Ignatios of Constantinople
St. Ignatius or Ignatios, was a Patriarch of Constantinople from July 4, 847, to October 23, 858, from November 23, 867, to his death on October 23, 877. In the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches, he is regarded as a saint, with a feast day of October 23. Ignatios named Niketas, was a son of the Emperor Michael I Rangabe and Prokopia, his maternal grandfather was Nikephoros I. Although he was still a child, Niketas had been appointed nominal commander of the new corps of imperial guards, the Hikanatoi, he was forcibly castrated and tonsured after his father's deposition in 813. He founded three monasteries on the Princes' Islands, a favourite place for exiling tonsured members of the imperial house. Empress Theodora appointed Ignatios, a staunch opponent of Iconoclasm, to succeed Methodios I as patriarch of Constantinople in 847. Ignatios soon became embroiled in the conflict between the Stoudites and the moderates in the Church, the issue being whether or not to depose clergymen who had cooperated with iconoclast policies in the past.
Ignatios took the side of the conservative Stoudites and deposed the archbishop of Syracuse, Gregory Asbestas, the leader of the moderate party. Asbestas appealed for redress to Pope Leo IV and thus inaugurated a period of friction in relations between the Roman and Constantinopolitan churches. A fervent critic of the Caesar Bardas, Ignatios lost support after Emperor Michael III and Bardas removed Theodora from influence in 857. Ignatios was replaced by the layman Photios; those questions were discussed at councils held in Constantinople in 859, again in 861. When Photios reversed some of his predecessor's policies, Ignatios's supporters appealed to Pope Nicholas I, who at first tried to stay out of the controversy, but condemned Photios; the immediate issues in the conflict were the question of papal precedence over the patriarch, jurisdiction over newly converted Bulgaria. In 867 Basil I the Macedonian usurped the throne and, seeking an alliance with Nicholas I and Louis II, Holy Roman Emperor, banished Photios and restored Ignatios on the patriarchal throne.
Reinstated, Ignatios refused to yield to the papacy and drew Bulgaria back into the orbit of the Byzantine Church in 870. Since Ignatios and Photios pursued the same policy, the latter was recalled and reinstated as tutor to the emperor's children; when Ignatios died in October 877, Photios was reinstated as patriarch and contributed to Ignatios' sanctification. Council of Constantinople Council of Constantinople Council of Constantinople Schism of 863 Dvornik, Francis; the Photian Schism: History and Legend. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Ostrogorsky, George. History of the Byzantine State. Oxford: Basil Blackwell; the Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium, Oxford University Press, 1991. Herbermann, Charles, ed.. "St. Ignatius of Constantinople". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company
Hagia Sophia is the former Greek Orthodox Christian patriarchal cathedral an Ottoman imperial mosque and now a museum in Istanbul, Turkey. Built in 537 AD at the beginning of the Middle Ages, it was famous in particular for its massive dome, it was an engineering marvel of its time. It is considered the epitome of Byzantine architecture and is said to have "changed the history of architecture"; the Hagia Sophia construction consists of masonry. The structure is composed of mortar joints that are 1.5 times the width of the bricks. The mortar joints are composed of a combination of sand and minute ceramic pieces displaced evenly throughout the mortar joints; this combination of sand and ceramic pieces could be considered to be the equivalent of modern concrete at the time. From the date of its construction's completion in 537 until 1453, it served as an Eastern Orthodox cathedral and the seat of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, except between 1204 and 1261, when it was converted by the Fourth Crusaders to a Roman Catholic cathedral under the Latin Empire.
The building was converted into an Ottoman mosque from 29 May 1453 until 1931. It was secularized and opened as a museum on 1 February 1935, it remained the world's largest cathedral for nearly a thousand years, until Seville Cathedral was completed in 1520. The current building was constructed as a church between 532 and 537 on the orders of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I and was the third Church of the Holy Wisdom to occupy the site, the prior one having been destroyed by rioters in the Nika Revolt, it was designed by the Greek geometers Isidore of Anthemius of Tralles. The church was dedicated to the Wisdom of God, the Logos, the second person of the Trinity, its patronal feast taking place on 25 December, the commemoration of the birth of the incarnation of the Logos in Christ. Although sometimes referred to as Sancta Sophia, sophia being the phonetic spelling in Latin of the Greek word for wisdom, its full name in Greek is Ναός της Αγίας του Θεού Σοφίας, Naos tēs Hagias tou Theou Sophias, "Shrine of the Holy Wisdom of God".
The church contained a large collection of relics and featured, among other things, a 15-metre silver iconostasis. The focal point of the Eastern Orthodox Church for nearly one thousand years, the building witnessed the excommunication of Patriarch Michael I Cerularius communicated by Humbert of Silva Candida, the papal envoy of Pope Leo IX in 1054, an act, considered the start of the East–West Schism. In 1453, Constantinople was conquered by the Ottoman Empire under Mehmed the Conqueror, who ordered this main church of Orthodox Christianity converted into a mosque. Although some parts of the city of Constantinople were falling into disrepair, the cathedral was maintained with an amount of money set aside for this purpose; the Christian cathedral made a strong impression on the new Ottoman rulers and they decided to convert it into a mosque. The bells, altar and other relics were destroyed and the mosaics depicting Jesus, his Mother Mary, Christian saints, angels were destroyed or plastered over.
Islamic features – such as the mihrab and four minarets – were added. It remained a mosque until 1931, it was re-opened in 1935 as a museum by the Republic of Turkey. Hagia Sophia was, as of 2014, the second-most visited museum in Turkey, attracting 3.3 million visitors annually. According to data released by the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry, Hagia Sophia was Turkey's most visited tourist attraction in 2015. From its initial conversion until the construction of the nearby Sultan Ahmed Mosque in 1616, it was the principal mosque of Istanbul; the Byzantine architecture of the Hagia Sophia served as inspiration for many other Ottoman mosques, such as the aforementioned mosque, the Şehzade Mosque, the Süleymaniye Mosque, the Rüstem Pasha Mosque and the Kılıç Ali Pasha Complex. On 24 March 2019, the President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that the Hagia Sophia is to be reverted to a mosque; the first church on the site was known as the Μεγάλη Ἐκκλησία, or in Latin Magna Ecclesia, because of its larger dimensions in comparison to the contemporary churches in the City.
Inaugurated on 15 February 360 by the Arian bishop Eudoxius of Antioch, it was built next to the area where the imperial palace was being developed. The nearby Hagia Eirene church was completed earlier and served as cathedral until the Great Church was completed. Both churches acted together as the principal churches of the Byzantine Empire. Writing in 440, Socrates of Constantinople claimed that the church was built by Constantius II, working on it in 346. A tradition, not older than the 7th or 8th century, reports that the edifice was built by Constantine the Great. Zonaras reconciles the two opinions, writing that Constantius had repaired the edifice consecrated by Eusebius of Nicomedia, after it had collapsed. Since Eusebius was bishop of Constantinople from 339 to 341, Constantine died in 337, it seems possible that the first church was erected by the latter; the edifice was built as a traditional Latin colonnaded basilica with a wooden roof. It was preceded by an atrium, it was claimed to be one of the world's most outstanding monuments at the time.
The Patriarch of Constantinople John
A regent is a person appointed to govern a state because the monarch is a minor, is absent or is incapacitated. The rule of a regent or regents is called a regency. A regent or regency council may be in accordance with a constitutional rule. "Regent" is sometimes a formal title. If the regent is holding his position due to his position in the line of succession, the compound term prince regent is used. If the formally appointed regent is unavailable or cannot serve on a temporary basis, a Regent ad interim may be appointed to fill the gap. In a monarchy, a regent governs due to one of these reasons, but may be elected to rule during the interregnum when the royal line has died out; this was the case in the Kingdom of Finland and the Kingdom of Hungary, where the royal line was considered extinct in the aftermath of World War I. In Iceland, the regent represented the King of Denmark as sovereign of Iceland until the country became a republic in 1944. In the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, kings were elective, which led to a long interregnum.
In the interim, it was the Roman Catholic Primate who served as the regent, termed the "interrex". In the small republic of San Marino, the two Captains Regent, or Capitani Reggenti, are elected semi-annually as joint heads of state and of government. Famous regency periods include that of the Prince Regent George IV of the United Kingdom, giving rise to many terms such as Regency era and Regency architecture; this period lasted from 1811 to 1820, when his father George III was insane, though when used as a period label it covers a wider period. Philippe II, Duke of Orléans was Regent of France from the death of Louis XIV in 1715 until Louis XV came of age in 1723; the equivalent Greek term is epitropos. As of 2018, Liechtenstein is the only country with an active regency; the term regent may refer to positions lower than the ruler of a country. The term may be used in the governance of organisations as an equivalent of "director", held by all members of a governing board rather than just the equivalent of the chief executive.
Some university managers in North America are called regents and a management board for a college or university may be titled the "Board of Regents". In New York State, all activities related to public and private education and professional licensure are administered by the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York, the appointed members of which are called regents; the term "regent" is used for members of governing bodies of institutions such as the national banks of France and Belgium. In the Dutch Republic, the members of the ruling class, not formally hereditary but forming a de facto patrician class, were informally known collectively as regenten because they held positions as "regent" on the boards of town councils, as well as charitable and civic institutions; the regents group portrait, regentenstuk or regentessenstuk for female boards in Dutch "regents' piece", is a group portrait of the board of trustees, called regents or regentesses, of a charitable organization or guild.
This type of group portrait was popular in Dutch Golden Age painting during the 17th and 18th centuries. In the Dutch East Indies, a regent was a native prince allowed to rule de facto colonized'state' as a regentschap. In the successor state of Indonesia, the term regent is used in English to mean a bupati, the head of a kabupaten. Again in Belgium and France, Regent is the official title of a teacher in a lower secondary school, who does not require a college degree but is trained in a specialized école normale. In the Philippines the University of Santo Tomas, the Father Regent, who must be a Dominican priest and is also a teacher, serves as the institution's spiritual head, they form the Council of Regents that serves as the highest administrative council of the university. In the Society of Jesus, a regent is an individual training to be a Jesuit and who has completed his Novitiate and Philosophy studies, but has not yet progressed to Theology studies. A regent in the Jesuits is assigned to teach in a school or some other academic institution as part of the formation toward final vows.
List of regents Regency Acts Viceroy, an individual who, in a colony or province, exercised the power of a monarch on his behalf
Western Christianity is the Latin Church, Protestantism, together with the offshoots of these such as independent Catholicism and Restorationist churches taken together. The large majority of the world's 2.4 billion Christians are Western Christians. The original and still major part, the Latin Church, developed under the bishop of Rome in the former Western Roman Empire in Antiquity. Out of the Latin Church emerged a wide variety of independent Protestant denominations, including Lutheranism and Anglicanism, starting from the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century, as did Independent Catholicism in the 19th century. Thus, the term "Western Christianity" does not describe a single communion or religious denomination, but is applied to distinguish all these denominations collectively from Eastern Christianity; the establishment of the distinct Latin Church, a particular church sui iuris of the Catholic Church coincided with the consolidation of the Holy See in Rome, where the bishop claimed a particular role since Antiquity.
The terms "Western" and "Eastern" in this regard originated with geographical divisions mirroring the cultural divide between the Hellenistic east and Latin West, the political divide between the Western and Eastern Roman empires. During the Middle Ages adherents of the Latin Church, irrespective of ethnicity referred to themselves as "Latins" to distinguish themselves from Eastern Christians. With the expansion of European colonialism from the Early Modern era, the Latin Church, in time along with its Protestant secessions, spread throughout the Americas, much of the Philippines, Southern Africa, pockets of West Africa, throughout Australia, New Zealand. Thus, when used for historical periods after the 16th century, the term "Western Christianity" does not refer to a particular geographical area, but is rather used as a collective term for the Latin Church, the Protestant denominations, Independent Catholicism that trace their lineage to the original Latin Church in Western Europe. Today, the geographical distinction between Western and Eastern Christianity is not nearly as absolute as in Antiquity or the Middle Ages, due to the spread of Christian missionaries and globalisation.
The adjectives "Western Christianity" and "Eastern Christianity" are used to refer to historical origins and differences in theology and liturgy, rather than present geographical locations. While the Latin Church maintain the Latin liturgical rites, Protestant denominations and Independent Catholicism retain a wide variety of liturgical practices. For most of its history the church in Europe has been culturally divided between the Latin-speaking west, whose centre was Rome, the Greek-speaking east, whose centre was Constantinople. Cultural differences and political rivalry created tensions between the two churches, leading to disagreement over doctrine and ecclesiology and to schism. Like Eastern Christianity, Western Christianity traces its roots directly to the apostles and other early preachers of the religion. In Western Christianity's original area Latin was the principal language. Christian writers in Latin had more influence there than those who wrote in Greek, Syriac, or other Eastern languages.
Though the first Christians in the West used Greek, by the fourth century Latin had superseded it in the cosmopolitan city of Rome, while there is evidence of a Latin translation of the Bible in the 2nd century in southern Gaul and the Roman province of Africa. With the decline of the Roman Empire, distinctions appeared in organization, since the bishops in the West were not dependent on the Emperor in Constantinople and did not come under the influence of the Caesaropapism in the Eastern Church. While the see of Constantinople became dominant throughout the Emperor's lands, the West looked to the see of Rome, which in the East was seen as that of one of the five patriarchs of the Pentarchy, "the proposed government of universal Christendom by five patriarchal sees under the auspices of a single universal empire. Formulated in the legislation of the emperor Justinian I in his Novella 131, the theory received formal ecclesiastical sanction at the Council in Trullo, which ranked the five sees as Rome, Alexandria and Jerusalem."Over the centuries, disagreements separated Western Christianity from the various forms of Eastern Christianity: first from East Syriac Christianity after the Council of Ephesus from that of Oriental Orthodoxy after the Council of Chalcedon, from Eastern Orthodoxy with the East-West Schism of 1054.
With the last-named form of Eastern Christianity, reunion agreements were signed at the Second Council of Lyon and the Council of Florence, but these proved ineffective. The rise of Protestantism led to major divisions within Western Christianity, which still persist, wars—for example, the Anglo-Spanish War of 1585–1604 had religious as well as economic causes. In and after the Age of Discovery, Europeans spread Western Christianity to the New World and elsewhere. Roman Catholicism came to the Americas, Asia and the Pacific. Protestantism, including Anglicanism, came to North America, Australia-Pacific and some African locales. Today, the geographical distinction between Western and Eastern Christianity is now much less absolute, due to the great migrations of Europeans across the globe, as well as the work of missionaries worldwide over the past five centuries. Although "original sin" can be taken to mea
Rome is the capital city and a special comune of Italy. Rome serves as the capital of the Lazio region. With 2,872,800 residents in 1,285 km2, it is the country's most populated comune, it is the fourth most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. It is the centre of the Metropolitan City of Rome, which has a population of 4,355,725 residents, thus making it the most populous metropolitan city in Italy. Rome is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, within Lazio, along the shores of the Tiber; the Vatican City is an independent country inside the city boundaries of Rome, the only existing example of a country within a city: for this reason Rome has been defined as capital of two states. Rome's history spans 28 centuries. While Roman mythology dates the founding of Rome at around 753 BC, the site has been inhabited for much longer, making it one of the oldest continuously occupied sites in Europe; the city's early population originated from a mix of Latins and Sabines.
The city successively became the capital of the Roman Kingdom, the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, is regarded by some as the first metropolis. It was first called The Eternal City by the Roman poet Tibullus in the 1st century BC, the expression was taken up by Ovid and Livy. Rome is called the "Caput Mundi". After the fall of the Western Empire, which marked the beginning of the Middle Ages, Rome fell under the political control of the Papacy, in the 8th century it became the capital of the Papal States, which lasted until 1870. Beginning with the Renaissance all the popes since Nicholas V pursued over four hundred years a coherent architectural and urban programme aimed at making the city the artistic and cultural centre of the world. In this way, Rome became first one of the major centres of the Italian Renaissance, the birthplace of both the Baroque style and Neoclassicism. Famous artists, painters and architects made Rome the centre of their activity, creating masterpieces throughout the city.
In 1871, Rome became the capital of the Kingdom of Italy, which, in 1946, became the Italian Republic. Rome has the status of a global city. In 2016, Rome ranked as the 14th-most-visited city in the world, 3rd most visited in the European Union, the most popular tourist attraction in Italy, its historic centre is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The famous Vatican Museums are among the world's most visited museums while the Colosseum was the most popular tourist attraction in world with 7.4 million visitors in 2018. Host city for the 1960 Summer Olympics, Rome is the seat of several specialized agencies of the United Nations, such as the Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Food Programme and the International Fund for Agricultural Development; the city hosts the Secretariat of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean as well as the headquarters of many international business companies such as Eni, Enel, TIM, Leonardo S.p. A. and national and international banks such as Unicredit and BNL.
Its business district, called EUR, is the base of many companies involved in the oil industry, the pharmaceutical industry, financial services. Rome is an important fashion and design centre thanks to renowned international brands centered in the city. Rome's Cinecittà Studios have been the set of many Academy Award–winning movies. According to the founding myth of the city by the Ancient Romans themselves, the long-held tradition of the origin of the name Roma is believed to have come from the city's founder and first king, Romulus. However, it is a possibility that the name Romulus was derived from Rome itself; as early as the 4th century, there have been alternative theories proposed on the origin of the name Roma. Several hypotheses have been advanced focusing on its linguistic roots which however remain uncertain: from Rumon or Rumen, archaic name of the Tiber, which in turn has the same root as the Greek verb ῥέω and the Latin verb ruo, which both mean "flow". There is archaeological evidence of human occupation of the Rome area from 14,000 years ago, but the dense layer of much younger debris obscures Palaeolithic and Neolithic sites.
Evidence of stone tools and stone weapons attest to about 10,000 years of human presence. Several excavations support the view that Rome grew from pastoral settlements on the Palatine Hill built above the area of the future Roman Forum. Between the end of the bronze age and the beginning of the Iron age, each hill between the sea and the Capitol was topped by a village. However, none of them had yet an urban quality. Nowadays, there is a wide consensus that the city developed through the aggregation of several villages around the largest one, placed above the Palatine; this aggregation was facilitated by the increase of agricultural productivity above the subsistence level, which allowed the establishment of secondary and tertiary activities. These in turn boosted the development of trade with the Greek colonies of southern Italy; these developments, which according to archaeological ev
Church of St. Mary of Blachernae (Istanbul)
Saint Mary of Blachernae is an Eastern Orthodox church in Istanbul. The little edifice, built in 1867, got the same dedication as the shrine erected in this place in the fifth century which, until its destruction in 1434, was one of the most important sanctuaries of Greek Orthodoxy; the church is located in Istanbul, in the district of Fatih, in the neighbourhood of Ayvansaray, along Mustafa Paşa Bostanı Sokak. It lies a few hundred meters inside the walled city, at a short distance from the shore of the Golden Horn; the building is protected by a high wall, preceded by a garden. In 450, Empress Aelia Pulcheria started to build a church near a fountain of holy water situated outside the walls of Theodosius II at the foot of the sixth hill of Constantinople. After her death in 453, the shrine was completed by Emperor Marcian. Emperor Leo I erected near the church two other buildings: a parekklesion, named Ayía Sorós, since it hosted the holy mantle and robe of the Virgin brought from Palestine in 473, the ´Ayion Loúsma edifice, which enclosed the fountain.
The importance assumed by the whole complex encouraged the Emperors to lodge in the surroundings and to build there the nucleus of what would in centuries become the imperial palace of Blachernae. During the first quarter of the 6th century, Emperors Justin I and Justinian I restored and enlarged the church; the name of Blachernae may come from old name of Romanians and from a small colony of vlachsSaint Mary hosted a famous icon of the Virgin, named after the church Vlachernítissa. It was revetted with gold and silver; this icon and the relics of the Virgin kept in the parekklesion were considered by the Byzantines as most powerful, useful during a war or in case of natural disasters. The first proof of the power of these objects came in 626. During that year Constantinople was besieged by the combined armies of the Avars and the Persians, while Emperor Heraclius was away, fighting the Persians in Mesopotamia; the son of the Emperor, together with Patriarch Sergius and Patrician Bonus carried in procession along the ramparts the icon of the Blachernitissa.
Some time the fleet of the Avars was destroyed. The Khan of the Avars afterwards said that he had been frightened by the vision of a young woman adorned with jewels scouring the walls. After the end of the siege, the Byzantines learned with joy that the building of the church, which at that time lay outside the Walls, was the only one not to have been plundered by the invaders; when the victorious Heraclius came back to Constantinople, bringing back the True Cross, captured by the Persians in Jerusalem, the Patriarch received him at Saint Mary. Sometime the Emperor built a single wall to protect the church, thus enclosing in the City the suburb of Blachernae; the protection of the Virgin of the Blachernae was credited with the Byzantine victories during the Arab siege of 717-718, in 860, during the invasion of the Rus'. In this occasion, the Veil of the Virgin, which by that time had joined the other relics in the church, was shortly plunged in the sea to invoke the protection of God on the fleet.
Some days the Rus' fleet was destroyed. In 926 too, during the war against Simeon of Bulgaria, the potency of the relics of the Virgin helped convince the Bulgarian Tsar to negotiate with the Byzantines instead of assaulting the City. On August 15, 944, the church received other two important objects: the letter written by King Abgar V of Edessa to Jesus and the Mandylion. Both relics were moved to the Church of the Virgin of the Pharos. St. Mary, being a centre of the veneration of the Images, played an important role in the religious fights of the Byzantines. During the Iconoclastic period, the final session of the Council of Hieria, where the cult of the images was condemned, took place in the church; as a consequence of that decision, Emperor Constantine V ordered the mosaics of the interior destroyed, substituted them with others representing natural scenes with trees and animals. On that occasion the Icon of the Blachernitissa was hidden under a layer of silvery mortar. In 843, with the end of Iconoclasm, the Feast of Orthodoxy was celebrated for the first time in the church of Blachernae with an Agrypnía, which occurred on the first Sunday of Lent.
The Blachernitissa was discovered again during restoration works executed during the reign of Romanos III Argyros, became again one of the most venerated icons of Constantinople. The Church of Saint Mary was destroyed during a fire in 1070, was rebuilt by Romanos IV Diogenes and Michael VII Doukas respecting the old plan. According to Anna Komnene, the so-called "habitual miracle" occurred in the church before the Icon of the Virgin Blachernitissa. On Friday after sunset, when the church was empty, the veil which covered the icon moved up revealing the face of the Virgin, while 24 hours it fell again slowly. Anyway, the miracle did not occur and ceased after the Latin conquest of the City. After the Latin invasion of 1204, the church was occupied by the Latin clergy and placed directly under the Holy See. Before the end of the Latin Empire, John III Doukas Vatatzes redeemed the church and many monasteries for the Orthodox clergy in exchange for money. On February 29, 1434, some noble children who were hunting pigeons on the roof of the church accidentally started a fire, which destroyed the whole complex and the surrounding quarter.
The area was neglected during the Ottoman period. In 1867, the Guild of the Orthodox fur
Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople
The Ecumenical Patriarch is the Archbishop of Constantinople–New Rome and ranks as primus inter pares among the heads of the several autocephalous churches that make up the Eastern Orthodox Church. The term Ecumenical in the title is a historical reference to the Ecumene, a Greek designation for the civilised world, i.e. the Roman Empire, it stems from Canon 28 of the Council of Chalcedon. The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople is one of the most enduring institutions in the world and has had a prominent part in world history; the ecumenical patriarchs in ancient times helped in the spread of Christianity and the resolution of various doctrinal disputes. In the Middle Ages they played a major role in the affairs of the Eastern Orthodox Church, as well as in the politics of the Orthodox world, in spreading Christianity among the Slavs. In addition to the expansion of the Christian faith and the Eastern Orthodox doctrine, the patriarchs are involved in ecumenism and interfaith dialogue, charitable work, the defense of Orthodox Christian traditions.
Within the five apostolic sees of the Pentarchy, the Ecumenical Patriarch is regarded as the successor of Andrew the Apostle. The current holder of the office is Bartholomew I, the 270th bishop of that see; the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople is first among equals, or first in honor among all Eastern Orthodox bishops, who presides in person—or through a delegate—over any council of Orthodox primates or bishops in which he takes part and serves as primary spokesman for the Orthodox communion in ecumenical contacts with other Christian denominations. He has no direct jurisdiction over the other patriarchs or the other autocephalous Orthodox churches, but he, alone among his fellow primates, enjoys the right of convening extraordinary synods consisting of them or their delegates to deal with ad hoc situations and has convened well-attended Pan-Orthodox Synods in the last forty years, his unique role sees the Ecumenical Patriarch referred to as the spiritual leader of the Orthodox Church in some sources, though this is not an official title of the patriarch nor is it used in scholarly sources on the patriarchate.
The Orthodox Church is decentralized, having no central authority, earthly head or a single Bishop in a leadership role, having synodical system canonically, is distinguished from the hierarchically organized Catholic Church whose doctrine is the papal supremacy. His titles primus inter pares "first among equals" and "Ecumenical Patriarch" are of honor rather than authority and in fact the Ecumenical Patriarch has no real authority over Churches other than the Constantinopolitan; the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople is the direct administrative superior of dioceses and archdioceses serving millions of Greek, Ukrainian and Albanian believers in North and South America, Western Europe and New Zealand, Korea, as well as parts of modern Greece which, for historical reasons, do not fall under the jurisdiction of the Church of Greece. The Orthodox Church in America, while acknowledging the Ecumenical Patriarch's role in "guiding and preserving the worldwide unity of the family of self-governing Orthodox Churches" emphasizes that he carries no sacramental or juridical power over bishops outside of his own Patriarchate, further states that "it is possible that in the future this function may pass to some other church."His actual position is Patriarch of the Orthodox Church of Constantinople, one of the fourteen autocephalous and several autonomous churches and the most senior of the four orthodox ancient primatial sees among the five patriarchal Christian centers comprising the ancient Pentarchy of the undivided Church.
In his role as head of the Orthodox Church of Constantinople, he holds the title Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome. The Ecumenical Patriarchate is sometimes called the Greek Patriarchate of Constantinople to distinguish him from the Armenian Patriarchate and the extinct Latin Patriarchate, created after the Latin capture of Constantinople in 1204, during the Fourth Crusade; the see of Byzantium, whose foundation was ascribed to Andrew the Apostle, was a common bishopric. It gained importance when Emperor Constantine elevated Byzantium to a second capital alongside Rome and named it Constantinople; the see's ecclesiastical status as the second of five Patriarchates were developed by the Ecumenical Councils of Constantinople in 381 and Chalcedon in 451. The Turkish government recognizes him as the spiritual leader of the Greek minority in Turkey, refer to him as the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Fener; the Patriarch was subject to the authority of the Ottoman Empire after the conquest of Constantinople in 1453, until the declaration of Turkish Republic in 1923.
Today, according to Turkish law, he is subject to the authority of the state of Turkey and is required to be a citizen of Turkey to be Patriarch. The Patriarch of Constantinople has been dubbed the Ecumenical Patriarch since the 6th century; the exact significance of the style, used for other prelates since the middle of the 5th century, is nowhere defined but, according to the Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, the title has been criticized in the Catholic Church as incompatible with its own claims by the Holy See. The monastic communities of Mount Athos are stauropegic and are directly under the jurisdiction of Ecumenical Patriarch, the only bishop with jur