Lucaris, Cyril

Lucaris, Cyril, b 13 November 1572 in Crete, d 27 June 1638 near Istanbul. Greek theologian and patriarch. He was exarch in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth of the Patriarch of Alexandria Meletios Pegas, and rector of the theological academy in Vilnius. He participated in the Orthodox sobor that opposed the Church Union of Berestia in 1596, and worked to undo the union and restore Orthodox hegemony in Ukraine. He was elected Patriarch of Alexandria in 1602 and Patriarch of Constantinople in 1620. His support for many Protestant reforms earned him the enmity of the conservative clergy, and he was deposed (and reinstalled) as patriarch five times. Lucaris maintained close relations with Ukraine and in 1623 ratified the statutes of the Lutsk Brotherhood of the Elevation of the Cross and the Lutsk Brotherhood of the Elevation of the Cross School. In 1633 he confirmed the election of Petro Mohyla as Kyivan metropolitan and named him exarch of the Patriarch of Constantinople.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 3 (1993).]

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