Ecumenical Patriarch

The patriarch of Constantinople which since the Council of Chalcedon in 451 has been regarded as the ranking see of the Eastern Orthodox Church.* Its sphere of jurisdiction in its own geographical area has shrunk considerably, and in post-World War I days the Turks all but abolished it, alleging that it was a center of pro-Greek intrigue-an accusation reiterated in more recent times in connection with Greek treatment of the Turkish minority in Cyprus. Formerly the partriarchate had civil authority over the Greek community in Constantinople (modern Istanbul), but its function is now restricted to ecclesiastical matters.