Germanos Adam

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Germanos Adam
Bishop of Aleppo
Church Melkite Greek Catholic Church
See Aleppo
Installed 1777
Term ended 10 November 1809
Predecessor Ignatius Jerbou'
Successor Maximos Mazloum
Consecration 1774
Personal details
Born 1725
Aleppo, Syria
Died 10 November 1809
Zouk Mikael, Lebanon

Germanos Adam (1725–1809) was the Melkite Catholic bishop of Aleppo during the late 18th century and a Christian theologian.


Germanos Adam was born in 1725[1] in Aleppo, Syria, and studied in the College of the Propaganda in Rome. In 1774 he was consecrated Melkite Catholic bishop of Acre. In 1777 he became archbishop of Aleppo; anyway due to the persecution by the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch he dwelt for most of his life in Zouk Mikael, Lebanon.[2] From 1792 to 1798 he traveled in Italy where he came in contact with Jansenist circles and in particular with Scipione de' Ricci. Returned to Syria he was highly esteemed by Patriarch Agapius II Matar and played an important role in the 1806 Melkite Catholic Church's synod in Qarqafe (or Karkafeh). Germanos Adam died in Zouk Mikael on 10 November 1809.[2]


The doctrine of Germanos Adam was deeply influenced by the theological works of the 18th century Gallicans and Jansenists (like Febronius), which he read during his studies in Rome, and mainly by his 1792-8 travel in Italy where he became friend of the Jansenist Scipione de' Ricci. Consequently in his 1799 book "Réponse de Mgr Germain Adam éveque d'Alep et de ses environs à l'ouvrage intitulé: Voix des Perés missionaires" Adam supported the doctrine of Conciliarism, and stated that the papal authority was more honorary than actual.[3] Further he affirmed that an explicit epiclesis was essential in the Eucharistic consecration, a statement that implied the non-validity of the Latin Rite Mass.[3]

His works were attacked by the Maronite Patriarch Joseph Tyan who in March 1801 wrote an encyclical to his faithfuls against Adam's ideas, but the Melkite Patriarch Agapius II Matar in June 1801 defended the doctrine of Adam as correct. Moreover Germanos Adam wrote a catechism that was used for popular instruction. Adam's doctrine was confirmed by the 1806 Melkite synod of Qarqafe, which acts were signed also by Patriarch Joseph Tyen and by Aloisio Gandolfi, the Apostolic Legate.

The next years were marked by the reaction to his ideas. Adam himself made amends for the sacramental part of his work and before he died he humbly submitted all his works to Rome for examination. In 1812 a formal condemnation of the Jansenist and Gallican doctrine, issued by Propaganda Fide, was signed by all the Eastern Catholic Churches. On 3 June 1816 Pope Pius VII condemned Adam's works and his catechism.[4] The actions of the 1806 Melkite Synod of Qarqafe were finally condemned by the Apostolic Letter Melchitarum Catholicorum Synodus (English: Of the synod of Melkite Catholics) issued by Pope Gregory XVI on 3 June 1835.[5]


  1. ^ Raquez, Olivier (1976). "Rapports avec les Eglises Orientales". In Metzler J. Sacrae Congregationis de Propaganda Fide Memoria Rerum. III/2. Herder. p. 4÷5. ISBN 3-451-16354-3. 
  2. ^ a b Vailhé S. (1912). "Adam (Germain)". Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques 1. Paris: Letouzey et Ané. pp. 494–495. 
  3. ^ a b Frazee, Charles A. (2006). Catholics and Sultans: The Church and the Ottoman Empire 1453–1923. Cambridge University Press. pp. 206–207. ISBN 978-0-521-02700-7. 
  4. ^ Fortescue, Adrian and George D. Smith, The Uniate Eastern Churches, (First Giorgas Press, 2001), 210.
  5. ^ Melchitarum Catholicorum synodus: full text available online (Latin)