The pope known as the supreme pontiff, is the Bishop of Rome and ex officio leader of the worldwide Catholic Church. Since 1929, the pope has been head of state of Vatican City, a city-state enclaved within Rome, Italy; the current pope is Francis, elected on 13 March 2013, succeeding Benedict XVI. While his office is called the papacy, the episcopal see and ecclesiastical jurisdiction is called the Holy See, it is the Holy See, the sovereign entity of international law headquartered in the distinctively independent Vatican City State, established by the Lateran Treaty in 1929 between Italy and the Holy See to ensure its temporal and spiritual independence. The primacy of the Bishop of Rome is derived from his role as the apostolic successor to Saint Peter, to whom primacy was conferred by Jesus, giving him the Keys of Heaven and the powers of "binding and loosing", naming him as the "rock" upon which the church would be built; the apostolic see of Rome was founded by Saint Peter and Saint Paul in 1st century, according to Catholic tradition.
The papacy is one of the most enduring institutions in the world and has had a prominent part in world history. In ancient times the popes helped spread Christianity, intervened to find resolutions in various doctrinal disputes. In the Middle Ages, they played a role of secular importance in Western Europe acting as arbitrators between Christian monarchs. In addition to the expansion of the Christian faith and doctrine, the popes are involved in ecumenism and interfaith dialogue, charitable work, the defense of human rights. In some periods of history, the papacy, which had no temporal powers, accrued wide secular powers rivaling those of temporal rulers. However, in recent centuries the temporal authority of the papacy has declined and the office is now exclusively focused on religious matters. By contrast, papal claims of spiritual authority have been firmly expressed over time, culminating in 1870 with the proclamation of the dogma of papal infallibility for rare occasions when the pope speaks ex cathedra—literally "from the chair"—to issue a formal definition of faith or morals.
Still, the Pope is considered one of the world's most powerful people because of his extensive diplomatic and spiritual influence on 1.3 billion Catholics and beyond, as well as the official representative of the Catholic Church being the largest non-government provider of education and health care in the world, with a vast international network of charities. The word pope derives from Greek πάππας meaning "father". In the early centuries of Christianity, this title was applied in the east, to all bishops and other senior clergy, became reserved in the west to the Bishop of Rome, a reservation made official only in the 11th century; the earliest record of the use of this title was in regard to the by deceased Patriarch of Alexandria, Pope Heraclas of Alexandria. The earliest recorded use of the title "pope" in English dates to the mid-10th century, when it was used in reference to the 7th century Roman Pope Vitalian in an Old English translation of Bede's Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum.
The Catholic Church teaches that the pastoral office, the office of shepherding the Church, held by the apostles, as a group or "college" with Saint Peter as their head, is now held by their successors, the bishops, with the bishop of Rome as their head. Thus, is derived another title by which the pope is known, that of "Supreme Pontiff"; the Catholic Church teaches that Jesus appointed Peter as leader of the Church, the Catholic Church's dogmatic constitution Lumen gentium makes a clear distinction between apostles and bishops, presenting the latter as the successors of the former, with the pope as successor of Peter, in that he is head of the bishops as Peter was head of the apostles. Some historians argue against the notion that Peter was the first bishop of Rome, noting that the episcopal see in Rome can be traced back no earlier than the 3rd century; the writings of the Church Father Irenaeus who wrote around AD 180 reflect a belief that Peter "founded and organized" the Church at Rome.
Moreover, Irenaeus was not the first to write of Peter's presence in the early Roman Church. Clement of Rome wrote in a letter to the Corinthians, c. 96, about the persecution of Christians in Rome as the "struggles in our time" and presented to the Corinthians its heroes, "first, the greatest and most just columns", the "good apostles" Peter and Paul. St. Ignatius of Antioch wrote shortly after Clement and in his letter from the city of Smyrna to the Romans he said he would not command them as Peter and Paul did. Given this and other evidence, such as Emperor Constantine's erection of the "Old St. Peter's Basilica" on the location of St. Peter's tomb, as held and given to him by Rome's Christian community, many scholars agree that Peter was martyred in Rome under Nero, although some scholars argue that he may have been martyred in Palestine. First-century Christian communities would have had a group of presbyter-bishops functioning as leaders of their local churches. Episcopacies were established in metropolitan areas.
Antioch may have developed such a structure before Rome. In Rome, there were many who claimed to be the rightful bishop, though again Irenaeus stressed the validity of one line of bishops from the time of St. Peter up to his contemporary Pope Victor I and listed them; some writers claim that the emergence of a single bishop in Rome did not occur until the middle of the 2nd century. In their view, Linus and Clement were prominent presbyter-bishops
Cardinal Vicar is a title given to the vicar general of the Diocese of Rome for the portion of the diocese within Italy. The official title, as given in the Annuario Pontificio, is "Vicar General of His Holiness"; the Bishop of Rome is responsible for the spiritual administration of this diocese, but because the Bishop of Rome is the Pope, with many other responsibilities, he appoints a Cardinal Vicar with ordinary power to assist in this task. Canon law requires all Catholic dioceses to have one or more vicars general, but the Cardinal Vicar functions more like a de facto diocesan bishop than do other vicars general; the holder has been a cardinal. A similar position exists to administer the spiritual needs of the Vatican City, known as the Vicar General for Vatican City, or more Vicar General of His Holiness for Vatican City, it seems certain that in the twelfth century vicars were named only when the pope absented himself for a long time from Rome or its neighbourhood. When he returned, the vicar's duties ceased.
This may have lasted to the pontificate of Pope Innocent IV. Thus the nomination of a vicar on 28 April 1299, is dated from the Lateran; the office owes its full development to the removal of the Roman Curia to Southern France and its final settlement at Avignon. Since the list of vicars is continuous; the oldest commissions do not specify any period of duration. It is only in the sixteenth century; the nomination was by Bull. The oldest Bull of nomination known bears the date of 13 February 1264. An immemorial custom of the Curia demands that all its officials shall be duly sworn in, this was the case with the vicars. In all probability during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries such oaths were taken at the hands of the pope himself; the duty fell to the Apostolic Camera. The oath, whose text first appears in a document of 21 May 1427 resembles, in its first part, the usual episcopal oath; the oath is conceived in general terms and lays but slight stress on the special duties of the vicar. The official named on 18 October 1412, as representative of the vicar was sworn in, before entering on his office was admonished to take, in presence of a specified cardinal, the usual oath of fidelity to the pope and of a faithful exercise of the office.
According to the oldest known decree of nomination, 13 February 1264, both Romans and foreigners were subject to the jurisdiction of the vicar. In this document, neither the special rights of the vicar nor the local extent of his authority are made known, but it is understood that the territory in question is the city of Rome. On 27 June 1288, the vicar received the rights of "visitation and reformation in spiritual matters..... of dedicating churches and reconciling cemeteries, consecrating altars, blessing and ordaining suitable persons from the city". On 21 July 1296, Pope Boniface VIII added the authority to hear confessions and impose salutary penances. On 6 July 1202, the following variant is met with: "to reform the churches and people of Rome itself", the additional right to do other things pertaining to the office of vicar, his jurisdiction over all monasteries is first vouched for 16 June 1207. The inclusion among these of monasteries and non-exempt and their inmates, without the walls of Rome, was the first step in the local extension of the vicar's jurisdiction.
He was empowered to confer vacant benefices in the city. For a considerable length of time the above-mentioned rights exhibit the fulness of the vicar's authority. Special commissions, multiply in this period, bearing with them in each case a special extension or new application of authority. Under Pope Clement VI the territory of the vicar-general's jurisdiction was notably increased by the inclusion of the suburbs and the rural district about Rome; until the time of Pope Benedict XIV this was the extent of the vicar's jurisdiction. By the "district of the city of Rome" was understood a distance of forty Italian miles from the city walls. Since, the territory of the suburbicarian sees lay within these limits, the vicar came to exercise a jurisdiction concurrent with that of the local bishop and cumulatively; this was a source of frequent conflicts, until 21 December 1744, when the local jurisdiction of the suburbicarian bishops was abolished by Benedict XIV, insofar as their territory fell within the above-mentioned limits.
In the course of time the vicar acquired not only the position and authority of a vicar-general, who has ordinary but delegated power, but the right of subdelegation, whereby he named a vicegerent, his representative not alone in pontifical ceremonies, but in jurisdiction. For the rest, being delegatus a principe he can canonically subdelegate. By a Constitution of Clement VIII, 8 June 1592, the vicar's right to hold a visitation ordinary and extraordinary of churches, monasteries and the people was withdrawn in favour of the Congregatio Visitationis Apostolicæ, newly founded, for the current affairs of the ordinary visitation. Henceforth this duty pertains to the vicarius urbis only in
The highest-ranking bishops in Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy, the Catholic Church, the Church of the East are termed patriarchs. The word is derived from Greek πατριάρχης, meaning "chief or father of a family", a compound of πατριά, meaning "family", ἄρχειν, meaning "to rule". A patriarch was a man who exercised autocratic authority as a pater familias over an extended family; the system of such rule of families by senior males is termed patriarchy. A patriarch has been the logical choice to act as ethnarch of the community identified with his religious confession within a state or empire of a different creed; the term developed an ecclesiastical meaning, within the Christian Church. The office and the ecclesiastical circumscription of a Christian patriarch is termed a patriarchate. Abraham and Jacob are referred to as the three patriarchs of the people of Israel, the period during which they lived is termed the Patriarchal Age; the word patriarch acquired its religious meaning in the Septuagint version of the Bible.
In the Catholic Church, the bishop, head of a particular autonomous Church, known in canon law as a Church sui iuris, is ordinarily a patriarch, though this responsibility can be entrusted to a Major Archbishop, Metropolitan, or other prelate for a number of serious reasons. Since the Council of Nicaea, the bishop of Rome has been recognized as the first among patriarchs; that Council designated three bishops with this'supra-Metropolitan' title: Rome and Antioch. In the Pentarchy formulated by Justinian I, the emperor assigned as a patriarchate to the Bishop of Rome the whole of Christianized Europe, except for the region of Thrace, the areas near Constantinople, along the coast of the Black Sea, he included in this patriarchate the western part of North Africa. The jurisdictions of the other patriarchates extended over Roman Asia, the rest of Africa. Justinian's system was given formal ecclesiastical recognition by the Quinisext Council of 692, which the see of Rome has, not recognized. There were at the time bishops of other apostolic sees that operated with patriarchal authority beyond the borders of the Roman Empire, such as the Catholicos of Selucia-Ctesephon.
Today, the patriarchal heads of Catholic autonomous churches are: The Bishop of Rome, as head of the Latin Catholic Church The Armenian Catholic Patriarch of Cilicia and head of the Armenian Catholic Church, formed 1740, recognised 1742 The Chaldean Catholic Patriarch of Babylon and head of the Chaldean Catholic Church, formed 1552, recognised 1553 The Coptic Catholic Patriarch of Alexandria and head of the Coptic Catholic Church, established 1824 The Maronite Catholic Patriarch of Antioch and all the East and head of the Maronite Catholic Church, established 685 The Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East, of Alexandria and of Jerusalem, head of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church. However, differences exist in the mode of accession. Whereas the election of a major archbishop has to be confirmed by the pope before he may take office, no papal confirmation is needed for a newly elected patriarch before he takes office. Rather, a newly-installed patriarch is required to petition the pope as soon as possible for the concession of what is called ecclesiastical communion.
Furthermore, patriarchs who are created cardinals form part of the order of cardinal bishops, whereas major archbishops are only created cardinal priests. Titular patriarchs do not have jurisdiction over other Metropolitan bishops; the title is granted purely as an honor for various historical reasons. They take precedence after the heads of autonomous churches in full communion, whether pope, patriarch, or major archbishop; the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, established 1099. The Patriarch of the East Indies a titular patriarchal see, united to Goa and Daman, established 1886; the Patriarch of Lisbon, established 1716. The Patriarch of Venice, established 1451; the Patriarch of Aquileia – with rival line of succession moved to Grado - dissolved in 1752. The Patriarch of Grado – in 1451 merged with the Bishopric of Castello and Venice to form the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Venice; the Patriarch of the West Indies – a titular patriarchal see, vacant since 1963. The Latin Patriarch of Antioch – title abolished in 1964.
The titular Latin Patriarch of Alexandria – title abolished in 1964. The Latin Patriarch of Constantinople – title abolished in 1964; the Latin Patriarchate of Ethiopia – 1555 to 1663, never effective, only held by Iberian Jesuits The pope can confer the rank of Patriarch withou
Saint Peter known as Simon Peter, Simon, or Cephas, according to the New Testament, was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ, leaders of the early Christian Great Church. Pope Gregory I called him the "Prince of the Apostles". According to Catholic teaching, Jesus promised Peter in the "Rock of My Church" dialogue in Matthew 16:18 a special position in the Church, he is traditionally counted as the first Bishop of Rome—or pope—and by Eastern Christian tradition as the first Patriarch of Antioch. The ancient Christian churches all venerate Peter as a major saint and as the founder of the Church of Antioch and the Roman Church, but differ in their attitudes regarding the authority of his present-day successors; the New Testament indicates that Peter's father's name was John and was from the village of Bethsaida in the province of Galilee or Gaulanitis. His brother Andrew was an apostle. According to New Testament accounts, Peter was one of twelve apostles chosen by Jesus from his first disciples.
A fisherman, he played a leadership role and was with Jesus during events witnessed by only a few apostles, such as the Transfiguration. According to the gospels, Peter confessed Jesus as the Messiah, was part of Jesus's inner circle, thrice denied Jesus and wept bitterly once he realised his deed, preached on the day of Pentecost. According to Christian tradition, Peter was crucified in Rome under Emperor Nero, it is traditionally held that he was crucified upside down at his own request, since he saw himself unworthy to be crucified in the same way as Jesus. Tradition holds, his remains are said to be those contained in the underground Confessio of St. Peter's Basilica, where Pope Paul VI announced in 1968 the excavated discovery of a first-century Roman cemetery; every 29 June since 1736, a statue of Saint Peter in St. Peter's Basilica is adorned with papal tiara, ring of the fisherman, papal vestments, as part of the celebration of the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul. According to Catholic doctrine, the direct papal successor to Saint Peter is the incumbent pope Pope Francis.
Two general epistles in the New Testament are ascribed to Peter, but modern scholars reject the Petrine authorship of both. The Gospel of Mark was traditionally thought to show the influence of Peter's preaching and eyewitness memories. Several other books bearing his name—the Acts of Peter, Gospel of Peter, Preaching of Peter, Apocalypse of Peter, Judgment of Peter—are considered by Christian denominations as apocryphal, are thus not included in their Bible canons. Peter's original name, as indicated in the New Testament, was "Simon" or "Simeon"; the Simon/Simeon variation has been explained as reflecting "the well-known custom among Jews at the time of giving the name of a famous patriarch or personage of the Old Testament to a male child along with a similar sounding Greek/Roman name". He was given the name כֵּיפָא in Aramaic, rendered in Greek as Κηφᾶς, whence Latin and English Cephas; the precise meaning of the Aramaic word is disputed, some saying that its usual meaning is "rock" or "crag", others saying that it means rather "stone" and in its application by Jesus to Simon, "precious stone" or "jewel", but most scholars agree that as a proper name it denotes a rough or tough character.
Both meanings, "stone" and "rock", are indicated in dictionaries of Syriac. Catholic theologian Rudolf Pesch argues that the Aramaic cepha means "stone, clump, clew" and that "rock" is only a connotation; the combined name Σίμων Πέτρος appears 19 times in the New Testament. In some Syriac documents he is called, in Simon Cephas. Peter's life story is told in the four canonical gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, New Testament letters, the non-canonical Gospel of the Hebrews and other Early Church accounts of his life and death. In the New Testament, he is among the first of the disciples called during Jesus' ministry. Peter became the first listed apostle ordained by Jesus in the early church. Peter was a fisherman in Bethsaida, he was named son of Jonah or John. The three Synoptic Gospels recount how Peter's mother-in-law was healed by Jesus at their home in Capernaum. 1 Cor. 9:5 has been taken to imply that he was married. In the Synoptic Gospels, Peter was a fisherman along with his brother and the sons of Zebedee and John.
The Gospel of John depicts Peter fishing after the resurrection of Jesus, in the story of the Catch of 153 fish. In Matthew and Mark, Jesus called Simon and his brother Andrew to be "fishers of men". A Franciscan church is built upon the traditional site of Apostle Peter's house. In Luke, Simon Peter owns the boat that Jesus uses to preach to the multitudes who were pressing on him at the shore of Lake Gennesaret. Jesu
Saint Thomas Christians
The Saint Thomas Christians called Syrian Christians of India, Nasrani or Malankara Nasrani or Nasrani Mappila, are an ethnoreligious community of Malayali Syriac Christians from Kerala, who trace their origins to the evangelistic activity of Thomas the Apostle in the 1st century. The terms Syrian or Syriac relate not to their ethnicity but to their historical and liturgical connection to Syriac Christianity; the term Nasrani was derived from Semitic languages like Syriac and Arabic and refers to Christians in general. This community was organised as the Province of India of the Church of the East in the 8th century, served by Nestorian bishops and a local dynastic Archdeacon; the Church of the East declined in the 16th century due to outside influences like the Islamic invasion and the influence of the Catholic Church. The Schism of 1552 split the Church of the East into two factions, the independent Assyrian Church of the East and the Chaldean Catholic Church, in full communion with Rome.
Both the factions follow the East Syriac Liturgy of the historic Church of the East. In the 16th century the overtures of the Portuguese padroado to bring the Saint Thomas Christians into the Catholic Church led to the first of several rifts in the community; the majority of Nasranis joined in formal communion with Rome, to form the Syro-Malabar Church, distinct and separate from the Western Latin Church but is one of the Eastern Catholic Churches. The remaining group entered into a new communion with the Syriac Orthodox Church, to form an Oriental Orthodox Church; the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church follows the East Syriac Liturgy of the historic Church of the East, traditionally attributed to Saints Addai and Mari which dates back to 3rd-century Edessa. The Malankara Church follows the West Syriac Liturgy of the Syriac Orthodox Church, traditionally attributed to Saint James, is an ancient rite of the Early Christian Church of Jerusalem. Since that time further splits have occurred, the Saint Thomas Christians are now divided into several different Eastern Catholic, Oriental Orthodox and independent bodies, each with their own liturgies and traditions.
The Eastern Catholic faction is in full communion with the Holy See in Rome. This includes the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church; the Syro-Malankara Church were a minority faction within the Oriental Orthodox faction that joined in communion with Rome in 1930 under Bishop Mar Ivanios. The Oriental Orthodox faction includes the Malankara Orthodox Church and the Malankara Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church; the Malankara Orthodox Church is headed by the Catholicos of the East and Malankara Metropolitan in Kottayam, India. Whereas the Malankara Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church is an integral part of the Syriac Orthodox Church and is headed by the Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch in Damascus, Syria. Independents include the Chaldean Syrian Church of India; the Marthoma Syrian Church were a part of the Malankara Church that went through a reformation movement under Abraham Malpan due to influence of British Anglican missionaries in the 1800s. The Mar Thoma Church follows a reformed variant of the liturgical West Syriac Rite.
The Chaldean Syrian Church is an archbishopric of the Assyrian Church of the East in Iraq. They were a minority faction within the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, who split off and joined with the Church of the East Bishop during the 1700s. Saint Thomas Christians represent a multi-ethnic group, their culture is derived from East Syriac, Hindu and West Syriac influences, blended with local customs and elements derived from indigenous Indian and European colonial contacts. Their language is Malayalam, the language of Kerala, Syriac is used for liturgical purposes; the Saint Thomas Christians are classified as a Forward caste by the Government of India under its system of positive discrimination. The Saint Thomas Christians have been nicknamed such due to their reverence for Saint Thomas the Apostle, said to have brought Christianity to India; the name dates back to the period of Portuguese colonisation. They are known locally, as Nasrani or Nasrani Mappila; the former means Christian. Mappila is an honorific applied to members of non-Indian faiths and descendants of immigrants from the middle east who had intermarried with the local population, including Muslims and Jews.
Some Syrian Christians of Travancore continue to attach this honorific title to their names. The Government of India designates members of the community as Syrian Christians, a term originating with the Dutch colonial authority that distinguishes the Saint Thomas Christians, who used Syriac as their liturgical language, from newly evangelised Christians who followed the Roman Rite; the terms Syrian or Syriac relate not to their ethnicity but to their historical and liturgical connection to the Church of the East, or East Syriac Church. According to tradition, Thomas the Apostle came to Muziris on the Kerala coast in 50 AD, in present-day Pattanam, Kerala; the Cochin Jews are known to have existed in Kerala in the 1st century AD, it was possible for an Aramaic-speaking Jew, such as St. Thomas from Galilee, to make a trip to Kerala then; the earliest known source connecting the Apostle to India is the Acts of Thomas written in the early 3rd century in Edessa. A number of 3rd and 4th century Roman writers mention Thomas' trip to India, including Ambrose of Milan, Gregory of Nazianzus and Ephrem the Sy
Eastern Orthodox Church
The Eastern Orthodox Church the Orthodox Catholic Church, is the second-largest Christian church, with 200–260 million members. It operates as a communion of autocephalous churches, each governed by its bishops in local synods, although half of Eastern Orthodox Christians live in Russia; the church has no central doctrinal or governmental authority analogous to the Bishop of Rome, but the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople is recognised by all as primus inter pares of the bishops. As one of the oldest religious institutions in the world, the Eastern Orthodox Church has played a prominent role in the history and culture of Eastern and Southeastern Europe, the Caucasus, the Near East. Eastern Orthodox theology is based on the Nicene Creed; the church teaches that it is the One, Holy and Apostolic church established by Jesus Christ in his Great Commission, that its bishops are the successors of Christ's apostles. It maintains, its patriarchates, reminiscent of the pentarchy, autocephalous and autonomous churches reflect a variety of hierarchical organisation.
Of its innumerable sacred mysteries, it recognises seven major sacraments, of which the Eucharist is the principal one, celebrated liturgically in synaxis. The church teaches that through consecration invoked by a priest, the sacrificial bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ; the Virgin Mary is venerated in the Eastern Orthodox Church as the God-bearer, honoured in devotions. The Eastern Orthodox Church shared communion with the Roman Catholic Church until the East–West Schism in 1054, triggered by disputes over doctrine the authority of the Pope. Before the Council of Chalcedon in AD 451, the Oriental Orthodox churches shared in this communion, separating over differences in Christology; the majority of Eastern Orthodox Christians live in Southeast and Eastern Europe, Cyprus and other communities in the Caucasus region, communities in Siberia reaching the Russian Far East. There are smaller communities in the former Byzantine regions of the Eastern Mediterranean, in the Middle East where it is decreasing due to persecution.
There are many in other parts of the world, formed through diaspora and missionary activity. In keeping with the church's teaching on universality and with the Nicene Creed, Orthodox authorities such as Saint Raphael of Brooklyn have insisted that the full name of the church has always included the term "Catholic", as in "Holy Orthodox Catholic Apostolic Church"; the official name of the Eastern Orthodox Church is the "Orthodox Catholic Church". It is the name by which the church refers to itself in its liturgical or canonical texts, in official publications, in official contexts or administrative documents. Orthodox teachers refer to the church as Catholic; this name and longer variants containing "Catholic" are recognised and referenced in other books and publications by secular or non-Orthodox writers. The common name of the church, "Eastern Orthodox Church", is a shortened practicality that helps to avoid confusions in casual use. From ancient times through the first millennium, Greek was the most prevalent shared language in the demographic regions where the Byzantine Empire flourished, Greek, being the language in which the New Testament was written, was the primary liturgical language of the church.
For this reason, the eastern churches were sometimes identified as "Greek" before the Great Schism of 1054. After 1054, "Greek Orthodox" or "Greek Catholic" marked a church as being in communion with Constantinople, much as "Catholic" did for communion with Rome; this identification with Greek, became confusing with time. Missionaries brought Orthodoxy to many regions without ethnic Greeks, where the Greek language was not spoken. In addition, struggles between Rome and Constantinople to control parts of Southeastern Europe resulted in the conversion of some churches to Rome, which also used "Greek Catholic" to indicate their continued use of the Byzantine rites. Today, many of those same churches remain, while a large number of Orthodox are not of Greek national origin, do not use Greek as the language of worship. "Eastern" indicates the geographical element in the Church's origin and development, while "Orthodox" indicates the faith, as well as communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.
There are additional Christian churches in the east that are in communion with neither Rome nor Constantinople, who tend to be distinguished by the category named "Oriental Orthodox". While the church continues to call itself "Catholic", for reasons of universality, the common title of "Eastern Orthodox Church" avoids casual confusion with the Roman Catholic Church; the first known use of the phrase "the catholic Church" occurred in a letter written about 110 AD from one Greek church to another. The letter states: "Wheresoever the bishop shall appear, there let the people be as where Jesus may be, there is the universal Church." Thus from the beginning, Christians referred to the Church as the "One, Holy and Apostolic Church". The Eastern Orthodox Church claims that it is today the continuation and preservation of that same early Church. A number of other Christian churches make a similar claim: the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion, the Assyrian Church and the Oriental Orthodox.
In the Eastern Orthodox v
High Middle Ages
The High Middle Ages, or High Medieval Period, was the period of European history that commenced around 1000 and lasted until around 1250. The High Middle Ages were preceded by the Early Middle Ages and were followed by the Late Middle Ages, which ended around 1500. Key historical trends of the High Middle Ages include the increasing population of Europe, which brought about great social and political change from the preceding era, the Renaissance of the 12th century, including the first developments of rural exodus and of urbanization. By 1250, the robust population increase had benefited the European economy, which reached levels that would not be seen again in some areas until the 19th century; that trend faltered during the Late Middle Ages because of a series of calamities, most notably the Black Death, but numerous wars as well as economic stagnation. From around 780, Europe saw the last of the barbarian invasions and became more and politically organized; the Carolingian Renaissance led to philosophical activity in Northern Europe.
The first universities started operating in Bologna, Paris and Modena. The Vikings settled in the British Isles and elsewhere, Norse Christian kingdoms started developing in their Scandinavian homelands; the Magyars ceased their expansion in the 10th century, by the year 1000, a Christian Kingdom of Hungary had become a recognized state in Central Europe, forming alliances with regional powers. With the brief exception of the Mongol invasions in the 13th century, major nomadic incursions ceased; the powerful Byzantine Empire of the Macedonian and the Komnenos dynasties gave way to the resurrected Serbia and Bulgaria and to a successor crusader state, which countered the continuous threat of the Seljuk Turks in Asia Minor. In the 11th century, populations north of the Alps began a more intensive settlement, targeting "new" lands, some of which areas had reverted to wilderness after the end of the Roman Empire. In what is known as the "great clearances", Europeans cleared and cultivated some of the vast forests and marshes that lay across of the continent.
At the same time, some settlers moved beyond the traditional boundaries of the Frankish Empire to new frontiers beyond the Elbe River, which tripled the size of Germany in the process. The Catholic Church, which reached the peak of its political power around called armies from across Europe to a series of Crusades against the Seljuk Turks; the crusaders founded the Crusader States in the Levant. Other wars led to the Northern Crusades; the Christian kingdoms took much of the Iberian Peninsula from Muslim control, the Normans conquered southern Italy, all part of the major population increases and the resettlement patterns of the era. The High Middle Ages produced many different forms of intellectual and artistic works; the age saw the rise of ethnocentrism, which evolved into modern civic nationalisms in most of Europe, the ascent of the great Italian city-states and the rise and fall of the Muslim civilization of Al-Andalus. The rediscovery of the works of Aristotle led Thomas Aquinas and other thinkers of the period to expand Scholasticism, a combination of Catholicism and ancient philosophy.
For much of this period, Constantinople remained Europe's most populous city, Byzantine art reached a peak in the 12th century. In architecture, many of the most notable Gothic cathedrals were built or completed around this period; the Crisis of the Late Middle Ages began at the start of the 14th century and marked the end of the period. In England, the Norman Conquest of 1066 resulted in a kingdom ruled by a Francophone nobility; the Normans invaded Ireland by force in 1169 and soon established themselves throughout most of the country, although their stronghold was the southeast. Scotland and Wales were subdued to vassalage at about the same time, though Scotland asserted its independence and Wales remained under the rule of independent native princes until the death of Llywelyn ap Gruffydd in 1282; the Exchequer was founded in the 12th century under King Henry I, the first parliaments were convened. In 1215, after the loss of Normandy, King John signed the Magna Carta into law, which limited the power of English monarchs.
Much of the Iberian peninsula had been occupied by the Moors after 711, although the northernmost portion was divided between several Christian states. In the 11th century, again in the thirteenth, the Christian kingdoms of the north drove the Muslims from central and most of southern Iberia. In Italy, independent city states grew affluent on eastern maritime trade; these were in particular the thalassocracies of Pisa, Amalfi and Venice. From the mid-tenth to the mid-11th centuries, the Scandinavian kingdoms were unified and Christianized, resulting in an end of Viking raids, greater involvement in European politics. King Cnut of Denmark ruled over both Norway. After Cnut's death in 1035, England and Norway were lost, with the defeat of Valdemar II in 1227, Danish predominance in the region came to an end. Meanwhile, Norway extended its Atlantic possessions, ranging from Greenland to the Isle of Man, while Sweden, under Birger Jarl, built up a power-base in the Baltic Sea. However, the Norwegian influence started to decline in the same period, marked by the Treaty of Perth of 1266.
Civil wars raged in Norway between 1130 and 1240. By the time of the High Middle Ages, the Carolingian Empire had been divided and replaced by separate successor kingdoms called France and Germany, although not with their modern boundaries. Germany was under the banner of the Holy Roman Empire, which reached its high-water mark of unit