Canon 28 and Constantinople’s Jurisdictional Claims


Orthodoxy today is at a crossroads in America and throughout the world, writes George C. Michalopulos in Canon 28 and Eastern Papalism: Cause or Effect? on the main page of AOI. One of the great challenges facing us is inter-Orthodox cooperation. Specifically, how are new mission fields identified? And how are they granted autocephaly? What is the purpose of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and by what authority does it claim primatial honors?

Michalopulos’ essay examines the primatial claims of the Church of Constantinople and specifically, Canon 28 of the Council of Chalcedon, which has become the proof-text of recent Constantinopolitan claims which have startled many in the Orthodox world.


  1. cherokee steve says

    You did a great job and gave me a much better understanding of cannon 28.

  2. Scott Pennington says


    I believe there is a work published in Greek undertaken by Metropolitan of Sardeis Maximos (the fellow mentioned in Fr. Elpidophoros’s speech), called “The Ecumenical Patriarchate in the Orthodox Church” on which the EP’ate hangs its hat, so to speak, regarding its unique interpretation of Canon 28. Do you have this work and what are your thoughts on the arguments made therein?

  3. George Michalopulos says


    I am familiar with that work. I didn’t reference it because I wasn’t pleased witht he translation at my disposal (not the original book, I don’t think there’s an authorized English translation, if there is, please point me in its direction.) Although +Maximus is loyal, as I understand the relevant passages, he does not believe in universalism either. If memory serves, his views of the episcopate are synonymous with +John Zizioulos (“Being as Communion” which I’ve referenced elsewhere. Basically, it’s this: all diocesan bishops are equal, their dioceses are autonomous, and “auxiliary bishop” or “vicar bishop” are theological nullities. This of course is the “official” position of the Orthodox Church but it’s awful hard to square it with LP’s triumphalist “First Throne” diatribe given at HC.

  4. George Michalopulos says

    Cherokee Steve, you’re a gentleman and a scholar!

  5. Mr. Michalopulos,

    I followed the supplied link to your parish in the “who is George” section after your piece, and Holy Apostles seems like a great parish — with a nice web site, too.

    What is the St. Matthew Chapel (in the photos section)? A chapel for a cemetery? A camp?


  6. George Michalopulos says

    Thank you for your kind words. The chapel is God willing, phase 1 of our building project. We of course wanted to build a much larger structure, one worthy of the name “Holy Apostles” but we were much smaller then than now and a chapel of about 1500 sq ft was what was affordable. (Thank the Lord for no pews, that way we could fit 120 people in there for Agape Vespers!)

  7. Demetrius says

    A well written piece. Both academic and heartfelt.

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