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Revision as of 23:34, November 21, 2005 by FrJohn (talk | contribs) (Bad grammar here -- can't use "Autocephaly" in this way)
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Autocephalous (literally "self-headed") is the status of a church within the Orthodox Church whose primatial bishop does not report to any higher-ranking bishop. When an ecumenical council or a high-ranking bishop, such as a patriarch or other primate, releases an ecclesiastical province from the authority of that bishop while the newly independent church remains in full communion with the hierarchy to which it then ceases to belong, the council or primate is granting autocephaly. Historically, however, autocephaly is not always obtained in such a manner.

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