Selfgoverning Orthodox Churches

Among the self-governing churches, those of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem hold special places of honor in Orthodoxy for historical reasons. The greatest honor is given to the leader of the Church of Constantinople, who is called the ecumenical patriarch. His is a primacy of honor, and not of direct authority over all the Orthodox churches of the world. All the Orthodox churches pray for the ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople during the Divine Liturgy, just as Catholics express their communion with the pope by praying for him during Mass.

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