Difference between revisions of "List of autocephalous and autonomous churches"

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(Church of Estonia (Ecumenical Patriarchate))
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*[[Church of China]] (virtually non-existent, autonomy recognized by Moscow but not Constantinople)
*[[Church of China]] (virtually non-existent, autonomy recognized by Moscow but not Constantinople)
*[[Church of Ukraine]] (autonomy recognized by Moscow but not Constantinople)
*[[Church of Ukraine]] (autonomy recognized by Moscow but not Constantinople)
*[[Archdiocese of Ohrid]] (autonomy recognized only by Serbia)
*[[Archdiocese of Ohrid]]
==Formerly independent churches==
==Formerly independent churches==

Revision as of 22:24, November 29, 2012

Autocephalous and Autonomous Churches of Orthodoxy
Autocephalous Churches
Four Ancient Patriarchates: Constantinople · Alexandria · Antioch · Jerusalem
Russia · Serbia · Romania · Bulgaria · Georgia · Cyprus · Greece · Poland · Albania · Czech Lands and Slovakia · OCA* · Ukraine*
Autonomous Churches
Sinai · Finland · Estonia* · Japan* · China* · Ukraine*
The * designates a church whose autocephaly or autonomy is not universally recognized.

The autocephalous and autonomous Orthodox churches are those churches which have self-government. These churches also constitute what is generally known simply as the Orthodox Church, but may also be referred to as the mainstream Orthodox Church or world Orthodoxy. They all recognize one another and are in full communion with each other.

That they constitute the "mainstream" (i.e., that they are legitimately and/or exclusively Orthodox) is disputed by a number of groups with whom they are not in communion, such as most of the Old Calendarists.

Despite these churches all being in communion with one another, there is not currently unanimous agreement on which churches are considered autocephalous or autonomous. There is, however, an order which is followed in international Inter-Orthodox gatherings, which is included here first. There is an expanded order which is recognized by some churches, most notably the Church of Russia and its dependencies and historical daughter churches.

Inter-Orthodox order

Autocephalous churches

Autonomous churches

Expanded order

Autocephalous churches

It should be noted that in the diptychs of the Moscow Patriarchate and some of its daughter churches (e.g., the OCA), the ranking of four of the patriarchal churches is different. Following Moscow in rank is Georgia, followed by Serbia, Romania, and then Bulgaria. The remainder of the rankings beginning with Cyprus is the same.

Autonomous churches

Formerly independent churches

These churches were formerly autocephalous or autonomous, no longer Orthodox, or in some cases no longer exist.

Unrecognized independent churches

The following churches are variously unrecognized by the mainstream churches as independent and/or canonical.

See also


  • Blackwell Dictionary of Eastern Christianity (ISBN 0631232036)
  • Fitzgerald, Thomas E. The Orthodox Church. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers, 1998, p. 151.
  • World Orthodox Churches, from the OCA website

External link