The theological controversy was intensified by the rivalry of the two patriarchates, Alexandria and Constantinople, for the primacy of the East.
It denoted the church which included the patriarchates of Antioch, Alexandria, Jerusalem and Constantinople, and their dependencies.
The theological calmness of the West, amid the violent theological disputes which troubled the Eastern patriarchates, and the statesmanlike wisdom of Rome's greater bishops, combined to give a unique position to the pope, which councils in vain strove to shake, and which in time of difficulty the Eastern patriarchs were fain to acknowledge and make use of, however they might protest against it and the conclusions deduced from it.
THE Four Ancient Patriarchates I.
According to the official Gerarchia Cattolica, published at Rome, there were in 1909 ten patriarchates, with fourteen patriarchal sees (including those of the Oriental rite, i.e.