Biserica Ortodoxă a Antiohiei

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Biserica Antiohiei este una din cele cinci patriarhate (i.e. Pentarhia) care constituiau [[Una, Sfântă, Sobornicească şi Apostolească Biserică|Una, sfântă, sobornicească și apostolească Biserică dinainte de schisma între Roma și Antiohia din 1098 și între Roma și celelalte patriarhate ortodoxe aproximativ în aceeași perioadă. În zilele noastre este una din Bisericile Ortodoxe autocefale. În traducerea cea mai răspândită a documentelor oficiale (în limba engleză), Biserica Antiohiei se intitulează Patriarhia Greco-Ortodoxă a Antiohiei și a întregului Răsărit, dar o traducere literală a denumirii arabe impuse de legislația otomană (și utilizată până astăzi de succesorii politici ai otomanilor) ar suna mai degrabă astfel: Patriarhia Ortodoxă Romană (a Romeilor) a Antiohiei și a întregului Răsărit (conform împărțirii teritoriilor otomane după sistemul millet-urilor, ortodocșii aparțineau toți de Rum millet - miletul romanilor/romeilor).

Biserica Antiohiei este continuatoarea comunității creștine fondate în Antiohia de către apostolii Petru (care a fost primul său episcop) și Pavel, care sunt ocrotitorii săi. În diptice, Biserica Antiohiei este în scrisă pe locul al treilea între Bisericile Ortodoxe, după Constantinopol și Alexandria.

Reședința patriarhatului se găsea inițial la Antiohia (Antakya), în Turcia de azi. Acum, reședința se găsește la Damasc, în Siria, pe "strada numită Dreaptă". În prezent, patriarh este Prea-Fericitul Ignatie IV (Hazim) al Antiohiei și al întregului Răsărit.

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East
Întemeietor(i) Apostolii Petru și Pavel
Autocefalie/Autonomie declarată din vechime
Autocefalie/Autonomie recunoscută din vechime
Primatul actual Patriarhul Ignatie al IV-lea
Sediu Damasc, Siria
Teritoriu principal Siria, Liban, Iran, Iraq, Kuweit, părţi din Turcia
Posesiuni în afară Statele Unite, Canada, America Centrală, America de Sud, Australia, Noua Zeelandă, Oceania, Marea Britanie, Europa Occidentală
Limbă liturgică arabă, greacă, engleză
Tradiție muzicală Cântarea bizantină
Calendar Iulian îndreptat
Populație estimată 750,000 - 1,000,000
Site oficial Biserica Antiohiei


Early years

The early history of the Church of Antioch is detailed in the Acts of the Apostles, where in Acts 11:23 the Apostle Luke records that it was in that city that the disciples of Christ were first called Christians. Due to the importance of Antioch as a major center in the ancient Roman Empire, many of the missionary efforts of the apostles were launched from that city. In the early centuries of the Church's history, it was natural that the Church sojourning in Antioch would come to be traditionally regarded as one of the centers of world Christianity. The territory that came to be associated with the bishop of Antioch was that of the Roman Diocese of the East (a diocese was originally an Imperial governmental division before it became an ecclesiastical one).

The Antiochian school

During the pre-Nicene period and that of the Ecumenical Councils, Christian theology centered in Antioch tended to emphasize the literal, historical facts of the life of Jesus Christ over philosophical or allegorical interpretations of Holy Scripture, contrasted with the more mystical and figurative theology coming from Alexandria. Antiochian theology, though stressing the "earthier" side of interpretation, nevertheless did not neglect the importance of insight into the deeper, spiritual meaning of the Scriptures. These two viewpoints came to be known respectively as the Antiochian school and the Alexandrian school, represented by major catechetical institutions at both places.

Major figures associated with the origin of the Antiochian school include Lucian of Antioch and Paul of Samosata, but its real formation was found with writers such as Diodore of Tarsus, John Chrysostom, Theodore of Mopsuestia, Nestorius, and Theodoret of Cyrrhus. At times, this difference in emphasis caused conflicts within the Church as the tension between the two approaches came to a head, especially regarding the doctrinal disputes over Arianism and Nestorianism. Saints such as John Chrysostom are somewhat regarded as synthesizers of the Antiochian and Alexandrian approaches to theology, and the Antiochian school of theology, whose more deviant proponents produced Arianism and Nestorianism, also enabled the Orthodox fight against the Alexandrian school's deviances, namely Apollinarianism and Eutychianism.

Schism over Chalcedon

Disputes over the Christology of the Fourth Ecumenical Council at Chalcedon—the Monophysite controversy—in 451 led to a schism within the Church of Antioch, which at that same council was elevated to the status of a patriarchate. The larger group at the time repudiated the council and became the Syriac Orthodox Church (also called the "Jacobites" for Jacob Baradeus, an early bishop of theirs who did extensive missionary work in the region). They currently constitute part of the Oriental Orthodox communion and maintain a Christology somewhat different in language from that of Chalcedon.

The remainder of the Church of Antioch, primarily local Greeks or Hellenized sections of the indigenous population, remained in communion with Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria, and Jerusalem. This is the current Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East which is considered by the other bishops of the Orthodox Church to be the sole legimate heir to the see of Antioch.

The schism greatly weakened the Antiochian church, and in 637 when Antioch fell to the Muslim Arabs, the "Greek" church was perceived by the invaders as allied to the Romano-Byzantine enemies of the Arabs. During the subsequent period, Antiochian Orthodox Christians underwent a lengthy period of persecution, and there were multiple periods of either vacancy or non-residence on the Antiochian patriarchal throne during the 7th and 8th centuries. In 969, the Roman Empire regained control of Antioch, and the church there prospered again until 1085, when the Seljuk Turks took the city. During this period of more than a hundred years, the traditional West Syrian liturgy of the church was gradually replaced by that of the tradition of the Great Church, Hagia Sophia in Constantinople. This process was completed sometime in the 12th century.

Crusader and Muslim conquests

In 1098, Crusaders took the city and set up a Latin Patriarchate of Antioch to adorn its Latin Kingdom of Syria, while a Greek patriarchate continued in exile in Constantinople. After nearly two centuries of Crusader rule, the Egyptian Mamelukes seized Antioch in 1268, and the Orthodox patriarch, Theodosius IV, was able to return to the region. By this point, Antioch itself had been reduced to a smaller town, and so in the 14th century Ignatius II transferred the seat of the patriarchate to Damascus, where it remains to this day, though the patriarch retains the Antiochian title.

The Ottoman Turks conquered the city in 1517, under whose control it remained until the breakup of the Ottoman Empire at the end of World War I. During this period, in 1724, the Church of Antioch was again weakened by schism, as a major portion of its faithful came into submission to the Roman Catholic Church. The resultant Uniate body is known as the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, which in the current day maintains close ties with the Orthodox and is currently holding ongoing talks about healing the schism and returning the Melkites to Orthodoxy.

By the 18th century the great majority of the communicants of the Antiochian church were Arabs. In 1898 the last Greek patriarch was deposed, and an Arab successor was elected in 1899. Thus the patriarchate became fully Arab in character. A strong renewal movement, involving Orthodox youth in particular, has been under way since the 1940s.

The Antiochian church today

The St. John of Damascus Patriarchal Institute of Theology (Tripoli, Lebanon) was established by the patriarchate in 1970, and in 1988 it was fully incorporated into the University of Balamand. The Institute functions as the primary seminary for theological schooling for the patriarchate's clergy and lay leaders.

The Holy Synod of Antioch includes the patriarch and all the ruling bishops. Meetings are held each year in Spring and Autumn to consider church-wide issues, and to elect the patriarch and other bishops as needed. The patriarch and holy synod govern the Church of Antioch to preserve the true faith, to maintain ecclesiastical order, and to carry out the commandments of Christ. In addition to the synod itself, a general conciliar body meets twice a year to see to the financial, educational, judicial, and administrative matters of the patriarchate. It is composed of members of the synod and of lay representatives. When a new patriarch is to be elected, this body selects three candidates from whom the holy synod chooses the new patriarch.

The current patriarch is His Beatitude Patriarch Ignatius IV (Hazim) of Antioch and all the East, elected in 1979. Patriarch Ignatius has been particularly active in strengthening ties with other Christian communions, but particularly with those whose roots are in Antioch. His Beatitude and the holy synod of Antioch were enthusiastic for the Church of Antioch to participate in general talks between representatives of all the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox Churches.

At Chambesy in Switzerland, plenary talks were held resulting in agreements in 1989, 1990 and 1993. All official representatives of the Eastern Orthodox and the Oriental Orthodox reached agreement in these dialogues that the Christological differences between the two communions are more a matter of emphasis than of substance. Although elements in a number of the Eastern Orthodox Churches have criticized the apparent consensus reached by the representatives at Chambesy, the patriarch and holy synod of the Antiochian Orthodox Church welcomed the agreements as positive moves towards a sharing in the Love of God, and a rejection of the hatred of insubstantial division.

As recommended in the Second Chambesy Agreement, that of 1990, the Antiochian (Eastern) Orthodox Patriarch Ignatius IV formally met with the Syriac (Oriental) Orthodox Patriarch, Ignatius Zakka I, on July 22, 1991. At that formal meeting, the two patriarchs signed a pastoral agreement which called for "complete and mutual respect between the two churches." It also prohibited the passing of faithful from one church to the other, envisaged joint meetings of the two holy synods when appropriate, and provided for future guidelines for intercommunion of the faithful and Eucharistic concelebration by the clergy of the two churches. The Church of Antioch expects these guidelines to be issued when the faithful of both churches are ready, but not before.

Patriarch Ignatius has also overseen participation in a bilateral commission with the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, which is exploring ways of healing the 18th century schism between the Melkite Catholics and the Antiochian Orthodox. In an unprecedented event, Melkite Patriarch Maximos V addressed a meeting of the Orthodox holy synod in October 1996.

The members of the holy synod of Antioch continue to explore greater communication and more friendly meetings with their Syriac, Melkite, and Maronite brothers and sisters, who all share a common heritage.

In May of 1997, the holy synod met and declared that the whole Paschaltide period is to be observed festally, thus balancing the lengthy fasting of Great Lent with an equal feasting period in celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

This decision, the diplomatic activities, and other moves by Patriarch Ignatius and the holy synod, have drawn criticism from some elements within the mainstream Eastern Orthodox Church and particularly from "resistance" groups who have walled themselves off from communion with most of world Orthodoxy.

Of the churches receiving approbrium for "ecumenism", Antioch probably has received the greatest amount.

Expansiunea externă

Noi episcopi antiohieni împreună cu patriarhul
De la stânga la dreapta: PS Marcu (Maymon) de Toledo, PF Ignatie IV (Hazim) al Antiohiei, PS Toma (Iosif) de Oakland, PS Alexandru (Mufarrij) de Ottawa

Imigrația pe scară largă a arabilor către Lumea Nouă în secolele XX și XXI a determinat o creștere a numărului, forței și influenței Biseriii Antiohiei; în zilele noastre, majoritatea credincioșilor antiohieni trăiesc în afara Orientului Mijlociu și cuprind numeroși ne-arabi convertiți la credința ortodoxă. În consecință, pe lângă teritoriile Bisericii Antiohiei din Orientul Mijociu (Siria, Liban, Iraq, Kuweit, Iran, Peninsula Arabică și parte din Turcia), aceasta cuprinde dieceze misionare în America de Nord, Centrală și de Sud, în Europa, în Australia și Pacific. Arhiepiscopia cu cel mai mare număr de credincioși este cea aAmericii de Nord. Este singura alcătuită din mai multe eparhii. Arhiepiscopia cu teritoriul cel mai întins este cea a Australiei şi Noii Zeelande. Numărul credincioșilor Patriarhiei Antiohiei este estimat la 750.000-1.000.000 numai pe teritoriul Siriei.

Sfinţi antiohieni

De-a lungul secolelor, numele Bisericii Antiohiei a fost asociat cu cel al multor sfinți din calendarul bisericesc, între care: Over the centuries, the Church of Antioch has been associated with many saints on the Church's calendar.

Soborul Marilor Sfinți ai Sfintei Biserici a Antiohiei


Apar în listă doar eparhiile pentru care există articole OrthodoxWiki (în limba engleză).

Biserici Ortodoxe autocefale și autonome
Biserici autocefale
Cele patru Patriarhate vechi: Constantinopol | Alexandria | Antiohia | Ierusalim
Rusia | Serbia | România | Bulgaria | Georgia | Cipru | Grecia | Polonia | Albania | Cehia și Slovacia | OCA*
Biserici autonome
Sinai | Finlanda | Estonia* | Japonia* | China* | Ucraina*
Bisericile autocefale sau autonome desemnate cu un * nu sunt universal recunoscute în cadrul comuniunii ortodoxe.

Legături externe

Arhiepiscopii şi episcopii

Orientul Mijlociu

Biserici Ortodoxe autocefale și autonome
Biserici autocefale
Cele patru Patriarhate vechi: Constantinopol | Alexandria | Antiohia | Ierusalim
Rusia | Serbia | România | Bulgaria | Georgia | Cipru | Grecia | Polonia | Albania | Cehia și Slovacia | OCA*
Biserici autonome
Sinai | Finlanda | Estonia* | Japonia* | China* | Ucraina*
Bisericile autocefale sau autonome desemnate cu un * nu sunt universal recunoscute în cadrul comuniunii ortodoxe.