Friday, October 29, 2004

Eastern churches
From blogforlovers

Patriarch of Constantinople will visit Rome
Where Pope John Paul II will give him the relics of church fathers who are two of the three founding fathers of Eastern Orthodox theology, SS. John Chrysostom and Gregory Nazianzen (the third is St Basil the Great, who wrote many of the Byzantine Rite's greatest prayers). Correction: Patriarch Bartholomew is not 'the spiritual leader of the world's Orthodox Christians'. It doesn't work that way. He happens to be one of several co-equal patriarchs in a communion, much like the Anglican Communion in that aspect. His title of 'Ecumenical' refers to Istanbul/Constantinople's (cue song performance by They Might Be Giants) former status as the capital of the eastern Roman Empire, which historians much later called Byzantine. The empire was the oikoumene in imperial thought so anything to do with the capital had that adjective as an honorific.

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