Stavropigial privilege and its canonical implications in the Orthodox Church
The article presents, using bibliographical sources, an old privilege of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, transmitted through time, to the Patriarchs of National Churches, which consist in the right of founding monasteries anywhere in their patriarchy without asking permission from the bishop of the bishopric where they canonically belong. The author shows that that privilege is a very ancient one, and that, sometimes, it created misunderstandings between the Patriarch and the bishops, for financial reasons (stavropigial monasteries were usually rich and they paid taxes directly to the Patriarch, which should observe poverty) and also canonical (the desire of bishops to extend their authority over some of those monasteries).
The way they survived until today in churches structures is also analysed.
Keywords: patriarch, lavra, kanonikon, autocephalous, abbot