Pyrrhus I of Constantinople

From OrthodoxWiki
Revision as of 01:12, July 27, 2011 by Wsk (talk | contribs) (new article)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to: navigation, search

Pyrrhus I of Constantinople' was the Patriarch of Constantinople for two periods, from 638 to 641 and for five months during 654. A supporter of the heresy of Monothelitism, Pyrrhus later confessed his Orthodoxy, publicly, after long debate with St. Maximus the Confessor, but then lapsed again into Monothelitism.


Little is known of the early life of Pyrrhus. Pyrrhus was an archimandrite of Chrysopolis and friend of the Patr. Sergius I. After the death of Sergius, he succeeded Sergius as Patriarch of Constantinople on December 20, 638. Like Sergius, Pyrrhus supported the Ecthesis ("Ekthesis tes pisteos" or "Exposition of Faith) of emperor Heraclius that decreed that everyone must accept the teaching of one will in the two natures of the Savior, a heresy generally referred to as Monothelitism.

After the death of emperor Heraclius in 641, Pyrrhus was accused of plotting against the new emperor, Constantine III, and was deposed on September 29, 641. He was then banished to Carthage in Africa. While in Carthage Pyrrhus met Maximus the Confessor with whom he debated on faith. In time, the discussions turned Pyrrhus to Orthodoxy and he publicly acknowledged his error and wrote a book of his confession of Orthodox Faith. In 647, Pyrrhus traveled to Rome to visit Pope Theodore I, who received him as the Patriarch of Constantinople.

Subsequently, Pyrrhus continued on to Ravenna before returning to Constantinople. There, he reversed his position again and re-embraced Monothelitism. As a consequence Pope Theodore I excommunicated Pyrrhus. After he again embraced Monothelitism, Pyrrhus was successful in receiving back the throne as Patriarch of Constantinople on January 9, 654. His second period as Patriarch of Constantinople, however, proved to be short as he was turned out of office on June 1, 654. He died a year later on May 19, 655 in Constantinople.

Succession box:
Pyrrhus I of Constantinople

{{succession| before=Sergius I| title=Patriarch of Constantinople| years=638–641| after=Paul II

Preceded by:
Paul II
Patriarch of Constantinople
Succeeded by:
Help with box