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PATRIARCH – (1) The highest bishop rank (of honor) in the Orthodox Church. In the early Church there were five jurisdictional territories each headed by a Patriarch. These patriarchates were: Antioch, Jerusalem, Alexandria, Constantinople and Rome. After Rome broke away from the unity of the Church in 1054 A.D. other territories were raised to partriarchates – Moscow, Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria. The first in honor among the Patriarchs is the Patriarch of Constantinople.

(2) The term patriarch may also refer to certain of the Old Testament fathers of the Jewish nation, such as Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph.