→Beliefs and Practices: ptiests
The Orthodox Church recognizes as authoritative the decisions of the seven ecumenical councils that met between 325 AD and 787 AD and defined the basic doctrines on the [[Trinity]] and the [[Incarnation]]. In later centuries Orthodox councils also made doctrinal definitions on [[Grace]] (1341 AD, 1351 AD) and took a stand in reference to Western teachings.
The Church keeps the early traditions of Christianity, infants receive the [[Eucharist]] and [[Chrismation|confirmation]], and the [[episcopate]] and the [[priest|priesthood]] are understood in the light of [[Apostolic succession]]. (Apostolic Succession is understood to be the passing on of the Holy Tradition by right-believing Bishops).
Married men may become priests, but bishops and [[monks ]] may not marry. The veneration of Mary, as [[Theotokos]] (Mother of God) is central to Orthodox Incarnational Theology, and the intercession of [[saints]] is also emphasized in the Orthodox [[Holy Tradition]].
After an early controversy on the subject, the [[Icon]]s, of Christ, the Virgin Mary, and the saints are now seen as visible witnesses to the fact that God has taken human flesh in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ.