Originally, a patriarch was a man who exercised autocratic authority as a pater familias over an extended family. The system of such rule of families by senior males is termed patriarchy. This is a Greek word, a compound of πατριά (patria), "lineage, progeny", esp. by the father's side (which derives from the word πατήρ – patēr meaning "father") and ἄρχων (archon) meaning "leader", "chief", "ruler", "king", etc.
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are referred to as the three patriarchs of the people of Israel, and the period during which they lived is termed the Patriarchal Age. It originally acquired its religious meaning in the Septuagint version of the Bible.
Today, the word has acquired specific ecclesiastical meanings. In particular, the highest-ranking bishops in Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy, the Catholic Church (above Major Archbishop and Primate), and the Assyrian Church of the East are termed Patriarchs (and in certain cases also popes). The office and ecclesiastical circumscription (comprising one or more provinces, though outside his own (arch)diocese he is often without enforceable jurisdiction) of such a Patriarch is termed a Patriarchate. Historically, a Patriarch may often be the logical choice to act as Ethnarch, representing the community that is identified with his religious confession within a state or empire of a different creed (as Christians within the Ottoman Empire).
- 1 Eastern Christianity
- 2 Catholic Church
- 3 Independent Patriarchs
- 4 Latter Day Saint movement
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Church of the East
Patriarchs of the Church of the East, sometimes also referred to as Nestorian, the Church of Persia, the Sassanid Church, or, in modern times, the Assyrian Church of the East, trace their lineage of patriarchs back to the 1st century.
- The Catholicos-Patriarch of Seleucia-Ctesiphon, chief of the Assyrian Church of the East.
- The Patriarch of the Ancient Church of the East, a secession from the Assyrian Church of the East.
- The ancient Patriarchates:
- The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, chief of the Orthodox Church of Constantinople and the Spiritual Leader of Eastern Orthodoxy.
- The Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa and the chief of the Greek Orthodox Church of Alexandria.
- The Patriarch of Antioch and the head of the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch and All the East in the Near East.
- The Patriarch of Jerusalem and the chief of the Greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem and Holy Zion in Israel, Palestine, Jordan and All Arabia.
- The five junior Patriarchates created after the consolidation of the Pentarchy, in chronological order of their recognition as Patriarchates by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople:
- The Patriarch of All Bulgaria and the chief of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church in Bulgaria, recognized as a Patriarchate in 927
- The Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia and the chief of the Georgian Orthodox Church in Georgia, recognized as a Catholicate (Patriarchate) in 1008
- The Patriarch of Serbia and the chief of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Serbia (and the former Yugoslavia), recognized as a Patriarchate in 1375
- The Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia and the chief of the Russian Orthodox Church in Russia, recognized as a Patriarchate in 1589
- The Patriarch of All Romania and the chief of the Romanian Orthodox Church in Romania, recognized as a Patriarchate in 1925
Eastern Patriarchs outside the Orthodox Communion
- The Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia chief of the Russian Old-Orthodox Church.
- The Patriarch of Kiev chief of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Kiev Patriarchate
- The Patriarch of Kyiv and All Rus-Ukraine of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church Canonical.
- The Patriarch of the Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Europe (www.mission-orthodoxe.org)
- The Patriarch of the Brazilian Catholic Apostolic Church
- The Patriarch of the Ukrainian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church
Oriental Orthodox Churches
- The Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of All Africa and the chief of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria in Egypt and All Africa and the Spiritual Leader of Oriental Orthodoxy.
- The Patriarch of Antioch and All the East and chief of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch and Supreme Leader of the Universal Syriac Orthodox Church in the Near East.
- The Catholicos of the East and the chief Metropolitan of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church in India.
- The Catholicos of Etchmiadzin, Armenia and of All Armenians and Supreme Patriarch of the Armenian Apostolic Church and chief of the Armenian Apostolic Church.
- The Patriarch of Constantinople for the Armenians in Turkey.
- The Patriarch of Jerusalem and of Holy Zion for the Armenians in Israel, Palestine, Jordan and the Persian Gulf.
- The Catholicos of Cilicia and chief of the Armenian Apostolic Church of the Great House of Cilicia in Antelias, Lebanon.
- The Catholicos of the East and the chief of the Indian Orthodox Church in India.
- The Archbishop of Axum and Patriarch Catholicos of All Ethiopia and the chief of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church in Ethiopia.
- The Archbishop of Asmara and Patriarch of All Eritrea and the chief of the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church in Eritrea.
Patriarchate of the West (not extant)
In the Pentarchy formulated by Justinian I (527–565), the emperor assigned as a patriarchate to the Bishop of Rome the whole of Christianized Europe (including almost all of modern Greece), except for a small area near Constantinople and along the coast of the Black Sea. He included in this patriarchate also the western part of North Africa. Justinian's system was given formal ecclesiastical recognition by the Quinisext Council of 692, which the see of Rome has, however, not recognized.
Popes have in the past occasionally used the title Patriarch of the West, without defining it. Beginning 1863, this title appeared in the annual reference publication, Annuario Pontificio, which in 1885 became a semi-official publication of the Holy See. This publication suppressed the title in its 2006 edition. The Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity explained the decision in a press release issued later that year. It stated that the title "Patriarch of the West" had become "obsolete and practically unusable" and that it was "pointless to insist on maintaining it". Since the Second Vatican Council, the Latin Church, with which the title could be consider associated, is now organized as a number of episcopal conferences and their international groupings.
Other historical Latin patriarchates
- The Patriarch of Grado – in 1451 merged with the Bishopric of Castello and Venice to form the Archdiocese of Venice.
- The Patriarch of Aquileia – dissolved in 1752.
- The Patriarch of the West Indies – a titular patriarchal see, vacant since 1963.
- The Latin Patriarch of Antioch – title abolished in 1964.
- The Latin Patriarch of Alexandria – title abolished in 1964.
- The Latin Patriarch of Constantinople – title abolished in 1964.
Extant Latin patriarchates
- The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem
- The Patriarch of the East Indies a titular patriarchal see, united to Goa and Daman.
- The Patriarch of Lisbon.
- The Patriarch of Venice.
Eastern Catholic patriarchates
- The Coptic Catholic Patriarch of Alexandria and head of the Coptic Catholic Church
- The Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, of Alexandria, and of Jerusalem and head of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church
- The Syrian Catholic Patriarch of Antioch and all the East and head of the Syriac Catholic Church
- The Maronite Catholic Patriarch of Antioch and all the East and head of the Maronite Catholic Church
- The Chaldean Catholic Patriarch of Babylon and head of the Chaldean Catholic Church
- The Armenian Catholic Patriarch of Cilicia and head of the Armenian Catholic Church
- The Major Archbishop of Kiev-Halych and head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church
- The Major Archbishop of Ernakulam-Angamaly and head of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church
- The Major Archbishop of Trivandrum and head of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church
- The Major Archbishop of Făgăraş and Alba Iulia and head of the Romanian Church United with Rome, Greek-Catholic
Within their proper sui iuris churches there is no difference between patriarchs and major archbishops. However, differences exist in the order of precedence (i.e. patriarchs take precedence over major archbishops) and in the mode of accession: The election of major archbishops has to be confirmed by the pope before they are allowed to take office. No papal confirmation is needed for newly elected patriarchs before they take office. They are just required to petition the pope as soon as possible for the concession of what is called ecclesiastical communion.
|Patriarch of the West||Latin||Rome||renounced in 2006|
|Titular and actual Latin-Rite Patriarchs||Latin||Aquileia||suppressed in 1751|
|Latin||Grado||suppressed in 1451|
|Latin||Alexandria||suppressed in 1964|
|Latin||Antioch||suppressed in 1964|
|Latin||Constantinople||suppressed in 1964|
|Latin||East Indies||Filipe Neri Ferrão|
|Latin||West Indies||vacant since 1963|
|Eastern Catholic Patriarchs||Coptic||Alexandria||Ibrahim Isaac Sidrak|
|Greek-Melkite||Antioch||Gregory III Laham|
|Syrian||Antioch||Ignatius Joseph III Younan|
|Maronite||Antioch||Bechara Boutros al-Rahi|
|Armenian||Cilicia||Nerses Bedros XIX Tarmouni|
|Chaldean||Babylon||Louis Raphaël I Sako|
|Eastern Catholic Major Archbishops||Ukrainian||Kiev-Halych||Sviatoslav Shevchuk|
|Romanian||Făgăraş and Alba Iulia||Lucian Mureșan|
The title of "Patriarch" is assumed also by the leaders of certain relatively recent groups, in particular those that are called independent Catholic Churches, who are in communion with none of the historic Christian Churches.
- The Patriarch of the Brazilian Catholic Apostolic Church.
- The Patriarch of the International Communion of the Charismatic Episcopal Church.
- The Patriarch of the Apostolic Catholic Church, in the Philippines
- The Patriarch of the Catholic Apostolic Church of Antioch.
- The Patriarch of the American Orthodox Catholic Church.
- The Patriarch of the Assembly of Jerusalem.
Latter Day Saint movement
In the Latter Day Saint movement, a patriarch is one who has been ordained to the office of patriarch in the Melchizedek priesthood. The term is considered synonymous with the term evangelist, a term favored by the Community of Christ. In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, one of the patriarch's primary responsibilities is to give patriarchal blessings, as Jacob did to his twelve sons according to the Old Testament. Patriarchs are typically assigned in each stake and possess the title for life.
- List of current Popes and Patriarchs
- Lists of Patriarchs
- List of Bishops and Archbishops
- Major archbishop
- List of Metropolitans and Patriarchs of Moscow
- πατριά, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
- πατήρ, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
- ἄρχων, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
- πατριάρχης, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
- patriarch, Oxford Dictionaries
- "Patriarch". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913.
- Catholic Near East Welfare Association, a Papal agency for humanitarian and pastoral assistance (ID: 20).
- Catholic Near East Welfare Association, a Papal agency for humanitarian and pastoral support (ID: 21).
- Catholic Near East Welfare Association, a Papal agency for humanitarian and pastoral assistance (ID: 18).
- Catholic Near East Welfare Association, a Papal agency for humanitarian and pastoral assistance (ID: 17).
- Catholic Near East Welfare Association, a Papal agency for humanitarian and pastoral assistance (ID: 19).
- ZENIT News Agency: "Communiqué on title 'Patriarch of the West'". Retrieved 20 July 2013
- "CCEO: text - IntraText CT". Intratext.com. 4 May 2007. Retrieved July 2013.
- Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium: Can. 153
- Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium: Can. 76
- An example of the petition and the granting of ecclesiastical communion: "Exchange of letters between Benedict XVI and His Beatitude Antonios Naguib". Holy See Press Office. Retrieved 2013-01-18.
- When a woman was elected head of this Church, she was styled Matriarch. 
- Current and former patriarchates of the Catholic Church (GCatholic).
- Current titular patriarchal sees of the Catholic Church (GCatholic).
- Current patriarchates of the Catholic Church (GCatholic).
- "Patriarch". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). 1911.
- "Patriarchs". Encyclopedia Americana. 1920.