Cyril V of Constantinople

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His All Holiness Cyril V of Constantinople was the Patriarch of Constantinople for two periods from 1748 to 1751 and from 1752 to 1757.

Cyril V was patriarch during a period of controversy concerning the reception of heterodox, particularly Roman Catholics and Protestants, into the Orthodox Church. The controversy centered over the issue of baptism and re-baptism requirements. The validity the Latin baptism became such a strong issue during Patr. Cyril's first period of office that he was forced out of the office by the pro-Latin party because he wouldn't take action against the hierodeacon Auxentius of Katirli who was campaigning strongly against the validity of Latin baptism. With Cyril's deposition, Patr. Paisius II was called back and he immediately tried to silence Auxentius.

This action caused a strong reaction among the Auxentius party, amounting to a riot. Such civil disobedience by the Auxentius party raised concern by the Turkish government against the party. This concern resulted in the Turks creating a ruse through which they were able to get Auxentius on a boat where they straggled him.

The crowd reacted over the disappearance of Auxentius and took revenge against Patr. Paisius. While the patriarch escaped to sea, the crowd demanded the restoration of Patr. Cyril. Cyril upon his return as patriarch went out of his way to support the Auxentius party, but against strong resistance. In an attempt to pacify the parties, he convened a council in Constantinople in 1756. However, even with support from Sultan Osman to disburse the crowds and settle the issue, the controversy continued into the time of Cyril's successor, Callinicus IV.

In 1749, Patr. Cyril issued a decree establishing a school near the Monastery of Vatopedi on Mount Athos. The school was established to teach theology, philosophy, and logic to the monks and to those wishing to become monks. The school later became known as the Athonias Ecclesiastical Academy under the guidance of the eminent theologian and scholar Eugenios Voulgaris who was appointed dean in 1753. After many tribulations over the centuries, the academy continues to function today.

Also, in 1756, Patr. Cyril issued the Sigillion of 1756 condemning the use of the Gregorian calendar. This decision of the hierarchs in Constantinople was signed by Patriarch Cyril of Constantinople, Patriarch of Alexandria Matthew, and Patriarch of Jerusalem Parthenius which also stated in part:

"We further follow the Holy and Equal-to-the Apostles Dionysius who says that the catechumen, having had all his clothes removed, must be baptized in the font, in sanctified water and oil, calling upon the three hypostases of the All-Blessed Divinity, afterwards anointing him in the divinely-created Chrism, then becoming worthy of the salvific Eucharist. Finally we follow the Second and the Quinisext Ecumenical Councils that prescribe that those turning to Orthodoxy be considered as unbaptized who were not baptized by triple immersion, at each of which the name of one of the Divine Hypostases is pronounced, but were baptized by some other means."
"This is why we receive all heretics turning to Orthodoxy as those who were not baptized properly as not having been baptized and without any hesitation baptize them according to the apostolic and conciliar canons upon which the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church of Christ — the common mother of us all — firmly rests."

Opposition to Cyril continued, led by the Metropolitan of Proilavo (Braila in Romania) and Callinicus. When Cyril ordered Callinicus into exile in the Sinai, the latter took refuge in the French embassy in Constantinople. There Callinicus obtained a large amount of money that was passed to the Sultan Osman III. On January 16, 1757, Patr. Cyril was deposed and Callinicus was appointed Patriarch.[1]

Cyril was exiled to the Sinai. Later under Serapheim II he was allowed to move to the Skete of St. Anne on Mount Athos. In 1763, Cyril returned to Constantinople to attempt his restoration to the patriarchal throne, but he was promptly and forcibly returned to St. Anne's Skete, where he died on July 27, 1775.


  1. Frazee, Charles (2006). Catholics and sultans : the church and the Ottoman Empire, 1453-1923. London: Cambridge University Press. pp. 161-2. ISBN 0521027004.
Succession box:
Cyril V of Constantinople
Preceded by:
Paisius II
Patriarch of Constantinople
Succeeded by:
Paisius II
Preceded by:
Paisius II
Patriarch of Constantinople
Succeeded by:
Callinicus IV
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