Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople

The ecumenical patriarch (Greek: Οἰκουμενικός Πατριάρχης, romanized: Oikoumenikós Patriárchis; Turkish: Kostantiniyye ekümenik patriği) is the archbishop of Constantinople–New Rome and primus inter pares (first among equals) among the heads of the several autocephalous churches which compose the Eastern Orthodox Church. The ecumenical patriarch is regarded as the representative and spiritual leader of Orthodox Christians worldwide.[lower-alpha 1] The term ecumenical in the title is a historical reference to the Ecumene, a Greek designation for the civilised world, i.e. the Roman Empire, and it stems from Canon 28 of the Council of Chalcedon.

Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople
eastern orthodox
Incumbent:
Bartholomew I
Since 2 November 1991
StyleHis All Holiness
Information
First holderAndrew the Apostle (as bishop)
Alexander (as archbishop)
Anatolius (as patriarch)
Established38 (founded)
451 (granted title of patriarch)
CathedralSt. George's Cathedral, Istanbul, Turkey
Website
Official website

The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople is one of the most enduring institutions in the world and has had a prominent part in world history. The ecumenical patriarchs in ancient times helped in the spread of Christianity and the resolution of various doctrinal disputes. In the Middle Ages they played a major role in the affairs of the Eastern Orthodox Church, as well as in the politics of the Orthodox world, and in spreading Christianity among the Slavs. Currently, in addition to the expansion of the Christian faith and the Eastern Orthodox doctrine, the patriarchs are involved in ecumenism and interfaith dialogue, charitable work, and the defense of Orthodox Christian traditions.

Within the five apostolic sees of the Pentarchy, the ecumenical patriarch is regarded as the successor of Andrew the Apostle. The current holder of the office is Bartholomew I, the 270th bishop of that see.[20]