erstwhile Christian empire of New Rome. To ensure this survival the church had to carry out its tasks in the fields of pastoral work, philanthropy and education as best it could.
It is not without significance that one of Gennadios II Scholarios's first actions after being appointed patriarch by Mehmed the Conqueror was to re-establish a school of higher learning in Constantinople. In this patriarchal school Christian learning, the cultivation of the Greek language and some form of training in humane letters were enlisted in the effort to reproduce the cultural tradition that might ensure survival and continuity within the church, regardless of the ambiguities of its institutional standing in the political order.7 The toll, however, of its anomalous position was heavy. The position of'supervisor of the erroneous religious customs of the infidels' was an administrative office open to the highest bidder, and this introduced a source of constant turmoil and upheaval into the upper ranks of the hierarchy. Simony and corruption were the inescapable consequences. Between 1454 and 1600 the patriarchal throne saw at least thirty-six changes of occupant, involving twenty-four separate individuals. Very often tenure lasted for just a few months, even a few weeks. This created further problems: dissension and backstabbing did not so much scandalise the faithful as feed the rapacity of the state to the detriment of the church. The most dramatic reflection of this was the continuing confiscation of churches and their transformation into mosques - a practice that became a constant source of anguish for both the clergy and the faithful. The climax of this practice came in 1586 when the patriarchate was expelled from the monastery of the Pammakaristos, where the patriarch had had his seat since 1456. Patriarch Jeremias II, who had been exiled to Rhodes, returned to Istanbul in 1586 to find the patriarchal church, which he had lovingly embellished, transformed into a mosque: 'and he wept bitterly', the chronographer records.8 The widespread desperation and low morale of the Orthodox community at the end of the sixteenth century was also reflected in the condition of the patriarchal academy, where instruction was practically abandoned in this period.9 This condition of crisis and decline provides the broader background to the condition of the church when Cyril I Loukaris emerged on the scene. Cyril's six terms on the throne of John Chrysostom inaugurated a stormy period for the church, especially during Cyril's second to sixth tenures of the throne, which span the years 1620 to 1638. Cyril was one of the four great
7 The best source on the Patriarchal School still remains Manuel Gedeon, XpoviKa T-s naTpiapxixijs 'AKaSruías (Constantinople: Patriarchal Press 1883).
8 [Pseudo-]Dorotheos, Bi/3Aíov'laTopiKÓv(Venice: Nikolaos Glykys, 1743), 454.
9 Gedeon, XpoviKa, 73-4.
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