Anthony III Studite of Constantinople
Anthony III Studite of Constantinople was the Patriarch of Constantinople from 974 to 980. He became the patriarch at an advanced age and brought to the office of the patriarch an atmosphere of moderation and mildness that had been missing in that office.
Anthony's ascension to the see of Constantinople came as a fallout of the succession battles to the cathedra of Rome then influenced strongly by the powerful Roman Crescentil family. In 974, the legitimate pope, Benedict VI, was imprisoned by Crescentius of the Crescentil family and replaced by the antipope, Boniface VII, who soon was excommunicated. The clergy and people, in turn, elected Benedict VII to the papal throne. Patr. Basil I of Constantinople supported the claims of Benedict VII, who had been legitimately elected over the claims of the antipope Boniface VII. As emperor John I Tzimisces supported the antipope, Boniface VII, who was a guest at the Imperial court after his excommunication, the emperor deposed Patr. Basil and installed Anthony in his stead.
Although Anthony entered the patriarchate at an advanced age, he brought to it a moderation and mildness that was needed in that office. However, his tenacity in upholding the autonomous jurisdiction of the Orthodox Church as complementary to the emperor’s secular authority brought him into conflict with emperor Basil II. Anthony also strove to reform the church that included elimination of the buying and selling of ecclesiastical offices that were practiced among the clergy in order to satisfy imperial taxes on church property. This stirred controversy with the emperor over the right of the church to hold property which, with Patr. Anthony being implicated in the attempt by General Bardas Sclerus to overthrow emperor Basil in 979, caused the forced resignation of Patr. Anthony in 980.
Patr. Anthony retired to the Studion Monastery, where he died in 983.
The single surviving work by Patr. Anthony is his Monitum (“Admonition”) to monks on penance and confession of sins, a treatise that set a standard for Eastern asceticism.