Info

assured, though vexations from the Orthodox continued for another decade. The Melkites spread to Palestine and Egypt through emigration, and in 1838 the Melkite Catholic patriarch of Antioch was given the additional titles of Jerusalem and Alexandria.

Perceived as a bastion of Arabism, more so than the Orthodox patriarchate of Antioch, beholden to the Phanariot Greeks, the Melkites acquired sympathy in the Arab world at the first stirrings of the Arab awakening. The Melkites would also become the most resistant of the 'Uniates' to the inroads of Latinisation and the erosion of their age-old patriarchal rights and independence vis-a-vis Rome. Patriarch Maximos III Mazloum (1833-56) resisted Latin encroachments and repudiated Roman attempts to impose the Gregorian Calendar.28 For his trouble he had to wait two years for Roman confirmation of his election as patriarch. Undismayed, Maximos exercised his patriarchal jurisdiction anyway, holding the Melkite Synod of Ain-Traz in 1835 and publishing its decisions without awaiting Roman approval.29 Another intrepid Melkite defender of Oriental rights, Patriarch Gregory II Yusif (186497), clashed famously with Pius IX at Vatican I and left Rome to avoid voting on the constitution Pastor Aeternus defining papal infallibility. He assented to it later only juxta modum, adding the conditional codicil: 'all rights and privileges and prerogatives of the patriarchs of the Eastern Churches being respected'.30 He played a key role in the 1894 meeting Leo XIII convoked in Rome, from which resulted the encyclical Orientalium Dignitas (see Leo XIII below).

Copts and Ethiopians

The union of Copts with the Catholic Church was fostered by Franciscan missionaries in the nineteenth century, and Leo XIII had the Jesuits open a seminary in 1879. In 1895, the Coptic Catholic patriarchate was restored with Kyrillos Makarios (1867-1921) as patriarch, but grave conflicts erupted in the fractured community, and in 1908 Pius X forced Kyrillos's resignation. The small community survived under an episcopal vicar apostolic while the patriarchal throne remained vacant until 1947.31 Though Catholic missionaries were at work in Ethiopia from 1839, the Ethiopian Catholic Church did not develop its structures until after our period.32

28 Hajjar, Un lutteur infatigable.

29 Hajjar, Les chretiens uniates, pp. 269-70.

30 Roberson, The Eastern Christian Churches, pp. 141-2.

31 Martin, 'Les coptes catholiques'; Janin, Les ├ęglises orientales, pp. 490-1.

32 Janin, Les eglises orientales, pp. 502-3.

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment