By Michael O'Carroll, CSSp
Following the Great Schism dividing Rome and the Eastern Patriarchates in 1054, the Church of Constantinople split and became the first Orthodox Church.
The Ecumenical Patriarchate was founded in 38 A.D. by Andrew, the first-called Apostle and brother of Saint Peter. The Ecumenical Patriarchate continues today, as in the past, to be the spiritual center and beacon of the 250,000,000 member Orthodox Christian Church.
It is looked upon as the Mother Church by the Churches of Russia, Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia, Rumania, Georgia and Poland. His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, the 270th successor to the Apostle Andrew, was enthroned on November 2, 1991.
Catholic Church and Church History