgical rebirth;
  10. Cultural identity;
  11. Study of ancient cults and new paganism;
  12. Pilgrim and religious tours.

Source

External links


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.