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The Orthodox Church

by Timothy Ware

The Orthodox Church is a family of self-governing Churches. It is held together, not by a centralized organization, not by a single prelate wielding absolute power over the whole body, but by the double bond of unity in the faith and communion in the sacraments. Each Church, while independent, is in full agreement with the rest on all matters of doctrine, and between them all there is full sacramental communion. (Certain divisions exist between the Russian jurisdictions, but the situation here is altogether exceptional and, one hopes, temporary in character.) There is in Orthodoxy no one with an equivalent position to the Pope in the Roman Catholic Church.

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