Talk:Eastern Orthodox Church

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Thanks and a Question

I'd like to thank Zahir for actually making it while I've been reading this thriller internet story.

Anyway does this really have to be a proposal? I mean the Eastern Orthodox Church has been in IB since probably it's founding, it just has never had a page. Misterxeight 21:12, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

If in fact all you're doing is collating information that already exists in IB (such as done with the Scotland page for example) then you do not need to put it forth as a proposal. Likewise if you are simply including a brief overview of Eastern Orthodoxy with a few IB-centric phrases tossed in (for example, noting the relationship between the SNOR and the Russian Orthodox Church), again there is no need for a full proposal. However--if you are proposing anything that is in fact new, then you do need to submit it as a proposal. But if it is anywhere near reasonable, it is unlikely to be rejected. Modified, probably, at least to fit in with certain aspects of others' responsibilities. Zahir 21:27, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

I was just going to use the Roman Catholic Church's page, such as who founded it, churches that make it up, maybe a brief history, conflict with the SNOR, whose leader is who, and list the various Churches without autonmy (as under Constantinople) the only thing is I'd just give IB Orthodox Church more members. Like for instance the Korean Orthodox Church only has 600 members, why can't they have 6,000 in IB? Misterxeight 21:47, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

Doctrinal Comparisons

I wouldn't go so far as to compare Orthodox and Catholic doctrines at this point. I do not yet know exactly how far Catholic doctrine *there* differs from doctrine *here*. I think it is much closer *there* to Orthodoxy. For now, I think such statements should be placed here in the talk page so that they can be considered.

I'll leave aside for now the nature of hell; but I know that in Catholic tradition *there*, the "act of worship as an attempt to grow closer to God rather than as a guide to moral behavior" -- that's what the liturgy is all about, closeness with God.

I think that the differences on Original Sin will remain, but possibly it is a Latin difference and not a Catholic difference. As for tangles with science, they're interesting aspects of western history, and probably can't be messed with too much. In the modern period, the Church has probably apologised for all that and hopefully is less concerned about issues of scientific discovery and more concerned about its own faith.

I would imagine that the Cambrians are more in line with the Orthodox on these issues, their position probably being along the lines of "if the whole Church hasn't decided a major doctrinal issue as a whole, then it can't be rightly considered doctrine by anyone"; and that the Isidorians have probably abstained from either confirming or denying such innovations. In other words, I think the Cambrians especially and the Isidorians as well have served as a "cushion" or buffer against the sort of insularity of the Catholic Church *here*.

Elemtilas 18:58, 5 July 2008 (UTC)

*Here* they're much too far apart to ever reconcile, as "Actions can be forgiven, never forgotten". Plus there's mechanics as you brought up. Misterxeight 21:21, 5 July 2008 (UTC)

That will remain to be seen. The two sides are working towards that goal. I for one hope they reconcile. But of course, we're not talking about the issues of *here* in this Wiki! This is Ill Bethisad, and things are rather different. Far from being "too far apart to ever reconcile", the fact is *there*, the Orthodox and Catholics are probably within a decade of formal reunification. It seems that the various Orthodox (Eastern and Oriental) are also close to reunification. Any thoughts on the Church of the East in terms of Orthodoxy *there*?
Naturally, this presumes a very different Catholic Church, both in its official doctrines (as opposed to pious beleifs of the faithful) and in its structure. The article is begining to lay out some of the differences, and I think there must be quite a few more. This also presumes that the two Churches have been talking and working together for a longer period of time than *here*. And to be fair and balanced, it also presumes a different Orthodox Church: not so much in its doctrines or constitution, but in its attitudes towards Catholicism and the acceptance of some differences, as long as the essential doctrines of the faith line up. Elemtilas 03:14, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
I guess we have to sacrifice to get stuff, that's how America got the 3/5ths rule. Misterxeight 03:17, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
Three fifths rule? Relegating black persons and Natives to fractional humanity in order to get more favourable representation in Congress: that's the sort of immoral "compromise" you think the Orthodox will have to suffer? Well, I guess that sort of attitude must exist *there* too; and I would sadly presume it also must exist at all levels. Elemtilas 13:45, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
No compromise always good, that's just the only I could think of because it was called the "Great Compromise" Misterxeight 14:20, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
Having just read about it, the "Great" Compromise was the much more sensible one that gave the US a 2-chamber legislature, one representing the population and the other representing the states. That's what you meant I'm sure, and no worries :).
Not all compromises are moral, even if they are termed "great". Hopefully, it was not your intent to compare the morality of this political compromise with any compromise the Orthodox churches would have to engage in *there*? Especially, since the nature of those compromises aren't even known! Elemtilas 01:57, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
It wasn't, it was just the only compromise I could think of. Plus I don't know if militant is the right fashion for Greece. I'm having second thoughts, certain comments ment to help didn't really do that. Misterxeight 02:07, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
As caretaker for Greece, it's certainly up to you how things will eventually turn out. I wouldn't entirely give up on the militarism, though. I think that's a valid expression of nationalism. Whatever Greece should end up being like, there will undoubtedly be people who would prefer the Alexander the Great attitude of "Salamis today, tomorrow the world!" Elemtilas 15:28, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

(Undent) It seems to me that it's much more a function of a different Catholicism than a different Orthodoxy. IB's Catholics seem to have a long history of absorbing diverse groups without requiring them to change too much. There seems to be no insistence on papal infallibility, and ISTR reading a conversation hinting that the Cambrians ordained women. That attitude alone may result in the IB Orthodox more inclined to accept agreemants with the Romans. Benkarnell 14:14, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

Agreed as to a different CC as opposed to a different OC. It's not there is no insistence on papal infallibility -- it is simply not a Roman Catholic dogma. Many Catholics *there* do in fact beleive the popes to speak infallibly. We never determined if the Cambrians ordained women or not. There is some evidence that the Celtic Church *here* ordained women, but that practice changed. I would presume it did *there* as well. I think the whole papap infallibility / papal supremacy thing is the major hurdle *here* for reunification. They're not even issues in the church *there*. Elemtilas 15:28, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
An interesting thought that to be honest hadn't really occurred to me--namely, how is the OC different there apart from how different is the RC? I suspect not a whole lot, save that the political situation vis-a-vis Russia. Zahir 19:05, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

The following was removed: "However, the doctrinal differences remain profound." We don't know the extent of doctrinal differences *there*. Elemtilas 02:05, 7 July 2008 (UTC)


For your consideration...Zahir 06:28, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

As opposed to both Catholicism and most Protestant Churches, the Orthodox Church does not believe in a created Hell. Rather, Hell is a state of the soul which has not opened itself to God's infinite and unconditional love, to which all souls return upon death. Likewise, the emphasis in Orthodox tradition is on the act of worship as an attempt to grow closer to God rather than as a guide to moral behavior. To an Orthodox Christian, likewise, the term "original sin" means something different from other churches. "Original sin" in Orthodoxy refers to a specific act, one with far-reaching consequences, rather than a state of being. Believers in Apostlic Succession, the Orthodox Church accords special honor to both Mary Mother of Jesus and to Moses. Unlike some churches, it rarely enters into disputes with the findings of science.
We still believe in the Devil and demons though, don't kid yourselves. Spooky stuff Misterxeight 14:20, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
Ah, but is that doctrine or simply belief by church members? Zahir 18:09, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
I don't know the dfference doctrine, dogma, or beliefs. Misterxeight 18:21, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
The difference has to do with whether its something thought by the church officialy, or something that people made up by themselves. For example, until the 1950s, the roman catholic church taught that the soul of unbaptized baby who died young went to limbo. That was the doctrine. It was however a belief in some part of the world (not something taught by the church) that the baby's soul were taken care of by the soul of women who had died without being married.
so in the case you mention, is the existence of the devil and demons something taught by the church or is it more akin to folk beliefs ?--Marc Pasquin 20:04, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
No, there's a bunch a prayers like Jesus going down to Hell when he died before the ressurection and fighting "Hades" (yeah we call It that) other stuff too. Just not sure if we have excorcisms though. Misterxeight 01:00, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
And of course, the Orthodox also practice exorcism. It wouldn't make much sense to have doctrines on evil and the devil and not be able to drive them out! :) Elemtilas 03:39, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

OK, here's a list of some key doctrines, taken from this site. I've left out the Protestant column and noted where IB Catholicism is known (either publicly or by me) to differ from *here*'s, or where it's likely to differ. Please refer to the linked site for details.

TOPIC                 ORTHODOXY            CATHOLICISM

Succession            Agreed

Canon of Scripture    Agreed

Clergy                Agreed (some Catholics allow married priests, some don't)

Nature of Eucharist   Agreed

Real Presence         Agreed (some Catholics may go in for detailed explanations)

Communion             Largely agreed (differences in type of bread and how distributed)

Filioque              Originally a(n IB) Isidorian addition (against Arianism). *Here* it
                      spread to Gaul and even though the popes and a couple Councils tried to
                      suppress it, it continued to be a Gallic practice. By the 11th century,
                      it seems to have become engrained in Gaul and Germany and eventually
                      Italy, even though it was not considered official. I would presume that
                      the situation would be the same *there*; with the addition that the
                      Isidorian Rite, under Islamic domination, would perpetrate the addition
                      and so would the French and German Catholics. Thence, the Protestants
                      would carry the addition forward. Cambria and the Eastern Rites possibly
                      never had an issue; and in any event would have been satisfied with
                      Pope Leo's intervention (and his silver plates) as well as Constantinople
                      (879-880) that reiterated the original creed of 381 (sans filioque).
                      Jump up to the 21st century, and it could be that the present Pope of
                      Rome will, in order to set aright some things that will have to be
                      set aright before reunification, convene his Latin bishops and the
                      Isidorians as well in order to once and for all settle the issue. Expect
                      a copy of Leo's silver plates to be made and placed in the great churches
                      of Toledo, Lyons and Paris; and possibly given to the Ecumenical
                      Patriarch as a symbol of orthodoxy (on both sides) and also a symbol of
                      the Catholic side setting things right in favour of orthodoxy.

Marriage and divorce  Largely agreed

Assumption & Immac-   Assumption = yes      Assumption = yes (but not a dogma of the church)
ulate Conception      I.C. = no             I.C. = yes for the Latins, possibly no for the
                                            Cambrians, possibly no for the Byzantines and
                                            possibly yes for the Isidorians. See "Original Sin"
                                            I.C. is not a Catholic dogma either: both are
                                            commonly believed in, but the Church has not put
                                            an official stamp of approval on the beliefs.

Mary                  Largely agreed

Original Sin          No                    Yes, at least among Latins, and possibly Isidorians
                                            No, probably, among the Byzantines and Cambrians
                                            Undoubtedly, there is no formal CC dogma of O.S.

Authority of the Pope Primacy of honour,    Presently in flux: recently, the popes have set
                      not jurisdiction.     aside all temporal power. Present pope is consider
                                            ing the nature of the office for his successors,
                                            especially in light of Church history, the uniates,
                                            and reunification. Probably, the future popes will
                                            not be "Catholic", but could come from any of the
                                            bishops of the reunited Church.

Papal infallibility   No way.               A non-issue in IB. Many (especially Latin)
                                            Catholics believe the Pope is infallible; many
                                            Isidorians do as well. It is not a CC dogma.

Sacraments            7, list unfixed       7, list fixed at that number

Effects of sacraments Agreed

Saints                Agreed                Similar official process of canonisation as *here*

Salvation             Largely agreed        (again, more and more detail?)

Tradition             Agreed

Liturgy               Agreed                Latin Rite uses Latin; Isidorian Latin &
                                            vernacular; Byzantine & Cambrian, vernacular
                                            (except in Dunein, where Latin is still the norm).

Most of the areas of divergence between Catholic and Orthodox do not involve matters of dogma, or official teaching. These differences are matters of personal belief / regional tradition. Constantine, I'd be interested in your opinion on the above.

*Here*, disputes over Original Sin were kind of a big deal during the Protestant controversies, especially between Lutherans and Calvinists. A different CC stance toward original sin will affect the Reformation. Benkarnell 14:24, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

I think the RC position *there* is the same as *here*, so there should be no effect on that aspect of the Reformation. Elemtilas 03:56, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

I don't know if the guy who made that had EVERYTHING right. He hinted the West Roman Pope has some sort of authority over the Orthodox Church, but if came to my church and said we were doing anything wrong, I'd cordially tell him "This is not the ROMAN Catholic Church". There is one thing forgotten, who would lead this new reformed church? I mean we see the Roman Pope as "The Bishop of Rome", not the leader. Likewise I'm sure the Roman Catholic Church the Patriarch, his Eminence as "The Bishop of Constantinople".

I'm sure the list is not 100% accurate. I think traditionally the Catholic position has been that all the other churches are in a state of schism with respect to Rome, and that the pope is indeed the only true leader of the whole church.
As for who would lead the reformed church? The answer, of course, is the same as who is leading it now: Jesus Christ. ;))) The actual governance is going to be done as it had been done since the beginning: through synods and councils of the church's bishops. The specific role of the pope will be continuing to evolve as I've mentioned before. I think ultimately it will be the role of universal pastor, not a CEO or an emperor, but more like the chairman of a board. The whole "first among equals" thing would no longer be a distinction of authority or power, but simply a distinction of honour. Elemtilas 03:56, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

This list seems to me not entirely accurate. For example, the Orthodox Church does not teach Transubstantiation. The Orthodox Bible includes (I believe) two books that the Catholic does not. The Orthodox reject the Immaculate Conception and the concept of Purgatory. A more subtle, but in some ways more profound, difference lies in how the two churches approach their roles. Roman Catholicism tends to take a very legalistic approach to religion, whereas the Orthodox are more mystically oriented. One bishop told a visiting legal scholar "You would do better to study less what we believe and more how we worship." In this the Orthodox Church rather views the Roman Catholic and Protestant Churches as pretty much the same. Or at least that is what I've read. Zahir 15:01, 7 July 2008 (UTC)


Can we make it tied memberwise with the roman catholic church? Misterxeight 14:35, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

Tricky, imho. Whereas the Catholic Church--with its various rites (Cambrian, Latin, Byzantine, Isadoran, etc.)--is even more widespread than *here* we have the question of how the Orthodox Churches spread quite so much. I'm not saying it couldn't happen. But the trick is explaining it in a way that doesn't violate QSS. Mind you, the Orthodox Churches of Eastern Europe missed out *there* on about five decades of systemic persecution from the Soviets. Zahir 18:09, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
I don't see it as terribly tricky. There are about 240,000,000 Orthodox (according to Wikipedia), a number which could be a little higher *there* since Russia was SNORist and not Communist. *There*, the number of Roman Catholics is about 270,000,000 (I added the IB populations of the top ten RC countries I could think of and rounded down a bit for minorities). Perhaps 250M to 260M Orthodox is not beyond reason. I added up all the population figures for known Orthodox countries in IB and got 250M -- keep in mind that there are no figures for Russia, Greece or Ethiopia. So perhaps as many as 270M. I left out the Church of the East, since I don't think they're considered orthodox by the Orthodox. Could be wrong there.
Now, that's Roman Catholics! The total number of Catholics is probably a little over a billion like *here*; probably not more than 1.2B. If Mr Xeight is interested in having the number of Orthodox equal the total number of Catholics, then he'll have a lot of explaining to do -- where are they going to come from? ;)))) Elemtilas 01:51, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
Revivals, missionaries got to Japan from Russia around the same time the Spanish Catholic missionaries did, and forming a union with the Kemrese Christians. Plus if the caretaker of Turkey isn't interested in it and would say cede to someone, could that someone do something different from what's already there? Misterxeight 02:03, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
So, you're OK with 270M? :) Elemtilas 02:23, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
Touche. I'll think of something. Misterxeight 02:26, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
OK! 270M it is! Elemtilas 03:40, 7 July 2008 (UTC)


I think we need pages on Patriarchs. I know with TV episodes and movies there's no ripoffs, so do we have to make an IB Eminence out of scratch? Misterxeight 19:24, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

We have pages on three Popes (one of those only because he played a major role in the First Great War) and with some Patriarchs featured in articles on the SNOR and the American Orthodox Church. I'm willing to write up the Patriarch of the Romanian Church, and methinks you are in a position to create the Patriarch of Constantinople. Methinks there is no big rush to do so, however.
In general, many of us have found blending the lives of real people to create a fictional person, or altering the life of a real one seems to work best. Speaking for myself, I would rather learn more about Greece and the new Constantine. For now. But I suspect that the identity of the Patriarch of Constantinople might have an impact upon that. Will Constantine be asking His Eminence to crown the new Byzantine Emperor? Zahir 20:22, 28 July 2008 (UTC)


I know the EO & RC Churches are 100 years ahead of us in the form of reuniting, so how far is the Eastern Orhtodox Church from reuniting with the Assyrian Churches & Oriental Orthodox Churches? Misterxeight 21:53, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

Could be much closer. As I understand it, some of the Orthodox churches *here* have moved well beyond talks. I think the Tewahedo is one. Or perhaps it was the Coptic? Don't recall off hand! You could be writing an article by Christmas documenting the Patriarchs of Constantinople and Axum signing whatever the official declarations are ending any kind of schism that might exist and officially declaring each other in communion. Try to dig around a little and see what's going on in the primary world news! Elemtilas 00:43, 15 September 2008 (UTC)


Does anyone object to Greece having no "Church of Greece" and the State Church being the Ecumenical Patriarcate of Constantinople? I mean the EPC outnumbers the CoG vastly, they're even more similar to early Anglicanism to Catholicism, and their leader (whoever that may I be, I can honestly say I don't anything on Greece's State Church) works with the Patriarch. Misterxeight 01:18, 21 February 2009 (UTC)

I've no problem. Zahir 01:24, 21 February 2009 (UTC)
No problem here either. I'd always thought that Greece's "state church" was that headed by the EPC anyway, on account of him being the big cheese on the Orthodox side. Elemtilas 01:24, 23 February 2009 (UTC)

Great to hear, thanks everyone.

Anyway I was reading some things and I have one question "Did Luther's reforms stay reforms and not revolt"? I was reading something on the uniate discussion and the papal states' page which made it sound like the Lutheran Church was like those "Eastern-Catholic" churches, in full communion with Rome but with different customs. Does that mean all Protestant Churches are in fact united with Rome? Misterxeight 02:10, 23 February 2009 (UTC)

I've been confused in that area also, but it was my impression that the Lutherans broke away, but some of them were persuaded later to re-join as a Uniate. Benkarnell 13:18, 23 February 2009 (UTC)
The "Holy Roman Episcopal Lutheran Church". It is a uniate church in the same sense the Byzantine or Ruthenian Catholic churches are -- populations of former Orthodox return to communion with the Roman pontiff. In the case of the HRLC, a population of former (protestant) Lutherans returned to communion with Rome. Obviously, not all Protestants are in communion with Rome -- if they were, they wouldn't be "PROTESTants". Ben has it right, though the details are still clouded in mystery. Mr. X8 is correct on the "different customs" part -- their liturgy is more reminiscent of a Protestant service in its structure. Elemtilas 14:45, 23 February 2009 (UTC)

"Second Largest"?

Just re-reading this. (Incidentally, Zahir, wonderful-looking cross image!) I was thinking: With the Communion of the Church of the East so much bigger than *here*, taken collectively, they might possibly outnumber the Eastern Orthodox Churches. It might be a point of low-level contention between them as to whose communion is bigger. If relevant parties are in agreement, I might add a note to that effect (contention over relative size) on the Church of the East page. Geoff 22:56, 1 May 2009 (UTC)

The Eastern Orthodox Church has more followers as well.

Misterxeight 23:32, 1 May 2009 (UTC)

As a point of dispute, that seems possible. (Thankee for the comment about the cross) Zahir 14:13, 2 May 2009 (UTC)

Confusing list

I find the list of the Orthodox Chuches to be confusing. The statement is made "There are 14 autocephalous Orthodox churches..." Nine names are in bold print, 56 names are listed, two are in italics. Which are the 14? Again the statement is made "The first nine...are led by patriarchs." There ARE only nine. "First" implies there are more. And no patriarch is mentioned for Romania. I have removed the Mount Athos Church from the Patriarchate of Constantinople. On September 14, 1889, the Ecumenical Patriarch ordained the archimandrite a bishop, affirming the unilateral declaration of independence made on July, 1878. As a monastic, the archimandrite does not use the title "patriarch" but, as an autocephalous church, the Autocephalous Monastic Orthodox Church of the Holy Mountain has a rank equivalent to a patriarchal church. I have placed it last in the list as the most recent of the autocephalous churches. Caeruleancentaur 20:05, 26 August 2009 (UTC)

I think that everything below the "Source Material" template was copied directly from Wikipedia or another real-life source. It's there for general illumination of the topic but isn't actually part of IB. Benkarnell

That's right, Ben. I noticed the words "Blegium" and "Argentina" somewhere on them and I've been meaning to fix them, only I've never really gotten around to it. But yes, the list is either from wikipedia or my online Bible so to speak; OrthodoxWiki. Misterxeight 01:54, 27 August 2009 (UTC)

Cleaning House

Hello, everyone. I hope no one minds that I got rid of a lot of details copied directly from Wikipedia. I really want to find bishoprics, archbishoprics, and metropolitanates for all of the Churches, and so far the Romanian, Lithuanian, and American have the most details on where their sees lie. I do not pretend that this list is anything but tentative so far, but having some details is better than none. I hope this is not bothersome to anyone here; I do not mean to intrude on anyone's spheres of influence. Thank you. Misterxeight 10:19, 7 April 2014 (PDT)

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