The one pattern which does seem to prevail is that autocephaly is an expression of the whole community of Orthodox churches and that the voice of that community is most often found in the leadership of the first among them, the Church of Constantinople. Where autocephaly is proclaimed without Constantinople's assent, it historically tends to find itself on difficult ground.
When a church is in a situation, with conditions of life uniquely proper to itself, has a mature churchly body with full capabilities of maintaining and developing its life without any outside guidance and support then this church not only may be an autocephalous church in the family of Orthodoxy, but it must be such a church.
When there is absolutely no justifiable reason before God and the dogmas and canons of the church, why a mature church should exist merely as a part of some other geographical, national, or linguistic territory’s church, the church should by recognized and blessed by all others!
A church has the responsibility not to be a burden on a mother church or any church. It should of course share in the mutual guidance and support that all sister churches give to each other.
== See also ==