removed broken links
The [[bishop]]s of the Orthodox Churches trace unbroken [[Apostolic succession|succession]] to the very [[apostles]] themselves, therefore ultimately receiving their consecrations from our [[Lord]] [[Jesus Christ]]. All the bishops of the Eastern Orthodox Churches, no matter their titles, are equal in their [[sacrament]]al office. The various titles given to bishops are simply administrative or honorific in their essence. At an [[ecumenical council]], each bishop may cast only one vote, whether he is the Ecumenical Patriarch or simply an [[auxiliary bishop]] without a [[diocese]]. Thus, there is no equivalent to the [[Roman Catholic Church|Roman Catholic]] [[pope|papacy]] within the Eastern Orthodox Churches.
As with its [[Apostolic succession]], the
[[faith ]] held by the Church is that which was handed by [[Jesus Christ|Christ]] to the [[apostles]]. Nothing is added to or subtracted from that deposit of faith which was "handed once for all to the saints" ( [[Book of Jude |Jude]] 3). Throughout history, various [[heresy|heresies]] have afflicted the Church, and at those times the Church makes [[dogma|dogmatic]] pronouncements (especially at [[ecumenical councils]]) delineating in new language what has always been believed by the Church, thus preventing the spread of [[heresy]] and calling to repentance those who [[schism|rend asunder]] the Body of Christ. Its primary statement of faith is the [[Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed]].
==Very brief history==
The growing disputes between East and West reached another peak in 1054 AD, when mutual anathemas were exchanged. The sacking of Constantinople by the Fourth Crusade (1204 AD) intensified Eastern hostility toward the West.
Attempts at reconciliation at the councils of
[[Lyon ]] (1274 AD) and [[Council of Florence|Florence]] (1438-39 AD) were unsuccessful. When the papacy defined itself as infallible ( [[First Vatican Council ]], 1870 AD), the gulf between East and West grew wider. Only since the [[Second Vatican Council ]] (1962-65) has the movement reversed, talks are bringing serious attempts at mutual understanding.
==Beliefs and Practices==