Hell Really Exists

Hell Really Exists

Get Instant Access

the doctrines of the Reformation truer to the spirit of the scriptures than those of the Orthodox and Catholic churches.12

These concerns reflect Loukaris's deeper spiritual and ecclesiastical anxieties, which derived from the dictates of his Christian conscience and from his sense of responsibility as a successor ofthe apostles forthe condition ofthe faith among the masses of his flock. This strong sense of pastoral duty accompanied Cyril to Constantinople, where he was elevated to the ecumenical throne on 4 November 1620 by a vote of the synod. Thus began the patriarchate of Cyril I, 'famous for his virtue and wisdom' in the synod's judgement.13 His tenure of the throne of Constantinople lasted, with brief interruptions, until 1638. This was a relatively long patriarchate and was marked not only by the scope ofhis pastoral and administrative work, but also by his pursuit on a truly pan-European scale of his grand strategy against the unrelenting pressure of the Catholic Church on the Orthodox world.14

Retrospective considerations and appraisals of Cyril Loukaris's presence in the history of the Greek East and of the Orthodox Church have stressed almost exclusively the politics of his grand strategy against Rome, a strategy that was premised on an Orthodox-Protestant alliance, which, however, eventually turned the patriarch into a prisoner of the Protestant powers. This is a rather limited and certainly a partial appraisal, which betrays the western origin of those who propound it and their primary interest in the patriarch as a political rather than as an ecclesiastical figure. A fuller perspective will also include the patriarch's frenetic work within the church, which aimed at infusing new life into all spheres of ecclesiastical activity. International politics were not Cyril's only or even his primary concern, and his Protestant alliances against Rome were rather a component of his policy for the protection and revival of the Orthodox Church after the crisis and decline experienced in the closingyears of the sixteenth century. This was the patriarch's primary target. The Protestant alliance was conceived as a major weapon in the defence of Orthodoxy, not as an end in itself.

The deeper Orthodox motivation in Cyril's policies is clearly reflected in the record of his patriarchate. Few patriarchs have issued so many synodical edicts and other types of patriarchal documents. These were the product of his reforming energies, which were directed towards reforming or re-establishing

12 Vapheidis, 'EkkAtioiootikt) loTopia iii-a', 57-58. The letters in extenso in E. Legrand, Bibliographie hellénique XVII siècle (Paris: Picard, 1896), IV, 313-40.

13 Legrand, Bibliographie hellénique, 340-2.

14 G. Hering, Ökumenisches Patriarchat und europäische Politik 1620-1638 (Wiesbaden: F. Steiner Verlag, 1968), 30-59, 207-47.

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment