Orthodox question

When people talk of the “Eastern Orthodox”, what churches are the talking about? I assume the Greek Orthodox is the main one, but what of the Russian Orthodox Church? Are they a separate entity unto themselves or are they part of the “Eastern Orthodox”?

From orthodoxwiki.org/List_of_autocephalous_and_autonomous_Churches
Autocephalous churches
*] Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople
*] Patriarchate of Alexandria
*] Patriarchate of Antioch
*] Patriarchate of Jerusalem
*] Patriarchate of Moscow
*] Patriarchate of Serbia
*] Patriarchate of Romania
*] Patriarchate of Bulgaria
*] Patriarchate of Georgia
*] Church of Cyprus
*] Church of Greece
*] Church of Poland
*] Church of Albania
*] Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia
*] Orthodox Church in America (autocephaly recognized only by Moscow, Bulgaria, Georgia, Poland, and the Czech Lands and Slovakia)

Autonomous churches
[list] *] Church of Sinai
*] Church of Finland
*] Church of Estonia (autonomy recognized by Constantinople but not Moscow)
*] Church of Japan (autonomy recognized by Moscow but not Constantinople)
*] Church of China (virtually non-existent, autonomy recognized by Moscow but not Constantinople)
*] Church of Ukraine (autonomy recognized by Moscow but not Constantinople)
*] Archdiocese of Ohrid (autonomy recognized only by Serbia)

Generally all of those are considered by the EO to be EO… tho’ there are other churches of the EO tradition and byzantine rite that are not in communion with the above.

Most converts to Orthodoxy in America simply prefer “Orthodox” or “Orthodox Christian” without any ethnic label.

That’s ineresting -here in England the situation is the opposite and people hold on to their national Churches,so you have a thriving number of Greek Orthodox Churches and some Antiochian ones as well and a slowly growing number of Bulgarian and Russian Orthodox Churches as people from both places have been emigrating to England in larger numbers in recent years.

Not to mention the Ukrainian Catholic, Melkite Catholic and the Maronite Catholics.

But when they plan a festival for fund raising, the first thing on the menu is the ethnic food:banghead:

What is your point?

You have to ask?


The USA has been attracting immigrants for a long time, and the older parishes are switching over to English for the most part.

Thus, a lot of the cultural barriers to conversion are melting away. Anglophones in North America are visiting Orthodox parishes (and in some cases converting). bpbasilphx pointed out that most converts do not identify with the ethnic label, which I agree with, having seen this myself.

For instance, when an American converts into a Greek Orthodox parish he will not normally identify himself as “Greek Orthodox” but simply Orthodox. A cradle Greek-American might continue to refer to himself as Greek Orthodox, but the convert usually not.

Apparently, according to JharekCarnelian Britain appears to have a growing immigrant Orthodox population (perhaps because of the EU?) and these immigrants are closely identifying with their native churches (more like the USA was sixty to 100 years ago). I agree, and share that the phenomena is the same for eastern Catholics as it is for eastern Orthodox, I mentioned the three EC churches established in Britain that I am aware of.

I also thought it would be an appropriate remark to tie this thread into Eastern Catholicism, since this is the Eastern Catholicism section. :slight_smile:

An aunt and uncle of mine who converted to Orthodoxy always stressed their faith as being GREEK Orthodox, with a greater emphasis on the Greek, than the Orthodox. They did not however loose their own cultural identity, which is not Greek. They were incoprorated into a small group of non-Greeks that also converted, (They converted at Hagia Sofia Cathedral in Los Angeles) who likewise enjoyed but were not assimilated into Greek Culture.

That’s interesting!

It goes to show we cannot generalize very much.

Sometimes people ask me specifically about my church and I have no choice but to call it “Russian Orthodox” because they are comparing it to what they know. In fact, the OCA is not part of the Russian Orthodox church.

Before that I was a “Ruthenian Catholic” although in truth I am neither Russian nor Ruthenian, but a mixture of Polish, Irish, Anglo-Saxon, French and Cherokee.

So there are one million Poles who are Orthodox, and there is a Polish Orthodox church, but I never say I am Polish Orthodox, I just say I’m Orthodox.

People want to put us in neat little categories, but sometimes we defy their best efforts :D. From my experience when converts identify themselves with “Ruthenian”, “Russian” or “Greek” in regards to ‘church’ they are being very specific about the practices or style of the church but not identifying with the ethnicity.

Just an aside, but you happen to be the same exact mix of mut as I Michael. Weird! :eek:

I was just wondering your defensiveness by bringing up such an issue germane from the thread’s topic.

Frankly, I am stunned. :eek:

…and a convert as well, although I found myself in the Antiochian Archdiocese. Cheers fellow Polish Orthodox! :smiley:

I’m a convert to Orthodoxy in America and I DO prefer the “ethnic” label. It is not simple “ethnic” but it indicates the churches canonical right to exist as a church. There isn’t only one Orthodox jurisdiction for the whole world, there are at least 14 canonical Orthodox Churches worldwide. As far as America goes, the canonicity of the “Orthodox Church in America” (OCA) is not recognized by Constantinople and others. So, there is no American Orthodox Church. And so, if you are not a member of one of the canonical Orthodox Churches that has parishes in America you are, from an Orthodox perspective, in schism. I hope most converts to Orthodoxy in America do not prefer schism! :shrug:

I believe you are mistaken. The canonicity is recognized. The autocephaly is not.

Correct!. They are also a member of SCOBA. (Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in America).

Yes. :slight_smile:

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