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By J. M. Hussey

This booklet describes the function of the medieval Orthodox Church within the Byzantine Empire (c.600-c.1453). As a vital part of its coverage it used to be (as in western Christianity) heavily associated with many elements of way of life either legitimate and differently. It was once a formative interval for Orthodoxy. It needed to face doctrinal difficulties and heresies; even as it skilled the continuity and deepening of its liturgical existence. whereas conserving speedy to the traditions of the fathers and the councils, it observed convinced advancements in doctrine and liturgy as additionally in management. half I discusses the landmarks in ecclesiastical affairs in the Empire in addition to the artistic impression exercised at the Slavs and the expanding contacts with westerners relatively after 1204. half II provides a short account of the constitution of the medieval Orthodox Church, its officers and association, and the spirituality of laity, priests, and clergy.

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Finally under pressure he resigned on or about 13 March and went into exile on the Asian side of the Bosphorus. Though an exponent of moderation, and where possible compromise (oeconomia), when his basic principles were opposed to those of the Emperor no one could taunt him with being 'Caesar's steward'. On Easter Day (1 April 815) a new patriarch, Theodotus Mellissenus Cassiteras, was enthroned. He was reputed to be of some virtue though of unclerical habits, and he was inevitably an iconoclast.

After all both the Emperors Leo IV and Theophilus had iconophile wives. The Patriarch of Constantinople, Paul IV (780-4), was old and infirm and apparently filled with remorse for his earlier iconoclast views when he had sworn to oppose icon veneration. Now after having urged the calling of a general council to reconcile the Byzantine Church with the rest of Christendom, he retired to a monastery and resigned. Tarasius (784-806), an able layman and administrator, the protoasecretis (first secretary), was elected Patriarch in his place and on this occasion, as earlier in the case of Patriarch Germanus, he was 32 acclaimed by 'all the people' 32 Theophanes, I.

The Patriarch Tarasius only penalized the priest Joseph who had been persuaded to perform the marriage, exercising oeconomia towards the Emperor. Both the offence and the temporizing patriarchal attitude gave the extreme monastic element grounds for opposition to Tarasius and the Emperor. But the loudly-voiced criticism of the monks only resulted in the exile of Abbot Plato of Saccudium (a house on Mount Olympus in Bithynia) and his followers, including Theodore (later of the Studite monastery in Constantinople).

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