Iglesia Ortodoxa Oriental

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La Iglesia ortodoxa del este, llamado oficialmente la Iglesia Católica Ortodoxa [nota 1] y comúnmente conocida como la Iglesia Ortodoxa, [4] es la segunda iglesia cristiana más grande del mundo, [5] con un estimado de 300 millones de fieles, [6] principalmente en Oriente y el sudeste de Europa . Es la denominación religiosa de la mayoría de la población de Rusia , Bielorrusia , Ucrania , Moldavia , Georgia , Rumania , Serbia , Montenegro , Macedonia , Bulgaria , Grecia y Chipre . Enseña que es la Una, Santa, Católica y Apostólica Iglesia establecida por Jesucristo y sus Apóstoles, hace casi 2.000 años.

La Iglesia Ortodoxa se compone de varios órganos autónomos eclesiales, cada geográfica y distinto nivel nacional, sino teológicamente unificado. Cada autónomos (o autocéfala) cuerpo, a menudo, aunque no siempre abarca una nación , está guiado por un Santo Sínodo cuya función, entre otras cosas, es el de preservar y enseñar a los apostólicos y patrísticos tradiciones y prácticas relacionadas con la iglesia. Al igual que la Iglesia Católica Romana , la Comunión Anglicana , la Iglesia Asiria de Oriente , la ortodoxia oriental y algunas otras iglesias, obispos ortodoxos rastrear su linaje hasta los apóstoles a través del proceso de sucesión apostólica .

La Iglesia Ortodoxa traza su desarrollo a través de la bizantina o romana imperio, hasta la primera iglesia establecida por San Pablo y los Apóstoles. Practica lo que entiende que son las antiguas tradiciones originales, creyendo en el crecimiento sin cambio. En no-doctrinal importante que la iglesia había compartido en ocasiones, de locales griegas , eslavas tradiciones orientales y Medio, entre otros, a su vez dando forma al desarrollo cultural de estas naciones.

El objetivo de los cristianos ortodoxos de bautismo es llamar continuamente a sí mismos más cerca de Dios durante toda su vida. Este proceso se llama theosis o deificación, y es una peregrinación espiritual en el que cada persona se esfuerza por llegar a ser tanto más santa a través de la imitación de Cristo y el cultivo de la vida interior a través de la oración incesante (la más famosa, la Oración de Jesús ) o hesicasmo , hasta unido a la muerte con el fuego del amor de Dios. [7]

El texto bíblico utilizado por los ortodoxos incluye la griega Septuaginta y el Nuevo Testamento . Incluye los siete libros deuterocanónicos que son generalmente rechazadas por los protestantes y un pequeño número de otros libros que se encuentran en ninguno canon occidental. Los cristianos ortodoxos usan el término "Anagignoskomena" (una palabra griega que significa "leer", "digno de la lectura") para los diez libros que ellos aceptan, pero que no están en el libro 39-protestante del Antiguo Testamento canónico. Ellos los consideran como venerable, pero a un nivel menor que los 39 libros del canon hebreo. [8] Lo hacen, sin embargo, utilizar algunos de ellos la liturgia. [9] Los cristianos ortodoxos creen que la Escritura fue revelado por el Espíritu Santo a su inspiración autores humanos. Las Escrituras no son, sin embargo, el origen de las tradiciones asociadas con la Iglesia, sino más bien lo contrario, el texto bíblico salió de esa tradición. Tampoco es el único libro importante de la Iglesia. Hay literalmente cientos de los primeros escritos patrísticos que forman parte de la tradición de la Iglesia.

Los iconos se pueden encontrar adornando las paredes de las iglesias ortodoxas y las hagiografías a menudo cubren la estructura completamente su interior. [10] ortodoxas Muchas casas tienen un espacio reservado para la oración familiar, el icono esquina , en la que los iconos de Cristo , la Virgen María y los Santos se colocan típicamente en una pared orientada al Este.

La venida del Espíritu Santo ( Pentecostés ): La expansión del cristianismo comienza.

Contenido

[ editar ] Definición

Casi desde el principio, los cristianos que se refiere a la Iglesia como "una, santa, católica [del ???????? griego, o" según la totalidad "] y Apostólica". [11] Hoy en día, además de la Iglesia Ortodoxa, una serie de otras iglesias cristianas reclamar este título (incluyendo la Iglesia Católica , la Comunión Anglicana , la Iglesia Asiria y la Iglesia Ortodoxa Oriental ), sin embargo, la Iglesia Ortodoxa considera que estas otras iglesias para ser cismático y, en algunos casos, herético . En la vista ortodoxo, los asirios y los orientales dejaron la Iglesia Ortodoxa en los primeros siglos después de Cristo, y más tarde los católicos hicieron lo mismo, convirtiéndose en el grupo más grande nunca para salir de la Iglesia. Este evento es conocido como el Cisma de Oriente y Occidente , y es tradicionalmente fechada en el año 1054, aunque se trata más de un proceso gradual que una ruptura repentina.

" ortodoxa ", del griego Orthos ("derecho", "true", "recta") + doxa ("opinión" o "creencia", relacionado con dokein, "pensar") [12] fue adoptada por la Iglesia para para distinguirse de lo que se estaba convirtiendo en un cuerpo cada vez mayor de no ortodoxas denominaciones cristianas. [13]

Varias otras iglesias antiguas de Europa del Este , Asia occidental y África del Norte también usan ortodoxa, pero son distintas de la Iglesia ortodoxa, como se describe en este artículo.

[ edit ] Typica

Lo que une a los ortodoxos es la teología. Todos los miembros de la Iglesia profesa las mismas creencias sin importar la raza o la nacionalidad. [ cita requerida ] En la práctica y las tradiciones, sin embargo, hay variaciones en el estilo en función del país de origen o las costumbres locales, o ambos. Estas costumbres locales se refieren como las diferencias en typica y son aceptados por los líderes de la iglesia, ya que no se perciben a entrar en conflicto con las enseñanzas básicas teológicamente ortodoxas.

Así, muchas Iglesias Ortodoxas adoptar un título nacional (por ejemplo ortodoxa albanesa , búlgara ortodoxa , ortodoxa siria , Ortodoxa de Georgia , Ortodoxa Griega , Ortodoxa de Macedonia , Montenegro ortodoxa , ortodoxa rumana , rusa ortodoxa , ortodoxa serbia , ucraniana ortodoxa , etc) y este título sirve para distinguir qué idioma, que los obispos, y cuál de los typica es seguido por ese particular congregación . En Oriente Medio, los cristianos ortodoxos también se han referido a menudo como Roman (o ron) Ortodoxa, debido a su conexión histórica con el Romano de Oriente (Bizancio) Imperio como se ha dicho en el capítulo 30 (Sura Rum) del Corán. [14]

Los miembros de la Iglesia están completamente unidos en la fe y en los sagrados misterios con todas las congregaciones ortodoxas, con independencia de su nacionalidad. Las diferencias en la praxis (práctica) tienden a ser leves; implican cosas como el orden en el que se cantan un conjunto de himnos o qué hora un servicio en particular es celebrado. En general, un cristiano ortodoxo podría viajar por el mundo y se sienten familiarizados con los servicios, incluso si él o ella no conocía el idioma en que se celebra.

[ editar ] Organización y liderazgo

Santa Madre de Dios, la Iglesia, Ohrid, Macedonia. La iglesia fue construida antes de 1295 y la iglesia fue sede de Ohrid Arzobispado .

Los criterios permanentes de la estructura eclesiástica de la Iglesia Ortodoxa hoy, fuera de los escritos del Nuevo Testamento, se encuentran en los cánones (regulación y decretos) de los siete primeros concilios ecuménicos, los cánones de varios concilios locales o provinciales, cuya autoridad fue reconocida por el toda la iglesia, y los Cánones Apostólicos , que datan del siglo cuarto), y los "cánones de los Padres" o extractos seleccionados de prominentes líderes de la iglesia tienen importancia canónico. [15]

La Iglesia ortodoxa considera a Jesucristo como la cabeza de la Iglesia y que la Iglesia es Su cuerpo. Por lo tanto, a pesar de la creencia generalizada popular fuera de las culturas ortodoxas, no hay un obispo a la cabeza de la Iglesia Ortodoxa, las referencias al patriarca de Constantinopla como líder equivalente o comparable a un Papa en la Iglesia Católica Romana se equivocan. Se cree que la autoridad y la gracia de Dios es directamente transmitido a ortodoxos obispos y el clero a través de la imposición de manos , una práctica iniciada por los apóstoles , y que este vínculo inquebrantable histórico y físico es un elemento esencial de la verdadera iglesia ( Hechos 8:17, 1 Timoteo 4:14, Hebreos 6:2). Sin embargo, la iglesia afirma que la sucesión apostólica también requiere fe apostólica, y los obispos sin la fe apostólica, que están en la herejía, perderá su derecho al Sucesión Apostólica. [16]

Cada obispo tiene un territorio ( ver ) sobre el que no gobierna. Su deber principal es asegurarse de que las tradiciones y prácticas de la Iglesia se conservan. Los obispos son iguales en autoridad y no puede interferir en la jurisdicción de otro obispo. Administrativamente, estos obispos y sus territorios se organizan en diversos autocéfalas grupos o sínodos de obispos que se reúnen al menos dos veces al año para discutir el estado de las cosas dentro de sus respectivas sedes. Mientras que los obispos y sus sínodos autocéfalas tienen la capacidad de administrar orientación en casos individuales, sus acciones no suelen sentar precedentes que afectan a toda la Iglesia. Los obispos están casi siempre escogido de entre las filas monásticas y quédese sin casar.

Ha habido un número de ocasiones en las ideas teológicas alternativas surgió para desafiar a la fe ortodoxa. En esos momentos, la Iglesia consideró necesario convocar a un general o un "Gran" concilio de todos los obispos disponibles en todo el mundo. La Iglesia considera los siete primeros concilios ecuménicos (que tuvieron lugar entre el 4 y el siglo octavo) para ser el más importante, sin embargo, ha habido más, específicamente los Sínodos de Constantinopla , 879-880, 1341, 1347, 1351, 1583, 1819 y 1872, el Sínodo de Ia?i (Jassy), 1642, y el Pan-Ortodoxa Sínodo de Jerusalén de 1672, todo lo cual contribuyó a definir la posición ortodoxa.

Los concilios ecuménicos seguido una forma democrática, con cada obispo tendrá un voto. Aunque el presente y le permitió hablar ante el consejo, los miembros de la Imperial romano / bizantino corte, abades, sacerdotes, monjes y laicos no se les permitió votar. El objetivo principal de estos Sínodos Grandes fue verificar y confirmar las creencias fundamentales de la Iglesia como la verdad, y para eliminar la herejía ninguna de las enseñanzas falsas que atentan contra la Iglesia. El Papa de Roma, en ese momento, ocupaba el cargo de "primero entre iguales" . Y aunque él no estuvo presente en ninguno de los consejos que él continuó manteniendo este título hasta el Cisma de Oriente y Occidente de 1054.

Entronización del Patriarca de Moscú y de Toda Rusia

Según la doctrina ortodoxa de la posición de "primero entre iguales" no da la energía auxiliar o autoridad al obispo que lo sostiene, sino que esta persona se sienta como director de la organización de un consejo de iguales (como presidente). Sus palabras y sus opiniones tienen ningún conocimiento o sabiduría más que cualquier otro obispo. Se cree que el Espíritu Santo guía a la Iglesia a través de las decisiones del consejo entero, no un individuo. Además se entiende que incluso las decisiones del consejo debe ser aceptado por toda la Iglesia a fin de que sea válida.

Una de las decisiones tomadas por el Primer Concilio de Constantinopla (el segundo concilio ecuménico, reunido en 381) y más tarde con el apoyo de estos consejos es que el Patriarca de Constantinopla se debe dar igual honor al Papa de Roma desde Constantinopla fue considerada como la " Nueva Roma ". De acuerdo con el tercer canon del segundo concilio ecuménico: "Debido a que es nueva Roma, el obispo de Constantinopla es disfrutar de los privilegios de honor después de que el obispo de Roma". Esto significa que ambos disfrutan de los mismos privilegios, ya que son los dos obispos de las capitales imperiales, pero el obispo de Roma, precederá al obispo de Constantinopla, desde la Antigua Roma precede Nueva Roma. El canon 28 del IV Concilio Ecuménico aclarado este punto diciendo:. "Para los Padres correctamente concedido privilegios al trono de la antigua Roma, porque era la ciudad real y los ciento cincuenta obispos más religiosos (es decir, el segundo concilio ecuménico en 381) accionado por la misma consideración, dio los mismos privilegios que el trono más santo de la Nueva Roma, juzgando con justicia que la ciudad que se honra con la soberanía y el Senado, y goza de los mismos privilegios con la antigua Roma imperial, en los asuntos eclesiásticos deben también magnificarse como ella. "

El Papa de Roma seguiría teniendo primacía de honor antes de Constantinopla si el Cisma de Oriente y Occidente no se había producido. Debido a que el cisma los ortodoxos no reconocen la legitimidad del Papa. El Patriarca por lo tanto, al igual que el Papa antes de él ahora goza del título de "primero entre iguales". Esto no es, sin embargo, implica que él es el líder de la Iglesia Ortodoxa. Además, esto no es un título oficial de ningún tipo, sólo una manera de describir la antigüedad de los "imperiales" obispos con respecto a todos los demás obispos.

[ editar ] Número de adherentes

Distribución de cristianismo ortodoxo (en azul) y la Ortodoxia Oriental (en rojo) en el mundo por países
  Religión principal (más del 75%)
  Religión principal (50-75%)
  Religión minoría importante (20 -50%)
  Religión minoritaria importante (5-20%)
  Minority religión (1-5%)
  Religión principal (más del 75%)
  Religión principal (50-75%)
  Religión minoritaria importante (20-50%)
  Religión minoritaria importante (5-20%)
  Minority religión (1-5%)

Con base en el número de adherentes, la ortodoxia es la segunda mayor comunión cristiana en el mundo después de la Iglesia Católica Romana . [5] Las estimaciones más frecuentes del número de cristianos ortodoxos en todo el mundo es de aproximadamente 300 millones de dólares. [6] Los numerosos protestantes en grupos el mundo, si se toman en conjunto, superan en número a los ortodoxos, [17] pero difieren teológicamente y no forman una sola comunión. [18]

La ortodoxia es la única religiosa más grande de la fe en Grecia (95%) y en el este de Europa ,

El número de fieles ortodoxos representa alrededor del 38% de la población de Bosnia y Herzegovina . En Albania el número de adeptos alrededor del 25% de un 40% cristiano población, siendo los otros Católica Romana. A medida que la religión dominante en el norte de Kazajstán , que representa el 40% de Kazajstán, y el 4% de Lituania y el 13% del estonio población. Grandes comunidades cristianas ortodoxas existen en los países mediterráneos de Líbano (8% de toda la población libanesa) [24] Jordan (80% de la población cristiana), Israel , la Cisjordania y la Franja de Gaza ( los palestinos cristianos ) con algunas familias capaces de rastrear sus orígenes a los primeros cristianos de la Tierra Santa . Minorías ortodoxas vivir en Polonia , Eslovaquia , Hungría (minoría rumana), Turquía y Azerbaiyán .

Además, también hay importantes comunidades ortodoxas del este en el resto de Europa (incluido el la Iglesia Ortodoxa de China y la Iglesia Ortodoxa de Japón ), Australia y América del Norte a través del patrón de la inmigración procedente de Europa del Este y Oriente Medio en los últimos 400 años o algunos. En EE.UU. y Canadá la minoría ortodoxa está creciendo y en la actualidad comprende entre el 1% y el 5% de la población total.

Antiguas comunidades ortodoxas orientales todavía tienen grandes poblaciones en países como el Líbano e Israel (Jerusalén y Belén). Las grandes comunidades ortodoxas con historias antiguas se han eliminado por completo de algunas de sus hogares ancestrales y por lo tanto ya no tienen presencia en esos lugares, específicamente Anatolia y Capadocia .

[ editar ] Creencias

[ edit ] Trinity

Los cristianos ortodoxos creen en la Trinidad . La Santísima Trinidad es tres personas distintas, y divinos ( hipóstasis ), sin superposición o modalidad , entre ellos, que comparten una divina esencia (ousia)-no creado inmaterial y eterna . [25] Cada una de estas tres personas se identifican típicamente por su relación a algún otro. El Padre es eterno y no nacido o precedida, el Hijo es eterno y nacido del Padre, y el Espíritu Santo procede del Padre y es también eterna. Doctrina ortodoxa sobre la Santísima Trinidad se resume en el Credo de Nicea (Símbolo de la Fe). [26]

Al hablar de la relación de Dios con Su creación, la ortodoxia utilizó el concepto de una distinción entre la esencia eterna de Dios, que es totalmente trascendente y Sus energías no creadas, que es como nos llega. El Dios que es trascendente y Dios el que nos toca son una y la misma (es decir, estas energías no son algo que procede de Dios o de Dios que produce, sino que son Dios mismo: distintas, pero inseparables, de Dios ser interior). [27]

[ editar ] El pecado, la salvación y la encarnación

En algún momento de los inicios de la existencia humana, el hombre se enfrenta a una elección: aprender la diferencia entre el bien y el mal a través de la observación o mediante la participación. La historia bíblica de Adán y Eva representa esta opción por la humanidad para participar en el mal. Este evento se conoce comúnmente como la "caída del hombre" y representa un cambio fundamental en la naturaleza humana. Cuando los cristianos ortodoxos se refieren a naturaleza caída que creen que la naturaleza humana está abierta a actos de maldad, y no que la humanidad se une con el mal. Rechazan la posición agustiniana de que los descendientes de Adán y Eva son en realidad culpables de su pecado. [28] Como resultado de este pecado, la humanidad estaba condenada a ser separado de Dios. Este último fue dilema de la humanidad. La solución a este problema era para Dios para llevar a cabo un nuevo cambio en la naturaleza humana. Los cristianos ortodoxos creen que Jesucristo era Dios y hombre absolutamente. Él nació, vivió, murió y resucitó por el poder del Espíritu Santo. A través de la participación de Dios en la humanidad, la naturaleza humana se cambia lo que nos salva de la suerte del infierno (ortodoxos rechazan la idea de que Cristo murió para dar a Dios "satisfacción", como enseña San Anselmo, o como un sustituto punitivo según lo enseñado por los reformadores). El cambio efectivo incluyen todos los que habían muerto desde el principio del tiempo - ahorro de todos, incluyendo a Adán y Eva. Este proceso, a los cristianos ortodoxos, es lo que se entiende por "salvación". El objetivo final es theosis - una unión cada vez más estrecha con Dios y más cerca de la semejanza con Dios que existía en el Jardín del Edén . Este mismo proceso se llama deificación o "Dios se hizo hombre para que el hombre pudiera llegar a ser 'Dios'". Sin embargo, debe hacerse hincapié en que los cristianos ortodoxos no creen que el hombre se convierte literalmente en Dios, en su esencia, o un dios. Más exactamente, la obra salvífica de Cristo permite al hombre ser "participantes de la naturaleza divina" (2 Pedro 1:4), es decir, el hombre se une a Dios en Cristo [. cita requerida ]

[ editar ] Resurrección de Cristo

16o siglo Ortodoxa Rusa el icono de la Resurrección

La Resurrección de Cristo es el acontecimiento central en el año litúrgico de la Iglesia ortodoxa y se entiende en términos literales como un evento histórico real. Jesucristo, el Hijo de Dios, fue crucificado y murió, descendió a los infiernos , rescató a todas las almas allí recluidos por el pecado, y luego, porque Hades no pudo contener el infinito de Dios, se levantó de los muertos, así salvar a la raza humana. A través de estos eventos, Cristo nos liberó de las ataduras de Hades y luego volvió a la vida como el hombre y Dios. Según la tradición ortodoxa, cada ser humano puede participar de esta inmortalidad, lo que habría sido imposible sin la resurrección, es la principal promesa extendió por Dios en el Nuevo Testamento .

Cada día santo del año litúrgico ortodoxo se refiere a la Resurrección, directa o indirectamente. Todos los domingos se dedica a la celebración de la Resurrección y el Dios uno y trino. En las celebraciones litúrgicas de la Pasión de Cristo durante la Semana Santa hay alusiones frecuentes a la victoria final a su finalización.

[ editar ] Biblia, la tradición sagrada y el consenso patrístico

La Iglesia Ortodoxa se considera como la continuación histórica y orgánica de la Iglesia original fundada por Cristo y sus apóstoles. [29] La fe enseñada por Jesús a los apóstoles, vivificada por el Espíritu Santo en Pentecostés , y transmitido a las generaciones futuras incorrupto , es conocida como la Santa Tradición. [30] El testigo principal y autorizada a la Santa Tradición es la Biblia , los textos escritos por los apóstoles o los que en la Iglesia Primitiva, y aprobado por los líderes de la Iglesia, bajo la guía del Espíritu Santo. [31] La Biblia revela la voluntad de Dios, la relación entre los hijos de Israel y Dios, las maravillas de Cristo y de la historia temprana de la Iglesia. A medida que la Biblia tiene un origen inspirado es central para la vida de la Iglesia.

Escrituras se entiende que contiene hechos históricos, la poesía, el lenguaje, la metáfora, el símil, moral fábula, parábola, la profecía y la literatura sapiencial . Por lo tanto, las Escrituras nunca se utilizan para la interpretación personal, pero siempre se ve en el contexto de la Sagrada Tradición, la cual dio a luz a la Escritura. La ortodoxia sostiene que la creencia en una doctrina de Sola Scriptura hubiera más lugar a error ya que la verdad de la Escritura no puede ser separada de las tradiciones de las que surgió. Por lo tanto, los cristianos ortodoxos creen que la única manera de entender correctamente la Biblia en la Iglesia. [32]

Otros testigos de la Santa Tradición incluir la Liturgia de la Iglesia, su iconografía , las decisiones de los sínodos sagrados, especialmente los concilios ecuménicos y los escritos de los Padres de la Iglesia . Desde el consenso de los Padres (consenso patrum) uno puede entrar más profundamente y entender más plenamente la vida de la Iglesia. Padres individuales no son considerados como infalible, sino más bien el consenso general le dará una una adecuada comprensión de la Biblia y la doctrina cristiana. [33]

[ editar ] La expansión territorial y la integridad doctrinal

Durante el transcurso de la iglesia primitiva, había numerosos seguidores que se adjunta al Cristo y su misión aquí en la Tierra, así como de seguidores que mantuvieron el deber distinto de ser encargado de preservar la calidad de vida y la experiencia revela a través de la experiencia de Jesús vivo, muriendo, resucitando y ascendiendo entre ellos. Como una cuestión de distinción práctica y logística, las personas de variados dones se otorgan las estaciones dentro de la estructura de la comunidad - que van desde la cantidad de comidas agape (compartido con amor fraternal y paternal), la profecía y la lectura de las Escrituras, la exhortación y la interpretación y prestar ayuda a los enfermos ya los pobres. Algún tiempo después de Pentecostés la Iglesia llegó a un punto en que ya no era posible para los apóstoles para ministrar solos. Supervisores (obispos) [34] y asistentes (diáconos y diaconisas) fueron nombrados [35] para promover la misión de la Iglesia.

La ecclesia reconoció la reunión de estas comunidades la iglesia primitiva como siendo mayores en las zonas del mundo sabe que eran famosos por su importancia en la escena mundial - ya sea como focos de discurso intelectual, un gran volumen de comercio, o la proximidad a los lugares sagrados originales. Estos lugares fueron el blanco de los primeros apóstoles, quienes reconocieron la necesidad de realizar esfuerzos humanitarios en los grandes centros urbanos y trató de unir a la gente, tantas como sea posible en la ecclesia - tal vida fue visto como una forma de liberación de los estilos de vida decadentes promovidos a lo largo de el este y el Imperio Romano de Occidente.

Como la Iglesia aumentó de tamaño a través de los siglos, la dinámica de logística de grandes entidades que operan dichos cambiado: patriarcas, metropolitanos, archimandritas, abades y abadesas, todos se levantaron para cubrir ciertos puntos de administración. [36]

Como resultado de una mayor exposición y popularidad de las escuelas filosóficas (haereseis) de la sociedad greco-romana y la educación, de los Sínodos y Concilios fueron obligados a participar escuelas de este tipo que pretendían cooptar el lenguaje y el pretexto de la fe cristiana para poder ganar y la popularidad de su propia expansión política y cultural. Como resultado, los concilios ecuménicos se llevaron a cabo para tratar de reconstruir la solidaridad mediante el uso de la fuerza de testigos distantes ortodoxos para amortiguar los efectos intensos locales de escuelas filosóficas particulares dentro de un área determinada. Aunque en un principio la intención de servir como un control interno y el equilibrio de la defensa de la doctrina defectuosa locales contra la doctrina desarrollada y difundida por los apóstoles a los distintos ve, a veces la iglesia ha encontrado sus propios obispos y emperadores que caen presa de las convenciones locales - en estos momentos cruciales de la historia de la iglesia, se encontró capaz de reconstruir sobre la base de la fe, ya que se mantuvo y se mantiene por las comunidades monásticas que subsistían sin depender de la comunidad de la cultura del estado o popular y en general fueron afectados por el materialismo y la retórica que a menudo dominado y amenazado la integridad y la estabilidad de las iglesias urbanas.

En este sentido, el objetivo de los consejos nunca fue ampliar o alimentar una necesidad popular para una imagen más clara o pertinente de la enseñanza apostólica original. Por el contrario, los teólogos de habla para abordar los problemas de las escuelas externas de pensamiento que deseaban distorsionar la simplicidad y neutralidad de la enseñanza apostólica para beneficio personal o político. La consistencia de la fe ortodoxa es totalmente dependiente de la Santa Tradición del corpus aceptado de creencias - las decisiones ratificadas por los padres de los siete concilios ecuménicos , y esto se hace sólo al comienzo de un Consejo consecutivo a fin de que los efectos de la decisiones del consejo anterior puede ser auditado y verificado que tanto conceptualmente sólido y viable pragmática y de beneficio para la iglesia como un todo.

[ edit ] Madre de Dios y de los santos

La Madre de Dios de Vladimir , una de las más veneradas de iconos ortodoxos cristianos de la Virgen María .

La Iglesia Ortodoxa cree que la muerte y la separación de cuerpo y alma a ser antinatural, como resultado de la caída del hombre . También sostienen que la congregación de la Iglesia comprende tanto a los vivos ya los muertos. Todas las personas que actualmente están en el cielo son considerados como santos , si sus nombres son conocidos o no. Hay, sin embargo, esos santos de distinción a quien Dios ha revelado como buenos ejemplos. Cuando un santo se revela y se reconoce en última instancia por una gran parte de la Iglesia un servicio de reconocimiento oficial ( glorificación ) se celebra. Esto no quiere «hacer» la persona de un santo, se limita a reconocer el hecho y anuncia que para el resto de la Iglesia. Un día se prescribe para la celebración de la santa, compuesto himnos y los iconos son creados. Numerosos santos se celebran todos los días del año. Ellos son venerados (mostrado un gran respeto y amor), pero no adoradas, se debe adorar sólo a Dios. Al mostrar este amor a los santos y pidiendo sus oraciones, se cree por los ortodoxos que así ayudar en el proceso de salvación para otros. [37]

Preeminente entre los santos es la Virgen María , la Theotokos ("portadora de Dios"). En la teología ortodoxa, la Madre de Dios es el cumplimiento del arquetipo del Antiguo Testamento revelado en el Arca de la Alianza , porque llevaba el Nuevo Pacto en la persona de Cristo, por lo que los ortodoxos la consideran el Arca de la Nueva Alianza, y darle the respect and reverence as such. The Theotokos was chosen by God and freely co-operated in that choice to be the Mother of Jesus Christ, the God-man. The Orthodox believe that the Christ Child from the moment of conception was both fully God and fully Man. She is thus called 'Theotokos' as an affirmation of the divinity of the One to whom she gave birth. It is also believed that her virginity was not compromised in conceiving God-incarnate, that she was not harmed and that she remained forever a virgin; scriptural references to "brothers" of Christ are interpreted as kin, given that the word 'brother' was used in multiple ways, just as the term "father". Due to her unique place in salvation history, Mary is honored above all other saints and especially venerated for the great work that God accomplished through her. [ 38 ]

The bodies and physical items connected with saints are also regarded by the Church as holy. Many miracles have been reported throughout history since Biblical times connected with saints' relics , often including healing from disease and injury. [ 39 ]

[ edit ] Escatología

Last Judgment : 12th-century Byzantine mosaic from Torcello Cathedral

Orthodox Christians believe that when a person dies the soul is temporarily separated from the body. Though it may linger for a short period on Earth, it is ultimately escorted either to paradise ( Abraham 's bosom) or the darkness of Hades, following the Temporary Judgment . Orthodox do not accept the doctrine of Purgatory , which is held by Roman Catholicism. The soul's experience of either of these states is only a “foretaste”—being experienced only by the soul—until the Final Judgment , when the soul and body will be reunited. [ 40 ] The Orthodox believe that the state of the soul in Hades can be affected by the love and prayers of the righteous up until the Last Judgment. [ 41 ] For this reason the Church offers a special prayer for the dead on the third day, ninth day, fortieth day, and the one-year anniversary after the death of an Orthodox Christian. There are also several days throughout the year that are set aside for general commemoration of the departed, sometimes including nonbelievers. These days usually fall on a Saturday, since it was on a Saturday that Christ lay in the Tomb .

While the Orthodox consider the text of the Apocalypse (Book of Revelation) to be a part of Scripture, it is also regarded to be a mystery. Speculation on the contents of Revelation are minimal and it is never read as part of the regular order of services. Those theologians who have delved into its pages tend to be amillennialist in their eschatology , believing that the "thousand years" spoken of in biblical prophecy refers to the present time: from the Crucifixion of Christ until the Second Coming . While it is not usually taught in church it is often used as a reminder of God's promise to those who love Him, and of the benefits of avoiding sinful passions. Iconographic depictions of the Final Judgment are often portrayed on the back (western) wall of the church building to remind the departing faithful to be vigilant in their struggle against sin. Likewise it is often painted on the walls of the Trapeza (refectory) in a monastery where monks may be inspired to sobriety and detachment from worldly things while they eat.

The Orthodox believe that Hell, though often described in metaphor as punishment inflicted by God, is in reality the soul's rejection of God's infinite love which is offered freely and abundantly to everyone.

The Orthodox believe that after the Final Judgment:

  • All souls will be reunited with their resurrected bodies.
  • All souls will fully experience their spiritual state.
  • Having been perfected, the human race will forever progress towards a deeper and fuller love of God, which equates with eternal happiness.

[ edit ] Traditions

[ edit ] Art and architecture

[ edit ] Church buildings

An illustration of the traditional interior of an Orthodox church
Cathedral of Saint Sava , Belgrade , Serbia , the world's largest Orthodox Church.
The 17th-century interior of a typical Yaroslavl church

The church building has many symbolic meanings; perhaps the oldest and most prominent is the concept that the Church is the Ark (as in Noah 's) in which the world is saved from the flood of temptations; therefore, most Orthodox Churches are rectangular in design. Another popular configuration, especially for churches with large choirs is cruciform or cross-shaped. Architectural patterns vary in shape and complexity, with chapels sometimes added around the main church, or triple altars; but in general, the symbolic layout of the church remains the same. Each church is created with specified qualifications based on what the apostles said in the Bible. [ citation needed ] These qualifications include how big the temple should be. [ citation needed ]

The Church building is divided into three main parts: the narthex ( vestibule ), the nave and the sanctuary (also called the altar or holy place ). The narthex is where catechumens and non-Orthodox visitors were traditionally asked to stand during services. It is separated from the nave by “The Royal Gate”. On each side of this gate are candle stands (menalia) representing the pillars of fire that went before the Hebrew people escaping from Egypt. The nave is where most of the congregation stand during services. Traditionally, men stand on the right and women on the left. This is for a number of reasons: (1) Considering the family unit of past centuries the husband was dominant; thus, standing the same distance from the altar, equality is emphasised. (2) The idea of separating the sexes was inherited from the Jewish tradition of doing so within synagogues (3) Separation of sexes also followed the practice of choirs in which different levels of voice are placed in groups to facilitate harmony.

In general, men and women dress respectfully, typically wearing their "Sunday best" to enter the church. Often, women cover their heads as prescribed by Paul (1 Cor. 11:13). Children are considered full members of the Church and stand attentive and quiet during services. There is often a choir area at the side or in a loft in back. In addition to the Choir, a Chanter is always present at the front of the church to chant responses and hymns that are part of the Divine Liturgy offered by the Priest. There is usually a dome in the ceiling with an icon of Christ depicted as Ruler of the Universe (Pantocrator).

Everything in the Orthodox Church has a purpose and a meaning revealing God's revelation to man. At the front, or Eastern end of the church, is a raised dais with an icon-covered screen or wall ( iconostasis or templon ) separating the nave from the sanctuary. In the center of this wall is the entrance to the altar known as the “Royal Doors” through which only the clergy may pass. There are also a right and left side door on the front of the iconostasis, one depicting the archangel, Michael and the other Gabriel. The priest and altar boys enter and exit through these doors during appropriate parts of the Divine Liturgy. Immediately to the right of the main gate you will always find icon of Jesus Christ. Other icons depicted on the iconostatis are the Mother of God, John the Baptist and the Saint after which the church is named.

In front of the iconostasis is the bishop's chair, where a visiting bishop or metropolitan will often sit as a place of honor when visiting the church. An Orthodox priest, when standing at the altar during the Divine Liturgy, faces toward the altar (typically facing east) and properly leads his congregation while together they perform the mystical sacrifice and pray to God.

The sanctuary contains the Holy Altar, representing the place where Orthodox Christians believe that Christ was born of the virgin Mary, crucified under Pontius Pilate, laid in the tomb, descended into hell, rose from the dead on the third day, ascended into heaven, and will return again at his second coming. A free-standing cross, bearing the body of Christ, may stand behind the altar. On the altar are a cloth covering, a large book containing the gospel readings performed during services, an ark containing presanctified divine gifts (bread and wine) distributed by the deacon or priest to those who cannot come to the church to receive them, and several white beeswax candles.

[ edit ] Icons

Our Lady of St. Theodore , the protector of Kostroma , following the same Byzantine "Tender Mercy" type.
John the Baptist - icon from Macedonia from 14 c.

The term 'icon' comes from the Greek word eikona , which simply means image. The Orthodox believe that the first icons of Christ and the Virgin Mary were painted by Luke the Evangelist . Icons are filled with symbolism designed to convey information about the person or event depicted. For this reason, icons tend to be formulaic, following a prescribed methodology for how a particular person should be depicted, including hair style, body position, clothing, and background details. Icon painting, in general, is not an opportunity for artistic expression, though each iconographer brings a vision to the piece. It is far more common for an icon to be copied from an older model, though with the recognition of a new saint in the church, a new icon must be created and approved. The personal and creative traditions of Western European religious art were largely lacking in Orthodox iconography before the 17th century, when Russian iconography began to be strongly influenced by religious paintings and engravings from both Protestant and Roman Catholic Europe. Greek iconography also began to take on a strong western influence for a period and the difference between some Orthodox icons and western religious art began to vanish. More recently there has been a trend of returning to the more traditional and symbolic representations.

The style of the icons seems to have been borrowed heavily from the paganism of the Greek culture. Henry Chadwick writes, “In this instinct there was a measure of truth. The representations of Christ as the Almighty Lord on his judgment throne owed something to pictures of Zeus. Portraits of the Mother of God were not wholly independent of a pagan past of venerated mother-goddesses. In the popular mind the saints had come to fill a role that had been played by heroes and deities.” [ 42 ]

Free-standing statues (three dimensional depictions) are almost non-existent within the Orthodox Church. This is partly due to the rejection of the previous pagan Greek age of idol worship and partly because icons are meant to show the spiritual nature of man, not the sensual earthly body. Bas reliefs , however, became common during the Byzantine period and led to a tradition of covering a painted icon in a silver or gold 'riza' in order to preserve the icon. Such bas relief coverings usually leave the faces and hands of the saints exposed for veneration.

Icons are not considered by the Orthodox to be idols or objects of worship. The parameters of their usage were clearly spelled out by the 7th ecumenical council . Justification for their usage utilises the following logic: before God took human form in Christ, no material depiction was possible and therefore blasphemous even to contemplate. Once God became incarnate, depiction was possible. As Christ believed to be God, it is justified to hold in one's mind the image of God-incarnate. Likewise, when one venerates an icon, it is not the wood or paint that are venerated but rather the individual shown, just as it is not the paper one loves when one might kiss the photograph of a loved one. As Saint Basil famously proclaimed, honour or veneration of the icon always passes to its archetype. Following this reasoning, the veneration of the glorified human saint made in God's image, is always a veneration of the divine image, and hence God as foundational archetype.

Icons can be found adorning the walls of churches and often cover the inside structure completely. [ 10 ] Most Orthodox homes have an area set aside for family prayer, usually an eastern facing wall, where are hung many icons. Icons have been part of Orthodox Christianity since the beginning of the church. [ 43 ]

Icons are often illuminated by a candle or oil lamp. (Beeswax for candles and olive oil for lamps are preferred because they are natural and burn cleanly.) Besides the practical purpose of making icons visible in an otherwise dark church, both candles and oil lamps symbolise the Light of the World, who is Christ.

Tales of miraculous icons are not uncommon, though it has always been considered that the message of such an event was for the immediate faithful involved and therefore does not usually attract crowds. Some miraculous icons whose reputations span long periods of time nevertheless become objects of pilgrimage along with the places where they are kept. As several Orthodox theologians and saints have explored in the past, the icon's miraculous nature is found not in the material, but in the glory of the saint who is depicted. The icon is a window, in the words of Paul Florensky , that actually participates in the glory of what it represents.

See also icons .

[ edit ] Iconostasis

Iconostasis in the Cathedral of the Annunciation in the Moscow Kremlin .

An iconostasis , also called the templon , is a wall of icons and religious paintings, separating the nave from the sanctuary in a church . Iconostasis also refers to a portable icon stand that can be placed anywhere within a church. The modern iconostasis evolved from the Byzantine templon in the 11th century. The evolution of the iconostasis probably owes a great deal to 14th-century Hesychast mysticism and the wood-carving genius of the Russian Orthodox Church . The first ceiling-high, five-leveled Russian iconostasis was designed by Andrey Rublyov in the cathedral of the Dormition in Vladimir in 1408. The separation between sanctuary and nave accomplished by the iconostasis is not mandatory, albeit it is common practice. Depending on circumstance, the role of the iconostasis can be played by masonry, carved panels, screens, curtains, railings, a cord or rope, plain icons on stands, steps, or nothing at all.

[ edit ] Cross

Three-bar Russian/Ukrainian cross.

Depictions of the Cross within the Orthodox Church are numerous and often highly ornamented, but its use does not extend to all Orthodox traditions. Some carry special significance. The Tri-Bar Cross, popular in Russia and Ukraine, but common throughout the Orthodox world, seen to the right, has three bars. Its origins are in the early Byzantine Church of the 4th century AD.

The small top crossbar represents the sign that Pontius Pilate nailed above Christ's head. It often is inscribed with an acronym, "INRI", Latin, meaning “ Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews ” or "INBI", Ancient Greek, " Jesus; of Nazareth, King of the Jews ”; however, it is often replaced or amplified by the phrase "The King of Glory" in order to answer Pilate's statement with Christ's affirmation, "My Kingdom is not of this world."

There is also a bottom slanting bar. This appears for a number of reasons. Claims of evidence indicate that there was a small wooden platform for the crucified to stand on in order to support his weight; in Jesus' case his feet were nailed side by side to this platform with one nail each in order to prolong the torture of the cross.

Implied evidence for this comes mainly from two sources within Holy Tradition, the Bible (in order to cause the victim to die faster their legs were broken so they could not support their weight and would suffocate) and iconography (all early depictions of the crucifixion show this arrangement, not the later with feet on top with single nail). It has also been pointed out by some experts that the nailed hands of a body crucified in the manner often shown in modern secular art would not support the weight of the body and would tear through. A platform for the feet would relieve this problem.

The bottom bar is slanted for two reasons, to represent the very real agony which Christ experienced on the cross (a refutation of Docetism ) and to signify that the thief on Christ's right chose the right path while the thief on the left did not. Other crosses associated with the Orthodox Church are the more traditional single-bar crosses, budded designs, the Jerusalem cross (cross pattée), Celtic crosses , and others. [ 44 ]

[ editar ] Servicios

A prayer corner in an Orthodox church, utilized by parishioners during services for veneration and specific petitions.

The services of the church are properly conducted each day following a rigid, but constantly changing annual schedule (ie, parts of the service remain the same while others change depending on the day of the year). Services are conducted in the church and involve both the clergy and faithful. Services cannot properly be conducted by a single person, but must have at least one other person present (ie a Priest cannot celebrate alone, but must have at least a Chanter present and participating). Usually, all of the services are conducted on a daily basis only in monasteries and cathedrals, while parish churches might only do the services on the weekend and major feast days. On certain Great Feasts (and, according to some traditions, every Sunday) a special All-Night Vigil ( Agrypnia ) will be celebrated from late at night on the eve of the feast until early the next morning. Because of its festal nature it is usually followed by a breakfast feast shared together by the congregation.

The journey is to the Kingdom. This is where we are going—not symbolically, but really.
—Fr. Alexander Schmemann , For the Life of the World
We knew not whether we were in heaven or on earth.
—Ambassadors of Kievan Rus (10th Century), Apocryphal quote from conversion of Kievan Rus .

Services, especially the Divine Liturgy , can only be celebrated once a day on a single altar (some churches have multiple altars in order to accommodate large congregations). Each priest may only celebrate the Divine Liturgy once a day. From its Jewish roots, the liturgical day begins at sundown. The traditional daily cycle of services is as follows:

  • Vespers – (Greek Hesperinos ) Sundown, the beginning of the liturgical day.
  • Compline (Greek Apodeipnon , lit. "After-supper") – After the evening meal prior to bedtime.
  • Midnight Office – Usually served only in monasteries.
  • Matins (Greek Orthros ) – First service of the morning. Usually starts before sunrise.
  • Divine Liturgy – The Eucharist service. (see below)
  • Hours – First, Third, Sixth, and Ninth – Sung either at their appropriate times, or in aggregate at other customary times of convenience. If the latter, The First Hour is sung immediately following Orthros, the Third and Sixth prior to the Divine Liturgy, and the Ninth prior to Vespers.

The Divine Liturgy is the celebration of the Eucharist. Although it is usually celebrated between the Sixth and Ninth Hours, it is not considered to be part of the daily cycle of services, as it occurs outside the normal time of the world. The Divine Liturgy is not celebrated on weekdays during the preparatory season of Great Lent and in some places during the lesser fasting seasons either. Reserve communion is prepared on Sundays and is distributed during the week at the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts .

Other items brought to the altar during the Divine Liturgy include a gold or silver chalice with red wine, a small metallic urn of warm water, a metallic communion spoon, a little metallic spear, a sponge, a metal disk with cut pieces of bread upon it, and a star, which is a star-shaped piece of metal over which the priest places a cloth covering when transporting the holy gifts to and from the altar. Also found on the altar table is the antimins . The antimins is a silk cloth, signed by the appropriate diocesan bishop, upon which the sanctification of the holy gifts takes place during each Divine Liturgy. The antimins contain the relics of a saint. When a church is consecrated by a bishop, there is a formal service or prayers and sanctification in the name of the Saint that the church is named after. The bishop will also often present a small relic of a saint to place in or on the altar as part of the consecration of a new church.

An orthodox priest (or bishop) may celebrate only one Divine Liturgy per day. The Divine Liturgy may only be celebrated once a day on any particular antimins and altar. This means that most parishes or congregations, unless they have more than one officially-signed antimins and multiple priests, can celebrate only one Eucharist per day, in order to express the catholicity of the church by avoiding "private masses".

The book containing liturgically read portions of the four gospels is permanently "enthroned" on the altar table. The Orthodox bishops, priests, deacons and readers sing/chant specific verses from this Gospel Book on each different day of the year.

This daily cycle services are conceived of as both the sanctification of time ( chronos , the specific times during which they are celebrated), and entry into eternity ( kairos ). They consist to a large degree of litanies asking for God's mercy on the living and the dead, readings from the Psalter with introductory prayers, troparia , and other prayers and hymns surrounding them. The Psalms are so arranged that when all the services are celebrated the entire Psalter is read through in their course once a week, and twice a week during Great Lent when the services are celebrated in an extended form.

[ edit ] Chanting

Svetitskhoveli Cathedral is one of the oldest Orthodox churches in Georgia . [ 45 ]

Orthodox services are sung nearly in their entirety. Services consist in part of a dialogue between the clergy and the people (often represented by the choir or the Psaltis Cantor ). In each case the prayers are sung or chanted following a prescribed musical form. Almost nothing is read in a normal speaking voice, with the exception of the homily if one is given. Because the human voice is seen as the most perfect instrument of praise, musical instruments ( organs , guitars, etc.) are not generally used to accompany the choir. The church has developed eight Modes or Tones (see Octoechos ) within which a chant may be set, depending on the time of year, feast days, or other considerations of the Typikon . There are numerous versions and styles that are traditional and acceptable and these vary a great deal between cultures. [ 46 ] It is common, especially in the United States, for a choir to learn many different styles and to mix them, singing one response in Greek, then English, then Russian, etc. It should also be noted that in the Russian tradition there have been some very famous composers of Church music such as Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff ; and many Church tones can likewise be seen influencing their music.

[ edit ] Incense

Orthodox Deacons preparing incense for a Cross Procession in Novosibirsk , Russia.

As part of the legacy handed down from its Judaic roots, incense is used during all services in the Orthodox Church as an offering of worship to God as it was done in the Jewish First and Second Temples in Jerusalem (Exodus chapter 30). Incense is also prophesied in the book of ( Malachi 1:11 as a "pure offering" in the glorification of God by the Gentiles in "every place" where the name of God is regarded as "great". Traditionally, the base of the incense used is the resin of Boswellia thurifera , also known as frankincense, but the resin of fir trees has been used as well. It is usually mixed with various floral essential oils giving it a sweet smell. Incense represents the sweetness of the prayers of the saints rising up to God ( Psalm 141:2 , Revelation 5:8 , 8:4 ). The incense is burned in an ornate golden censer that hangs at the end of three chains representing the Trinity. Two chains represent the human and Godly nature of the Son, one chain for the Father and one chain for the Holy Spirit. The lower cup represents the earth and the upper cup the heaven. In the Greek and Syrian traditions there are 12 bells hung along these chains representing the 12 apostles (usually no bells in Slavic tradition). There are also 72 links representing 72 evangelists. The charcoal represents the sinners. Fire signifies the Holy Spirit and frankincense the good deeds. The incense also represents the grace of the Holy Trinity. The censer is used (swung back and forth) by the priest/deacon to venerate all four sides of the altar, the holy gifts, the clergy, the icons, the congregation, and the church structure itself.

[ edit ] Fasting

The number of fast days varies from year to year, but in general the Orthodox Christian can expect to spend a little over half the year fasting at some level of strictness. There are spiritual, symbolic, and even practical reasons for fasting. In the Fall from Paradise mankind became possessed by a carnal nature; that is to say, he became inclined towards the passions . Through fasting, Orthodox Christians attempt to return to the relationship of love and obedience to God enjoyed by Adam and Eve in Paradise in their own lives, by refraining from carnal practices, by bridling the tongue ( James 3:5–6 ), confession of sins, prayer and almsgiving.

Fasting is seen as purification and the regaining of innocence. Through obedience to the Church and its ascetic practices the Orthodox Christian seeks to rid himself or herself of the passions (The desires of our fallen carnal nature). All Orthodox Christians are expected to fast following a prescribed set of guidelines. They do not view fasting as a hardship, but rather as a privilege and joy. The teaching of the Church fixes both the times and the amount of fasting that is expected as a minimum for every member. For greater ascesis, some may choose to go without food entirely for a short period of time. A complete three-day fast at the beginning and end of a fasting period is not unusual, and some fast for even longer periods, though this is usually practiced only in monasteries.

Theophany Crucession in Bulgaria . The priests are going to throw a wooden cross in the Yantra river . Believers will then jump into the icy waters to "save" the cross.
A monument of an angel in Bitola, Macedonia.

In general, fasting means abstaining from meat and meat products, dairy (eggs and cheese) and dairy products, fish, olive oil, and wine. Wine and oil—and, less frequently, fish—are allowed on certain feast days when they happen to fall on a day of fasting; but animal products and dairy are forbidden on fast days, with the exception of "Cheese Fare" week which precedes Great Lent, during which dairy products are allowed. Wine and oil are usually also allowed on Saturdays and Sundays during periods of fast. In some Orthodox traditions, caviar is permitted on Lazarus Saturday , the Saturday before Palm Sunday, although the day is otherwise a fast day. Married couples also abstain from sexual relations on fast days, that they may devote themselves to prayer ( I Corinthians 7:5 ).

While it may seem that fasting in the manner set forth by the Church is a strict rule, there are circumstances where a person's spiritual guide may allow an Economy because of some physical necessity (eg those who are pregnant or infirm, the very young and the elderly, or those who have no control over their diet, such as prisoners or soldiers).

The time and type of fast is generally uniform for all Orthodox Christians; the times of fasting are part of the ecclesiastical calendar , and the method of fasting is set by the Holy Canons and Sacred Tradition . There are four major fasting periods during the year:

  • The Nativity Fast (Advent or "Winter Lent") which is the 40 days preceding the Nativity of Christ (Christmas), beginning on November 15 and running through December 24. This fast becomes more severe after December 20, and Christmas Eve is observed as a strict fast day.
  • Great Lent which consists of the 6 weeks (40 Days) preceding Palm Sunday , and Great Week (Holy Week) which precedes Pascha (Easter).
  • The Apostles' Fast which varies in length from 8 days to 6 weeks. It begins on the Monday following All Saints Sunday (the first Sunday after Pentecost ) and extends to the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul on June 29. Since the date of Pentecost depends on that of Pascha, and Pascha is determined on the lunar calendar, this fast can disappear completely under New Calendar observance (This is one of the objections raised by opponents to the New Calendar).
  • The Dormition Fast , a two-week long Fast preceding the Dormition of the Theotokos (repose of The Virgin Mary), lasting from August 1 through August 15.

In addition to these fasting seasons, Orthodox Christians fast on every Wednesday (in commemoration of Christ's betrayal by Judas Iscariot ), and Friday (in commemoration of Christ's Crucifixion ) throughout the year. Monastics often fast on Mondays (in imitation of the Angels , who are commemorated on that day in the weekly cycle, since monastics are striving to lead an angelic life on earth, and angels neither eat nor drink).

Cross Procession in Novosibirsk , Siberia

Orthodox Christians who are preparing to receive the Eucharist do not eat or drink at all from vespers (sunset) until after taking Holy Communion . A similar total fast is expected to be kept on the Eve of Nativity , the Eve of Theophany (Epiphany), Great Friday and Holy Saturday for those who can do so. There are other individual days observed as fasts (though not as days of total fasting) no matter what day of the week they fall on, such as the Beheading of St. John the Baptist on August 29 and the Exaltation of the Holy Cross on September 14.

Strict fasting is canonically forbidden on Saturdays and Sundays due to the festal character of the Sabbath and the Resurrection , respectively. On those days wine and oil are permitted even if abstention from them would be otherwise called for. Holy Saturday is the only Saturday of the year where a strict fast is kept.

There are also four periods in the liturgical year during which no fasting is permitted, even on Wednesday and Friday. These fast-free periods are:

  • The week following Pascha (Easter), also known as Bright Week .
  • The week following Pentecost .
  • The period from the Nativity of Christ up to (but not including) the Eve of Theophany (Epiphany). The day of Theophany itself is always fast-free, even if it falls on a Wednesday or Friday.
  • The week following the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee (one of the preparatory Sundays before Great Lent). This is fast-free to remind the faithful not to boast like the Pharisee that he fasts for two days out of the week Luke 18:12 .
The congregation lighting their candles from the new flame in Adelaide , at St. George Greek Orthodox Church , just as the priest has retrieved it from the altar – note that the picture is flash-illuminated ; all electric lighting is off, and only the oil lamps in front of the Iconostasis remain lit.

When certain feast days fall on fast days, the fasting laws are lessened to a certain extent, to allow some consolation in the trapeza (refectory) for the longer services, and to provide an element of sober celebration to accompany the spiritual joy of the feast.

It is considered a greater sin to advertise one's fasting than not to participate in the fast. Fasting is a purely personal communication between the Orthodox Christian and God. If one has health concerns, or responsibilities that cannot be fulfilled because of fasting, then it is perfectly permissible not to fast. An individual's observance of the fasting laws is not to be judged by the community ( Romans 14:1–4 ), but is a private matter between him and his Spiritual Father or Confessor .

[ edit ] Almsgiving

" Almsgiving " refers to any charitable giving of material resources to those in need. Along with prayer and fasting , it is considered a pillar of the personal spiritual practices of the Orthodox Christian tradition. Almsgiving is particularly important during periods of fasting, when the Orthodox believer is expected to share the monetary savings from his or her decreased consumption with those in need. As with fasting, bragging about the amounts given for charity is considered anywhere from extremely rude to sinful.

[ editar ] El monaquismo

The Schema worn by Orthodox Monks.

All Orthodox Christians are expected to participate in at least some ascetic works, in response to the commandment of Christ to "come, take up the cross, and follow me." ( Mark 10:21 and elsewhere) They are therefore all called to imitate, in one way or another, Christ himself who denied himself to the extent of literally taking up the cross on the way to his voluntary self-sacrifice. However, laypeople are not expected to live in extreme asceticism since this is close to impossible while undertaking the normal responsibilities of worldly life. Those who wish to do this therefore separate themselves from the world and live as monastics : monks and nuns. As ascetics par excellence , using the allegorical weapons of prayer and fasting in spiritual warfare against their passions, monastics hold a very special and important place in the Church. This kind of life is often seen as incompatible with any kind of worldly activity including that which is normally regarded as virtuous. Social work, school teaching, and other such work is therefore usually left to laypeople. Ascetics of Orthodox Church are recognized by their long hair, and in case of male monks long beards.

There are three main types of monastics. Those who live in monasteries under a common rule are coenobitic . Each monastery may formulate its own rule, and although there are no religious orders in Orthodoxy some respected monastic centers such as Mount Athos are highly influential. Eremitic monks, or hermits , are those who live solitary lives. It is the yearning of many who enter the monastic life to eventually become solitary hermits. This most austere life is only granted to the most advanced monastics and only when their superiors feel they are ready for it. Hermits are usually associated with a larger monastery but live in seclusion some distance from the main compound. Their local monastery will see to their physical needs, supplying them with simple foods while disturbing them as little as possible. In between are those in semi-eremitic communities, or sketes , where one or two monks share each of a group of nearby dwellings under their own rules and only gather together in the central chapel, or katholikon , for liturgical observances.

The spiritual insight gained from their ascetic struggles make monastics preferred for missionary activity. Bishops are almost always chosen from among monks, and those who are not generally receive the monastic tonsure before their consecrations.

Many (but not all) Orthodox seminaries are attached to monasteries, combining academic preparation for ordination with participation in the community's life of prayer. Monks who have been ordained to the priesthood are called hieromonk (priest-monk); monks who have been ordained to the diaconate are called hierodeacon (deacon-monk). Not all monks live in monasteries, some hieromonks serve as priests in parish churches thus practicing "monasticism in the world".

Cultural practices differ slightly, but in general Father is the correct form of address for monks who have been tonsured, while Novices are addressed as Brother . Similarly, Mother is the correct form of address for nuns who have been tonsured, while Novices are addressed as Sister . Nuns live identical ascetic lives to their male counterparts and are therefore also called monachoi (monastics) or the feminine plural form in Greek, monachai , and their common living space is called a monastery.

[ edit ] The Holy Mysteries (Sacraments)

According to Orthodox theology, the purpose of the Christian life is to attain theosis , the mystical union of man with God. This union is understood as both collective and individual. St. Athanasius of Alexandria , wrote concerning the Incarnation that, "He (Jesus) was made man that we might be made god (????????????)". [ 47 ] See 2 Peter 1:4 , John 10:34–36 , Psalm 82:6 . The entire life of the church is oriented towards making this possible and facilitating it.

In the Orthodox Church the terms “Mystery” or “The Mysteries” refer to the process of theosis. While it is understood that God theoretically can do anything instantly and invisibly, it is also understood that he generally chooses to use material substance as a medium in order to reach people. The limitations are those of mankind, not God. Matter is not considered to be evil by the Orthodox. Water, oil, bread, wine, etc., all are means by which God reaches out to allow people to draw closer to him. How this process works is a “Mystery”, and cannot be defined in human terms. These Mysteries are surrounded by prayer and symbolism so that their true meaning will not be forgotten.

Those things which in the West are often termed Sacraments or sacramentals are known among the Orthodox as the Sacred Mysteries. While the Roman Catholic Church numbers seven Sacraments, and many Protestant groups list two (Baptism and the Eucharist) or even none, the Orthodox do not limit the number. However, for the sake of convenience, catechisms will often speak of the seven Great Mysteries. Among these are Holy Communion (the most direct connection), Baptism , Chrismation , Confession , Unction , Matrimony , and Ordination . But the term also properly applies to other sacred actions such as monastic Tonsure or the blessing of holy water , and involves fasting, almsgiving, or an act as simple as lighting a candle, burning incense, praying or asking God's blessing on food. [ 48 ]

[ edit ] Baptism

Act of baptizing in Odessa , Ukraine

Baptism is the mystery which transforms the old, sinful man into the new, pure man; the old life, the sins, any mistakes made are gone and a clean slate is given. Through baptism one is united to the Body of Christ by becoming a member of the Orthodox Church. During the service water is blessed. The catechumen is fully immersed in the water three times in the name of the Holy Trinity. This is considered to be a death of the "old man" by participation in the crucifixion and burial of Christ, and a rebirth into new life in Christ by participation in his resurrection. [ 49 ] Properly a new name is given, which becomes the person's name.

Children of Orthodox families are normally baptized shortly after birth. Converts to Orthodoxy are usually formally baptized into the Orthodox Church though exceptions are sometimes made. Those who have left Orthodoxy and adopted a new religion, if they return to their Orthodox roots, are usually received back into the church through the mystery of Chrismation.

Properly, the mystery of baptism is administered by bishops and priests; however, in emergencies any Orthodox Christian can baptize. [ 50 ] In such cases, should the person survive the emergency, it is likely that the person will be properly baptized by a priest at some later date. This is not considered to be a second baptism, nor is it imagined that the person is not already Orthodox, but rather it is a fulfillment of the proper form.

The service of baptism used in Orthodox churches has remained largely unchanged for over 1500 years. This fact is witnessed to by St. Cyril of Jerusalem (d. 386), who, in his Discourse on the Sacrament of Baptism, describes the service in much the same way as is currently in use.

[ edit ] Chrismation

Chrismation (sometimes called confirmation [ 51 ] ) is the mystery by which a baptized person is granted the gift of the Holy Spirit through anointing with Holy Chrism . [ 52 ] It is normally given immediately after baptism as part of the same service, but is also used to receive lapsed members of the Orthodox Church. [ 53 ] As baptism is a person's participation in the death and resurrection of Christ, so Chrismation is a person's participation in the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost . [ 54 ]

A baptized and chrismated Orthodox Christian is a full member of the Church, and may receive the Eucharist regardless of age. [ 54 ]

The creation of Chrism may be accomplished by any bishop at any time, but usually is done only once a year, often when a synod of bishops convenes for its annual meeting. (Some autocephalous churches get their chrism from others.) Anointing with it substitutes for the laying-on of hands described in the New Testament, even when an instrument such as a brush is used. [ 55 ]

[ edit ] Holy Communion

The Eucharist is at the center of Orthodox Christianity. In practice, it is the partaking of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ in the midst of the Divine Liturgy with the rest of the church. The bread and wine are believed to become the genuine Body and Blood of the Christ Jesus through the operation of the Holy Spirit. The Orthodox Church has never described exactly how this occurs, or gone into the detail that the Roman Catholic Church has in the West.

Communion is given only to baptized and chrismated Orthodox Christians who have prepared by fasting, prayer and confession. The priest will administer the Gifts with a spoon, called a "cochlear", directly into the recipient's mouth from the chalice. [ 56 ] From baptism young infants and children are carried to the chalice to receive Holy Communion. [ 54 ]

Because of the Orthodox understanding of man's fallen nature in general those who wish to commune prepare themselves in a way that reflects man in paradise. First, the individual prepares by having his confession heard and the prayer of repentance read over him by a priest. The person will increase their prayer rule adding the prescribed prayers in preparation for communing. Finally, the person will fast completely from food and drink from the evening of the previous day (usually sunset on Saturday if communing on Sunday).

[ edit ] Repentance

Orthodox Christians who have committed sins but repent of them, and who wish to reconcile themselves to God and renew the purity of their original baptisms , confess their sins to God before a spiritual guide who offers advice and direction to assist the individual in overcoming their sin. Parish priests commonly function as spiritual guides, but such guides can be any person, male or female, who has been given a blessing to hear confessions. Spiritual guides are chosen very carefully as it is a mandate that once chosen, they must be obeyed. Having confessed, the penitent then has his or her parish priest read the prayer of repentance over them.

Sin is not viewed by the Orthodox as a stain on the soul that needs to be wiped out, or a legal transgression that must be set right by a punitive sentence, but rather as a mistake made by the individual with the opportunity for spiritual growth and development. An act of Penance ( epitemia ), if the spiritual guide requires it, is never formulaic, but rather is directed toward the individual and their particular problem, as a means of establishing a deeper understanding of the mistake made, and how to effect its cure. Because full participatory membership is granted to infants, it is not unusual for even small children to confess; though the scope of their culpability is far less than an older child, still their opportunity for spiritual growth remains the same.

[ edit ] Marriage

From the Eastern Orthodox perspective, marriage is one of the holy mysteries or sacraments. As well as in many other Christian traditions, for example in the Catholic Church, it serves to unite a woman and a man in eternal union and love before God, with the purpose of following Christ and His Gospel and raising up a faithful, holy family through their holy union. [ 57 ] [ 58 ] It is referred to extensively in both the Old and New Testaments. Christ declared the essential indissolubility of marriage in the Gospel. Both virginity and marriage have the same reference to the future Kingdom. [ 59 ] Jesus said that "when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven" (Mk 12:25). For Orthodox Christian this passage should not be understood to imply that Christian marriage will not remain a reality in the Kingdom, but points to the fact that relations will not be "fleshy", but "spiritual". [ 59 ] Love between wife and husband, as an icon of relationship between Christ and Church, is eternal. [ 60 ]

The wedding of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia

The Church does recognize that there are rare occasions when it is better that couples do separate, but there is no official recognition of civil divorces. For the Orthodox, the marriage is indissoluble as in it should not be broken, the violation of such a union, perceived as holy, being an offense resulted from either adultery or the prolonged absence of one of the partners. Thus, permitting remarriage is an act of compassion of the Church towards sinful man. [ 61 ] In the US, according to 2001 statistics, 14% of Orthodox marriages ended in an ecclesiastical divorce; a figure that, since it took no account of how many of the couples who entered such marriages took out a civil divorce, is not comparable with the figure of 43% given at that time for the proportion of all marriages that ended in a civil divorce, but which has been argued as indicating a probable total of only 15% of marriages celebrated in an Orthodox church led to any form of divorce. [ 62 ] Divorced individuals are usually allowed to remarry though there is usually imposed on them a fairly severe penance by their bishop and the services for a second marriage in this case are more penitential than joyful. Widows are permitted to remarry without repercussion and their second marriage is considered just as valid as the first. One exception to this rule is the clergy and their wives. Should a married priest die, it is expected that his wife will retire to a monastery as soon as their children are out of the house. Widowed priests are not allowed to remarry and also frequently end up in monasteries.

The service of Marriage in the Orthodox Church has two distinct parts: The Betrothal and The Crowning. The Betrothal includes: 1. The exchange of the rings, (It has always been the tradition of the Church to place the wedding ring on the right hand of the couple based on biblical references. This is seen very clearly in one of the prayers in the Betrothal Service. A portion of the prayer refers to the biblical references: “For You, O Lord, have declared that a pledge is to be given and held inviolate in all things. By a ring Joseph was given might in Egypt; by a ring Daniel was exalted in Babylon; by a ring our heavenly Father showed compassion upon His prodigal son, for He said, 'Put a ring upon his right hand, kill the fatted calf, and let us eat and rejoice.' Your own right hand, O Lord, armed Moses in the Red Sea. By word of Your truth were the Heavens established and the earth set upon her sure foundations; and the right hands of Your servants shall be blessed by Your mighty word, and by Your uplifted arm.” As we see, it was scripturally the practice to wear rings on the right hand, the hand of authority and power completing the pledge of commitment. The power and authority comes from the right hand of God.) 2. The procession, the declaration of intent, and 3. The lighting of candles.

The Crowning includes: The readings from the epistle and gospel, the Blessing of the Common Cup, and the Dance of Isaiah (the bride and groom are led around the table 3 times), and then the Removal of the Crowns. There is no exchange of vows. There is a set expectation of the obligations incumbent on a married couple, and whatever promises they may have privately to each other are their responsibility to keep. The ceremony ends with the reading of Benedictions to and the Greeting of the Couple.

At the Sacrament of Marriage the crowns are placed on the bride and groom's heads as the following prayer is recited three times, “The servant of God, (groom's name), is crowned to the handmaid of God, (bride's name), in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” three times. It is then repeated three times as the bride is crowned to the groom. We witness the groom and bride being crowned (visibly proclaimed) as the king and queen, respectively, of a new family, entrusted by God with the authority to rule their family in faith and love and harmony with Christ. They both share in this responsibility and privilege as a newly married couple. This is not simply being declared by the priest or even the Church, but by God Himself, as the following hymn is chanted three times: “O Lord, our God, crown them with glory and honor.” The crowns are then switched back and forth between the groom and bride's head, signifying that they completely share their lives together.

The crowns also serve as a reminder of the crowns that await them in heaven, if they live their lives in faithfulness to God and to each other. Fr. John Meyendorff in his book, Marriage: An Orthodox Perspective, writes: “According to St. John Chrysostom, the crowns symbolized victory over the 'passions'.” In the service of a second marriage the crowns are not to be used, but if it is a second marriage for only one of the two who are marrying and a first marriage for the other, the usual rite is followed. [ 63 ]

Many couples keep the wedding crowns in a case and display them near their icon corner or in the couple's bedroom. They serve as a reminder that God has united them to each other and to himself and that he has bestowed his grace upon them to live in unity, faith and love.

The church understands marriage only as the union of one man and one woman, and certain Orthodox leaders have spoken out strongly in opposition to the civil institution of Same-Sex Marriage . [ 64 ] [ 65 ]

[ edit ] Holy Orders

Clergy at All Saints' Antiochian Orthodox Church, Raleigh, United States (L to R): priest, two deacons, bishop

Since its founding, the Church spread to different places and its leaders in each region came to be known as episkopoi (overseers, plural of episkopos , overseer—Gr. ????????? ), which became " bishop " in English. The other ordained roles are presbyter (Gr. ??????????? , elder), which became "prester" and then " priest " in English, and diakonos (Gr. ???????? , servant), which became " deacon " in English (see also subdeacon ). There are numerous administrative positions among the clergy that carry additional titles. In the Greek tradition, bishops who occupy an ancient see are called metropolitans, while the lead bishop in Greece is the archbishop. (In the Russian tradition, however, the usage of the terms "metropolitan" and "archbishop" is reversed.) Priests can be archpriests, archimandrites or protopresbyters. Deacons can also be archdeacons or protodeacons. The position of deacon is often occupied for life. The deacon also acts as an assistant to a bishop.

With the exception of bishops, who remain celibate , the Orthodox Church has always allowed priests and deacons to be married, provided the marriage takes place before ordination . In general it is considered preferable for parish priests to be married as they often act as counsel to married couples and thus can draw on their own experience. Unmarried priests usually are monks and live in monasteries, though there are occasions when, because of a lack of married priests, a monk-priest is temporarily assigned to a parish. Widowed priests and deacons may not remarry and it is common for such members of the clergy to retire to a monastery (see clerical celibacy ). This is also true of widowed wives of clergy, who do not remarry and become nuns when their children are grown. There is serious discussion about reviving the order of deaconess , which fell into disuse in the first millennium; the deaconesses had both liturgical and pastoral functions within the church. [ 66 ] However, it has fallen out of practice (the last deaconess was ordained in the 19th century).

[ edit ] Unction

Anointing with oil, often called "unction", is one of the mysteries administered by the Orthodox Church and it is not reserved only for the dying or terminally ill, but for all in need of spiritual or bodily healing. In Greece, during the Ottoman occupation, it became the custom to administer this mystery annually on Great Wednesday to all believers; in recent decades, this custom has spread to many other locations. It is often distributed on major feast days, or any time the clergy feel it necessary for the spiritual welfare of its congregation.

According to Orthodox teaching unction is based on the Epistle of James :

Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.— James 5:14–15

[ editar ] Historia

[ edit ] Early Church

Christianity spread rapidly throughout the Roman Empire. Paul and the Apostles traveled extensively throughout the Empire, including Asia Minor, establishing Churches in major communities, with the first Churches appearing in Jerusalem and the Holy Land , then in Antioch , Ethiopia , Egypt , Rome , Alexandria , Athens , Thessalonica , Illyricum , and Byzantium , which centuries later would become prominent as the New Rome . [ 67 ] Christianity in the Roman Empire was met with some resistance as its adherents would refuse to comply with the Roman state (even at the threat of death) in offering sacrifice to the pagan gods. Despite being under persecution, the Church spread. The persecution dissipated upon the conversion of Emperor Constantine I in 324 AD. [ 67 ]

By the 4th century Christianity had spread in numerous countries. A number of influential schools of thought had arisen, particularly the Alexandrian and Antiochian philosophical approaches. Other groups, such as the Arians , had also managed to gain influence however their positions caused theological conflicts within the Church, thus prompting The Emperor Constantine to call for a great ecumenical synod in order to define the Church's position against the growing, often widely diverging, philosophical and theological interpretations of Christianity. He made it possible for this council to meet not only by providing a location, but by offering to pay for the transportation of all the existing bishops of the Church. This synod is commonly referred to as the First Council of Nicaea or more generally as First Ecumenical Council [ 67 ] [ 68 ] and is considered of major importance by most modern Christian Churches.

[ edit ] Ecumenical councils

Several doctrinal disputes from the 4th century onwards led to the calling of Ecumenical councils .

There are seven councils authoritatively recognized as Ecumenical:

  1. The First Ecumenical Council was convoked by the Roman Emperor Constantine at Nicaea in 325 and presided over by the Patriarch Alexander of Alexandria , with over 300 bishops condemning the view of Arius that the Son is a created being inferior to the Father. [ 69 ]
  2. The Second Ecumenical Council was held at Constantinople in 381, presided over by the Patriarchs of Alexandria and Antioch, with 150 bishops, defining the nature of the Holy Spirit against those asserting His inequality with the other persons of the Trinity. [ 70 ]
  3. The Third Ecumenical Council is that of Ephesus in 431, presided over by the Patriarch of Alexandria, with 250 bishops, which affirmed that Mary is truly "Birthgiver" or "Mother" of God ( Theotokos ), contrary to the teachings of Nestorius . [ 71 ]
  4. The Fourth Ecumenical Council is that of Chalcedon in 451, Patriarch of Constantinople presiding, 500 bishops, affirmed that Jesus is truly God and truly man, without mixture of the two natures, contrary to Monophysite teaching. [ 72 ]
  5. The Fifth Ecumenical Council is the second of Constantinople in 553, interpreting the decrees of Chalcedon and further explaining the relationship of the two natures of Jesus; it also condemned the teachings of Origen on the pre-existence of the soul, etc. [ 73 ]
  6. The Sixth Ecumenical Council is the third of Constantinople in 681; it declared that Christ has two wills of his two natures, human and divine, contrary to the teachings of the Monothelites . [ 74 ]
  7. The Seventh Ecumenical Council was called under the Empress Regent Irene of Athens in 787, known as the second of Nicaea. It supports the veneration of icons while forbidding their worship. It is often referred to as "The Triumph of Orthodoxy". [ 75 ]
Some Orthodox consider the following council to be ecumenical, although this is not agreed upon:

8. The Fourth Council of Constantinople was called in 879. It restored St. Photius to his See in Constantinople and condemned any alteration of the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed of 381.

9. The Fifth Council of Constantinople was actually a series of councils held between 1341 and 1351. It affirmed the hesychastic theology of St. Gregory Palamas and condemned the philosopher Barlaam of Calabria .

In addition to these councils there have been a number of significant councils meant to further define the Orthodox position. They are the Synods of Constantinople, 1484 , 1583, 1755 , 1819, and 1872, the Synod of Ia?i (Jassy), 1642, and the Pan-Orthodox Synod of Jerusalem in 1672 .

[ edit ] Roman and Byzantine Empires

Eastern Christian culture reached its golden age during the high point of the Byzantine Empire and continued to flourish in Ukraine and Russia , after the fall of Constantinople . Numerous autocephalous churches were established in Eastern Europe and Slavic areas.

In the 530s the Church of the Holy Wisdom (Hagia Sophia) was built in Constantinople under emperor Justinian I . [ 76 ]

[ edit ] Early schisms

The Church in Egypt ( Patriarchate of Alexandria ) split into two groups following the Council of Chalcedon (451), over a dispute about the relation between the divine and human natures of Jesus . Eventually this led to each group anathematizing the other. Those that remained in communion with the other patriarchs (those who accepted the Council of Chalcedon) were called "Melkites" (the king's men, because Constantinople was the city of the emperors), not to be confused with the Melkite Catholics of Antioch. Those who disagreed with the findings of the Council of Chalcedon are today known as the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria . There was a similar split in Syria ( Patriarchate of Antioch ) resulting in the Syriac Orthodox Church .

Those who disagreed with the Council of Chalcedon are sometimes called " Oriental Orthodox " to distinguish them from the Orthodox, who accepted the Council of Chalcedon. Oriental Orthodox are also sometimes referred to as "non-Chalcedonians", or "anti-Chalcedonians". The Oriental Orthodox Church denies that it is monophysite and prefers the term " miaphysite ", to denote the "joined" nature of Jesus (two natures joined into one). Both the Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox churches formally believe themselves to be the continuation of the true church, although over the last several decades there has been some reconciliation.

As well, there are the " Nestorian " churches, which are Eastern Christian churches that keep the faith of only the first two ecumenical councils, ie, the First Council of Nicaea and the First Council of Constantinople. "Nestorian" is an outsider's term for a tradition that predated the influence of Nestorius. Thus, "Persian Church" is a more neutral term.

[ edit ] Conversion of East and South Slavs

Orthodox churches in Vologda , Russia

In the 9th and 10th centuries, Christianity made great inroads into Eastern Europe , including Kievan Rus' . This work was made possible by the work of the Byzantine-Era saints Cyril and Methodius . When Rastislav , the king of Moravia , asked Byzantium for teachers who could minister to the Moravians in their own language, Byzantine emperor Michael III chose these two brothers. Cyril and Methodius translated the Bible and many of the prayer books. As the translations prepared by them were copied by speakers of other dialects, the hybrid literary language Old Church Slavonic was created. Originally sent to convert the Slavs of Great Moravia , Cyril and Methodius were forced to compete with Frankish missionaries from the Roman diocese. Their disciples were driven out of Great Moravia in AD 886. [ 77 ]

Some of the disciples, namely Saint Clement of Ohrid and Saint Naum , were of great importance to the Orthodox Faith in Bulgaria. In a short time, the disciples of Cyril and Methodius managed to prepare and instruct the future Bulgarian clergy into the biblical texts and in AD 893, proclaimed the first organized Church on the Balkan Peninsula. The success of the conversion of the Bulgarians facilitated the conversion of East Slavic peoples , most notably the Rus' , predecessors of Belarusians , Russians , and Ukrainians . [ 78 ]

The work of the Thessaloniki brothers Cyril and Methodius and their disciples had a major impact to Serbs as well. [ 79 ] However, they accepted Christianity collectively by families and by tribes (in the process between the 7th and the 9th century). In commemoration of their baptisms, each Serbian family or tribe began to celebrate an exclusively Serbian custom called Slava in a special way to honor the Saint on whose day they received the sacrament of Holy Baptism . It is the most solemn day of the year for all Serbs of the Orthodox faith and has played a role of vital importance in the history of the Serbian people . Slava is actually the celebration of the spiritual birthday of the Serbian people which the Church blessed and proclaimed it a Church institution. [ 80 ]

The missionaries to the East and South Slavs had great success in part because they used the people's native language rather than Greek , the predominant language of the Byzantine Empire or Latin as the Roman priests did. [ 81 ] Today the Russian Orthodox Church is the largest of the Orthodox Churches followed by the Romanian Orthodox Church . [ 82 ]

[ edit ] Great Schism

In the 11th century what was recognised as the Great Schism took place between Rome and Constantinople , which led to separation between the Church of the West, the Roman Catholic Church, and the Eastern Byzantine Churches, now the Orthodox. There were doctrinal issues like the filioque clause and the authority of the Roman Pope involved in the split, but these were greatly exacerbated by political factors of both Church and state, and by cultural and linguistic differences between Latins and Greeks. Prior to 1054, the Eastern and Western halves of the Church had frequently been in conflict, particularly during the periods of Eastern iconoclasm and the Photian schism . [ 83 ]

The final breach is often considered to have arisen after the capture and sacking of Constantinople by the Fourth Crusade in 1204; the final break with Rome occurred circa 1450. The sacking of Church of Holy Wisdom and establishment of the Latin Empire as a seeming attempt to supplant the Orthodox Byzantine Empire in 1204 is viewed with some rancour to the present day. In 2004, Pope John Paul II extended a formal apology for the sacking of Constantinople in 1204, which was importantly also strongly condemned by the Pope at the time ( Innocent III , see reference at end of paragraph); the apology was formally accepted by Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople . Many things that were stolen during this time — holy relics , riches, and many other items—were not returned and are still held in various Western European cities, particularly Venice . [ 84 ] [ 85 ]

Reunion was attempted twice, at the 1274 Second Council of Lyon and the 1439 Council of Florence . The Council of Florence did briefly reestablish communion between East and West, which lasted until after the fall of Constantinople in 1453. In each case, however, the councils were rejected by the Orthodox people as a whole, and the union of Florence also became very politically difficult after Constantinople came under Ottoman rule, so in both cases came to fail. Some local Eastern Churches have, however, renewed union with Rome in time since (see Eastern Catholic Churches ). Recent decades have seen a renewal of ecumenical spirit and dialogue between the Churches. [ 86 ]

[ edit ] Age of captivity

Stavronikita monastery , Mount Athos , Greece (South-East view)

In 1453, the Byzantine Empire fell to the Ottoman Empire . By this time Egypt had been under Muslim control for some seven centuries, but Orthodoxy was very strong in Russia which had recently acquired an autocephalous status; and thus Moscow called itself the Third Rome , as the cultural heir of Constantinople.

Under Ottoman rule, the Greek Orthodox Church acquired substantial power as an autonomous millet . The ecumenical patriarch was the religious and administrative ruler of the entire "Greek Orthodox nation" (Ottoman administrative unit), which encompassed all the Orthodox subjects of the Empire.

[ edit ] Russian Orthodox Church in the Russian Empire

The Moscow Kremlin from Kamenny bridge

Up until 1666, when Patriarch Nikon was deposed by the tsar , the Russian Orthodox Church had been independent of the State. [ 87 ] In 1721 the first Russian Emperor, Peter I abolished completely the patriarchate and so the Church effectively became a department of the government, ruled by a Most Holy Synod composed of senior bishops and lay bureaucrats appointed by the Emperor himself. Since 1721 until the October Revolution of 1917, the Russian Orthodox Church was essentially transformed into a governmental agency, a tool used to various degrees by the tsars in the imperial campaigns of Russification . The Church was allowed by the State to levy taxes on the peasants . Therefore, the Church, along with the imperial regime, to which it belonged, came to be presented as an enemy of the people by the Bolsheviks and the other Russian revolutionaries. [ 88 ]

[ edit ] Russian Orthodox Church in the Soviet Union

Photograph taken of the 1931 demolition of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow .

The revolution brought a brief period of freedom from governmental control for the Church: an independent patriarchate was reestablished briefly in 1917, until Vladimir Lenin quashed the Church a few years later, imprisoning or killing many of the clergy and of the faithful. Part of the clergy escaped the Bolshevik persecutions by fleeing abroad, where they founded an independent church in exile , reunified with the Russian one in 2007.

The Orthodox Church clergy in Russia were seen as sympathetic with the cause of the White Army in the Civil War (see White movement ) after the October Revolution , and occasionally collaborated with it; Patriarch Tikhon 's declared position was vehemently anti-Bolshevik in 1918. This may have further strengthened the Bolshevik animus against the church.

Before and after the October Revolution of November 7, 1917 (October 25 Old Calendar) there was a movement within the Soviet Union to unite all of the people of the world under Communist rule (see Communist International ). This included the Eastern European bloc countries as well as the Balkan States. Since some of these Slavic states tied their ethnic heritage to their ethnic churches, both the peoples and their church were targeted by the Soviets. [ 89 ] [ 90 ]

Russian Orthodox Church in Shanghai was converted into a washing machine factory.

The Soviets' official interpretation of freedom of conscience was one of "guaranteeing the right to profess any religion, or profess none, to practice religious cults, or conduct atheist propaganda", [ 91 ] though in effect atheism was sponsored by state and was taught in all educational establishments. [ 92 ] Public criticism of atheism was unofficially forbidden and sometimes led to imprisonment. [ 93 ]

La Unión Soviética fue el primer estado en tener como objetivo la eliminación ideológica de la religión. Toward that end, the Communist regime confiscated church property, ridiculed religion, harassed believers, and propagated atheism in the schools. Actions toward particular religions, however, were determined by State interests, and most organized religions were never outlawed. Some actions against Orthodox priests and believers along with execution included torture being sent to prison camps , labour camps or mental hospitals . [ 94 ] [ 95 ]

The result of state sponsored atheism was to transform the Church into a persecuted and martyred Church. In the first five years after the Bolshevik revolution, 28 bishops and 1,200 priests were executed. [ 96 ]

After Nazi Germany's attack on the Soviet Union in 1941, Joseph Stalin revived the Russian Orthodox Church to intensify patriotic support for the war effort. By 1957 about 22,000 Russian Orthodox churches had become active. But in 1959 Nikita Khrushchev initiated his own campaign against the Russian Orthodox Church and forced the closure of about 12,000 churches. It is estimated that 50,000 clergy had been executed between the revolution and the end of the Khrushchev era. Members of the church hierarchy were jailed or forced out, their places taken by docile clergy, many of whom had ties with the KGB. By 1985 fewer than 7,000 churches remained active. [ 96 ]

Enei Church, central Bucharest , Romania , being purposely demolished by Communist authorities on 10 March 1977, 6 days after the 1977 Bucharest earthquake , despite having suffered no structural damage.

In the Soviet Union, in addition to the methodical closing and destruction of churches, the charitable and social work formerly done by ecclesiastical authorities was taken over by the state. As with all private property, Church owned property was confiscated into public use. The few places of worship left to the Church were legally viewed as state property which the government permitted the church to use. After the advent of state funded universal education, the Church was not permitted to carry on educational, instructional activity of any kind. Outside of sermons during the celebration of the divine liturgy it could not instruct or evangelise to the faithful or its youth. Catechism classes, religious schools, study groups, Sunday schools and religious publications were all illegal or banned. This persecution continued, even after the death of Stalin until the Fall of Communism in 1991. This caused many religious tracts to be circulated as illegal literature or samizdat . [ 94 ]

Among the most damaging aspects of Soviet rule, along with these physical abuses, the Soviet Union frequently manipulated the recruitment and appointment of priests, sometimes planting agents of the KGB within the church to monitor religious persons who were viewed – simply for not being atheists – as suspicious and potential threats to Soviet communism . The recovery of religious beliefs in Russia after the fall of communism, part of a significant religious revival, has been made more challenging as a result of those leaders forced involuntarily upon the church by the KGB during Soviet times.

[ edit ] Other Orthodox Churches in the Soviet Union

Albania was the only state to have declared itself officially fully atheist . [ 97 ] In some other communist states such as Romania , the Orthodox Church as an organization enjoyed relative freedom and even prospered, albeit under strict secret police control. That, however, did not rule out demolishing churches and monasteries as part of broader systematization (urban planning), and state persecution of individual believers. As an example of the latter, Romania stands out as a country which ran a specialized institution where many Orthodox (along with people of other faiths) were subjected to psychological punishment or torture and mind control experimentation in order to force them give up their religious convictions. However, this was only supported by one faction within the regime, and lasted only three years. The Communist authorities closed down the prison in 1952, and punished many of those responsible for abuses (twenty of them were sentenced to death). [ 98 ] [ 99 ]

[ edit ] Relations with other Christians

Orthodoxy represents the majority of Eastern Christianity . The Orthodox trace their bishops back to the apostles through apostolic succession , venerate saints, especially Mary the Mother of God as the Theotokos , pray for the dead, and continue the ancient Christian practice of monasticism . Orthodoxy does not openly promote statuary , although it is not expressly condemned, instead limiting itself primarily to two-dimensional iconography. The Western theological concepts of original sin , predestination , purgatory and particular judgment are generally rejected by traditional Orthodox theologians.

The Orthodox understand themselves to be the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church ; the true Church established by Jesus Christ and placed into the care of the apostles. As almost all other Christian groups are in indirect schism with the Orthodox Church, mostly as a result of the Great Schism with the Roman Catholic Church at the turn of the second Christian millennium (prior to the additional schisms of the Protestant Reformation ), these other groups are viewed as being Christian, but who in varying degrees lack full theological orthodoxy and orthopraxy . As such, all groups outside of the Orthodox Church are not seen as being members of the Church proper, but rather separated brethren who have failed to retain the fullness of the Christian faith and theology, as was given to the apostles by Jesus Christ. These deviations from orthodoxy have traditionally been called heresy , but due to the term's immediately pejorative connotations, some prefer the more technical designation of the term heterodoxy .

Hilarion Alfeyev , the Metropolitan of Volokolamsk and head of external relations for the Moscow Patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church, stated that Orthodox and evangelical Christians share the same positions on "such issues as abortion , the family , and marriage " and desire "vigorous grassroots engagement" between the two Christian communions on such issues. [ 100 ]

[ edit ] Interfaith relations

Metropolitan Alfeyev stated belief in the possibility of peaceful coexistence between Islam and Christianity as the two religions have never had religious wars in Russia. [ 101 ] However, Alfeyev stated that the Russian Orthodox Church "disagrees with atheist secularism in some areas very strongly" and "believes that it destroys something very essential about human life ." [ 101 ]

[ edit ] Church today

The various autocephalous and autonomous synods of the Orthodox Church are distinct in terms of administration and local culture, but for the most part exist in full communion with one another. The Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) has recently united with the Moscow Patriarchate (MP); these two branches of the Russian Orthodox Church had separated from each other in the 1920s due to the subjection of the latter to the hostile Soviet regime (see Act of Canonical Communion ).

Tensions exist in the philosophical differences between those who use the Revised Julian Calendar (" New Calendarists ") for calculating the feasts of the ecclesiastical year and those who continue to use the traditional Julian Calendar (" Old Calendarists "). The calendar question reflects the dispute between those who wish to synchronize with the modern Gregorian calendar , which its opponents consider unnecessary and damaging to continuity, and those who wish to maintain the traditional ecclesiastical calendar (which happens to be based on the Julian calendar ), arguing that such a modern change goes against 1900 years of Church tradition and was in fact perpetrated without an ecumenical council, which would surely have rejected the idea. The dispute has led to much acrimony, and sometimes even to violence. Following canonical precepts, some adherents of the Old Calendar have chosen to abstain from clerical intercommunion with those synods which have embraced the New Calendar until the conflict is resolved. The monastic communities on Mount Athos have provided the strongest opposition to the New Calendar, and to modernism in general, while still maintaining communion with their mother church.

Some latent discontent between different national churches exists also in part due to different approach towards ecumenism . While the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople , the Orthodox bishops in North America gathered into the Standing Conference of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA), Romanian bishops, and others are fairly open to dialog with the Roman Catholic Church , both conservative and moderate Old Calendarists, many of the monks of Mount Athos, several bishops of Russian, Serbian, and some of Greek and Bulgarian churches regard ecumenism as compromising essential doctrinal stands in order to accommodate other Christians , and object to the emphasis on dialogue leading to inter-communion; believing instead that Orthodox must speak the truth with love, in the hope of leading to the eventual conversion to Orthodoxy of heterodox Christians.

[ edit ] Eastern Orthodox churches in communion

The Orthodox Church is a communion of 14 autocephalous (that is, administratively completely independent) local churches plus the Orthodox Church in America which is recognized as autocephalous only by the Russian, Bulgarian, Georgian, Polish, and Czech-Slovak Churches. Each has defined geographical boundaries of its jurisdiction and is ruled by its Council of Bishops or Synod presided by a senior bishop – its Primate (or First Hierarch). The Primate may carry the honorary title of Patriarch, Metropolitan (in the Slavic tradition) or Archbishop (in the Greek tradition). Each local church consists of constituent eparchies (or, dioceses) ruled by a bishop. Some churches have given an eparchy or group of eparchies varying degrees of autonomy (self-government). Such autonomous churches maintain varying levels of dependence on their mother church, usually defined in a Tomos or other document of autonomy.

Below is a list of the 14 (15) autocephalous churches in their order of precedence (seniority) with constituent autonomous churches and exarchates. The Liturgical title of the Primate is listed in italics.

Epiphany Liturgy in the Monastery of Prophet Elias of Santorini in Greece
  • Orthodox Church of Jerusalem ( Patriarch of the Holy City of Jerusalem and all Palestine, and of Syria, Arabia, beyond the Jordan River, Cana of Galilee, and Sacred Zion )
  • Orthodox Church of Georgia ( Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia, the Archbishop of Mtskheta-Tbilisi and Metropolitan bishop of Abkhazia and Pitsunda. )
  • Orthodox Church of Serbia ( Archbishop of Pe?, Metropolitan of Belgrade and Karlovci, Patriarch of the Serbs )


Some Orthodox do not acknowledge the following Church as autonomous & autocephalous:

  • Orthodox Church in America ( Archbishop of Washington, Metropolitan of All America and Canada ) [Autocephaly granted in 1970 from its mother church, the Russian Orthodox Church. It is in full communion with all canonical Orthodox Churches and de facto, fully recognized by all. The Ecumenical Patriarchate accepts the OCA, but disputes the Russian Orthodox Church's action]
  • Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Church ( Metropolitan of Tallinn and all Estonia ) [Autonomy recognized only by the Ecumenical Patriarchate]

Note, that the Russian Church recognized a different order of seniority, in which the Georgian church comes after the Church of Russia and the Albanian Church – after the Church of Greece. The Church of Cyprus also has a different list featuring herself immediately after the ancient Patriarchates and before that of Moscow.

The jurisdiction of the Sinai peninsula could be Autocephalous but is disputed because it consists solely of a monastery and its metochia and its Archbishop is the Abbot who must be ordained by the Patriarch of Jerusalem. [ 102 ]

[ edit ] Orthodox Churches and communities not in communion with others

The following is list of some of the organizations that use the term "Orthodox" in their name but do not maintain communion with any of the 14 (15) autocephalous churches and thus are not typically considered part of the Orthodox Christian communion.

Old Calendarists are groups that do not maintain communion with the 14 (15) autocephalous churches as a result of the use of the Revised Julian Calendar.

Traditional Paschal Crucession by Russian Orthodox Old-Rite Church.

Old Believers are groups that do not accept liturgical reforms carried out in the Russian Orthodox Church by Patriarch Nikon in the 17th century.

Churches with irregular or unresolved canonical status are entities that have carried out episcopal consecrations outside of the norms of canon law or whose bishops have been excommunicated by one of the 14 (15) autocephalous churches.

[ edit ] Defunct churches

[ editar ] Véase también

[ editar ] Notas

  1. ^ The Orthodox Church considers itself to be both orthodox and catholic . In earlier and patristic usage, the Church usually referred to herself as the "Catholic Church" [ 1 ] [ 2 ] whose faith was the "Orthodox faith". Such usage is still reflected today in the Orthodox liturgy, eg "unite them to your Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church" (from the litany of the catechumens, Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom ). Current convention however, favors the name "Orthodox Church", perhaps partly to avoid confusion with the Roman Catholic Church , especially its Eastern rites . But, especially in official contexts, the Orthodox Church continues to use the title "Catholic Church", and Orthodox authorities such as Saint Raphael of Brooklyn have asserted that the full name of the church includes the term "Catholic" as in "Holy Orthodox Catholic Apostolic Church" . The Church is referred to as the "Orthodox Catholic Church" in official church documents and some books. [ 3 ]

[ editar ] Referencias

  1. ^ The encyclopedia of Christianity ISBN 978-90-04-12654-1
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  3. ^ Bishop Kallistos (Ware). The Orthodox Church . Penguin Books . ISBN 0-14-014656-3 .   p. 307
    "About Orthodoxy" . The Orthodox Church . The Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania, Orthodox Church in America . http://doepa.org/about_orthodoxy.html .  
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    "About Orthodoxy" . "Saints Michael and Gabriel" Romanian Orthodox Church . http://www.psromanianchurch.com/about_orthodoxy.html .   [ Link muerto ]
    Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA - Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople
    Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church, Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania
    "The Orthodox Church - An Introduction" . Orthodox Christian Information Center . http://orthodoxinfo.com/general/orthodoxy.aspx .  
    "THE HOLY ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN CHURCH: ITS FAITH AND LIFE" . ArchangelsBooks.com . http://www.archangelsbooks.com/orthofaith.asp .  
    "Orthodox Church" . Orthodox Church of Dover, Florida . http://www.forgodiswithus.org/ .  
    Orthodox Churches of New Castle and Lawrence County, Pennsylvania
    Monks at De?ani Monastery in Kosovo . "The Eastern Orthodox Church" . Orthodoxlife.net . http://www.orthodoxlife.net/easternchurch/theorthochurch.html .  
    "Introduction to the Orthodox Faith" . Saint George Antiochian Orthodox Christian  
    "Orthodoxy" . Saint Archangel Michael Serbian Orthodox Church . http://saratoga.serbian-church.net/orthodoxy-0 .  
    "The Orthodox Church" . Saint Mary of Egypt Orthodox Church . http://www.stmaryofegypt.org/info/orthodoxy.htm .  
    Holy Ascension Orthodox Church, Frackville, PA
    "Orthodox Christianity - Introduction" . Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Ras and Prizren . http://www.kosovo.net/orthodoxy.html .  
    Father Steven Tsichlis. "Frequently Asked Questions About the Orthodox Church" . St. Paul's Greek Orthodox Church, Irvine, California . http://www.stpaulsirvine.org/html/FAQs.html .  
    Saint Mary Antiochian Orthodox Church, Pawtucket, RI
    "HISTORY" . Serbian Orthodox Church, Luzern . http://www.spcportal.org/index.php?pg=454&lang=en .  
    "TO BE AN ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN ...." . Orthodox Christian Church in Thailand (Moscow Patriarchate) . http://www.orthodox.or.th/index.php?content=orthodoxy&lang=en .  
    "Eastern Orthodoxy" . Encyclopædia Britannica . http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/177174/Eastern-Orthodoxy .  
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  4. ^ Our Church is also spoken of as the "Eastern Church" to distinguish it from the Churches of the West. "Eastern" is used to indicate that in the first millennium the influence of our Church was concentrated in the eastern part of the Christian world and to show that a very large number of our membership is of other than Greek national origin. Thus, Orthodox Christians throughout the world use various ethnic or national titles: "Greek", "Russian", "Serbian", "Romanian", "Ukrainian", "Bulgarian", "Antiochian", "Albanian", "Carpatho-Russian", or more inclusively, as "Eastern Orthodox" ( Rev. Alciviadis C. Calivas, Th.D. "The Greek (Eastern) Orthodox Church. What's in our name?").
  5. ^ a b Major Branches of Religions Ranked by Number of Adherents
  6. ^ a b Orthodox Denomination
  7. ^ " http://www.goarch.org/ourfaith/ourfaith7114 "; Deification". Cross, FL, ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005
  8. ^ Pomazansky, Michael, Orthodox Dogmatic Theology, pp. 33-34
  9. ^ ST Kimbrough, Orthodox and Wesleyan Scriptural Understanding and Practice, p. 23
  10. ^ a b Ware p. 271
  11. ^ The Catholic Catechism: A Contemporary Catechism of the Teachings of the Catholic Church by John Hardon by 217 # Publisher: Doubleday # ISBN 0-385-08045-X # ISBN 978-0-385-08045-3 [1]
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  13. ^ Lace, William W. Christianity. San Diego, CA: Lucent Books, Inc., 2005
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  17. ^ Jay Diamond, Larry. Plattner, Marc F. and Costopoulos, Philip J. World Religions and Democracy . 2005, page 119.( also in PDF file [ dead link ] , p49), saying " Not only do Protestants presently constitute 13 percent of the world's population—about 800 million people—but since 1900 Protestantism has spread rapidly in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. "
  18. ^ Major Branches of Religions
  19. ^ content
  20. ^ Republicki Zavod za statistiky – Republike Srbije
  21. ^ CIA – The World Factbook – Field Listing – Religions
  22. ^ "Russian Public Opinion Research Center" . Archivado desde el original en Retrieved 2007-11-10 .   (Ruso)
  23. ^ Popis stanovništva 2003 - Zavod za statistiku Crne Gore (in Montenegrin)
  24. ^ Lebanon – International Religious Freedom Report 2010 US Department of State. Retrieved on 14 February 2010.
  25. ^ Ware, pp. 208–211
  26. ^ Ware p. 202
  27. ^ Ware pp. 67–69
  28. ^ Fr. Thomas Hopko, "?" . http://www.oca.org/QA.asp?ID=3&SID=3 .  
  29. ^ Ware, p. 8
  30. ^ Ware, pp. 195–196
  31. ^ " Canon of the New Testament ". Catholic Encyclopedia . Nueva York: Robert Appleton Compañía. 1913.  
  32. ^ Ware, pp. 199–200
  33. ^ Ware, pp. 202–207
  34. ^ Acts 14:23 NAB
  35. ^ Acts 6:1–6 NAB
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  37. ^ Ware, pp. 255–256
  38. ^ Ware, pp. 257–258
  39. ^ Ware, p. 234
  40. ^ The Longer Catechism of The Orthodox, Catholic, Eastern Church , an Orthodox catechism from 1830, by Metropolitan Philaret . Start with item 366 or 372.
  41. ^ The Longer Catechism , Item 377.
  42. ^ Henry Chadwick, The Early Church, 283.
  43. ^ Orthodox Icons – ReligionFacts
  44. ^ A good explanation of the 3-bar cross was written by Dr. Alexander Roman and can be found at http://www.ukrainian-orthodoxy.org/questions/2010/threeBarCross.php
  45. ^ The Early Church, Henry Chadwick, p. 34
  46. ^ Ware, p. 238
  47. ^ Athanasius of Alexandria, On the Incarnation of the Word , §54 .
  48. ^ Ware pp. 274–277
  49. ^ Ware pp. 277–278
  50. ^ Ware p. 278
  51. ^ "?" . http://oca.org/OCchapter.asp?SID=2&ID=52 . Retrieved 4 August 2010 .  
  52. ^ Ware pp. 278–9
  53. ^ Harakas pp. 56–7
  54. ^ a b c Ware p. 279
  55. ^ Harakas p. 57
  56. ^ Ware p. 287
  57. ^ Letter to Families by Pope John Paul II
  58. ^ "Marriage. An Orthodox Perspective" by Fr John Meyendorff, p. 13
  59. ^ a b "Marriage. An Orthodox Perspective" by Fr John Meyendorff, p. 70
  60. ^ "Marriage. An Orthodox Perspective" by Fr John Meyendorff, p. 18
  61. ^ Mgr. Athenagoras Peckstadt, Bishop of Sinope (2005-05-18). "Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage in the Orthodox Church: Economia and Pastoral Guidance" . The Orthodox research Institute . http://www.orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/articles/liturgics/athenagoras_remarriage.htm . Consultado el 11/19/2008.  
  62. ^ "A Perspective on Divorce Among Greek Orthodox Couples." . http://www.helleniccomserve.com/divorceperspective.html . Retrieved 2008-02-12 .   quote|One cannot arrive at a divorce rate [for Orthodox faithful] from the Archdiocesan published statistics because they ... do not track the number of civil divorces.
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  64. ^ Statement of Orthodox Christian Bishops "?" . http://saintandrew.net/documents/FINALOrthodoxBishopsProp8Statement.pdf .  
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  68. ^ The Spirituallity of the Christian East: A systematic handbook by Thomas Spidlik , Cistercian Publications Inc Kalamazoo Michigan 1986 ISBN 0-87907-879-0
  69. ^ The First Ecumenical Council — Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
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  71. ^ The Third Ecumenical Council — Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
  72. ^ The Fourth Ecumenical Council — Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
  73. ^ The Fifth Ecumenical Council — Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
  74. ^ The Sixth Ecumenical Council — Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
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  79. ^ Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001–05, sv "Cyril and Methodius, Saints"; Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica Incorporated, Warren E. Preece – 1972, p.846, sv, "Cyril and Methodius, Saints" and "Orthodoxy, Missions ancient and modern"; Encyclopedia of World Cultures, David H. Levinson, 1991, p.239, sv, "Social Science"; Eric M. Meyers, The Oxford Encyclopedia of Archaeology in the Near East, p.151, 1997; Lunt, Slavic Review, June, 1964, p. 216; Roman Jakobson, Crucial problems of Cyrillo-Methodian Studies; Leonid Ivan Strakhovsky, A Handbook of Slavic Studies, p.98; V. Bogdanovich, History of the ancient Serbian literature, Belgrade, 1980, p.119
  80. ^ Michael B. Petrovich; Joel Halpern (1980). "Serbs". in Stephan Thernstrom, Ann Orlov, and Oscar Handlin. Harvard Encyclopedia of American Ethnic Groups (2nd ed.). Harvard University Press. p. 925. ISBN 978-0-674-37512-3 .
  81. ^ Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001–05, sv "Cyril and Methodius, Saints"
  82. ^ Ha-Russian Orthodox Church
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  84. ^ Pope Innocent III, Letters, 126 (given July 12, 1205, and addressed to the papal legate, who had absolved the crusaders from their pilgrimage vows). Text taken from the Internet Medieval Sourcebook by Paul Halsall. Modified. Original translation by J. Brundage.
  85. ^ 1979 The Horses of San Marco Thames and Hudson an English translation of a 1977 Venetian city government publication p191
  86. ^ "Continuing the dialogue of Love: Orthodox-Catholic relations in 2004"
  87. ^ "Russian Destinies", by Fr. Andrew Phillips, "Orthodox England", 4/17 July 2005
  88. ^ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn , Two Hundred Years Together
  89. ^ President of Lithuania: Prisoner of the Gulag a Biography of Aleksandras Stulginskis by Afonsas Eidintas Genocide and Research Center of Lithuania ISBN 9986-757-41-X / 9789986757412 / 9986–757–41-X pg 23 "As early as August 1920 Lenin wrote to EM Skliansky , President of the Revolutionary War Soviet: "We are surrounded by the greens (we pack it to them), we will move only about 10–20 versty and we will choke by hand the bourgeoisie , the clergy and the landowners. There will be an award of 100,000 rubles for each one hanged." He was speaking about the future actions in the countries neighboring Russia.
  90. ^ Christ Is Calling You: A Course in Catacomb Pastorship by Father George Calciu Published by Saint Hermans Press April 1997 ISBN 978-1-887904-52-0
  91. ^ Article 52 of the 1977 Constitution of the USSR
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  93. ^ Sermons to young people by Father George Calciu-Dumitreasa. Given at the Chapel of the Romanian Orthodox Church Seminary, The Word online. Bucharest "Calciu Christ Calling" . http://www.orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/resources/sermons/calciu_christ_calling.htm .  
  94. ^ a b Father Arseny 1893–1973 Priest, Prisoner, Spiritual Father. Introduction pg. vi–1. St Vladimir's Seminary Press ISBN 0-88141-180-9
  95. ^ Sullivan, Patricia. Anti-Communist Priest Gheorghe Calciu-Dumitreasa , The Washington Post , November 26, 2006. Page C09. Accessed May 9, 2008.
  96. ^ a b Ostling, Richard. "Cross meets Kremlin" , TIME Magazine , June 24, 2001. Retrieved April 7, 2008.
  97. ^ Van Christo. Albania and the Albanians .
  98. ^ Dumitru Bacu, The Anti-Humans. Student Re-Education in Romanian Prisons , Soldiers of the Cross, Englewood, Colorado , 1971. Originally written in Romanian as Pite?ti, Centru de Reeducare Studen?easc? , Madrid, 1963
  99. ^ Adrian Cioroianu , Pe umerii lui Marx. O introducere în istoria comunismului românesc ("On the Shoulders of Marx. An Incursion into the History of Romanian Communism"), Editura Curtea Veche , Bucharest, 2005
  100. ^ "From Russia, with Love" . Christianity Today . http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2011/may/fromrussialove.html?start=1 . Consultado el 2007-12-31. "Many evangelicals share conservative positions with us on such issues as abortion, the family, and marriage. Do you want vigorous grassroots engagement between Orthodox and evangelicals? Yes, on problems, for example, like the destruction of the family. Many marriages are split. Many families have either one child or no child."  
  101. ^ a b "From Russia, with Love" . Christianity Today . http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2011/may/fromrussialove.html?start=4 . Consultado el 2007-12-31. "If we speak about Islam (and of course if we mean moderate Islam), then I believe there is the possibility of peaceful coexistence between Islam and Christianity. This is what we have had in Russia for centuries, because Russian Islam has a very long tradition. But we never had religious wars. Nowadays we have a good system of collaboration between Christian denominations and Islam. Secularism is dangerous because it destroys human life. It destroys essential notions related to human life, such as the family. And here we disagree with atheist secularism in some areas very strongly, and we believe that it destroys something very essential about human life. We should be engaged in a very honest and direct conversation with representatives of secular ideology. And of course when I speak of secular ideology, I mean here primarily atheist ideology."  
  102. ^ Metropolitan Kallistos (1993) The Orthodox Church (London, Penguin Books) "The Church of Sinai is in some ways a "freak" in the Orthodox world, consisting as it does in a single monastery, Saint Catherine's, at the foot of the Mountain of Moses. There is some disagreement about whether the monastery should be termed an "autocephalous" or merely an "autonomous" Church (see p. 314). The abbot, who is always an archbishop, is elected by the monks and consecrated by the Patriarch of Jerusalem; the monastery is entirely independent of outside control"

[ editar ] Fuentes

  • The Orthodox Church . Ware, Timothy . Penguin Books, 1997. ( ISBN 0-14-014656-3 )
  • The Orthodox Church; 455 Questions—and Answers . Harakas, Stanley H. Light and Life Publishing Company, 1988. ( ISBN 0-937032-56-5 )
  • John Anthony McGuckin (ed), The Encyclopedia of Eastern Orthodox Christianity , Vol. 1-2 (Chichester, Wiley-Blackwell , 2011).

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