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In church matters, as in philosophy, the two were opposed: Pletho maintaining strongly the principles of the Greek Church, and being unwilling to accept union of the Greek and Latin churches through compromise, while Georgios, more cautious, pressed the necessity for union on doctrinal grounds, and was instrumental in drawing up a form which from its vagueness and ambiguity might be accepted by both parties.
Georgios was at a disadvantage because, being a [[lay]]man, he could not directly take part in the discussions of the council. But on his return to Greece his views changed, apparently at the behest of his mentor [[Markos Eugenikos]], and he became a firm and vocal opponent of the union he had previously urged. After the death of
[[John VIII Palaeologus ]] in 1448, he became a [[monk]] at the [[monastery]] of Pantokrator and took the name Gennadius.
In 1453, after the [[Fall of Constantinople]], Gennadius was taken prisoner by the Turks. Mehmed II, finding that the patriarchal chair had been vacant for some time, and wanting to use the Church to stabilize his empire, resolved to elect someone to the office, and the sultan compelled Gennadius to accept the title. Mehmed gave Gennadius both ecclesiastical and political authority, and as a result, under Gennadius, the Greek Orthodox Church became a civil as well as a religious entity.