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Cyril owns his Confession.
and endeavours to justify it.
Metropolitans of Sophia and Bulgaria against Cyril.
troduced as appropriate to Cardinals, and invited him to dinner. After this, the Count, producing the Confession of Faith, inquired if Cyril had composed it, and supposing that report to be true, if he still entertained the same sentiments. Cyril, after carefully examining it, replied that he was; adding that if there were errors in it, he should be most happy to be convinced of them from Holy Scripture; that, however, the Pope had no right to interfere in the matter; that if his views were heretical, it was the duty of the hundred Greek Metropolitans and Bishops, over whom he presided, canonically assembled in Synod, to expose and condemn them. The Ambassador replied, that His Eminence was believed, no less in France than at Rome, to be a Calvinist; that his master bore a particular hatred to that sect; and that it would be greatly to his advantage to embrace the Roman Catholic Faith. Cyril answered, that in a matter of such fearful importance, where eternal salvation was at stake, he would neither follow the example of the King of France, nor of any one else, without mature deliberation. The Patriarch and the Ambassador then parted on good terms.
Shortly after this, two schismatical Greek Prelates, the one Metropolitan of Sophia, or Sardica, and either Meletius I. or II.,1 the other of Bulgaria, named Nectarius,2 arrived from Rome, with the design of expelling Cyril. They were entertained by the French Ambassador; and the danger appeared considerable. Cyril had now less protection from the English Embassy than formerly. For Sir Peter Wych, though, on the whole, well disposed towards him, was not on such intimate terms with him as Sir Thomas Rowe had enjoyed; and it must be remembered that Calvinian influence was rapidly declining in the Court of England, with the increasing power of Laud, then Bishop of London.
The two Metropolitans at first contented themselves with railing at Cyril,3 calling him heretic, infidel, and Lutheran: they next called together such Prelates as happened to be at Constantinople, and informed them that as soon as they received further instructions from Rome, they would purchase the Patri> Le Quien, ii. 304, 5. 2 Le Quien, ii. 299.
3 Smith, p. 54.
archate, and farm it out. Cyril hastily summoned his friends, and, by their prudent counsel, exposed the whole plot to the Vizir; and the danger was thus for the time averted. But, soon afterwards, the two Metropolitans won three more to their side; and the five united had almost procured the banishment of the Patriarch: but a present of ten thousand dollars to the Porte baffled their design.
But, in October, 1633, Cyril Contari, Metropolitan of Bersea, Cyril of a pupil of the Jesuits, became a far more formidable antagonist. He had been raised to the Episcopate by Timothy1; and on the resignation of the See of Thessalonica by Paisius, who took up his residence in Muscovy, he was dispatched by Cyril to govern that Church during the vacancy. Attracted by the pleasantness of the situation, and the conveniences of the city, Contari requested from the Patriarch to be elevated to the See; but Cyril had already destined it for Anastasius Pattelari, who was accordingly invested with that dignity. This disappointment was never forgiven by Contari; and now, having been incautiously sent on a mission by Cyril to collect alms for the Church of Constantinople in Muscovy, with the money thus collected he determined to purchase the Patriarchate, for which he promised fifty thousand dollars. He could not, however, raise the full sum, and was, therefore, banished, with an accomplice, to Tenedos.
Cyril met with ingratitude in all quarters. Anastasius Patte- Feb. 1634. lari, forgetful of the benefit he had received, and of his connexion with Cyril, (for he was his fellow countryman,) offered rtis patteia" sixty thousand dollars for the Patriarchate: Cyril was deposed, cym. and banished to Tenedos also. Contari was no longer here, having been already forgiven by the kindhearted Patriarch. During his exile, Cyril corresponded with M. Leger, who seems to have gained a stronger influence over him than any of the other Calvinists had been able to obtain. At the end of a month, Anastasius was deposed.2 The Patriarchate was again offered to Cyril, on condition of his raising seventy thousand dollars; which was at length effected by extraordinary exertion
1 Leo Allat. 1075 (iii. xi. 5). Smith 2 Phil. Cyp. 16.
gives rather a different account.
and great self-denial on the part of his poor flock; and he returned to Constantinople in June. It appears that M. Leger designed to return to Geneva, probably on a temporary absence. On the 28th of August, o.s., Cyril writes to him to request him to provide a fitting superintendent for the press: and also, "pregarla, suplicarla e protestarla per le vescere del N. S. Jesu Christo che vogli differire anco questo inverno l'andata sua." And he even says, "Cosi vi prego che facerati questa gratia non a me, ma à tutta la Chiesa." Leger seems to have given way.1
We give another Letter verbatim as Cyril wrote it2:—
"Reverendissimo e dotissimo mon Signor Leger, Fratello in Jesu Christo Dilettissimo post Christianam et fraternam salutem.
"Molto mi consolano le lettere di Vostra Reverentia differentemente truovando, e scoprendo in quelle spirito d'lDDio: ne è maraviglia: perche la vostra conscienza essendo vaso del Spirito Santo e della sua verità, uno che ancor noi participamo del Odore benedetto, e tanto lontani di stanti, con molta utilità del nostro spirito: lo quale sempre lo abbiate giovato, nella pratica che habiamo havuto: e vi sono molto obligate appresso Iddio: sebene io non habbia mai voluto rivelare à Vostra Reverentia questo secreto che adesso voi mi havete fato capace del sacrosanto mystero dell'eucharistia: che mi sono lavati tutti li dubii e tengo questo per un Thesoro da Vostra Reverentia donatomi: e per gratia d'lDDio non risparmio di communicar ad altri la verità del sacramento con frutto Christiano: si bene crepasse il Coressi et quanti altri si accordano con lui: quali sono quelli che occupano tyrannicamente il santuario d'lDDio: huomini ignoranti, falssi, e traditori della fede del nostro Signor Jesu Christo: questi tali sapendo che caso che io dal presente essilio mi liberasse, si hanno da confonder, e andar de male: mettono tutte le forze loro, e fanno tanta ruina per tenerme qui, e se puotessero più lontano sepelir mandarme: ma io che nella mia Causa tengo avocato sicuro il mio Signor Jesu Christo, spero che le cose in altra maniera si rivolterano à confusione di loro, et a nostra consolatione: Iddio Signore benedetto facci quello che è espediente all' anima e conscienza nostra: altro non dico. Li quaterni che mi ha qui mandato ho descritto, e voleva rimandargli, ma ho differito perche non sene viene huomo nostro sicuro: chi verrà primo della miei, lui li portara: sarà contenta Vostra Reverentia communicarmi il suo paralello: se tarda il mio ritorno costi? che Vostra Reverentia deve sapere: se non tarda le vedro doppo che saro venuto. Alli signori dello Synodo di Hollanda voglio scriver solennemente, ma la dilatione fatta insin hora e perche qui son privo d'ogni commodità, per scriver come voglio: et io havendo speranza di giorno in giorno di liberarmi ho tralasciato: ma in questo puoco che resta aspetarò: e puoi deliberaro di fare: tutti li falssidici e adversarii della verità corrono in Babylonia, in adoratione della statua: et è tra l'Idolo et tra quelche curvat genu, un bel trafico e l'uno vuol ingrevar l'altro. Il furbo Patelaro sperando di haver soccorso alla sua miseria è fuggito à Roma con senso che sene va per zelo della Catholica Religione, non puotendo star in Turchia per che era da me persequitato, per causa della Religione: quest' è la scusa della sua peregrinatione: il Papa, come intendo, l'ha visto bene, non per volergli bene, ma per mostrar di fuori, che noi siamo inimici della fede Catholica, e fabricare conforme vengono li Architetti Jesuiti à insegnare: e cosi ingana l'un l'altro: misero chi si fonda sopra la falssità: non dico altro. Iddio Signore guardi e feliciti Vostra Reverentia.
1 This letter has never been pub- !This letter also has never been
lished; but it now lies before us. It published. It is not marked in the is marked 14 in the Geneva Collection. Geneva Collection.
"DiRhodis alli 29 Decembre, stylo vechio, 1635.
"Di Vostra Signoria Reverentissima amico
In the next year,1 the Sultan happening to be absent in the provinces, Contari requested an audience; and being now free
Cyril banished to Rhodes.
from the opposing influence of the English and Dutch Ambassadors, again obtained possession of the (Ecumenical Throne. Cyril was again banished, and at Chios he wrote the following letter, which can be called nothing less than profane, to M.
"Most Reverend M. Leger, my most dear brother in Christ,— "Arrived here at Scio, I have found rest, being delivered from the hands of my enemies, as Your Reverence will understand from our most excellent Ambassador, to whom I gave a particular account of everything. Praised be the Divine Providence that He cares for His own, and does not leave them to the end. Many gentlemen of this country, and learned persons, visit me in my lodging, and we dispute, moreover, in a tolerable way. Yesterday, speaking of the Mediator, I learned a fine doctrine of Dr. Coressi's, who said to me that it is quite true that there is one Mediator, Jesus Christ; but then, said he, there are other lesser ones who intercede. Thus said Coressi. M. Leger, on my conscience I say with truth, that Coressi and the rest of his adherents are so ignorant, that their arguments and disputations make sensible men sick, and the Jesuits are their dupes; and I am astonished that they do not perceive how void of sense and judgment they are. With all this, the ignorant vulgar think a great deal of Coressi, not for his learning, but because he is a good companion. I found out this in three days after I had been in Scio; and I wished to communicate it to Your Reverence, that you might know with what sort of a person you dispute about that high subject of Transubstantiation which makes Jesus Christ out of a piece of bread or wafer.
"For the rest, Signor Dr. Leger, His Excellency will easily explain to you my condition, both what and how it is. I conclude by sending my respects, and pray the Lord to vouchsafe you every good thing."
"Chios, 4, 14 April, 1635."
Coressi defends the Church against Cyril.
This letter shews that the belief of Cyril was now openly heretical; and that he deserved deposition. Coressi1 was a
1 Aymon, pp. 69, seq. Simon, Hist. Crit. tries to prove Coressi a Romanist.
p. 45. Aymon most unfairly