On Formation of Jurisdictional Limits of Eastern Churches in 4-5th Centuries

Archimandrite Cyril Hovorun, PhD

Period of the 4-5th centuries was probably the most crucial in formation of different aspects of life in the Christian communities in both West and East. Needless to say how dramatic was the development in the Christian theology during this period. Not of less significance were the changes that the canonical discipline and jurisdictional limits of the local Churches underwent through these two centuries. In my paper, I will focus on the development of the structure of the Patriarchates in both East and West along the vertical lines of relations between the ranks of bishops, metropolitans as superior bishops, and the Patriarchs. I found the best and most illustrative way to analyze these relations through the prism of development of the Church of Constantinople. I have chosen this topic also in order to make a contribution to the current inter-orthodox discussion about the role of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in the family of the Orthodox Churches.

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