Dositheos

1641-1707. Patriarch of Jerusalem. Placed in a monastery at the age of eight and educated at Athens, he entered the service of the patriarch of Jerusalem in 1657. Soon he became archdeacon of Jerusalem (1661) and archbishop of Caesarea (1666). When Nectar Pelopides resigned in 1669, a synod at Constantinople appointed Dositheos in his place as patriarch of Jerusalem. In his new position he showed himself to be a great defender of traditional Greek theology and an opponent of Western theology, both Roman and Protestant. In 1680 he established a printing press at Jassy in order to aid this defense.

He is particularly well known for his presidency of the Synod of Jerusalem in 1672. Its decrees were intended to root out all Protestant influence from the Greek Church. He also sought to reform the monasteries and general administrative structure of the Greek Church; in particular he tried to limit the rights of Western religious orders (e.g., Franciscans) in the Holy Places of Palestine. Further, he tried to extend the influence of the Greek Church into the Russian Orthodox Church when the latter was embroiled in controversy surrounding Patriarch Nikon. While his chief literary work was the posthumous History of the Patriarchs in Jerusalem (2 vols., 1715), he wrote also on many other topics, many of them controversial. Though not an original thinker, he displayed wide erudition and learning.