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Grego'rius of Sicily or Grego'rius Asbestas or Grego'rius of Sicily

35. Of SYRACUSE, sometimes called of SICILY. Gregory, surnamed ASBESTAS, was made bishop of Syracuse about A. D. 845.

He went to Constantinople, apparently soon after his appointment to the see, for he appears to have been there in A. D. 847, where Ignatius was chosen patriarch, whose election he strenuously opposed. He was, in return, deposed by Ignatius in a council held A. D. 854, on the ground, as Monitor affirms, of his profligacy; and his deposition was confirmed by the Pope, Benedict III. When, on the deposition of Ignatius, Photius was placed on the patriarchal throne, A. D. 858, he was consecrated by Gregory, whose episcopal character, notwithstanding his deposition, was thus recognised. Gregory was anathematised, together with Photius, at the council of Rome A. D. 863: and his connection with the Greek patriarch is a reason for receiving with caution the assertions of Romish writers as to his immoral character. Photius promoted him A. D. 878 to the bishopric of Nicaea, in Bithynia. He died soon after.


He is perhaps the "Gregorius archiepiscopus Siciliae" mentioned by Allatius in his tract De Methodiorum Scriptis (published in the Convivium decem Virginum Sti Methodii Martyris, Rome, 1656), as the author of an Oratio longa in S. Methodium.

The age of Gregory, who lived in and after the time of Methodius, favors this supposition, but there is some difficulty from the term "Archiepiscopus Siciliae."

Further Information

Mongitor, Bibl. Sicula, vol. i. p. 263; Cave, Hist. Litt. vol. ii. pp. 40, 76.

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