Synod of Jerusalem (1672)

The Synod of Jerusalem was convened by Orthodox Patriarch Dositheos Notaras in March 1672. Because the occasion was the consecration of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, it is also called the Synod of Bethlehem.

The Synod was attended by most of the prominent representatives of the Eastern Orthodox Church, including six Metropolitans besides Dositheus and his retired predecessor, and its decrees received universal acceptance as an expression of the faith of the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Calvinist controversy

In 1629, a small book, attributed to Cyril Lucaris, the Confession of Cyril Lucaris, was published in Latin at Geneva. It contained an eighteen-point summary of beliefs that conformed with Calvinist teaching. French, English and German translations appeared in the same year. A Greek version called Eastern Confession of the Christian Faith appeared in Constantinople in 1631.[1] In view of this book, Lucaris has been accused of adopting in his book Calvinistic views and asserting that Calvinism was in fact the faith of the Eastern Church. His Orthodox defenders claim that the book was a forgery. Cyril himself verbally denied authorship, but did not disavow it in writing.[2]

The opposition to Calvinism arose during Lucaris's lifetime and continued after his murder in 1638 while in Ottoman custody. It found classic expression in the highly venerated confession of Petro Mohyla, Metropolitan of Kiev (1643). Though this was intended as a barrier against Calvinistic influences, certain Protestant writers persisted in claiming the support of the Greek Church for their positions.