Saturday, November 15, 2008

Patriarch Raphael I of Constantinople

Patriarch Raphael I of Constantinople was a non-Greek speaking Serb who was uncanonically elevated to the throne as a result of the backing of Sultan Mehmed II the Conqueror, to whom Raphael had promised to give a lot of money. He was an incompetent, dull-witted, and rude alcoholic: "a man lying down, given wholly to drunkenness … who was overall stupid."{1} Raphael was deposed and incarcerated in the spring of 1476 due to his failure to fulfill his promise, and he died that same year in jail.

Notes & References
{1} This quote appears in his biography on the website of the Eastern Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. It appears that the ultimate source of the quote is the Chronicle of Athanasios Komnenos Ypsilantis. See http://www.ec-patr.org/list/index.php?lang=en&id=169.

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