Germanus (Pesimandrus) of Cyprus

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His Beatitude Germanus (Pesimandrus) of Cyprus was Archbishop of Nea Justiniana and All Cyprus during the middle of the thirteenth century. He was the last Orthodox ruling hierarch of the Church of Cyprus until the sixteenth century Turkish conquest of the island as the Church of Cyprus came under Latin domination following the conquest of Cyprus by Latin Kings.

Little is known of the life of Abp. Germanus. With a conciliatory attitude, Pope Innocent IV had given permission to the Orthodox church on Cyprus to elect their own archbishop while it was ruled by Latin kings. At the time, the Latin archbishop Hugo di Fagiano, who had been elected to the vacant archbishopric of Nicosia in 1251 by the Latin Chapter of Nicosia, required all Orthodox clergy and laity on Cyprus to give him obedience under pain of excommunication.

However, during a time when the Latin Abp. Hugo was absent from the island, Bp. Germanus was elected archbishop, with the consent of the papal legate Eudes, by the Orthodox bishops of Cyprus. At his consecrated Germanus promised obedience to the Pope, but not to the Latin archbishop of Nicosia. Considering Germanus' consecration an affront, Abp. Hugo left Cyprus for Tuscany, having placed the kingdom of Cyprus under an interdict. Abp. Hugo remained in Tuscany until the death of King Henri I in 1253. He then returned to Cyprus.

With the death of Pope Innocent IV in 1254 his policy of conciliation ended. Abp. Hugo then appealed to the new Pope, Alexander IV, to cancel the appointment of Abp. Germanus as archbishop on the grounds that his election was invalid and that it was impossible to have two archbishops in Cyprus.

In a comprehensive reply in 1260, the Bulla Cypria, Pope Alexander defined the position of the Orthodox church in Cyprus, declaring the Latin church the official church of Cyprus. The number of Orthodox sees was made the same as that of the Latins, with the Orthodox bishops accountable, including tithes, to their corresponding Latin bishops. The Orthodox bishops, as were the Latin bishops, were placed under the supervision of the the Latin archbishop. The Orthodox bishops were to reside in four villages, Soli for the diocese of Nicosia, Arsinoe for the diocese of Paphos, Lefkara for the diocese of Limassol, and Carpasia for the diocese of Famagusta. Further, the Orthodox bishops of Cyprus were required to take oaths of obedience to the Latin archbishop.

Although the Orthodox were deprived of their metropolitan, Abp. Germanus was allowed to keep his title and rank with full independence from the Latin archbishop for his lifetime. Finding that Abp. Germanus had retained his title, Abp. Hugo resigned his see and returned to Tuscany. The date of the repose of Abp. Germanus is not known.

Succession box:
Germanus (Pesimandrus) of Cyprus
Preceded by:
Georgios II
Archbishop of Cyprus
Succeeded by:
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