eighteen articles or chapters of the main text three (i, vi and vii) are entirely Orthodox on fundamental doctrinal principles (Trinity, Incarnation, original sin and its transmission). However, many others (ii, iii, ix, xvii) are entirely Protestant in outlook on issues of the authority of scripture and of the tradition of the Fathers and councils, ecclesiology, predestination, justification by grace alone, number of sacraments, the Eucharist, etc. Of these Protestant articles, ii and xvii (on the authority of the scripture and the Eucharist) are entirely Calvinist in inspiration. Some other articles (especially iv, v, viii, xvi and xviii) are more conciliatory to Orthodox tradition, using phraseology that might accommodate Orthodox sensibility on issues of the divine inspiration of the scripture, creation, providence, the saints and their icons, baptism and life after death. The same is true of questions i, ii and iv on reading the scriptures and on icons. Question iii on the canonical books of the scriptures is radically Calvinist, reducing their number to twenty-two in the Old Testament but accepting the New Testament in its entirety.

The publication of the confession caused fury in Roman Catholic circles and considerable concern among the Orthodox. The patriarch himself never explicitly admitted authorship of the text, but to the end of his life neither by synodal act nor in writing did he officially either disown or condemn the confession published under his name. The question of the authorship of the so-called 'Loukaris Confession' has remained open and controversial to this date. The prevailing view among the Orthodox at the time and subsequently has been that when publishing the confession the Calvinists usurped the patriarch's name. This is borne out by the reactions of contemporaries. Cyril continued to enjoy the loyal support of the patriarch of Alexandria Gerasimos (Spartaliotis), despite the latter's refusal to entertain the feelers put out in 1628 by the Calvinists for a union of churches. Patriarch Theophanes of Jerusalem was equally convinced of Cyril's orthodoxy and wrote a letter from Jassy in 1630 to the Russian Orthodox reassuring them on this point. Of course, the Protestants, especially the Calvinists around Cornelius Haga and the pastors in Geneva, thought that the Reformation was finally on its way in the eastern church, but their enthusiasm was misplaced.

Although expelled from Istanbul the Jesuits managed in 1634 with the support of the French ambassador Marcheville to persuade Cyril Kontaris, metropolitan of Berroia - a personal enemy of Loukaris - to stage a revolt in the synod, which temporarily unseated the patriarch. He was almost immediately reinstated by the synod only to be evicted once again thanks to Kontaris in May 1635. Cyril went into exile in Chios and Rhodes. In April 1637, however, he was back on the ecumenical throne for his last patriarchate. Between 1630 and

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment