Suffering is an inescapable aspect of human life in the present world. Suffering, affliction and tragic experiences disclose the vulnerable nature of human life; it enables us to recognize our limitations as human beings and our dependence upon others and upon God for sustenance in life.
For Orthodoxy, peace is inextricably related to the notion of justice and freedom that God has granted to all human beings through Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit as a gift and vocation. The peaceable witness of the Church in situations of war cannot be limited only to its ethical judgment. She won’t prevent wars. Peace requires much more than a military action or passive pacifism. The Christian gospel invites the faithful to a continuous spiritual struggle and public actions that leads, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, towards greater justice and peace.
In late modernity we have become increasingly aware of the intrinsic ambivalence that shapes personal and communal identities. The binary distinctions that enabled us to structure and shape personal and communal identities by establishing ideological, religious, ethnic and communal boundaries cannot be sustained any longer in the compressed space of the global world.
The bible contains 4 lists of the names of the 12 apostles: Matt 10:12, Mark 3:13, Luke 6:14 and Acts 1:13. They vary slightly as well as the sequence although they list Peter first, even though it was Andrew (his brother) who was called first by the Lord. It is believed that Christ selected only 12 which was the number of the twelve sons of Jacob who later became the leaders of the 12 tribes of Israel.
Basic to the ecclesiology of the Orthodox Church is the concept of conciliarity. The Church is, in fact, at her core always synod, the literal meaning of the word "Ekklesia."
The Primacy of the See of Constantinople within the Orthodox Church is based on canons of several Ecumenical Councils, as well as on the longstanding tradition and practice of the. A primacy of honor (presveia times) was accorded the Bishop of Constantinople by canon 3 of the Second Ecumenical Council (381).
The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople is the preeminent Church in the communion of the fourteen Autocephalous Orthodox Churches. Reflecting the witness of St. Andrew, the First Called Apostle, the enduring mission of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople is to proclaim the salutary Gospel of Jesus Christ in accordance with the Apostolic and Orthodox Faith.