Metrophanes Critopoulos

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Patriarch of Alexandria (163339), Byzantine scholar; b. Beroea, Macedonia, 1589; d. Vallachia, 1639. Metrophanes embraced the monastic life on Mount athos, where he met Cyril lucaris, and accompanied him to Alexandria. In 1617 he was invited by the Archbishop of Canterbury, George Abbot, to visit England, and he spent ten years traveling in Europe, studying Protestantism and Anglicanism. He visited Oxford; then Hamburg, Bremen, Helmstedt, Wittemberg, Berlin, Leipzig, Tübingen, and Strassburg in Germany; Basel, Berne, Zurich, and Geneva in Switzerland. In November 1627 he was in Venice and left there for Constantinople. He was in Egypt in 1631 and had apparently been consecrated a bishop by 1633; in 1636 he was patriarch of Alexandria. As patriarch he subscribed to the decisions of the Synod of Constantinople (1638), which condemned his predecessor and benefactor, Cyril Lucaris. Metrophanes wrote a Confessio catholicae et apostolicae in Ecclesia oriente in Greek while at Helmstedt (162425); it was published there with a Latin translation by John Homeius in 1661. Protestant influence is noticeable in his doctrine on the Sacraments, which he reduces to three: Baptism, Eucharist, and Penance. He also rejected the deuteroncanonical books of the Bible, as well as the Catholic doctrine on indulgences and the Immaculate Conception. Only part of his works have been edited.

Bibliography: É. legrand, Bibliographie hellénique, v. 5 (Paris 1903; repr. Brussels 1963) 192218. v. grumel, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, ed. a. vacant et al., 15 v. (Paris 190350; Tables générales 1951) 10.2:162227.

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Metrophanes Critopoulos