Constantinople, Patriarchate of

Constantinople, Patriarchate of.

Until the time of Constantine the bishop of Constantinople was subject to the bishop of Heraclea as metropolitan. When Constantinople became the residence of the emperor, the dignity of the bishop naturally rose. The second oecumenical council, in 381, gave to the bishop of Constantinople a precedence of honor next to the bishop of Rome, on the ground that Constantinople was New Rome. This canon implied no extension of jurisdiction except the exemption of the bishop of Constantinople from the metropolitan jurisdiction of the bishop of Heraclea; but gradually the bishop of Constantinople obtained a right of superintendence over the exarchs of the neighboring dioceses. Early in the 5th century an imperial edict placed Eastern Illyricum under the jurisdiction of the bishop of Constantinople, but the Roman bishop Boniface protested against this as an encroachment on the patriarchal rights of Rome in Illyricum, and the decree was not carried through. Theodosius II issued a decree that no bishop in Asia and Thracia should be ordained without the consent of the Council of Constantinople. The execution of this decree met with much opposition, but the metropolitan jurisdiction over Thracia and Asia was nevertheless gradually confirmed, and it was even extended over Pontus and the patriarchate of Antioch. In 451 the Council of Chalcedon formally sanctioned this right of jurisdiction. Canon 9 authorized bishops and clergymen to appeal from the decisions of the metropolitans to either the exarchs or to the see of Constantinople. Canon 28 gave to the bishop of Constantinople equal ecclesiastical prerogatives with the bishop of Rome, stating, however, that the see of Constantinople was the second; and provided that the bishop of Constantinople should have the right to ordain the metro politans of the three dioceses of Asia, Pontus, and Thracia, and of the bishops of the pagan countries belonging to those three dioceses. The papal legates protested against the 28th canon, and their protest was ratified by the Roman bishop Leo. The opposition of the Roman bishops against this canon prevented it from being received into the Oriental legislation, although the patriarchs of Constantinople never relinquished any of the rights conceded to them by the Council. During the controversy on the images, Leo Isauricus separated the Illyrian churches from the patriarchate of Rome and united them with that of Constantinople. Entire separation from Rome was carried through by the patriarchs Photius and Michael Cendarius. The extensive diocese of the patriarch of Constantinople, containing, since the 8th century, the whole of Eastern Illyricum and the three dioceses of Asia, Thracia, and Pontus, embraced (since the 10th century) also Russia, for which, however, in the 16th century, a special patriarchate was established at Moscow. See RUSSIA. In the 14th century a special Servian patriarchate was established, which, however, was again dissolved in 1765. SEE SERVIA. After the establishment of the independence of Greece, the Church of Greece made itself independent of the jurisdiction of the patriarch of Constantinople in 1833. SEE GREECE. The Greek bishops of Austria are likewise not subject to the patriarch of Constantinople. SEE AUSTRIA. The jurisdiction of the latter embraces the mediate and immediate provinces of the Turkish empire, with the exception of the patriarchates of Antioch, Alexandria, and Jerusalem, and the archbishoprics of Cyprus and Ochrida in Rumelia. In 1867 the patriarchate of Constantinople had 135 sees, of which 90 are metropolitical and 4 archiepiscopal.

From the conquest of Constantinople by the Latins in 1204 until the reconquest of the city by the Greeks in 1261, there was a Latin patriarch in Constantinople, to whom the pope assigned the highest place in the Church next to himself. Since the destruction of the Byzantine empire the title of patriarch has been given by the popes to some dignitary of Rome. At Constantinople there resides a patriarchal vicar, under whose jurisdiction are about 10,000 Latin Catholics, in Constantinople, Thracia, Macedonia, and Northern Asia Minor. — Herzog, Real-Encykl. 3, 138; Wetzer u. Welte, Kirchen-Lex. 2:838; Wiggers, Kirchl. Statistik, 1:176; The Churchman's Calendar for 1867, p. 39.

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