Dionysius II of Constantinople

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His All-Holiness Dionysius II of Constantinople, (Greek: Διονύσιος Β΄) was Patriarch of Constantinople from 1546 to 1556. He came under a serious confrontation with the Greek population of Constantinople when his protege Metropolitan Metrophanes of Caesarea (Kaisareia) entered communion with Pope Paul III of Rome.


Little is known of his early life. Dionysius was born in Galata, now part of Istanbul, in the latter decades of the fifteenth century. He was esteemed to be well educated. In 1516, Dionysius was elected Metropolitan of Nicomedia and consecrated by Patriarch Theoleptus I.

Dionysius was designated by Patriarch Jeremias I as his successor, and, after Jeremias' death, he was elected to the see of Constantinople on April 17, 1546, supported by the people but against the hopes of the Holy Synod. During his Patriarchate, Dionysius was blamed for having raised the Ottoman Sultan's appointment fee (peshtesh) to three thousand Écus. He also was blamed for demolishing the great cross on the roof of the Pammakaristos Church that was ordered by the Sultan. At the time, the church was the seat of the Patriarchate.

As the financial state of the patriarchate was a constant issue, Patr. Dionysius sent Metropolitan Metrophanes of Caesarea to Venice to raise funds. There, however, Metrophanes followed the advice of Dionysius Zannetinus, the Latin Bishop of Hersonissos on Crete, and entered into communion with Pope Paul III of Rome. This action created a storm of complaints not only against Metrophanes, but also against Patr. Dionysius, leading to their deposition. However, the condemnation of Dionysius, who enjoyed the support of Suleiman the Magnificent, was considered unfair and was never executed. So, Patr. Dionysius remained on the patriarchal throne until his death. The date of the death of Patr. Dionysius has been uncertain, although Venetian documents support a date in July 1556. He died in Constantinople and was buried in the Kamariotissa Monastery on the island of Halki, one of the Prince islands.

Succession box:
Dionysius II of Constantinople
Preceded by:
Metropolitan of Nicomedia
Succeeded by:
Preceded by:
Joannicus I
Patriarch of Constantinople
Succeeded by:
Joasaph II
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