JEREMIAS II., jer"e-mai'as: Patriarch of Constantinople; b. at Anchialos (now Ahiolo, 130 m. n.w. of Constantinople) about 1530; d. at Constantinople 1595. He received no systematic education in his youth. After officiating as metropolitan of Larissa, he was patriarch of Constantinople from 1572 to 1573 or 1579, from 1580 to 1584, and again from 1586 to 1595. In his efforts to reorganize the Greek Church he reenforced the existing laws and ordinances, and reached the climax of his endeavors in the synod held at Constantinople in 1593, which assailed simony, demanded a better education of the clergy, who were also required to preach frequently, took up the question of common schools, and reinstituted the "national synod." In his foreign relations Jeremias is noteworthy as the founder of the patriarchate of Russia, during a visit to that country in 1588-89, while he vigorously maintained the independence of the Greek Church against the Jesuits sent by Gregory XIII. to the East to win it over to the Roman Catholic Church. In the same spirit he refused to accept the Gregorian calendar, which was regarded by the Greeks as heretical.

Jeremi is particularly interesting on account of his correspondence with the Lutherans of Tübingen, the letters being contained in the Acta et scripta theologorum Wirtembergensium et Patriarchae Constantinopolitani D. Hieremiae (Wittenberg, 1584). Although the replies of the patriarch were not actually written by him, but by his pronotary, Theodosios Zygomalas, and are merely compilations from such Church Fathers as Basil and Chrysostom, and modern authors like Joseph Bryennios, Nikolaos Kabasilas, and Symeon of Thessalonica, they are important for an evaluation of the modern Greek Church, since they manifest genuine Greek orthodoxy and contain its first official verdict on Lutheranism, which they definitely rejected.

The history of the affair was as follows: In 1573 Stephen Gerlach went to Constantinople as preacher to the German ambassador with letters of recommendation to the patriarch from Jakob Andreä


(q.v.), chancellor of the university at Tübingen, and Martin Crusius, the celebrated Hellenist and historian. The letters were well received; and the Tübingen professors were not slow to avail themselves of the opportunity of establishing communication between the Greek Church and the Lutherans, especially as Gerlach had become a personal friend of Zygomalas. They accordingly sent a second letter, dated Sept. 15, 1574, together with a Greek translation of the Augsburg Confession, and a third letter, dated Mar. 20, 1575, with a Greek translation of two sermons by Andreä and a request for an opinion concerning the Lutheran creed. The patriarch's answer, dated May 15, 1576, consisted of an elaborate treatise, in which he praised the articles on the church, the ecclesiastical office, the marriage of priests, and eschatology, but censured the introduction of "filioque" in the creed, and the depreciation of good works. He also insisted on seven virtues, vices, and sacraments, trine immersion, monastic vows, and the invocation of the saints at the consecration of the elements. The treatise, however, induced the Tübingen theologians to give a systematic defense of the principles on which their confession rested, and a new letter was sent, dated June 18, 1577, but it took two years before the patriarch's answer arrived (May, 1579), and it read more like a rebuke than an answer. Nevertheless, the Lutherans determined to try once more, and in the spring of 1580 sent a defense to Constantinople, but the patriarch's answer of June 6, 1581, was curt and final, and the Protestants were obliged to clone the correspondence.


BIBLIOGRAPHY: P. Meyer, Die theologische Litteratur der griechischen Kirche im 16. Jahrhurdert, Leipsic, 1899; Hefele, in TQS, 1843, p. 544; P. Kerameus, in Byzantinische Zeitschrift, 1899, pp. 392 sqq.


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