The Seven Orders

edited December 1969 in Faith Issues
I was talking to a Greek person and they mentioned something about not having a pope. I quickly said that the orthodox community did have a pope. We couldn’t come to a consensus because neither of us were that knowledgeable. When I got home I did some research; only to find that technically they were correct. There are bishops and then an arch bishop (the pope). I read that the bishops and the arch bishop have the same rank and authority. However, this clearly isn’t the case; the pope has much more authority and influence over decisions made in our church. I couldn’t find any accurate reading material to clarify this question. Can somebody please explain to me the technicalities of this topic.
Thank you, God Bless You All


  • In the book The Copts Since the Arab Invasion by Shawky F. Karas on page 23 he states the holy orders… “Reader, Sub-Deacon, Deacon, Archdeacon, Priest, Hegoumenos (archpriest or abbot), and Bishop” doesn’t say pope… so exactly what authorities does our pope or archbishop have over all the bishops?
  • Just like archdeacons have higher archdeacons, the pope is the Archbishop of all archbishops. I dont think he is regarded as an order because he is the vicar of Christ and not many will be privileged enough or chosen to take on this holy and great duty.
  • If his rank is so high, wouldn't it have been mentioned?
  • Mark,
    If the book was written by a Copt, about Copts, and for Copts, I think it would go without say that the Pope is the archbishop of all archbishops. It is not a rank that one can achieve easily, like a sub-deacon rank, for example. There have only been 117 Popes in the 1,940 years of our Coptic Church's existence.
  • The book doesnt say there is an archbishop, I implied that, sorry if that threw you off. The book only says "Reader, Sub-Deacon, Deacon, Archdeacon, Priest, Hegoumenos (archpriest or abbot), and Bishop". The pope surely is an order, and I think he would be mentioned. This is confusing...
  • I agree. I'm thoroughly confused as well.
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