By Andreas Loudaros Historically, the Church of Constantinople is the only Church that has the right to set up new Autocephalous Churches because of the inability to convene an Ecumenical Council. With the exception of the Church of Cyprus and, of course, all the Ancient Patriarchates, all other Autocephalous Churches and Patriarchates were “born” in Constantinople.

For the first time in the history of the Eastern Orthodox Church, that was about to change when the Phanar took the decision – deemed as astonishing even today – to share that prerogative with the other Churches.

Simply put, by that time the issue of autocephaly was handled exclusively by the Phanar without the slightest consent of other Churches. Under the new regulation, the Phanar had to obtain their consensus. Eventually, the Tomos of Autocephaly would be issued by consensus not only of the Ecumenical Patriarchate but also of all the other Churches and Patriarchates.

However, by that time Constantinople was “giving birth” and had to “introduce” the new sister Church to the Orthodox family. From now on, under the new system, the family’s consensus had to precede the birth.

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