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In later centuries Orthodox councils also made doctrinal definitions on Grace (1341 AD, 1351 AD) and took a stand in reference to Western teachings.The Church keeps the early traditions of Christianity, infants receive the Eucharist and confirmation, and the episcopate and the priesthood are understood in the light of Apostolic succession.The veneration of Mary, as Theotokos (Mother of God) is central to Orthodox Incarnational Theology, and the intercession of saints is also emphasized in the Orthodox Holy Tradition.After an early controversy on the subject, the Icons, of Christ, the Virgin Mary, and the saints are now seen as visible witnesses to the fact that God has taken human flesh in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. They are given both the consecrated bread (NIKA), and the sanctified wine from the gifts offered and sanctified at the given Divine Liturgy.Attempts at reconciliation at the councils of Lyon (1274 AD) and Florence (1438-39 AD) were unsuccessful.When the papacy defined itself as infallible (First Vatican Council, 1870 AD), the gulf between East and West grew wider.

Photius in turn challenged the right of the papacy to rule on the matter and denounced the filioque clause as a Western innovation.

Together they constitute what is called the “Orthodox Church”, literally meaning "right teaching" or "right worship", derived from two Greek words: orthos, "right," and doxa, "teaching" or "worship." The Orthodox Church historically stands in direct continuity with the earliest Christian communities founded in regions of the Eastern Mediterranean by the apostles of the Lord Jesus.

The destiny of Christianity in those areas was shaped by the transfer in 320 AD of the imperial capital from (Old) Rome to (New "Rome") Constantinople by Constantine I.

The Orthodox Church is the one Church founded by Jesus Christ and his apostles, begun at the day of Pentecost with the descent of the Holy Spirit in the year 33 A. It is also known (especially in the contemporary West) as the Eastern Orthodox Church or the Greek Orthodox Church.

It may also be called the Orthodox Catholic Church, the Orthodox Christian Church, the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church, the Body of Christ, the Bride of Christ, or simply the Church.

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Those founded in later years through the missionary activity of the first churches were the Churches of Sinai, Russia, Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, and many others.