19 January 2017

S Markos Eugenikos ... a political canonisation?

A colleague of mine at Lancing, a very learned Presbyterian Classicist, was chrismated into Orthodoxy around this time of the year, and took the name Markos in honour of S Markos Eugenikos, the leading opponent of Unity at the Council of Florence (1438-1439). (My friend later tested his vocation on the Holy Mountain, where they made him repeat his Baptism!)

I was reminded of S Mark when Professor Tighe told me about a very positive article on Palamism by a Greek Catholic scholar Fr Christiaan Kappes (afkimel wordpress 27 June 2016) which contextualises S Mark. Perhaps he is rather an interesting Saint to think about on this his Feast Day, on the Second Day within the Chair of Unity Octave!

S Mark was not immediately canonised by the Byzantine Churches. Perhaps, in those decades, they had more pressing things to worry about! Finally, in 1734, Seraphim Patriarch of Constantinople did canonise him; I wonder if this action can possibly have had anything to do with the decision of the Patriarch of Antioch and his Synod, the previous decade, to enter into Full Communion with the (other) See of S  Peter. Was Patriarch Seraphim making a point in his own contemporary church politics by canonising this figure from a controversial past? Some Latin Catholics might be able to think of modern examples of this very same phenomenon of Political Canonisation!

Wikipedia says that S Mark is on the Calendar of the Melkite Church. I haven't found him on the copy of that Calendar (1960s) which I possess, although many of the saints who were canonised by the separated Byzantine churches are there. Can anybody throw any light upon this?


Grumpy Beggar said...

Fr H. says :"Wikipedia says that S Mark is on the Calendar of the Melkite Church. I haven't found him on the copy of that Calendar (1960s) which I possess, although many of the saints who were canonised by the separated Byzantine churches are there. Can anybody throw any light upon this?"

Perhaps that Wikipedia limb is failing to make the distinction between Melkite which is a general reference to "various Byzantine rite Christian Churches" and Melkite which , when used in the ecclesiastical sense "refers to the Melkite Greek Catholic Church" - a Church in full communion with the Holy See. (Oddly enough , that distinction can be found in another limb of Wikipedia located HERE. . . which might suggest Wikipedia is not in unity with itself : Reader beware!)

The operative word here may be uniatism (roughly, the union of Eastern Rite Churches with the Roman Church) . It would seem that St Mark Evgenikos , in hard line Orthodox eyes, is presented as a champion who fought against uniatism . The words from an Orthodox priest's web column :" . . . St. Mark of Ephesos against Uniatism, to fight this scourge of the true Faith."

One surmises the aforementioned would surely be enough to relegate S Markos Eugenikos to a more obscure position in the Liturgical Calendar of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church , at least.

Woody said...

See this site for a list, and links for Fr. Kappes' s very interesting work. The first item is one on S. Mark and another is on the understanding of Our Lady as "pre-purified". Father is rector of the Byzantine Catholic seminary in Pittsburgh.https://bcs-us.academia.edu/ChristiaanKappes

Woody said...

And here is an Orthodox resource page for S. Mark: http://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2017/01/saint-mark-of-ephesus-resource-page.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Mystagogy+%28MYSTAGOGY%29

James Ignatius McAuley said...

Father, I highly recommend Father Kappes superb book, The Immaculate Conception: Why Thomas Aquinas denied, While John Duns Scotus, Gregory Palamas & Mark Eugenics Professed the Absolute Immaculate Existence Of Mary. The book was published by the Academy of the Immaculate. Fortunately, it was published before Pope Francis launched his pogrm on the Order.

Another book that show Mark's knowledge of Aquinas is Marcus Plestad's Orthodox Reading of Aquinas. Mark was a Byzantine scholastic and a master of syllogisms.

John Fisher said...

It is true there is often particularly in modern times pressure or a tendency to canonize for political or issues of power. It's a bit like modern knighthoods. For example it seem incomprehensible given JP II, his Assisi behaviour with Koran kissing which obviously broke the first commandment he was canonized. There is no doubt he had his strong points but unfortunately his behaviours were based upon reflex papalotry and strong man tactics rather than any appeal to tradition. In some instances he couldn't appeal to anything except Vatican II! Has anyone noticed we don't get bombarded with that so much because liberals and Modernist want to lead us beyond so as to further their agenda? Paul VI I pray will never be canonized and I hope canonizing and deifying individuals because they just happen to be a pope stops.

Percy Gryce said...

Markos Eugenikos does not appear in the Menaion of the Melkite church (English-language version, 1992). Fr. Aidan Nichols, OP, says, "I have not heard of Uniate veneration of an Orthodox saint instrumental in the making or continuance of schism, such as the fifteenth century Greek bishop Mark of Ephesus." ROME & THE EASTERN CHURCHES (1992), p. 99.

P.S.: Fr Christiaan Kappes is a Latin priest of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. He has in the past been chaplain to an ordinariate community in Indianapolis.