‘A Complete Revolution’: The Great Church and the Great Powers
In the summer of 1871, Grigórios VI Fourtouniádis found himself once again vacating the offices of the patriarchate in the Phanar and exchanging the burdens of office for the quiet of his home in the seaside suburb of Arnavutköy. Unlike Grigórios’s first departure from the patriarchal throne in 1840, this time he was leaving by choice and the Porte was reluctant to see him go. In his letter of resignation on 22 June, however, Grigórios gave vent to feelings of distress that far exceeded anything he had experienced three decades before. Grigórios reminded the Porte that when his nation had recalled him to the patriarchal throne in 1867, he had been reluctant to accept ‘the kind and quantity of torments and difficulties that the patriarchate entails, even in times less troubled than these when every manner of vexed question disturbs the Church of Christ’.3 As a former patriarch, he had sat in on the deliberations of many synods since 1840 and had observed at first hand the alarming degeneration in his community’s affairs since the end of the Crimean War.
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