Cyril II of Jerusalem

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Latest revision as of 18:12, November 7, 2012

His Beatitude, Cyril II of Jerusalem was the Patriarch of Jerusalem of the Church of Jerusalem from 1845 to 1872. Cyril was patriarch during a period of increased interest by Imperial Russia in Palestine.

Life

Cyril II was born Konstantinos Kritikos in 1792 on the island of Samos. In 1816, he entered the Holy Orders on being ordained a deacon. He was then ordained a presbyter and became abbot of the monastery. Cyril was consecrated Archbishop of Sebasteia in 1835 and then was transferred to the see of Lydia in 1838. In 1845, he was elected the Patriarch of Jerusalem as Cyril II.

Prior to Cyril, the selection of the patriarch of Jerusalem had been made by the Church of Constantinople. The election of Cyril, however, was by the Confraternity of the Holy Sepulchre (Brotherhood of the Sepulchre - Hagiotaphites Brotherhood) in Jerusalem. With his election Cyril moved the residence of the patriarch of Jerusalem back to Jerusalem, ending the long period during which the patriarch of Jerusalem maintained his residence in the Phanar district of Constantinople and only visited Jerusalem occasionally. In 1849, to support the printing needs of the Orthodox community, Cyril brought a printing press to Jerusalem and established a publication capability for the patriarchate in Palestine.

On February 28, 1870, Sultan Abdulaziz I signed a firman that created the Bulgarian Exarchate subjectеd to the Ecumenical Patriarchate yet that represented the Bulgarian millet in the Ottoman empire. Cyril II participated in a council in Constantinople, chaired by Patr. Anthimus VI, in September 1872, at which the Patriarchs of Alexandria and Antioch also participated. On September 30, the council declared the Bulgarian Exarchate schismatic and excommunicated its adherents. Cyril opposed the declaration of schism and refused to sign the Council's decisions. On September 14, 1872, Cyril II left the council in Constantinople for Jaffa and Jerusalem by steamer.

On December 12, 1872, Cyril was deposed in absentia by Constantinople for not supporting the excommunication of the Bulgarians in their dispute with the Patriarchate of Constantinople, a dispute in which the Bulgarians wanted to establish a Bulgarian speaking clergy in their community and use Slavonic in their services.

Cyril was succeeded by Procopius II who was recognized by the Phanar. Cyril continued to be supported by the native Arab Orthodox and Russia. On February 26, 1875, Russia was able to depose Procopius. Arab Orthodox notables from Jerusalem wanted Cyril II to be a candidate for the vacant throne, but in a pastoral message, published in the newspapers, he declined the invitation on grounds of advanced age. He died on August 18, 1877.

Succession box:
Cyril II of Jerusalem
Preceded by:
?
Archbishop of Sebasteia
1835-1838
Succeeded by:
?
Preceded by:
?
Archbishop of Lydia
1838-1845
Succeeded by:
?
Preceded by:
Athanasius V
Patriarch of Jerusalem
1845-1872
Succeeded by:
Procopius II
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