Are you concerned that the Orthodox churches have devolved in silos of "ethnic" churches that luck universal ("Catholic") appeal?? For all my misgivings about the pope, having a unified leadership has helped the Catholic church become truly universal.
If one goes to a Catholic church in NYC, he/she will see people from many races and ethnic groups praying together. If one goes to a Greek Orthodox church, he will just see Greeks who speak Greek, talk about Greece and eat Greek food. This silo/ethnic mentality is a big turn-off for potential converts
This was something I wondered about when I first considered the Orthodox but at the Church I go to (OCA), the liturgy is in English and there are a lot of different people from all kinds of backgrounds that attend. There are people from Crete (sp?), Bulgaria, Russia, Greece and of course America.
The other neat thing about many of the Orthodox Churches, particularly the OCA is that we have a large convert population. Nearly 50% percent of the parishioners are converts. Not far from here an entire Lutheran Church converted, pastor and all.
I was initially concerned that the Orthodox Church might be an "ethnic" Church and that there wasn't much Evangelizin' in the sense of spreading the good news, I was pleasantly surprised to find that this was just a stigma and might have been more true decades ago.
Perhaps some regions are more cultural than other but I live in a small town in Pennsylvania and we have a very diverse group and the Orthodox churches in and around our area seem to be similar. There are even some English only speakers that seem to enjoy going to the Greek liturgies on a regular basis.
The West doesn't seem to know much about the Orthodox but that is changing quite rapidly.
In regards to being subject to the Pope, that's one of the things that seem to draw quite a lot of converts. Many people in protestant circles see the dualism and pluralism that is rampant in protestant circles and are asking themselves, "what is Church?".
The way I understand Rome's ecclessiology is that all dogma and doctrine comes down from the pope. That is to say, the Church, the body of Christ itself is subject to the Pope, an individual.
In Protestantism, this is actually quite similar but instead of one Pope the individual him/herself seems to be the one with the authority to decide upon all matters of dogma and doctrine. Again, we see the Church subject to the interpretations and decisions of an individual. For instance, what would Lutherans believe if not for Luther? Luther, not unlike the Pope, came up with his own set of dogmas and approaches to doctrine and then taught others his teachings to preserve (Traditions) and so on and so forth. However, if Luther were to return to the Lutherans, he would probably reform his own Church.
Pluralism sort of steps in and says, well because the Baptist doesn't agree with the Methodist (though both teachings conflict) we'll just sort of overlook our doctrines by subjecting them and lifting up the individual, even though the doctrines are "of Christ".
Dangerous stuff, imo.
In Orthodoxy you have Christ teaching the Apostles. The Apostles surround Christ, the bishops the Apostles, the priests the bishops, the people the priests etc. In other words, it's the entire body that interprets scripture and handles dogmatics. The strict standard being that it must aggressively preserve what the Apostles taught and serve only to magnify that which came before it, not improve upon it or make what came before it obsolete by a constantly evolving and "better" Tradition than that which came before it.
So we can lose a Bishop or a Priest or a layman and he can go into error but we don't subject "the Church" to that bishop or any individual, so the Tradition that the Apostles handed to us remains in tact within the "body", not the head of an individual, save Christ.