CÆRULARIUS, MICHAEL: Patriarch of Constantinople 1043-58. The exact date and place both of his birth and death are unknown, and few details of his life are certain. During the reign of Michael the Paphlagonian (1034-41) he was banished for conspiracy, but he was raised to the patriarchate by Constantine Monomachus, who hoped to find in him a firm ally. Cærularius, however, strenuously defended the rights of the Church, and his chief importance is due to the fact that his course resulted in the complete cleavage between the Greek and Roman Churches. At the very time when the Norman War gave the Byzantine court and the pope an opportunity to draw more closely together, the patriarch violently suppressed the Latin ritual observed in many cloisters and churches, and renewed the ancient charges of Photius in a letter to the bishop of Trani in Apulia, reserving his special attack for the Roman use of unleavened bread in the Sacrament, which he condemned as Jewish. Leo IX replied with a haughty defense of the primacy of Rome, and at Constantine's request an embassy was sent to Constantinople, headed by the Cardinal Bishop Humbert. Their letters were intended to win over the emperor and humble the patriarch, and the feeble Constantine, overawed by Humbert's attacks on the Greek Church, had neither the courage to protect Cærularius nor to oppose him openly. The patriarch, however, refused to yield, and on July 16, 1054, the embassy excommunicated him and all his adherents. After the departure of the envoys, Cærularius regained his prestige with Constantine, and maintained it during the reign of Theodora. Isaac Comnenus, on the other hand, banished him on account of his arrogance in 1058, and he seems to have died shortly afterward. In addition to the letters already mentioned, Cærularius was the author of some decretals (De episcoporum judiciis, De nuptiis in septimo gradu non contrahendis, De sacerdotis uxore adulterio polluta; edited by Rhalles and Potlis, "Collection of Canons," v. 40-47) and a few writings still preserved in manuscript (De missa, Opus contra Latinos; listed by Fabricius, Bibliotheca Grœca, ed. Harles, xi. 195-197).


BIBLIOGRAPHY: C. Will, Acta et scripta . . . de controversia ecclesiœ . . ., Marburg, 1861; J. Hergenröther, Photius, vol. iii., Regensburg, 1869 (rich in original matter); A. Pichler, Geschichte der kirchlichen Trennung zwischen dem Orient and Occident, 2 vols., Munich, 1864-65; R. Baxmann, Die Politik der Päpste, vol. ii., Elberfeld, 1868-69; W. Fischer, Studien zur byzantinischen Geschichte des elften Jahrhunderts, Plauen, 1883; K. Krumbacher, Geschichte der byzantinischen Litteratur, passim, Munich, 1897.


CCEL home page
This document is from the Christian Classics Ethereal Library at
Calvin College. Last modified on 05/10/04. Contact the CCEL.
Calvin seal: My heart I offer you O Lord, promptly and sincerely