Sts. Paraskevi, Barbara, John

Beyond its current problems, mostly of internal nature, and its misrepresentation by the outsiders, Orthodoxy is the inheritor and the living continuation of the Church established by our Lord Jesus Christ through the indwelling of his Holy Spirit in the first Christian community in Jerusalem.

Built upon the kerygma, or proclamation, of the apostolic faith and the participatory aspect of its liturgical life, the Orthodox Church is definitively the catholic (καθολική) manifestation of the original Church established by Christ, a truthful witness to the Spirit’s deifying presence. By catholicity we mean the fullness of the concrete ecclesial reality as manifested — in the Holy Spirit — through each local Church under a bishop and in the communion of the local Churches, whose canonical expression is the synod of bishops under their primate and ultimately under Christ.

Generation after generation, starting with the first century up until now Orthodoxy has embraced various cultures and peoples, manifesting diachronically its catholicity through a large variety of cultural expressions. This gives account as to how the one Orthodox Church, defined by one faith and life, subsists actually as a communion, or commonwealth, of local and regional Churches, distinct from the point of view of their cultural features. Characterised by this complex architecture of one and many, unity and plurality, the Orthodox Church experiences — ideally and paradoxically — a unity which does not annulate the richness of plurality and a plurality which does not destroy the blessed gift of unity.

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