Talk:Eastern Orthodox Church

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Orthodox is not Catholic in any sense[edit]

Greek Orthodox and Russian Orthodox churches in no sense consider themselves catholic. The Introduction must be changed completely. (talk) 14:39, 7 July 2013 (UTC)

The authoritative Catholic Encyclopedia makes no mention anywhere of Greek or Russian Orthodox Churches being called catholic in any sense. (talk) 15:09, 7 July 2013 (UTC)
The name is well referenced and it is the product of long discussions and consensus. Read the Discussion page. --Coquidragon (talk) 16:49, 7 July 2013 (UTC)
Nowhere in Greek or Russian official doctrine is it stated, nowhere, that they are catholic, nowhere. (talk) 16:58, 7 July 2013 (UTC)
I would suggest you read the documents of Orthodoxy again. This statement is well supported by references, has long been discussed, and it was agreed by consensus of many editors. Please stop your changes.--Coquidragon (talk) 17:07, 7 July 2013 (UTC)
Quote for me just one passage, just one, where Greek or Russian churches today call themselves catholic and I will desist. You have not one single passage to cite. (talk) 17:11, 7 July 2013 (UTC)
The only reason I don't undo your edit is because of WP 3RR rule. Please take your time to read this discussion page. Plenty of references to official documents of Orthodoxy are cited here. I am not going to do your job. If you continue to delete wording approved by consensus of editors, WP has strict rules about this type of editing. Please, refrain from continuing to do so. If you want it change the wording, wait until a consensus is reach to change it. I'll be back in 24 hours and undo your edit. Please, read, read, read.--Coquidragon (talk) 17:30, 7 July 2013 (UTC)
When you come back, bring me one passage, just one, where Greek or Russian official doctrine of today states that they are catholic. Bring me just one. (talk) 17:40, 7 July 2013 (UTC)
The passage reads:

...officially called the Orthodox Catholic Church,[4][5][6][7][8][9][note 1]

The things in the brackets ([4][5][6][7][8][9][note 1]) are called references and they are all from reliable sources and they are all verifiable so they satisfy Wikipedia's criteria of inclusion. Please stop your unsupported changes to the article by edit-warring. Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 18:57, 7 July 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── The term catholic (originally meaning "universal") has a wider historical usage, not necessarily referring exclusively to the Roman Catholic Church. See History of the term "Catholic", as well as Catholicism#Divergent interpretations. As Dr.K. has pointed out, we have numerous reliable sources supporting the assertion that the Eastern Orthodox Church has, in certain cases, used the term catholic to refer to itself. It is not by any means surprising that the Catholic Encyclopedia (a publication geared toward Roman Catholics) would not agree to call the Eastern Orthodox Church "catholic", but the point here is not what others call the Eastern Orthodox Church, but what the Eastern Orthodox Church calls itself. For what little it may be worth, I too was skeptical when I first saw this claim that the Eastern Orthodox Church officially called itself "Catholic", but I conceded the point after examining the cited sources which show that some Eastern Orthodox theologians and scholars have in fact used this terminology. — Richwales (no relation to Jimbo) 22:18, 7 July 2013 (UTC)

Tell me please, do you ever recite the Nicene Creed during liturgy? What does the Church call herself in that Creed? Elizium23 (talk) 22:25, 7 July 2013 (UTC)
"In one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church." -- (talk) 00:02, 7 May 2014 (UTC)

Wow... a mountain out of molehill. "catholic" in the Nicene Creed simply is another word for universal. It does not specifically mean Roman Catholic. Orthodox Christians aren't Roman Catholics, but we are catholic, i.e. universal, open to everyone, and we happen to share some theological common ground with the Roman Catholics. Tpkatsa (talk) 21:43, 17 February 2014 (UTC)

Hey OP, you shouldn't try to talk about a topic when you have no idea what you are talking about. -- (talk) 00:02, 7 May 2014 (UTC)

See the new article section Eastern Orthodox Church#Catholicity of the Orthodox Church where all those 33 refs to reliable sources have been moved, and where the whole topic is addressed in more detail. Most of the refs are from Orthodox sources, and many of those are not only reliable but official. I get it: some people don't like the word because it sounds like it's connected to the Roman Catholic Church (which it is), but it is just as firmly (and oppositionally) connected to the Orthodox faith. Here's something else that is deprecated in the Orthodox faith: idle talk. Evensteven (talk) 21:18, 7 May 2014 (UTC)


As things stand, the Macedonian Orthodox Church – Ohrid Archbishopric and its self-proclaimed autocephaly is not officially recognized by other Orthodox churches, nor is it in communion with any of them. Therefore, unless I am missing something, its presence should not be included in the article Eastern Orthodox Churches. Or if some editors can demonstrate that it should, could we please try and make the case. Important notice: this does not affect its status as a valid Christian Church, just the grouping and it has nothing to do with any naming issues. Politis (talk) 21:18, 26 March 2014 (UTC)

Indeed. -- (talk) 00:02, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
If it's not in communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate, then it's not Eastern Orthodox. "Self-proclaimed" autocephaly is never a good sign either. But the Macedonian church article clearly identifies this status. Also, this article does have a list of churches that are not in communion with Eastern Orthodoxy, for various reasons including irregular or uncanonical status. Macedonia has been in that condition for almost 50 years. That may sound long, but Russian "Old Believers" have been there much longer. Even the great schism took centuries after 1054 to really become final, for there were many peaceful attempts at reconciliation among all the political/military ones. So this is not the outstanding example. I think the list in this article serves a useful purpose, to differentiate what can be a confusing mixture among churches that use "Orthodox" in their title. If this church is to be removed from the list, then I think the only reason that can be made for it is that nothing in the list really belongs in the article and the whole list should go. I think all the status questions are clear as stated. My opinion is that the list belongs in this article, and that the Macedonian church definitely belongs in its current position in the list. Evensteven (talk) 01:49, 7 May 2014 (UTC)

Notice: new section on catholicity and rework of citations[edit]

Most encyclopedias and books introducing Orthodoxy include a discussion of catholicity, what it means to the Orthodox, and what "Catholic" is doing in the official church title. It appears from the long-standing condition of the lead sentence that there must have been a considerable challenge to all this material beneath the huge stack of references that ended up grouped after the words "Orthodox Catholic Church". There is still a section on this talk page wanting to claim otherwise.

I have taken that stack of references, and have created a few paragraphs on these topics that use them, in order to move the material into a more visible place within the article. The lead sentence has been relieved of the burden of that stack, with a "see section" reference to back up the official title. The old "Notes" section has been eliminated in favor of the new article section. I expect that we may find related material that might re-structure well into the new section from other locations.

In the process, I have converted or improved all references into "cite book" or "cite web" citation form, expanding information therein where I could trace it. I have verified all URLs, repairing what I could, discarding the defunct. I have deleted references to a couple non-informational websites and to one self-published author with a degree from a diploma mill.

The references work involved in this little project are also the beginning of a re-structuring of all references/citation for the article, coming as I am able to accomplish it, to address the tag at the top of the article. This talk section can serve to contain any comments or concerns the community may have about any of the above. Evensteven (talk) 08:23, 4 May 2014 (UTC)

The article contains a referenced source that is listed as "Bratsiotis, Panagiotis and Florovsky, Georges, Orthodoxy, a Faith and Order Dialogue, Geneva, 1960". Can anyone verify this title or find a page reference? While investigating, what I have found is a book by that title, publisher, and date, written by one Keith R Bridston, a Lutheran seminary professor. I'm wondering if he quotes Bratsiotis and/or Florovsky, or rather if this source is just somehow mangled. If it can't be verified, I'm inclined to remove it. I'll wait a bit before going ahead with that. Evensteven (talk) 22:55, 8 May 2014 (UTC)
I have tracked this down, far enough anyway. It is apparently from the book by Bridston, which references writings of Bratsiotis and Florovsky. The whole is referenced by Bishop Kallistos Ware in The Orthdox Church. The entry into the article is pretty much a botched reference made about a year ago by a newbie editor who shall remain anonymous (that is, "me"). I find it now to be unnecessary, as the base reference to Ware has been there all along. It is gone. Evensteven (talk) 15:44, 15 May 2014 (UTC)

The Orthodox Church is Catholic[edit], repeated unsupported removal of content and sources can be termed vandalism. Returning the article to the content that it has long had, based on those sources is not. The new section is comprised of material that was heretofore included in the article within the footnotes, but was reshaped to become clearer and more explicit. All of it is more than well backed up. It should be quite clear from even a superficial reading that the Orthodox Church does indeed consider itself Catholic and says so, officially, unofficially, and thoroughly enough that non-Orthodox are fully aware of it.

No, this does not mean that the Orthodox Church is Roman Catholic. The claim of the Orthodox Church that it is Catholic is based upon its catholicity, and is the very thing that opposes the claim by the Roman Catholic Church that it is Catholic. Orthodoxy always said the Church is Catholic. That is why it is in the Nicene Creed. When the Great Schism occurred in 1054, Pope Leo IX ultimately excommunicated Patriarch of Constantinople Michael Cerularius in an action that presupposed his authority to do so. Since that authority was not recognized in the east, the Patriarch issued an excommunication of the Pope. This much made clear the official separation from both sides. The subsequent alignment of bishops and synods around the one and the other made clear who was in communion with whom, and who took what side. Those with the Pope were the Roman church, and those with the Patriarch were the Orthodox. All of the churches had been within the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church before that time, and now they were clearly separated into two. Both could not be One, could not be Catholic. But both claimed to be. Both the Romans and the Orthodox clearly established that claim by identifying the word Catholic with both the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church and with the name of their churches. And none of that has changed an iota up to the present day. The Orthodox view is that the Roman Catholic Church left the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church officially in 1054, that its claim to catholicity is false, and that the Orthodox claim to catholicity is true, and that is expressed in the official title "Orthodox Catholic Church".

It is not Orthodox or Catholic; it is both Orthodox and Catholic. If you are Orthodox and reject "Catholic" in the title of your church, claiming that it means "Roman Catholic Church", then you are acquiescing to the Roman church's claim to catholicity and rejecting your own church's catholicity. That is an error of fact ("Orthodox Catholic Church" is the title) and a departure from Orthodox doctrine (the Orthodox church is the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church). What is not clear to you about this? Evensteven (talk) 17:22, 10 May 2014 (UTC)

Please note that I have tried to find a more suitable place in the article for the photo of Annunciation Orthodox Cathedral, Voronezh, which I hope meets your approval. Evensteven (talk) 17:51, 10 May 2014 (UTC)

Order of precedence[edit]

According to the order at, the Church of Georgia is ranked after Bulgarian, Serbian and Romanian Church. I think this article should follow the same order of seniority. --N Jordan (talk) 03:57, 12 May 2014 (UTC)

The ordering on the website page is not titled or described, but it does otherwise appear to be in order of precedence. However, I think only the ancient patriarchates have official standing regarding that order, because I think it takes an Ecumenical Council to establish it, and we haven't had one of those for a while. So I can't guarantee how official the ordering really is. But I did make the requested change in the article. Evensteven (talk) 05:17, 12 May 2014 (UTC)
No, I have reconsidered and reverted myself. Georgia has a very long Christian history, much longer I think than Russia. I just don't claim sufficient knowledge, and this may end up being controversial. Evensteven (talk) 05:26, 12 May 2014 (UTC)
The Orthodoxy in Georgia is indeed older than in Russia or at the Balkans. However, the order of seniority is based on date restoration of modern church, not on history. Otherwise, the church in Bulgaria and Serbia is older than the church of Russia. Also, Jerusalem is for sure older than Constantinople. I am aware that Russian Church internally rank the Church of Georgia above the Church of Serbia, but at pan-orthodox events, the order of seniority is based on δίπτυχο of the ecumenical patriarch. --N Jordan (talk) 06:41, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
P.S. There is an entire short paragraph after the listing that describe the difference in ranking: Note, that the Russian Church recognized a different order of seniority, in which the Georgian church comes after the Church of Russia and the Albanian Church – after the Church of Greece. The Church of Cyprus also has a different list featuring herself immediately after the ancient Patriarchates and before that of Moscow. This is the reason I changed ranking to match the diptych of Church of Constantinople. If anybody wants to move Georgia to #6, please replace quoted paragraph with a new one that would explain difference in ranking. BTW, the diptych of Constantinople is also followed by other 3 historical churches. --N Jordan (talk) 07:27, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
Order of precedence cannot be based on seniority, a word whose presence in the article I had missed earlier. If it were, Jerusalem would have to come first, with Antioch a likely second. I am taking "precedence" to mean the hierarchy of honor observed among the patriarchates, of which Rome was the first from the time there was any thought of precedence of honor or of patriarchates themselves. Alexandria came second until the founding of Constantinople, whose place as capital of the eastern empire was considered reason enough to give it precedence, without consideration of "seniority". Someone correct me if I am wrong, but I believe that it is an ecumenical council that set the early order and technically it requires another for an official reset. In the mean time, I believe that pan-Orthodox synods with the involvement of the Ecumenical Patriarch have provided the current working list since the last ecumenical council, and continue to maintain it for the purpose of the smooth running of such synods until the next ecumenical council. So the list from Constantinople would appear to be the most authoritative current thing that exists for all the many patriarchates that have been created in the last 1000 years or more, including Russia. Georgia is indeed quite ancient, but less so than Jerusalem or Antioch, so seniority simply cannot be the measure. Evensteven (talk) 15:41, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
The order of precedence for all other churches except old patriarchates is based on seniority. The modern Church of Bulgaria received tomos of autocephaly after Church of Romania. It was restored in 1953. so the order doesn't consider a historic Church of Bulgaria established in 987. Since we didn't have an ecumenical council to discuss order of precedence, that is the only possible logical way at this moment. --N Jordan (talk) 18:01, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
I'll accept that, though I have seen no official confirmation that seniority is the way that's been done. But I would agree that the Ecumenical Patriarchate would have to be the best possible official source for whatever list we report here. Evensteven (talk) 19:36, 10 July 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── As far as I remember the Georgian church is negotiating with the Patriarchate of Constantinople about this issue and the Georgian church asks Constantinople 5th or 6th place in the list of precedence due to its ancient position. Jaqeli 20:26, 11 July 2014 (UTC)

What's the reason for the recent image changing?[edit]

Reasons are supposed to be given on the edit lines for changes made, and there's been trouble with the placement of the photo of Voronezh Cathedral since it was introduced during other contentious editing. (1) The picture that user Lialiss insists on is not really of the cathedral proper, but of statuary outside it. I suspect the caption is inaccurate, and insist that a proper description be made. In addition, there should be justification of why this user insists on its location in the Church Councils section when it has no apparent connection to that subject. Lialiss, make it clear what the point is, and why it belongs where you put it. (2) User Insider replaced said photo in a more appropriate location with another view, this time of the cathedral itself. To me, this appears to be a good faith edit, bringing the photo into alignment with the caption. User Lialiss has reverted this change and returned the photo to the Church Councils section without explanation. Again, why?

I was the one who moved the original photo from Church Councils to Russian Orthodox Church in the Soviet Union (1917-1991) - not a perfect location, but an improvement, I thought. I do not insist I have found the solution here that best suits the article, but I do insist that some reasons need to be stated for changes so that some rational evaluation of edits can be made. In addition, the article deserves to be retained in its prior agreed state unless and until edits and their reasons are reviewed and approved by the editing community. I will refrain from changes to these photo edits for about 24 hours to allow time for some response on this talk page. I am not saying that the edits themselves cannot be justified, only that they have not yet been justified. I would be less insistent if I had not seen the word "VANDAL" written into an edit comment. The article also deserves protection from disruptive editing.

As an aside, was it an error that put IP protection in place that expired as soon as it took effect? Evensteven (talk) 20:40, 12 May 2014 (UTC)

I've just found the sockpuppet investigation that has been opened on user Lialiss. I have decided not to await developments here, and will edit the article to a state I consider to be stable and defensible, which will involve reverting Lialiss's last edits. Let that be the starting point for any discussion that's needed later.
Never mind. I find that an administrator checking into the sockpuppetry did what I would have. Evensteven (talk) 20:57, 12 May 2014 (UTC)
Never mind about the IP protection comment above either. Despite a careful check, I still managed to misread the notice. Evensteven (talk) 04:25, 13 May 2014 (UTC)
Sorry about that. I forgot to inform you of the investigation: Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations/Liallis. Too busy I guess investigating the cross-wiki disruption of the WP:DUCKs of Liallis. :) Take care Evensteven. Nice talking to you after such a long time. Keep up the excellent work. :) Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 04:43, 13 May 2014 (UTC)
It's always a pleasure for me to talk to you too. Thanks for opening that investigation, DrK. I was treading tentatively in some disciplinary direction, but I am not really versed in the mechanics and support of such reports, so I was very glad of your help. It was, of course, my visit to Liallis' talk page that tipped me off about the investigation and your involvement. I'm glad you were able to spot the puppetry angle, which I did not (beyond the association with the immediate IPs on this article). I suppose I really will have to become more adept at this stuff myself, but what an obnoxious task these disruptive activities foist upon us! I have taken notes from your deft presentation and efficient model. Swift, definitive, and irrefutable: a great combination for disposing of trash. An admirable job, sir. My arsenal grows under your tutelage. Evensteven (talk) 06:01, 13 May 2014 (UTC)
Thank you very much Evensteven for your eloquent praise, which although I am doubtful if I fully deserve, I acknowledge as an honour. I am glad that you are examining the possibility of getting involved in this business. I am sure your acumen will be very helpful in any sockpuppet investigation. Unfortunately, as you mentioned, building an encyclopedia is not easy amidst all the continuing disruption caused by so many socks and other interlopers. In any case, I got the idea of the SPI after I saw your valiant efforts at managing the IP disruption and I thought I had to help out. I am glad I did. By the way, if you ever need any assistance involving sock control just let me know. Take care. Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 06:30, 13 May 2014 (UTC)
Thanks much for the advance permission, which I figured I would ask for if/when the occasion arose. I really don't want to become involved "in this business" as a regular activity, but I do want to be able to act decisively if it's needed. I've always figured that when other editors show no initial interest in talking, that I should take the initiative. I like to have a demonstrated history of good faith behind me when I oppose disruption. It kind of makes things clear when anyone wants to take a look. And in this case, it was clear that this "Catholic" thing has been the subject of much run-around in the past. I don't mind at all leaving a strong calling card on the talk page to give the sincere doubter something to think about. There are regions where there's still a lot of bad, hot blood, even recently shed, over RC/Orthodox collisions, so I can understand how naming misconceptions and antipathies arise, but a push toward rationality can sometimes temper the temper, which is better all the way around. So, I appreciate the thought of "valiant efforts", but I was actually looking in several directions at once and trying to fill holes. The technique I like best for handling trouble lies in containment and dissolution where possible. Evensteven (talk) 07:31, 13 May 2014 (UTC)
That's a good approach. Unfortunately my experience in this area indicates that once someone has undertaken the use of socks, it is often difficult for them to reform. Case in point: I go to Liallis's talk the day before to tell him/her not to use IP sockpuppets because I may be forced to open an SPI. Next thing he does s/he creates the sock OneLittlM0use and starts edit-warring on Voronezh against actual user OneLittleMouse, whom he also personally attacked twice. So much for prevention. It is also the case that creation of socks in hot-button areas such as religious and ethnic articles is endemic and recurring and is often accompanied by intense edit-warring, heavy incivility and other disruption. Talkpage discussion, or other good-faith initiatives, are of very limited use in such cases. Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 17:21, 13 May 2014 (UTC)
Just saw your response, and I quite agree. At the time I was doing the other, though, I didn't yet realize about the socks. Mostly, I wanted to be discouraging to any who were willing to be discouraged by reason. I may wish to be restrained as long and as far as I can, but when it comes to any who prove themselves to be unconstructive, I am quite willing to use as much brute force as I have at my command. Which is again why I thank you for your help, as it has supplied me with a few more tools with which to annihilate misdeeds and subdue the misbehaving. I believe in peaceability always, but pacifism only when it serves the purpose. I don't like fighting, which is why I tend to be relentless against attackers, disruptors, and the incivil. That kind of thing simply needs to be stifled, and the peace sometimes needs to be won. Evensteven (talk) 07:08, 19 May 2014 (UTC)

Demographic maps of adherents[edit]

A new one was recently added to the article, so we now have these characterizations in terms of absolute numbers and of percentages. It will be necessary to keep an eye on their accuracy. In fact, I think both are already out of date when it comes to Guatemala. Total figures there may be hard to come by, but they certainly exceed 1% at this time, and at current growth rates could exceed 5% (and even 1 million) soon. Growth is also fast in Ireland, where it is approaching 1% of the population. Does anyone here know how to edit these maps when the time comes? Evensteven (talk) 17:22, 24 May 2014 (UTC)