Condemnation of the preacher Niphon led to accusations against the patriarch Kosmas II

The preacher Niphon, who had been punished as a heretic under the patriarch Michael II, was rehabilitated under Michael's successor Kosmas II Attikos. Niphon gained greater freedom, spoke in meetings and in the streets, and circulated his teaching widely, and was said to openly deny the Hebrew God, with encouragement from the patriarch. Niphon had often eaten at Kosmas' table and slept under his roof. Despite this support, Niphon was again denounced to the emperor and imprisoned. Kosmas was amazed, but showed loyalty to Niphon, and asked to be imprisoned with him. The focus of the problem gradually shifted from the heretic monk to the simple-minded patriarch. Kosmas' opponents pointed out that the patriarch was very close to Manuel's suspect brother Isaakios, so open religious meetings could be portrayed as seditious plotting against the emperor. Manuel, being young and self-willed, was suspicious. There was a split in the church which Manuel had to face when he returned from the Ikonion campaign 
unrighteous metropolitans opposed to Kosmas II Attikos (Anonymi 190)
  • They slandered Kosmas 12 to Manuel 1 as plotting secretly against him with Isaakios 103, even though contact between the two was all quite open (:) Niketas Choniates, Historia 80.6-11
Kosmas II Attikos, patriarch of Constantinople (Kosmas 12)
  • Supported the monk Niphon 17001 immoderately, making him an associate; called unjust his previous condemnation (having then too supported him without success); hymned his virtue, having once predicted his election as patriarch (:) Kinnamos 64.14-20
  • His unpopular support of the monk Niphon led to reproof from some and denunciation by others; but he remained loyal to him, nearly paying a serious penalty for his great simplicity (:) ... τῇ λίαν ἁπλότητι Kinnamos 64.20-65.7
  • Was amazed by the re-imprisonment of Niphon, failed to rescue him in a church courtyard and asked to be imprisoned with him; this led to strife in the church, only solved with his deposition on Manuel 1'’s return (When Manuel 1 returned from Ikonion:βασιλέως ἐν Βυζαντίῳ γεγονότος) Kinnamos 65.8-17
  • He became very popular with Isaakios 103, who almost worshipped him: this gave his unrighteous opponents among the bishops the chance to slander him to Manuel 1, making Isaakios' open meetings and discussions with the patriarch into conspiracies against Manuel (:) Niketas Choniates, Historia 80.2-11
  • He was a close friend of the imprisoned heretic Niphon 17001, who had often eaten at his table and slept under his roof; when suspicion was aroused against him, it was natural to accuse him of sharing Niphon's views (:) Niketas Choniates, Historia 80.17-81.22
Emperor Manuel I Komnenos (Manuel 1)
  • The monk Niphon 17001 and the patriarch Kosmas 12 were denounced to him, and he intervened to have Niphon again imprisoned; the resultant split in the church was not healed till Manuel returned from Ikonion (:) Kinnamos 65.7-16
  • When Anonymi 190 accused Kosmas 12 of trying to divert the throne to Isaakios 103, Manuel, being young, self-willed and otherwise suspicious of Isaakios, sought to have Kosmas deposed (:) Niketas Choniates, Historia 80.12-14
Niphon, heretic monk (Niphon 17001)
  • Gained greater freedom, spoke in meetings and in the streets, circulating his teaching widely, openly denying the Hebrew God, with encouragement from the patriarch Kosmas 12 (After Michael II was replaced by Kosmas II:᾿Επεὶ δὲ Μιχαὴλ μὲν ἐκεῖνος ἐξ ἀνθρώπων ἤδη ἦν, Κο) Kinnamos 64.9-14
  • Despite support from the patriarch Kosmas 12, was denounced to the emperor Manuel 1 and again imprisoned (:) Kinnamos 65.4-8
  • He was a close friend of Kosmas 102, had often eaten at his table and slept under his roof; he had been accused of heresy, his long beard had been shaven and he had been imprisoned by Michael 12 (:) Niketas Choniates, Historia 80.17-21