Aleteia logoAleteia logoAleteia
Tuesday 24 May |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Mario Vergara and Bl. Isidore Ngei Ko ...
Aleteia logo
Spirituality
separateurCreated with Sketch.

What is the Greek Orthodox Church?

GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH

Alexandros Michailidis | Shutterstock

Philip Kosloski - published on 12/03/21

The Greek Orthodox Church refers to both a larger association of Orthodox churches as well as the primary church in Greece.

When reading about the Greek Orthodox Church, it is tempting to think that this term refers to Orthodox Christians in the country of Greece.

However, this it not always the case, and most often this term refers to a much broader group of Orthodox Christians.

Greek Orthodox Church

In 1054, Pope Leo IX of Rome and Patriarch Michael I Kiroularious of Constantinople excommunicated each other. This act resulted in the Great East-West schism in the Church that has endured for nearly 1,000 years.

Christians who followed the Constantinople leadership became known as the Greek Orthodox Church. The reason behind this is because of the original language used for the liturgy, as the Catholic Encyclopedia explains.

The Greek Orthodox Churches are Churches separated from Rome and following the Byzantine Rite, i.e. the rite developed at Constantinople between the fourth and tenth centuries. In the beginning, the only language of this rite was Greek.

Eventually the Byzantine Rite was translated into various languages, such as Russian, or other Slavic languages.

The Greek Orthodox Church today is an association of churches that are “autocephalous,” meaning that they are “self-governing.” The Patriarch of Constantinople, (currently Bartholomew I), is the spiritual leader of these Christians, but does not hold any governing power over each individual “church.”

Orthodox Church in Greece and Cyprus

The particular church in Greece has its own archbishop, currently Hieronymos II, Archbishop of Athens and All Greece and Primate of the Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Greece.

Chrysostomos II is similarly the archbishop of Cyprus. Both churches are “self-governing,” though still loosely under the spiritual leadership of the Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I.

Greece is still dominated by Orthodox Christians, but Roman Catholics are growing in number in recent years.

Tags:
Eastern ChristianGreece
Support Aleteia!

Enjoying your time on Aleteia?

Articles like these are sponsored free for every Catholic through the support of generous readers just like you.

Thanks to their partnership in our mission, we reach more than 20 million unique users per month!

Help us continue to bring the Gospel to people everywhere through uplifting and transformative Catholic news, stories, spirituality, and more.

Support Aleteia with a gift today!

jour1_V2.gif
Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Entrust your prayer intentions to our network of monasteries


Top 10
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.