Eastern Orthodox Patriarchs after 1453

My question:

Were the Eastern Orthodox Patriarchs after 1453, the Fall of Constantinople, really appointed by Turkish Muslim Sultans? And if so, does this have any weight in the Orthodox vs. Catholic debate?

(read more if you desire elaboration and reasoning for my question)

I have been researching articles about the differences between Eastern Orthodoxy and Catholicism. I have been trying to understand both sides and to see where the truth lies amidst the controversy.

During this search, I came across this article at Catholicdefense.blogspot.com and was intrigued by a point made by “Nick” in the very last comment of the article:

“After Constantinople fell to the Muslims in 1454, the Sultan appointed ALL Patriarchs from then on, and made them pledge oaths to the Turkish state, including the duty to be rabidly anti-Catholic. As a result, open and honest communications has been shut off from the Eastern Orthodox until about 50 years ago.”

In response, I sought out other sources for this assertion by “Nick” and wasn’t able to find much. And so, again, my question is this:

Were the Eastern Orthodox Patriarchs after 1453, the Fall of Constantinople, really appointed by Turkish Muslim Sultans? And if so, does this have any weight in the Orthodox vs. Catholic debate?

Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks!

They were appointed or “confirmed” by the Ottoman authorities. But it has no bearing in the Catholic v. Orthodox debate today. It did cause a lot of instability in the previous era, as one faction would pay to have another removed, etc.
Imagine the question in the context of China today.

IIRC, the present situation isn’t much different. The Republic of Turkey still reserves to itself the right of “confirmation” of the election of the Ecumenical Patriarch. Plus, the elected Patriarch must be a citizen of Turkey. Sounds like a rerun of the Ottoman Empire, doesn’t it?

At least they leave the Armenians and Syrian in peace. It wasn’t so long ago that everyone had to be a “Turk” or die.

I think it still is. I don’t know how much they leave the Syriacs (Eastern or Western) in peace. The old SCC patriarchate seems to be the subject of some dispute. :frowning: The SOC hasn’t fared much better. :frowning: The few Armenians in Turkey seem to hold their own, but that was true in Constantinople itself even during Ottoman days.

Or the Egyptian government’s meddling in Coptic Church affairs, for an Oriental example. There they do not confirm the choice, but they have still managed to play “divide and conquer” to their own benefit via the 1954 bylaws that make large (and growing) sections of the Coptic world ineligible, e.g., in the diaspora, as the elected must be an Egyptian citizen. This was actually one of the promises secured by locum tenens HG Bishop Pachomius: All final candidates for the Papacy had to pledge that they would work in their first year to amend the existing laws to fix the admittedly undesirable situation that we’re in now with regard to this aspect of church governance (which only came about, by the way, due to political maneuvering of various Coptic factions attempting to play favorites with the state, which in turn essentially said “settle this among yourselves or we’ll do it, and you won’t like it”; much of Samuel Tadros’ recent book Homeland Lost focuses on this sad history of political infighting that developed within the Ottoman empire and its disastrous effect on the Church; there’s really very little to be proud of during some lengthy periods). To my knowledge, nothing has been done about the laws due to other, more pressing situations that have come to a head since HH’s election, such as you can read about in the paper everyday. :frowning:

Someone labelled Anonymous posted these at Qadishat about the Syriac Catholic Patriarchate:

How did the Syriac Catholics go from these to what they dress like today so fast? Granted, in the images, it looks like the bishop is missing masnaphto and batrashil, perhaps he’s a monk and not a bishop?

Is there a reason some Catholics have to make everything about them? The bolded part is complete and utter nonsense (which is curious since the bits before the bold are all 100% correct.

It would have been much easier for the Ottomans if they’d only had to deal with one form of Christianity in their borders. Most of the wars between Russia and the Turks were because of the Orthodox population of the empire.

Yes, the Patriarchs did have to swear loyalty to the Empire, but no, Catholics didn’t enter into it, and the only way in which the Ottomans enter into the Catholic-Orthodox divide is that they deposed a Catholic Byzantine Emperor.

Which photos in the set do you mean?

There’s a prelate dressed exactly like the Syriac Orthodox, the one with the eskeem; some of the priests even wear the phiro.

Photos #1,2, & 3 seem to depict SOC bishops and/or monks. You’ll see in photo #5 the eskeemo is typically SCC with a single cross.Photos #9 thru 11 are clearly SCC. Photo #12 shows both SOC (in koub’ono) and SCC in their variant of the kamilavkion. Photos #13 thru 15 seem to show a mix, the multi-starred eskeemo belonging to the SOC. #s16 thru 19 appear to be SCC. #20-21 are unclear. #22-23 are SOC, but #s 24 thru end are SCC.

No, it does not have any weight. The “powers that be” have taken intervened over the patriarchs of the Church even before the Great Schism.

One example among many: Emperor Theodosius II deposed St Cyril of Alexandria, Memnon of Ephesus, and Nestorius of Constantinople all at the same time and kept them in close custody.

Maybe now, but about a century ago the Turks came close to wiping the Armenians from the face of the earth in the Armenian genocide~!

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