n Ekklesiastikos Pharos - The representation of the Patriarchate of Alexandria at Ferrara-Florence & the fight against proselytization in the provinces from the 15th to 18th century : investigation on the basis of the sources : research article




During the early Christianity period, Alexandria was not only a very important Church center but a cultural one as well. Its decline began after the city was seized by the Arabs. It remained under the occupation of the Mamluk Turks and then of the Ottoman Turks. Despite all the problems the Patriarchate of Alexandria had to face, it continued to constitute a united Church, which was always present in the fight for the defense of Orthodoxy. This was also the case during the Ferrara-Florence Council. During that Council the representatives of the Patriarchate of Alexandria, Metropolitan of Heraclia Antonios and Chancellor Grigorios, signed in favour of the unification with the Roman-Catholic (Latin) Church. But later on, the Seat of Apostle Mark changed its policy and decided to condemn the unification of the Eastern and Western Churches. The Roman Catholic Church decided then to proceed with proselytization tactics towards the Orthodox people of Alexandria but found a Uniate Church in Alexandria, after having realized that its unification policy in Egypt had failed. Many important figures, such as Patriarchs Meletios Pigas, Cyrill Loukaris, Metrofanis Kritopoulos, Matthew Psaltis and many others, objected vigorously to all of its tactics and became enlightened guides for their flock during that period. From the beginning of the 19th century onwards, when Muhammad Ali, well-known for his philhellenism, took over the governance of the area, the number of Greeks in the area increased significantly leading to a further empowerment of the Church of Alexandria. In essence this meant that the proselytization tactics on behalf of the Roman Catholic Church were eventually limited.


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