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After the seventh-century Arab conquests and the Byzantine loss of the Rome-Ravenna corridor, only Constantinople's patriarchate remained securely within the capital of the Roman Empire—the [[Pope]] at Rome was independent (see [[Gregory the Great]]), Jerusalem and Alexandria were under Muslim rule, and Antioch was on the front lines of hundreds of years of recurring border warfare between the Byzantine Empire and the Arab Caliphate. Also during the Middle Ages, the center of gravity of Christendom had shifted northward, and the majority of Christians in Muslim-ruled Egypt and Syria were [[Oriental Orthodox|Non-Chalcedonians]] who refused to recognize the authority of either Rome or Constantinople. Together, these historical-political changes meant that the original ideal of five great co-operating centers of administration of the whole Christian Church grew ever more remote from practical reality.
[[Category:Church History]]

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