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MELCHITES


159


MELCHITES


the Turkish Empiro. During the dark ages that fol- low, the (Ecumenical Patriarch continually strove (and generally managed) to assert ecclesiastical juris- diction over the Melchites (Orth. Eastern Ch., 240, 285-289, 310, etc.). Meanwhile the three patriarchs (of Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem), finding little to do among their diminished flocks, for long periods came to live at Constantinople, idle ornaments of the Plianar. The lists of these patriarchs will he found in Le Quien (loc. cit. below). Gradually all the people of Egypt, Syria, and Palestine since the Arab conquest forgot their original languages and spoke only Arabic, as they do still. This further affected their litui-gies. Little by little Arabic tegan to be used in church. Since the seventeenth century at the latest, the native Orthodox of these countries use Arabic for all services, though the great numter of Greeks among them keep their own language.

But already a much more important change in the Uturgy of the Melchites had taken place. We have seen that the most characteristic note of these com- munities was their dependence on Constantinople. That was the difference between them and their old rivals the Monophysites, long after the quarrel about the nature of Christ had practically been forgotten. The Monophysites, isolated from, the rest of Christen- dom, kept the old rites of Alexandria and Antioch- Jerusalem pure. They still use these rites in the old languages (Coptic and Syriac). The Melchites on the other hand submitted to Byzantine influence in their litui'gies. The Byzantine litanies (Synaptai), the ser- vice of the Ptoskomide and other elements were intro- duced into the Greek Alexandrine Rite before the twelfth or thirteenth centuries; so also in Syria and Palestine the Melchites admitted a nmiiber of Byzan- tine elements into t heir ser\ices (Charon, op. cit., 9-25).

Then in the tliirteenth century came the final change. The Melchites gave up their old rites alto- gether and adopted that of Constantinople. Theodore IV (Balsamon) of Antioch (1185-1214?) marks the date of this change. The crusatlers held Antioch in his time, so he retired to Constantinople and lived there under the shadow of the CEeumenical Patriarch. While he was there he adopted the Byzantine Rite. In 1203 Mark II of Alexandria (1195-c."l210) wrote to Theodore asking various questions about the liturgy. Theodore in his answer insists on the use of Constanti- nople as the only right one for all the Orthodox, and Mark undertook to adopt it (P. G., CXXXVIII, 953 sq.). When Theodosius IV of Antioch (1269-1276) was aljle to set up his throne again in his own city he imposed the Byzantine Rite on all his clergy. At Jeru- salem the old liturgy disappeared at about the same time (Charon, op. cit., 11-12, 21, 23).

We have then for the liturgies of the Melchites these periods: first the old national rites in Greek, but also in the languages of the country, especially in Syria and Palestine, gradually Byzantinized till the thirteenth century. Then the Byzantine Rite alone in Greek in Egypt, in Greek and Syriac in Syria and Palestine, with gradually increasing use of Arabic to the six- teenth or seventeenth century. Lastly the same rite in Arabic only by the natives, in Greek by the foreign (Greek) patriarchs and bishops.

The last development we notice is the steady in- crease of this foreign (Greek) element in all the higher places of the clergy. As the Phanar at Constantinople grew more and more powerful over the Melchites, so did it more and more, in ruthless defiance of the feeling of the people, send them Greek patriarchs, metropoli- tans, and archimandrites from its own body. For centuries the lower married clergy and simple monks have been natives, speaking Aral)ic and using Arabic in the liturgy, while all the prelates have been Greeks, who often do not even know the language of the coun- try. At last, in our own time, the native Orthodox have rebelled against this state of things. At Antioch


the}' have now succeeded in the recognition of their native Patriarch, Gregory IV (Hadad) after a schism with Constantinople. The troubles caused by the same movement at Jerusalem are still fresh in every- one's mind. It is certain that as soon as the present Greek patriarchs of Jerusalem (Damianos V) and Alexandria (Photios) die, there will be a determined effort to appoint natives as their successors. But these quarrels affect the modern Orthodox of these lands who do not come within the limit of this article, inasmuch as they are no longer Melchites.

IV. Uniates. — We have said that in modern times since the foundation of LTniate Byzantine churches in Syria, Palestine, and Egypt, only these Uniates .should be called Melchites. Why the old name is now re- served for them it is impossible to say. It is, however, a fact that it is so. One still occasionally in a western book finds all Christians of the Byzantine Rite in these countries called Melchites, with a further distinction be- tween Catholic and Orthodox Melchites; but the present vtriter's experience is that this is never the case among themselves. The man in imion with the great Eastern Church in those parts never now calls himself or allows himself to be called a Melchite. He is simply "Ortho- dox" in Greek or any Western language, Ruml in Arabic. Everyone there understands by Melchite a Uniate. It is true that even for them the word is not very commonly used. They are more likely to speak of themselves as ruml kathullkl or in French Grecs caiholiques; but the name Melchite, if used at all, always means to Eastern people these Uniates. It is convenient for us too to have a definite name for them less entirely wrong than "Greek Catholic" — for they are Greeks in no sense at all. A question that has often been raised is whether there is any continuity of these Byzantine Uniates since before the great schism, whether there are any communities that have never lost communion with Rome. There are such com- munities certainly in the south of Italy, Sicily, and Corsica. In the case of the Melchite lands there are none. It is true that there have been approaches to reunion continually since the eleventh century, indi- vidual bishops have made their submission at various times, the short-lived unions of Lyons (1274) and Florence (1439) included the Orthodox of these coun- tries too. But there is no continuous line; when the union of Florence was broken all the Byzantine Chiis- tians in the East fell away. The present Melchite Church dates from the eighteenth century.

Already in the seventeenth century tentative efforts at reunion were made by some of the Orthodox bish- ops of Syria. A certain Euthymius, Metropolitan of Tyre and Sidon, then the Antiochene Patriarchs Athanasius IV (1700-1728) and the famous Cyril of Berrhcea (d. 1724, the rival of Cyril Lukaris of Con- stantinople, who for a time was rival Patriarch of Antioch) approached the Holy See and hoped to re- ceive the pallium. But the professions of faith which they submitted were considered insufficient at Rome. The latinizing tendency in Syria was so well known that in 1722 a synod was held at Constantinople which drew up and sent to the Antiochene bishops a warning letter with a list of Latin heresies (in Assemani, " Bibl. Orient.", Ill, 639). However,in 1724 Seraphim Tanas, who had studied at the Roman Propaganda, was elected Patriarch of Antioch by the latinizing party. He at once made his submission to Rome and sent a Catholic profession of faith. He took the name Cyril (Cyril VI, 1724-1759); with him begins the line of Melchite patriarchs in the new sense (Uniates). In 1728 the schismatics elected Sylvester, a Greek monk from Athos. He was recognized by the Phanar and the other Orthodox churches; through him the Ortho- dox line continues. Cyril VI suffered considerable persecution from the Orthodox, and for a time had to flee to the Lebanon. He received the pallium from Benedict XIV in 1744. In 1760, wearied by the con-