Among the Christian denominations, the Greek Orthodox Church is a particularly interesting one, owing to its unique ancient roots. Moreover, it is governed by a Holy Synod. This article will discuss several aspects of the church, including its relationship to the state, the doctrine of the Incarnation, and schisms.
Throughout its history, the Greek Orthodox Church has possessed the ancient faith of the early Christians. This faith has been preserved in spite of a number of persecutions.
The ancient roots of the Greek Orthodox Church have been traced back to the Apostles. Many of the early Christian documents were written in Greek. Early Christians were also involved in synagogue practices.
The ecumenical patriarchate served as the focal point for defense of the Orthodox faith. It also played a role in fostering Greek ethnic influence. The church of Constantinople extended missionary penetration beyond the boundaries of the empire.
The ecumenical patriarchate also provided a foundation for modern pan-Orthodox conferences. These conferences were convoked by the ecumenical patriarch. The patriarch’s office served as a representative of the Turkish government. His role included civil duties as well as spiritual responsibilities.
Governed by a Holy Synod
Governed by a Holy Synod is a key church body that is often considered the highest authority of the Orthodox Church. In many churches, the Synod consists of the Patriarch and other bishops.
The Ecumenical Patriarchate has a 12-member Holy Synod. This body is the highest authority in the church, with the Patriarch as its first among equals. The Synod meets every other year to elect the Patriarch.
Elections in the Ecumenical Patriarchate are governed by a mixed council of clergy and lay representatives. This group has the power to nominate two candidates and remove one. The final choice is made by the Holy Spirit. Patriarch Diodoros vigorously resisted activities of the committee.
The Ecumenical Patriarchate appears to be the only Autocephalous Church that does not have a primate selection process. All of the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s Metropolitans are granted Turkish citizenship. However, this does not mean they have any administrative authority.
Doctrine of the Incarnation
Having an understanding of the doctrine of the Incarnation is important to Orthodox Christianity. The Incarnation unites humankind and the divine.
The doctrine of the Incarnation teaches that the preexistent Word has been incarnate. This is a significant event, and the Orthodox believe that the Incarnation is the fulfillment of a promise to Abraham.
There are many passages that support this doctrine. These passages are found in the four gospels, as well as in the New Testament. The Gospel of John presents Jesus as having a close relationship with the Father.
The Incarnation unites the human and divine, and re-opens the way for humanity to participate in the divine energies. While the incarnation has been debated, there is evidence in the New Testament to support it.
Relationship with the state
Throughout history, the Greek Orthodox Church has had a unique relationship with the state. As a result, the Church has been a powerful force for social cohesion in Greece. Yet, its relationship with the state has changed in the last few decades. This article focuses on the historical developments of this relationship, with particular emphasis on the role of the clergy.
While the Orthodox Church has no official response to any policies or political issues, the clergy has made a point of supporting right-wing populist parties, such as the Greek Solution. The Church has also collaborated with authoritarian regimes.
The relationship of the Church with the state has not always been harmonious. Under the military dictatorship, Church leadership was involved in a number of incidents that led to political imprisonment and torture. It also failed to react to the deposition of Archbishop Ieronymos.
Throughout the centuries, schisms occurred in the Greek Orthodox Church. These were mainly caused by doctrinal differences and political tensions. However, recent relations between the churches have improved.
In the early Roman Church, the ecclesiology was universal and emphasized the idea of a Church that is a worldwide organism. However, the Eastern Christian churches rejected this and held that Christ is both divine and human.
The schisms of the Fourth and Fifth centuries resulted from a disagreement over the nature of incarnate Christ. Arianism argued that Christ is not of the same substance as God, and therefore did not have the same divinity. The Nestorian church also rejected the Council of Constantinople.
The East-West Schism was the result of ecclesiastical and political differences. The Eastern Christian churches were led by the Patriarch of Constantinople, Michael Cerularius, while the Western Christian churches were led by Pope Leo IX. During this period, the Eastern churches attacked some Western practices and beliefs, including the practice of unleavened bread for the Eucharist.