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Theophylactus of Ochryda


Archbishop of Ochryda (Ochrid, Yugoslavia), called the Bulgar, Byzantine prelate, scholar, and exegete; b. Euripus in Euboea, c. 1050; d. c. 1108. He studied philosophy at Constantinople under Michael Psellus, became the first teacher of rhetoric in the patriarchal school and tutor to constantine vii porphyrogenitus, son of Emperor Michael VII, and functioned as deacon in Hagia Sophia. About 1078, he was made bishop of Ochryda, at that time under the Bulgars. In letters to his friends in Constantinople he expresses a great longing to return and a suspicion that this post was an exile for him. He employed his native genius, joined with deep Biblical and patristic erudition, to produce commentaries on the four Gospels, the minor Prophets, the Acts of the Apostles, the Epistles of St. Paul, the canonical Epistles, and a compendium of the commentaries of St. john chrysostom on the Gospel of St. Luke. Only three of his sermons have been edited, along with two of his hagiographical writings, History of the Fifteen Martyrs and the Life of St. Clement, archbishop of Bulgaria. His letters display his theological interests and include the tract Allocutiode iis quorum Latini incusantur (Patrologia Graeca, ed. J. P. Migne, 161 v. (Paris 185766) 126:221249), written c. 1090, when Pope urban ii and Emperor alexius i comnenus were considering a council for reunion. Theophylactus wrote in an irenic style against those who called certain Latin practices grave errors and cited as controverted practices three that have no dogmatic importance: clerical celibacy, fasting on Saturday, and the use of azyme or unleavened bread. At times he seems to reject the Catholic teaching on papal supremacy while yet allowing a Catholic interpretation of the primacy of Peter in the early Church. While he condoned the Latin doctrine of the filioque as a result of deficient theological vocabulary, he insisted on the teaching of photius and Psellus that the eternal procession of the Holy Spirit comes from the Father alone (see processions, trinitarian).

Bibliography: Opera Omnia, ed. j. f. b. de rubeis, 4 v. (Venice 175463). m. jugie, Theologia dogmatica christianorum orientalium ab ecclesia catholica dissidentium, 5 v. (Paris 192635), v.1. m. jugie, Échos d'Orient 23 (1924) 58. h. g. beck, Kirche und theologische Literatur im byzantinischen Reich (Munich 1959) 649651. j. drÄseke, " Schrift gegen die Lateiner," Byzantinische Zeitschrift 10 (1901) 519529. m. kusseff, "St. Clement of Ochrida," The Slavonic and East European Review 27 (194849) 193215. n. adontz, Byzantion 11 (1936) 577588. a. leroy-molinghen, ibid. 589592; 13 (1938) 253262, letters to Gregory Taronitēs.

[g. a. maloney]

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