Jeremias II (Tranos) of Constantinople

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==Life==
 
==Life==
In the year 1536 Jeremias was born into the influential Greek Tranos family in the town of Anchialos, Pontus, today known as Pomorie, on the southern Bulgarian Black Sea Coast. He was the pupil of three scholars of the day: Hierotheos of Monemvasia, Arsenios of Tirnovo and [[Damascenos the Studite]], who themselves had been student of Theophanes Eleavoulkos. He was also for a while the student of the scholar Matthew the Cretan.  
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In the year 1536 Jeremias was born into the influential Greek Tranos family in the town of Anchialos, Pontus, today known as Pomorie, on the southern Bulgarian Black Sea Coast. He was the pupil of three scholars of the day: Hierotheos of Monemvasia, Arsenios of Tirnovo and [[Damaskinos the Stoudite]], who themselves had been student of Theophanes Eleavoulkos. He was also for a while the student of the scholar Matthew the Cretan.  
  
 
At the time he was first elected to the Patriarchal throne on [[May 5]], 1572, at the age 36, Jeremias had been [[Metropolitan]] of Larisa. When he was installed to that [[see]] of Larisa is unknown. After becoming patriarch, Jeremias set upon reorganizing the [[Church of Constantinople]] and embarked on a policy of reemphasizing the canons and existing ecclesiastical laws. He also strove to improve the financial situation of the Patriarchate. Jeremias maintained contacts with the noted Orthodox personalities of his day. He also was successful in obtaining certain privileges from the Sultan for the Greek minorities within the Ottoman Empire, particularly in establishment of schools. Through his influence seven schools were opened during the sixteenth century. In the following centuries another 40 schools were opened across Greece and Asia Minor.
 
At the time he was first elected to the Patriarchal throne on [[May 5]], 1572, at the age 36, Jeremias had been [[Metropolitan]] of Larisa. When he was installed to that [[see]] of Larisa is unknown. After becoming patriarch, Jeremias set upon reorganizing the [[Church of Constantinople]] and embarked on a policy of reemphasizing the canons and existing ecclesiastical laws. He also strove to improve the financial situation of the Patriarchate. Jeremias maintained contacts with the noted Orthodox personalities of his day. He also was successful in obtaining certain privileges from the Sultan for the Greek minorities within the Ottoman Empire, particularly in establishment of schools. Through his influence seven schools were opened during the sixteenth century. In the following centuries another 40 schools were opened across Greece and Asia Minor.

Revision as of 09:37, July 16, 2009

His All-Holiness Jeremias II Tranos was the Patriarch of Constantinople during the last quarter of the sixteenth century. He served as patriarch for three separate periods: from 1572 to 1579, from 1580 to 1584, and from 1587 to 1595. During his first term as patriarch, Jeremias engaged in correspondence with Lutheran theologians of the University of Tubingen concerning inclinations of the Patriarchate toward a union of the Orthodox and Lutheran Churches. He was a sound theologian, an ardent reformer, and a fierce enemy to simony.

Contents

Life

In the year 1536 Jeremias was born into the influential Greek Tranos family in the town of Anchialos, Pontus, today known as Pomorie, on the southern Bulgarian Black Sea Coast. He was the pupil of three scholars of the day: Hierotheos of Monemvasia, Arsenios of Tirnovo and Damaskinos the Stoudite, who themselves had been student of Theophanes Eleavoulkos. He was also for a while the student of the scholar Matthew the Cretan.

At the time he was first elected to the Patriarchal throne on May 5, 1572, at the age 36, Jeremias had been Metropolitan of Larisa. When he was installed to that see of Larisa is unknown. After becoming patriarch, Jeremias set upon reorganizing the Church of Constantinople and embarked on a policy of reemphasizing the canons and existing ecclesiastical laws. He also strove to improve the financial situation of the Patriarchate. Jeremias maintained contacts with the noted Orthodox personalities of his day. He also was successful in obtaining certain privileges from the Sultan for the Greek minorities within the Ottoman Empire, particularly in establishment of schools. Through his influence seven schools were opened during the sixteenth century. In the following centuries another 40 schools were opened across Greece and Asia Minor.

During his first term as patriarch, Jeremias received a number of letters from the Lutheran theologians of the University of Tubingen that proposed union between the Orthodox Church and the Lutheran Church. This represented the first significant theological exchanges between the Orthodox and Protestants. The correspondence was initiated by a letter, delivered by Stephen Gerlach, the chaplain at the German Embassy to the Sublime Porte (Sultan’s seat of government), on October 15, 1573. This event began an exchange of theological positions over the next several years. The letters in reply were written for Patr. Jeremias by his notary, Theodosios Zygomalas. At first, Jeremias’ replies were compilations of the Church Fathers and more recent writers. A second letter of September 15, 1574, followed by a third dated March 20, 1575 from Tubingen included a Greek translation of the “Augsburg Confession” and Greek translations of sermons by Jakob Andre, the chancellor of the University of Tubingen that defined the Lutheran creed. Jeremias’ reply of May 15, 1576 summarized those points upon which there was agreement between the Orthodox and Lutheran doctrines and those on which there was no agreement, with explanations on the Orthodox views on each question. In the correspondence during the followings years until 1581 it became clear that the theological differences were not reconcilable and the correspondence came to an end.

Patr. Jeremias, as other patriarchs of the Ottoman era, was caught in the intrigues and politics that surrounded the Patriarchal office under the Ottomans. He came to the office after his predecessor, Metrophanes III, was removed from office, allegedly for pro-Roman tendencies and the desire of the Sultan to limit the duration of a patriarch’s time in office. Jeremias was replaced for a short period again by Metrophanes III before himsef being re-elected a second time. Removed again after four years, he was again returned as patriarch in 1587.

In 1589, Jeremias, acting on a request of Boris Godunov during reign of the Tsar Theodore (Feodor I) of Moscow, and with the concurrence of the Patriarchs of Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem, formalized the autocephaly of the Church of Russia as a new patriarchate by installing Metropolitan Job of Moscow as the first Patriarch of Moscow during a visit to Moscow in January, 1589, thus recognizing the independence of Russian Church that it had declared since 1448.

In 1595, Jeremias II reposed in Constantinople while still patriarch.

Legacy

Jeremias II is thought to be probably the ablest patriarch to have sat on the Patriarchal throne in Constantinople during the Ottoman period. He had surrounded himself with able and learned men who were knowledgeable in Greek and Latin thought during times of intrigue and Ottoman subjection. Recognizing the importance of the newly invented printing press, he founded the first publishing house in Constantinople. [1]

Succession box:
Jeremias II (Tranos) of Constantinople
Preceded by:
?
Metropolitan of Larisa
15xx-1572
Succeeded by:
?
Preceded by:
Metrophanes III
Patriarch of Constantinople
1572-1579
Succeeded by:
Metrophanes III
Preceded by:
Metrophanes III
Patriarch of Constantinople
1580-1584
Succeeded by:
Pachomius II
Preceded by:
Theoleptus II
Patriarch of Constantinople
1586-1595
Succeeded by:
Matthew II
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Reference

  1. Steven Runciman, The Great Church in Captivity: A study of the Patriarchate of Constantinople from the eve of the Turkish conquest to the Greek War of Independence (London: Cambridge University Press, 1968) p. 200.

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