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Sisinnius II, Patriarch of Constantinople


Reigned 996 to 998; d. Constantinople, Aug. 24,998. Distinguished for his medical knowledge and his eloquence, Sisinnius succeeded the Patriarch Nicholas II after a four-year interval. He was responsible for at least three synodal decisions on marriage, one of which extended the impediment of affinity to the fifth grade, while the second and third dealt with impediments and second marriages. Some doubt exists regarding the authenticity of the latter two. He opposed the abuse called the Charisticariate, whereby monasteries were deeded to lay people or to other monasteries, which practice was originally intended as a means of preserving their financial stability. He wrote a treatise on the apparition of St. Michael the Archangel (Acta apparitionis in Chonis ) and a panegyric in honor of the martyr SS. Kerykos (Cyriacus) and Julitta, as well as a controversial Tome on Marriage (Feb. 21,997). His part in renewing difficulties between Rome and Constantinople by the republication of an anti-Latin encyclical of photius is disputed.

Bibliography: h. g. beck, Kirche und theologische Literatur im byzantinischen Reich (Munich 1959) 8889, 136, 554. v. grumel, ed., Les Regestes des actes du Patriarcat de Constantinople, v.2 (Constantinople 1936) 231239; "L'Encyclique de Photius et Sisinnius II ," Échos d'Orient 34 (1935) 129138. v. laurent, "Réponses canonique inédites," ibid. 33 (1934) 302305; "Charisticariat et commende à Byzance," Revue des études byzantines 12 (1954) 100113. e. herman, Dictionnaire de droit canonique, ed. r. naz, 7 v. (Paris 193565) 3:611617.

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