Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Pope calls on the Patriarch of Constantinople
I don’t expect much — just some nice photos and pleasantries. Better than nothing or something negative but my expectations are realistic. Corporate reunion won’t happen next week because of it! I do wish the media would stop talking about Patriarch Bartholomew as if he were the Orthodox Pope — ‘the spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians’. No, he’s the head of a far-flung church largely of Greeks outside Greece (the church of which under Archbishop Christodoulos is autonomous — essentially independent of him). Membership in Orthodoxy isn’t defined by communion with him like communion with Rome defines being Roman Catholic. No, it’s defined by being in the the Orthodox communion (sounds a bit circular but that’s the best I can come up with right now) which happens to include this patriarch. Like the Archbishop of Canterbury in Anglicanism except Patriarch Bartholomew’s territory is bigger and international... and membership isn’t defined by being invited to a conference at Istanbul every few years.

Update: Here is some good background info on the patriarchate from Ad Orientem.

A patriarchate under siege

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