Callinicus IV of Constantinople

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Callinicus IV
Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople
Church Church of Constantinople
Appointed 16 Jan 1757
Term ended 22 July 1757
Predecessor Cyril V
Successor Serapheim II
Personal details
Birth name Constantine Mavrikios
Born 1713
Zagora, Greece
Died 1791 (aged 77–78)
Zagora, Greece
Previous post Metropolitan of Brăila

Callinicus IV (Greek: Καλλίνικος Δ΄), born Constantine Mavrikios (Greek: Κωνσταντίνος Μαυρίκιος), was Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople for a few months in 1757 and a writer and scholar.

Callinicus IV is sometime numbered as Callinicus III because his predecessor Callinicus, who was elected in 1726 but died before being enthroned, is sometimes not counted amongst the patriarchs.[1]


Constantine Mavrikios (Callinicus is his religious name) was born in Zagora, Greece in 1713 and in 1728 he moved to Istanbul. In 1740 he was ordained a deacon and on 28 August 1741 he was appointed Great Protosyncellus of the Patriarchate. On 23 September 1743 he was appointed the Metropolitan Bishop of Proilavo (i.e. Brăila, in Romania), a position he kept till 1748 when he returned to Istanbul.[2]

His years in Istanbul were marked by the polemic debate in the Orthodox community about whether converts the Roman Catholic and Armenian Apostolic Churches needed to be re-baptised. These communities were particularly numerous after the Ottoman–Venetian War wherein the Ottoman Empire reconquered the Venetian-ruled Peloponnese.

The supporters of the invalidity of Catholic and Armenian baptisms, and consequently of the need to re-baptize, were Patriarch Cyril V supported by some scholars such as Eugenios Voulgaris and Eustratios Argenti, and a large portion of the populace, instigated by the demagogic monk Auxentios.[3] The opposition to re-baptism was formed by the larger part of the Metropolitans led by Callinicus. Their position was not due to compliance with the Latins, but rather that they considered the re-baptisms an innovation not envisaged by the ancient canons and contrary to the liturgical praxis.

When the Holy Synod voted on 28 April 1755 against the positions of Cyril V, the latter exiled the members of the Holy Synod who were contrary to his view.[4] Callinicus was persecuted and had to escape. In 1755 Cyril V issued his formal "Oros (Tome) of the Holy Great Church of Christ" which required re-baptism for all converts in any case.

In 1756 Callinicus took refuge in the French embassy in Istanbul, and here he obtained a large amount of money which was given to the Sultan Osman III. This resulted in Cyril's deposition on 16 January 1757 and in the appointment of Callinicus to the Patriarchate.[4] However his appointment was strongly opposed by a mob, and his enthronement could be celebrated only with the presence of Ottoman soldiers. After the ceremony, the mod tried unsuccessfully to seize him.[4] This opposition to Callinicus hindered any attempt of him to retire the Oros, and his position was so difficult that he had to resign 22 July 1757,[5] in favor of Serapheim II who remained neutral on the issue.[3]

After his resignation Callinicus was exiled to Limnos and later to the Sinai where he stayed in the Saint Catherine's Monastery. In this obligatory residence he worked in the ancient library of the Monastery. In January 1761 he escaped and returned on the slay in Istanbul, where he obtained to be forgiven and in October 1763 he returned to his birth town, Zagora.[2]

The last period of his life was passed in Zagora, where he founded the local library and devoted himself to patristics studies and to writing.[6] He died in Zagora in 1791.


  1. The ordinal number "IV" is used by scholars such as Gedeon (1890), Janin (1914), Runciman (1985), Kiminas (2009)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Λιναριτακησ, Εμμανουηλ (1996). Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης Καλλίνικος ο Γ΄ (Δ΄) και το θέμα του αναβαπτισμού (Thesis). Aristotle University Of Thessaloniki (AUTH). pp. 407-408 and abstract. Retrieved 21 June 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>(Greek)
  3. 3.0 3.1 Runciman, Steven (1985). The Great Church in captivity. Cambridge University Press. pp. 358–9. ISBN 978-0-521-31310-0.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Frazee, Charles (2006). Catholics and sultans : the church and the Ottoman Empire, 1453-1923. London: Cambridge University Press. pp. 161–2. ISBN 0-521-02700-4.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Kiminas, Demetrius (2009). The Ecumenical Patriarchate. Wildside Press LLC. p. 41. ISBN 978-1-4344-5876-6.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης Καλλίνικος ο Γ΄ (Δ΄)". Zagora Public Historical Library. Retrieved 21 June 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>(Greek)