FAQs about the GOC

Question 2

Since the Œcumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople decided on the issue of the calendar, is it not binding on all Orthodox Christians? Was it lawful to resist the changes introduced by the Holy Synod of Constantinople?

First of all, it must be noted that while the Œcumenical Patriarch of Constantinople has the primary place of honor among all Orthodox Hierarchs, the Church over which he presides is not the ultimate authority in Orthodoxy. Contrary to the notion promulgated by some modern-day theologians that the Phanar is to the Eastern Orthodox Church what the Vatican is to the Roman Catholic Church, Constantinople simply held the rank of “first among equals” and never exercised universal jurisdiction. No Hierarch in the Orthodox world ever held jurisdiction beyond the boundaries of his own Diocese or in jurisdictions that were not authorized to him by one of the Holy Œcumenical Synods. To this effect, we have many instances in Church history where an Œcumenical Patriarch of Constantinople personally erred in matters of dogma and was rejected by the Holy Fathers who remained true to the Apostolic Faith. For example, Makedonios I of Constantinople ( fl. 4th cent.), condemned at the Second Œcumenical Synod (381), Nestorios of Constantinople (ca. 386–ca. 451), condemned at the Third Œcumenical Synod (431), and Sergios I of Constantinople († 638), condemned at the Sixth Œcumenical Synod (680–681), are just a few of the Hierarchs who once occupied the Bishopric of New Rome…

Other Titles From The C.T.O.S.