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East & Old
Roots

"Equal parts Christianity that make us One."

Eastern Orthodoxy

The Eastern Orthodox Church is the second-largest Christian church with approximately 200–260 million members. As one of the oldest religious institutions in the world, the Eastern Orthodox Church has played a prominent role in the history and culture of Eastern and Southeastern Europe, the Caucasus, and the Near East. It operates as a communion of autocephalous churches, each governed by its bishops in local synods. The church has no central doctrinal or governmental authority analogous to the Pope of Rome, but the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople is recognized by all as primus inter pares ("first among equals") of the bishops.

 

Eastern Orthodox theology is based on the Nicene Creed, and the church teaches that it is the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic church established by Jesus Christ in his Great Commission, and that its bishops are the successors of Christ's apostles. It maintains that it practices the original Christian faith, passed down by holy tradition. Its patriarchates, reminiscent of the pentarchy, and autocephalous and autonomous churches reflect a variety of hierarchical organization. Of its innumerable sacred mysteries, it recognizes seven "major sacraments", of which the Eucharist is the principal one, celebrated liturgically in synaxis. The church teaches that through consecration invoked by a priest the sacrificial bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ. The Virgin Mary is venerated in the Eastern Orthodox Church as the Mother of God, honored in devotions.

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Old Catholic Tradition

The term Old Catholic Church is used from the 1850s by communions which had separated from the Roman Catholic Church over certain doctrines, primarily concerned with papal authority; some of these groups, especially in the Netherlands, had already existed long before the term. These churches are not in full communion with the Holy See. Member churches of the Union of Utrecht of the Old Catholic Churches (UU) are in full communion with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Sweden and the Anglican Communion; many members of the Union of Utrecht of the Old Catholic Churches hold membership in the World Council of Churches...

The term "Old Catholic" was first used in 1853 to describe the members of the See of Utrecht who did not recognize any infallible papal authority. Later Catholics who disagreed with the Roman Catholic dogma of papal infallibility as defined by the First Vatican Council (1870) were hereafter without a bishop and joined with Utrecht to form the Union of Utrecht of the Old Catholic Churches (UU). Today these Old Catholic churches are found chiefly in Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland and the Czech Republic. The Union of Scranton descends from this Utrechter Union following the ordination of women and LGBT Christians.

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