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Encyclopedia > Autocephaly

In hierarchical Christian churches, especially Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox churches, autocephaly is the status of a hierarchical church whose head 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. For example, the Cypriot Orthodox Church was granted autocephaly by the Council of Ephesus and is ruled by the Archbishop of Cyprus, who is not subject to any higher ecclesiastical authority, although his church remains in full communion with the other Eastern Orthodox churches. Similarly, the Tewahedo Church of Ethiopia was granted autocephaly by the Coptic pope in 1950, and the Orthodox Church in America was granted autocephaly by the Patriarch of Moscow in 1970. (The Greek Orthodox Church in North America is not autocephalous, but is subject to the Patriarch of Constantinople, although many are seeking for it to become so.) A hierarchy (in Greek hieros = sacred, arkho = rule) is a system of ranking and organizing things. ... Pentecost is considered in Eastern Orthodoxy to be the birth of the Church. ... The term Oriental Orthodoxy refers to the communion of Eastern Christian Churches that recognize only the first three ecumenical councils — the First Council of Nicaea, the First Council of Constantinople and the Council of Ephesus — and rejected the dogmatic definitions of the Council of Chalcedon. ... In Christianity, an ecumenical council or general council is a meeting of the bishops of the whole church convened to discuss and settle matters of Church doctrine and practice. ... A bishop is an ordained member of the Christian clergy who, in certain Christian churches, holds a position of authority. ... Originally a patriarch was a man who exercised autocratic authority as a pater familias over an extended family. ... Primate (from the Latin Primus, first) is a title or rank bestowed on some bishops in certain Christian churches. ... Full communion is completeness of that relationship between Christian individuals and groups which is known as communion. ... The ancient Cypriot Orthodox Church is one of the fourteen or fifteen independent (autocephalous) Eastern Orthodox churches, which are in communion and in doctrinal agreement with one another but not all subject to one patriarch. ... The Council of Ephesus was held in Ephesus, Asia Minor in 431 under Emperor Theodosius II, grandson of Theodosius the Great. ... Full communion is completeness of that relationship between Christian individuals and groups which is known as communion. ... Tewahedo Church may refer to any of the following: The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church The Eritrean Orthodox Tewahdo Church This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... The following is a list of all the Coptic Popes (or Popes of Egypt) who have led the Coptic Orthodox Church since the Council of Chalcedon. ... The Orthodox Church in America (OCA) is an autocephalous Eastern Orthodox Church, led by Metropolitan Herman. ... The following is a list of Russian Orthodox metropolitans and patriarchs of Moscow along with when they served: Metropolitans Maximus ( 1283- 1305) Peter ( 1308- 1326) Theognostus ( 1328- 1353) Alexius ( 1354- 1378) Cyprian ( 1381- 1382), ( 1390- 1406) Pimen ( 1382- 1384) Dionysius I ( 1384- 1385) Photius ( 1408- 1431) Isidore the Apostate ( 1437... The Church of Greece is one of the fourteen or fifteen autocephalous Eastern Orthodox churches which make up the Eastern Orthodox Communion. ... The Patriarch of Constantinople is the Ecumenical Patriarch, ranking as the first among equals in the Eastern Orthodox communion. ...


While autocephalous does mean self-governing, it literally means "self-headed". Kephalos means "head" in Greek. Hence, autocephalous denotes self-headed, or a head unto itself, while autonomous literally means "self-legislated", or a law unto itself. Nomos is the Greek for "law'.


One step short of autocephaly is autonomy. A church that is autonomous has its highest-ranking bishop, such as an archbishop or metropolitan, appointed by the patriarch of the parent church, but is self-governing in all other respects.


See also

This article treats the manner in which the Eastern Orthodox Churches are organized, rather than the doctrines, traditions, practices, or other aspects of Eastern Orthodoxy. ... Episcopalian government in the church is rule by a hierarchy of bishops (Greek: episcopoi). ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Autocephaly - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (276 words)
In hierarchical Christian churches, especially Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox churches, autocephaly is the status of a hierarchical church whose head bishop does not report to any higher-ranking bishop.
For example, the Cypriot Orthodox Church was granted autocephaly by the Council of Ephesus and is ruled by the Archbishop of Cyprus, who is not subject to any higher ecclesiastical authority, although his church remains in full communion with the other Eastern Orthodox churches.
Similarly, the Tewahedo Church of Ethiopia was granted autocephaly by the Coptic pope in 1950, and the Orthodox Church in America was granted autocephaly by the Patriarch of Moscow in 1970.
Autocephaly - OrthodoxWiki (999 words)
Autocephaly (literally "self-headed") is the status of a church within the Orthodox Church whose primatial bishop does not report to any higher-ranking bishop.
The autocephaly of the Church of Cyprus was recognized at the Third Ecumenical Council (431).
The Orthodox Church in America received autocephaly from the Church of Russia in 1970 (though that action is still not recognized by many of the older autocephalous churches).
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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