Latin Patriarchate of Antioch

The Latin Patriarch of Antioch was a religious office of the Latin Church of the Catholic Church created in 1098 by Bohemond, founder of the Principality of Antioch, one of the crusader states.

The jurisdiction of the Latin patriarchs in Antioch extended over the three feudal principalities of Antioch, Edessa, and Tripolis. Towards the end of the twelfth century the island of Cyprus was added. In practice they were far more dependent upon the popes than their predecessors, the Greek patriarchs. After the fall of Antioch (1268) the popes still appointed patriarchs, who, however, were unable to take possession of the see. Since the middle of the fourteenth century they were only titular dignitaries. The title of Latin Patriarch of Antioch was conferred until the early 1950s; but the recipient resided in Rome and was a member of the chapter of the basilica of St. Mary Major. The Basilica of St. Mary Major was the Antioch patriarchium, or papal major basilicas assigned to the Patriarch of Antioch to officiated if they came to Rome, near which they dwelt.

The seat of the Patriarch of Antioch was one of the oldest and most prestigious in Christendom. At one time it was the principal city of Syria; the third largest city of the Roman Empire, after Rome and Alexandria. When the Great Schism took place in 1054, the four Greek Patriarchs of Antioch, Jerusalem, Constantinople and Alexandria "formed" the Eastern Orthodox Church, while the Pope of Rome "formed" the Roman Catholic Church. ("formed" is used in quotations because neither side started anything new after the schism and both continued unaltered and the same as they did pre-schism - the Western Church being under the jurisdiction of Rome, and the Greek Church under the jurisdiction of Constantinople.)

After 1054, the See of Antioch came under the influence of the Byzantine Empire. As part of his grand strategy, the Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos sought to utilize the military elan and prowess of the Frankish and European princes of the First Crusade in recovering for him the Eastern Roman Empire, including Antioch and its See.

However, after the Siege of Antioch in 1098, Bohemond refused to submit Antioch to Byzantine rule and set himself up as Prince of Antioch.

The crusaders reinstated at first the Greek patriarch, then John IV as long as the Orthodox patriarch remained there they tried to make him a Catholic instead of appointing a rival. However, when at last he fled to Constantinople they considered the see vacant. Thereupon the Latin Christians elected (1100) a patriarch of their own, an ecclesiastic by the name of Bernard who had come to the Orient with the crusaders. From that time Antioch had its Latin patriarchs until the last incumbent Christian was put to death by the Sultan Baibars during the conquest of the city in 1268. The Greeks also continued to choose their patriarchs of Antioch, but these lived generally in Constantinople.

This page was last edited on 24 April 2018, at 17:20.
Reference: under CC BY-SA license.

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