1637 Cyril was dethroned and re-elected by the synod of Constantinople three times. The eminent historian of the church of Constantinople Manuel Gedeon interprets the persistence of the synod in reinstating Loukaris for a total of five (or six if the temporary tenure of 1612 is also counted) patriarchates as a decisive confirmation of his Orthodoxy and of the recognition of his devotion to the doctrines and the traditions of his church by the body most competent to judge, the hierarchy of the patriarchate of Constantinople.21 The church was, however, in deep crisis. On 17 August 1637 Cyril wrote to the pastors, senators and governors of the Republic and Church of Geneva thanking them for their support of Orthodoxy but lamenting the condition of his church, which was under siege by the Jesuits and by his enemy Kontaris, who had paid 20,000 thalers to the Turks in order to unseat him. But the patriarch put his faith in Christ: 'ifthe Lord is my light and saviour, whom am I afraid of? The Lord is my life's defender.'22
Despite the patriarch's devotion and lively fighting spirit, the odds against him proved insurmountable. A year later, in June 1638, he was arrested on the charge that he was in secret communication with the Russians, who had just wrested Azov from the Ottomans. He was summarily tried for high treason and executed on 27 June 1638. According to the English consul in Smyrna, Paul Rycaut, this tragic denouement of Loukaris's dramatic life had cost the papal curia 50,000 crowns.23 At long last, Kontaris succeeded to the ecumenical throne as Cyril II, but only for a few months in 1638-39. Much to the satisfaction of his old teachers at the Jesuit school in Galata he had enough time to convoke a synod and have Loukaris condemned as the author of the heretical confession. However, subsequent synods of the Orthodox Church convened in Constantinople in 1638,1642,1672 and 1691, inJassy in 1642, and in Jerusalem in 1672 condemned the confession as heretical but not Cyril I either as its author or as a Calvinist.24 Although in the absence of conclusive evidence the question of authorship has remained open to this day, the confession itself has been unanimously condemned by the Orthodox. A long polemic against the confession lingered on in the Catholic tradition, and Roman Catholic theologians accused the Orthodox of being receptive to Protestantism because
22 Legrand, Bibliographic hellénique, iv, 457-60, esp. 459.
23 Paul Rycaut, The history of the Turkish Empire from the year 1623 to the year 1677 (London: John Starkey, 1680), 71.
24 Vapheidis, 'EKKÁroiaoTiKi) 'loTopía, iii-a' , 76-81. An English version of pertinent source material in J. J. Overbeck (ed.), The Orthodox Confession of the Catholic and Apostolic Eastern Church (London: Thomas Baker, 1898) and J. N. W B. Robertson (ed.), The Acts andDecrees of the Synod of Jerusalem (London: Thomas Baker, 1899).
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