Imperial Orthodox Church
|Imperial Orthodox Church
The Imperial Orthodox Church is the official church of Rhomanoi, and is followed by 95% of that nations' populace in one form or another. It is autocephalous of the Orthodox Church of Constantinople, though the current Patriarch has expressed his willingness to recognise its overall leadership, pending negotiations.
Liturgy and Rites
The Imperial Orthodox Church follows the rites and liturgy formalised by the Tenth Ecunemical Council, the First Council of Konstantinopoli, in 1550. These rites preserved many ancient Orthodox Traditions, but relaxed many other traditions. Those from outside organised faiths (i.e. the former indigenous peoples of NeoByzantion) need only be blessed by a preist to be received into the faith. Married men were also allowed to become Bishops, in order to compensate for the small population of the country at that time. Rules regarding birth control, homsexual acts and women preists have since been repealed, which has led to much popular acclaim from within Rhomanoi.
|The official embelem of the Patriarchate of Konstantinopoli
Beyond these changes, the Church follows the Greek rites very closely, with only monks being allowed to become Archbishops, Metropolitans and the Patriarch, no women bishops and the continued condemnation of abortion.
The Imperial Orthodox Church has had a long and often troubled history. It was founded in 1453, when survivors of the fall of the Byzantine Empire arrived on the shores of the continent and made it their home. It was headed by the former Abbot of the Monastery of Christ Pantocrator in Constantinople, Matthew Tykanos, and began the proccess of converting the locals to the Orthodox faith. As more and more refugees came into the nation, so the preisthood converted them to the Imperial Orthodox faith, making concesssions to incorporate local traditions and the mixture of immigrants.
In 1625, His Imperial Highness John X announced that the Patriarchate of Konstantinopoli and all Rhomanoi would replace the previous Metropolitanate of Konstantinopoli as the heart of the Imperial Orthodox Church. The new Patriachate, headed by His All Holiness Thomas I, reorganised the chaotic administrative structure of the Imperial Orthodox Church and summoned the Eleventh Ecunemical Council, which approved all of these changes.
Today, the Church has managed to retain much of its independence, though it is still fiercely opposed to the primacy of the Pope of Rome - which has led to a degree of xenophobia with regards to other Christian (non-Oriental/Orthodox) denominations.