Paul IV, Patriarch of Constantinople, St.
PAUL IV, PATRIARCH OF CONSTANTINOPLE, ST.
Patriarchate, 780–84; b. Cyprus, 724; d. Florus Monastery, Aug. 31, 784. Sometimes designated in the sources as Paul the Younger of Salamis, Paul of Cyprus, etc., Paul IV is known to have been selected for that office by Emperor Leo IV in 780 on the condition that he take an oath to pursue the imperial policy of iconoclasm. Nothing is known of Paul's background or education; but while he accepted the emperor's condition for the patriarchal nomination, he does not seem to have been a fanatic iconoclast. He used the emperor's favor, however, to extend the territorial and governmental authority of the patriarchate apparently without interfering with papal prerogatives. With the accession to power of the Empress Irene as regent (780) the religious policy of the empire was changed, and Paul, after signifying his repudiation of iconoclasm, submitted his resignation from his office and retired to the monastery of Florus. On his deathbed he received clerical emissaries from the empress, gave them a solemn retraction of his errors, and pronounced an anathema against iconoclasm. He was criticized severely by Byzantine historians; but the empress succeeded in obtaining his canonization from the pope, in order that, as she requested, he might serve the cause of the veneration of images better by his death than by his life.
Feast: Aug. 28.
Bibliography: Acta Sanctorum Aug. 4:96. j. d. mansi, Sacrorum Conciliorum nova et amplissima collectio, 31 v. (Florence-Venice 1757–98); reprinted and continued by l. petit and j.b. martin 53 v. in 60 (Paris 1889–1927; repr. Graz 1960–) 12:951–1154. g. ostrogorsky, History of the Byzantine State, tr. j. hussey from 2d German ed. (Oxford 1956); American ed. by p. charanis (New Brunswick, N.J. 1957) 102–106.