Metrophanes, Critopulus

Metrophanes, Critopulus a Greek theologian of the 17th century, was born in Bercea, and was educated at the convent school at Athos. Afterwards he served in an intimate relation to the celebrated patriarch, Cyril Lucar, who in 1616 sent him to England to be instructed in the doctrine and discipline of the Church of England, and to continue his education at the University of Oxford, even then a very celebrated educational institution. Lucar, in a letter to George Abbott, archbishop of Canterbury, at this time complained bitterly of the progress made by the Jesuits in the Eastern Church, and of the inability of his clergy to successfully resist them for want of sufficient instruction (see that letter in P. Colomesii Clarorum ver. epist. [Lond. 1687], Ep. 46; also in his Opp. ed. Fabric. [Hamb. 1709], p. 557). Metrophanes, on his arrival in England, was well received by archbishop Abbott and king James. In 1620 or 1621 Metrophanes went to Germany, where he visited the Protestant universities of Wittenberg, Tubiugen, Altdorf, Strasburg,. and Helmstadt. In the latter place he made the acquaintance of Conrinsr, Calixtus, and Conrad Hornejus, at whose suggestion he wrote, in 1625, a confession of the tenets of the orthodox Greek Church, with an exposition of its principal customs. This was subsequently published, together with a Latin translation, by John Hornejus, son of Conrad, and anintroduction by Conring (see Conringii Opp. vi, p. 391), at Helmstadt, in 1661. Among his other productions in Germany we find, De vocibus quibusdam Iiturgfcis epist. ed. J. J. Crudelius (Jiiterb. 1737):- Oratio Graeca panegyrica et dogmatica in nativitatem dom7int Latine versa, per M. G. Queccium (Alt. 1626) :-Responsio ad qucestionem de dicto apostolico " Spiritu ambulate," Gr. et Lat. ed. a M. Rindero, Emendationoes et aninadversiones in Joh. Meursii Gloss. Graeco-barb(aum ed. Franzius (Stendal, 1787) :-Depronunciatioze literse O, ed. Schwenterus (Norimb. 1625); and letters to'be found in G. Richteri Epistolis, p. 729, and in J. Chr. Wolfii Conspectu supell. epist. p. 26, 66, 129. He next went for some time to Venice as a teacher of Greek, and finally returned to Constantinople, in what year is uncertain. He subsequently became patriarch of Alexandria. The most important of all his works is the above- mentioned confession ( ῾Ομολογία τῆς ἀνατολικῆς ἐκκλησίας τῆς καθολικῆς καὶ ἀποστολικῆς, κ. τ. λ.). ῥ It is a rather full, clear exposition of' the doctrines and customs of the Greek Church, more in the form of a theological analysis than of a strictly symbolic work. He shows in it great opposition to the Romish Church, but at the same time avoids all Protestant polemics. The charge that Metrophanes was Lutheran in tendency is unjust, and is ignored by all able theologians. According to Metrophanes, the Greek doctrines can be divided into two parts, forming a "simple" and an "economical" system of theology (Con. page 13, ed. Weissenb.). The first treats of God and of the Trinity, leading naturally to the exposition of the Greek doctrine concerning the Holy Ghost (Confess. page 15 sq.). If we compare the doctrine of the author on the point with the tradition of the Greek fathers, we find 'the doctrine much more complete, and somewhat similar to that of the Latin Church. Each of the three divine persons stands in a definite relation to the two others, and at the same time constitute one form of the Deity. The first person stands as the father of the second and the sender (προβολεύς), but embraces them both in himself as νοῦς. The second person, or son, possesses a λόγος, the third the πρόβλημα of the first, as πνεῦμα, an identity with both. See Weissenborn, Prefatio to his Appendix litt. Symbol. Eccles. Orientalis (Jena, 1850); Ditelmaier, De Metrophane Critopule (Altenb. 1769), Neale, Florent. Council, page 168.

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