Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople
The Ecumenical Patriarch (Greek: Η Αυτού Θειοτάτη Παναγιότης, ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Κωνσταντινουπόλεως, Νέας Ρώμης και Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης, I Aftoú Theiotáti Panagiótis, o Archiepískopos Konstantinoupóleos, Néas Rómis kai Oikoumenikós Patriárchis, ""His Most Divine All-Holiness the Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch"") is the Archbishop of Constantinople–New Rome and ranks as primus inter pares (first among equals) among the heads of the several autocephalous churches that make up the Eastern Orthodox Church, often being regarded as the spiritual leader of the 300 million Orthodox Christians worldwide.The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople is one of the most enduring institutions in the world and has had a prominent part in world history. The ecumenical patriarchs in ancient times helped in the spread of Christianity and the resolution of various doctrinal disputes. In the Middle Ages they played a major role in the affairs of the Eastern Orthodox Church, as well as in the politics of the Orthodox world, and in spreading Christianity among the Slavic peoples. Currently, in addition to the expansion of the Christian faith and the Orthodox doctrine, the patriarchs are involved in ecumenism and interfaith dialogue, charitable work, and the defense of Orthodox Christian traditions.Within the five apostolic sees of the Pentarchy, the Ecumenical Patriarch is regarded as the successor of Saint Andrew, the Apostle. The current holder of the office is Bartholomew I, the 270th holder of the title.