Jerusalem, Synod Of

JERUSALEM, SYNOD OF (1672). By far the most important of the many synods held at Jerusalem (see Wetzer and Welte, Kirchenlexikon, 2nd ed., vi. 1357 sqq.) is that of 1672; and its confession is the most vital statement of faith made in the Greek Church during the past thousand years. It refutes article by article the confession of Cyril Lucaris, which appeared in Latin at Geneva in 1629, and in Greek, with the addition of four "questions," in 1633. Lucaris, who died in 1638 as patriarch of Constantinople, had corresponded with Western scholars and had imbibed Calvinistic views. The great opposition which arose during his lifetime continued after his death, and found classic expression in the highly venerated confession of Petrus Mogilas, metropolitan of Kiev (1643). Though this was intended as a barrier against Calvinistic influences, certain Reformed writers, as well as Roman Catholics, persisted in claiming the support of the Greek Church for sundry of their own positions. Against the Calvinists the synod of 1672 therefore aimed its rejection of unconditional predestination and of justification by faith alone, also its advocacy of what are substantially the Roman doctrines of transubstantiation and of purgatory; the Oriental hostility to Calvinism had been fanned by the Jesuits. Against the Church of Rome, however, there was directed the affirmation that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and not from both Father and Son; this rejection of the filioque was not unwelcome to the Turks. Curiously enough, the synod refused to believe that the heretical confession it refuted was actually by a former patriarch of Constantinople; yet the proofs of its genuineness seem to most scholars overwhelming. In negotiations between Anglican and Russian churchmen the confession of Dositheus [1] usually comes to the front.

TEXTS. The confession of Dositheus, or the eighteen decrees of the Synod of Jerusalem, appeared in 1676 at Paris as Synodus Bethlehemitica; a revised text in 1678 as Synodus Jerosolymitana; Hardouin, Ada conciliorum, vol. xi. ; Kimrael, Monuments, fidei ecclesiae orientalis (Jena, 1850; critical edition); P. Schaff, The Creeds of Christendom, vol. ii. (text after Hardouin and Kimmel, with Latin translation) ; The Acts and Decrees of the Synod of Jerusalem translated from the Greek, with notes, by J. N. W. B. Robertson (London, 1899) ; J. Michalcescu, Die Bekenntnisse und die wichtigsten Glaubenszeugnisse der griechisch-orientalischen Kirche (Leipzig, 1904; Kimmel's text with introductions). LITERATURE. The Doctrine of the Russian Church . . . translated by R. W. Blackmore (Aberdeen, 1845), p. xxv. sqq.; Schaff, i. 1 7 ;FWetzer and We\te,Kirchenlexikon (2nd ed.)( vi. 1359 seq.; Herzog-Hauck, Realencyklopadie (3rd ed.), viii. 703-705; Michalcescu, 123 sqq. (See COUNCILS.) (W. W. R.*)

[1] Patriarch of Jerusalem (1669-1707), who presided over the synod.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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