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Callinicus IV of Constantinople

His All-Holiness Callinicus IV of Constantinople, (Greek: Καλλίνικος Δ΄), was the Patriarch of Constantinople for six months during 1757. He was involved in the bitter controversy of the time, in which he opposed the re-baptism of converts from the Roman Catholic and Armenian Churches, a position that resulted in his resignation as patriarch.


Constantine Mavrikios, (Greek: Κωνσταντίνος Μαυρίκιος), was born in Zagora, Greece in 1713 and moved to Constantinople in 1728. In 1740, he was ordained deacon. On August 28, 1741, he was appointed Great Protosyncellus of the Patriarchate. On September 23, 1743, he was consecrated to the episcopacy as Metropolitan of Proilavo, a see located in Brăila in what is now Romania. In 1748, he returned to Constantinople.

The big issue during the years Metr. Callinicus was in Constantinople concerned re-baptism of converts. The issue was heightened after the reconquest of the Venetian-ruled Peloponnese by the Ottoman Empire, following the Ottoman-Venetian War earlier in the century, which was populated by many people from the Roman Catholic and Armenian Churches. Patr. Cyril V of Constantinople maintained a strong position concerning the invalidity of Catholic and Armenian baptisms, a position that was supported by a large portion of the populace of Constantinople. Callinicus led a large faction of metropolitans in opposing re-baptisms because they considered re-baptisms an innovation not envisaged by the canons of the Church and contrary to liturgical praxis.

On April 28, 1755, the Holy Synod voted against the position of Patr. Cyril V who then exiled those members of the Holy Synod who opposed his view. Then in 1755, Cyril issued his formal tome Oros of the Holy Great Church of Christ" that required re-baptism for all converts. In exile, Callinicus was persecuted, but in 1756, he escaped and took refuge in the French embassy in Constantinople. There, he received a large amount of money that was passed to Sultan Osman III. On January 16, 1757, Patr. Cyril was deposed and Callinicus was appointed Patriarch.[1] However, his appointment as patriarch was so strongly opposed by the people that his enthronement could be celebrated only with the presence of Ottoman soldiers who, also, after the ceremony fended off the mob that tried, unsuccessfully, to seize him. The opposition continued such that his position became so difficult that he resigned. After his resignation on July 22, 1757, Callinicus was exiled, first, to the island of Limnos in the Aegean Sea. Later, he was sent to the Monastery of St. Catherine in the Sinai, where he worked in the monastery's ancient library. In January 1761, he escaped and returned on the sly to Constantinople. There, he obtained forgiveness, after which, in October 1763, he returned to Zagora, the town of his birth where he lived for the remainder of his life. In Zagora, he founded the local library and devoted himself to patristics studies and writing. He reposed in 1791 in Zagora.

Callinicus IV is sometime numbered as Callinicus III because his predecessor with the name Callinicus, who was elected patriarch in 1726 but died before his enthronement, is sometimes not counted amongst the patriarchs.


  1. Frazee, Charles (2006). Catholics and sultans : the church and the Ottoman Empire, 1453-1923. London: Cambridge University Press. pp. 161-2. ISBN 0521027004.
Succession box:
Callinicus IV of Constantinople
Preceded by:
Cyril V
Patriarch of Constantinople
1757 - 1757
Succeeded by:
Serapheim II
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