The early Church was marked by a threefold structure. The presiding presence of Christ could not have been possible at the Last Supper without the presence of a presiding head. As a result, eucharistic fellowships took the presence of a presiding head for granted. However, the threefold structure did not become obsolete until the establishment of a local, “monarchical” episcopate. It is still the central center of Orthodox ecclesiology and sacramental life.
Theodosius is a figure in Orthodox church history who is remembered for his efforts to re-establish the Christian faith. He was an emperor during the year 500, and he even received the title of ‘Theodosius the Great.’ This was unusual for the Church of Rome, which did not commonly confer titles on political figures.
A group of Rusyn immigrants founded St. Theodosius Orthodox Parish in Cleveland in 1876. Although this small group of immigrants was not Greek, it was re-aligned with Russian Orthodox Christianity and changed its religious affiliation. The Russian Saint Michael Rosko Orthodox Society purchased land on McKinstry Street in Cleveland and constructed a modest wood-framed building. Its first pastor was the Rev. Michael Rosko.
The city of Constantinople is the imperial center of Christianity for millennia. Despite its decline under the Ottoman Empire, the Byzantine church has retained its original name, and is one of the few vestiges of Byzantium in the modern world. After Constantinople fell, Orthodox Christianity was a minority faith under Islamic rule, but it continued to thrive in Russia, which became the largest Eastern Christian church on a sovereign territory. It positioned itself as the successor to the Christian empire.
While the Patriarchate of Rome remains the main jurisdiction of the Orthodox Church, other Thrones have no jurisdiction outside of this city. The Patriarchate of Constantinople maintains a high regard for authority and is experiencing persecution. However, the Orthodox Church still values the authority of its Patriarch, and the city is experiencing a period of rapid growth. It has become a global centre of learning, and is home to many influential organizations and religious figures.
Alexandria, Egypt, is a city with a rich, multicultural past. Its Christian community was founded by St. Mark the Apostle. In the late 1800s, the city experienced an influx of foreign groups. By the mid-1950s, the city was experiencing dramatic social change. Sadly, the number of foreign groups has dwindled significantly, and Christians in Alexandria are finding it difficult to maintain their own traditions.
In 1865, Patriarch Iakovos died unexpectedly. His replacement, Nikanor, established a four-man Holy Synod to help him. But Nikanor was advancing in age, and announced his retirement in 1869. At the time, the Church of Alexandria was split between two candidates for the Patriarchate. Archimandrite Neilos of Mount Athos was elected as Bishop of Pentapolis, and a pro-Neilos faction was established.
The Patriarchate of Antioch was a central Christian center from the time of the Apostles. Later, the city became the heart of the Christian community in the Eastern part of the Roman Empire. During its Golden Age, Antioch was crowned “Queen City” and ecclesiastical centre of the Roman Diocese of the East. This grew its influence throughout the Middle East.
Patriarchate of Antioch and All East was one of four ancient patriarchates. Other patriarchates include Constantinople, Alexandria and Jerusalem. Today, the Church of Antioch has dioceses in Russia, Serbia, Australia and New Zealand. It is the only Oriental Orthodox Church with missionary dioceses in the Western World. The Patriarchate of Antioch is the largest in the world and is the only Orthodox church in the world.
Russian Orthodox Church
In Russian Orthodox Church history, the role of local sobors is enormous. They were canonical organs of spiritual authority that solved vital issues within the church. Old-Russian sobors included representatives of the secular clergy, scholar monks, princes, and high-ranking laymen. A description of sobors could fill ten volumes. In this article, we look at the most important sobors.
The Russian Orthodox Church has a 1,000-year history of political and spiritual influence. It endured the Soviet era as a state-controlled religious facade, but in the 1990s, it quickly regained its political and membership status. Today, its influence and membership continue to grow and prosper. While the church has been a strong part of Russian culture for centuries, it is also important to understand how it was shaped and impacted by modern times.