Title of the supreme ecclesiastical authority in some Eastern churches. Among Nestorians, Chaldeans and Georgians it is synonymous with patriarch, but in the Gregorian Orthodox Armenian church it is superior to patriarch. The Armenian church counts two catholicosates, that of Etchmiadzin in Armenia and that of Antelias in Lebanon, where the ancient see of Sis in Cilicia was transferred; the patriarchates of Jerusalem and Constantinople are considered of lower rank. M. van Esbroeck, Primaut, patriarcats, catholicossats, autocphalies en Orient, in M. Maccarrone ed., Il primato del vescovo di Roma nel primo millennio: ricerche e testimonanze. Atti del symposium storico-teologico, Roma, 9-13 ottobre 1989 Atti and documenti 4, Vatican City 1991, 493-521.


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