Communion of Western Orthodox Churches

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Communion of Western Orthodox Churches
Communion des Églises Orthodoxes Occidentales
Type Western Orthodox Communion
ClassificationWestern Orthodox
TheologySemi-Miaphysite
Polity Episcopal
StructureCommunion
'Autocephalous'
churches
RegionMainly: France
Minority: Spain, Belgium, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Cameroon, Australia, United States, Brazil, and Martinique [ citation needed ]
Language French and English
Liturgy Gallican Rite, Latin Rite,
(rarely) Byzantine Rite/West Syriac Rite
OriginDecember 25, 2007
MembersLower than 10,000
Other name(s)Western Orthodox Church
Official website http://orthodoxie-occidentale.org/

The Communion of Western Orthodox Churches (CWOC; French : Communion des Églises orthodoxes occidentales, CEOO), also known as the Western Orthodox Church, is a communion of Christian churches of Orthodox tradition, standing alongside the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox communions. The Western Orthodox communion is distinguished by its adherence to the liturgical and spiritual customs of western Christianity.

Contents

Overview

The communion currently comprises three member churches:

The CWOC was established on 25 December 2007 with the signing of its charter and the concelebration of the Mass for the Nativity of the Lord by Bishop Maël de Brescia and Bishop Mark of the Celtic Orthodox Church, Bishop Vigile and Bishop Martin Laplaud of the French Orthodox Church, and Bishop Gregory Mendez of the Orthodox Church of the Gauls. [1] [2] [3] [4]

Parishes, monasteries, and missions of the CWOC are currently located in France, Spain, Belgium, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Cameroon, Australia, the United States of America, Brazil, and Martinique.

Beliefs

The Communion of Western Orthodox Churches maintains traditional Orthodox beliefs and practice, accepting and affirming the first three Ecumenical Councils. While also affirming all of the theological and doctrinal statements of the latter four great councils, the CWOC rejects the application to the Oriental Orthodox Churches of those councils' condemnations of monophysitism. Therefore, the communion recognises both the Oriental Orthodox churches and Eastern Orthodox churches as sister churches.

Relations with other churches

Written into the directives of the CWOC are provisions for accepting other Orthodox churches which also subscribe to its charter and principles.

The acceptance of other Christian churches which adhere to the principles set forth in the Charter and to the uses, advice and directives of the Communion is subject to the unanimous agreement of the signatory churches. This agreement will be informed by comprehensive information about the history, life, spirit and authenticity of the candidate church. Consultations between our churches will be necessary to discern the merits of this candidature.

The recognition by the Western Orthodox Church of the Oriental and Eastern Orthodox communions as sister churches is not currently reciprocated.

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The French Orthodox Church is a self-governing Western Orthodox church formed in 1975. The church's current first hierarch is Bishop Martin (Laplaud), the abbot of the Orthodox Monastery of St Michel du Var. The EOF has communities in France, Brazil, and the French-speaking Caribbean.

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Western Rite Orthodoxy, Western Orthodoxy, or Orthodox Western Rite are terms used to describe congregations that are within the autocephalous churches of the canonical Orthodox Christian Church. These congregations have used western liturgical forms such as the Sarum Rite, the Mozarabic Rite, and Gallican Rite. Some congregations use what has become known simply as the English Liturgy, which is derived from the Anglican Book of Common Prayer, albeit with some modification to the text to emphasize Orthodox theological teaching. The Western Rite that exists today has been heavily influenced by the life and work of Julian Joseph Overbeck.

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The Orthodox Church of France, formerly the Orthodox Catholic Church of France, is an Orthodox church in France comprising three dioceses and using the Western Rite. Though the OCF has been in communion with various canonical Orthodox churches during its history, at present it is not.

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The Orthodox Church of the Gauls is a self-governing Orthodox church comprising two dioceses. It was formed in 2006 with a mission to return the Orthodox Christian faith to people of western lands, particularly through the use of restored forms of ancient Gallican worship. The OCG is part of the Communion of Western Orthodox Churches, and its primate is Bishop Gregory (Mendez), the Bishop of Arles and the abbot of the Monastery of St Michael and St Martin near Luzé in the Touraine region of France.

St Trophimus Church, Eschau Church in France

Saint Trophimus' Church is a Romanesque church in Eschau, a small town in the suburbs of Strasbourg, the historical capital of Alsace. The church is dedicated to Trophimus of Arles.

The Patriarchal Exarchate in Western Europe is an exarchate created by the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) on 28 December 2018.

The Diocese of Chersonesus is a diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church which covers the territory of France, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Monaco. This diocese is part of the Patriarchal Exarchate in Western Europe since 28 December 2018.

The Joining of the Archdiocese of Russian Orthodox churches in Western Europe to the Moscow Patriarchate was the process of the Archdiocese of Russian Orthodox churches in Western Europe (AROCWE), formerly part of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, entering the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate.

References

  1. Thöle, Reinhard (2014). "Orthodox churches in Germany: from migrant groups to permanent homeland". In Hämmerli, Maria (ed.). Orthodox identities in western Europe: migration, settlement, and innovation. Farnham [u.a.]: Ashgate. p. 94. ISBN   978-1-4724-3930-7.
  2. "Relations inter-juridictionnelles" [Inter-jurisdictional relations]. eglise-orthodoxe.eu (in French). Luzé, FR: Église orthodoxe des Gaules. Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2016-04-25.
  3. "Communion des Églises Orthodoxes Occidentales" [Communion of the Western Orthodox Churches]. eoc-coc.org (in French). Saint-Dolay, FR: Église Orthodoxe Celtique. Archived from the original on 2016-04-25. Retrieved 2016-04-25.
  4. "Nos églises soeurs" [Our sister churches]. eof.fr (in French). Église Orthodoxe Française. Archived from the original on 2016-03-05. Retrieved 2016-04-25.