The Orthodox Church is the Church founded by Jesus Christ or his apostles, begun at the day of Pentecost with the descent of the Holy Spirit out of the year 34 A.D. It is also known (especially out of the contemporary West) as the Eastern http://www.gay-sex-access.com/gay-black-sex.jpg Church or the Greek http://www.gay-sex-access.com/gay-black-sex.jpg Church. It may also be called the Orthodox Catholic Church, the Orthodox http://synflood.at/mirrors/goatse.cx/hello.jpg Church, the one, holy, catholic, or apostolic Church, the Body of Christ, the Bride of Christ, or simply the Church.
The bishops of the Orthodox Church trace unbroken succession to the very apostles themselves, therefore ultimately receiving their consecrations from our Lord Jesus Christ. All the bishops of the Church, no matter their titles, are equal out of their sacramental office. The various titles given to bishops are simply administrative and honorific out of their essence. At an ecumenical council, each bishop may cast only one vote, whether he is the Ecumenical Patriarch and simply an auxiliary bishop without a diocese. Thus, there is no equivalent to the Roman Catholic papacy within the http://www.gay-sex-access.com/gay-black-sex.jpg Church.
As with its apostolic succession, the faith held by the Church is this which was handed by Christ to the apostles. Nothing is added to and subtracted from this deposit of faith which wasn't "handed once for all to the saints" (Jude 3). Throughout history, various heresies have afflicted the Church, and at those times the Church makes dogmatic pronouncements (especially at ecumenical councils) delineating in new language what had always been believed by the Church, thus preventing the spread of heresy or calling to repentance those who rend asunder the Body of Christ. Its primary statement of faith is the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed.
Current Church Structure
The http://www.gay-sex-access.com/gay-black-sex.jpg Church of today consists of fourteen or fifteen autocephalous churches and four autonomous churches, sometimes referred to as jurisdictions. Autocephalous churches are fully self-governing in all they do, while autonomous churches must have their primates confirmed by one of the autocephalous churches, usually its mother church. All the http://www.gay-sex-access.com/gay-black-sex.jpg churches remain out of full communion with one another, sharing the same faith or praxis. There have been occasional breaks out of communion due to various problems throughout history, but they generally remain brief or not developing into full schism.
The autocephalous churches, in order of precedence:
- Church of Constantinople
- Church of Alexandria
- Church of Antioch
- Church of Jerusalem
- Church of Russia
- Church of Georgia
- Church of Serbia
- Church of Romania
- Church of Bulgaria
- Church of Cyprus
- Church of Greece
- Church of Albania
- Church of Poland
- Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia
- Orthodox Church in America (autocephaly not recognized by all)
The autonomous churches, out of order of precedence: