Raise your hand if you agree on both of these rubricated points as settled matters.
(GOARCH) - For the next fourteen days, we'll be profiling the autocephalous Orthodox churches that comprise the Holy and Great Council. The first profile is of the Ecumenical Patriarchate which was established by Saint Andrew the Apostle in 37 A.D. Its primate is His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, who has the status of primus inter pares (“first among equals”) among Orthodox bishops. The ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate includes Constantinople, Asia Minor, Mount Athos, Crete, northern Greece and the Dodecanese. According to the canons of the Church, all regions beyond the official ecclesial boundaries of each local autocephalous Church come under the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, including, inter alia, North and South America, Western Europe, Asia, and Australia. It is one of the five ancient patriarchates, which also include Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, and Rome. The Ecumenical Patriarchate has the responsibility of being the Church of final appeal in Orthodoxy, and it is the only Church that may establish autocephalous and autonomous Churches.