The Bishops of Rome, the Popes;
the Patriarchs of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, Armenia, and the East; Archbishops of Canterbury and Prince Archbishops of Mainz, Trier, Cologne, and Salzburg

On the map we have the Roman Empire as it was partially restored at the death of Justinian I. The capital, of course, is Constantinople, with the recovered western areas ruled from Ravenna (Italy, the Exarchate of Ravenna) and Carthage (Africa and Spain, the Exarchate of Carthage). The One Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church, Una Sancta Romana Catholica et Apostolica Ecclesia, is governed through the Emperor and the Patriarchs, namely the Patriarchs of Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem, in that order of precedence.

The role of the Emperor in governing the Church is now called "caesaro-papism," i.e. an Emperor acting like a Pope. However, the Emperor had exercised his powers since Constantine I, while the familiar powers of the Pope were much later claims and inventions. It is thus much less anarchonistic to characterize the claims of later Popes, not the Emperors, as the "caesaro-papism," i.e. the Pope trying to act like an Emperor.

Part of that act of play-acting a Roman Emperor are actually the famous "red shoes" of the Popes. But those are stolen shoes, and nothing like what would have been the shoes (or sandals) of the original "fisherman," i.e. St. Peter. Roman Emperors wore red shoes, not prelates of the Church. The last legitimate red shoes were on Constantine XI on May 29, 1453, as he died defending Constantinople against the Ottoman Turks. The red shoes of the Popes, which recent Popes have begun to avoid, are part of "caesaro-papism."

Chief among the powers of the Emperor -- the "Equal to the Apostles," ἰσαπόστολος, isapóstolos, always portrayed with a halo, -- was that of calling Church Councils, as Constantine had called the Council of Nicaea in 325. Indeed, he had already called a Council at Arles in 314 to deal with the Donatist controversy in North Africa, a production carried out, apparently, without any reference to the Bishop of Rome. The first Council called by a Pope, and regarded by him as Ecumenical, was the Lateran Council I in 1123. Orthodox Churches have never recognized any such councils.

To resolve the Great Schism, the Council of Constance, 1414-1418, was called by the Emperor Sigismund; but once a single line of Popes was secure in Rome again, they denied that the Emperor had any authority to call Councils. The last Emperor in any position, and with any need, to call a Council, Charles V, deferred to the Pope -- who then was the one to call the Council of Trent, 1545-1563. At the time of Justinian, the Pope was regarded as primus inter pares, first among equals of the Patriarchs, but that was all. The Patriarch of Constantinople was made second in rank, although this was a bit resented by the other, older Patriarchates. The Papacy, of course, claims that its full authority and its position as the head of whole Church existed from the beginning; and, indeed, the Popes did begin to make such claims as early as the 5th Century.

The diagram at right gives some impression of how the One Catholic Church has broken up -- setting aside the Protestant fragmention of the See of Rome in the West, which of course would require a complex diagram in its own right.

The convention of calling the Latin Church "Catholic" and the Eastern Churches "Orthodox" obscures the circumstance that katholikḗ, καθολική, "universal," signifies the Church of the Roman Empire, whose Patriarch in Constantinople the Bishop of Rome (through his representative) excommunicated in 1054 AD (although the Pope had just died and the representative no longer had any authority).

The Greek Church therefore still uses katholikḗ, while the Churches that fell out over one of the Ecumenical Councils, especially the Nestorians and Monophysites, would be heterodox, not "Orthodox," to both the Latin and Greek branches of the Catholica Ecclesia. While the Coptic and Syrian Churches broke away over the Fourth Ecumenical Council at Chalcedon, there remained a continuous line of Greek Patriarchs in Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem, even as the Patriarch of Constantinople proselytized Bulgaria, Russia, and other states in the Balkans.

Beginning with the Crusades, the Church of Rome sought converts over the same territory; and so we see Latin/Catholic churches and counter-churches swarming around the older, Orthodox ones. The counter-churches double up with the existing Orthodox churches, but sometimes a Catholic church exists, e.g. in the Ukraine or Ruthenia, where a separate Orthodox one doesn't. The Popes claim doctrinal authority, while the doctrine of Constantinople is based on the Church Councils.

Just how people can be confused about the history of the Church we see in a statement by film maker Francis Ford Coppola in the director's commentary on his movie, Bram Stoker's Dracula [1991, 2007], as he is watching the stars (Winona Ryder & Keanu Reaves) being married, which was actually filmed at a Greek Orthodox church in Los Angeles:

The Orthodox religions, Greek Orthodox, Romanian Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, is [sic] in fact the original Christianity and, for my part, I think the most beautiful expression of Christianity -- that Roman Catholicism is Christianity having been fused with the Roman Empire and really I think has more to do with the Roman Empire than it does with Christianity. [transcribed from audio track]

Coppola is apparently unaware that the Orthodox Churches he mentions, Churches in doctrinal agreement with the Patriarch of Constantinople, are the actual direct descendants of the State Religion of the Roman Empire, founded under the authority of the Patriarch and the Emperor in Constantinople (starting with Constantine), while modern Roman Catholicism, far from being Christianity "fused with the Roman Empire," is the religion of the Bishops of Rome who repudiated the authority of the Roman Emperor and excommunicated the Patriarch of Constantinople.

The religion of the City of Rome detached itself from the religion of the Roman Empire, i.e. Mediaeval Romania, centered in Constantinople. Few people, indeed, remember that Mediaeval "Romans" meant the Greek, Albanian, Vlach, Armenian, and other inhabitants of the so-called "Byzantine" Empire. The phenomenon that Coppola describes is thus not Christianity being "fused" with the Roman Empire, which is actually the way it began -- it was the "Roman" religion to one and all -- but Catholicism being corrupted by the attempt of the Popes to assume the authority of Emperors. When the Emperors were strong, whether in Constantinople or in Germany, the ability of the Popes to make good their claims was limited; but in the decline of the power of both Thrones, there was little to restrain them -- until Philip IV of France sent thugs to assault Boniface VIII and henceforth did as he wished.

A different sort of confusion involving the Roman Empire comes from a more scholarly source, the classic study of Delphi by Peter Hoyle [Cassell, London, 1967].

Religion in the Greek world was tolerant, there was no religious persecution... it was through the Romans, the strong and well-organized, the cruel and authoritative power, that Christianity developed and became a state religion. The terrors and massacres, the inquisitions, the persecutions of Christian by Christian, might never have come about if Greece and not Rome had prevailed. [p.7]

Villa of the Mysteries,
Villa dei Misteri, Pompeii
Hoyle has apparently forgotten that Socrates was put to death for "not believing in the gods in whom the city believes, but in other new spiritual [things]." That looks like some kind of religious persecution, on behalf of the state religion of Athens. Furthermore, the practice of Roman religion as generally tolerant was little different from that of Greece.

With some exceptions, Christians were not asked to renounce their faith or to desecrate its images, as Christians were in Japan; they were simply asked to honor the traditional gods as well and to demonstrate this by pouring a small libation to them. The subsequent intolerant exclusivism we see, when pagan practice and belief were suppressed, came from the Christians, not from previous Roman traditions.

And where then did this Christian exclusivism come from? Clearly from Judaism -- לֹא יִהְיֶה־ לְךִָ אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים עַל־ פָּנָי׃; Οὐκ ἔσονταί σοι θεοὶ ἕτεροι πλὴν ἐμοῦ· Non habebis deos alienos coram me; Thou shalt have no other gods before me [Exodus 20:3] -- but I doubt that Hoyle would have wanted to put in print that the "terrors and massacres" were ultimately due to Judaism. I do not want to place all the blame there either, for something that is the most characteristic of Christianity may in fact derive from the Greeks rather than the Jews. We find Sophocles saying:

                                          ὡς τρισόλβιοι
κεῖνοι βροτῶν, οἳ ταῦτα δερχθέντες τέλη
μολωσ᾽ ἐς Ἅιδου· τοῖσδε γὰρ μόνοις ἐκεῖ
ζῆν ἔστι, τοῖς ἄλλοισι πάντ᾽ ἔχειν κακά.

Thrice blessed are those among men who, having seen these rites, go down to Hades; for only to them is there life; to the others there will be all evils [πάντα κακά].

[Fragment 837, "Fragments Not Assignable to Any Play," Sophocles III, Fragments, Loeb Classical Library, Harvard University Press, 1996, 2003, pp.368-369.]

Sophocles is talking about the Eleusinian Mysteries, which promised rebirth and eternal life to those who were initiated and denied it to those who were not. There is nothing in Judaism like that -- except in beliefs about the afterlife that developed later, already with some elements in late books of the Bible, and implied by references in the New Testament to the Sadducees rejecting an afterlife, but not the Pharisees -- or the unmentioned Essences.

In the modern polemic against Christianity, Nietzsche was willing to blame Judaism for the evils of Christianity (the "slave revolt" in morals), but then this is little noted in the popular apologetic for Nietzsche's anti-Semitism. Nietzsche was also willing to blame Socrates (that victim of religious persecution) and Plato for corrupting the Greek spirit and making it vulnerable to Judaism and Christianity.

Perhaps Hoyle, consciously or not, tries to avoid this mess by simply placing the blame on the Romans -- the opposite of Nietzsche, who said that the Romans were the most noble people who had ever lived, and that "Rome viewed Israel as a monstrosity; the Romans regarded the Jews as convicted of hatred against the whole of mankind" [The Birth of Tragedy and The Genealogy of Morals, translated by Francis Golffing, Doubleday Anchor Books, 1956, p.185-186]. Yet the characteristic attitude of traditional Christianity, that we are saved and you are going to Hell -- Extra Ecclesiam, nemo salvatur (Outside the Church, no one is saved):  that looks like something from Hoyle's "tolerant" Greeks.

The Patriarchates, as illustrated at right, consist, as we have seen, originally of the five indigenous to the Roman Empire and, from an early date, that of Armenia and of the East. Schisms multiplied the number of claimants to each Seat, initially between the Roman Church (i.e. the Melkite, Μελχίτης, "Royal" -- here what I call "Ecumenical," after the title of the Patriarch of Constantinople) and the Monophysites but later between the Latin and the Greek Churches, with the former claiming, and conventionally conceded, the appellation "Roman Catholic."

However, this leaves the "Orthodox" Churches as, conventionally, everything else that we see. All of Christendom, indeed, could be divided between Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox Churches, with the Protestants missing from the diagram because there are no Protestant claimants to a Patriarchate at the traditional Seats or any Protestant institution of new Patriarchate. For instance, the Primate of England is still the Archbishop of Canterbury, just as when the country was Catholic. Meanwhile, however, we get other Orthodox Patriarchates, as of Russia, and most recently of Ethiopia. The tendency of the Orthdox Churches to become Patriarchates is that, even when in doctrinal communion with an older Church (as at Constantinople), they are characteristically autocephalous, i.e. self-governing.

In this period there were five significant centers of Christianity outside what had ever been in the Roman Empire:  in the Caucasus, in Mesopotamia, in India, in Ethiopia, and in Ireland. In the Caucasus were the Churches of Georgia and Armenia. Georgia was doctrinally in union with Romania, but Armenia had not accepted the decision of the Fourth Ecumenical Council. The Patriarchate of Armenia was thus regarded by the Roman Church as heterodox. Similarly heterodox was the Patriarchate of the East, seated at the Sassanid capital of Ctesiphon, which had not accepted the decision of the Third Ecumenical Council -- and thus is often called the "Nestorian" Church, after the doctrine condemned by the Third Council. The authority of the Patriarch of the East already extended to Christians in India, and subsequently would reach all the way to China.

Ethiopia was under the authority of the Patriarch of Alexandria and so, until the Fourth Ecumenical Council, was doctrinally in union with Rome -- later it would continue to follow the lead of the Coptic Church, and now has had its own autonomous Patriarchate just since 1959. That leaves Ireland, which traditionally was converted by St. Patrick after 432 AD. As communication between Ireland and the Empire became more tenuous, the Irish Church preserved literacy, as Britain itself fell out of history, and developed some of its own traditions -- though these never came to serious heterodoxy and any differences were subsequently straightened out. As Irish nationalism later became identified with the Catholic Church, over and against the Protestant Church of England and British rule in Ireland, Ireland became one of the most staunchly Catholic states in Europe -- and today, with Poland, provides a disproportionate number of priests to the Catholic Church. However, Catholic observance in both Ireland and Poland recently has declined.

Patriarchal Index

Popes in Frames with Emperors

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Copyright (c) 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2017, 2019, 2023, 2024 Kelley L. Ross, Ph.D. All Rights Reserved

The Bishops of Rome, the Popes,
42 AD-present

The passage from the Catholicism of the Fathers to that of the modern Popes was accomplished by willful falsehood; and the whole structure of traditions, laws, and doctrines that support the theory of infallibility and the practical despotism of the Popes stands on a basis of fraud.

Lord Acton, John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton, 8th Baronet Acton, 1st Baron Acton, North British Review, 1869, p.130

This is why, for example, St. Augustine's battle against the Donatist heresy was so important: if the validity of the sacraments depended on the moral qualities of priests, or the perfection of the Church on the perfection of the faithful (as the Pelagians thought), the identity of the Church body would soon have been destroyed. The Church's substance, the corpus mysticum, cannot be damaged or polluted by human sins or offenses.

Leszek Kołakowski (1927-2009), "On Collective Identity," Is God Happy? Selected Essays, Basic Books, 2013, p.258

1 St. Peterc.42-c.64
2 St. Linusc.66-c.78
3 St. Anacletusc.79-c.91
4 St. Clement Ic.91-c.101
5 St. Evaristusc.100-c.109
6 St. Alexander Ic.109-c.116
7 St. Sixtus Ic.116-c.125
8 St. Telesphorusc.125-c.136
9 St. Hyginusc.138-c.142
10 St. Pius Ic.142-c.155
11 St. Anicetusc.155-c.166
12 St. Soterusc.166-c.174
13 St. Eleutheriusc.174-189
14 St. Victor I189-198
15 St. Zephirinus198/9-217
16 St. Calixtus/
Callistus I
[St. Hippolytus]217-235
17 St. Urban I222-230
18 St. Pontianus230-235
19 St. Anterius235-236
20 St. Fabianus236-250
killed in persecution
of Decius, 250
21 St. Cornelius251-253
22 St. Lucius I253-254
23 St. Stephen I254-257
24 St. Sixtus II257-258
25 St. Dionysius260-268
26 St. Felix I269-274
27 St. Eutychianus275-283
28 St. Caius/Gaius283-296
29 St. Marcellinus296-303/4
Persecution of Diocletian, 303; apostasy of Marcellinus
Sedē Vacantē304-306/8
30 St. Marcellus I306/8-308/9
31 St. Eusebius309/10
32 St. Melchiades/
Toleration by Maxentius & Constantine, gift of Lateran Palace, 312
33 St. Sylvester I314-335
Edict of Milan, Constantine and Licinius decree toleration for Chistianity, 313; Council of Arles, Donatism condemned, 314; Ecumenical Council I, Nicaea I, Arianism condemned, Nicene Creed, 325; various churches and palaces, especially the Lateran Palace, in Rome donated to the Pope
34 St. Marcus I336
35 St. Julius I337-352
36 Liberius352-366
Meletian Schism, 361-401
[St. Felix II]355-365
37 St. Damasus I366-384
Ecumenical Council II, Constantinople I, Arianism condemned, regarded as definitively establishing Roman Catholic Orthodoxy, 381
38 St. Siricius384-399
39 St. Anastasius I399-401
40 St. Innocent I401-417
Sack of Rome by Visigoths, 410; Conference of Carthage, Donatism condemned, 411
41 St. Zosimus417-418
42 St. Boniface I418-422
43 St. Celestine I422-432
Ecumenical Council III, Ephesus I, Nestorianism condemned, 431
44St. Sixtus/
Xystus III
45 St. Leo I the Great440-461
"Robber" Council, Ephesus II, Monophysitism affirmed, still recognized by Monophysite Churches, 449; Ecumenical Council IV, Chalcedon, Monophysitism condemned; fatal disaffection of Syria & Egypt, 451; Sack of Rome by Vandals, 455
46 St. Hilarus
47 St. Simplicius468-483
48 St. Felix III (II)483-492
Acacian Schism, 484-519
49 St. Gelasius I492-496
50 St. Anastasius II496-498
51 St. Symmachus498-514
52 St. Hormisdas514-523
End of Acacian Schism, 519
53 St. John I523-526
54 St. Felix IV (III)526-530
Council of Orange, 529
55 Boniface II530-532
56 John II533-535
57 St. Agapetus
Agapitus I
58 St. Silverius536-537, d.537
Rome regained by Belisarius from Ostrogoths, 536 (#1); end of dating by Consuls, 537; Silverius deposed by Belisarius, dies in exile, 537
59 Vigilius537-555
Ostrogoths revive, 541; Rome lost, sacked, by Totila, 546 (#2); Rome regained by Belisarius, 547 (#3); Rome lost, 549 (#4); Ostrogoths defeated by Narses at Busta Gallorum or Taginae, Rome regained, 552 (#5); Ecumenical Council V, Constantinople II, the "Three Chapters" condemned to reconcile Monophysitism, 553
60 Pelagius I556-561
61 John III561-574
62 Benedict I575-579
63 Pelagius II579-590
Lombard siege of Rome, 579-585
64 St. Gregory I
the Great
Senate in Rome
ceases to meet, 602
65 Sabinianus604-606
66 Boniface III607
Greek Pope
67 St. Boniface IV608-615
Column of Phocas, last Imperial monument in the Forum of Rome, 608; Pantheon converted
into Church, 609
68 St. Deusdedit/
Adeodatus I
69 Boniface V619-625
The iussio, Imperial confirmation of Papal election, delegated to Exarch of Ravenna, 620
70 Honorius I625-638
Senate building in Rome converted into Church of St. Adriano, c.630; condemned as Monothelete heretic by Council VI
Sedē Vacantē, 638-640
71 Severinus640
72 John IV640-642
73 Theodore I642-649
Greek Pope
74 St. Martin I649-653,
arrested by Emperor Constans II and died in exile in Crimea
75 St. Eugenius I654-657
76 St. Vitalianus657-672
77 Adeodatus II672-676
78 Domnus/Donus (I)676-678
79 St. Agathon678-681
Sicilian Pope; Ecumenical Council VI, Constantinople III, Monotheletism condemned, 680-681
80 St. Leo II682-683
Sicilian Pope
81 St. Benedict II684-685
Imperial ratification of Papal elections abolished, 684/685
82 John V685-686
Syrian Pope
83 Conon686-687
Sicilian Pope
[Paschal]687, d.692
84 St. Sergius I687-701
Syrian & Sicilian Pope;
ordered arrested but Italian garrison refuses
85 John VI701-705
Greek Pope
86 John VII705-707
Greek Pope
87 Sisinnius708
Syrian Pope
88 Constantine I708-715
Syrian Pope; last Pope to visit Constantinople, 710-711, called by iussio of Jusintian II
89 St. Gregory II715-731
90 St. Gregory III731-741
Syrian Pope; appeals to Franks for help against Lombards
91 St. Zacharias741-752
last Greek Pope, from Calabria; gives permission for the deposition of King Childerich III of Francia and for Boniface of Crediton to crown Pepin III King of Francia, 751
92 Stephen II ??752
93 Stephen III (II)752-757
Donation of Pepin, Byzantine Exarchate of Ravenna becomes Papal States, 754
94 St. Paul I757-767
[Constantine II]767-768
95 Stephen IV (III)768-772
96 Hadrian/Adrian I772-795
Ecumenical Council VII, Nicaea II, Iconoclasm condemned under guidance of Empress Irene, 787; Council of Frankfurt, Frankish Church rejects Council VII, contradicts Pope, 794
97 St. Leo III795-816
Crowns Charlemagne Roman Emperor, gives Papacy basis for claiming sovereign rights over later (Holy Roman) Emperors, 800
98 Stephen V (IV)816-817
99 St. Paschal I817-824
100 Eugenius II824-827
101 Valentinus827
102 Gregory IV827-844
103 Sergius II844-847
Sack of Ostia & the Vatican by the Aghlabids, 846
104 St. Leo IV847-855
Arab fleet destroyed off Ostia, 849; Leonine Walls completed around Vatican, 852
[John/Joan? (VIII), XX ?!?](855-857?)
105 Benedict III855-858
106 St. Nicholas I858-867
107 Hadrian II867-872
Ecumenical Council VIII, Constantinople IV, patched up filioque and other differences, later repudiated by East, last Oecumenical Council recognized by West which included Eastern Church, 869-870
108 John VIII872-882
Has Formosus crown Charles the Bald Emperor at Pavia, 875; Excommunicates Duke of Naples for collaborating with the Arabs, 880; whole Duchy excommunicated, 881; crowns Charles the Fat Emperor, 881; first Pope assassinated, 882
109 Martin II/
Marinus I
110 St. Hadrian III884-885
111 Stephen VI (V)885-891
112 Formosus891-896
Crowns Arnulf of Carinthia Emperor, 896
113 Boniface VI896
114 Stephen VII (VI)896-897, deposed
Exhumes & tries the corpse of Formosus for heresy, "Cadaver Synod," instigated by Lambert II of Spoleto, 897; St. John Lateran collapses after earthquake, 897; deposed & strangled, 897
115 Romanus897, deposed; d.?
116 Theodore II897
117 John IX898-900
118 Benedict IV900-903
119 Leo V903, deposed; d.904
[Christopher ??]903-904, deposed; d.904
120 Sergius IIIanti-pope, 898
121 Anastasius III911-913
122 Lando913-914
123 John X914-928,
Arabs defeated at Garigliano River, 915
124 Leo VI928
125 Stephen VIII (VII)928-931,
deposed & mutilated
by Alberic II of Spoleto
126 John XI
of Spoleto or Tusculum
127 Leo VII936-939
128 Stephen IX (VIII)939-942
129 Martin III/
Marinus II
130 Agapetus II946-955
131 John XII
Octavian of Spoleto
East Frankish/German King Otto I crowned Emperor after he defeats Magyars, 962
132 Leo VIII ??963, 964-965
133 Benedict V964, d.966
134 John XIII
of Spoleto
135 Benedict VI973-974
[Boniface VII Franco]974-985
{Domnus II}c.974
136 Benedict VII974-983
137 John XIV
Peter Canepanova
138 John XV985-996
139 Gregory V
[John XVI
John Philagathos]
140 Sylvester II
141 John XVII
John Sicco
142 John XVIII
John Fasanus
143 Sergius IV
144 Benedict VIII
Theophylact of Tusculum
[Gregory (VI)]1012
145 John XIX
Romanus of Tusculum
146 Benedict IX !!
Theophylact of Tusculum
1032-1044, 1045,
& 1047-48,
147 Sylvester III ??
John of Sabina
1045, d.1063
148 Gregory VI
John Gratian
149 Clement II
150 Damasus II
151 St. Leo IX
Lord of Benevento, 1051; defeated & captured by Normans at Civitate, 1053; Schism between Eastern and Western Churches, "Donation of Constantine" cited, 1054
152 Victor II
153 Stephen X (IX)
Frederick of Lorraine
[Benedict X ??
John Mincius]
154 Nicholas II
Lateran Synod, decree for election of Popes by a college of Cardinals, 1059; beginning of Papal heyday
155 Alexander II
[Honorius (II)
Peter Cadalus]
156 St. Gregory VII Hildebrand1073-1085
Investiture Controversy, 1076-1122; gratuitously excommunicates the Emperors Nicephorus III Botaniates, 1078, and Alexius I Comnenus, 1081; rescued from Castel Sant'Angelo by Normans, who then loot and burn Rome, 1084
[Clement (III)
1080, 1084-1100
Sedē Vacantē, 1085-1086
157 Victor III
1086, 1087
158 Urban II
First Crusade, defeats Seljuks, recaptures Jerusalem, 1096-1099
[John/Joan? (VIII), XX ?!?](1099-1106?)
159 Paschal II
[Sylvester (IV)
160 Gelasius II
John of Gaeta
[Gregory (VIII)
Maurice Burdinus]
161 Callistus/
Calixtus II
Guy/Guido of Burgundy
Bull Sicut Judaeis, 1120;
Lateran Council I, 1123
162 Honorius II
[Celestine (II)
1124, d.1125/26
163 Innocent II
Gregorio Papareschi
Lateran Council II, 1139; defeated & captured by Normans at Galluccio, 1139
[Anacletus II Pietro]1130-1138
[Victor IV
Gregorio Conti]
164 Celestine II
Guido of Città di Castello
165 Lucius II
Gherardo Caccianemici
166 Eugenius III
Bernardo Pignatelli
Second Crusade, 1147-1149
167 Anastasius IV
168 Hadrian IV
Nicholas Breakspear
only English Pope; confers Ireland on Henry II of England, 1155; Treaty of Benevento, recognizes William I as King of Sicily and Vassal of Rome, 1156
169 Alexander III
Orlando Bandinelli
Lateran Council III, 1179
[Victor IV
Ottaviano of Monticelli]
[Paschal III Rainald of Dassel]1164-1168
[Callistus (III) Giovanni]1168-1178,
[Innocent (III) Lando]1179-1180
170 Lucius III
Ubaldo Allucingoli
171 Urban III
Umberto Crivelli
172 Gregory VIII
Alberto de Morra
173 Clement III
Paolo Scolari
Third Crusade, 1189-1192
174 Celestine III
Giacinto Bobo, Bobini, Orsini
175 Innocent III
Lotario Scotti, dei Conti di Segni
Fourth Crusade, Constantinople taken by Crusaders in employ of Venice, first break in line of Roman (Rhōmaic/Byzantine) Emperors, 1202-1204; Lateran Council IV, 1215; Albigensian Crusade, 1209-1229
176 Honorius III
Cencio Savelli
Fifth Crusade #1, 1217-1221
177 Gregory IX
Ugo, Ugolino dei Conti di Segni
Fifth #2/Sixth Crusade, Frederick II excommunicated both for not going on Crusade and then for going on one and negotiating the possession of Jerusalem (until 1244), 1228-1229
178 Celestine IV
Goffredo da Castiglione
Sedē Vacantē, 1241-1243
179 Innocent IV
Sinibaldo Fieschi
Council of Lyon I, 1245; "mandate" refuting the Blood Libel against the Jews, 1247; Sixth/Seventh Crusade, St. Louis IX of France, lands in Egypt, defeated, captured, ransomed, 1248-1254
180 Alexander IV
Rinaldo dei Conti di Segni
181 Urban IV
Jacques Pantaléon
Patriarch of
182 Clement IV
Guy Foulques
requests work from
Roger Bacon, 1266
Sedē Vacantē, 1268-1271
183 Gregory X
Teobaldo Visconti
Seventh/Eighth Crusade, St. Louis IX of France, got no further than Tunisia, 1270, continued by Edward of England, 1270-1272; Council of Lyon II, 1274
184 Innocent V
Pierre of Tarentaise
185 Hadrian V
Ottobono Fieschi
186 John XXI !!
Pedro Julião
187 Nicholas III
Giovanni Gaetano, Orsini
188 Martin IV
Simon de Brie
189 Honorius IV
Giacomo Savelli
190 Nicholas IV
Girolamo Masci
Sedē Vacantē, 1292-1294
191 St. Peter Celestine V
Pietro del Morrone
192 Boniface VIII
Benedetto Caetani
most exaggerated claims for the mediaeval Papacy; captured, humiliated, and beaten by Philip the Fair of France, 1303
193 Benedict XI
Niccolò Boccasino
A 194 Clement V
Bertrand de Got
Templars arrested and suppressed, 1307-1312; Last Grand Master, Jacques de Molay, tortured & burned by Philip IV of France, 1314
moves to Avignon, 1309; lines of Popes reside at Avignon (A), Rome (R), and Pisa (P) during the Babylonian Captivity (1309-1377) and the Great Schism (1378-1417); Council of Vienne, 1311-1312
Sedē Vacantē, 1314-1316
A 195 John XXII
Jacques Duèse
R [Nicholas (V)
Pietro Rainalducci]
A 196 Benedict XII Jacques Fournier1334-1342
A 197 Clement VI Pierre1342-1352
Half of Colosseum collapses in earthquake, 1349
A 198 Innocent VI Étienne Aubert1352-1362
A 199 Urban V
Guillaume de Grimoard
R 200 Gregory XI
Pierre Roger de Beaufort
leaves Avignon, 1376;
returns to Rome, 1377
R 201 Urban VI
Bartolomeo Prignano
resides at Rome, Anti-Pope elected at Avignon; Great Schism (1378-1417)
R 202 Boniface IX
Pietro Tomacelli
Mission from Ethiopia in Rome, 1403, 1404
R 203 Innocent VII Cosimo Gentile de' Migliorati1404-1406
R 204 Gregory XII Angelo Correr1406-1415
Council of Constance, called by Emperor Sigismund, Papal interregnum 1415-1417, resolves Great Schism, but principle of Council is threat to Papal authority, 1414-1418
Sedē Vacantē, 1415-1417
205 Martin V
Oddo Colonna
Three Ethiopians attested at Council of Constance, receive Safe Passage document from Martin V, 1416-1418
206 Eugene
(Eugenius) IV
Gabriele Condulmaro
Council of Basil, 1431-1445; Council at Ferrara & Florence, 1431-1449, attended by John VIII Palaeologus, 1439-1440, and Ethiopian monks from Jerusalem, 1441
[Felix (V),
Amadeus VIII of Savoy]
207 Nicholas V
Tommaso Parentucelli
Renaissance begins
208 Callistus/
Calixtus III
Alfonso de Borja/Borgia
209 Pius II
Enea Silvio Piccolomini
last piece of Romania, the fortress of Monemvasia, ceded by the Despot Thomas, 1461
210 Paul II
Pietro Barbo
211 Sixtus IV
Francesco della Rovere
212 Innocent VIII
Giovanni Battista Cibò
213 Alexander VI
Rodrigo de Borja y Borja/Borgia
214 Pius III
Francesco Todeschini Piccolomini
215 Julius II
Giuliano della Rovere
recovers by combat all of Papal States, 1512-1517; Lateran Council V, 1512–1517
216 Leo X
Giovanni de' Medici
1517 Reformation begins
217 Hadrian VI
Adrian Florensz Dedal
218 Clement VII
de' Medici
Sack of Rome by Imperial/Spanish army, 1527
219 Paul III
Alessandro Farnese
Council of Trent, Counter-Reformation, 19th "Ecumenical" Council, 1545-1563
220 Julius III
Giovanni Maria Ciocchi del Monte
221 Marcellus II
Marcello Cervini
222 Paul IV
Giampietro Carafa
223 Pius IV
Giovanni Angelo Medici
224 St. Pius V
Michele Ghislieri
225 Gregory XIII
Ugo Boncompagni
5/15 October 1582, Gregorian Calendar instituted; Quirinal Palace, 1573, 1583
226 Sixtus V
Felice Peretti
227 Urban VII
Giambattista Castagna
228 Gregory XIV
Niccolò Sfondrati
229 Innocent IX
Giovanni Antonio Fachinetti
230 Clement VIII
Ippolito Aldobrandini
Quirinal Palace principal residence of Popes until 1870
231 Leo XI
Alessandro Ottaviano de'Medici
232 Paul V
Camillo Borghese
Quirinal Palace completed
233 Gregory XV
Alessandro Ludovisi
234 Urban VIII
Maffeo Barberini
235 Innocent X
Giambattista Pamfili
236 Alexander VII
Fabio Chigi
237 Clement IX
Giulio Rospigliosi
238 Clement X
Emilio Altieri
239 Innocent XI
Benedetto Odescalchi
240 Alexander VIII
Petro Ottoboni
241 Innocent XII
Antonio Pignatelli
242 Clement XI
Giovanni Francesco Albani
Protests grant without Papal authority of the title "King in Prussia," 1701
243 Innocent XIII
Michelangelo Conti, dei Conti di Segni
244 Benedict XIII
Pietro Francesco Orsini
245 Clement XII
Lorenzo Corsini
246 Benedict XIV
Prospero Lorenzo Lambertini
247 Clement XIII
Carlo della Torre Rezzonico
248 Clement XIV
Lorenzo Giovanni Vicenzo Antonio Ganganelli
249 Pius VI
Giovanni Angelo Braschi
250 Pius VII
Luigi Barnabà Chiaramonte
Roman Republic, 1799; Concordat with Napoleon, 1801; Annexation by France, Napoleon excommunicated, Pope arrested, 1809-1814
251 Leo XII
Annibale Sermattei della Genga
252 Pius VIII
Francesco Saverio Castiglione
253 Gregory XVI
Bartolomeo Alberto Cappellari
254 Pius IX
Giovanni Maria Mastai-Ferretti
loss of Romagna, 1859; loss of the Marches & Umbria, 1860; occupation of Rome by Italy, 1870; Vatican I Council, 1869-1870
255 Leo XIII
Gioacchino Vincenzo Pecci
256 St. Pius X
Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto
257 Benedict XV
Giacomo Della Chiesa
258 Pius XI
Ambrogio Damiano Achille Ratti
Concordat with Mussolini, Independence of Vatican City, 1929
259 Pius XII
Eugenio Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli
260 St. John XXIII
Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli
Vatican II Council, 1962-1965
261 Paul VI
Giovanni Battista Montini
262 John Paul I
Albino Luciani
263 St. John Paul II
Karol Wojtyla
first Polish Pope
264 Benedict XVI
Joseph Ratzinger
265 Francis, Franciscus I
Jorge Mario Bergoglio
first Pope from the Americas; first new name since Lando in 913; first Pope born outside Europe since Gregory III (Syrian born) in 731; attacks capitalism, protects pedophiles
The Papacy is one of the oldest institutions in the world, perhaps even the oldest. There are likely to be few neutral opinions about it. To Roman Catholics, the Pope may be the holiest man on earth, the heir and keeper of the deepest truths of religion. To others, the Papacy may only stand for ignorance and dogma, intolerance, torture, arrogance, and bigotry. Purely historical judgments, which cannot take into account religious truth or falsehood, may nevertheless leave a negative impression because of the factual nature of things like torture and intolerance. One would like, therefore, as a historian (or philosopher) to ask, "What good was the Papacy?"

There is one very good answer in that respect:  By claiming independent authority and resisting secular power, the Papacy paved the way for the later conception of the separation of Church and State. Not that the Church ever wanted to give up its authority over the conscience and morals of citizens, but it accustomed people to the idea that secular power was not the last word and that obedience to the same was not an unconditioned duty. Once the Church was divided by the Reformation, and Protestants found even their own sects multiplying, the easiest solution was, not only to keep secular authority separate, but to deny to churches any coercive function. Thus, while Catholic countries often still mix some religious authority into secular law, the separation of religion from the state, or the principle of liberty of conscience, is a far, far less secure proposition out of the Western world. When China prohibits an inoffensive religious sect, and various countries debate whether to institute Islāmic Law (or apply it in all its rigor), the long struggles between Popes and Emperors, or Popes and Kings, look positively remarkable.

St. Peter's Basilica, Rome, 2019
As with many people who look good out of power, for their resistance, but then prove as bad, or worse, as their tormentors once they are in power themselves, our appreciation of the Papacy has its limits. The Popes always looked better resisting than ruling. This has peristed into recent times, when the Church was the focus of undeniable opposition to communism in Poland, but then, again, sought to introduce Catholic moral teachings into the law of post-communist Poland. The irony of this dynamic is palpable when communism itself came to power in the name of the workers but then often slaughtered workers to stay in power.

Thus, one might well say, "OK, it was a worthy role to distinguish and limit the power of secular governments, but since then the Church has been more famous for its intolerance, for the Inquisition, for its authoritarianism. What has it done for us, outside of the Warsaw Pact, lately?" Indeed, if a Mediaeval or Cold War historical role is the best we can do, then perhaps the demise of the Church is long overdue. At the same time, the Church is no longer running any Inquisitions, and priests and nuns have often become activists in trendy political causes -- unfortunately sometimes poisonous leftist causes, as in "Liberation Theology."

The Baldachin (Baldacchino), bronze altar canopy, of Gian Lorenzo Bernini, St. Peter's Basilica, Rome, 2019
However, that kind of thing may be of less value than the continued conservative moral teaching of the Church. If the Catholic Church is not going to stand for conservative morality, who is? The principle lesson of traditional morality is self-control. If the Church argues that abortion and birth control are not necessary (apart from its moral objections) for economic success, this is actually true and an argument that should be made. Those who are so imprudent as to find themselves with illegitimate children, even if their fortunes can be retrieved by abortions, may not be prudent in any other areas of life either, to a great loss of fortune which cannot so easily be remedied. The proposition that people should be protected, usually by the government, from any adverse consequences of their own actions is the most destructive moral principle of the modern age, when relativism and nihilism have become the self-evident truths of the intelligentsia. Although the Church may err in the direction of moralism, this is no worse, and probably overall better, than the opposite popular trivializations of morality and prudence. The legendary, fortress-like chastity of Catholic girls, although often ridiculed as unhealthy inhibition, now, especially in the environment of herpes and AIDS, proves to have been the wisest of practical virtues.

On the other hand, the moral standing of the Church now stands gravely challenged by scandals over priests who take advantage of their positions to sexually prey on children.
The Holy Spirit, St. Peter's Basilica, Rome, 2019
In the most scurrilous of anti-Catholic rumor and libel, Catholics were required to provide children to priests for sexual purposes. However innocent of this, the Church put itself in a very false, immoral, and illegal position by often simply transfering priests accused of sexual crimes instead of turning them over to the police. Why the Church would be reluctant to respond appropriately is understandable, since it has been harder and harder, especially outside of Ireland and Poland, to get men to commit to a life of celibacy to become priests. The Church invests a great deal in the education and training of priests and is going to be reluctant to lose them. There is actually nothing new about this. The wish of King Henry II to be rid of Thomas à Becket was not because Becket was protecting the peasants from the oppression of the King, but because he was protecting Churchmen who were rapists and murderers from the King's Justice. Someone might consider staging a version of T.S. Eliot's Murder in the Cathedral in which the complaint against Becket (or perhaps Archbishop Roger Mahony of Los Angeles) was his protection of child molesters. Henry II could use some good press in this, since he hasn't gotten any since the 12th century.

It can be a problem that the priesthood might tend to attract men who might otherwise be uninterested in marriage, i.e. homosexuals and those sexually attracted to children. In principle, homosexuals are going to be in no worse position than heterosexual priests in that the Church has no objection to anyone being a homosexual, as long as they don't engage in homosexual sex. Since priests are expected to avoid any kind of sex, homosexual priests face temptations in much the same way as heterosexual priests. A priest tempted into homosexual sex may be committing a greater sin than a heterosexual priest, but at least it is not illegal. Child molesting is something else. While homosexual priests as such may not be the problem, conservatives sometimes think it is, since much of the abuse really isn't of children, but of teenage boys. Either way, however, these particular priests don't seem to be able to observe either their vows of celibacy, the Church's teachings on sexuality, or the laws about the age of consent.

The Pietà, by Michelangelo, St. Peter's Basilica, Rome, 2019
A reasonable solution to all this, since the fundamental problem is the scarcity of parish priests, could be married priests. While priestly celibacy is founded on the text, Matthew 19:12, "and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to receive this, let him receive it," it may be that the particular emphasis on celibacy in the Latin Church developed mainly to prevent priestly offices from becoming hereditary -- a grave danger in the Middle Ages, as seen recently also in Japan, where a married Buddhist clergy has resulted precisely in hereditary succession to Buddhist temples. This not likely to become a danger in the modern Catholic Church, however, and the Church would do well to adopt a somewhat more relaxed policy, as in the Greek Orthodox Church, where married priests are simply disqualified from advancing in the hierarchy. On the other hand, the horror or contempt of modern Protestants and secularists for celibacy in general is a bias that is inconsistent both with the history of Christianity, where celibacy is respected or required in all the Orthodox Churches, and in relation to the practice of religion in, say, India, where there is provision and an esteemed place for celibacy in all the autochthonous religions,
Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism. After all, the great power of the noble hero Bhishma, , of the Mahābhārata, who could not be killed against his wish, and his name, derives from the "frightful" oath of celibacy he took. Western enthusiasts for Buddhism as a system of philosophy tend to be oblivious of the place of the Sangha, the monastic community, in the doctrine and history of Buddhism.

Anti-Popes are shown in brackets. Alternative numbers or numbers that do not count in the following sequence are in parentheses. Several Anti-Popes (e.g. Alexander V) actually figure in the count of legitimate Popes. Popes and Anti-Popes in the Great Schism at Avignon are shown with backgrounds in purple. Anti-Popes at Pisa are on a background in green. Sedē Vacantē is "with the Seat Vacant."

The Popes may be viewed in frames in conjunction with the Emperors of the Roman-Romanian-Byzantine lines and Popes of the Frankish-German-French-Austrian lines, using this link. In a screen 640 pixels wide, the formatting suffers considerable distortions. In a wider screen, the window should be enlarged or maximized. To exit the frames, links from this "Popes" window must be used. This device of running Popes and Emperors in parallel goes back to The Holy Roman Empire of James Bryce [1904, Schocken Books, 1961, 1964]. Because the Popes played a larger role in the story of the Emperors in Francia, Bryce ceased listing the Roman Emperors once Charlemagne had been crowned. Also, this shift probably also expresses the lack of regard of historians like Bryce for "Byzantium" and its heritage. See the "Note on 'Romania'."

The mythic beginning of the Papacy with St. Peter may not be quite as mythic as Protestants like to suppose. St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican is built over a 1st century Christian cemetery. Rebuilt over time, ever since the first version built by Constantine, the altar turns out always to have been over a particular grave, with its own humble monument, of a man whose bones date from the correct era. This may or may not really be Peter, but the antiquity of bones and tomb rule out the kind of crude mediaeval fraud that the sceptic might suppose.

Since St. Peter's and the Papacy really are so old, the opposite temptation, from the one of priestly fictions, is that the Popes know far more about history than anyone suspects. One favorite notion, which may or may not have originated in the novel Another Roadside Attraction by Tom Robbins, is that the Vatican possesses the actual body of Jesus Christ. Since Christ is supposed to have risen from the dead and ascended to heaven, his body would be, to say the least, an embarrassment. But when one wonders whether these few bones are actually St. Peter, the intact mummy of Jesus seems rather less credible.
Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome, 2019
Another conceit, apparently taken seriously by the 1999 movie Stigmata, is that the Vatican possesses texts of the Gospels, even in Aramaic (surviving Gospels are in Greek), which contradict various points of Catholic doctrine, like the existence of the Church. Stigmata, however, very much, perhaps inadvertently, overstates its case, since the sayings of Jesus it treasures as directed against the (not yet existing) Catholic Church could, at the time, have had no possible object other than the Temple of Herod in Jerusalem. The viewer of the movie, taking into account the historical context in which Jesus spoke, might therefore take it as an anti-Semitic rather than just an anti-Catholic screed.

The antiquity of the Papacy is perhaps often forgotten when it comes to the monuments of Rome. The mediaeval Popes did not live in the Vatican, but in the Lateran Palace, which had been seized from its private owners by, of all people, the Emperor Nero. Constantine then donated it to the Bishop of Rome and built adjacent to it the church of St. John Lateran, which has remained ever since the actual episcopal church, the cathedral, of Rome (not St. Peter's). Most of the mediaeval Church councils in Rome are thus "Lateran" Councils, held at the Pope's residence (as the last two Councils have been "Vatican" Councils). Later, while the Popes were in Avignon, the Palace burned twice, in 1307 and 1361. Although the Palace was rebuilt, when the Popes returned, they never lived there again, settling at Santa Maria in Trastevere, then at Santa Maria Maggiore (also ancient; built in 432), and finally, as we all know, at the Vatican. However, Gregory XIII began to build the Quirinal Palace as a summer residence, regarding the higher ground of the Quirinal Hill as healthier in the hot season. Soon afterwards, under Clement VIII, and before the present building was finished, this became the principal residence of the Popes. It continued as such until 1870, and has since then been the official (if not the actual) residence of both the Kings and the Presidents of Italy. The Popes retreated back to the Vatican and the Vatican Palace. What was left of the ancient Lateran Palace was removed by Sixtus V, who then built the smaller existing building.

Although the Pope had been the de facto governor of Rome for a few years, the Donation of Pepin in 754 begins the formal history of the Papacy as a territorial power. This would last until 1870, giving the Papal States a run of 1116 years. The original terms of the grant were for the "Exarchate of Ravenna," i.e. the Roman Imperial territory that was preserved across central Italy after the invasion of Lombards in 568. The most important parts of this were, of course, Rome itself and the area of Romagna around Ravenna in the north, with a narrow salient connecting them. While the Donation was made on paper in 754, Pepin was not able to deliver practical control of the territory to the Pope until 756, which thus is taken by many as the effective beginning of the Papal States.

The ability of the Popes to control the outlying territories, or even Rome itself, was, however, very uneven. Rome was often under the control of turbulent local aristocrats, and one reason for the Papal relocation to Avignon was to escape them. After the return of the Popes to Rome, it was some time before the territorial fortunes could be restored. The son of Alexander VI, Cesare Borgia, then conquered Romagna. This was for his own benefit; but the deaths of him and his (reputed) father (who was perhaps trying to poison someone else) and the accession of the warrior Pope Julius II resulted in its being secured for the Papacy. Avignon was still a Papal possession, and there were some outlying holdings in Italy, like Benevento. This arrangement was then fairly stable until the French Revolution, when Avignon was lost, the Papal States temporarily annexed, and the Pope himself eventually imprisoned by Napoleon. The restorations of 1815 returned the Papal Italian territories, until the period of the unification of Italy, 1859-1870. This formally ended the political independence of the Papacy until the Concordat with Mussolini in 1929 recognized the sovereignty of the Vatican City.

The Donation of Pepin and the subsequent crowning of Charlemagne as Roman Emperor gave the Popes ideas. A document was manufactured, the "Donation of Constantine," whereby secular authority over the entire Western Roman Empire had been given to the Pope by Constantine the Great. This became the basis of Mediaeval Papal claims of authority over all secular rulers in Francia. Papal claims were occasionally enforced with some success, against the Emperors and even against the Kings of France and England; but they came to a bad end when Boniface VIII had to face the ruthlessness of King Philip IV of France.
The Donation of Constantine, 1247, San Silvestro Chapel at Santi Quattro Coronati, Rome
The Donation of Constantine, Papal Apartments, the Vatican, Rome, 2019
The "Donation" discredited as a forgery by Lorenzo Valla (1407-1457), 1439–1440, because the language could be dated as Mediaeval, not 4th Century AD
The subsequent Babylonian Captivity and Great Schism, not to mention the Reformation and the exposure of the Donation of Constantine as a forgery, put the Papacy at such disadvantages that it never again had as much leverage as before over secular rulers.

The Frankish Kingdom as the Roman Empire petered out (as it were) after a while, and the Pope granted the Imperial Crown for a few years to local Kings of Italy. This also lapsed. The institution got revived, for the rest of the Middle Ages, when the successful German King Otto I descended on Italy. This began a long struggle between the German Emperors and the Popes for control of Italy and control of the Church in Germany. The successes of the Popes crippled the authority of the German Throne, and ensured that Germany and Italy would enter the Modern period fragmented and anarchic. The political consequences even in the 20th century were severe, as the political immaturity of Germany and Italy rendered them vulnerable to ideologies like Fascism and Nazism. Italy remained tempted by Communism until its fall in 1989/91. The war and mass murder effected by the former temptations echo in the terrorism practiced by the die-hard believers of the latter, even after the Fall of Communism.

In the 10th and 11th centuries, we have a situation that looks like that under the Renaissance Popes of the Borgias, Della Roveres, and Medici, as we will see below. A family of Roman nobility, the Tusculani, in league with the Dukes of Spoleto, founds a virtual dynasty of Popes. The final score is eight Popes by marriage or descent, which is much better than any of the Renaissance families could boast of. The Tusculani, whose first member here is Theophylact, may have been, with such a Greek name, derived from a military family installed when Rome was ruled from Constantinople, or from a comparable family from Southern Italy. The period involves intense interaction with the German Emperors, with Otto I crowned by John XII in 962. This John may also have been the first Pope to adopt a new name as Pope, having previously been known as Octavian. Soon this becomes customary. At the same time, with the report that John XI was the natural son of Sergius III and Marozia of Tusculum, there is the kind of reputation about the Papacy, as a "pornocracy," that we later get again with the Borgias.

Although the Church of the Pope is called by one and all the "Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church" (Sancta Romana Catholica et Apostolica Ecclesia), and this is contrasted, not just with Protestant churches, but with the Orthodox Churches of the East, Greek, Coptic, Syriac, Armenian, Bulgarian, Russian, Romanian, Serbian, etc., this has been no more than a very clever usurpation. The "Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church" was the Universal (katholikos) Church of the Roman Empire. The Pope was not the ruler of that Church, but one of the Ecumenical Patriarchs, along with the Patriarchs of Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria, and Constantinople. The Pope was allowed to be primus inter pares, "first among equals," but that was it. Governance of the Church was also shared with the Emperor, the "Equal of the Apostles," who had the authority to call Church Councils; and, after 476, that meant only the Emperor in Constantinople -- although, as it happened, only that Emperor had ever called Councils. After various disputes, the Latin and Greek Churches finally broke in 1054. Each thus claimed to be the proper "Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church," but over time the Papal use of the terminology seems curiously to have been conceded by the East. "Eastern Orthodox" is not particularly insulting, but it is a surrender. Even the expression "Greek Catholic" is used for the Roman Catholic counter-church that was created to lure the Greek Orthodox into allegiance to Rome.

The Schism between Greek and Latin Churches came at a very bad time for the Greeks. Defeat by the Turks and the loss of Asia Minor deprived Romania of more than half its territory. This was a catastrophe, and actually the Empire never recovered. The Emperor Alexius Comnenus appealed to the West for help. He had no idea what this would set off. Pope Urban II got the idea to call for a "Crusade," a great Christian army, not just to help the Greeks, but to go on and reconquer Jerusalem. This is what happened. The First Crusade defeated the Turks badly enough that Romania was able to recover considerable territory, but then it went on and obtained the great goal of Jerusalem, which had been in Islāmic hands for 463 years.

Later Crusades were the result of setbacks, like the fall of Edessa in 1144 and, much worse, the loss of Jerusalem in 1187. The Popes began to labor constantly to put together forces that could recover the Christian position in Outremer. The Third Crusade was the most powerful and direct, led by the heroic Richard the Lionheart of England, but it fell short. Much, much worse was the Fourth Crusade, which was redirected by the Doge of Venice, Enrico Dandolo, to the purposes of Venice. Pope Innocent III first had to excommunicate everyone for the use of the army in Dalmatia, and then the Venetians took it, not to Palestine, but to Constantinople. This could be seen as undoing the Schism between the Chruches, since now there was a Latin Emperor and Latin Patriarch in Romania, but it didn't accomplish the real purpose. Nor did it last long. Innocent also sanctioned the appalling Albigensian Crusade which precipitated massacre and cultural devastation in the South of France. Nevertheless, he also accepted the legitimancy of the new mendicant preachers, like the charismatic St. Francis of Assisi (1181-1226) and St. Dominic (1170-1221), the founders of the Franciscan and Dominican Orders.

Later Popes had to contend with an excommunicated Emperor, Frederick II, regaining Jerusalem by negotiation (Fifth Crusade), and then with St. Louis of France getting himself captured in Egypt (Sixth Crusade) and then dying in Tunisia (Seventh Crusade). That was about it.

While the last glimmers of the Holy Land were fading, the self-importance of the Papacy was expanding. Boniface VIII went the furtherest with this. The Popes were essentially going to be rulers of the world, deposing and enthroning rulers as they wished. These were naive and dangerous pretentions given some of the rulers that the Pope would have to deal with. The Emperor Henry IV might have been willing to stand in the snow as a penitant, but King Philip IV of France sent one of his agents, Nogaret, to do something about the Pope. With a gang of mercenaries, Nogaret seized Boniface in his summer palace at Anagni, holding him hostage and sacking the place. By one account, they intented to take him back to France for trial but then were driven off, and Boniface rescued, by the local citizens. On another account, they thought it impractical to move Boniface and simply left him without further harm. But they had broken his spirit, and he died weeks later.

In short order, a French Pope was elected, Clement V, who may actually have meant well but who ended up as a dupe and tool of Philip. Clement settled at Avignon, where the Papal Court then resided until 1377 -- later called the "Babylonian Captivity" of the Papacy. Clement was helpless against Philip's schemes, like the destruction of the Templars, even though the Crusading Order was under the direct authority of the Pope and was theoretically immune to French sovereignty. That didn't help them, and Philip ended up burning the Grand Master, without so much as notifying Clement beforehand. Subsequently, all of Europe saw the Papacy as an instrument of French policy.

Popes at Avignon during Great Schism
A [Clement (VII)
Robert of Geneva]
A [Benedict (XIII)
Petro de Luna]
1414-1418 Council of Constance, called by Emperor Sigismund, Papal interregnum 1415-1417
A [Clement (VIII)
Gil Sanchez Muñoz]
A [Benedict (XIV)
Bernard Garnier]
in Armagnac
Finally, the Babylonian Captivity was ended when a French Pope, Gregory XI, returned to Rome, but not without great trouble wading in to Italian politics. When he died a new Pope was elected in Rome, but another was soon also elected at Avignon. This resulted in two Papacies, the "Great Schism," and the states of Francia lined up on one side or another. As with the
Northern Emperors in Japan, the Popes at Avignon during the Schism are now considered Anti-Popes and not numbered in the succession.

1409 Council of Pisa, adds third Pope at Pisa
P [Alexander V
Pietro Philarghi]
P [John (XXIII)
Baldassare Cossa]
This awkward and mortifying division of Catholic Christendom eventually moved many to find a solution. A Council at Pisa in 1409 elected a new Pope, but then the two old ones refused to resign. So the Great Schism now divided Europe in three, rather than just two. Even worse, the second Pope at Pisa, John XXIII, behaved so disgracefully that no legitimacy was left for the Pisa line, and no Pope would again take the name "John" for five hundred years, until 1958 -- then we get another John XXIII because the first was considered an anti-Pope and his number discounted.

Finally, a General Church Council was called at Constance by the Emperor Sigismund. All three Popes were asked to resign. They did, and the Schism was resolved with the election of a new Pope, Martin V. Although Benedict XIII at Avignon resigned, two more "Avignon" Popes were elected, though they were not in possession of the Papal city. The principle that Church Councils might be called by the Emperor and rule on matters of Church doctrine and discipline, although affirmed by Constance, was soon repudiated by Martin. The next Emperor who wanted to call a Council, and who had the power to do so,
Charles V, nevertheless deferred to the claims of the Papacy (even though his army sacked Rome in 1527, driving out the hostile Clement VII).

No sooner was the Papacy out of all this trouble, however, that it got into new problems. The Popes became wealthy Renaissance Princes. Alexander VI Borgia became one of the most infamous Popes ever, with rumors of incest as well as murder dogging him. It has long been accepted that he produced multiple illegitimate children, like Cesare and Lucretia (Lucrezia) Borgia, kept Giulia Farnese as a mistress, and was so busy poisoning his enemies that it has long been thought that he accidentally poisoned himself and Cesare.

This traditional view has now been forcefully disputed by G.J. Meyer in The Borgias, The Hidden History [Bantam, 2013]. Meyer finds the evidence that Alexander had any illegitimate children, or had any mistresses, unconvincing. Cesare and his siblings seem to have been born in Spain at the time when Rodrigo Borja was already a Cardinal living in Rome. The children may in fact have great-nephews and nieces, as indeed they were often identified in contemporary accounts. That such relatives would have been brought to Rome, especially after their father died, was not unusual at the time.

The greatest practitioners of using the Papacy to house and promote their family were actually Alexander's greatest enemies, the della Roveres. The documentation for Meyer's case, however, has long existed. It was meticulously collected by Peter De Roo and published in 1924 as Material for a History of Pope Alexander VI, His Relatives and His Times. This was "material for" rather than an actual history because De Roo was already 84 years old when the five volume work was published.

Such a monument of Renaissance historiography, however, has been so neglected that when Meyer examined the copy held by the Bodleian Library at Oxford in 2010, the pages had not yet been cut -- 86 years after their printing. I had noticed that other historians were already walking back some of the accusations against the Borgias, for instance that Alexander seems to have been a victim of disease, not poisoning, from which Cesare himself recovered, later to die in battle (involved in the affairs of his Navarrese in-laws).

The effort to blacken the reputations of the Borgias seems to have been launched by political enemies, especially from della Roveres such as Pope Julius II, later happily piled on by Protestants, looking for any iniquities in Rome.

The following tables contain some genealogy of the Borgias and the della Roveres. More della Rovere genealogy is given under the rulers of Urbino. Popes from a similiar family, the Medici, are featured in the genealogy of the Medici given with the rulers of Tuscany. Originally Spanish (Borja), Alexander VI's descendants through his nephew Juan returned to Spain and multiplied. Indeed, much of the resentment of the Borgias was that they were Spanish, not Italian.

Showtime ran a series on the Borgias [2011-2013], which, however, not only accepted all the prurient details of the traditional narrative, but was heavily fictionalized in other and easily discovered ways. Further comment on this can be found under the Aragonese Kings of Naples. The series badly misrepresents the fate of King Ferdinand II, whose brother was the second husband of Lucretia Borgia and whose sister was the wife of Goffredo (a person ignored in the series).

Lucretia's first husband was Giovanni Sforza, from a collateral line of the Sforza's of Milan. I had some difficulty running down his descent, which was not shown in my usual sources but was not a problem to find at Wikipedia. Giovanni, however, although his marriage to Lucretia was indeed annulled for impotence, was not murdered by Cesare as in the television series. On the other hand, Cesare may have murdered Lucretia's second husband, Alfonso of Aragon and Naples, apparently in her presence. Lucretia's third, final, and apparently happy marriage was to the Duke of Modena. In memory and propaganda, however, Lucetia is presented as the equivalent of Messalina, the promiscuous (to say the least) wife of the Emperor Claudius.

The series followed in some detail the doings of Giuliano della Rovere, but without tipping us off that he will become Pope Julius II or cluing us in that his own position at Rome was due to the nepotism of his uncle, Pope Sixtus IV. Julius did not become the target of personal smears, such as he promoted against Alexander VI, but his opposition to the Borgias was purely political and personal, without any disinterested justification.

Leo X, the first of the Medici Popes, under whom the Protestant Reformation began, is supposed to have said, "God has given us the Papacy, so we might as well enjoy it." He dismissed Martin Luther as "some drunken German," but Luther's movement not only shook Francia, it shattered it. A division something like the Great Schism happened again, but this time is not was not over who would be Pope, but whether there would be a Pope at all.

The political divisions of the Reformation were only settled by war. The Dutch revolted against Spain (1568), and as the Spanish kept trying to defeat them, the Emperor moved to suppress heresy in Bohemia (1618). After Imperial forces secured Bohemia and advanced in Germany, France began to subsidize opposition. This brought Sweden into the war; and after Swedish fortunes faded, France, a Catholic state, entered the war against the Catholic side. Spanish power was permanently broken, and the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648 secured Dutch (and Swiss) independence and the Protestant states in Germany. The Pope lost even theoretical and spiritual authority over most of Northern Europe.

If we ever wanted to know what a Counter-Reformation Pope was like, all we need is the portrait of Innocent X (1644-1655) by Velázquez (from 1649/50). This is often regarded as Velázquez' greatest portrait, and it is perhaps one the greatest in all history -- and the subject of more than one disturbing interpretation by the artist Francis Bacon (1909-1992).

By the 19th century, Popes were spending much of their energy just trying to maintain their rule over Rome and the Papal States. They were ultimately unsuccessful. A Concordat with Napoleon (1801) meant that the Corsican took a crown from the hands of Pius VII to crown himself Emperor. Later, Napoleon annexed Rome and arrested the Pope for excommunicating him. A few years later, after riding out the troubles of 1848, Napoleon III came to the rescue of the Papacy with French troops who prevented the absorption of Rome into the new Kingdom of Italy.

When French troops were withdrawn to fight Prussia in 1870, the Italians rolled into Rome, made it the capital of Italy, and the Pope removed himself to sulk in the Vatican (and proclaim Papal Infallibility at the Vatican I Council). This was the end of the 1116 year history of the Papal States. Pope Pius XI finally settled for a Concordat with Mussolini (1929) that gave him sovereignty over the Vatican City. This left him with nothing to do but worry about religion and morality, which the Popes have largely confined themselves to since -- as most Catholics probably figure that they should. The Pope's Swiss Guard, still in 15th Century costume (at least on ceremonial occasions), remains to remind us of the day when the Pope had armies.

There are seven traditional Pilgrimage Churches of Rome. Four are "major" basilicas, St. Peter's, St. John Lateran, St. Paul's outside the Walls, and Santa Maria Maggiore.

Santa Maria Maggiore was begun in 432, by Pope Sixtus III, reportedly in tribute to the Third Ecumenical Council affirming the status of Mary as the "Mother of God," ἡ Θεοτόκος. Additions to the church now conceal the original 5th century building; but the original structure and original mosaics are evident from the interior.

The present St. Peter's, of course, is a product of the Renaissance. St. John Lateran is the actual cathedral of Rome, the Seat of the Bishop of Rome, built adjacent to the Lateran Palace, which the Emperor Constantine donated the Pope, probably in 313. The new Church was dedicated by Pope Sylvester I in 324.

The Lateran Palace was the residence of the Popes until the relocation of the Papacy to Avignon. St. Paul's was originally built under Constantine, but it was expanded into a very large church under Theodosius I.

"Outside the Walls," fuori le Mura, which figures in the names of three of the Pilgrimage Churches, means outside the Aurelian Walls of ancient Rome, built by the Emperor Aurelian, 271-275 AD. The Vatican is also outside the Aurelian Walls, but it is inside the Leonine Walls, built 848-852 AD by Leo IV after the Arab sack of Rome in 846.

There are three "minor" basilicas among the Pilgrimage Churches, Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, St. Lawrence outside the Walls, and St. Sebastian outside the Walls. Santa Croce may be the most interesting of these churches. The site was originally the palace of the mother of the Emperor Constantine, St. Helena. On a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, 326-328, Helena is supposed to have discovered relics of the Crucifixion, including the Cross itself, the Titulus, which held the inscriptions attached to the Cross, and nails used in the Crucifixion. She reportedly ordered the building of the Church of the Holy Selpulchre on the site of her discoveries. St. Lawrence was originally constructed in the 6th century, and St. Sebastian in the 4th. St. Sebastian, on the Old Appian Way, is also called "at the Catacombs," because of the existence of catacombs under the church. However, in 2000, Pope John Paul II replaced St. Sebastian as a Pilgrimage Church with the Sancturary of Our Lady of Divine Love, which was only originally built in 1745.

To the Popes, they have always been the only Supreme rulers of true One Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church. That the Orthodox Churches do not agree with this is an inconvenience to be dealt with as necessary, but in general it could be ignored, even with some contempt. Given the long subjugation of many Orthodox Churches under Islam and under the Ottomans, and the ability of the Papacy to draw on the wealth and political power of Francia, older Christianity, including even the Patriarch of Constantinople, was at a disadvantage in dealing with the intrusion of Papal authority and influence. Only Russia could be counted on for a fierce Orthodox response from a Great Power.

Thus, it long seemed proper to the Papacy that there should be a Latin Patriarch for each of the original four Patriarchates that had split from Rome. The Crusades allowed for Latin Patriarchs to be installed in Antioch, Jerusalem, Constantinople, and Alexandria. The latter was the most tenuous, since Alexandria was never in the hands of Crusaders.
Also, the Latin Patriarch of Constantinople was no longer welcome there when the city was retaken by the Greeks in 1261. Consequently, the phenomenon developed of titular Latin Patriarchs actually living in Rome. The only such Patriarchate that survives today is the one for Jerusalem, which was reestablished in the city in 1847. The others were simply and finally abolished in 1954/65, as part of an outreach to Orthodoxy, especially to the Patriarch of Constantinople.

Apart from the historic Eastern Patriarches, there are also the "Minor" Latin Rite Patriarchates that have always been within the jurisdiction of the See of Rome. This began with Aquileia in 557 AD, which had actually split with Rome over the Fifth Ecumenical Council and thus claimed Patriarchal status to assert its independence. The independence didn't last long, but the title survived and indeed passed on to Grado and Venice. In asserting its own primacy, Venice saw to it that its rivals did not continue. Both are now pretty much forgotten, and I expect most people of some small familiarity with history may even think that Aquileia disappeared when sacked by the Huns in 452 AD, rather than continuing as a significant city and a Patriarchal Seat until 1751. The other Minor Pariarchates, of the West Indies, Lisbon, and the East Indies, were all a function of the Portuguese and Spanish colonial Empires. Only the See of the East Indies, at Goa, was ever actually outside of Iberia.

If the abolition of the Latin Patriarchates was a gesture to Orthodoxy, it was compromised by the existence of the "Uniate" Patriarchs. Thus, it became the practice of the Papacy to create "counter-churches" to uncooperative Orthdox Churches, retaining the rite and liturgical language of the original Church. To all superficial appearances, the counter-church might not look like a Latin or Catholic church at all. It may only be in matters of doctrine and Papal Supremacy that the new Church differs from the traditional one. Such a Church could be created out of whole cloth, or it often could be established because of a disputed election or some other schism in the local Church. On the other hand, by 1584 the Maronite Church, in the fastness of Mt. Lebanon, as a whole accepted Papal Supremacy. Now I hear that the Church had always been in communion with Rome, but this seems ahistorical both because the early history of the Maronites is very poorly known, because they apparently were Monotheletes, the doctrine of their founder, Maron, and because claims of Papal Supremacy scarcely existed in a credible way in the early Church of the Roman Empire. While the Maronite Patriarch, who has always resided in Lebanon, claims the See of Antioch, two other Uniate Churches, split off from the Syriac Orthodox and (Melkite, Μελχίτης) Antiochian Orthodox, also claim the See of Antioch. There are therefore three Patriarchs of Antioch all in communion with Rome. The Uniate Churches can be recognized because they usually have "Catholic" in their name, in contrast to "Orthodox" in the name of the traditional Church. "Uniate" or "Uniat" is sometimes thought to be insulting; but I don't quite get the insult, which, if based on the sort of colonial character of the counter-churches, will be offensive whatever name is picked to characterize the Churches.

One sees differing numberings of the Popes. Here I have John Paul II as the 263rd Pope. At the time of his death, I began seeing him referred to as the 264th -- with the new Pope Francis identified in the press as the 266th -- but the Catholic Encyclopedia gave John Paul as the 265th (they have now conformed to 264). Part of this uncertainty is that there has been disagreement about which Popes are legitimate. Thus, in this list, Christopher (903) and Benedict X (1058) were formerly counted as Popes, but they are not on the Catholic Encyclopedia list and are characterized as Anti-Popes by The Oxford Dictionary of Popes. On the other hand, Leo VIII (963) and Sylvester III (1045) are now on the Catholic Encyclopedia list but were formerly, at least by some, considered Anti-Popes.

As it happens, if we switch off between these Popes and Anti-Popes, it still leaves the count the same. So where does the difference come from between the 363 Popes up to John Paul II here and the 365 in the Catholic Encyclopedia? Well, the 365 number in the Encyclopedia list comes from numbering Benedict IX (1032) three times, as the 146th, 148th, and 151st Pope. He was a layman elected by the power of his family, the Counts of Tusculum, following his uncles Benedict VIII (1012) and John XIX (1024). Opposition to his family, to his own secular ways, and by the Emperor, resulted in him being deposed three times, first in favor of Sylvester III (1045), then second in favor of Gregory VI (1045). Gregory, Sylvester, and Benedict were all pushed aside by the Emperor Henry III, who installed Clement II (1046). After Clement's death, Benedict finally returned again, only to be deposed a third time in 1048 by Boniface of Tuscany, who installed the Emperor's candidate, Damasus II (1048).

It is because of this mess that Benedict, uniquely, like President Grover Cleveland, can be numbered with non-consecutive "terms" as Pope. I am not sure this makes as much sense for Popes as for Presidents, however. We are not really dealing with terms of office. If we ask "How many popes?" we want to know the number of individuals. So I have dispensed with the extra numberings. Reckoning them into the count, if anyone really wants to do that, does make John Paul II the 265th Pope (given the other judgments about Popes and Anti-Popes).

The count of John Paul II as 264th and Francis as the 266th Pope comes from using the three reigns for Benedict IX but not counting Stephen II (752), who died after reigning for only three days. Since he was properly elected but was never consecrated, judgment has wavered about whether to count him as a proper Pope. This results in different numberings seen for subsequent Stephens. Here, however, I have included the original Stephen II as a true Pope. The principle now is that someone becomes the Pope the minute he is elected and accepts the position. The consecration, like the coronation of a king, is extra. Edward VIII of England was never crowned, but he became King of England the minute his father, George V, died. This should determine that Stephen II was a proper Pope, regardless of former practices. Even if we discount him, however, I think it is very wrong to renumber the subsequent Stephens. This can create tremendous confusion when dealing with older (mainly pre-1961) histories, which will not have the renumbering. Stephen III was a Pope of great historical significance, and it should be possible to refer to him, or read about him, without confusion. There are several cases where Popes now considered Anti-Popes nevertheless retain their place in the sequence of names. Thus, Boniface VII (974), John XVI (997), Benedict X (1058), and Alexander V (1409) are now all Anti-Popes who nevertheless are figured in the numbering of subsequent Popes of their name. Since Stephen II had a legitimate election, and has never been considered an Anti-Pope by anyone, it is especially inappropiate to create confusion with anyone after him. As it happens, the Catholic Encyclopedia now sensibly follows the practice of keeping the number for Stephen II even though it does not number him as a proper Pope.

The only other Papal name where we get this kind of confusing renumbering is with "Felix." Felix II (355) was the early Anti-Pope with the name, but the subsequent Felixes, III (or II, 483) and IV (or III, 526), are early and not of great historical significance -- so not much confusion arises. However, the Anti-Pope Felix V (1439), chosen by the Council of Basle, and the last Anti-Pope, is of rather more importance, and appears to always be numbered with the Anti-Pope Felix II in the sequence.

There actually is no Pope John XX. When John XXI (1276) became Pope, there was some confusion about the numbering of the earlier Johns. Since John XXI styled himself the "XXI," this number has been allowed to stand, even when the confusion has been cleared up. How much more appropriate, then to retain even a discounted Stephen II.

Just what was the confusion in the mind of John XXI? Well, in his day it had become accepted that there was an extra John in the succession, numbered John VIII (855-857), who had turned out to be a woman and consequently was purged from the list of Popes. This was "Pope Joan" -- i.e. the feminine of "John," Johanna rather than Johannes in Latin. Since the dates of Leo IV (847-855) and Benedict III (855-858) are rather well attested, it is all but impossible that Joan could have been elected at the traditional date of 855. The legend of Joan, however, was well established in a chronicle of 1265, shortly before John XXI was chosing his name. Another chronicle of that era, by Jean de Mailly, accepted the historicity of Joan, but dated her to 1099. That is an interesting choice of date, since it is in the middle of a long gap of Johns, between John XIX (1024-1032) and John XXI (1276-1277). This would mean that such a Joan would be numbered as "John XX," the very number that is now missing from the succession of Popes.

Joan's inappropriate sex is supposed to have been revealed when she suddenly gave birth while in a procession from St. Peter's to the Lateran. She was immediately killed and buried on the spot, under an inscription that said Petre, Pater Patrum, Papisse Prodito Partum, "O Peter, Father of Fathers, Betray the Childbirth of the Women Pope." In later processions to the Lateran, subsequent Popes are said to have avoided this place, where there was a statue of Joan with her child. Such a practice is actually attested in 1404 by a Welshman, Adam of Usk, who also added that Popes never ride on horseback nearby, as Joan had been doing. The existence of the statue is attested by a German cleric, Theodoric of Niem, in 1414. It is subsequently supposed to have been thrown in the Tiber by the order of Sixtus IV (1471-1484). Since the statue thus appears to have actually existed, within living memory when Martin Luther visited Rome in 1510, one wonders if such a legend grew up just because of the statue -- a remnant of Roman art that in origin had nothing to do with Joan. John Julius Norwich features a sensible discussion, and a whole chapter, on the business in his recent Absolute Monarchs, A History of the Papacy [Random House, 2011]. Even if we wanted to dismiss the matter of the legend as silly, it should remain significant as one explanation why there is no "John XX."

There is another explanation why there is no "John XX," which is that for a while there was a mistaken belief that there had actually been two Popes numbered as a single "John XIV." When Pedro Julião (Petrus Hispanus) was elected Pope in 1276, he chose to be "John XXI" on the understanding that there had actually been twenty "Johns" at that point. However, if it was understood that there had been two Popes named "John XIV," it is not clear why a simple renumbering had not been carried out, as we have seen with the renumbering of the Stephens. John XXI's election would have been the appropriate occasion for that; but it did not happen. So perhaps "John XX" was thought to have been Pope Joan after all.

Many of the details of the story of Pope Joan were current so early that we find them in the history of the Greek historian Laonikos Chalkokondyles (c.1430-c.1465). Thus, he says that after a Pope is elected:

They seat him upon a chair with a hole so that his testicles dangle down and can be touched by a man appointed to that duty, and in this way it becomes clear that he is a man. They believe that long ago a woman attained the pontificate at Rome. The uncertainty was due to the fact that almost all men in Italy and the western lands regularly shave their beards. She then became pregnant and, when she went to perform the eucharist, she gave birth to a child during the ceremony in full view of the congregation. It is for this reason, so that they may know for certain and have no doubts, that they do this touching, and the person doing the touching calls out, "Our lord is a man!" [The Histories, Volume II, translated by Anthony Kaldellis, Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library, Harvard University Press, 2014, pp.38-39]

Here we do not have quite the same story as related above, since the scene of the birth during the procession is now instead at the performance of a Mass, but we have the detail of the "pierced chair" (chaise percée) that is part of the legend, and the test of the new Pope's genitals. Priests of the Orthodox Churches, of course, did not shave, which is why Chalkokondyles mentions that those of the Latin Church do. However, we are certain that at least one Patriarch of Constantinople was a eunuch, Ignatius (847-858, 867-877), a son of the Emperor Michael I Rhangabé, who had been castrated by the Emperor Leo V. We see images of Ignatius without a beard, which means he must have been castrated before puberty. The Orthodox Church displayed mixed feelings about eunuchs but tended not to blame or penalize them if the mutilation was not self-inflicted. But it was accepted that a eunuch could not be Emperor, hence the action of Leo V.

In much recent writing, Pope Pius XII has been accused of being little better than a Nazi collaborator during World War II -- "Hitler's Pope," in the title of one book. There is one fact that all by itself refutes such charges. When the Germans occupied Rome after the surrender of Italy in 1943 and began rounding up Jews, no less than three thousand Jews found refuge at the Pope's summer residence, Castel Gandolfo (originally built, ironically, by the Roman Emperor Domitian). The Pope's own private apartments became an obstetrics ward. Critics of Pius generally ignore this case, or lamely and incredibly argue that this was done without the Pope's knowledge. That would have been, to say the least, impossible.

But inferences are not necessary; the testimony and the evidence is abundant that Papal instructions to all were to rescue Jews. For instance, Tibor Branaski, honored by Israel as a "righteous gentile" for helping Jews escape Hungary, testifies that he worked with the Papal Nuncio, Angelo Rotta, who showed him letters from Pius with such instructions. Similarly, Angelo Roncalli, the future John XXIII, who had a Papal diplomatic post in İstanbul during the War, supplied immigration and transit papers to Hungarian and Slovakian Jews. In 1957, Israel thanked Roncalli, still a Cardinal, for what he had done. But Roncalli refused to take credit:  "I referred to the Holy See and afterwards I simply carried out the pope's orders." In 1955, an Israeli deligation asked Giovanni Montini, the future Pope Paul VI, if he would accept an award for what he had done to rescue Jews. Montini declined, again referring to his instructions from the Pope, and affirming that he had simply done his duty.

The result of the Church's efforts, and of many other Italians, on their own, was that 80% of Roman Jews and 85% of Italian Jews were saved from the Nazis. But to the "Hitler's Pope" crowd, this was apparently in spite of Papal indifference or even collaboration. This is hardly believable. In truth, Pius never approved of the Nazis, spoke out against them, and had no friendly dealings with them [cf. The Myth of Hitler's Pope, How Pope Pius XII Rescued Jews from the Nazis, by Rabbi David G. Dalin, Regnery Publishing, 2005]. The implication of the "Hitler's Pope" thesis, that Pius would have met with or had some understanding with Hitler, is all false. Indeed, the attacks sink so low that a photograph is used of Eugenio Pacelli, the future Pius XII, leaving a building guarded by German soldiers, with the implication that this was from a meeting with Hitler. In fact, it was Pacelli, who was a Papal diplomat in Germany, leaving a reception in 1928 for the German President, Paul von Hindenberg. The soldiers were those of the Weimar Republic.

A recent summary of the story is by Michael Burleigh:

High level of assimilation, and the low resonance of anti-Semitism also meant that many Italian Jews survived, although it helped that Italy had a dense network of ecclesiastical sanctuaries amenable to the instructions of Pope Pius XII, who, recent research shows, intervened to help the Jews with a familiar clerical combination of kindness that hardly justifies the Communist-inspired attempts to demonize him in the post-war years. While such sanctuary very occasionally involved attempts to convert Jewish children to Christianity, it should be recalled that the Franciscan friars who sheltered two hundred Jews at Assisi actually provided them with kosher meals, which suggests that conversion was not among their priorities. Rather it reflected the religious virtues of charity and hospitality. [Moral Combat, A History of World War II, Harper Press, London, 2010, p.468, bolface added]

While Burleigh may be referring to Italian Communists, whose own agenda would be pretty obvious, one wonders about the animus of American or other scholars whose anti-Catholicism may have some other inspirations.

Burleigh's "recent research" unfortunately appears to be missing from John Julius Norwich's Absolute Monarchs, A History of the Papacy [Random House, 2011]. Norwich obviously dislikes and disapproves of Pius XII and mentions nothing in the way of mitigating evidence in regard to his actions in World War II. Norwich does cite the deeds of the Hungarian Church and of Angelo Roncalli in rescuing Jews [pp.449 & 454], but then he omits the testimony that these actions were on instructions from the Pope. Instead, we get some examples of anti-Semitic sentiments expressed by Pius, but mainly the case against him, such as we usually see in public discourse, is his silence, his "contemptible silence" [p.447], on the matter of anti-Semitism and the Holocaust. Norwich says that to Pius "even the deportation of Roman Jewry would be a small price to pay" to avoid a Communist takeover in the place of the Nazis [p.448]. Disregarding the fact that the Church, with many others, saved 80% of Roman Jews, one of the better records in Europe (worse than Denmark or Bulgaria but much better than the Netherlands, where 79% of Jews were deported), one might well ask whether an openly hostile Church would have had a better chance of working to save Jews rather than a Church that was more discreet and may consequently have had a relatively freer hand to work.

Since Confucius, moralists have esteemed deeds before words [Analects 4:24]. I am willing to believe that Pius XII was an unpleasant person, and his actions on behalf of the Jews may even have been grudging and in bad conscience, but if we do judge Pius by actions and not by words (or lack of them), Norwich's treatment is unfair and dishonest. It is Norwich's judgment that I question, not the least because of his expression of conventional anti-Americanisms, e.g. his apparent disapproval of "American materialism" in "the accoutrements of capitalist-consumerist society" [p.449] and a snide reference to "Senator Joseph McCarthy's America, where Reds were found under every bed" [p.451] -- a stale and probably thoughtless recycling of Soviet propaganda that there were no Soviet spies to find and that actual "Reds" were just honest liberals and not dissimulating agents of totalitarian dictatorship. No wonder that Norwich seems to have little sympathy for the anti-Communism of Pius XII, or even that of John Paul II. Norwich, like so many modern academics and intellectuals, need to consider why they are still repeating Marxist and Soviet propaganda decades after it has all been exposed and discredited.

On the other hand, Pius XII cannot be entirely excused from a more complacent attitude towards, if not Nazism in general, then individual Fascists or Nazis in particular. In 1941 he granted an audience to Ante Pavelić, who, after exile in Italy, returned home to head the Nazi puppet state of Croatia -- for a while the state even had a figurehead King from the Italian royal family. Pavelić conducted round ups and massacres against Serbs, Jews, Gypsies, and Communists. Nevertheless, after the War the Church apparently sheltered him in Italy before he fled to South America and found service with Juan Peron. Pavelić was not alone among Catholics who were potential war criminals who found refuge in the Church and passage away from justice.

This sort of thing, of course, is not to the credit of the Church or the Pope. Indeed, if Pius never had any use for the Nazis, the Church had much less of a problem with Mussolini's Fascism, or that of Franco in Spain (where Pavelić died in 1959) or Salazar in Portugal. That a Fascist like Franco could actually shelter Jews fleeing from Vichi France means that Fascism as such was not necessarily anti-Semitic, but it is troubling that conservatives or nationalists of the time, like Mircea Eliade, nevertheless became attracted to regimes like those of Mussolini or Franco. Then, as now, collectivist and statist politics were all too appealing, both to left and right, and liberal ideals disparaged. Indeed, few would confuse the traditional Papacy with a source of liberal policies or exhortations.

Nevertheless, despite a less than perfect record of dealing with Fascists and fugitives, the Church was already on record as opposing the fundamentals of Fascism. Thus, in 1931 (just two years after the Concordat of 1929), Pope Pius XI had issued an encyclical, Non abbiamo bisogno, that condemned Fascism for its "statolatry," a charge on target for far too much of 20th century politics, but certainly especially apt for fascism and communism. The Fascists were accused of trying "to monopolize completely the young, from their tenderest years up to manhood and womanhood, for the exlcusive advantage of a party and of a regime based on an ideology which clearly resolves iself into a true, a real pagan worship of the State." This not only bespeaks the better angels of the Papal nature but is a caution for continuing political traditions, for long under the influence of Hegel, that denigrate the individual and exalt the reality of state and government. Critics of Catholicism should be careful of the statist log in their own eye before practicing their ophthamology on the Papacy. If Pius XII walked back the forthright rhetoric of Pius XI, we may not admire him for this, but, again, we must also weigh the words against the deeds.

In Mediaeval Europe, as it happens, one place that Jews could always be sure of a secure reception was in Rome. In the Bull Sicut Judaeis (1120), Callistus (Calixtus) II forbid prejudice against the Jews, forbid forced conversion of them, and required that their persons, property, religious observances, and cemeteries be respected and unmolested. This pronouncement was motivated by recent attacks on the Jews as a result of the call for the First Crusade. The Bull was renewed and reaffirmed by Alexander III, Celestine III (1191-1198), Innocent III (1199), Honorius III (1216), Gregory IX (1235), Innocent IV (1246), Alexander IV (1255), Urban IV (1262), Gregory X (1272 & 1274), Nicholas III, Martin IV (1281), Honorius IV (1285-1287), Nicholas IV (1288-92), Clement VI (1348), Urban V (1365), Boniface IX (1389), Martin V (1422), and Nicholas V (1447).

Clement VI had reissued the Bull, and one other, in response to widespread belief and violence blaming the Jews for the Black Death (1346-1353). Furthermore, as early as 1247, Innocent IV issued another Papal Bull refuting with learned detail the "blood libel" charge against Jews, that they mixed the blood of Christian children with Passover matzos. This refutation was confirmed in 1540. Meanwhile, Jews expelled from Spain in 1492 could find refuge in Rome, where the contemporary Pope, the notorious Alexander VI, had a Jewish personal physician. When the Emperor Maximilian I was about to order that the Talmud be banned, and burned, in Germany for reputed blasphemies against Jesus, Pope Leo X responded by ordering the entire Talmud published at Rome (Popes had previously, at times, agreed to burn, or at least censor, the Talmud). These are the sorts of things that those with an animus for Catholicism or the Papacy don't seem to notice -- and it makes me wonder if the likes of Alexander and Leo were in some ways, like Bill Clinton, not such bad fellows after all. But the Papacy was also not entirely free from the spirit of the times. In 1555 Paul IV issued a spate of hostile regulations against Roman Jews. They were gathered into a ghetto, restricted to one synagogue, limited to certain professions, required to wear yellow hats in public, etc. This was a hostile enough regime that the Jewish population of Rome declined by half under Paul's Papacy. But Paul IV was disliked by the people of Rome, who at his death attacked the headquarters of the Inquisition, destroyed the building, and freed the prisoners. The measures against the Jews, however, like the Spanish "purity of blood" laws, continued until the 19th century.

The name "John," shunned for centuries, has now been born by three of the last six Popes. This was all due to the saintliness and magnanimity of John XXIII. John Paul I wished to honor John and his successor, Paul VI, and then John Paul II wished to honor all three of them. John Paul I's brief reign (little more than a month) moved the Cardinals to elect a relatively young and vigorous Pope. John Paul II, indeed, reigned into the new Millennium. He was the first non-Italian Pope in centuries, and the first Slavic and Polish Pope ever. It was a historic reign indeed, with John Paul playing a large part in the Fall of Communism, but in the 90's he grew gravely frail and ill. Rumors of the gravity of his condition occasionally surfaced. Some even suggested that he abdicate, but this is something that historically Popes had never done (of their own will). Then, on 2 April 2005, John Paul died. Just the previous Sunday, on Easter, he appeared at his window and blessed the crowd, but he was unable to speak. An infection led to a brief critical illness. After what may have been the largest funeral in history, on April 8th, a historic Papal election will soon take place, the first in a quarter of a century.

Although Catholicism has declined in much of the secular West, John Paul himself made the Papacy a presence and a player in modern religion, culture, and politics. In the days of Paul VI, this hardly seemed possible. John Paul was able to accomplish it all through a combination of qualities that may be difficult to repeat. Personally, he was outgoing and appealing, giving a personal touch to an office that can easily swallow a Pope in pompous ritual and the trappings of Mediaeval monarchy. John Paul believed in the pastoral vocation of the Pope, and he travelled the world, meeting millions, to carry this out. All the same, he would not compromise Catholic doctrine just to be in tune with modernity. This turned many away from the Faith, even while it earned the respect, even of some of them, for his conviction and principles. Catholicism was not going to be some wimpy, pop, feel-good religion (although some Catholics, or now former Catholics, still think that it has gone too far in that direction already). But on the stage of history, looming over all of this, was John Paul's place as the de facto sovereign of Poland and the leader of the fight against Communism. In the dark days of the 80's, when the leaders of Solidarity had been arrested and dissent suppressed, the Poles knew that their Saviors, John Paul and Ronald Reagan, lived. And their Saviors delivered them. Josef Stalin had asked once how many divisions the Pope had. This was a joke. Now, burning in Hell, perhaps even the Avici Hell (whose torments would cause you to exsanguinate and die if you only knew about them), Stalin knows that the joke is on him.

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the first German Pope in many centuries, was elected as Benedict XVI. Ratzinger was older, a close supporter of John Paul II, and very much more a Vatican insider, indeed a bureaucrat, than John Paul. Ratzinger was one of only two Cardinals who had elected John Paul himself and was still young enough to vote this time. His was seen as possibly a kind of transition Papacy, as John XXIII's was expected to be. But one never knows, as with John XXIII himself. More dramatic might have been the election of a Latin American, African, or, I don't know, an Irish Pope. Perhaps that comes next.

Next has come sooner than anyone expected. In February 2013 Benedict dramatically announced that he would abdicate as of February 28th. We should find out soon enough what will indeed come next. The comment is that this is the first resignation of a Pope since Gregory XII in 1415. However, the comparison is not good, since Gregory abdicated as part of the deal at the Council of Constance to clear the decks of the Great Schism. Many other Popes have been deposed, but I am not aware of other Popes who simply retired from the office.

The new Pope is now Francis I, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the Archbishop of Buenos Aires. This involves a number of firsts:  The first Pope from the Americas, the first Pope born outside Europe since Gregory III in 731, who was from Syria, and the first Pope to take an entirely unused name since Lando in 913. John Paul I was the first of his name, but he used names, "John" and "Paul," of previous Popes. The name "Lando," as it happens, was never used again. Before him we had Romanus in 897 and Fromosus in 891, which were also names not used again. Prior to that, Popes that were the first of their name were Marinus I in 882, who is also identified as "Martin II," and St. Nicholas I in 858. There have been five Popes named "Nicholas," and one Anti-Pope Nicholas (V). The legitimate Nicholas V became Pope in 1447. Although born and raised in Argentina, Cardinal Bergoglio's father was Italian, like a good portion of the population of Argentina.

Basilica di San Francesco d'Assisi, Assisi, 2019
What is the most striking about the name "Francis," however, is that it had not been used previously. Its inspiration was either St. Francis of Assisi or St. Francis Xavier -- soon confirmed by Francis that he of Assisi was the idea. (See all the varieties of the name "Francis"
elsewhere.) Since Francis Xavier was a Jesuit, like Cardinal Bergoglio, the first Jesuit Pope, some thought that may have been what he had in mind. However, the immediate public reaction was that it must have been a reference to St. Francis of Assisi, as it was, whose vow of poverty was the most commensurate with the personal habits of the Cardinal, who did not live in the traditional episcopal palace in Buenos Aires, cooked his own meals, and traveled on the bus. Although aged 76, Pope Francis may be indicating an increased emphasis on pastoral work and the poor. On the other hand, he has been known as a moral conservative, with no inclination to change the Church's teachings on birth control, abortion, or homosexuality.

On his first day as Pope, Francis drove himself to his hotel to pick up his own luggage. He stopped on the trip to pray at the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore. This was a practical and symbolic tribute to the Virgin Mary. To me, it is also noteworthy in that the church is a fifth century monument (432 AD), something that was built before the "Fall" of Rome but that, as a church, is rarely classified as a "Roman" construction. After all, it can't be from the Roman Empire if it isn't a ruin. I don't know if Francis had any of that in mind, but the comment in the press was that this was one of his favorite churches in Rome. Meanwhile, it sounds like Francis is reluctant to move out of his dorm room and take up residence in the proper Papal apartments. But he should be conscious that the dignity of his office may warrant some exceptions to his own inclinations.

Pope Francis embodies sanctity but comes trailing clouds of sanctimony. With a convert’s indiscriminate zeal, he embraces ideas impeccably fashionable, demonstrably false and deeply reactionary. They would devastate the poor on whose behalf he purports to speak -- if his policy prescriptions were not as implausible as his social diagnoses are shrill...

Francis deplores "compulsive consumerism," a sin to which the 1.3 billion persons without even electricity can only aspire. He leaves the Vatican to jet around praising subsistence farming, a romance best enjoyed from 30,000 feet above the realities that such farmers yearn to escape...

Francis grew up around the rancid political culture of Peronist populism, the sterile redistributionism that has reduced his Argentina from the world’s 14th highest per-capita gross domestic product in 1900 to 63rd today. Francis’s agenda for the planet -- "global regulatory norms" -- would globalize Argentina’s downward mobility.

George Will, "Pope Francis’s fact-free flamboyance," The Washington Post, September 18, 2015

Come to think of it, what about Argentina? The pope's native land used to rank among the world's wealthiest. Today it is a synonym for crony capitalism -- and decline.

Can it be just a coincidence the governments that fetter their economies in the name of social justice generally end up with more corruption and a class of elites enriching themselves on political connections while all others are left to fend for themselves? In this light, is it not a tragedy that a pope whose heart belongs to the poor reserves all his moral outrage for the one economic system that has already lifted billions of desperate people out of poverty?

William McGurn, "Pope Francis, Unfettered," The Wall Street Journal, September 22, 2015, A13

Although Pope Francis was remembered for denouncing Marxist "Liberation Theology," we would soon learn that he nevertheless has imbibed all the anti-capitalist clichés that plague his homeland, Latin America, and much of the Europe where he now lives as Pope. On November 24, 2013, Francis released an "Apostolic Exhortation," Evangelii Gaudium, "The Joy of the Gospel," which contained the following passage:

Some people continue to defend trickle-down theories, which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naive trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized working of the prevailing economic system. [color added]

There are so many falsehoods and misconceptions in this statement that a small wager might be in order that Pope Francis has never read anything remotely sympathetic to or informative about Capitalism. First of all, no one explaining Supply Side Economics with any understanding would characterize it as a "trickle-down theory." As Thomas Sowell says:

Those who attribute a trickle-down theory to others are attributing their own misconception to others, as well as distorting both the arguments used and the hard facts about what actually happened after the recommended policies were put into effect. ["Trickle Down" Theory and "Tax Cuts for the Rich", Hoover Institution Press, 2012, pp.10-11, color added]

Thus, a business is obliged to pay workers whether the business is successful or not, profitable or not. If the idea is that wealth for workers somehow "trickles down" from profits, this puts the matter exactly backwards. In turn, if profits are plowed back into a business, increasing its capitalization and productivity, this allows products to be sold more cheaply, which benefits all consumers. Since profits rest entirely on successful sales, a business must, again, be of benefit to the public before further profits can be made. This is nothing "trickling down," but sales are the very means by which a business, hopefully, can be profitable in the first place. In both cases, paying the workers and successful sales, the up-front benefit is not for the capitalist or his profits. This, indeed, is the risk that is characteristic of capital and investment. Businesses go bankrupt every day.

On the other hand, a government that loots the productive in order to distribute largess to the masses is engaging in the genuine "trickle-down," since much of the loot remains in the hands of the political class, bureaucrats, and their cronies, from whose tables the crumbs then fall to the hoi poloi -- or at least that part of the hoi poloi whose votes politicians particularly want to buy. By living simply, Pope Francis does not want to benefit in that way, but his attitude is unusal and generally unheard of when it comes to politicians, whose sense of their own self-importance characteristically is without bounds. Of the thirteen richest counties in the United States in 2012, eight of them are in a ring around Washington, D.C. They are wealthy off of the government. So much the less to pass on to the masses.

Beyond that, Pope Francis says that defenders of capitalism "assume" that it will be beneficial, which is a baseless ad hominem accusation, since free market economists do not "assume" anything of the sort and the accusation of Francis that they do so betrays an ignorance, and an ignorant hostility, for the nature of their arguments. And if Francis is going to say that capitalist theory has "never been confirmed by the facts," he might want to consider, specifically, what the facts are that economists cite, which presumably fail to make their case, or what facts he thinks refute capitalism. We hear nothing of the sort.

But the worst misconception comes next, that defenders of capitalism have a "crude and naive trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power." Since economists from Adam Smith on have explicitly and clearly denied that they have any such trust, or that the goodness of actors in the market is any kind of postulate or expectation of the system, upon which its success would rest, then Francis has clearly done no research in this matter at all and has no knowledge of it. The honesty of businessmen is enforced first of all by those with whom they deal, who do not wish to be cheated, and by the government, whose job it is to enforce laws that protect persons, property, and contracts, and which provides the civil court system to resolve disputes that may arise either from good faith confusions or dishonesty. Francis and other ignorant critics of capitalism do not seem to be aware of these provisions. Or, as good Marxists, they simply detest capital and profits whatever their origin.

Finally, we get another cheap shot, that capitalists regard the "prevailing economic system" as "sacralized." This again attributes to others an attitude that, in a Pope, we might expect him to know something about. But there is nothing sacred about the market, except in the sense that it protects the sacred freedom and rights of citizens that it embodies, as opposed to the official thieves and looters who are the alternative that we can imagine is recommended by someone like Pope Francis -- whose recent complacent regard for the vicious government of Venezuela looks like an endorsement for some of the worst tendencies of our day. This does not inspire confidence in the economic, political, or even moral judgment of Pope Francis.

It is suitable to treat at some length the misconceptions and falsehoods in the statement of Pope Francis because these ideas have now been taught in American public schools for decades and are bearing bitter fruit in American, let alone foreign, politics. The constant assault on business, finance, banks, and Wall Street by the Obama Democrats who currently dominate American politics and government is nothing less than an assault on capitalism by people who clearly have no understanding or regard for freedom and who apparently have very different arrangements, with the precedents of France, Greece, and Venezuela, if not Cuba and North Korea, in mind. The continuing troubles of France and Greece, let alone the terror and poverty of the other countries, does not seem to trouble them. And the cluelessness and mindlessness of American students (and their teachers), who supposedly have been taught (and are teaching) "critical thinking" for some time, is shocking. But, of course, there is nothing "critical" about their instruction, except in Marxist terms.

A clue about where Francis is coming from may be found in The Economist of March 8th-14th, 2014:

The political landscape of Francis's homeland, however, offers a more accurate, and nuanced, understanding of his views. For most of his life Argentina has plotted a kind of third way between Marxism and liberalism -- albeit one with disastrous political and economic results. "[Francis] only knows one style of politics," says a diplomat accredited to the Holy See. "And that is Peronism." [p.61]

Since Peronism destroyed the level of economic development of Argentina, which has never recovered (i.e. the "disastrous political and economic results"), and where such ideas continue to distrupt any hope of recovery, it cannot be said that Francis, if his views are indeed Peronist, has anything like a successful model of economic development. He is as clueless as the political culture of his own country -- or as that of American universities.

The sentiments expressed by Pope Francis were later seconded by one of his advisers, Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga of Honduras, on 3 June 2014, at a conference called "Erroneous Autonomy: The Catholic Case Against Libertarianism," sponsored by The Catholic University of America. Maradiaga reportedly said, "Many of these libertarianists [sic] do not read the social doctrine of the church, but now they are trembling before the book of Piketty." Few if any libertarians are going to be "trembling" before Thomas Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century, especially after François Hollande stalled the French economy by putting into effect Piketty's recomendations for massive tax increases. If these foolish and ignorant ideas of Pope Francis and Cardinal Maradiaga are not "Liberation Theology," how would that be different?

In the Fall of 2015 it is looking more and more as though there is no difference between Pope Francis and "Liberation Theology." Activists previously condemned for their Marxism have been rehabilitated. Francis has now visited Cuba without acknowledging the repression and political prisoners of the regime, and without insisting on meetings with political dissidents, who were arrested to prevent their approaching him. So, while palling around with the Castros, Francis implicitly supports their police state. John Paul did not act that way with the Communist rulers of Poland. Francis has joined President Obama in the whitewash and fraudulent rehabilitation of the Cuban regime. At the same time, Francis has embraced the anti-energy, anti-wealth, anti-humanist, and anti-American ideology of "global warming," to the point of condemning air conditioning as "unfettered consumerism." Meanwhile, he still does not seem to have noticed that his sort of Peronism has ruined and impoverished Argentina.

Thus, it looks like the Cardinals made a serious mistake. They thought they were electing and modest and pastoral Pope, but what they got was an ignorant, vicious, and destructive ideologue. That he does seem personally modest and unassuming only makes it worse. If the mildest and nicest person condemns people to poverty and dictatorship, this doesn't make them any better and makes it likely to deceive the naive and foolish. The Leftists who have suddenly forgotten their horror and contempt at Catholic ethics are neither naive or foolish, but they know a useful idiot when they see one. With Francis visiting New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, they are rocking the band wagon with their enthusiasm. If John Paul could rise from the grave in divine wrath, it is high time he did so.

Detailed histories of the Papacy are readily available. The Oxford Dictionary of Popes, by J.N.D. Kelley [Oxford, 1986, 1988], has good discussion of all Popes individually. Chronicle of the Popes, by P.G. Maxwell-Stuart [Thames and Hudson, 1997], sometimes doesn't have as much on individual Popes but supplements this with extensive illustrations and maps, like other books in the Thames and Hudson "Chronicle" series. Now there is the narrative history Absolute Monarchs, A History of the Papacy, by John Julius Norwich [Random House, 2011]. Some defects in this history are discussed above. The dates here are now taken out of the Oxford Dictionary.

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Copyright (c) 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024 Kelley L. Ross, Ph.D. All Rights Reserved

Archbishop-Electors of
Mainz, Trier, and Cologne

Among the oldest Bishoprics, and Archbishoprics, in Germany, Mainz, Trier, and Cologne were all Roman cities -- their Latin names are given below. They all became Ecclesiastical States and then the Ecclesiasitical Electors of the Holy Roman Empire. Their status as Electors was confirmed in the Golden Bull of the Emperor Charles IV in 1356. The three Archbishops all participated in the subsequent crowning of a new Emperor, as seen in the 1764 coronation of Joseph II at right, though they were really crowning him "King of the Romans" (originally King of the Eastern Franks -- now we would just say "King of Germany"). Only the Pope could crown the King as the actual Emperor of the Romans. After Charles V, the last Emperor crowned by the Pope, the coronation by the Archbishops would be the only crowning for a German Emperor. Each Archbishop also had an ex officio status as one of the "Arch-Chancellors" for the three constituent Kingdoms of the Holy Roman Empire:  Mainz for Germany; Cologne for Italy; and Trier for Burgundy. This was probably never more than a ceremonial business -- Cologne and Trier were in Lorraine, a long way from Italy, although Upper Lorraine was adjacent to the Free County of Burgundy -- and it became a dead letter once the authority of the Emperor over Italy and Burgundy was abandoned in the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648.

From the map of Archbishoprics around 1500 (Historical Atlas of the World, Barnes & Noble, 1970, 1972, p.49) we can see that although Mainz, Trier, and Cologne are not that far from each other, their jurisdictions were extended to cover much of early Mediaeval Germany. Trier's domain almost perfectly matches that of Upper Lorraine, while that of Cologne is all of Lower Lorraine plus a bit of northern Germany. The jurisdiction of Mainz, then, covers much of the original area of East Francia, excepting only area under the Archbishops of Salzburg that included Bavaria. Otherwise, what we see at the margins are areas into which East Francia expanded with March territories, under the authority of the Archbishoprics of Magdeberg, Bremen, and Hamburg. The North March, east of Magdeberg, developed into the Margravate of Brandenburg.

While Mainz, Trier, and Cologne are today all in Germany, they were for a time within the borders of Revolutionary and Napoleonic France, which expanded to the Rhine. The secular power of the Archbishops was brought to an end by Napoleon in 1803. The last Elector of Mainz, Karl Theodor, was first transfered as a secular Elector to Regensburg and then, after Napoleon abolished the Empire (1806), to Frankfurt as a Grand Duke -- until Napoleon was defeated and Frankfurt became a Free City. Mainz, Trier, and Cologne were not restored to pre-Napoleonic Ecclesiastical rule or independence.

Meanwhile, most of Upper Lorraine above Trier had been permanently annexed to France -- with the exception of Luxembourg -- and most of Lower Lorraine had lost its indentity to the Netherlands, including the future Belgium. Parts of Lorraine around Cologne and Trier, however, remain in Germany today.

The bishoprics begin with a curious chapter in Church history. The first fully historical Bishop and then Archbishop of Mainz on the list was an English (or Anglo-Saxon, if you like) missionary, Wynfrith, later Boniface, of Crediton.
St. Boniface of Crediton chopping down the "blood oak" of Thor at Geismar, Thuringia, in 720, where the pagan chief Gundhar was about to sacrifice his child, Asulf. Thor didn't stop him, and the tree fell, so the Thuringians converted.
In 718, at the age of about 43, Boniface left England to evangelize among the Germans. He coordinates his efforts by visiting the Pope three times and consulting with the powerful Carolingian Mayors of the Palace of Merovingian Francia, principally Charles Martel but then also Pepin the Short, who became King shortly before Boniface's death. Boniface brought a number of other English missionaries with him, including the nun St. Walburga who became an abbess in Germany, and who suffered the curious fate of having Walpurgisnacht, a sort of Springtime Halloween on April 30, grow up around her memory. This is discussed elsewhere. Since the letter "w" as used in modern German and Dutch was borrowed from English, I wonder if this may have been introduced by Boniface himself. However, written German isn't attested until, I think, the 9th century; so Boniface may be a bit early.

Bishops, Archbishops, Electors
Colonia Agrippina
Bonifatius, Wynfrith or Boniface of CreditonBishop,
Crowns Pepin III King of Francia, 751; martyred at Dukkum by Frieslanders, 754
Charles of
Sunderold889-891Ratbod883-915Hermann I889-924
Hatto I891-913
Wilhelm954-968Heinrich I956-964Brun I953-965
Hatto II968-970Dietrich I965-977Folkmar966-969
Bardo1031-1051Hermann II1036-1056
Luitpold1051-1059Eberhard1047-1066Anno II1056-1075
Siegfried of
1060-1084Kuno I1066
Udo of
Ruthard1089-1109Hermann III
of Hochstaden
Adalbert I of
1110-1137Bruno of
1102-1124Friedrich I of
Meginher1127-1130Brun/Bruno II
of Berg
Adalbert II of
1138-1141Alberto of
1131-1152Hugo of
Markulf1141-1142Arnold I1138-1151
Heinrich I1142-1153
Arnold of
1153-1160Hillin of
1152-1169Arnold II
of Wied
Konrad I of
Arnold I1169-1183Friedrich II
of Altena
of Dassel
of Heinsberg
Christian I
of Buch
1165-1183Johann I1190-1212Brun III
of Berg
Siegfried II
of Eppenstein
1200-1230Dietrich II
of Weid
1212-1242Adolf I
of Altena
Brun IV
of Sayn
Dietrich I
of Hengeberg
Engelbert I
the Holy
of Berg
Siegfried III
of Eppenstein
1230-1249Arnold II
of Isenburg
Heinrich I
of Molenark
Christian II
of Weisenau
Konrad of
Gerhard I
Werner of
1259-1284Heinrich II1260-1286Engelbert II
of Falkenberg
Heinrich II1286-1288Boemund of
1289-1299Siegfried of
Gerhard II
of Eppenstein
1289-1305Dieter of
of Holte
Peter of
1306-1320Balduin of
1307-1354Heinrich II
of Virneburg
of Bucheck
Heinrich III
of Virneburg
of Jülich
Gerlach of
1346-1371Boemund of
Golden Bull, 1356
Johann I
of Luxemburg
1371-1373Kuno II of
1362-1388Adolf II
of Mark
Ludwig of
Engelbert III
of Mark
Adolf I of
1381-1390Friedrich III
of Saarwerden
Konrad II
of Weinsberg
1391-1396Werner of
Johann II
of Nassau
Konrad III,
Wild- and
Rheingraf of
1419-1434Otto of
1418-1430Dietrich II
of Moers
of Erbach
1434-1459Ulrich of
Hrabanus of
Jakob I
of Sirk
Dieter of
Johann II
of Baden
1456-1503Ruprecht of
the Palatine
Adolf II
of Nassau
Albrecht I
of Saxony
Bertold of
1484-1504Hermann IV
of Hesse
Jakob of
1504-1508Jakob II
of Baden
1503-1511Philipp of
Uriel of
Albrecht II of
1514-1545Richard of
1511-1531Hermann V
of Wied
Johann III of
Johann IV
of Hagen
Sebastian of
1545-1555Johann V
of Isenburg
1547-1556Adolf III of
Daniel Brendel
of Homburg
1555-1582Johann VI
of Leyen
1556-1567Anton of
Gebhard I of Mansfeld
Friedrich IV of Wied1562-1567,
of Isenburg
Jabob III
of Eltz
1567-1581Gebhard II
of Waldburg
of Dalberg
1582-1601Johann VII
of Schönenberg
1581-1599Ernst of
Johann Adam
of Bicken
1601-1604Lothar of
of Cronberg
of Bavaria
Friedrich of
of Soetern
Anselm Kasimir
Johann Phlipp
of Schönborn
1647-1673Karl Kaspar
of Leyen
1652-1676Max Heinrich
of Bavaria
Lothar Friedrich
of Metternich
Damian of
1675-1678Johann VIII
Hugo of
Karl Heinrich
of Metternich
Anselm Franz
of Ingelheim
1679-1695Joseph Clemens
of Bavaria
Lothar Franz
of Schönborn
1695-1729Karl Joseph
of Lorraine
Franz Ludwig
of Neuburg
on Rhein
Franz Ludwig
of Neuburg
on Rhein
1729-1732Franz Georg
on Schönborn
1729-1756Clemens August
of Bavaria
Philipp Karl
of Eltz
Johann Friedrich
Karl of Ostein
1743-1763Johann IX
Philipp of
Emmerich Josef
of Breidbach
of Saxony
Friedrich of
Friedrich Karl
Josef of Erthal
1774-1802Max Franz
of Austria
Karl Theodor
of Dalberg
1802-1803Secularized, 1803Secularized, 1803
Grand Duke
of Frankfurt,
Joseph Ludwig ColmarBishop, 1802-1818Charles MannayBishop, 1802-1816
Joseph Vitus Burg1829-1833Josef von Hommer1824-1836Ferdinand August von SpiegelArchbishop, 1824-1835
Johann Jakob Humann1833-1834Sedē Vacantē
Petrus Leopold Kaiser1834-1848Wilhelm Arnoldi1842-1864Clemens August II Droste zu Fischering1835-1845
Wilhelm Emmanuel Freiherr von Ketteler1850-1877Leopold Pelldram1865-1867Johannes von Geissel1845-1864
Matthias Eberhard1867-1876Paul Melchers1866-1885
Paul Leopold Haffner1886-1899Michael Felix Korum1881-1921Philipp Krementz1885-1899
Heinrich Brück1900-1903Anton Hubert Fischer1902-1912
Georg Heinrich Kirstein1903-1921Felix von Hartmann1912-1919
Ludwig Maria Hugo1921-1935Franz Rudolf Bornewasser1922-1951Karl Joseph Schulte1920-1941
Albert Stohr1935-1961Matthias Wehr1951-1967Josef Frings1942-1969
Hermann Cardinal Volk1962-1982Bernhard Stein1967-1980Joseph Höffner1969-1987
Karl Cardinal Lehmann1983-presentHermann Josef Spital1981-2001Joachim Meisner1988-present
Reinhard Marx2002-present

The lists of all the Archbishops of Mainz, Trier, and Cologne are taken from the Regentenlisten und Stammtafeln zur Geschichte Europas, by Michael F. Feldkamp [Philipp Reclam, Stuttgart, 2002, pp. 295-306 & 348-352] and from Wikipedia.

Patriarchal Index

Lorraine Index

Archbishops of Salzburg

Philosophy of History

Philosophy of Religion

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Copyright (c) 2002, 2003, 2008, 2011, 2013 Kelley L. Ross, Ph.D. All Rights Reserved

Archbishops of Canterbury
and Salzburg

Archbishops of Canterbury,
Roman Durovernum
1 St. Augustine597-605
2 Laurentius605-619
3 Mellitus619-624
4 Justus624-627
5 Honorius627-653
6 Deusdedit655-664
7 Theodore of Tarsus668-690
studied at Athens, ordained at Rome
8 Berhtuald/
9 Taetwine/
10 Nothelm734-740
11 Cuthbert740-758
12 Breogwine759-762
13 Jaenberht763-790
14 Aethelheard790-803
15 Wulfred803-829
16 Fleogild829-830
17 Ceolnoth830-870
18 Aethelred870-889
19 Plegemund891-923
20 Aethelm923-925
21 Wulfelm928-941
22 Odo941-958
23 Aelsine958-959
24 Dunstan959-988
25 Aethelgar988-989
26 Sigeric990-994
27 Aefric995-1005
28 Alphege1006-1012
29 Lyfing1013-1020
30 Aethelnoth1020-1038
31 Eadsige1038-1050
32 Robert of Jumièges1051-1052
33 Stigand1052-1070
34 Lanfranc1070-1089
35 St. Anselm1093-1109
36 Ralph de Turbine1114-1122
37 William de Corbeuil1123-1136
38 Theobald1139-1161
39 St. Thomas
40 Richard1174-1184
41 Baldwin1185-1190
42 Reginald Fitz-
43 Hubert Walter1193-1205
44 Stephen Langton1207-1228
45 Richard
46 Edmund Rich
(de Abbendon)
47 Boniface of Savoy1240-1270
48 Robert Kilwardby1273-1278
49 John Peckham1279-1292
50 Robert Winchelsea1293-1313
51 Walter Reynolds1313-1372
52 Simon de Meopham1327-1333
53 John Stratford133-1348
54 John de Ufford1348-1349
55 Thomas
56 Simon Islip1349-1366
57 Simon Langham1366-1368
58 William Wittlesey1368-1374
59 Simon Sudbury1375-1381
60 William Courtenay1381-1396
61 Thomas Arundel1396-1414
62 Henry Chicheley1414-1443
63 John Stafford1443-1452
64 John Kemp1452-1454
65 Thomas Bourchier1454-1486
66 John Morton1486-1500
67 Henry Deane1501-1503
68 William Warham1503-1532
69 Thomas Cranmer1533-1556
executed by Queen Mary
70 Reginald Pole1556-1558
71 Matthew Parker1559-1575
72 Edmund Grindal1575-1583
73 John Whitgift1583-1604
73 Richard Bancroft1604-1610
73 George Abbot1611-1633
76 William Laud1633-1645
Sedē Vacantē, 1645-1660
77 William Juxon1660-1663
78 Gilbert Sheldon1663-1677
79 William Sancroft1678-1691
80 John Tillotson1691-1694
81 Thomas Tenison1694-1715
82 William Wake1716-1737
83 John Potter1737-1747
84 Thomas Herring1747-1757
85 Matthew Hutton1757-1758
86 Thomas Ecker1758-1768
87 Frederick
88 John Moore1783-1805
89 Charles Manners-Sutton1805-1828
90 William Howley1828-1848
91 John Bird Sumner1848-1862
92 Charles Thomas
93 Archibald Campbell
94 Edward White Benson1882-1896
95 Frederick Temple1896-1902
96 Randall Davidson1903-1928
97 Cosmo Gordon Lang1928-1942
98 William Temple1942-1944
99 Geoffrey Francis
100 Arthur Michael
101 Frederick Donald
102 Robert Alexander
Kennedy Runcie
103 George Leonard Carey1991-2002
104 Rowan Douglas
5 Anglican bishops convert to Catholicism, 2010
Justin Welby2013-present
The Archbishop of Canterbury is the Primate of England. His seat is at Canterbury because this was the capital of the Kingdom of
Kent, an obvious place for St. Augustine, who was sent in 596 by Pope Gregory (I) the Great (590-604), to seek royal favor, from King (later St.) Æthelbert I, for his mission. The early Archbishops, down to Taetwine (Tatwin) are given by the Venerable Bede (673-735) in his History of the English Church and People (731). The first part of this is still well in the Dark Ages, but it is already not too long before the time of Bede himself. Bede figures in these pages for his history of Dark Age Britain and for his contribution to the doctrine of Purgatory, which relies on certain reasoning about guilt, expiation, and the stain of sin.

Several Archbishops are particularly noteworthy. St. Anselm was one of the most important philosophers of the 12th century, responsible for the "ontological argument" for the existence of God which would bedevil subsequent thinkers. He was himself a Lombard who had entered a monastery in Normandy. As Archbishop, he was involved in the particular political dispute of his time, trying to strip secular rulers, in this case the Kings of England, of their powers to designate bishops of the Church. In Germany, this occurred as the formidable and epic Investiture Controversy (1076-1122). Things got so hot that Anselm spent some years in exile (1097-1100, 1103-1107).

Soon after Anselm came Thomas à Becket, who had been a friend and official of King Henry II but after becoming Archbishop entered into further attempts to limit secular authority, in this case in defense of clerics accused of crimes. Since the crimes were sometimes things like murder and rape, for which Becket's ecclesiastical courts often only handed down nominal punishments, it is understandable that Henry took exception to clerical immunity to secular prosecution. A careless wish expressed by Henry resulted in Becket's murder. While Becket was immediately canonized and enthusiastically venerated, he was not a selfless advocate for justice, but a rather foolish champion of clerical privilege who seems to have almost been eager to provoke his own martyrdom. He did succeed, and long afterwards inspired rather good books, plays, and movies of the business. Although some of these make Becket out to have been a Saxon, defending native Englishmen against Norman rulers like Henry, he was actually just as much a Norman himself -- engaged in a process of protected priests from justice in manner whose modern versions draw little sympathy for the Church.

After many centuries, Thomas Cranmer was the first Protestant Archbishop, helping King Henry VIII to break the Church of England away from Rome, seize monastic properties, etc. This earned him arrest by the subsequent Catholic Queen Mary. Tortured into confessing to heresy, Cranmer was going to be burned at the stake nevertheless. At the event, he recanted his confessions and thrust his own hand into the flames for signing the coerced documents, saying, "This hath offended; oh, this unworthy hand!" The Martyr's Memorial stands outside Balliol College, Oxford, where Cranmer and two other prelates were excecuted.

The See stood empty during the Civil War (1640-1649), Commonwealth (1649-1653), and the Protectorate (1653-1660) of the Cromwells but has had to endure little in the way of such political trials since. Instead, the Church has tried so hard, despite being a State Religion, not to be judgmental, exclusive, or demanding that it has seemed to cease to stand for, or mean, much of anything. It has thus steadily lost membership and excites comments like the following, from Michael Whelton:

Archbishops of
Roman Iuvavum
Adalbert I873-874
Dietmar I874-907
Pilgrim I907-923
Adalbert II923-935
Herold of
Friedrich I958-991
Gunther of
Dietmar II1025-1041
Thiemo of
Konrad I1106-1147
Eberhard I1147-1164
Konrad II
of Austria
Adalbert III1168-1177,
Konrad III
of Wittelsbach
Eberhard II
of Regensburg
Burkard of
Philipp of
Ladislaus of
Friedrich II
of Walchen
Rudolf of
Konrad IV
of Fohnsdorf-
Weichard of
Friedrich III
of Leibnitz
Heinrich of
Ortolf of
Pilgrim II
of Puchheim
Georg I Schenk
of Osterwitz
Eberhard III
of Neuhaus
Eberhard IV
of Starhemberg
Johannes of
Friedrich IV
of Emmerberg
Sigismund I
of Volkersdorf
Burkard of
of Rohr
Friederich V
of Schaumburg
Sigismund II
of Holneck
Leonhard of
Matthäus Lang
of Wellenburg
Ernst of
Michael of
Johannes Jakob
of Kuen-Belasy
Georg II
of Kuenberg
Wolf Dietrich
of Raittenau
Marcus Sitticus
of Hohenems
Paris of
of Thun
Max Gandolf
of Kuenberg
Johann Ernst
of Thun
Franz Anton
of Harrach
Leopold Anton
of Firmian
Protestants discovered in Alpine valleys, 1731; their Exodus to Prussia, 1732
Jakob Ernst of
Andreas Jakob of
Sigmund Christoph
of Schrattenbach
Hieronymous Joseph
Franz of Colloredo-
III of Tuscany
Duke of
Elector of
Elector of
Grand Duke
of Würzburg,
of Salzburg
Sigmund Christoph, Graf von Zeil und Trauchburg1812–1814
Sedē Vacantē
Augustin Johann Joseph Gruber 1823–1835
Friedrich Johann Joseph Cölestin, Prince of Schwarzenberg 1835–1849
Arbhbishop of Prague, 1850-1885
Maximilian Joseph von Tarnóczy1850–1876
Franz de Paula Albert Eder1876–1890
Johann Evangelist Haller1890–1900
Johannes Baptist Katschthaler1900–1914
Balthasar Kaltner1914–1918
Ignaz Rieder1918–1934
Sigismund Waitz1934–1941
Sedē Vacantē
Andreas Rohracher1943–1969
Eduard Macheiner1969–1972
Karl Berg1972–1988
Georg Eder1988–2002
Alois Kothgasser2002-2013
Franz Lackner2013-present
This position of so-called "inclusiveness" back in the 1950s and 1960s was perceived by many in the British Isles as slightly preposterous. Sadly, the Anglican Church lost respect, influence, and relevance, becoming the target of much satire and the butt of many jokes. One comedian declared, "In England we have a wonderful institution called the Anglican Church, and no one from Joseph Stalin to Mao Tse Tung can say with any certainty that he is not a member." [Popes and Patriarchs, Conciliar Press, 2006, p.15]

Even better we have the classic poem by T.S. Elliot, "The Hippopotamus," comparing that animal, favorably, to the Church of England. The poem can be examined in a popup.

We see a classic expression of the 19th century politics of the Church of England in Anthony Trollope's Barchester Towers (1857), with conflict between the traditionalist High Church and the Evangelical, Protestantizing Low Church. Indeed, even today the Anglican Church remains ritually so close to the Roman Catholic Church that Anglican priests who convert to Catholicism are accepted as Catholic priests, even if they are married. They are, I believe, the only married priests in the Catholic Church.

Already in the 19th century there were some high-profile converts to Catholicism, such as John Henry Newman (1801-1890), who went on from a pinacle of Anglican scholarship at Oxford to be a Catholic priest (1846) and then cardinal (1879) -- and now appears to be on the path to sainthood. Nevertheless, he is still commemorated at Oriel College, Oxford, where he obtained a fellowship in 1822. There he steadily moved from Calvinist sentiments and association with the Low Church to the creation of the High Church "Oxford Movement." This led steadily on towards Catholcism and conversion in 1845.

The current Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Douglas Williams, seems to have been at pains to discredit himself as a sensible person. Thus, he told the BBC that the imposition of Sharia Law, i.e. Islamic religious law, a goal of Islamic Fascism, now seems "unavoidable." This led Theodore Dalrymple to say:

The English national church has long been an object of amusement and derison among the intelligent and educated, and the current Archbishop of Canterbury succeeds in uniting the substance and appearance of utter foolishness and unworldliness, not with sanctity, but with sanctimony. [The New Vichy Syndrome, Why European Intellectuals Surrender to Barbarism, Encounter Books, 2010, p.64]

The path trod by Cardinal Newman was followed, at first, by the author cited above, Michael Whelton, who, however, becoming as disillusioned with the Church of Rome as with that of England, continued on into an Orthodox Church in communion with Constantinople. The bloodlessness of Anglican religion seems to be shared by its American counterpart, the Episcopal Church, which was once the preference of the American social and political elite, from George Washington on, but now has also given itself over to the sort of "inclusiveness" and leftist social activism that has little patience with traditional Christian doctrine, ritual, or moral expectations. Such Christian Churches, as with Archbishop Williams himself, have none of the confidence, spirit, or even belief necessary in the face of the militancy of modern radical Islam.

Salzburg was a very large eccelesiastical state. Its principal claim to fame may be as the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1736-1791). Apart from European tours, Mozart lived in Salzburg and worked for the Archbishop (who has been described as "strict and unkind") until 1781. He was dismissed then and, visiting Vienna, remained there the rest of life. At this time, of course, composers could be treated as feudal retainers not much above the status of footmen. Mozart's apartments in Vienna are lovingly preserved -- although, at the time of his death, he was in such poverty that his burial was in an anonymous pauper's grave. Before long, composers like Ludwig van Beethoven became such figures of public celebrity that such a fate was unthinkable -- Beethoven's funeral was an "Event". Mozart paved the way for that but was unable to benefit from it.

The interesting movie Amadeus [1984] by Miloš Forman suggested that Mozart had been murdered, because of jealousy, by the Court composer Antonio Salieri (1750-1825), played by F. Murray Abraham (whose paternal grandfather was a chanter in the Syriac Orthodox Church). This resulted in a comic moment in the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie Last Action Hero [1993], where the young boy Danny Madigan (Austin O'Brien), says of Abraham's character, within the magic movie-with-a-movie format, "He killed Mozart!" Indeed, Abraham does turn out to be a villain in Last Action Hero.

Another minor claim to fame for Salzburg may be that the location shots for the 1965 movie The Sound of Music were in or near the city. For people who have not visited the area, the movie contains the images of the Alps that they probably retain.

Before Mozart's time, there had been a event of some interest in Salzburg. In 1731, the Archbishopric discovered to its alarm that there were about 20,000 Protestants living in the high Alpine valleys. It is in the first place remakable that, two centuries after the beginning of the Reformation, the authorities had not noticed that these people were there. Obviously the archepiscopal government had rested lightly in the area, which was probably as remote and inaccessible as any place in Europe -- even today there are some places in Austria that you can really only get to from Germany, and in Switzerland from Austria. It is also remarkable, however, that the Archbishop had no intention of tolerating the faith of these people. It seems a bit late for such attitudes, but incidents like this were not all that unusual even in the 18th century. Without much military of his own, the Archbishop Leopold Anton asked Bavaria and Austria for the forces to crush local resistance and compel the Protestants to convert to Catholicism under duress.

All of this, of course, became a cause célèbre in Protestant Germany. King Frederick William I of Prussia offered to resettle all the Protestant Salzburgers in East Prussia, where recent plague and famine had significantly reduced the population. The Archbishop evidently prefered to crush rather than expel his Protestants -- reminding everyone of the attitude of Pharaoh towards the Israelites in Egypt. But King Frederick William had leverage:  he would not endorse the "Pragmatic Sanction," by which the Emperor Charles VI could leave Austria to his daughter Maria Theresa, unless the Emperor compelled the Archbishop to let his Protestants go. So he did; and in 1732 Germany was treated to the spectacle of an Exodus indeed, with the migrating Salzburgers showered with food, gifts, and money as they passed through Protestant districts on the way to Prussia, as the whole thing was celebrated in print and sermon throughout Germany for some time to come. [Christopher Clark, Iron Kingdom, the Rise and Downfall of Prussia, 1600-1947, Belknap Press, Harvard, 2006, pp.141-144].

Eventually Salzburg fell to Napoleon's rearrangements of Europe. In 1803 it was made an Imperial Electorate for the deposed Hapsburg Duke of Tuscany, Ferdinand III. When Napoleon gave the city to Austria in 1806, Ferdinand was moved to Würzburg, which became a Grand Duchy when Napoleon abolished the Empire in the same year. In 1809 Napoleon took Salzburg from Austria and gave it to a better ally, Bavaria; but then Austria got it back at the Congress of Vienna. Since 1815 it has remained part of Austria, with the line of Archbishops, divested of secular power, meanwhile reestablished. Ferdinand returned to Tuscany.

The list of the Archbishops of Salzburg is taken from the Regentenlisten und Stammtafeln zur Geschichte Europas, by Michael F. Feldkamp [Philipp Reclam, Stuttgart, 2002, pp. 295-306 & 348-352].

The Stain of Sin in the Venerable Bede

Patriarchal Index

Philosophy of History

Philosophy of Religion

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Copyright (c) 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2019, 2020 Kelley L. Ross, Ph.D. All Rights Reserved

Patriarchs of Constantinople

ἄξιον, ὦ [Νέα] Ῥώμη μεγαλοκρατές, ἀντία σεῖο
κάλλος ἀπ᾽ Εὐρώπης δέρκεαι εἰς Ἀσίην.
O, great-ruling [New] Rome, thou lookest from Europe
on a prospect in Asia the beauty of which is worthy of thee.

Marianus Scholasticus, "On the Palace called Sophianae," [The Greek Anthology, Volume III, Book 9, "The Declamatory Epigrams," Number 657, The Loeb Classical Library, Harvard University Press, 1917, p.365]

Ῥώμη παμβασίλεια, τὸ σὸν κλέος ὄυποτ᾽ ὀλεῖται·
Νίκη γάρ σε φυγεῖν ἄπτερος οὐ δύναται.
Rome, queen of the world, thy fame shall never perish,
for Victory, being wingless, cannot fly from thee.

Anonymous, "On [New] Rome," [ibid., Number 647, p.358-359]

Bishops of Byzantium
St. Andrew the Apostle
the Apostle
Polycarpus I69-89
Polycarpus II141-144
Mark I198-211
Ciriacus I217-230
Eugenius I237-242
Rufinus I284-293
Archbishops of
Constantinople, 324
Ecumenical Council I, Nicaea I, Arianism condemned, Nicene Creed, 325
Paul I337-339,
of Nicomedia
Macedonius I342-346,
Paul I346-351
of Antioch
Patriarch of
Antioch, 360
Meletian Schism, 361-401
Gregory I
of Nazianzus,
the Theologian
Patriarchs of Constantinople
Ecumenical Council II, Constantinople I, chaired by St. Meletius of Antioch without Papal participation, Arianism condemned, regarded as definitively establishing Roman Catholic orthodoxy, Patriarch of Constantinople Second in Precedence after Rome, 381
St. John I
398-404, d.407
of Tarsus
Sisinius I426-427
Ecumenical Council III, Ephesus, Nestorius deposed, exiled to Antioch, Petra, & Egypt, Nestorianism condemned, 431
Monophysite "Robber Council," Ephesus II, still recognized by Monophysite Churches, Flavian fatally beaten at the altar, 449
Ecumenical Council IV, Chalcedon, Monophysitism condemned, fatal disaffection of Syria & Egypt, 451
Gennadius I458-471
Excommunicated by Pope, Acacian Schism, 484-519
Macedonus II495/6-511
Timotheus I
John II
of Cappadocia
End of Acacian Schism, 519
Anthimus I535-536
Ecumenical Council V, Constantinople II, the "Three Chapters" condemned in attempt to (ineffectively) reconcile Monophysites, 553
John III
John IV
the Faster
Thomas I607-610
Sergius I610-638
Paul II641-653
Thomas II667-669
John V669-675
Constantine I675-677
Theodore I677-679,
George I679-686
Ecumenical Council VI, Constantinople III, Monotheletism condemned, Pope Honorius I & Patriarch Sergius I condemned as heretics, 680-681
Paul III687/8-693/4
Callinicus I693/4-705/6
John VI712-715
Germanus I715-730
Constantine II754-766
Nicetas I766-780
Paul IV,
of Cyprus
Ecumencial Council VII, Nicaea II, Iconoclasm condemned under guidance of Empress Irene, 787
Nicephorus I806-815
Theodotus I,
Anthony I821-836
John VII
Iconoclasm finally repudiated under guidance of Empress Theodora, 843
Methodius I843-847
St. Ignatius847-858,
Eunuch Patriarch, son of Emperor Michael I, appointed by the Empress Theodora to restore the Icons; deposed by Bardas, restored by Basil I
St. Photius
the Great
significant scholar; sends Cyril & Methodius on mission to Moravia; "First-Second" Synod, Council, confirms Photius, 861; Photian Schism, 861-867; Papal legates disowned by Pope Nicholas I, Photius excommunicated, 863; deposed, 867, by Emperor Basil I; Ecumencial Council VIII, Constantinople IV, "Anti-Photian Council," patched up filioque and other differences, later repudiated by East, last Ecumenical Council recognized by West which included the Eastern Church, 869-870; restored as Patriarch, 877; New Council, Constantinope V, repudiates Council VIII, 879-880
Stephanus I886-893
brother of Emperor Leo VI
Anthony II
Nicholas I
St. Euthymius I907-912
Stephanus II925-927/8
Son of Emperor Romanus I
Basil I
Anthony III
Nicholas II
Sisinius II996-998
Sergius II999/1101-1019
Alexius I
Michael I
Schism with Latin Church, 1054
Constantine III
Cosmas I
of Jerusalem
Nicholas III
John IX
Leo Styppes,
Michael II
Cosmas II
Nicholas IV
Theodotus II1151/2-1153/4
[Neophytus I]1153/4
Constantine IV
Michael III
of Anchialus
Theodosius I
Basil II
Nicetas II
Dositheus of
George II
John X
Fall of Constantinople to Fourth Crusade, 1204; Seat at Nicaea, 1208-1261
Michael IV
Theodore II
Maximus II1215/6
Manuel I
Germanus II1222-1240
Methodius II1240
Manuel II1244-1254/5
Nicephorus II1259/60-1260/1
Seat restored to Constantinople, 1261
Germanus III1265-1266/7
Joseph I
John XI Beccus1275-1282
Gregory II
Athanasius I1289-1293,
John XII
Nephon I1310-1314
Gerasimus I1320-1321
John XIV
Isidore I
Callistus I1350-1353/4,
Nilus Cerameus1379/80-1388
Anthony IV1389-1390,
Callistus II
Matthew I1397-1410
Euthymius II1410-1416
Joseph II1416-1439
Metrophanes II1440-1443
Gregory III
Athanasius II1450/1-1453
Fall of Constantinople to Ottomans, 1453; Seat at Church of the Holy Apostles, 1453-1455; at Convent of St. Mary Pammakaristos, 1455-1587
Gennadius II
Isidore II
Sophronius I
Marcus II
Symeon I1466/7
Dionysius I1466-1471,
Symeon I of
Raphael I1475-1476
Maximus III1476-1481
Nephon II1486-1488,
Maximus IV1491-1497
Joachim I1498-1502,
Pachomius I1503-1504,
Theoleptus I1513-1522
Jeremias I1522-1545
Joannicus I1546
Dionysius II1546-1555
Joasaph II
Metrophanes III1565-1572
Jeremias II
Metrophanes III1579-1580
Pachomius II1584-1585
Theoleptus II1585-1586
at Palace of the Wallachians, Vlach Saray, 1587-1597
Matthew II1596, 1603
at St. Demetrius Monastery at Xyloporta, 1597-1599; at Church of St. George, Phanar Quarter, 1600 to present
Gabriel I1596
Theophanes I
Matthew II1598-1602
Neophytus II1602-1603,
Matthew II1603
Raphael II1603-1607
Cyril I Lucaris Patriarch of Alexandria, 1602-1620
Calvinist Confession of Faith, 1629, forged? Repudiated. Strangled by Janissaries, 1638
Greg IV1623
Cyril II Kontares1633,
Athanasius III
Neophytus III1636-1637
Parthenius I1639-1644
Parthenius II1644-1646,
Joannicius II1646-1648,
Cyril III1652,
Paisius I1652-1653,
Parthenius III1656-1657
Gabriel II1657
Parthenius IV1657-1662,
Dionysius III1662-1665
Methodius III1668-1671
Dionysus IV
Gerasimus II1673-1674
Athanasius IV1679
Callinicus II1688
Neophytus IV1688
Callinicus II1689-1693,
Gabriel III1702-1707
Neophytus V1707
Cyprianus I1707-1709,
Athanasius V1709-1711
Cyril IV1711-1713
Cosmas III1714-1716
Jeremias III1716-1726,
Paisius II1726-1732,
Serapheim I1733-1734
Neophytus VI1734-1740,
Cyril V1748-1751,
Callinicus III1757
Serapheim II1757-1761
Joannicius III1761-1763
Samuel I
Meletius II1768-1769
Theodosius II1769-1773
Sophoronius II1774-1780
Gabriel IV1780-1785
Procopius I1785-1789
Neophytus VII1789-1794,
Gerasimus III1794-1797
Gregory V1797-1798,
Hanged in retaliation
for Greek revolt, 1821
Callinicus IV1801-1806,
Jeremias IV1809-1813
Cyril VI1813-1818
Eugenius II1821-1822
Anthimus III1822-1824
Chrysanthos I1824-1826
Agathangelos I1826-1830
Constantios I1830-1834
Constantios II1834-1835
Gregory VI1835-1840,
Anthimus IV1840-1841,
Anthimus V1841-1842
Germanus IV1842-1845,
Meletius III1845
Anthimus VI1845-1848,
Cyril VII1855-1860
Joachim II1860-1863,
Sophronios III1863-1866
Joachim III1878-1884,
Joachim IV1884-1887
Dionysios V1887-1891
Neophytos VIII1891-1894
Anthimus VII1895-1897
Constantine V1897-1901
Germanus V1913-1918
Sedē Vacantē, 1918-1921
Meletius IV
Gregory VII1923-1924
Constantine VI1924-1925
Basil III1925-1929
Photius II1929-1935
Benjamin I1936-1946
Maximus V1946-1948
Theological Seminary of Halki closed by Turkish Government, 1971

Constantinople now fades from memory. Its name resonates like something from legend or mythology; and many who hear the name may not quite know what it was or where to place it in their conceptual or historical universe. Indeed, it belongs to something that most would think of as oxymoronic or impossible:  the Mediaeval Roman Empire. As Schopenhauer says of what is excellent, Constantinople is "like a meteorite, sprung from an order of things different from that which prevails here" [The World as Will and Representation, Volume I, §59, Dover Publications, 1966, E.F.J. Payne translation, p.324].

To someone who hears only the drumbeat that Rome "Fell" in 476, this introduces a sort of cognitive dissonance. Something isn't quite right there. Something doesn't compute. Something must be rethought. Indeed, Constantinople requires much rethinking. It was the last capital of the Roman Empire, Roma Nova, Νέα Ῥώμη, "New Rome," or hē Kōnstantinoú Polis, Κωνσταντινούπολις, Constantinopolis, the "City of Constantine," for many centuries the largest and richest city in Europe and Christendom, the repository of much of Greek and Roman Classical learning. It was often simply called "Rome," Rhōmē in Greek, or Byzantion, Byzantium, its old name as a Greek colony, or hē Konstantiou, "the, of Constantine," with "City" elided, or just hē Polis, "The City."

When the City Fell to the Turks in 1453, it became much the same thing again, the largest and richest city, in Islām (outside, perhaps, India), a repository of its own wealth, learning, and romance, still echoing in the Maltese Falcon [1930]. Now, as İstanbul, the City is simply a large modern city, the largest in Turkey, but no longer a capital, a fortress, a redoubt, or a beacon of culture or religion. Nevertheless, among the ruins, like those of the great Land Walls, there is one fragile institution that survives from the earliest days:  the Office of Christian Patriarch of Constantinople.

The Cathedral Church of Constantinople was the Church of "Holy Wisdom," Hagia Sophia in Greek, Sancta Sophia in Latin, and Ayasofya as rendered into Turkish (based on the Mediaeval and Modern Greek pronunciation). This was built in its present form by the Emperor Justinian, although subsequently damaged by earthquakes and then restored. At the Fall of Constantiople to the Turks in 1453, the Church was converted into a mosque, with minarets added. Fortunately, the many mosaics of the Church were painted over rather than destroyed.

With the secularization of the Turkish state by Atatürk, the building became a museum, and the mosaics were uncovered. However, even while a small chapel has been added for Islamic worship, Christian worship is still prohibited in the building. Now, of course, the church has been turned back into a mosque, as a sop to Islamist extremists.

While in its day Hagia Sophia was architecturally unique, and remained so for centuries -- also as the largest Church in Christendom -- the Ottomans began to build great mosques in the same style, culminating in the Sultan Ahmad (I), or Blue, Mosque nearby, built adjacent to, and using many of the stones from, the classical Hippodrome. The style of the Church has thus entered the canons of Islamic architecure, even while the form of churches developed separately.

While the early Church Councils conceded to the Papacy the position of primus inter pares, "first among equals," this did not give to the Popes any special authority. Second place in precedence was acknowledged for the Patriarch of Constantinople by the Ecumenical Council II of 381, though this was somewhat resented by the older Patriarchates at Alexandria and Antioch.

The elevated status for Constantinople was because, of course, this had become the seat of the Emperor, beginning with Constantine, and the principal capital of the Roman Empire. Even when there was a Western Emperor, his seat was no longer at Rome, but in Milan and Ravenna. Indeed, more of the Ecumenical Councils were held in Constantinople (II, V, VI, VIII) than elsewhere -- and Council IV was held just across the Bosporus in Chalcedon.

In Constantinople it was unmistakable that the Emperor imposed a unity on the Church that it would not otherwise have, and that would not otherwise be claimed until the Papacy began arrogating powers to itself that otherwise had belonged only to the Emperor or to Church Councils.

I have discussed above how the term "Caesaro-Papism," often used for the role of the Emperor in Constantinople, is applied more appropriately to the Popes themselves, whose claims and accumulation of power were an innovation, while the role of the Emperor had precedents all the way back to Constantine (and earlier, when a Roman Emperor was the Pontifex Maximus). What ends up being distinctive about the Orthodox Churches in communion with Constantinople is that, although Constantinople was responsible for the establishment of several such Churches, e.g. Bulgaria and Russia, the new ones ended up with independent authority, i.e. they were autocephalous, and were in no way subordinate to Constantinople the way the Popes expected national churches to be obedient to them.

The principle is still that Orthodox Churches base their doctrine on the Ecumenical Councils. Orthodox Churches not in communion with the Patriarch of Constantinople today reject one of the seven Councils noted in the list of Patriarchs. Thus, the Church of the East rejects Council III and the Monophysite Churches of Egypt and Syria reject Council IV. As shown in the diagram, the Churches loyal to Constantinople in the traditional Patriarchates, generally called "Melkite," Μελχίτης ("Royal" or, really, "Imperial"), are the Antiochian Church of Antioch, the Greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem, and the Melkite Church of Alexandria. Otherwise, we see national Churches of Greece, Bulgaria, Russia, etc., that are in agreement with Constantinople without being governed by it. Since the Patriarch of Constantinople, living in Turkey, no longer is responsible for the national Church of a traditionally Christian nation, he has come to be simply the "Ecumenical Patriarch."

A curious institution that is governed by the Patriarch of Constantinople, or at least operates under his direct authority, is the "Holy Mountain," Hágion Óros, Mt. Áthōs. This is the most north-eastern of three peninsulas that extend out into the Aegean Sea from the larger peninsula of the Chalcidice. There are still 20 active monasteries on the Mountain, with a number of smaller settlements and institutions.

The road from the mainland ends at Uranopolis (or Ouranoupoli, one now usually sees spellings that reflect modern Greek pronunciation -- I have Latinized many of the names, but the spelling of the monasteries especially reflects this trend). From there one (men only) must take a boat down to Daphne. From Daphne a road, recently built, goes up to Caryes, Καρυές (Karyes, Karyai), the town that is the administrative center of the Mountain, on the land of the Koutloumousiou Monastery.

Although most Greek churches operate under the authority of the autocephalous Greek Orthodox Church, Mt. Áthōs is still under the direct jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Constantinople.

Over the years, monasteries were founded, not just by Greeks,
Latin Patriarchs
of Constantinople,
Thomas Morosoni1204-1211
Sedē Vacantē, 1211-1215
Sedē Vacantē, 1219-1221
John Halgrin1226
Sedē Vacantē, 1233-1234
de Castro
Sedē Vacantē, 1251-1253
Pantaleon Giustiani1253-1286
City restored to Orthodox Patriarch, 1261; Titular Latin Patriarchs, 1261-1948
Peter Correr1286-1302
Leonard Faliero1302-1305?
of Thebes
Gozio Battaglia1335-1339
Roland de Ast1339
Henry de Ast,
Bishop of
Stephen de Pinu1346
St. Peter Thomas,
of Crete
Paul, Archbishop
of Thebes
James d'Itri,
of Otranto
William, Bishop
of Urbino
Angelo Correr1390-1405
Pope Gregory XII
Louis, Archbishop
of Mitylene
Antonio Correr
of Seville
Francis Lando,
Patriarch of Grado
John Contarini1409-?,
John de La
Gregory Mamme1451-1459
Cardinal Bessarion1459-1472
Peter Riario1472-1474
Jerome Lanod,
of Crete
John Michael
John Borgia
Cardinal Francis
de Lorris
Tamás Bakócz1507-1521
unknown, 1521-1594
Silvio Savelli1594-1599
Bonifazio Bevilacqua Aldobrandini1598-1627?
unknown, 1627?-1640
Francesco Maria Macchiavelli1640-1641
Giovanni Giacomo Panciroli1641-1643
Giovanni Battista Spada1643-1675?
unknown, 1675?-1706
Lodovico Pico Della Mirandola1706-1718
Camillo Cybo1718-1743
Sedē Vacantē, 1743-1751
Ferdinando Maria de Rossi1751-1771?
Juan Portugal de la Puebla1771-1781
unknown, 1781-1823
Giuseppe della Porta Rodiani1823-1835
Giovanni Soglia Ceroni1835-1844
Fabio Maria Asquini1844-1851
Dominicus Lucciardi1851-1860
Iosephus Melchiades Ferlisi1860-1865
Latin Patriarch of Antioch, 1858-1860
Rogerius Aloysius Emygdius Antici Mattei1866-1878
Iacobus Gallo1878-1881
Sedē Vacantē, 1881-1887
Iulius Lenti1887-1895
Ioannes Baptista Casali del Drago1895-1899
Alexander Sanminiatelli Zabarella1899-1901
Carlo Nocella1901-1903, d.1908
Latin Patriarch of Antioch, 1899-1901
Giuseppe Ceppetelli1903-1917
Sedē Vacantē, 1917-1923
Michele Zezza di Zapponeta1923-1927
Antonio Anastasio Rossi1927-1948
Sedē Vacantē, 1948-1964;
abolished 1965
but by
Georgians, Serbs, Bulgarians, Russians, and even Italians. The Italians are now gone (there being the Schism and all), but there are also (modern) Romanians present, though they do not have their own monastery. Mt. Áthōs thus unites all the Orthodox Churches who share the theology of Constantinople.

The mysticism of the theology of Mt. Áthōs contrasts with the humanism of Mistra -- this is discussed elsewhere in relation to the Renaissance. The Great Laura Monastery, the first of many in this most sacred place, the Mt. Hiei, , of Orthodox Christianity, was built (961-963) by St. Athanasius during the Macedonian Dynasty. Tradition holds with some earlier foundations, and several small hermitages, as well as individual hermits in caves and elsewhere, certainly had been there for some time; but the Great Laura is the first for which there is contemporary historical documentation.

There are many more Patriarchs of Constantinople than there are Popes. Since the Emperor was present in the City, and religious issues were political issues that concerned the Emperor and the populace, many Patriarchs were deposed in doctrinal, jurisdictional, and purely political disputes, sometimes even to be reinstated.

This problem continued under the Ottomans, when the Sulṭān deposed Patriarchs 105 times, and 6 were even killed. Also, the Sulṭān once (1587) confiscated the Patriarchal seat, at the monastery of St. Mary Pammakaristos. The traditional Cathedral of Constantinople, of course, was the great Church of Santa (Sancta/Hagia) Sophia. With the Ottoman Conquest, this was immediately taken over as a mosque.

The Patriarchate briefly was based at the second church of the City, the Church of the Holy Apostles, which may already have been in disrepair. Afterwards, it was demolished by the Ottomans for the Mosque of the Sulṭān Meḥmed II (Fātih. Jāmi-i). When the Patriarchate settled in the Phanar Quarter, it was forbidden to build a new church, and forbidden to have any church with a dome. The church of St. George has been rebuilt more than once, and is still the seat of the Patriarch.

As in the Francis Ford Coppola quote discussed above, I begin to see popular comparisons of the Othrodox Church with Catholicism and Protestantism. Much Orthodox antipathy seems to be directed at St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430), even though Augustine lived long before the Schism between the Churches and so does properly count as a Saint in the Orthodox as well as in the Catholic tradition. Nevertheless, the Orthodox view seems to be that things in the West really began to go wrong starting with him. Augustine is unfavorably compared with his contemporary, St. John I Chrysostom ("Golden Mouth," c.347-407), Patriarch of Constantinople, 398-404.

One issue that definitely engages moderns is their attitude towards sex. Augustine sees Original Sin embodied in sex, and the involuntary sexual response itself represents the rebellion of Adam and Eve against God. Before the Fall, arousal was under voluntary control. This now seems rather bizarre, as it already did to Chrysostom. The Greek Church did not make the strong connection between sex and sin that the Catholic Church did. One consequence of this may have been the allowance for clerical marriage under Constantinople but the eventual requirement of clerical celibacy under Rome.

To be sure, Christianity is conflicted. St. Paul does say "It is better to marry than to burn" [I Corinthians 7:9], where we are given to understand that fornication is punishable by damnation. At the same time, orthodox Christianity did not go as far as Neoplatonism, Manicheanism, or Gnosticism, where matter and the body can be construed as intrinsically evil, requiring celibacy for all those, lay or clerical, seeking Salvation.

For a world-denying religion, Christianity represented a kind of Middle Way between ascetic mortification and hedonistic excess. Just where it comes down in the Middle is the question. It is clear from Genesis that the Fall has something to do with sex, since Adam and Eve become ashamed of their bodies. Whether this is a matter of privacy or of evil is open to interpretation.

After the Essenes, Judaism found nothing wrong about suitably private sexual activity. The Orthodox Church seems more in this vein. Having rebelled, not against God but against Catholicism, Protestantism has gone in many directions, though nearly all Protestant Churches have become accustomed to divorce, despite clear statements by Jesus against it except for adultery [Matthew 5:32]. The Catholic Church had drifted into forbidding divorce for any reason -- but now increasingly provides annulments as the equivalent. Orthodox divorce is easier than in Catholicism, though not as easy as in Protestantism. Orthodox priests can marry, but then they cannot rise further in the hierarchy.

Thus, the Church tends to get governed by priests who have taken monastic vows on top of the priesthood, and remain celibate. This is definitely more in the Christian tradition, where Protestants completely ignore the saying of Jesus: "And there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it" [Matthew 19:12]. Catholics forgot the "he that is able" part, while Protestants forget the whole thing.

Although the list of Bishops of Byzantium is given from the early days of the Church, this was not a particularly important city at the time, and one wonders about its historicity even more than with the early Bishops given for Rome. Much the same might be said about the early Armenian Church. The establishment of Christianity in Armenia (301) and by Constantine (312) for Rome, and then the founding of Constantinople (324-330), all bring the lists fully into history -- whence to continue until the present day.

The Armenian
Patriarchs of
Hovakim I1461-1478
Nigolayos I1478-1489
Garabed I1489-1509
Mardiros I1509-1526
Krikor I1526-1537
Astvadzadur I1537-1550
Stepanos I1550-1560
Diradur I1561-1563, 1596-1599
Hagop I1563-1573
Hovhannes I1573-1581
Tovmas I1581-1587
Sarkis I1587-1590
Hovhannes II1590-1591
Azaria I1591-1592
Sarkis II1592-1596
Melkisetek I1599-1600
Hovhannes III1600-1601, 1621-1623, 1631-1636
Krikor II1601-1608, 1611-1621, 1623-1626
Sedē Vacantē, 1608-1611
Zakaria I1636-1639
Tavit I1639-1641, 1643-1644, 1644-1649, 1650-1651
Giragos I1641-1642
Hacatur I1642-1643
Tovmas II1644, 1657-1659
Yegiazar I1651-1652
Hovhannes IV1652-1655
Sedē Vacantē, 1655-1657
Mardiros II1659-1660
Gazar I1660-1663
Hovhannes V1663-1664, 1665-1667
Sarkis III1664-1665, 1667-1670
Stepanos II1670-1674
Hovhannes VI1674-1675
Andreas I1673-1676
Garabed II1676-1679, 1680-1681, 1681-1684, 1686-1687, 1688-1689
Sarkis IV1679-1680
Toros I1681, 1687-1688
Yeprem I1684-1686, 1694-1698, 1701-1702
Hacadur II1688
Sedē Vacantē, 1689-1692
Matteos I1692-1694
Melkisetek II1698-1699, 1700-1701
Mihitar I1699-1700
Avedik I1702-1703, 1704-1706
Kalust Gaydzag I1703-1704
Nerses I1704
Mardiros III1706
Mikayel I1706-1707
Sahag I1707, 1708-1714
Hovhannes VII1707-1708
Hovhannes VIII1714-1715
Hovhannes IX1715-1741
Hagop II1741-1749, 1752-1764
Brokhoron I1749
Minas I1749-1751
Kevork I1751-1752
Krikor III1764-1773
Zakaria II1773-1781, 1782-1799
Hovhannes X1781-1782
Taniel I1799-1800
Hovhannes XI1800-1801, 1802-1813
Krikor IV1801-1802
Abraham I1813-1815
Bogos I1815-1823
Garabet III1823-1831
Stepanos II1831-1839, 1840-1841
Hagopos III1839-1840, 1848-1856
Astvadzadur II1841-1844
Matteos II1844-1848
Kevork II1856-1860
Sarkis V1860-1861
Bogos II1863-1869
Ignatios I1869
Mgrdich, Mkrtich Khrimian1869-1873
Patriarch of Armenia, 1892-1907
Nerses II1874-1884
Harutyun I1885-1888
Horen I1888-1894
Sedē Vacantē, 1894-1896
Zaven Der
Sedē Vacantē, 1922-1927
Mesrob I
Sedē Vacantē, 1943-1951
Sedē Vacantē, 1961-1963
Karekin II
Mesrop II
Aram Ateshyanlocum tenens,
Karekin Bekdjianlocum tenens,

A benchmark on the survival of Classical and later Greek literature can be found in the Bibiotheca of the Patriarch Photius the Great (858-867, 877-886), which contains 280 reviews. This is not a catalogue of existing literature, or of a particular library, not even that of Photius. It is a treatment of works familiar to Photius, apart from the mainstream of general education, that Photius is recommending to his brother Tarasius. Thus, popular authors like Homer, Plato, Aristotle, or the Greek playwrights are missing from the list. Photius' treatment ranges from brief descriptions and evaluations to long summaries and discussions.

Of the 386 works mentioned by Photius, 239 are theological. Nevertheless, only 43% of the text actually focuses on them. The majority of the text (in a book whose modern edition in Greek is 1600 pages long) is thus secular. For example, in addressing A History of Events After Alexander (in ten books) by the Roman historian Arrian of Nicomedia (an early member of the Second Sophistic), we get a long summary of those very events, which are often obscure enough that every description helps. Although much of Arrian survives, and his Anabasis Alexandri is the best account of the campaigns of Alexander, all we have of A History of Events After Alexander is Photius' summary.

Our benchmark is that about half of the works mentioned by Photius, like the Events, are now lost. It is distressing to think of what survived, despite the Dark Ages, and then what later disasters, like the Fourth Crusade, may have cost us. It is hard to imagine an undisturbed Constantinople being subsequently so careless with its literary heritage. At no other Court of the age could visitors have found the nobility quoting Homer. [cf. Photius, The Bibiotheca, A selection translated with notes by N.G. Wilson, Duckworth, London, 1994.] Photius, whose Bibliotheca was only part of his literary output, was a major political figure and himself was responsible for the mission of St. Cyril (Constantine, 827-869)and Methodius (826-885) to convert the Slavs.

When the Crusaders took Constantinople in 1204, a Latin Patriarch was installed. This event, of course, is still remembered with bitterness in Greece and all the Orthodox Churches, since it fatally weakened in the Orthodox world in the face of the threat of the Turks. Even when the City was retaken by the Palaeologi in 1261, the Latin Patriarch fled, and the line continued with a titular Patriarch living in Rome until falling vacant in 1948. The position was than formally abolished, with some other Latin Patriarchates, in 1965, certainly as part of the ecumenical reconciliation of Pope Paul VI with the Patriarch Athenagoras. This confusion of multiple Patriarchs, however, is typical for the other classical Patriarchal Sees. No less than four prelates, for instance, claim the title of Patriarch of Alexandria and of Jerusalem. There are also at least six Patriarchs of Antioch.

After the Turkish conquest, Meḥmed II saw to it that an Armenian Patriarchate was installed in Constantinople. It has survived ever since, although few Armenians remained in Turkey after World War I and its aftermath. The first Patriarch, Hovakim, was the Metropolitan of Bursa, which had been the Ottoman capital prior to Constatinople and Adrianople.

This institution was part of the Ottoman "Millet" (i.e. "nation") system, where the Patriarch consequently had authority over all Armenian Christians in the Ottoman Empire. The "Millet" provided for communal autonomy in areas that were not preempted by the national government or by the involvement of Muslims. The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople was in turn responsible for the "Millet of Rūm," which more or less meant Greek Christians in the Empire, but strictly speaking included anyone else under the religious authority of the Patriarch.

The Walls of Constantinople, initially completed in 413, despite their preservation, are rarely noted or acknowledged as one of the architectural wonders of the Ancient World. This is probably because of the ideological blind spot that afflicts historians who dislike the world of Late Antiquity and ignore or despise "Byzantine" history.

There came to be strong religious associations with the Walls. They were protected by Holy Icons like the Hodēgētria (the Virgin who "Shows the Way," kept at the Hodegon Monastery) or the Blachernitissa (or Blacherniotissa), the Virgin of the Chruch of Mary at Blachernae, where the Maphorion, the Robe of the Virgin, was kept and where there was a miraculous Spring, quite close to the Wall itself.

The Icon had been brought out to protect the City during sieges (the Maphorion is supposed to have repulsed the Avars in 626). Both Icon and Robe disappeared with the Fall of the City -- although there is no mention of them after the Church burned in 1434. One story, however, is that the last Emperor, Constantine XI, was praying to the Icon the night before the City fell, and as he watched, it was taken up to Heaven. He therefore knew what was going to happen the next day.

Similarly, the Emperor, whose body disappeared when he threw himself into the fight as the Turks breached the Walls and poured into the City, was believed by many to subsequently be asleep under the Golden Gate, though which he would rise and reënter the City. This may be one reason why the Golden Gate has been kept closed up since the Conquest, and the Turkish government has at times displayed some alarm at reports of mummified bodies being transported out of the City.

The See of Athens
Gregory IVBishop, 1827-1828
Anthimus VII1828-1833
Neophytus VAutocelphus, 1833-1862, Metropolitan, 1850-1862
Michael IV1862-1862
Procopius I1874-1889
Germanus II1889-1896
Procopius II1896-1901
Theocletus I1902-1917, 1920-1922
Meletius III1918-1920
Chrysostomos I1923, Archbishop, 1923-1938
Damaskinos1938, 1941-1949
Theocletus II1957-1962
Chrysostomos II1962-1967
Ieronymos I1967-1973
Ieronymos II2008-present
Over the years, the question must have come up many times whether the Patriarch should simply quit what now is so unfriendly a City. Fortunately, he has not, and so a single institution continues in İstanbul that has survived right from the days of Constantine. Now, since confusion would arise by calling the Patriarch's Church "Greek Orthodox," it has become customary to identify him as the "Ecumenical" Patriarch. Before 1833, however, worries about the Church of Constantinople not being the "Greek Orthodox Church" would be anachronistic. Since the language and liturgy of the Church of Constantinople has always been Greek, "Greek Orthodox" in historic terms is always going to mean the Church that used the Greek language. "Greek Orthodox" is still used for other Churches, as of
Jerusalem, that have nothing to do with the Greek national Church but that are in doctrinal communion with the Patriarch of Constantinople.

While most Americans would think of the Patriarch of Constantinople as the head of the Greek Orthodox Church, this is not necessarily the case and gives rise to some confusion. The problem began when Greece revolted against the Turks in 1821. The unfortunate Patriarch Gregory V (1797-1798, 1806-1808, & 1818-1821) was actually hanged because of suspected sympathy for the revolt, or perhaps just to discourage and terrorize local Greeks.

Greek independence was recognized in 1830, and a Greek national Church then broke away from the Patriarchate in 1833. The Patriarch recognized the Greek Church as autocephalous in 1850. The Bishop of Athens became the Primate of Greece; and at that point, the "Greek Orthodox Church" can simply mean the Greek national Church, not the Church of the Patriarch. The Bishop became an Archbishop in 1923, officially the "Archbishop of Athens and All Greece," Ἀρχιεπίσκοπος Ἀθηνῶν καὶ πάσης Ἑλλάδος

Further tension between Greece and the Turks occurred in the Balkan Wars and World War I, when Greece was fighting with the Allies. After the War, Greece was one of the Occupying Powers and contributed a member to the High Commissioners in Constantinople (1918-1923). Greece then seized Smyrna (İzmir) and invaded Anatolia. Soundly defeating the Greeks, the Turks directed considerable displeasure at the unfortunate Patriarch and then expelled nearly all ethnic Greeks remaining in Turkey -- as part of an "exchange" with Greece, so that Christians left Turkey and Muslims left Greece -- although many of the former were actually Turkish speaking and the latter Greek speaking. This means that the Patriarch is just about all that is left of the ancient Greek community in İstanbul.

The direct authority of the Arbishop of Athens as the Primate of Greece is actually just for the territory of Greece as it was before the Balkan Wars. The remaining lands, now part of Greece, had been under the authority of the Patriarch of Constantinople and in principle still are. However, the practical administration of everything, except, I think Mt. Athos, is exericsed by the Archbishop.

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Coptic and Melkite
Patriarchs of Alexandria

Patriarchs of Alexandria
St. Mark I
the Evangelist
Mark II142-152
St. Dionysius248-264
St. Peter I300-311
St. Alexander I313-328
St. Athanasius I328-373
Frumentius, first Primate
of Ethiopia, c.305?
Peter II373-380
Timothy I380-385
Theophilus I385-412
leads Destruction
of the Serapeum, 391
St. Cyril I412-444
Suppressed Novitian Sect, 412; expells Jews from Alexandria, 414; murder of Hypatia, 415; Ecumenical Council III, Ephesus I, Nestorianism condemned, 431
Dioscorus I
d. 454
President of "Robber"
Council, Ephesus II, 449, Monophysitism affirmed, still recognized by Monophysite Churches; Council IV, Chalcedon, Monophysitism condemned, 451
St. Proterius452-457
Lynched by Monophysite mob
Timotheos II Eluros/Ailuros, "the Cat"
Coptic Patriarchs
or Coptic Popes,
of Alexandria
Petros III the Iberian, Monge/Mongos, "Raspy Voice/Stammeer"477,
Riots against pagans and pagan teachers, 486
Athanasios II Keletes489-496
Yoannis I496-505
Yoannis II505-516
Dioscoros II516-517
Timotheos III517-535
Theodosios I535-566
[Petros IV]575-578
[Benjamin I]626-665
Yoannis III681-689
Simeon I692-700
Alexandros II702-729
Kosma I729-730
Theodoros I (Theodosios II)730-742
Mikhael I743-767
Mina I767-775
Yoannis IV776-799
Markos II799-819
Simeon II830
Yousab I831-849
Mikhael II
Kosma II851-858
Shenouda I859-880
Mikhael III
Sedē Vacantē, 907-910
Gabriel I910-921
Kosma III921-933
Macari I933?-953?
Mina II956-974
Patriarchate moves
to Cairo, 960
Shenouda II1032-1046
Kirellos II1078-1092
Mikhael IV1092-1102
Macari II1102-1128
Sedē Vacantē, 1128-1131
Gabriel II1131-1145
Mikhael IV or V1145-1146
Yoannis V1146-1166
Markos III1166-1189
Yoannis VI1189-1216
Sedē Vacantē, 1216-1235
Kirellos III1235-1243
Sedē Vacantē, 1243-1250
Athanasios III1250-1261
Yoannis VII1261-1268,
Gabriel III1268-1271
Theodosios III1294-1300
Yoannis VIII1300-1320
Yoannis IX1320-1327
Benjamin II1327-1339
Petros V1340-1348
Marcos IV1348-1363
Yoannis X1363-1369
Gabriel IV1370-1378
Matheos I1378-1408
Gabriel V1408/9-
"Mikhael IV"?1428
Yoannis XI1428-1453
Matheos II1453-1466
Gabriel VI1466-1475
Sedē Vacantē, 1475-1477
Mikhail IV (VII)1477-1478
Sedē Vacantē, 1478-1480
Yoannis XII1480-1483
Yoannis XIII1483-1524
Sedē Vacantē, 1524-1526
Gabriel VII1526-1569
Sedē Vacantē, 1569-1573
Yoannis XIV1573-1589
Gabriel VIII1590-1601
Sedē Vacantē, 1601-1610
Marcos V (VI)1610-1621?
Yoannis XV1621?-1631?
Matheos III1631?-1645?
Marcos VI (VII)1645?-1660
Matheos IV1660-1676
Yoannis XVI1676-1718
Petros VI1718-1726
Yoannis XVII1727-1745
Markos VIII1745-1770
Yoannis XVIII1770-1797
Markos IX1797-1810
Petros VII1810-1854
Kirellos IV1854-1861
Dimitrios II1862-1870
Sedē Vacantē, 1870-1874
Kirellos V1874-1928
Yoannis XIX1929-1942
Sedē Vacantē, 1942-1944
Makari III1944-1945
Yusab II1946-1956
First Ethiopian Primate of Ethiopia, 1950; autonomous Patriarchate of Ethiopia, 1959
Sedē Vacantē, 1956-1959
Kirellos VI1959-1971
Shenouda III1971-2012
Anba Pachomiuslocum tenens, 2012
Theodoros, Tawadros II2012-
There is no way of knowing whether St. Mark was the first Patriarch of Alexandria, but there is little doubt that the Christian community in Egypt is very old. Even before Christianity was officially tolerated, Egypt was one of the strongholds of the new religion. There seem to have been affinities between Christianity and traditional Egyptian religiosity. Some of the iconography of traditional Egyptian religion could be adapted to Christianity. Isis suckling Horus now becomes Mary suckling Jesus. Egypt also benefits from the Biblical tradition that Mary and Joseph fled to Egypt with Jesus to avoid Herod's slaughter of the children. Sites of the Family's sojourn are still revered.

The influence of the Egyptian Church on the Church in general then becomes considerable. Monasticism really began in Egypt, apparently with St. Antony (d.356). The most important doctrinal influence, however, came from the Patriarch St. Athanasius, who attended the Council of Nicaea in 325, strongly opposing the doctrine of Arius (Arianism) that Christ was perfect Man but not perfect God. Since Arianism enjoyed considerable Imperial favor until Theodosius I, Athanasius experienced a good deal of trouble. He was exiled to Trier (335-337) and then to Rome (339-346). Constantius II tried to arrest him in 356, but he escaped into the desert until the Emperor died in 361. He was unmolested from 366 to his death in 373. Several opposing Patriarchs will be noted in the list. Athanasian Orthodoxy, that Christ was God of God, was established at the Second Ecumenical Council in 381. But even centuries later, we find a Unitarian like Thomas Jefferson complaining that Athanasius was the one who had ruined Christianity, turning it from a moral teaching into magical superstition. However, what could be more Egyptian than the idea that the King is God!

Elected Patriarch in 412, Cyril immediately began sometimes violent actions against anyone whom he regarded as heretics, including the Perfect Orestes. First this was against the Novatians, a heterodox sect that thought that Christians who left Christianity during the persecutions should not be allowed back in. This was ancient history at that point, by a century. But Cyril closed their churches and confiscated their property.

Then in 414, after some disturbances, he turned on Alexandria's Jews, who, of course had been there for centuries. Cyril looted the synagogues and ordered the Jews expelled from the city. Orestes complained that only the Prefect could order anything of the sort; and so Cyril sent a mob of monks against him, one of whom hit Orestes with a rock, resutling in his arrest and execution. But Cyril was nowhere done.

Cyril controlled a kind of gang, the parabalani, παραβολᾶνοι, who ostensively were volunteers who cared for the sick and took charge of the dead -- Anthony Kaldellis calls them "orderlies" [The New Roman Empire, Oxford, 2024, p.170]. But, commanded by Cyril, they were used as a gang of thugs. These were dispatched against the famous pagan philosopher Hypatia, who was tortured and murdered in a way that looked like nothing so much as a human sacrifice.

This was shocking to contemporaries, and the Emperor Theodosius II issued decrees against Cyril and his agents, mitigated, evidently, by bribes. For instance, the Theodosian Code contains a law restricted the enrolment of the parabalani in Alexandria to 500. This does not sound like enough of a measure to curtail their terrorism; but it did quiet Cyril down for most of the rest of his reign. The damage, of course, was done, and could not be undone. Mobs of fanatics knew they could largely get away with anything. There were again riots against pagan teachers in 486.

The next great doctrinal controversy involving Egypt had grave and enduring consequences for the Egyptian Church. At the Fourth Ecumenical Council at Chalcedon in 451 the doctrine was condemned that Christ had only one Nature. This was Monophysitism, from mónē phýsis, "one nature," μόνη φύσις, in Greek.
Melkite, Μελχίτης,
or Greek
Patriarchs of Alexandria
Timothy III Salophakiolos, "Crazy Hat"460-475,
Peter III477,
John I482 ,
d. 489
Athanasius II489-496
John II496-505
John III505-516
Dioscorus II516-517
Timothy IV517-535
[Gainas]535, d.?
Theodosius I535-536,
John IV569-579
Sedē Vacantē, 579-581
St. Eulogius I581-607
St. Theodore607-609
St. John V610-619
Sedē Vacantē, 619-621
George I621-631
Peter IV643-651
Sedē Vacantē, 651-727
Theodore IICoadjutor,
Peter VCoadjutor,
Peter VICoadjutor,
Cosmas I727-768
Christopher I817-841
Sophronius I841-860
Michael I860-870
Michael II870-903
Sedē Vacantē, 903-907
Said ib Bitriq
Sophronius II941
Sedē Vacantē, 960-963
Elias I963-1000
St. Arsenius1000-1010
Theophilus II1010-1020
George II1021-1052
Alexander II1059-1062
John VI1062-1100?
Eulogius IIc.1110
Cyril II?
Theodosius II?
Sophronius III<1166-1171
Elias II1171-1175
Mark III1180-1209
Nicholas I1210-1243
Gregory I1243-1263
Nicholas II1263-1276
Athanasius III1276-1316
Gregory II1316-1354
Gregory III1354-1366
Mark IV1385-1389
Nicholas III1389-1398
Gregory IV1398-1412
Nicholas IV1412-1417
Athanasius IV1417-1425
Mark V1425-1435
Mark VI1459-1484
Gregory V1484-1486
Sedē Vacantē, 1567-1569
Meletius I1590-1601
Cyril III Lucaris1601-1620
Patriarch of Constantinople, 1612,
Gerasimus I1620-1636
Parthenius I1678-1688
Gerasimus II1688-1710,
Cosmas II1712-1714,
Cosmas III1737-1746
Gerasimus III1783-1788
Parthenius II1788-1805
Theophilus III1805-1825
Hierotheus I1825-1845
Hierotheus II1847-1858
Sophronius IV1870-1899
Meletius II1926-1935
Nicholas V1936-1939
Christopher II1939-1966,
Sedē Vacantē, 1966-1968
Nicholas VI1968-1986
Parthenius III1987-1996
Peter VII1997-2004
Theodore II2004-present
Greek and Latin Orthodoxy would be that Christ had two Natures, human and divine. One Nature, however, was the position of the Patriarch Dioscorus of Alexandria, Διόσκορος ὁ Ἀλεξανδρεύς, who was then deposed.

But that was nowhere near the end of the matter. The Egyptians supported Dioscorus and Monophysitism, and their support soon translated into a national revival and a cultural, at least, revolt against the Imperial (the Roman Catholic) Church.

The Egyptian Church now began using the spoken language of Egypt, later called Coptic, as its liturgical language, writing it in an adaptation of the Greek alphabet. This now preserved complete the latest stage of the Ancient Egyptian language, which in the 19th century became one of the keys to the decipherment of Egyptian hieroglyphics.

After a tug-of-war between the Monophysite Patriarch Timothy II Eluros (457-460, 475-477) and the Chalcedonian Timothy III (460-475, 477-482, d.482), we get rival Patriarchs, a dualism that continues until today -- although at first several Patriarchs seem to be counted in both traditions, with Theodosius I deposed as Chalcedonian Patriarch but continuing as the Monophysite. Afterwards the lines definitively separate.

We thus get a Schism represented by the Monophysite Patriarch, the Coptic Patriarch, often called the Coptic Pope, opposed by the appointee of the Imperial Church, called the "Greek" or "Melkite," Μελχίτης, Patriarch.

"Melkite" means "Royal" (compare Hebrew melekh and Arabic malik), i.e. "Imperial." Since the Melkite Patriarch had little popular support in Egypt, one might expect that the Arab Conquest in 640 would have ended the line; but it didn't. Both Patriarchates continue down to the present. Indeed, there have been no less than four "Patriarchs of Alexandria":

  1. The original Coptic Patriarch, who has resided in Cairo since 960, when the city was founded by the Fatimid Caliphs (969).

  2. The Greek or Melchite Patriarch, given at right.

  3. The Latin Patriarch. In 1215, 1219, or thereabouts, during the Crusades, as at Constantinople, a Latin Church was created for Alexandria. In recent history, however, the titular Latin Patriarch lived in Rome, ruling through an Apostolic Vicar in Alexandria. The See fell vacant in 1954 and finally was simply abolished in 1964.

  4. The Coptic Catholic Patriarch. Despite the existence of a Latin Patriarch of Alexandria, and perhaps because he resided in Rome, in 1741 the Catholic Church organized a Coptic Counter-Church (the Coptic Catholic Church), which is like the Coptic Church in every way except that it accepts Roman doctrine and authority. At first this Church was headed by an "Apostolic Vicar," who, for all I know, may originally have been the representative of the Latin Patriarch. In 1895 the Vicar was raised to the status of a Patriarch. Counter-Churches have been created by Rome for many Eastern Churches. They sometimes differ in curious details from the original Church, for instance that the Coptic Counter-Church uses the Gregorian Calendar rather than the Julian Calendar still used by the Copts. Where the Coptic New Year is usually September 11, as in 2002, the Counter-Church would observe it on August 29. The Coptic Catholic Patriarch has lived in Alexandria, at the Church of the Resurrenction, whose construction was funded by the Austrian Emperor Franz Josef and dedicated in 1902.

The Schism over the Council of Chalcedon seems to have helped the Arab Conquest, since there was little local support for the persecuting Empire. The Patriarch of Alexandria, who would have been Andronikos (with some opposition), is supposed to have said that it was the Will of God that Egypt should fall to the Arabs. At the same time, European polemicists for many centuries would view the Arab Conquest as the punishment of God visited upon the Schismatics for their heterodoxy.

In the long run, as the Copts suffered increasing persecution and the marginalization and erosion of the commmunity, intensifying under the Mamlūks, their status has begun to seem no better, and indeed much worse, than it had been under the rule of Constantinople. Orthodox persecution gave literary life to the Coptic language. The Islamicization of Egypt has erased it as a spoken language.

A noteworthy moment in the history of the Egyptian Church was the career of the Melkite Patriarch Said ib Bitriq, or Eutychius (876-940, Patriarch, 933-940). Eutychius wrote a history of the world in Arabic, the Nazm al-Jawhar, or String of Pearls, beginning, as Mediaeval histories often did, with the Creation. This account is still of considerable interest because it is the first source to relate the story of the destruction of the Great Library of Alexandria after the Arab Conquest. However, Eutychius was writing three hundred years after the event and may be suspected of some bias and hosility. Since the story anachronistically includes both the 7th century Arab conqueror of Egypt, ʿAmr ibn al-ʿĀṣ, and the 6th century philosopher John Philoponus (c.490-c.570), we may suspect it of being a fabrication.

After the Conquest, conversion to Islām and use of the Arabic language began to spread in Egypt. The Coptic language survived as a spoken language at least until the 17th century. Now it only survives as the liturgical language of the Church. Coptic Christians, however, have been leaving Egypt, in great part because of attacks from Muslim fanatics that have developed as the result of the recent increase in Islāmic militancy. Not long ago, Copts were 10% of the population of Egypt. Now they may be no more than 6%. A Coptic desk calendar I have for 1997 was printed in Brooklyn. It is largely in English but is partially bilingual in....Arabic.

When I was in Egypt in 1969, my tour group from Beirut was met at the El-Moallaka Church in Old Cairo by the Priest, Shenouda Hanna. I bought a book he had written, Who Are The Copts?, which he autographed. The Coptic Patriarch at the time was Kirellos VI. Now, since 1971, the Patriarch is Shenouda III, and I find myself wondering if this is Shenouda Hanna. There are many Coptic websites about the Patriarch, but I have not been able to find the biographical information that would clarify the issue.

Finding complete lists of these Patriarchs has not been easy. Fortunately, Bruce R. Gordon's Regnal Chronologies came through, as it often has, even though the Patriarchs are not really "regnal." Gordon has lists of Patriarchs for many other Eastern Churches, but they don't always seem to be clearly identified with their doctrinal and institutional affiliation.

One traditional duty of the Patriarchs of Alexandria was appointing the Archbishop and Primate of Ethiopia, the Abune or Abuna (Arabic for "Our Father"). The first such appointee was Frumentius, a Syrian who had been living at the Ethiopian court for some time and journeyed to Alexandria in order to ask for a Bishop to be appointed. Traditionally, it is supposed to have been St. Athanasius himself who then appointed Frumentius to the post. However, the known dates of Athanasius are a bit late for the likely date of Frumentius's trip. After the advent of Islam, communication between the (now Coptic) Patriarch and Ethiopia was interrupted; but in the 12th century, appointments were resumed. It was always an Egyptian Coptic monk who was appointed; and by the 20th century, Ethiopians were beginning to think that maybe it was time for an Ethiopian to be Primate of Ethiopia. Negotiations over this in 1929 still resulted in an Egyptian monk as Archbishop and Primate, but with four Ethiopians concecrated as Bishops. After World War II, an Ethiopian, Basilos, had already been elected Primate, and in 1950 the Coptic Patriarch recognized him. In 1959 the Coptic Patriarch recognized the Ethiopian Church as an autocephalous Patriarchate, although in communion, of course, with Alexandria.
Coptic Catholic
Apostolic Vicars
Giusto Marsghi?–1748
Jacques de Kremsier1748–1751
Paolo d'Angnone1751–1757
Giuseppe de Sassello1757–1761
Roche Abou Kodsi Sabak de Ghirgha1761–1778, 1781, 1783–1785
Gervais d'Ormeal1778–1781
Jean Farargi1781–1783
Bishai Nosser1785–1787
Michelangelo Pacelli de Tricario1787–1788
Mathieu Righet1788–1822
Maximos Jouwed1822–1831
Théodore Abu Karim1832–1855
Athanasios Kyriakos Khouzam1855–1864
Agapios Bishai1866–1876
Antoun di Marco1876–1887
Antoun Nabad1887–1889
Simon Barraia1889–1892
Antoun Kabes1892–1895
Coptic Catholic Patriarchs
of Alexandria
Kyrillos Makarios1895-1908
Maximos Sedfaouilocum tenens, 1908–1927
Markos II Khouzam1927–1958
Stéphanos I Sidarouss1958–1986
Stephen II Ghattas1986–2006
Antonios Naguib2006–2013
Ibrahim Isaac Sidrak2013–present

In an ecumenical era, the doctrine of the Coptic Church has been subject to some rethinking. It has recently been brought to my attention that the Coptic, the Syrian Orthodox, and the Armenian Churches have rejected the term "Monophysite" and adopted the term "Miaphysite." The doctrinal difference that goes along with this, as I understand it, is that Jesus was both human and divine, as the Latin and Greek Churches agreed, but that these are united in One Nature. Now, this possibility goes all the way back to the original dispute. In the 5th century, Monophysites could be "Eutychian," that the One Nature of Jesus was entirely divine, or "Hesitant," that the One Nature was both human and divine. The latter could also be called "Severan" Monophysitism, after the deposed Patriarch of Antioch, Severus, who for some years led the Monophysite movement from exile in Egypt.

Now, Jesus being both human divine was precisely what the Latin and Greek Churches meant by "two natures." But Monophysites thought that "two natures" implied Nestorianism. The "Hesitant" or "Severan" formula showed some promise of unifying the doctrine of the Churches, but historically that didn't happen. If the "Miaphysite" formula, although the modern version of this, has a similar promise of ecumenical unification, that's fine -- though I don't know how the Pope or the Patriarch of Constantinople have responded. Today, the Coptic, Syriac, and Armenian Orthodox Churches all like to deny that they were ever Monophysite, meaning Eutychian, and that somehow this was all a misunderstanding of the theology. I think this is more an issue for historians than for interested theologians to decide. Warren Threadgold (A History of the Byzantine State and Society, Standford University Press, 1997) says that while most Monophysites were Hesitant (p.99), Dioscorus himself was indeed Eutychian (p.96). Terminologically, one thing that I have to go on is the explicit statement of Father Shenouda Hanna, in the book cited above:

The Coptic Orthodoxy has clung from the very beginning to the doctrines of monophysitism and monothelitism, that is the one nature and one will of Jesus Christ. [op.cit. p.22]

Since this was published in 1967, my guess would be that it antedates the introduction of the term "Miaphysite." This term itself doesn't help in understanding the doctrine. "Monophysite" combines monos, "one, sole," with physis, while "Miaphysite" combines the independent word for "one" in the feminine gender (to agree with physis), mia -- μία φύσις. Between monos and mia there is a distinction that doesn't make a difference, though certainly such a terminological difference can be used to represent conceptual differences. For example, "monotheism" means belief in one God, while "henotheism," using the independent word for "one" in the masculine gender, henos, has been used to mean belief in many gods, where one in particular is superior to the others (e.g. Zeus in Greek religion).

Thus, "Miaphysite" could be used, by definition, to mean absolutely anything. Now, I can understand the Copts and others being annoyed at terms from Greek and Latin Heresiology being applied to them, so "Miaphysite" accompanies a proprietary claim of self-description -- something very popular in ethnic identity movements. But if they think that "Monophysite" was improperly applied to them just because it always only meant the Eutychian doctrine, this is not true.

A curious presentation of the controversy is found in the recent Theodora, Actress, Empress, Saint, by David Potter [Oxford, 2015]. Potter says: the decades after Chalcedon, an increasingly bitter divide split the Church between, on one hand, the mostly Syrian and Egyptian theologians who maintained the single divine nature of Christ -- hence their identification as "Miaphysites" or "Monophysites," in much modern scholarship -- and supporters of the Council's decision, who were largely found in Anatolia, Palestine, and the empire's western provinces. [pp.19-20]

Here Potter implies that all dissenters to Chalcedon believed in "the single divine nature of Christ" and that terms like "Miaphysite" and "Monophysite" are modern and interchangeable. This seems to be wrong in several ways, since the Hesitant Monophysites thought that the one nature was both divine and human, while "Miaphysite" has been introduced precisely to deny the Eutychian form of monism.

In a footnote to this passage Potter gives us a bit more:

To hit on a general term to describe the theological opponents of Chalcedon is difficult, but to use the term "Monophysite" at this period is problematic as there was not a single coherent positive theology, hence my choice of the term "anti-Chalcedonian," which, while not ideal, comes closest to accuracy. [p.229 1:21]

This is equally odd. Potter himself has just given what looks like a sufficient "single coherent positive theology,"
On 15 February 2015, 20 Egyptian Coptic Christian workers, and one Ghanan worker, were kidnapped and beheaded in Libya by the forces of the "Islamic State," ISIS. The Coptic Patriarch Tawadros (Theodoros) II immediately delared all 21 to be Saints and Martyrs. In 2023, Pope Francis ruled that the 21 would also be recognized by the Catholic Church as Martyrs. They are commemorated on February 15 in both churches.
namely "the single divine nature of Christ," to warrant the use of the term that actually was used at the time, namely "Monophysite." He discusses none of the controversy that has motivated the introduction of "Miaphysite," and so he really leaves any details of Monophysite theology uninvestigated. If other scholars avoid either "Miaphysite" or "Monophysite" just to avoid the arguments, Potter might at least say so.

Otherwise, spurning both "Miaphysite" or "Monophysite" is unmotivated; and "anti-Chalcedonian" has the drawback of encompasing Nestorians (who ceased being part of the Catholic Church after the Third Council) as well as Monophysites. Potter refers to the Eutychian doctrine in the text, but only describes it as "so extreme" that the (Monophysite) Second Council of Ephesus condemned it [p.168]. We get no details about what it actually is, or how other Monophysite theology, i.e. the Hesitant, differed from it. This does not seem like proper attention to the matter in a scholarly book about the era and its religious disputes.

See the similarly awkward treatment with John Haldon's The Empire That Would Not Die, where "Miaphysite" is used uncritically, without explanation or discussion -- the sort of thing that should always make us suspicious about the motives and judgment of the author.

The House of Muḥammad ʾAlī in Egypt, 1805-1953 AD

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Greek Orthodox and Syrian Orthodox Patriarchs of Antioch

When the monks finish, they indicate that they are ready to talk. In an adjacent room, we discuss the Syrian [sic] Orthodox rite, so distinctive and affecting...

"Do you think," I asked the monk, "that these savages can win and that this land might become not only Judenfrei but also cleansed of the Christians who are the last in the world still speaking the language of Jesus?"

He doesn't hestitate: "Yes, barring a miracle, yes."

Bernard-Henri Lévy, "At a Monastery in Sight of Islamic State," The Wall Street Journal, October 9, 2015, A11; four monks remaining at the 4th century Mar Mattai Monastery, near Mosul, Iraq

Primates of the Apostolic See of Antioch
St. Peter the Apostle37/45-53
St. Ignatiusc.68-107
Hero I107-c.127
Eros/Heros IIc.154-c.169
Maximus I/Maximianus182-191
St. Babylas237-253
Paul of Samosata260/267-
Domnus I/Dmonus268-273
St. Philogonus/
Paulinus of Tyre323-324
St. Eustathius324-337
Eulalius5 months? 331-333
Stephanus I342-344
Patriarch of Constantinople, 360-370
St. Meletius361-381
Meletian Schism, 361-401; 381, President of Council II, Constantinople I
Dorotheus?rival, c.370
PaulinusPapal rival, c.371
Vitalius?rival, c.376
Flavian I381-404
John I428-442
Domnus II442-449
Maximus II449-455
Peter the Fuller465-466, 476-488
John II488-490
Stephanus II490-495
Stephen III?c.493
John Codonatus?c.495
Flavian II498-512
Severus of Antioch512-518, d.538/546
deposed in schism, exiled in Egypt, recognized by Syrian Church
Greek Orthodox/Melkite Patriarchs of Antioch
Paul I/II518-521
Ephraim of Amid
Domnus III546-561
Anastasius the Sinaite561-571, 593-599
Gregory I571-594
Anastasius II599-610
Gregory II610-620
Anastasius III620-628
Arab Conquest
George I640-656
George II690-695
Sedē Vacantē, 702-742
Stephen IV742-744
John IV797-810
Theodosius I852-860
Nicholas II860-879
George III902-917
Job II917-939
Theodorus II966-977
Antioch recovered by Romania, 969
John IV995-1000
Nicholas III1000-1003
Elias II1003-1010
George Lascaris1010-1015
Macarius the Virtuous1015-1023
Peter III1028-1051
John VI/
corresponds with Michael Psellus; Antioch falls to Turks, after 1071
Theodosius II1075-1084
John VII1090-1155
Antioch taken by Crusaders, 1098
John IX1155-1159
Athanasius I1166-1180
Theodosius III1180-1182
Elias III1182-1184
Christopher II1184-1185
Patriarchate was in exile at Constantinople
Theodore IV/Balsamon1185-1199
Simeon II1245-1268
Euthymius II1268-1269
Antioch falls to Mamlūks, 1268; Patriarchate returned to Antioch
Theodosius IV1269-1276
Theodosius V1276-1285
Patriarchate transferred to Damascus, 1342
Ignatius II1342-1386
Michael III1401-1410
Pachomius II1410-1411
Joachim II1411-1426
Mark III1426-1436
Dorotheus II1436-1454
Michael IV1454-1476
Mark IV1476
Joachim III1476-1483
Gregory III1483-1497
Dorotheus III1497-1523
Michael V1523-1541
Dorotheus IV1541-1543
Joachim IV Ibn Juma1543-1576
Michael VI Sabbagh1577-1581
Joachim V1581-1592
Joachim VI1593-1604
Dorotheus V1604-1611
Athanasius III Dabbas1611-1619
Ignatius III Attiyah1619-1631
Euthymius III1635-1636
Euthymius IV1636-1648
Michael III Zaim1648-1672
Athanasius IV Dabbas1686-1694
Cyril III Zaim1694-1720
Athanasius IV Dabbas1720-1724
Separation of the Melkites, Greek Patriarchs in Damascus
Restoration of Arab Patriarchs
Meletius II Doumani1899-1906
Gregory IV Haddad1906-1928
Alexander III Tahan1928-1958
Theodosius VI Abourjaily1958-1970
Elias IV Muawad1970-1979
Ignatius IV Hazim1979-2012
John X Yazigi2012-present
The list of the bishops of Antioch down to Cyril is given by Eusebius, the 4th century historian of the Church [The History of the Church, Penguin, 1965]. The rest of the list is from different websites. As with the Patriarchs of Jerusalem, the main list is commonly identified as "Greek Orthodox," but historically means the Melkite, i.e. Imperial, Church, which was in opposition to the Monophysite Patriarchs who rejected the Council of Chalcedon in 451. Today this line is self-identified as the "Antiochian Orthodox" Church, and the term "Melkite" is no longer used for it. The "Separation of the Melkites" in 1724 was a schism in the Church where a branch came into existence that entered into communion with Rome and is now called the "Melkite Greek Catholic" Church. The Greek Church was literally headed by Greeks until the "Restoration of the Arab Patriarchs" in 1899, when we get Arab, i.e. Syrian, instead of Greek Patriarchs. Antioch today is part of Turkey, separated from Syria by the French in 1939. The "Antiochian" Patriarch resides in Damascus.
Syriac Orthodox Patriarchs of Antioch
Sergius of Tella544-546
Sedē Vacantē, 546-550
Paul II the Black of Alexandria550-575
Sedē Vacantē, 575-581
Peter III of Raqqa581-591
Julian I591-595
Athanasius I Gammolo595-631
John II of the Sedre631-648
Severius II bar Masqeh667-681
Athanasius II683-686
Julian II686-708
Elias I709-723
Athanasius III724-740
Iwanis I740-754
Euwanis I754-?
Athanasius al-Sandali?-758
George I758-790
Quryaqos of Takrit793-817
Dionysius I of Tellmahreh817-845
John III846-873
Ignatius II878-883
Theodosius Romanos of Takrit887-896
Dionysius II897-909
John IV Qurzahli910-922
Baselius I923-935
John V936-953
Iwanis II954-957
Dionysius III958-961
Abraham I962-963
John VI Sarigta965-985
Athanasius IV of Salah986-1002
John VII bar Abdun1004-1033
Dionysius IV Yahya1034-1044
Sedē Vacantē, 1044-1049
John VIII1049-1057
Athanasius V1058-1063
John IX bar Shushan1063-1073
Baselius II1074-1075
John Abdun1075-1077
Dionysius V Lazaros1077-1078
Iwanis III1080-1082
Dionysius VI1088-1090
Athanasius VI bar Khamoro1091-1129
John X bar Mawdyono1129-1137
Athanasius VII bar Qutreh1138-1166
Michael I the Great1166-1199
Athanasius VIII1200-1207
John XI1208-1220
Ignatius III David1222-1252
John XII bar Madani1252-1263
Ignatius IV Yeshu1264-1282
Philoxenos I Nemrud1283-1292
Michael II1292-1312
Michael III Yeshu1312-1349
Baselius III Gabriel1349-1387
Philoxenos II the Writer1387-1421
Baselius IV Shemun1421-1444
Ignatius Behnam al-Hadli1445-1454
Ignatius Khalaf1455-1483
Ignatius John XIII1483-1493
Ignatius Nuh of Lebanon1493-1509
Ignatius Yeshu I1509-1512
Ignatius Jacob I1512-1517
Ignatius David I1517-1520
Ignatius Abd-Allah I1520-1557
Ignatius Nemet Allah I1557-1576
Ignatius David II Shah1576-1591
Ignatius Pilate I1591-1597
Ignatius Hadayat Allah1597-1639
Ignatius Simon I1640-1659
Ignatius Yeshu II Qamsheh1659-1662
Ignatius Abdul Masih I1662-1686
Ignatius Andrew AkhidjanCatholic counter-
Patriarch, 1662–1677
Ignatius Peter SahbadinCatholic counter-
Patriarch, 1677–1702
Ignatius George II1687-1708
Ignatius Isaac Azar1709-1722
Ignatius Shukr Allah II1722-1745
Ignatius George III1745-1768
Ignatius George IV1768-1781
Schism with Syrian Catholics, 1782
Ignatius Matthew1782-1817
Ignatius Yunan1817-1818
Ignatius George V1819-1837
Ignatius Elias II1838-1847
Ignatius Jacob II1847-1871
Ignatius Peter IV1872-1894
Ignatius Abdul Masih II1895-1905
Ignatius Abd Allah II1906-1915
Ignatius Elias III1917-1932
Ignatius Afram I Barsoum1933-1957
Ignatius Jacob III1957-1980
Ignatius Zakka Iwas1980-2014
Ignatius Aphrem II2014-present

My understanding is that there are at least five different lineages claiming to be the Patriarchs of Antioch, as follows, with the addition of the discontinued Latin Patriarchate. Two of these are Catholic Counter-Churches, created or recognized by the Vatican to duplicate the native "Schismatic" Churches in outward form, but agreeing with Rome in doctrine and in acknowledging the authority of the Pope.

  1. Orthodox Melkite, as with the Melkite, Μελχίτης, Church at Alexandria. This is the line often called "Greek Orthodox" as it is in conformity with the theology of the Patriarch of Constantinople, although, like many such Orthodox Churches, autocephalous i.e. autonomous. The Church today is self-characterized as the "Antiochian Orthodox" Church. "Melkite" is generally no longer used. The Patriarch actually resides in Damascus.
  2. Catholic Melkite, a Catholic Counter-Church for the Melkite one. However, this was not created by the Catholic Church but originated in a disputed election in 1724. In 1729 the losing candidate was recognized by the Pope as the Patriarch Cyril VI, who then entered into conformity with Roman doctrine and authority. Pope Gregory XVI (1831-1846) recognized Maxim III (1833- 1855) as Patriarch of Alexandria and Jerusalem as well as Antioch. Thus, even today the Church is self-styled the "Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarchate of Antioch and all the East, of Alexandria, and of Jerusalem."
  3. Syriac Orthodox. "Syrian" Orthodox is now a term avoided to prevent confusion with the modern state of Syria, although historically the Chruch was indeed associated with geographical Syria, and as late as 1981 the Patriarch Zakka Iwas confirmed that the proper name of the Church was the "Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch," and that any other name "is not only alien and foreign, but also a distortion, falsification and forgery of the historical truth" -- a barb that was probably aimed more at the Assyrians than at any use of the term "Syriac." This Church is often called the "Jacobite" Church, a name that comes from Jacob Baradaeus (Yaqub bar-Addai), who was made Bishop of Edessa in 542 and then promoted Monophysite theology. Previously the Monophysite cause was championed by the Patriarch Severus of Antioch, who had been deposed (518) but then led the movement from exile in Egypt. He died either in 538 or 546, and so possibly was off the scene when Jacob Baradaeus became active -- where his activity included travelling around through Egypt and Syria ordaining Monophysite priests. The first of the line of Monophysite Patriarchs of Antioch, Sergius of Tella, appears soon afterwards (544) The installation of Jacob was on the recommendation of the Monophysite Ghassanid ruler al-Harith V to the Empress Theodora. The Monophysite sympathies of Theordora thus fostered the very existence of the Syrian Orthodox Church. Edessa came to be the center of Syrian Orthodox intellectual life, long remained an important city in the Middle Ages, and was one of the early Crusader States. The ancient language of Edessa was a dialect of Eastern Syriac and, as Classical Syriac, became the intermediary of transation of Greek philosophy ultimately into Arabic. Edessa today is the city of Urfa in Turkey. The large Syriac Christian population of the area was hit by the Turkish attacks on Armenians and other Christians during World War I and today has dwindled to a small remant. Similarly, there are Syriac Orthodox Christians in Iraq who have also suffered from Islamist and nationalistic attacks. Thus, the largest Syriac Orthodox communities are in the United States, the Netherlands, and other Western countries.
  4. Syriac Catholic, the Catholic Counter-Church to the Orthodox one. It began with a disputed election in 1782, with the Catholic candidate recognized by Rome in 1783. There had previously been two Catholic counter- Patriarchs between 1662 and 1702.
  5. Maronite. The Maronite Patriarch in Lebanon is styled the Patriarch of Antioch. The Church is now doctrinally in union with Rome, avoiding the need for a Catholic Counter-Church.
  6. Latin. The Latin Patriarchate, as at Constantinople, Jerusalem, and Alexandria, was created during the Crusades, in this case in 1098 by the first Prince of Antioch. It fell vacant in 1953, and was formally abolished, like Alexandria, in 1964.

The language of Roman Syria and Palestine was a descendant of Aramaic. This is usually still called "Aramaic" by linguists and anthropologists but "Syriac" by historians. After the Schism over Chalcedon, Syriac replaced Greek as the liturgical language of the local Church. This grew into something of larger historical importance, as various books of Greek philosophy, as well as religious works, were translated into the language.

Syriac translation of Greek philosophers then became models and stepping stones to the Arabic translations of the 9th century, usually carried out by Syriac speakers who learned Greek and Arabic. The dialect of Syria proper, Western Syriac, only barely survives in three villages near Damascus. Interestingly, we thus see that the Syrian linguistic and religious boundaries are different, with the former west of Edessa and the later East of it. The cultural and religious boundary, indeed, reflects that of the Late Roman Empire. The map below right shows the contrasting boundaries (this also has icons for the Assyrian and Chaldean Patriarchies).

John of Damascus

An interesting case of the linguistic landscape is the theologian John of Damascus (d.749), Ἰωάννης ὁ Δαμασκηνός, يُوحَنَا ٱلدِّمَشْقِي, Yūḥanā ad-Dimashqī. John is usually called a "Christian Arab," and his father was an official of the Omayyad Caliphate -- with a name that will be the reign title of an Abbasid Caliph. But the family in Damascus was old, and his grandfather was a Roman official before the Arab Conquest.
Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarchs of Antioch, Jerusalem, and Alexandria
Cyril VI Tanas1724-1759
Athanasius IV Jawhar1759-1760, 1765-1768, 1788-1794
Maximos II Hakim1760-1761
Theodosius V Dahan1761-1788
Cyril VII Siaj1794-1796
Agapius II Matar1796-1812
Ignatius IV Sarruf1812
Athanasius V Matar1813-1814
Macarius IV Tawil1814-1815
Ignatius V Qattan1816-1833
Maxim III Mazlum1833-1855
Clement Bahouth1856-1864
Gregory II Youssef-
Peter IV Jaraijiry1898-1902
Cyril VIII Jaha1902-1916
Sedē Vacantē, 1916-1919
Demetrius I Qadi1919-1925
Cyril IX
Maximos IV
Cardinal Saïgh
Maximos V Hakim1967-2000
Gregory III Laham2000-2017
Jean-Clément JeanbartAdministrator,

Whether John was of Arab or local Syrian derivation revolves in part around this name, which we see in Arabic as يُوحَنَا ٱبْن مَنْصُور ٱبْن سَرْجُون, Yūḥanā ibn Manṣūr ibn Sarjūn, which gives the names of his father and grandfather, which look Arabic. But his given name does not look Arabic, where "John" would usually be يَحْيَى, Yaḥyā. Instead, it looks more like Syriac, as we see elsewhere as ܝܽܘܚܰܢܳܢ, Yuḥanon. My suspicion, therefore, with others, is that John's family was Syrian and that his father adopted an Arabic name to fit in. But John's given name is not that of an Arab.

Sean W. Anthony examines the evidence about the family of John of Damascus in "Fixing John Damascene's Biography: Historical Notes on His Family Background" [Journal of Early Christian Studies, 23:4, pp.607-627, 2015]. However, this "family background" means his immediate ancestors, not the ultimate derivation of the family, whether it is Arab or Syrian. What we do learn that may be relevant is that Anthony believes that Yuḥanon was his monastic name, not his family name. He quotes Gregory Barhebraeus (1226-1286) as ascribing to John the name ܩܘܪܝܢܝ ܒܪ ܡܢܨܘܪ (Qwryny br Mnṣwr), or Cyrene bar Manṣūr. Now "Cyrene," Κυρήνη, is neither Arabic nor Syriac, but Greek. Since John wrote in Greek, we might begin to wonder if that was itself his ancestral derivation. On the other hand, since "Cyrene" is a feminine name, this may confuse things further.

John himself was a very Orthodox theologian, accepting the doctrine of Constantinople (as in the Melkite Church) and weighing in to defend icons in the Iconoclasm controversy. This wins him recognition, not only in the Greek Church, but in the Latin Church also, where he is considered a Doctor of the Catholic Church.

Antioch is named after the second monarch of the Hellenistic Seleucid Dynasty, Antiochus I Soter. It is now a little hard to recapture the sense that it used to be the principal city of Syria (the third largest city of the Roman Empire, after Rome and Alexandria) right down to when it was taken by the Mamlūks in 1268. After that, Damascus quickly grew to dominance, and the Patriarchate reflects this when its seat was transferred there in 1342.

The Schism between the Imperial and Monophysite Churches is delayed a few years after Chalcedon. The Patriarch Severus was deposed in 518 and exiled to Egypt, but he retained the loyalty of most of the local Church, which elected a new Patriarch, Sergius of Tella, to succeed him -- though, as noted, active leadership was by then largely in the hands of Jacob Baradaeus.

A new development in Syriac Orthodox doctrine, the introduction of the term "Miaphysite," is addressed under the treatment of the Coptic Church.
Maronite Patriarchs of Lebanon
St. Youhanna/
John Maron I
Gebrael/Gabriel I
John Maron II
Youhanna/John I ?
Gregorius/Gregory I
Estephanos/Stephen I
John I/II
Yeshua/Joshua I
Daoud/David I
Gregorius/Gregory II ?
Yeshua/Joshua II
Youhanna/John II/III
Semaan/Simeon/Simon I /Chamoun I
Gregory II ?
Ermea/Jeremiah ?
Youhanna/John III/IV ?
Chamoun II ?
Chamoun III ?
Joseph El Gergessi1110-1120
Peter I1121-1130
Gregory of Halate1130-1141
Jacob of Ramate1141-1151
John III1151-1154
Peter II1154-1173
Peter of Lehfed1173-1199
Jeremiah of Amshit1199-1230
Daniel of Shamat1230-1239
John of Jaje1239-1245
Simon II1245-1277
Daniel of Hadshit1278-1282
Jeremiah of Dmalsa1282-1297
Simon III1297-1339
John IV1339-1357
Gabriel of Hjula1357-1367
John V1367-1404
John of Jaje1440-1445
Jacob of Hadeth1445-1468
Joseph of Hadeth1468-1492
Symeon of Hadeth1492-1524
Moussa Akari of Barida1524-1567
Michael Rizzi of Bkoufa1567-1581
Sarkis Rizzi of Bkoufa1581-1596
Union with Rome, 1584
Joseph Rizzi of Bkoufa1596-1608
John Maklouf of Ehden1608-1633
George Omaira of Ehden1633-1644
Joseph Halib of Akoura1644-1648
John Bawab of Safra1648-1656
George Rizkallah of Bseb'el1656-1670
Stephen Douaihy of Ehden1670-1704
briel of Blaouza1704-1705
Jacob Awad of Hasroun1705-1733
Joseph Dergham Khazen of Ghosta1733-1742
Symeon Awad of Hasroun1743-1756
Toubia El Khazen of Bekaata Kanaan1756-1766
Joseph Stephan of Ghosta1766-1793
Michael Fadel of Beirut1793-1795
Philip Gemayel of Bikfaya1795-1796
Joseph Tyan of Beirut1796-1808
John Helou of Ghosta1808-1823
Youssef Hobaish of Sahel Alma1823-1845
Youssef El Khazen of Ajaltoun1845-1854
Boulos Massad of Ashkout1854-1890
Hanna El Hajj of Dlebta1890-1898
Elias Hoayek of Hilta1898-1931
Antoun Arida of Bsharri1931-1955
Boulos Meoushi of Jezzine1955-1975
Anthony Khoraish of Ain Ibl1975-1986
Nasrallah Sfeir of Reyfoun1986-2011
Bechara Boutros al-Rahi2011-present

The area soon becomes troubled with war. In 540, Shah Khusro I of Persia sacked Antioch, while the Roman army was away fighting in Italy. This victory was commemorated with the construction of the Arch of Ctesiphon, the greatest suriving monument of Sassanid Persia. The Persians were back in 611, and by 613 had conquered all of Syria. The Emperor Heraclius defeated them with an invasion of Persia itself, and all the Persian conquests were restored in 628. The respite was brief. The Arabs secured all of Syria by 640. This abruptly introduced religious and cultural changes unlike any seen in Antioch since the city was founded by the Seleucids.

Indeed, although Antioch remained the principal city of the area for a while, it was never the home of an Islamic state, like Damascus or nearby Aleppo.

Unlike the other cities of Syria, however, Antioch returned more than once to Christian control. In 969, the Emperor Nicephorus II Phocas, riding on the reviving fortunes of Romania, recovered the city. It remained Roman for a good century, but then fell to the Seljuk Turks in the aftermath of the disastrous defeat at Manzikert in 1071. This catastrophe, however, set off a response -- the Crusades.

Antioch was the scene of one of the most formative events of the First Crusade. It was the greatest obstacle on the way to Jerusalem. Arriving in October 1097, the Crusaders did not get into the city until 3 June 1098. They were immediately beseiged in turn by Kerbuqua, Atabeg of Mosul. This looked like the end of the Crusade. However, the Franks were heartened by a vision that led to the discovery of the Holy Lance, the weapon that had pierced the side of Christ. They were thus inspired to sortee against the Atabeg's army, on 28 June 1098, and won a complete victory. In January 1099 Bohemond of Apulia was left as Prince of Antioch, and the rest of the Crusaders left for Jerusalem. Antioch remained a Crusader State until 1268.

When the Mamlūks took Antioch in that year, they largely destroyed the city, so that it could not again become a Christian foothold. They need not have worried, since no Christian power would come close again for centuries. Antioch became a minor city, eclipsed by Aleppo and Damascus.

A Christian power, however, did eventually determine its modern fate. When France occupied Syria as a League of Nations Mandate in 1920, they did so against active opposition, and during their tenure had to deal with violent resistance. It may have simply been a kind of anti-nationalist revenge that in 1939 France ceded Antioch and Alexandretta to Turkey. The cities continue under Turkish sovereignty, as Antakya and Iskenderun.

When I visited Antioch in 1970, I walked out of town to the cave Church traditionally associated with St. Peter. The people working on the farms along the way seemed to be speaking Arabic, even though everyone in the city itself appeared to be Turkish. I have not seen any information about the ethnic composition of the city in 1939, but the process of Turkification seems far advanced. Meanwhile, I am unware of which, if any, of the Christian Patriarchates of Antioch are actually resident in the city, or what kind of Christian population survives at all. The large Syriac Othrodox population of Turkey had mainly been centered to the east, around Edessa (Urfa) and Diyarbakir; but beginning in World War I, with attacks on them as well as on Armenians and Assyrians, most such Christians have fled the area.

A recent controversy of note in Turkey has been over the Syriac Orthodox Mor Gabriel Monastery, where a government land resurvey and hostile neighboring Muslim villagers have threatened the monastery, founded in 397 AD, with the loss of half of its land.

Since local Christians have been leaving the area for decades, few remain, and the monastery itself is down to three monks and twleve nuns [cf. The Wall Street Journal, March 7-8, 2009, p.A8]. The Turkish government is caught between the attraction of tourism and even Christian return, with economic benefits, and the Islamists, who would just as soon drive all non-Muslims out of the area, if not out of Turkey altogether, regardless of the consequences. As a land dispute, the matter has ended up in the Turkish courts, which have shown some reluctance to get drawn in. With observers and diplomats from the EU and international Christian and human rights organizations present, the courts are at least aware that they operate in a spotlight, with sensitive politcal issues on the line.

The introduction of Islamism into Turkish politics has reversed the hitherto friendly relations of Turkey with Israel and has intensified anti-Christian and anti-Greek attitudes in Turkey. Thus, the hostility of the locals for the Mor Gabriel Monastery is now more than reflected in the attitude and policy of the Turkish government. This does not bode well for the future of liberal society in Turkey or for the status of Turkey among the democracies, let alone that Turkish President Erdoğan has betrayed his own Islamist and dictatorial sentiments.

The Maronites began with a proposal in the Christological controversies of the early Church. This was Monotheletism, the idea that Jesus had two natures, thus conforming to Orthodoxy, but only one Will, intended as a concession to Monophysitism. Although the matter is poorly attested, this was supposed to have been the proposal of the monk Maron. The Emperor Heraclius briefly got this accepted as Orthodox, but it was eventually rejected.
Syriac Catholic Patriarchs of Antioch
Ignatius Michael III Jarweh1782–1800
Sedē Vacantē, 1800–1802
Ignatius Michael IV Daher1802–1810
Ignatius Simon II Zora1811–1818
Sedē Vacantē, 1818–1820
Ignatius Peter VII Jarweh1820–1851
Sedē Vacantē, 1851–1853
Ignatius Antony I Samhiri1853–1864
Sedē Vacantē, 1864–1866
Ignatius Philip I Arqous1866–1874
Ignatius George V Chelhot1874–1891
Sedē Vacantē, 1891–1893
Ignatius Behnam II Benni1893–1897
Ignatius Ephrem II Rahmani1898–1929
Ignatius Gabriel I Tappouni1929–1968
Ignatius Anthony II Hayek1968–1998
Ignatius Moses I Daoud1998–2001
Ignatius Peter VIII Abdel-Ahad2001–2008
Ignatius Joseph III Younan2009–present
This put the Maronites in conflict with the Imperial Church, but they were already on the outs with the majority Monophysities of Syria. By the end of the 5th century, long before Heraclius, Maronites were already moving for refuge to Mount Lebanon, also finding converts among the locals.

The early history of the Maronite Patriarchate is very obscure, with few dates and even uncertainty about the existence or identity of many Patriarchs. Indeed, it is not clear just when the notion would have arisen that the Maronite primate was supposed to be a Patriarch (of the Apostolic See of Antioch) at all.

Names that do not occur on all lists are followed by question marks, and the numbering of subsequent Maronite Patriarchs depends on which individuals are accepted as historical. It even looks like the original Maron, in the 5th century, is sometimes confused with the later Maron, after the Arab conquest in the 7th century, who became the first Patriarch -- or perhaps it is not a confusion. The first secure date and uncontroversial list of Patriarchs appears to begin in 1110, which significantly is soon after the arrival of the Crusaders in 1098. By then, the Lebanese had largely ceased speaking Aramaic and, with Muslim neighbors, adopted Arabic. However, the Church sometimes still wrote Arabic in the Western Syriac alphabet, a style called Karšūnī, Syriac ܓܰܪܫܽܘܢܺܝ, Arabic كَرْشُونِي.

With the Armenians of Lesser Armenia, the Maronites may have been the local Christians with the best relationship with the Crusaders. During the life of Outremer and after, between 1182 and 1584 the Maronites negotiated full doctrinal union with the Roman Catholic Church, while the Patriarch retained autocephalous control of his Church. The Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir was the third one to also be a Cardinal of the Catholic Church. Thus, the last Christological heresy, still surviving institutionally, is thus long gone doctrinally.

For a brief moment, the Shihābī Amīrs of Lebanon, 1697-1842, led the Maronites to Lebanese autonomy under the Ottoman Empire and almost achieved independence. Although France was sympathetic with this, British foreign policy, which aimed to maintain Turkey as a buffer against Russia, turned against it. Maronite Christians still form the major Christian community of the Republic of Lebanon, and the Lebanese Maronite Patriarch still regards himself as the proper Patriarch of Antioch.

While the Modern Republic of Lebanon was created by France in such a way as to ensure control by the Maronites, the greater birth rate of Muslims upset the balance and the Lebanese Civil War of the 1970's destroyed the agreement between the confessional communities that had previously preserved the peace and allowed the country to prosper. The community with the greatest birth rate, and the least prosperity, the Shiʿites, are now the most radicalized, still the least prosperous, and the most inclined to harbor terrorists, particularly "Hezbollah" (the Persian pronunciation of Arabic Ḥizbu-llāh, حِزْبُ ٱللّٰه), the "Party of God," and provoke Israel. In line with the ideology of Irān, and supplied with weapons from Irān through Syria, their focus is Apocalyptic, on the Jihād rather than on triffles like economic development. They simply believe in violence and war, which Western "liberals" find hard to understand -- even while the ideology and attitude creep into American "education."

Latin Patriarchs of Antioch

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Copyright (c) 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2024 Kelley L. Ross, Ph.D. All Rights Reserved

Greek Orthodox, Armenian, and
Latin Patriarchs of Jerusalem

καὶ κατελάβετο Δαυὶδ τὴν περιοχὴν Σιών, αὕτη ἡ πόλις τοῦ Δαυίδ.

Cepit autem David arcem Sion: haec est civitas David.

Nevertheless David took the stronghold of Zion;
the same is the City of David.

2 Samuel 5:7

ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἴπεν αὐτοῖς· οὐ βλέπετε ταῦτα πάντα; ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν, οὐ μὴ ἀφεθῇ ὧδε λίθος ἐπὶ λίθον, ὃς οὐ καταλυθήσεται.

Ipse autem respondens dixit eis: Videtis haec omnia? amen dico vobis, non relinquetur hic lapis super lapidem, qui non destruatur.

And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.

Matthew 24:2; speaking of the Temple of Herod.

διὰ τοῦτο δι᾽ ἡμᾶς Σιὼν ὡς ἀγρὸς ἀροτριαθήσεται, καὶ Ἰερουσαλὴμ ὡς ὀπωροφυλάκιον ἔσται καὶ τὸ ὄρος τοῦ οἴκου εἰς ἄλσος δρυμοῦ.

Proper hoc, causa vestri, Sion quasi ager arabitur, et Jerusalem quasi acervus lapidum erit, et mons templi in excelsa silvarum.

Therefore because of you Zion shall be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps of rubble, and the mountain of the temple thickets of woods.

Micah 3:12 [note]

Primates of the
Apostolic See of Jerusalem
James the Brother
of Jesus
Jewish War, 66-73; Jerusalem falls to Romans, Temple destroyed, 70
Symeon/Simon Ic.70-99
Justus I
Benjamin I
John/Ioannis I117-134
Matthew/Matthias I
Ioustos/Justus II
Joseph I
Revolt of Bar Kokhba, destruction of Jerusalem, 132-135
Maximus I
Ioulianos/Julian I
Gaios/Gaius I
Gaios/Gaius II
Julian II
Maximus II
Narcissus II
Makarios I314-333
Maximos III333-348
Cyrill/Cyrillos I350-386
John/Ioannis II386-417
Patriarchs of Jerusalem, 451
Anastasios I458-478
Elias/Helliah I494-516
John III516-524
Makarios II552, 564-575
John IV575-594
deported from Jerusalem by Persians, 614, Jerusalem occupied, 614-628
Sofronios I634-638
surrenders Jerusalem to the Caliph 'Umar, 638
Anastasios II?-706
John V706-735
Elias/Helliah II770-797
Thomas I807-820
John VI838-842
Sergios I842-844
Elias/Helliah III878-907
Sergios II908-911
Leontios I912-929
Athanasios I929-937
John VII964-966
Christodoulos II966-969
Thomas II969-978
Joseph II980-983
Church of the Holy Sepulchre destroyed by Fatimid Caliph al-Hākim, 1009
Theophilos I1012-1020
Nikiphoros I1020-1084
Sofronios II1020-1084
Church of the Holy Sepulchre rebuilt by Emperor Constantine IX Monomachus, after 1042
Efthymios I
Simon/Symeon II1084-1106
Jerusalem falls to the First Crusade, 1099
John VIII1106-1156
John IX1156-1166
Nikiforos II1166-1170
Leontios/Leodios II1170-1190
Jerusalem falls to Saladin, 1187
Dositheos I?-1191
Markos I?
Markos II1191-?
Euthimios II1223
Athanasios II1224-1236
Jerusalem ceded by Ayyubids back to Kingdom of Jerusalem, 1229
Sofronios III1236-1298
Battle of La Forbie, Jerusalem lost to Ayyubids, 1244
Gregory I
Athanasios III1313-1314
Gregory II1322
Dorotheos I1376-1417
Theophilos II1417-1424
Theophanis I1424-1431
Theophanis II1450
Athanasios IV1452-?
Jacob II1460
Gregory III1468-1493
Markos III1503
Dorotheos II1505-1537
Ottoman Turkish occupation, 1517
Sophronios IV1579-1608
Theophanis III1608-1644
Dositheos II1669-1707
Efarim/Efraim II1766-1771
Sophronios V1771-1775
Athanasios V1827-1845
Cyrill/Cyrillos II1845-1872
Prokopios II1872-1875
British occupation, 1918
Annexed by Jordan, 1948
Annexed by Israel, 1967
Theophilos III2005-present
As is often noted, Jerusalem is sacred to three religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. This distinguishes it from the other Christian Patriarchates -- Rome, Constantinople, Antioch, and Alexandria -- which are of no particular significance to Judaism or Islam. Jerusalem could be considered the oldest Christian Patriarchate. Christianity certainly began there and the first leaders of the religion lived there.

However, the ideas of a Church, of a hierarchy, of priests, and of a Patriarchate are all later developments. And then the Christian community, such as it was, disappeared in the chaos of the Jewish War. The growing root of Christianity was transferred elsewhere by leaders like St. Paul. The destruction of the Temple and the later annihilation of the whole city after the revolt in 135 probably helped destroy the base of the community who would have kept Christianity as a sect of Judaism. Instead, it grew into a heresy of Judaism and then a separate religion, spreading among Gentiles freed by Paul from the strictures of Jewish Law. Meanwhile, Jerusalem was rebuilt as a Roman city, Aelia Capitolina -- Jews were prohibited from entering except once a year to visit the Wailing Wall, believed to be the only remaining part of Solomon's Temple.

The numbers on the map of Jerusalem refer to the "Stations of the Cross," the route that Jesus took from his condemnation to the Crucifixion and burial. These are (1) the place of his condemnation by Pilate in the Antonia Fortress, (2) where he receives the Cross, (3) where he fell the first time, (4) where he met his mother, (5) where Simon of Cyrene took the Cross, (6) where Veronica wiped his face, (7) where he fell the second time, (8) where he met the women of Jerusalem, and (9) where he fell the third time. The 7th Station is actually the first one in the Christian rather than the Moslem Quarter of the City. The Stations after the 9th are all within the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. (10) Where Jesus was stripped of his clothes, (11) where he was nailed to the Cross, (12) where he died on the Cross, (13) where he was taken down, and (14) where he was laid in the tomb. Where the condemnation is thought to have taken place may well be in error, and many of the events along the way are not in the Gospels but a matter of local tradition. We see them all played out in Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ.

There has been an Armenian Patriarch in Jerusalem since shortly after the Islamic Conquest (636). Since the Armenians were Monophysites, the Arabs would have been happy to promote a division among Christians and create an authority that owed no loyalty to Constantinople.

This joins three other Patriarchs of Jerusalem:

  1. Greek Orthodox or Melkite, Μελχίτης, the main line we see at left here.
  2. Armenian, which is listed below right.
  3. Latin, established during the Crusades. See list and discussion below.
  4. Greek Catholic, dating from only 1724, the Catholic Counter- Church to the Orthodox one. It is unclear to me whether this is actually identical to the Greek Catholic Patriarch of Antioch, who is also styled the Patriarch of Jerusalem, or something else.

    In fact there are two other "Patriarchates" in Jerusalem:

  5. Coptic.
  6. Ethiopian.

Neither of these latter two Patriarchates, however, has an actual Patriarch. It would be odd if the Ethiopians did, when the Primate of Ethiopia himself did not become a Patriarch until 1959 -- previously the Ethiopian Church was subordinate to the Coptic Patriarch. Either way, the Ethiopian presence in Jerusalem seems extraordinary. There is even a small Ethiopian monastary on the roof of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Four monks sent to attend the Council of Florence in 1441.

The parts of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre are the province of different sects, as defined by the Status Quo decree issued by the Ottoman Sultān in 1852. Those involved are the Greeks, Catholics, Armenians, Copts, Ethiopians, and Syrians. The Syrians, i.e. the Syrian Orthodox, are the only ones not associated with a "Patriarchate" of Jerusalem -- their church in Jerusalem is St. Mark's. Disputes over jurisdiction in the Church led to one of the most extraordinary provisions:  The keys to the Church are in the charge of a particular Muslim family.

The 4th century historian of the Church, Eusebius, gives a list of bishops of Jerusalem down to Hermo. There is no way of knowing what evidence, traditions, or documents this may have been based on. There is certainly no independent evidence for it, but no lack of skepticism now about the historicity or possibility of such a thing. Apostolic succession and a lineage of transmission were, again, later conceptions and aspirations. Fictitious lines of transmission are not unknown even in Buddhism.

As the Church achieved toleration and then privileged status in the Roman Empire, the system of recognized Patriarchates developed. Jerusalem was certain to come in for special attention.
Armenian Patriarchs of Jerusalem
Abraham I638-669
Krikor I Yetesatzi669-696
Hovhannes I730-758
Abraham II885-909
Krikor II981-1006
Arsen1006-1008, 1008-1038
Simeon I1090-1109
Esayee I1133-1152
Abraham III of Jerusalem1180-1191
Abraham IV1215-1218
Hovhannes II1230-1238
Garabed I of Jerusalem1238-1254
Sarkis I1281-1313
Theodore I1313-1316
Vartan Areveltzi1323-1332
Hovhannes III Josleen1332-1341
Krikor III,
Giragos, coadjutor
Hovhannes IV Lehatzee1378-1386
Krikor IV of Egypt1386-1391
Esayee II1391-1394
Sarkis II1394-1415
Mardiros, coadjutor1399
Mesrob, coadjutor1402
Boghos Karnetzi1415-1419
Mardiros of Egypt1419-1430
Minas, coadjutor1426
Esayee III1430-1431
Hovhannes IV1431-1441
Abraham V Missirtzee1441-1454
Mgrdich Elovtzee1476-1479
Abraham VI Pereeahtzee1497-1485
Hovhannes V Missirtzee1485-1491
Mardiros Broosatzee1491-1501
Sarkis III1507-1517
Hovhannes VI1517-1522
Theodore II (Asdvadzadoor Merdeentzee)1532-1542, 1550-1551
Antreas Merdeentzee1551-83
David Merdeentzee1583-1613
Krikor V Kantzagehtzee1613-1645
Theodore III (Asdvadzadoor Daronetzee)1645-1664, 1665-1666, 1668-1670
Yeghiazar Hromglayetzee, coadjutor1664-1665
Yeghiazar1666-1668, 1670-1677
Theodore (Asdvadzadoor)1668-1670
Mardiros Khrimtzi1677-1680, 1681-1683
Hovhannes VII Amasyatzee1680
Lay Locum Tenens1683-1684
Hovhannes VIII Bolsetzi1684-1697
Simeon II1688-1691
Sedē Vacantē, 1691-1696
Minas Hamtetzi,
Kaloosd Hetoontzi, coadjutor
Krikor, coadjutor, Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople1704-1715
Krikor VI Shiravantzee, Chainbearer1715-1749
Hagop Nalian1749-1752, resigned
Teotoros IV1752-1761
Garabed II Tantchagetzee1761-1768
Boghos Vanetzee1768-1775
Hovhannes IX Kanapertzee1775-1793
Bedros Yevtogeeyatzee1793-1800
Teodoros V Vanetzi1800-1818
Kapriel Neegomeetatzee1818-1840
Boghos Atreeunoobolsetzi1824-1847
Zakaria Gopetzi1840-1846
Giragos of Jerusalem1846-1850
Hovhannes X of Smyrna1850-1860
Vertanes Locum Tenens1860-1864
Esayee IV of Talas1864-1885
Yeremya Der Sahagian1885-1889
Harootiun Vehabedian1889-1910
Sedē Vacantē, 1910-1921
Yeghishe Tourian1921-1929
Torkom Koushagian1929-1939
Mesrob Nishanian1939-1944
Guregh Israelian1944-1949
Sedē Vacantē, 1949-1957
Tiran Nersoyan1957-1958, unconsecrated
Sedē Vacantē, 1958-1960
Yeghishe Derderian1960-1990
Torkom Manoogian1990-2012
Nourhan Manougian2013-present
The Emperor
Constantine initiated the identification of the sites of the Crucification and burial of Jesus, and the building of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (dedicated 335) over them. Constantine's mother, the eighty-year-old St. Helena, is supposed to have been involved in identifying the sites, on a pilgrimage in 325 or 326, and was also believed to have discovered the actual Cross of the Crucifixion. She was said to have returned to Italy with various relics, including the Titulus Crucis, the plaque nailed to the Cross that identified Jesus as the "King of the Jews." This still exists where Helena reportedly deposited it, in the Church of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme. Argument continues about its antiquity.

One of the most important inhabitants of Jerusalem, or actually of the nearby Bethlehem, in the following period was St. Jerome (Eusebius Hieronymus), who had been secretary to the Pope, St. Damasus, who charged him to make a Latin translation of the Bible. After Damasus' death in 384, Jerome retired to Palestine to do this. It is hard to tell how much of the Vulgate is Jerome's original translation and how much he worked over from previous ones, but he completed the job. For the Old Testament, having learned Hebrew, Jerome could do his work from the original text, not just relying on the Greek translation, the Septuagint. Jerome is still regarded as one of the Doctors (i.e. Teachers) of the Catholic Church.

I have had occasion to note interesting features of Jerome's translation. Jerome more honestly translated the Hebrew word for "breast" than did the Jewish translators of the Septuagint. However, when Jesus quotes the Old Testament, Jerome does not always provide his own translation from the Old Testament to put in the New. This is less careful than the Evangelists, who always provide the Septuagint text, as far as I have seen, when Jesus quotes the Old Testament.

The first great event in the Mediaeval troubles of Jerusalem was the taking of the city by the Sassanid Persians in 614. The True Cross was removed from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre by Shah Khusro II. When the Emperor Heraclius defeated the Persians and Khusro was assassinated in 628, the Cross was returned. After a display in Constantinople, it was restored to Jerusalem in 629. The story is that Heraclius wanted to carry the Cross himself, but found it too heavy. The Patriarch of Jerusalem, Zacharias, suggested that the Emperor lay aside his Imperial Crown and robes. When he did so, the Cross became light enough to carry.

This moment of triumph was doomed to be brief. In 636 a new and unexpected, almost unbelievable enemy appeared, the Arab army of Islam. Heraclius's forces were defeated at the Battle of the Yarmuk and Jerusalem was occupied by the Caliph Omar. The consequences of this event echo down to the present day in undiminished force.

Omar himself, we are given to understand, was kind and magnanimus. When the Call to Prayer came as he was actually being shown the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Patriarch invited him to pray in the Church. Omar declined, saying that if he prayed there, "The Believers would come," and take over the Church as a site hallowed by the Caliph. So Omar went across the street to pray, where, predictably, the Mosque of Omar, , Masjid ʿUmar, was subsequently built.

Today other Islamic monuments, like the ʾal-Aqṣā Mosque, , are sometimes confused with the Mosque of Omar. The most conspicuous Islamic structure in Jerusalem is still the Dome of the Rock, , Qubbat aṣ-Ṣaḫrah, at the center of the Temple Mount, which was built by the Omayyad Caliph ʿAbd al-Malik (685-705). This was built over a rock from which, in a dream, the Prophet Muḥammad is supposed to have ascended to heaven -- the Miʿrāj, (literally "ladder" or "stairs," as in "Jacob's Ladder," also in a dream -- Genesis 28:12). This makes Jerusalem the third holiest city of Islam, after Mecca and Medina. The Dome also gets confused with the Mosque of Omar.

Why the arriving Arabs chose that rock to associate with Muḥammad's "Night Journey," , ʾal-ʾIsrāʾ, is a good question. Sūrah 17 of the Qurʾān (itself called ʾal-ʾIsrāʾ) refers to the "Farthest Mosque" -- ʾal-Aqṣā, , actually means "Farthest" -- for the journey, which is interpreted to mean Solomon's Temple, but there is no mention of a rock.

(While ʾal-ʾIsrāʾ itself means the "night journey," the Sūrah nicely reinforces this by adding , laylan, "by night.")

At the same time, it is generally thought that the "Noble Rock," , ʾaṣ-Ṣaḫrah al-Mušarrafah, was in the Holy of Holies of Solomon's Temple, upon which the Ark of Covenant was set. Unfortunately, the rock is too large to fit in the Holy of Holies described in detail by Josephus for Herod's Temple; and, really, it is too uneven to be an appropriate surface for the floor of such a place.

Also, there is no Biblical basis for that inference. Instead, when King David brought the Ark from Shiloh to his new city of Jerusalem, he placed it on a "threshing floor," , gōren, that he had bought from a Jebusite, , ʾOrnan -- one of the original inhabitants of the place -- and such a place should be up high enough where the wind could blow away the chaff. The rock under the Dome of the Rock cannot have been a threshing floor.

And we get no indication from the Bible that this had previously been a holy place. Indeed, if David had bought an elevated site from a heathen Jebusite, because it was already regarded as holy, this would have been a forbidden "high place," בַמַה, bamah (plural בַמוֺת, bamōth), of gentile religion, anathema to Israel. If the rock itself was a sacred object of the Jebusites, like the pre-Islamic character of the "Black Stone," أَلْحَجَرُ ٱلْأَسْوَد, ʾal-Ḥajaru l-ʾAswad, in the Kaʿabah of Mecca, and was consquently left uneven because of its sacred character, this also would have all made it anathema to Israel. A Jebusite "high place" and a Jebusite fetish object contradict multiple principles we can discern in Israelite religion. None of that makes any sense, nor is it Biblically attested.

Furthermore, it seems that this otherwise humble "threshing floor" site would then have been in the "City of David," which now lies just beyond the southern walls of the Old City -- whose present walls, of course, were built by the Ottoman Sulṭān Süleimān I.

That ideas about the rock figure in Jewish tradition is evident in the Talmud. There it is the "Foundation Stone," ʾEbhen ha-Šǝthīyyāh, . "Foundation" here, Šǝthīyyāh, , is from Šǝthī, , "warp," as in weaving, "warp and woof," šǝthī wā-ʿērebh, . There is no Biblical basis for this, and Christians, at least, can quote the testimony of Jesus, that "There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down," οὐ μὴ ἀφεθῇ ὧδε λίθος ἐπὶ λίθον, ὃς οὐ καταλυθήσεται [Matthew 24:2], which can easily be read to say, as Josephus himself says, that even the foundations of the Temple were demolished, which would have included something like the Wailing Wall.

The Wailing Wall, 1897, Henry Ossawa Tanner (1859-1937), Rhode Island School of Design Museum
In the absence of any remains of the Temple whatsoever, we might think that the foundations of the Temple Mount might, after centuries, be misidentified. We have testimony from the 4th Century, by the Christian "Pilgrim of Bordeaux," that Jews in Jerusalem were venerating a stone on what now is the Temple Mount. But this is already three centuries after the destruction of the Temple, and no later than references in the Talmud.

Today, many rabbinical authories prohibit Jews from visiting the Temple Mount, in part becaue the location of the Holy of Holies is unknown, and they might inadverently trespass on it. Objections to skepticism about the stone take several forms. It's size is rationalized with the suggestion that walls of the Holy of Holies rested on the stone itself, and there is a flat space on the stone that might be the right size for the Ark of the Covenant. However, again, none of that has a Biblical basis; and, as I have noted, it is inconsistent with the character of the site as a "threshing floor."

This leads to several intriguing questions. When Solomon built his Temple, do we have an explanation, or even an assertion, that he moved the Ark to a new site on Mt. Moriah, which is now the Temple Mount? Well, no. It seems like that would call for some explanation. The Bible says that Solomon used "Mt. Moriah," which is where Abraham is supposed to have almost sacrificed Isaac, but then it also says that this is still the "threshing floor of Ornan," , used by David [2 Chronicles 3:1]. Since the City of David is on a ridge continuous with the Temple Mount, "Mt. Moriah" is an ambiguious reference, although the area of the City David is now identified as on "Mt. Ophel," , ʿŌphel ("hill" or "fort"). But the "threshing floor" is not ambiguous. And if the Rock of the Dome of the Rock is supposed to be the site of the sacrifice of Abraham, that is not what the text says. Thus, if David placed the Ark in the city he built, that would mean it is in the City of David, near the Gihon Spring, not on the present Temple Mount.
Latin Patriarchs of Jerusalem
Arnulf of Chocques1099, 1112-1118
Dagobert of Pisa1099-1101, 1105-1107
Maurice of Portoad interim, 1101-1102
Ghibbelin of Arles1107-1112
Warmund, Garmond of Picquigny1119-1128
Stephen de La Feté1128-1130
William I of Malines1130-1145
Fulk of Angoulême1146-1157
Amalric of Nesle1157-1180
Jerusalem lost in 1187; seat of the Patriarch moved to Acre; Sedē Vacantē, 1191-1194
Michele de Corbeil1193–1194
Aimaro Monaco, Aimaro the Monk, dei Corbizzi1194-1202
Soffredo, Loffredo Errico Gaetani1202-1204
Albert Avogadro1204-1214
Raoul of Mérencourt1214-1225
Gerald of Lausanne1225-1238
Sedē Vacantē, 1238-1240
Robert of Nantes1240-1254
Jacques Pantaléon1255-1261
Pope Urban IV, 1261-1265
William II of Agen1261-1270
Thomas Agni of Cosenza1271-1277
John of Vercelli1278-1279
Nicholas of Hanapes1288-1294
Acre lost, moved to Cyprus, 1291; moved to Rome after 1374; only honorary patriarchs until 1847
Antony Beck1306-1311
Bishop of Durham, England, 1284-1310
Pierre Pleinecassagne1314–1318
Raimondo. Raymond Bequin, O.P. (Dominican)1324–1329
Peter Paludanus, Pierre de Palude, Pietro de la Palude, O.P.1329–1342
The Franciscan Grand Masters of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre, 1342-1830
Élie de Nabinal, O.F.M.1342
Pierre de Casa, O. Carm.1342–1348
Emanuele de Nabinal, O.F.M.1345
Guillaume Amici (Lamy)1349–1360
Philippe de Cabassole1361–1368
Guglielmo Militis, O.P.1369–1371
Guilherme Audibert de la Garde1371–1374
Philippe d'Alençon de Valois1375–1378
Guglielmo da Urbino, O.F.M.1379–?
At Avignon
Lope Fernández de Luna1380-1382
Bertrande de Chanac1382-1385
Aimone Séchal1385-1404
Francesc Eiximenis, Francesco Eximini, O.F.M.1408-1409
At Rome
Stephanus de Insula, Štefan, O.E.S.A.1379–1384
Ugo Roberti1396–1409
Sedē Vacantē, 1409-1419
Francisco Clemente Pérez Capera1419–1429
Leonardo Delfino (patriarch), O.F.M.1430–1434
Biagio Molino1434–1447
Cristoforo GaratoniAdministrator, 1448–1449
BessarionAdministrator, 1449–1458
Lorenzo Zanni (Lorenzo Zane)1458–1460
Louis de Haricuria1460–1479
Bartolomeo della Rovere, O.F.M.1480–1494
Giovanni Antonio Sangiorgio1500–1503
Bernardino López de Carvajal y Sande1503–1511
Sedē Vacantē, 1511-1523
Rodrigo de Carvajal1523–1539
Alessandro Farnese1539–1550
Cristoforo Spiriti1550–1556
Antonio Elio (Antonius Helius)1558–1576
Gian Antonio Facchinetti de Nuce1576-1584
Pope Innocent IX, 1591-1592
Scipione Gonzaga1585–1588
Fabio Blondus de Montealto, Fabio Biondi)1588–1618
Francesco Cennini de' Salamandri1618–1621
Diofebo Farnese1621–1622
Alfonso Manzanedo de Quiñones1622–1627
Domenico de' Marini1627–1635
Giovanni Battista Colonna1636–1637
Tegrimus Tegrimi1638–1641
Aegidius Ursinus de Vivere1641–1647
Camillo Massimo1653–1671
Egidio Colonna, O.S.B.1671–1686
Bandino Panciatichi1689–1690
Niccolo Pietro Bargellini1690–1694
Francesco Martelli1698–1706
Muzio Gaeta1708–1728
Vincent Louis Gotti1728–1729
Pompeo Aldrovandi1729–1734
Tommaso Cervini1734–1751
Tommaso de Moncada1751–1762
Giorgio Maria Lascaris1762–1795
Sedē Vacantē, 1795–1800
Michele di Pietro1800–1821
Francesco Maria Fenzi1816–1829
Augustus, Paolo Augusto Foscolo1830–1847
Latin Patriarch of Alexandria, 1847–1860
Return to Jerusalem, 1847
Joseph Valerga1847-1872
Giovanni Vincenzo Braco1872-1889
Latin patriarchate hierarchy re-established, 1889
Luigi Piavi1889-1905
Sedē Vacantē, 1905-1907
Filippo Camassei1907-1919
Luigi Balassina1920-1947
Sedē Vacantē, 1947-1949
Alberto Gori1949-1970
Giacomo Giuseppi Beltritti1970-1987
Michel Sabah1987-2008
Fouad Twal2008-2016
Sedē Vacantē, 2016-2020
Pierbattista Pizzaballa2020-present

There is now a body of opinion, hotly contested, of course, that the Temple of Solomon, and the Second Temple, of Herod, were not on the present Temple Mount, but south of there, in the City of David. However compelling the evidence, I doubt that Jewish tradition will change in the matter -- the Talmud is pretty authoritative in its own right -- and some claim that denying that the Temples were on the Temple Mount is anti-Semitic. However, we might pause to consider the consequences of such a change in belief.

After the Six Day War in 1967, I was at a party in Los Angeles and got talking to an Israeli who happened to be there. He was thrilled that the Old City of Jerusalem had been captured by Israel because this meant that the Temple could be rebuilt. The only impediment was that there was "a mosque" on the Temple Mount, which would have to be demolished. He did not seem aware of the historical status of the Dome of the Rock.

Of course, the Dome has not been demolished and the Temple has not been rebuilt; but I suspect that many Israelis would still like to do both. Indeed, when the Old City was captured in 1967, the commanding officer, General Uzi Narkiss (1925-1997), was urged by the Army's own chief rabbi to immediately blow up the Dome of the Rock. It took Defense Minister Moshe Dyan (1915-1981) to stop such talk.

Now, if the Temple of Solomon and that of Herod were not on the Temple Mount, problem solved. The Temple can be rebuilt, without touching a stone of either the Dome of the Rock or the ʾAl-ʾAqṣa Mosque. This has a certain appeal. Everyone would get to have their own cake. Also, questions about the Temple Mount were not unheard of at the time after the War.

I had an Israeli girlfriend in 1970, and she said it had been discovered that the Wailing Wall had nothing to do with the Temple. I have no idea where she had gotten that information, or even exactly what it was, but she did seem to relish the thought. She was not, of course, an observant Jew.

Another thing about my girlfriend was that she was half Yemeni. There were historic pre-Islamic Jewish Kingdoms in Yemen, but the Jews are all gone now. This ancestry made my girlfriend a "person of color" (POC), which falsifies the current claim of anti-Semites that Israelis are all European white people and that Israel prepresents "white supremacy" -- a favorite accusation, like calling everyone a "Nazi," of the Hitler-loving anti-Semitic Left. This is a lie, which the terrorist sympathizers know -- unless they are totally ignorant young fools, which is not uncommon in modern "education."

As it happens, strong evidence for the alternative location of the Temples is what Josephus says about the Antonia Fortress, built by Herod, which overlooked the Temple and is where Jesus was judged by Pilate, to be sent off to crucifixion at Golgotha. Modern reconstructions of Biblical Jerusalem place the Antonia Fortress as a relatively small structure at the north-west corner of the Temple Mount.

But, in truth, this cannot be the case. The Fortress would house the entire Legion X Fretensis, which was stationed in Jerusalem for centuries and participated in both the Jewish War and the Bar Kochba Revolt, while other legions were rotated into the country as needed. The modern reconstructions of the Antonia Fortress are nowhere large enough to hold an entire Roman legion, in the appropriate form of a legionary camp -- and there is no archaeological evidence for it. It is also inconsistent with its description by Josephus:

The inward parts had the largeness and form of a palace, it being parted into all kinds of rooms and other conveniences, such as courts, and places for bathing, and broad spaces for camps; insomuch that, by having all conveniences that cities wanted, it might seem to be composed of several cities, but by its magnificence, it seemed a palace. ["The Wars of the Jews," The Works of Josephus, Translated by William Whiston, Hendrickson Publishers, 1987, 2003, Chapter 5:8:241, p.708]

This does not sound remotely like the small castle that we see in the reconstructions; and it cannot have been, if it was to house 6000 legionaires and their auxiliaries and support personnel. "Broad spaces for camps" are just what an army needs for drills and training. The Temple Mount has that space, and in fact is roughly the size found elsewhere for legionary camps. Since the dimensions of Herod's Temple are known from Josephus, the reconstructions show the temple surrounded by a great deal of simple emptiness on the Temple Mount.

Reconstruction showing the Temple Mount as the Antonia Fortress and the Temple itself in the City of David, with connecting collonades as described by Josephus -- illustration prepared for the works of Ernest L. Martin

One attempt to cover this issue is the claim that only a cohort of the Legion, perhaps only 480 men, was actually stationed in the city. We see this in the Loeb Classical Library translation of Josephus, where he says that a τάγμα Ῥωμαίων is quartered in the Antonia Fortress, and this is translated "a Roman cohort" [Josephus IV, The Jewish War, Books V-VII, translated by H.St.J. Thackeray, Harvard, 1928, 1997, v.8.244, pp.242-243]. However, the Unabridged Liddell & Scott Greek-English Lexicon gives the meaning of τάγμα as "Lt. legio, legion," with multiple citations, not "Lt. cohors, cohort" [Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1843, 1940, 1996, p.1752].

This is consistent with the rest of the usage in Josephus, for instance at V.ii.3.67-70 [Loeb, pp.22-23], where he describes the movement of three different legions (V, XII, & XV), identified as τάγματα, and translated "legions" by Thackeray. Furthermore, a cohort in the city would imply a camp for the rest of the legion elsewhere, a rather permanent one, and no evidence of anything of the sort has been found. Nothing that Josephus says would support this, either. And we can see what a legionary camp looked like without leaving Palestine, since the Romans built one specifically for the siege of Masada. It had no use otherwise and was abandoned, with the desert preserving it for our inspection.

Since the translation by Thackeray is inconsistent, and for the Antonia Fortress the word τάγμα has been mistranslated as "cohort," we can see that Thackerary was aware, way back in 1928, of the problem of identifying a place in Jerusalem large enough for Legion X. He has dealt with the problem by his mistranslation, which still leaves the question hanging where most of Legion X would be camped -- over a period, we must remember, of centuries. Not like a temporary camp at Masada. Such a long occupation would have left its mark. But there is no evidence of it elsewhere. Instead, we can say that the "mark" of the Roman occupation is the present Temple Mount itself. Right in front of us.

It sometimes seems that certain Christians may be more enthusiastic than many Jews about the City of David theory for the Temple. Indeed, Christians and Jews who think that rebuilding the Temple is necessary for the coming of the Messiah (or coming back of the Messiah), but who do not want to face the problem of Muslim shrines on the Temple Mount, may well find appeal in the idea that the Temple can be rebuilt in the City of David.

On the other hand, Judaism has lasted for a long time without the Temple, and the practice and traditions of Judaism are all focused on the Temple Mount and the Wailing/Western Wall. The suggestion that this was all wrong, and that prayers made and left at the Wall were all misdirected, poses a very deep challenge to Jewish identity. Have all the centuries of religious practice in Jerusalem just been worthless? That seems like a lot to ask; and it is not surprising that the reaction is often, if not usually, disbelief and offense. We might regard the tradition itself as proof of the tradition. It is a lot easier for Christians to be unaffected by that. But then the dilemma of the Muslim monuments remains, condemning by their very existence a rebuilding of the Temple.

Meanwhile, we might return to the question of the Rock, about which much is now said, but which does not seem to be mentioned in either the Bible or the Qurʾān. Arriving in Jerusalem in 638, what would have attracted the attention of the Arabs to the stone? It may be that it was already venerated by the Jews, who could have said it was the site of Solomon's Temple. But it seems that it was venerated by Christians also. And Christians thought it important, not because of any association with the Temple, but because they thought that it is where Jesus was examined by Pontius Pilate -- as part of the Antonia Fortress.

Indeed, the Qurʾānic inscriptions on the Dome of the Rock are all about Jesus and don't mention either Solomon or even Muḥammad. From them, you would think that this had been a Christian site. This connection is no less speculative than any other theory about the Rock, but it does give it a status that, as a supposed part of the Temple, had never really made a whole lot of sense.

After the Islamic Conquest, it would be many years before Christian forces would return to Jerusalem. The Macedonian Roman Emperors, after retaking Antioch (969), entered Palestine and came close, but were not able to secure anything permanent or assault the city. It remained just out of reach.

A new era arrived for Jerusalem with the Crusades. The Emperor Alexius Comnenus, with the Turks overrunning Anatolia, appealed for help from the West. Help arrived, with only marginal interest in the Turks, but bent on recovering Jerusalem itself, 663 years after the original Islamic Conquest. The City was taken, amid scenes of indiscriminate slaughter. After the diplomatic niceties that had developed in the Middle East, this was regarded as nearly as appalling as it has seemed more recently.

The Crusaders, indeed, by comparison with contemporary Greeks or Arabs, were barbarians. In an era when Islamic terrorists blow up children with suicide bombs, however, judging the Crusaders too harshly seems a little anachronistic and disproportionate. Other objections, that the Crusades represent some kind of Western "imperialism," gloss over the question of what justified the original Islamic Conquest in the first place. Of course, nothing did. The Arabs had no moral or historical claims on the Levant, Iraq, Iran, or Egypt. Harsh judgments about the Crusaders 900 years ago, while winking at, or even supporting, Terrorists today, gives us a good example of moralistic relativism.

With the foundation of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem, we get a new Patriarchate at Jerusalem. The Greek/Melkite Patriarch was regarded as a Schismatic by the Franks, and we get a new Latin/Catholic Patriarch in communion with Rome. Although the Latin Patriarch retreated with the declining fortunes of the Crusaders, to Acre and then Cyprus, and finally all the way to Rome after 1374, the idea was maintained, and a Latin Patriarch returned to Jerusalem in 1847.

Like the Latin Patriarchs of Constantinople, Antioch, and Alexandria, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem was thus living a kind of fictional existence for several centuries, far from his supposed jurisdiction. However, where the other Latin Patriarchates were eventually abolished, the return of a Latin Patriarch to Jerusalem bespeaks a status beyond mere hostility to the Greek Church and the Patriarch of Constantinople. Jerusalem is a significant enough site that a Latin Patriarch is not just a rival to the Orthodox Patriarchs. The Catholic Church should have its own presence.

After the Ayyubids, Mamluks, and Ottomans ruled Palestine and Jerusalem, the city's sleep of ages ended in 1918. General Allenby arrived with the British Army, driving the Turks before him. Allenby entered the city, as we see, on foot. A Christian power now secured the city for the first time since 1244. The British, however, although with a phlegmatic kind of pious interest in the city, were no Crusaders. Far from securing the Holy Places for Christendom, the British arrived burdened with promises to allow the creation of a Jewish National Home in Palestine.

Conflicting promises and reassurances to the Arabs prepared the ground for one of the most bitter, durable, and dangerous conflicts of the 20th, and now the 21st, century. When Palestine was partitioned in 1948, the city of Jerusalem ended up itself divided, with the Old City annexed to Jordan, and most of the New City made the capital of an independent Israel. The city was reunited in 1967 and all of it annexed to Israel. This action has not been accepted by Palestinians, the United Nations, or until recently even the United States -- which didn't recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in the first place, since the UN partition plan made it some kind of international city.

Israeli governments, on the other hand, have vowed never to divide the city again. And now Jerusalem has been recognized as the capital of Israel by Donald Trump, fulfilling a promise made by many Presidents but not previously carried out. There is still little hope of a compromise or peaceful solution to all this, though it is obvious that at least some of the city (e.g. the Temple Mount) should be part of a dual sovereignty condominium. Such things have been done, though mainly between friendly powers.

At the moment (2021), there seems less chance of a friendly rapprochement between Israel and the Palestinians than ever, while Israel normalizes relations with more Arab countries, who have been losing patience with the Palestinians. That was already in the air when I lived in Beirut in 1969-1970, and people told me that the Egyptians were going to make a separate peace, which later is what they did.

The list of Orthodox Patriarchs is from a combination of various sources on the internet and Eusebius' The History of the Church [Penguin, 1965]. Websites identify this lineage as the "Greek Orthodox" Patriarchs of Jerusalem. This is a little confusing, since today the "Greek Orthodox" Church may simply mean the national Church of Greece. But this national Church has only existed since Greek independence. Before then "Greek Orthodox" can only mean the Christian Church whose primary liturgical language was Greek, and for the entire Middle Ages that meant the Church of the Patriarch of Constantinople -- now commonly called the "Ecumenical" Patriarchate to distinguish him from the Greek national Church.

The Patriarchate of Jerusalem, however, was never any kind of subsidiary of the Patriarch of Constantinople. What did happen, however, was the Schism of the Latin and the Greek Church with those of Syria and Egypt over the Fourth Ecumenical Council, which declared the Monophysite doctrine, that Jesus had one nature, heretical. This divided the Patriarchates of Antioch and Alexandria into Monophysite ("Jacobite" and Coptic, respectively) and Imperial lines. The Imperial Church might be call the "Catholic" Church, as it was at the time, but this would now be confusing, since it has come to simply mean the Papal Latin Church of Rome -- after the Schism with the Greek Church in 1054.

The term used for the Middle Eastern Imperial Churches has been "Melkite," i.e. "Royal" (Hebrew melekh and Arabic malik, "king," the related Aramaic or Syriac term would have been the more immediate source). My understanding, therefore, is that the "Greek Orthodox" Patriarchs of Jerusalem are actually the Melkite Patriarchs. I may be confused about this, but full accounts of the situation are rare. There is, as it happens, an independent Monophysite Church represented in Jerusalem, and that is the line of Armenian Patriarchs, beginning with Abraham (638-669). It may be revealing that this starts right after the Islamic Conquest, when Imperial authorities could no longer object. The Armenian Patriarch presided over an actual Armenian Quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem, thus distinguished from the Christian, Jewish, and Muslim Quarters.

The list of Latin Patriarchs here has been updated with the relevant information from Wikipedia. Previous lists I had seen left out most of the titular Patriarchs who only resided in Rome. In that period, it is striking that Latin Patriarchs for Jerusalem were appointed by both Rome and Avignon during the Great Schism, showing that some importance must have been attached to the office even though now its very existence seems meaningless.

Jerusalem in Sacred Geography

In Mediaeval Europe, until the 13th century there was little progress in geographical knowledge. The view of the world came to be determined by a religious template. Most importantly, this meant that Jerusalem would be regarded as the center of all the lands of the earth. This actually did not mean that the educated thought that the earth was flat. Evidence for a round earth was known since the Pythagoreans, and Eratosthenes had estimated its diameter with considerable accuracy in the 3rd century BC. However, even given the best ancient geographical knowledge, Europe, Africa, and Asia could still more or less be fit into the circular form surrounded by the Ocean originally envisioned by the Greeks. Putting Jerusalem in the precise center of the circle did produce distortions.

Europeans didn't know much about the far reaches of Asia, but estimates of the distance to China in general were greater than the true distance. However, Jerusalem-centric maps generally were much more schematic than I show here and so introduce much greater distortions than just a foreshortening of Asia. Thus, an aesthetic urge to render the Mediterranean, Black, and Red Seas into a convenient "T" required that much that was already known be ignored. The "T maps" were therefore works of sacred rather than practical geography. The version I have produced at left is schematic but less so than many "T" maps. Even with overestimates of the size of Asia, the total known area of the earth seemed small in relation to the calculations of Eratosthenes. The "T" maps often have the convention of placing East at the top, while in general European custom puts the North at the top of maps and Arab geography puts South at the top.

The geographical centrality of Jerusalem had two consequences. One was that it encouraged Dante Alighieri (c.1265-1321) to regard Purgatory as having an actual terrestrial location, at the precise antipode of Jerusalem. This would put it now in open ocean a good bit south of the island of Rapa (or Rapa Iti, "Small Rapa," in contrast to Rapa Nui, "Great Rapa," a.k.a. Easter Island) in French Polynesia. In Dante's day that would make the place practically inaccessible to human travel. Even today, not many people are going to find themselves out there. How seriously Dante took this cosmology as literal geography is a good question, but it would be centuries before he would be in much danger of being contradicted.

Dante places the "Earthly Paradise" of the Garden of Eden at the summit of Purgatory. In the Bible, Eden is said to be "in the East" [Genesis 2:8] where "a river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and there it divided and became four rivers" -- the Pishon, Gihon, Tigris, and Euphrates [Genesis 2:10-14]. Thus, the "T" maps often show Eden at some indefinite point east of Jerusalem, i.e. above it on the "T" maps. As the sources of the Tigris and Euphrates are well known and adjacent, it has been argued by David Rohl that, if the Pishon is identified with the Uzun (Mardus, Rud-e-Safid) and the Gihon with the Aras (Araxes), the directions specify that Eden would be in the valley of Tabriz (the capital of the Il-Khāns and the Safavids) in Iranian Azerbaijanistan. Dante doesn't use any of these named rivers in the Purgatorio and so completely ignores the tradition of taking the Biblical clues as evidence of a familiar geographical location. One might think that he would postulate that Eden was moved after the Fall, but he affirms that Adam and Eve saw the same (Southern) sky over Eden that Dante and Virgil did.

The legend of a sacred and miraculous island in the Southern Ocean is also found in Buddhism. A mountain island of indefinite location thereabouts came to be regarded as , Poṭalaka (Fudaraku in Japanese), the home of the Boddhisattva Avalokiteshvara -- in Chinese, or Kannon in Japanese. It was an important part of the conception that the island be a mountain, since Avalokiteshvara is supposed to "look down" on the world and to hear all things. In the classic Chinese story, The Journey to the West, ("Record of the Western Journey"), Guanyin must intervene several times on behalf of the travelers, while the character Monkey repairs to Poṭalaka more than once in connection with this. Belief in the reality of the place became so vivid that Japanese ascetics are known to have set themselves adrift in small boats from the southern coasts of Japan, in the hope that the transit (Fudaraku tokai, "crossing to Fudaraku"), even if it resulted in death at sea, would fascilitate rebirth in the land of Kannon. Whether Dante had himself ever received word of such a miraculous place, which contributed to his conception of Purgatory, we probably cannot know. In any case, Europe was in no position for anyone to act on such a belief, as could the Japanese ascetics.

In the Inferno, Dante travels down through Hell, which is supposed to be centered directly under Jerusalem, a literal Underworld as most ancients had thought, and then emerges through the bottom of Hell up to Purgatory, at the far side of the world. In the image we see the structure of Purgatory, according to the system of the Seven Deadly Sins, as illustrated by Dorothy Sayers in the Penguin edition of the Purgatorio [note].

A modern, secular version of Dante's descent into the Underworld would be Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth [1864] -- although his travelers, starting in Iceland, manage to emerge no further than Italy. Italy, indeed, would be where Dante's journey began, since that is where he lived, with a Roman tradition that an entrance to the Underworld was located at Avernus, a volcanic crater lake in Campania. Since Dante's Hell was conical in shape, centered under Jerusalem, its edges and entrances would be on a perimeter at some distance from Jerusalem, as in Italy. Dante's idea was that the funnel shape of Hell was the result of the impact of Satan being thrown down from Heaven after the Revolt of the Angels. Thus, Dante has Satan lodged at the bottom of Hell, which presumably was then roofed over to make it a prison. Dante sees Purgatory created by the material thrust up opposite the point that Hell is pushed down. In fantasy and legend, the idea of mysterious hidden islands in the South Pacific still has its appeal, not only, as we have seen, with Poṭalaka, but to "Skull Island" of the King Kong movies [1933, 1976, 2006].

The other consequence of Eratosthenes' calculation was that many simply did not believe that the world could be that large in relation to the known land mass. An estimate by Arab astronomers of a much smaller earth seemed more reasonable, and that encouraged Christopher Columbus to believe that he could reach the Indies by sailing West across the Atlantic. Since Eratosthenes had been right, Columbus might have died in mid-ocean -- if it weren't for the convenient accident that there were unknown continents in the way. Indeed, sailing West, it is impossible to miss them. The "Indies" turned out to be the West Indies. Thus, as often happens, surprising truths emerge from embarrassing, or even suicidal, errors.


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Greek Orthodox, Armenian, and Latin Patriarchs of Jerusalem, Note 1;

We see the prophecy of Micah chillingly fulfilled in this aerial photograph of Jerusalem in 1917. The area of the City of David is simply plowed fields, terraced on the sloping ground. The Temple Mount is at the upper left, with the built up area of the city mostly within the 16th century city walls. In the foreground, on what is now often called "Mt. Zion," is the Benedictine Abbey of the Dormition, on land bought in 1898 by, of all people, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany.

The sobering and revealing truth of this is that the location of the City of David, i.e. the original Jerusalem, was at this point entirely forgotten. Its existence was not discovered until, first of all, in 1867. Later, the work of Israeli archaeologists was, of course, all after 1967, prior to which this area was in Jordan. By 1967, there was an Arab neighborhood (Silwan) on the site, and there are still complaints that the residents were dispossessed for the archaeology.

While the Bible is clear that Mt. Zion lies within the City of David, the very location of this key feature comes to be misapplied -- to the peak in the Western hills of the city, or to the Temple Mount. We might wonder what other features were misidentified over the centuries.

We see the topography in the map at left. Notice that North is at right on the map. The City of David is on the ridgeline between the Kidron and the Tyropoeon Valleys. We can see the advantages of this location for defense and why the Jebusite city was built there. This is where the Romans removed all traces of a city, resulting in the fields we see in 1917, even centuries later. Jerusalem would grow onto the much higher ground to the West, which becomes the "Upper City," below the peak that would be falsely identified as "Zion." Most of that would be abandoned, as the Mediaeval city grew to the North.

The execution ground of Golgotha, where Jesus was crucified, was well outside the city, across the Tyropoeon Valley, upon another ridge to the West. Since that became the site of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Mediaeval city grew around it. We can see this on the map at right, which is of Jerusalem in 1901. The dark building at upper left is the Benedictine Abbey. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is most of the way across the City, above the Temple Mount, which is to the West with the orientation of the map. The scale of the maps is similar, and they can almost be overlaid on each other.

If we ask why the City of David was not built on the higher ground in the first place, there are two answers. One is that there is too much ground. If the city won't be large enough, then its walls will not be able to take advantage of the natural slopes of the ridgeline. The City of David makes a better fortress if it can occupy the width of the ridgeline, so that its walls are on top of the steep sides of the ridge. The second reason is equally simple: There's no water on the higher ground. The Gihon Spring is below the City of David in the Kidron Valley. There is no other water nearby. Even this was awkward enough that King Hezekiah (it is thought) built a tunnel from the City down to the spring, so that it could be accessed from behind during a siege. The Assyrians were coming.

The bigger question concerns the ridgeline of the City of David as it extends to the North. The ground there rises and broadens, and it would later be identified as "Mt. Moriah" (or Zion) and the site of Solomon's Temple. We can imagine natural growth of the City of David being in that direction. However, it suffers from the same disabilities as the ground of the Upper City. The larger space, indeed might be desired for urban growth, but its access to water becomes increasingly a problem.

Now, in its modern form as the Temple Mount, there is no urban growth on it at all; and reconstructions of Jerusalem, which show the Temple there, make no such allowance. This concerns the issues that will be addressed in the text. But we can already ask why David, who obtained land upon which to erect the Tabernacle of the Ark of the Covenant, would have put this well outside his own city, far from the water needed for purification and to wash away the blood of sacrifices. This doesn't quite compute. If it was the Romans who occupied the Antonia Fortress on the site, they resorted to cisterns to catch rain water and eventually built an aqueduct to bring in water, as Romans were wont to do.

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Greek Orthodox, Armenian, and Latin Patriarchs of Jerusalem, Note 2;

Prospero   Though with their high wrongs I am struck to th' quick,
     Yet, with my nobler reason, 'gainst my fury
     Do I take part. The rarer action is
     In virtue than in vengeance. They, being penitent,
     The sole drift of my purpose doth extend
     Not a frown further.

The Tempest, William Shakespeare, Act 5, Scene 1:25-30

Purgatory is a unique conception of the Latin Roman Catholic Church. It was never accepted by the Orthodox Churches, subsequently was rejected by the Protestants, and is now not believed even by many Catholics. However, morally it is a superior conception.

The problem was the Christian doctrine that sincere repentance by a sinner and the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross mean that all sins are forgiven and washed clean. The proper moral retribution of "eternal punishment" is therefore voided and erased. This is not the manner of secular justice, where repentance and contrition may somewhat mitigate the sentence for a crime, especially in a plea bargain with a confession of guilt, but it does not erase the requirement for penal retribution and punishment.

The public is generally offended when condemned murderers begin to assert that they are forgiven and clean of sin because they have been redeemed by Christ. The impression is that they may have thereby become unrepentant and remain unmoved by the suffering of their victims. A version of this in popular culture is the fate of Darth Vader (Anakin Skywalker) in the Star Wars movies. We see that Vader has personally murdered many individuals and has ordered acts of mass murder, especially the destruction of the entire planet of Alderaan, with its whole population. Nevertheless, in Return of the Jedi [1983], Vader changes his mind, repents of his deeds, and so, after death, immediately becomes a transfigured being of light, along with the heroes Obi-wan Kenobi (whom Vader has killed) and Yoda. This is morally offensive. And it doesn't even come with the explanation that Christ Died for Our Sins and took the proper punishment onto himself.

Catholic doctrine thus tries to reconcile the requirements both of salvation and of retribution. If one has committed a wrong, such as a murder, that very well could mean one deserves damnation for eternity, then Christian doctrine offers the hope that genuine repentance can lead to redemption. Eternity is a long time, and other religious traditions with Hells, like Buddhism, do not actually see eternal punishment as necessary (although this is sometimes the belief). Christianity condemns for eternity the unrepentant, but allows forgiveness for the others. This seems appropriate.

However, even sincere repentance morally looks insufficient to simply void the justice of retribution. Catholicism, on the one hand, says that it does, since the doctrine is that the sin is eradicated, but, on the other hand, says that it doesn't, with the principle that the "stain of sin" can only be erased with the proper penance and "temporal [i.e. temporary or limited] punishment" [Catechism of the Catholic Church, Doubleday, 1995, pp. 407, 411; translation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, United States Catholic Conference, Inc., Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1994]. This applies even before death, in the ritual and procedures and Confession and Penance. Protestants, however, object that Jesus made no distinction between "eternal" and "temporal" punishment, and that the divine forgiveness of sin must have the same effect for all sin, whether that means now or in the hereafter. What is worse, Catholicism allows that even "temporal punishment" can be attenuated or voided by the Intercession of Saints or Indulgences granted by the Church. Protestants see no reason why Saints or the Church should be doing something that Jesus already had done in the first place.

The Catholic Church thus is caught by the logic of Christian doctrine and may be engaging in no less than a bit of sophistry when it comes to both penance and Purgatory. But its doctrine also neatly addresses both the hope of salvation and the requirements of justice. Something is still owing after repentance and forgiveness. Darth Vader eventually will be able to join Obi-wan and Yoda, but not until after working off his penance.

Catholic doctrine similarly tries to reconcile two other comparable issues, faith and works. Thus while Martin Luther is famous for the docrine of Salvation by Faith alone, Catholicism actually accepted this also. Even repentance in articulo mortis, at the moment of death, wins salvation. The difference then is, again, the role of Purgatory; for those who are only saved in articulo mortis have an extra delay in getting into heaven. Dante puts them in "Ante-Purgatory," where they must wait before passing through St. Peter's Gate and entering Purgatory proper. What good works and the Sacraments of the Church then accomplish is to speed up the process. If this is merely to give the Church something to do as a parasitic gatekeeper, it is not a worthy conception. However, if what it does is introduce a moral dimension in the process, which might otherwise be lost, it is important. Also, the concept of the transfer of merit, as from the Saints, is not unique to Catholicism. It is common in Buddhism also and serves the same purpose, to mitigate or cancel the punishment that morally is due to the sinner.

The whole issue involves the independence of the categories of moral and religious value. While it may be the case in Zoroastrianism that the good are those who are saved and the wicked are those who are damned, that is not the case in religions like Christianity, Islam, or Pure Land Buddhism. There, the good, like Dante's "virtuous pagans," may still find themselves cut off from salvation, while the wicked can find redemption through faith. Behind it all is the oldest expectation of most ancient religion, as in Greek mythology, that all the dead lead a miserable existence in the Underworld -- but also the newest expectation of modern life that death is simply the extinction of the self and eternal oblivion. Thus, both the just and the unjust either descend to Hades or simply and equally become nothing.

The promise of religion, then, ever since the Eleusinian Mysteries, is that something more and better awaits. It is then, on the one hand, comforting that religion offers the promise of salvation, even while, on the other hand, there is the implicit view that those who do not avail themselves of the means of salvation will, in the words of Sophocles, "suffer an evil lot" -- through no fault of their own. This is morally disturbing in its own right, although, to be sure, the atheist would have no grounds for complaint, having expected no better anyway. Nevertheless, the problem of reconciling salvation and morality seems to be another case of an antinomy of transcendence -- that, as Kant holds, attempts to conceptualize transcendent existence result in contradictions and paradoxes.

A moral equivalent to Purgatory may be identified in Pure Land Buddhism. Birth in the Pure Land is gained as a matter of faith in the Vow of the Buddha Amitābha, (Amida, Jp.). Even the most sinful can erase kalpas worth of evils by acts of faith and devotion. Thus, are they then free and clear of their sins? No, because there is a hierarchy of birth in the Pure Land, nine grades, which depend on one's merit -- i.e. on one's moral desserts. At the highest grades of birth, the dead are greeted and escorted to the Pure Land by Amitābha himself, attended by a great host of Bodhisattvas, monks, and deities, including the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara (Kannon, Jp.), who bears a lotus upon which the deceased will be reborn. Enclosed in the lotus, the dead at the higher grades of rebirth are released in short order. However, at the lowest levels of rebirth, one is greeted at death by no more than the lotus itself, whose opening in the Pure Land will be delayed. At the very lowest grade, the lotus will not open for 15 kalpas. Since this will mean millions of years, one is in effect condemned to solitary confinement for a period that could be expected, with any kind of psychological realism, to drive people insane.

It is very hard not to see that as punishment for sin, although, to be sure, one is not otherwise troubled with the sorts of tortures that characterize Buddhist hells. No one in the Pure Land experiences even thirst or hunger. Thus, as with Purgatory, we have a doctrine of the forgiveness of sin which nevertheless treats very differently those with more merit and less sin from those with less merit and more sin.

One Catholic explanation for the need for penance is rectification, by which the wrongs done through sinful action are, as much as possible, made right through reparation and restitution. However, reparation and restitution are not punishment. They are debts, and they tend to function like debts incurred in more innocent fashion. Thus, the victims of crime have recourse to civil law to obtain satisfaction for their material losses. A civil judgment may include punitive damages, but then this is indeed clearly over and above compensation for actual losses.

We are thus still left with the awkward question. What is it that still needs to be expiated by penance when sin is forgiven and restitution made? I don't think there is a good answer to this in Catholic, let alone Christian, doctrine. However, there is an answer from older religious practice and principles. What remains after forgiveness is pollution, something of which we might have been immediately sensible at the mention of the "stain of sin." A "stain," whether in religion or in ordinary life, marks pollution. This may be related to moral issues, but it is not the same thing. Heracles was required to perform his Labors in penance, after killing his wife and children, even though, having been driving mad by Hera, he was not morally responsible for his actions. The pollution was the same.

And, explicitly and self-consciously or not, this is what we see in the Catholic treatment of penance and Purgatory. Also, since pollution is not moral retribution and is now in a purely religious category, it may be expiated by purely religious, i.e. ritual, means. The Catholic who says a "Hail Mary" a number of times after absolution in the Confessional is neither making reparation nor, strictly speaking, being punished. This is a ritual act for ritual purposes. Similarly, a transfer of Merit from the Saints, or from the Buddha Amitābha, addresses a ritual more than a moral requirement.

A role for pollution in these considerations produces exactly the kind of attenuated sanction that is required for the Catholic conception of "temporal punishment." That it is related to moral retribution is evident in the Church's use of the term "punishment"; but it avoids the incoherence of this usage, as identified by Protestants, in that it is actually independent of moral sanction. Since Catholic doctrine really contains no theory of pollution, any more than Protestantism, it is doomed to incoherence or sophistry; yet it still remains morally more satisfying in that penance is still necessary for actions that initially were morally wrongful.

Crime and Punishment, Repentance, Restitution, and Atonement

The New Friesian Theory of Religious Value

Return to Sacred Geography Text

Patriarchs of Armenia and the East

The Armenian Patriarch,
or Catholicos
St. Thaddeus
the Apostle
St. Bartholomew
the Apostle
St. Zacharias68-72
St. Zementus72-76
St. Atrnerseh77-92
St. Mushe93-123
St. Shahen124-150
St. Shavarsh151-171
St. Leontius172-190
St. Merozanes240-270
St. Gregory I
the Enlightener
St. Aristaces I325-333
St. Vrtanes333-341
St. Husik341-347
Pharen I348-352
Nerses I353-373
Shahak I373-377
Aspuraces I381-386
St. Sahak I387-436
St. Hovsep I437-452
Dvin, 452-992
Moses I456-461
St. Kyud461-478
St. John I478-490
Papken I490-516
Samuel I516-526
Mushe I526-534
Sahak II534-539
Christopher I539-545
Nerses II548-557
John II557-574
Moses II574-604
Abraham I607-615
Christopher II628-630
accepts Monotheletism,
Synod of Theodosiopolis,
Nerses III
the Builder
Sahak III677-703
St. John III
the Philosopher
David I728-741
Dertad I741-764
Dertad II764-767
Stephen I788-790
George I792-795
Joseph I795-806
David II806-833
John IV833-855
Zacharias I855-876
George II877-897
St. Mashdotz897-898
John V
the Historian
Stephen II929-930
Theodore I930-941
Stephen III969-972
Khachig I973-992
Ani, 992-1058
Sarkis I992-1019,
Khachig II1058-1065
Sivas, 1058-1062;
line moves to Cilicia,
Tavbloor, 1062-1066
Gregory II
the Martyrophile
Zamidia, 1066-1116
Gregory III1113-1166
Dzovk, 1116-1149,
Hromgla, 1149-1293
St. Nerses IV
the Graceful
Gregory IV
the Young
Gregory V1193-1194
Gregory VI1194-1203
John VI
the Affluent
Constantine I1221-1267
Jacob I
the Learned
Constantine II
the Woolmaker
Stephen IV1290-1293
Sis, 1293-1441
Gregory VII1293-1307
Constantine III1307-1322
Constantine IV1323-1326
Jacob II1327-1341,
Constantine V1372-1374
Paul I1374-1382
Theodore II1382-1392
Jacob III1404-1411
Gregory VIII1411-1418
Paul II1418-1430
Constantine VI1430-1439
Gregory IX1439-1446
continues in Cilicia
Patriarchate reëstablished
in Armenia, at Etchmiadzin,
Gregory X1443-1465
Aristaces IICoadjutor,
Sarkis II
the Relic-Carrier
John VII
the Relic-Bearer
Sarkis III
the Other
Zacharias II1515-1520
Sarkis IV1520-1536
Gregory XI1536-1545
Stephen V1545-1567
Gregory XII1576-1590
David IV1590-1629,
Moses III1629-1632
Jacob IV1655-1680
Alexander I1706-1714
Garabed II1725-1729
Abraham II1730-1734
Abraham III1734-1737
Alexander II1753-1755
Sahak V
Sedē Vacantē, 1755-1759
Jacob V1759-1763
Joseph (II)
David V1801-1807
John VIII1831-1842
Nerses V1843-1857
Matthew I1858-1865
George IV1866-1882
Sedē Vacantē, 1882-1885
Patriarch of
Matthew II1908-1910
George V1911-1930
Sedē Vacantē, 1930-1932
Sedē Vacantē, 1938-1945
George VI1945-1954
Karekin I,
II of Cilicia
Karekin II1999-present
The Armenian Church developed largely outside of Roman authority. It also split with Orthodoxy over Chalcedon. Thus, it is almost like a separate religious tradition (comparable to Ethiopia and the Church of the East). While traditionally Armenia converted to Chistianity before Rome, in 301, there is now some question about this, discussed elsewhere. The conversion may have before more like in 314, though still in the days of St. Gregory I the Enlightener (d.325). While the Arab Conquest left the Patriarchate in place, the Turkish Conquest of 1064 was something else. People were already fleeing to relative safety in Cilicia. The Patriarch relocated there in 1062. The collapse of Roman power at Manzikert in 1071 meant that even more Armenians fled to Cilicia, where soon the Kingdom of Lesser Armenia became established. With the fall of the Kingdom to the Mamlūks in 1375, the Patriarch continued to represent the Armenian community. But with the loss of political authority, and the disrupted nature of the area, in 1441 a new Patriarchate was established back in Armenia proper, at Etchmiadzin. This was not a relocation but resulted in two Patriarchates, with the original line continuing, down to the present, as the Patriarchs of the Great House of Cilicia. This curious situation is rather like what happened in the Church of the East. The Cilician line eventually was itself relocated. In 1921, as a Greek invasion and an Armenian revolt were being crushed by Kemal Atatürk, attacks on Armenians in Cilicia, who previously has been protected by a French occupation, began. Most of the Armenians, including the Patriarch, fled to French controlled Lebanon. The Patriarchate was formally established there, at Antelias, in 1930. It thus continues down to the present, while now recognizing the primacy of the Patriarchate in Armenia.

A Schism in 1737, as even more like in the Church of the East again, led to the formation of a Catholic Counter Church for the Great House of Cilicia. This continues to today, seated, like its Orthodox counterpart, in Lebanon.

Armenia itself, after so many centuries under Islam, finally came under the rule of a Christian power, Russia, which annexed the area around Yerevan in 1828 and around Kars in 1878. With the collapse of Tsarist Russia and an attempt to establish an Armenian Republic in 1920, the Turks managed to retake both Kars and everything south of the Aras River near Yerevan. The annexation of what remained of Armenia to the Soviet Union then brought on a kind of equivalent of the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople, since the Soviet regime had its own reasons for hostility to Christianity. This ended with the Fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the creation of a new Republic of Armenia. Like a lot of the rest of the former Soviet Union, Armenia has not done that well from independence. Many people have left, looking for work. The Patriarch, however, as the most visible continuation of the deep past of Armenian history and tradition, now can travel the world to visit and reunite disparate communities of Armenian immigrants. Although Soviet hostility had kept the Armenian and Cilician Patriarchs estranged, this was quickly made good. In 1995, a Patriarch of Cilicia, Karekin II, became Patriarch of Armenia, as Karekin I.

Patriarchs of the East

The Church of the East was originally the Christian Church of Persia. Since Persia was occasionally at war with Rome, resident Christians would have been under some pressure to show that they were not acting as agents of Rome. Whether this was the reason or not, the opportunity to distinguish the Persian Church from the Roman arrived in 431 AD, when the Third Ecumenical Council, of Ephesus, condemned the teachings of the Patriarch Nestorius of Constantinople. The Church of the East had not participated in the Council, and word of it took a while to reach Ctesiphon. Then, however, the Church refused to anathematize Nestorius and did not accept the decision of the Council. Since then, the Church of the East has been characterized as the "Nestorian" Church by Greek and Latin authors, and those following in their tradition. It remains a matter of dispute whether the Christology of the Church of the East is or ever was Nestorian or not, and "Nestorian" may or may not be a characterization used or accepted by Church members. Nevertheless, the Church does use Nestorius's formula for Mary as the "Mother of Christ," rather than the Orthodox and Catholic formula of Mary as the "Mother of God," ἡ Θεοτόκος, hē Theodókos. As long as that formula is used, implicitly still rejecting the Third Council, doctrinal unification will have a way to go.

The Patriarchs have often been called the Patriarchs of "Babylon," but the first seat of the Patriarchate was at the Sassanid capital of Ctesiphon, at a time when Babylon had long been abandoned -- a condition already observed by the Emperor Trajan. Ctesiphon, however, was on the Tigris River very nearly opposite Babylon on the Euphrates, and also not far up the Tigris from the old Seleucid capital of Seleucia. Not much further up the Tigris is where the Abbasid capital of Baghdad would be built, and in the 9th century the Patriarchate moved there.

There it would stay until the arrival of the Mongols in the 13th century. Many Mongols, including the wife of the conqueror of Baghdad and the first of the Ilkhāns, Hülägü, were Nestorians. Briefly, it looked like the Church of the East might become the state religion of a quarter of the pan-Eurasian Mongol Empire. The Patriarchate moved to Maragha in Azerbaijanistan, not far from Tabrīz, the capital of the Mongols. One Patriarch, Mar Yab-Alaha (or Yoalaha) III, was a Mongol himself. In 1295, however, the Ilkhāns converted to Islām, and the chance for dominant status had passed.
Patriarchs of the East
1. Saint Thomas, the ApostleCtesiphon, 35-37, or 33
2. Mar Addai, St. Thaddeus the Apostle37-65, or 33-45
3. Mar Agai66-87, or 45-48
4. Mar Mari88-120, or 48-81
5. Mar Abris121-137, or 82-98
6. Mar Abraham/Oraham I of Kashkar159-171, or 98-110/120
7. Mar Yacob I172-190, or 120-138
8. Mar Ahha/Akhu d'Aboui/Awu190-220, or 139?-159/62
9. Mar Shahioupa/Shakhlupa of Kashkar220-240, or 162-179/182
Sedē Vacantē,
240-317, or 179/82- 247/256
10. Mar Papa bar Gaggai317-329, or 247/256-320
11. Mar Shimun Bar Sabba'e/Sabbai329-341, or 320-330
12. Mar Shalidoste/Shahdost341-345, or 340-343
13. Mar Bar Bashmin345-350, or 343-351
Sedē Vacantē,
350-363, or 351-384
14. Mar Toumarsa/Turmarsa363-371, or 384-392
15. Mar Qaioma/Qaiyuma372-399, or 395-399
16. Mar Issac/Iskhaq399-410, or 399-411
17. Mar Ahha/Akhkhi410-415, or 411-415
18. Mar Yab-Alaha/Yoalaha I415-420
19. Maana420
20. Mar Frabokht/Qarabukht420-421, or 421
21. Mar Dadisho/Dadishu I421-456
431 Council III, Ephesus,
Nestorianism condemned
22. Mar Babwahi/Babu/ Bawai457-484/483
23. Mar Aqaq-Acace485/484-496
24. Mar Babai/Bawai I497-503, or 498-502
25. Mar Shila/Sheela503-523, or 503-520
26. Mar Narsai Elisha524-539, or 520-535
27. Mar Paul/Polos I539-540, or 535-536
28. Mar Aba I the Great540-552, or 536-552
29. Mar Joseph/Yosip I552- 566/567
30. Mar Ezecbiel/Khazqiyil566-581, or 567-580
31. Mar Isho-Yab/Eshuyow I d'Arzoun/Arzunaya582-595, or 581-596
32. Mar Sabrisho/Shorishu I Garmaqaya596-604, or 596-604
33. Mar Gregorius/Greghor I Partaya605-609, or 604-607
Sedē Vacantē,
609-628, or 607-628
34. Mar Isho-Yab/ Ishoyahb/ Eshuyow II de Guedal/Gdalaya628-645, or 628-644
negotiates with Heraclius for Queen Bōrān of Persia, c.630; Missionaries arrive in China, 635
35. Mar Emme/Immeh645-649, or 644-647
36. Mar Isho-Yab/Eshuyow III d'Adiabene/ Kdayawaya649-660, or 647/50- 657/8
37. Mar Guiwarguis/ Georges/Gewargis I661-680, or 661-680
38. Mar Yohanna/Yokhannan I Bar Marta681-683, or 680-682
Sedē Vacantē, 683-685
39. Mar Hnan-Isho/ Khnanishu I685-700, or 686-693
Mar Yokhannan II Garba693-694
Sedē Vacantē,
700-714, or 694-713
40. Mar Sliwa Zkha/ Silwazkha714-728, or 713-729
Sedē Vacantē, 728/9-731
41. Mar Pethion/Peython731-740
42. Mar Aba/Awa II741-751
43. Mar Sorine/Surin754/752
44. Mar Yacob II754-773
Baghdad founded, 763
45. Mar Hnan-Isho/ Khnanishu II774-780, or 774-779
46. Mar Timothee/
Timotheus I
780- 823/820
translates Aristotle's Topica
& other works for the Abbasids
47. Mar Isho Ben Noun/ Ehsu-barnon823-828, or 820-824
48. Mar Guiwarguis/ Gewargis II828-830, or 825-832
49. Mar Sabrisho/Soreshu II831-836, or 832-836
50. Mar Abraham/Oraham II de Marga/Margaya837-850
Sedē Vacantē, 850-853/852
51. Mar Theodossious/ Teadasis I of AthanassiousBaghdad, 853-858, or 852-858
Sedē Vacantē, 858-860
52. Mar Sarguis/Sergius/ Sarigs/Suwaya I860-872
Sedē Vacantē, 872-877
53. Mar Israel of Kashkar877
54. Mar Anoshel/Annush d'beth Garmay877-884
55. Mar Yohannan/Yokhanan II/III Bar Narsai884-892
56. Mar Yohannan/Yokhannan III/IV893-899, or 893-898
57. Mar Yohannan IV/V Bar Abgare/Ogare900-905
58. Mar Abraham/Oraham III Abraza905-937
59. Mar Emmanuel/ Ammanoel I937-960, or 938-949
60. Mar Israel/Esrail Karkhaya961-962
61. Mar Abdisho/Odishu I Garmaqaya963-986
62. Mar Bar-Tobia II Mari Aturaya987-1000
63. Yohannan V/VI Yoannis Ibn Issa1000-1011, or 1001-1012
64. Yohannan VI/VII bar Nazuk1012-1020
65. Isho-Yab/Eshuyuow IV Bar Ezechiel1020-1025
Sedē Vacantē, 1025-1028
66. Mar Eliyya/Elia I Tehran1028-1049
67. Yohannan VII/VIII Bar Targala1049/50- 1057
68. Sabrisho/Soreshu II/III bar Zanbur1057-1071, or 1063-1072
69. Abdisho/Odishu II Ibn Aridh/bar Ars Autraya1072- 1091/90
70. Makkikha I bar Shlemon1092- 1110/1108
71. Mar Eliyya II Bar Maqli1110/1111- 1132
72. Bar Sauma/Soma I1133/1134- 1136
Sedē Vacantē, 1136-1139
73. Abdisho/Odishu III Bar Moqli1139-1148, or 1138-1147
74. Isho-Yab/Eshuyow V Albaladi1148- 1176/1174
75. Elie III Abu Khalim1176/1175- 1190
76. Yab-Alaha/Yoalaha II bar Qaiyuma1190-1222
77. Sabrisho/Sorishu IV Bar Qaioma1222-1226
78. Sabrisho/Sorishu V Ibn-Almassihi1226-1256
79. Makkikha II1257-1265
80. Denha/Dinkha I Epiphane Aribilaya1265- 1282/1281
81. Yab-Alaha/Yoalaha III bar TurkayeMaragha,
82. Timothee/Timotheus II ArbilayaErbil,
1318-1332, or 1318-1328
83. Denha/Dinkha IIKaremles,
1332/1329- 1364
Dinkha III1359-1368
84. Mar Shimun IIMosul,
Sedē Vacantē, 1392-1403
85. Mar Shimun III1403-1407
Sedē Vacantē, 1407-1437
86. Mar Eliyya IV1437, ot 1407-1420
87. Mar Shimun IV Bassidi1437-1497, or 1420-1447
88. Mar Shimun VMar Yohannan, 1497-1501, or 1448-1490
89. Mar Eliyya V1502-1503, to 1491-1504
Mar Shimun VI1505-1538
90. Mar Eshuyow Shimun VI/VIIAlqosh, 1504-1538, or 1538-1551

Before long the Patriarchate had moved back down out of the mountains to Mosul, now the principal city of northern Iraq. There it would stay, nearby at Alqosh (or Alqush), for many centuries. Next would come schism. Patriarch Mar Shimun IV Bassidi ruled (c.1450) that his office would only pass to members of his own family -- in practical terms to a nephew, since the Patriarch was celibate. This formalized nepotism was not accepted by many in the Church, and later a rival Patriarch came to be elected in 1551, Yohanan (or Hanna) Sulaqa (or Soulaqa). At the suggestion of Franciscan missionaries, Sulaqa made his way to Rome, where he was ordained in 1553 as a Catholic Patriarch. Various terms were used by and for the people of this Church. In 1445 Pope Eugenius IV had accepted "Chaldean," and in time this became the offical name of the Catholic version of the Church of the East.

Thus, the Chaldean Church was not made up out of whole cloth, like typical Catholic counter-Churches, but was more like the Maronite Church in Lebanon, where an existing Orthodox Church entered into communion with Rome. But the whole Church of the East had not done that, so right down to the present Catholic and "Nestorian" Churches have both existed. But the history has been nowhere near that simple.

Yohanan Sulaqa settled at Diyarbakir, today in Turkey. His successors moved around a bit between there and Urmia in western Iran, but settled at Qochanis (or Qotshani, Kochanes) near Hakāri (Hakkari), south of Lake Van, today in Turkey. The 8th Patriarch renounced Catholicism and reinstated the Eastern theology. This line continues to the present as the Assyrian Church of the East.

Meanwhile, two Patriarchs at Alqosh had accepted Catholicism, but their successor didn't. Thus, for a while, both Patriarchs had been Catholic; and then later both Patriarchs were not. When it turned out that neither was Catholic, a Catholic Patriarchate (a true counter-Church) was installed at Diyarbakir again. Then the hereditary line at Alqosh died out in 1804. Soon, a new Patriarch, now at Mosul, accepted Catholicism and continued the Catholic succession. Now at Baghdad, this continues as the Chaldean Church. Thus, the curious result of the Schism was that the Catholic line became Nestorian and the Nestorian line became Catholic.

As all this was going on, Nestorian missionaries had spread across Asia. They had arrived in T'ang China in 635. Although there never was a Christian Mongol state, the Syriac alphabet carried by the missionaries ended up used to write, for the first time, the Mongol language, and also Uigur and Manchu. Until the last days of the Chinese Empire, Chinese coins displayed the name of their mint in the Syriac characters of Manchurian. As the See of St. Thomas, the Patriarchs of the East were also the primates of the oldest Christian Church in India, where St. Thomas is supposed to have eventually travelled.

Like the Armenians, Chaldean and Assyrian Christians, together with Syrian Orthodox Christians, were massacred and driven out of the mountains by the Turks and Kurds in World War I -- although there had previously been close relations, even intermarriage and conversions, with local Kurds. After Russian troups occupied western Iran, there were also reprisals against Christians there. Many Christians thus fled from Turkey and Iran into the new British Mandate of Iraq, where the Assyrian Patriarch then joined the Chaldean in Mosul. The British were pleased to have local Christian allies, and the community briefly attracted a great deal of attention -- along the lines of "our friends in Iraq." But the British used the local Christians for their own purposes and completely forgot them once it suited their purpose to grant Iraqi independence in 1932. This left the Christians in the lurch, and there were some massacres again in 1933. Many have subsequently immigrated to Europe and the United States. The Assyrian Patriarchate itself is in exile in the United States.

While many people find the history of the Church of the East, and its use of Aramaic (or Syriac), the language of Jesus, fascinating, a nationalistic movement among Assyrians has tended to be less interested in the Church, or even hostile. In its most extreme form, some Assyrian nationalists reject Christianity altogether and suggest that the gods of ancient Assyria, or at least the principal god, Ashur, should be revived. At a time when Middle Eastern Christians are often victims of attacks from radical Islām, this proposal invites a great deal of trouble, since Muslims are under no obligation to tolerate polytheism or idolatry -- and governments administering Islāmic Law are little inclined to do so. The worship of Ashur (although presumably it would now be monotheistic), would not be Assyrian religion in the ancient sense without images of the god. At the same time, both Christian Assyrians and Chaldeans sometimes have objections to parts of the Old Testament, since both Assyrians and Babylonians are often portrayed negatively there -- the Book of Nahum, which prophecies (or celebrates) the fall of Nineveh, is particularly offensive. Others argue that Christianity actually derives from ancient Assyrian religion, and not from Judaism at all. Both these tendencies seem to involve an anti-Semitic aspect -- perhaps not surprising in the climate of the Arab world -- and are awkward features, not only in a Catholic Church like the Chaldean, but even for the Assyrian Church, where moves towards ecumenicism have involved downplaying doctrinal differences with Catholicism and other Orthodox Churches. It is hard to imagine either Patriarch seriously putting it to the Pope that Christ's role as Savior and Redeemer was based on the Kings of Assyria. At the same time, when Assyrian nationalist rhetoric makes is sound like the Jews are responsible for the problems of the community, the external observer may wonder what planet the nationalists have been living on.

While some form of Assyrian nationalism is widely popular in the Assyrian community, and even among some Chaldeans and Syrian Orthdox Christians, other Chaldeans and Syrian Orthodox find it offensive -- they may consider themselves Aramaeans instead, after the language they actually speak. The histories of these Churches has thus become entangled with political and ethnic issues that exist independently of the Christian histories of the communities. Other information on Assyrians and Chaldeans can be found in the Note on the Modern Assyrians. Since most Westerners are going to be interested and sympathetic with the modern Assyrians for their Christianity, the history of their Church, and their persecution under Islām, they are bound to be uninterested, or put off, by celebrations of the ancient Assyrians, let alone by complaints about the Jews or the Bible. The nationalists, however, interpret such aversion as hostility to them -- an attitude that would seem to aim to cultivate Christian and Jewish, as well as Islamic, antipathy for the Aramaic speaking communities.

This list of the Patriarchs of the East is an attempt to combine the list that was at the "Chaldeans on Line" website (which has since disappeared) with the list of Patriarchs of the East, published by Qasha Yosip d-Bet Kelaita in 1924, as given and discussed by J.F. Coakley in his "The Patriarchal List of the Church of the East" [Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta, 89, "Studies on Continuity and Change in Syriac Christianity in Honour of Professor Han J.D. Drijvers," 1999]. Other information comes from The Modern Assyrians of the Middle East by John Joseph [Brill, Leiden, Boston, Köln, 2000] and from The Church of the East and the Church of England by J.F. Coakley [Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1992]. The different sets of dates are usually those given in the Chaldean and Assyrians lists, respectively. The absolute numbering of the Patriarchs is the Chaldean. This skips over some Patriarchs given in the Assyrian list and continues down to the Chaldean Patriarch at present. The alternative Assyrian numbering results in the present Patriarch Mar Dinkha IV being the "120th Catholicos-Patriarch of the Church of the East," as John Joseph says. Mar Dinkha IV, who has just died in 2015, is also counted as the 106th Patriarch.

In 2014 Islamic fascists, holding extensive territory in Syria in revolt against the Assad government, invaded Iraq and captured Mosul along with a broad swath of other, generally Sunni majority, territory. Their treatment of religious minories, including Christians and the curious, syncretistic community of the Yazidis, has been ferocious. In line with the intolerance of their ultimate Wahhabī origins, the radicals also destroyed the Mosque of Jonah in Mosul, probably because it is supposed to contain the tomb of Jonah. Although Jonah is regarded as a Prophet in Islam, Wahhabīs reject the veneration of tombs or any hint of a cult of saints in Islām. We have seen similar behavior with the tombs of Muslim Saints in Mali, where no respect was even shown for the Islamic libraries associated with the tombs. The behavior of these people is thus savage and fanatical to an extent remarkable in the modern world.

With Christians driven out of their homes or villages in and around Mosul, the Christian exodus from Iraq, already steady, has increased. An article about all this by John Paul Kuriakuz, "Iraq's Chaldeans Still Exist -- for Now," has appeared in the The Wall Street Journal of August 25, 2014 [A13]. The curious thing about Mr. Kuriakuz's piece is the picture we get of his identity. Although a Chaldean, i.e. a member of the Catholic Chaldean Church, Kuriakuz nevertheless is an Assyrian nationalist. His formula is, "We are ethnic Assyrians from northern Iraq who belong to the Chaldean Rite of the Catholic Church." As noted, many Chaldeans, but not all, share this nationalist identity. And we get the nationalist affirmation that modern Assyrians are the same people as the ancient Assyrians:

Having heard of ancient Assyrian civilization at some point, many responded with:  "They still exist?" Feeling a bit like a museum artifact, my answer at the time was a simple:  "Yeah, we exist."

Although Mr. Kuriakuz mentions that he was the former executive director of the "Chaldean Assyrian Syriac Council of America," his article otherwise conspicuously does not mention the Syriac Orthodox or Syriac Catholic communities in Iraq, whose persecution by the Jihadists is at least as severe as that of Chaldeans and Assyrians. Although Aramaean identity may not be concentrated in the Syriac Churches (I have had occasion to see it even in Assyrians), I have found the most heated opposition to Assyrian nationalism there. So Mr. Kuriakuz, although from an organization including the Syriacs, may ignore them in his article -- with references as to "the future of Chaldeans and Assyrians" -- because he is not pleased with disagreements about Assyrian nationalism. Thus, even in the face of Islamic genocide, the ideological division of the Christian community is evident, based on nationalistic rather than religious principles, with this disturbing element of attachment to the ancient Assyrians, whose own ferocity was little less than that of the Jihadists.

Chaldean PatriarchsPatriarchs of the East
1. Yohanan Soulaqa/Sulaqa Shimun VIIIDiyarbakr,
91. Mar Dinkha Shimun VII/VIII bar MamaAlqosh, 1538-1551, or 1552-1558
92. Mar Shimun VIII/IX1551-1558
2. Abdisho/Odishu IV MarounSirt,
93. Mar Eliyya VI1558-1576
3. Yab-Alaha/ Yoalaha V1558-1580, or 1578-158094. Mar Eliyya VII1576-1591
4. Mar Shimun IX DenkhaUrmia,
95. Mar Eliyya VIII1591-1617
5. Mar Elia Shimun XSalamas,
96. Mar Eliyya IX Shimun1617-1660
6. Mar Eshuyow Shimun XI1638-1656, or 1653-1690Chaldean Patriarchs97. Mar Eliyya X Yohannan Marogin1660-1700
7. Mar Yoalaha Shimun XIIUrmia,
1656-1662, or 1690-1692
Assyrian Patriarchs8. Mar Yusuf IDiyarbakr,
8. Mar Shimun XIII Denha/DinkhaQochanis,
1662-1700, or 1692-1700
9. Mar Yusuf II1696-1713
9. Mar Shimun XIV Shlemon/Sulaiman1700-174010. Mar Yusuf III1713-175798. Mar Eliyya XI Marogin1700-1722
10. Mar Shimun XV Maqdassi Mikhail/Mukhattis1740-1780, or 1740-174111. Mar Yusuf IV1757-178199. Mar Elyya XII Denha1772-1778
11. Mar Shimun XVI Yohanan/Yonan/Yuna1780-1820, or 1740-182012. Mar Yusuf V1804-1828100. Mar Eliyya XIII Isho-Yab1778-1804
12. Mar Shimun XVII Abraham/Oraham1820-1861/1860101. Yohannan VII HormezMosul, 1830-1838
102. Nicolas Zaya1840-1848
13. Mar Shimun XVIII Rouel/Ruwil1860/1861-1903103. Joseph VI Audo1848-1878
104. Elie XIV Abo-Alyonan1879-1894
105. Abdisho V Khayat1894-1899
14. Mar Shimun XIX Benyamin/BinyaminSalamas,
106. Joseph Emmanuel II Toma1900-1947
15. Mar Shimun XX Paulos/PolosMosul,
16. Mar Shimun XXI Ishaya/EshaiSan Francisco,
107. Joseph VII GhanimaBaghdad, 1947-1958
108. Paul II Cheikho1958-1989
17. Mar Dinkha IVChicago,
109. Raphael I BeDaweedBeirut, 1989-2003
Mar Shlemon Wardonilocum tenens, 2003
18. Mar Gewargis III, George SliwaBaghdad, 2015-present110. Mar Emmanuel III Karim-Delly2003-2012
111. Louis Raphaël I Sako2013–present

Note on the modern Assyrians

Patriarchs of the Great House of Cilicia

Armenian Patriarchs of Constantinople

Armenian Patriarchs of Jerusalem

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