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Archdiocese of Crete

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After the eighth century, the Orthodox administration of Crete fell under a number of diverse forces. In mid ninth century, Crete was occupied by Arabs under an emirate whose capital was Candia, today Heraklion, and was separated from the Eastern Roman Empire and the [[Church of Constantinople]] for the next 150 years. Little is known of church life during this period. The Ecumenical Patriarchate continued to consecrate bishops for Crete, but these hierarchs maintained residence outside Crete with titular titles.
The general Nikifores Fokas Nikephoros Phokas regained control of Crete for the Eastern Roman Empire in 961 under whose administration it would remain until the Venetian invasion of 1204. Candia remained the capital of Crete and became the seat of the Archbishop of Crete. Under the administration of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the church on Crete was designated a [[metropolis]] with its head a [[Metropolitan]] who was over twelve bishops. A new [[cathedral]] was built in Candia, dedicated again to the Apostle Titus. The site of this cathedral is believed to be that on which the present day Church of the Apostle Titus is located. The names of Elias in the eleventh century, John in the twelfth century, and Nicholas are mentioned as metropolitans. With the Venetian occupation of 1204, Nicholas fled to [[Nicea]], with bishops Gregory of Petra and John of Arcadia. Bishop Paul of Knossos and the unidentified bishops of Herronissos and Agrion remained on Crete.
The Venetian occupation of Crete lasted from 1204 to 1669. During this time the ecclesiastical state of affairs changed radically. The Venetians exiled the Orthodox hierarchs and reorganized the church on the Latin model as an archdiocese with an Roman Catholic archbishop and bishops. While the new hierarchy attempted to convert the populous, they remained firm in their Orthodox faith even without Orthodox bishops. The Orthodox faith was sustained by the many [[monastery|monasteries]] with their [[abbot]]s and simple [[clergy]] in the villages and towns.
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