Timeline of Orthodox Church and Roman Catholic relations

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This timeline of Orthodox Christian and Roman Catholic relations chronicles major dates which concern the relationship between the two communions.

Apostolic and Ante-Nicene Era

Conciliar Era

  • 325 Original Nicene Creed ratified at First Ecumenical Council.
  • 330 Founding of Constantinople as New Rome, renaming the city of Byzantium.
  • 357 Pope Liberius signs Semi-Arian creed (possibly under duress).
  • 379 Emperor Gratian permits Roman pope authority over neighboring bishops.
  • 381 Nicene Creed expanded at Second Ecumenical Council.
  • 382 First use of papal title Pontifex Maximus, as Emperor Gratian relinquishes the former pagan imperial religious title and bestows it on Pope Damasus I of Rome.[1][note 1]
  • 395-405 Series of correspondences between Augustine of Hippo and Jerome, where Augustine maintains the validity of the Septuagint, while Jerome favours the Hebrew (Rabinnical) Bible which becomes the OT basis for the Latin Vulgate.[note 2]
  • 410 Rome sacked by Visigoth invaders.
  • 417 Pope Zosimus waffles on Pelagianism.
  • 447 Pope Leo I wrote to the bishops of Sicily, rebuking them for permitting baptism at Epiphany, as the Greeks did, and ordering them to observe the Roman custom of baptizing on Easter and Whitsunday.[2]
  • 451 Fourth Ecumenical Council notes that Rome's primacy is because it was "the imperial city"; Tome of Pope St. Leo I endorsed by Council after review.
  • 455 Rome sacked by Vandals.
  • 476 Fall of the Western Roman Empire as Romulus Augustulus, the last Western Roman emperor, is deposed by the German Odoacer, leaving the emperor in the Greek East as the sole imperial authority, and an unstable political environment in the West where the Church of Rome slowly developed a centralized structure, concentrating religious as well as secular authority in the office of the Pope, the Bishop of Rome.[note 3]
  • ca. 537 Pope Vigilius allegedly writes letter endorsing Monophysitism.
  • 537-752 Byzantine Papacy.
  • 589 Insertion of Filioque into Nicene Creed by local council in Toledo, Spain.
  • ca. 590-604 Pope St. Gregory the Great rejects the title of "universal bishop" for any bishop.
  • 663-668 The island of Sicily passed to the Greek rite during the six years when Constans II made Syracuse his residence and the capital of the Byzantine Empire.[2]
  • 680-681 Sixth Ecumenical Council anathematizes Pope Honorius as a Monothelite heretic.[note 4]
  • 692 The Pentarchy form of government of universal Christendom by five patriarchal sees received formal ecclesiastical sanction at the Council in Trullo, held in Constantinople, which ranked the five sees as Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem.
  • 710 Last papal visit to Constantinople until 1967.
  • ca. 750 Forging of the Donation of Constantine, a false document claiming to be from St. Constantine granting universal secular power to the Pope and his successors.
  • 732-33 Byzantine Emperor Leo the Isaurian transfers the territories of Southern Italy (Sicily and Calabria), Greece, and the Aegean away from the jurisdiction of the Pope to that of the Ecumenical Patriarch in response to Pope St. Gregory III of Rome's support of a revolt in Italy against iconoclasm, in effect throwing the Papacy out of the Empire.
  • 752 Founding of Papal States (lasting until 1870).

Estrangement and Schism

  • 792 Charlemagne accuses "Greeks" of deleting Filioque from original Creed.
  • 800 Usurpation of Western Roman Empire by Charlemagne.
  • 809 Pope Leo III forbids addition of Filioque to Creed and has original Creed in both Greek and Latin inscribed on silver tablets displayed in Rome.
  • 869-870 Robber Council of 869-870 deposes St. Photius the Great.
  • 870 Gradual collapse of the Moravian mission beginning with the death of Prince Rostislav of Moravia, who is captured and deposed by his nephew, Svátopulk, who favours more the Latin liturgy and Bavarian clergy represented by the Frankish Bp. Wiching of Nitra (consecrated in 880 as the first Bp. of Nitria);[note 5]
  • 874 The Great Moravian king Svátopulk subjugated the Vistulan tribe of Lesser Poland, resulting in the Christianization of Little Poland in the Orthodox Cyrillo-Methodian style, (as opposed to the Western Bohemian style), as early as the end of 9th century, before the conversion of Polish King Mieszko I in 966;[note 6]
  • 879-880 Council in Constantinople (endorsed by papacy) reinstates St. Photius and anathematizes any changes to Nicene Creed, including the Filioque.[note 7]
  • 962 Founding of Holy Roman Empire.
  • 966 Mieszko I, the first historical ruler of Poland, accepts Baptism, after marrying the Christian princess Dobrawa in 965, who as a Czech, had strong Orthodox connections.[note 8]
  • 996 After the repose of Pope John XV (985-996), the Frankish King Otto III installs his cousin Bruno of Carinthia as Pope Gregory V (996–999), the first German (non-Roman) Pope, marking the point at which the Roman papacy is converted to a Frankish organization.[3][note 9]
  • 1009 Patr. Sergius II of Constantinople removes name of Pope Sergius IV from the diptychs of Constantinople, because the pope had written a letter to the patriarch including the Filioque.[4][note 10]
  • 1014 First use of Filioque by Pope of Rome, at coronation of Holy Roman Emperor Henry II.
  • 1022 At a Council of Pavia, Pope Benedict VIII officially reaffirmed the celibacy of the clergy (first documented at the Synod of Elvira in Spain, ca. 306 AD), banning marriages and concubines for priests.[5][note 11]
  • 1054 Excommunication of Ecumenical Patriarch Michael Cerularius by Cardinal Humbertus, papal legate, the conventional date point of the Great Schism. Michael returns the favor by excommunicating the Pope (who had died, rendering his legate's authority null).
  • 1059 Beginning of the use of the term transubstantiation in West.
  • 1066 Invasion of England by Duke William of Normandy, carrying papal banner and with papal blessing as a crusade against the "erring English church," engineered by Hildebrand, archdeacon of Rome.
  • 1073-1085 Hildebrand becomes Pope Gregory VII and institutes Gregorian Reforms, the largest increase of papal power in history, including the claim to be able to depose secular rulers.
  • 1075 Pope Gregory VII issues Dictatus papae, an extreme statement of papal power.
  • ca. 1078-80 Council of Burgos reorganizes national Church of Spain as Roman Archbishopric, replaces use of Mozarabic rite with Roman. Sentences Bishops who refuse to recognize decrees to imprisonment.
  • 1095-1272 Crusades promise salvation to warriors from the West.
  • 1098 Abp. Anselm of Canterbury completes Cur Deus Homo, marking a radical divergence of Western theology of the atonement from that of the East; Pope Urban II called the Council of Bari, attended by more than 180 Roman Catholic bishops, including noted theologian Anselm of Canterbury (the founder of rationalistic Western Scholasticism) who defended the filioque clause, with the result that the Roman Catholic-dominated council affirmed the filoque and anathematized those who were opposed to it.[6][7]
  • 1139 Pope Innocent II declared all priestly marriages annulled and declared clerical celibacy the rule for all Roman Catholic priests from that day forward (Second Lateran Council, canons 6 and 7).
  • 1170 Council of Constantinople, attended by many Eastern and Western Bishops, on the reunion of the Eastern and Latin Churches, without effect.[8][9]
  • 1180 Last formal reception of Latins to communion at an Orthodox altar, in Antioch.
  • 1182 Maronites (formerly Monothelite heretics) submit to Rome.
  • 1187 Saladin retakes Jerusalem after destroying crusader army at Battle of Hattin, and returns Christian holy places to the Orthodox Church.
  • 1204 Fourth Crusade sacks Constantinople; Crusaders set up Latin Empire and Patriarchate of Constantinople (lasting until 1261).[note 12]
  • 1205 Latins annex Athens and convert the Parthenon into a Roman Catholic Church - Santa Maria di Athene, later Notre Dame d'Athene.
  • 1211 Venetian crusaders conquer Byzantine Crete.
  • 1224 The Byzantines recover Thessaloniki and surrounding area, liberated by the Greek ruler of Epirus Theodore Ducas Comnenus.
  • 1231 Monk-martyrs and Confessors of the Monastery of Panagia of Kantara, on Cyprus, who suffered under the Latins (1231).[10][11]
  • 1234 Delegates of the two churches met first at Nicaea and then at Nymphaeum (Asia Minor), negotiating the issues related to the union of the Churches, including dogmatic issues, however the dialogue came to a dead end.[12]
  • 1236 Pope Gregory IX issued a crusading bull authorizing a crusade against the Byzantines under Emperor John Vatatzes, on the occasion of the joint Byzantine-Bulgarian siege of Latin Constantinople.[12]
  • 1259 Byzantines defeat Latin Principality of Achaea at the Battle of Pelagonia, marking the beginning of the Byzantine recovery of Greece.
  • ca.1259-80 Martyrdom by Latins of monks of Iveron Monastery.[13][14][15][note 13]
  • 1260-1571 Subjugation of Church of Cyprus to the Roman Catholic Church.
  • 1261 End of Latin occupation of Constantinople and restoration of Orthodox patriarchs; Emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos makes Mystras seat of the new Despotate of Morea, where a Byzantine renaissance occurred; Pope Urban IV endeavoured without success to stir up a crusade to restore the Latin Empire of Constantinople.
  • 1263 Roman Catholic theologian Thomas Aquinas writes Contra Errores Graecorum (Against the Errors of the Greeks).
  • 1264 The festival of Corpus Christi ("the Body of Christ") is instituted by Pope Urban IV.
  • 1269 Orthodox patriarch returns to Antioch after a 171-year exile and usurpation by Latin patriarch.
  • 1274 Council of Lyons fails to force Orthodox capitulation to papacy.
  • 1281 Pope Martin IV authorizes a Crusade against the newly re-established Byzantine Empire in Constantinople, excommunicating Emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos and the Greeks and renouncing the union of 1274; French and Venetian expeditions set out toward Constantinople but are forced to turn back in the following year due to the Sicilian Vespers.
  • 1282 Death of 26 martyrs of Zographou monastery on Mount Athos, martyred by the Latins.
  • 1287 Last record of, Amalfion, Benedictine monastery on Mount Athos.
  • 1300-1400 The "Chronicle of Morea" (Το χρονικό του Μορέως) narrates events of the establishment of Western European feudalism in mainland Greece, mainly in the Morea/Peloponnese, by the Franks following the Fourth Crusade, covering a period from 1204 to 1292.
  • 1302 Papal bull Unam Sanctam declares submission to pope necessary for salvation.
  • 1379 Beginning of Western "Great Schism," during which there are eventually 3 rival popes.
  • 1341-1351 Councils in Constantinople vindicate Palamite theology of hesychasm against Barlaamist philosophy.
  • 1409 Council of Pisa is convened and presided over by Cardinal de Malesset, Bishop of Palestrina, and attended by 4 Latin patriarchs, 22 cardinals, 80 bishops and hundreds of lower clergy, whereby both reigning Popes Gregory XII of Rome and Benedict XIII of Avignon were deposed as heretics, being a recognition of the fact that Patriarchs and Popes were subordinate to the Councils of the Church.[16][17]
  • 1414-1418 Council of Constance ends Western "Great Schism;" this council emphasized the Conciliar Movement over the authority of the pope.
  • 1415 The 13th Session of the Council of Constance (June 15, 1415) decreed that the administering of the Eucharist in Both Kinds to the Laity was to be forbidden, and that the Laity should receive the Eucharist under one kind only, that of the Bread, even though the Council itself noted that: "Christ instituted and administered to his disciples this venerable sacrament under both kinds of bread and wine; and that it was received by the faithful in the primitive church under both kinds."[18][19][note 14][note 15]
  • 1423-24 Council of Siena in the Roman Catholic Church was the high point of conciliarism, emphasizing the leadership of the bishops gathered in council, but the conciliarism expressed there was later branded as a heresy.
  • 1433 Nicolas of Cusa writes his major work on church government, The Catholic Concordance (De concordantia catholica), a manifesto of conciliarism, advancing the notion of a constitutional papacy subject to the authority of a council representative of the different parts of Christendom, balancing hierarchy with consent.
  • 1439 Council of Florence fails to force Orthodox capitulation to papacy and confesses Purgatory as dogma; St. Mark of Ephesus courageously defended Orthodoxy at the Council of Florence, being the only Eastern bishop to refuse to sign the decrees of the council, regarded as a Pillar of Orthodoxy by the Church.[note 16]
  • 1444 Catholic priest Lorenzo Valla proves Donation of Constantine a forgery.
  • 1450 Council of Constantinople convoked by Emperor Constantine XI Palaiologos declined to accept the resolutions passed by the Council of Florence which were in favor of the union of the Greek and Latin churches.[8][9]
  • 1452 Unification of Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox Churches in the cathedral of Hagia Sophia on December 12, five months before the city fell. The union takes place on the West's terms, requiring the Orthodox to accept the Catholic position on all issues under dispute. Emperor Constantine XI Palaiologos, under pressure from Rome, allows the union to be proclaimed by the former Metropolitan of Kiev Isidore (who had participated in the Council of Florence and was now a cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church), who read the solemn promulgation of union and celebrated the union liturgy, including the name of the pope, arousing the greatest agitation among the population of the city.[20][21][note 17]

Renaissance and Modern Era

  • 1453 Fall of Constantinople to Ottoman Turks;[note 18] numerous Greek scholars flee to West, triggering European Renaissance.
  • 1463 Greek scholar and pro-unionist Basilios Bessarion, formerly an Orthodox Metropolitan, later becoming a Roman Catholic Cardinal, is given the purely ceremonial title of Latin Patriarch of Constantinople by Pope Pius II.
  • 1472 Decrees of the Council of Ferrara-Florence repudiated by Patriarchate of Contantinople; martyrdom of Isidore of Yuriev and 72 companions for refusing to convert to Roman Catholicism.
  • 1484 Synod of Constantinople with all four Patriarchs in attendance, calling itself "ecumenical", officially repudiated the union of the Greek and Latin churches discussed at Florence in 1439, and determined that Latin converts to Orthodoxy should be received into the Church by Chrismation.
  • 1518 The Greek Orthodox Church of Saints Peter and Paul is founded in Naples, Italy, to serve the needs of Orthodox faithful who became refugees after the Fall of Constantinople.
  • 1539 The Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Saint George in Venice is founded in Venice Italy (completed in 1573), to serve the needs of Orthodox faithful in the West.
  • 1545-63 Council of Trent answers charges of Protestant Reformation.
  • 1568 Pope Pius V recognizes four Great Doctors of the Eastern Church, John Chrysostom, Basil the Great, Gregory of Nazianzus, and Athanasius.
  • 1569 Union of Lublin unites Kingdom of Poland and Grand Duchy of Lithuania into a single state, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, placing the Ruthenian Orthodox lands of Belarus, and modern Ukraine under direct Roman Catholic rule.
  • 1573 Pope Gregory XIII establishes Congregation for the Greeks, a committee of cardinals who addressed issues relating to the Greeks in southern Italy and Sicily in the hope of resolving tensions between Greeks and Latins.
  • 1576 Pope Gregory XIII establishes Pontifical Greek College of St. Athanasius (popularly known as the 'Greek College') in Rome, which he charged with educating Italo-Byzantine clerics.
  • 1582 Institution of Gregorian Calendar.
  • 1583 Arrival of the first Jesuits in Constantinople and constant proselytization by the Roman Catholic Church in the Ottoman Empire.[22][note 19]
  • 1595-1596 Pope Clement VIII declared in his Constitution Magnus Dominus (23 Dec. 1595), which announced the Union of Brest, that Orthodox Chrism was not valid and had to be repeated by a Roman Catholic bishop and that all Orthodox clergy had to accept the union;[note 20] Union of Brest-Litovsk and creation of the Unia (Eastern/Byzantine/Greek Catholics);[note 21] after initially having supported rapproachement with Rome, Bp. Hedeon (Balaban) of Lviv opposed the Union of Brest until his death; in Italy, the Greek language was forbidden in the liturgy and the College of St Athanasius (formally established in Rome in 1577) became one of the main centres of anti-Orthodox propaganda;[23] Pope Clement VIII also replaced all Orthodox bishops with his own people, a policy that alienated local Orthodox populations, who yearned for the religious tolerance enjoyed by Ottoman subjects.[23]
  • 1597 Death of Nicephorus, the Protosyngellos of the Patriarch of Constantinople, who had supported the Orthodox synod at Brest (against the Uniate synod), and was sentenced to prison by the high court of Poland on charges of espionage.
  • 1611 Gallican French theologian Edmund Richer (1559-1631), author of De ecclesiastica et politica potestate, held the view that ecclesiastical councils, not the papacy, was the method by which doctrinal truth was established, but his work was censured at the Council of Aix-en-Provence in 1612; this ‘richérisme’ strongly influenced 18th century Jansenism.
  • 1620 Council of Moscow presided over by Patr. Philaret of Moscow insisted that only Orthodox Baptism by triple immersion was valid, and that all Latin converts had to be rebaptized.
  • 1623 Death of turbulent Uniate Bp. Josaphat Kuntsevych who openly persecuted the Orthodox to such a degree that he was even rebuked by the Lithuanian chancellor Leo Sapiega, the representative of the Polish king himself.[24][note 22]
  • 1633 Ethiopian emperor Fasilides expels Jesuits and other Roman Catholic missionaries from Ethiopia.
  • 1646 Union of Uzhhorod joins 63 Ruthenian Orthodox priests from the Carpathian Mountains to Roman Catholic Church on terms similar to Union of Brest.
  • 1648 Martyrdom of Igumen Athanasius of Brest-Litovsk due to his very strong opposition to the Union of Brest.
  • 1671 French Roman Catholic nun Margaret Mary Alacoque promoted devotion to the Cult of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in its modern form.[note 23]
  • 1672 Synod of Jerusalem convened by Patr. Dositheos Notaras, refuting article by article the Calvinistic confession of Cyril Lucaris, defining Orthodoxy relative to Roman Catholicism and Protestantism, and defining the Orthodox Biblical canon; acts of this council are later signed by all five patriarchates (including Russia).
  • 1722 Council in Constantinople, in which Athanasios of Antioch (+1724) and Chrysanthos of Jerusalem (1707-1731) participated, decided for the re-baptism of the Latins.[9][25]
  • 1724 Melkite Schism, in which many Antiochian Orthodox become Greek Catholics; Old Catholic Schism: on October 15, 1724 Roman Catholic Bp. Dominique (Varlet) of Baghdad consecrated the first dissident bishop of Utrecht, Bp. Cornelius van Steenhoven (elected in 1723), as the Church of Holland, (or Church of Utrecht) broke with Rome under its own archbishop and hierarchy, becoming the mother church of the Old Catholic Churches.[note 24]
  • 1740 Pope Benedict XIV (Prospero Lorenzo Lambertini) promulgated the encyclical Pastoralis Romani Pontificis on March 30, in which he enforced and declared that he, his predecessors, and all his successors hold Papal Infallibility, and that ecumenical councils should be discouraged, as they can undermine one of the principle pillars of the papacy - infallibility.
  • 1755 Synod of Constantinople declares Roman Catholic baptism invalid and ordered baptism of converts from Roman Catholicism.
  • 1763 The Jansenist Provincial Council of Utrecht, seed of the future Old Catholic movements, affirmed every Roman Catholic dogma and pronounced the Orthodox Faith to be schismatic and false, signalling not so much a rapprochement with Orthodoxy, but rather a refusal to drift yet further from her, as much of the Roman fold was doing.
  • 1767-1815 Suppression of the Jesuits in Roman Catholic countries, subsequently finding refuge in Orthodox nations, particularly in Russia.
  • ca.1770 About 1,200 Kiev region Uniate churches return to Orthodoxy under political pressure from Russia.
  • 1779 Death of New Hieromartyr and Equal-to-the-Apostles Kosmas Aitolos, who prophecied that Christians should condemn the position of the Pope since he will be the root of many catastrophes: ‘You should curse the Pope, because he will be the cause of harm.’[note 25]
  • 1793-95 Over 2,300 Uniate churches became Orthodox under Tsarina Catherine the Great.
  • 1798 Patriarch Anthimus of Jerusalem contended in the Paternal Teaching (Dhidhaskalia Patriki) that the Ottoman Empire was part of the Divine Dispensation granted by God to protect Orthodoxy from the taint of Roman Catholicism and of Western secularism and irreligion.[26][27][note 26]
  • ca.1830 Slavophile movement co-founded by Alexei Khomiakov and Ivan Kireyevsky in Russia, drawing on the works of Greek patristics, Russian poets and literary critics to reinforce Orthodox Christian values and Slavic cultural traditions, denouncing "westernizations" by Peter the Great and Catherine the Great, and stressing Russian mysticism over Western rationalism.[note 27]
  • 1838 Council of Constantinople held, attended by Patriarchs Gregory VI of Constantinople and Athanasius V of Jerusalem, whose main theme was the Unia, and the extermination of Latin dogmas and usages, in particular Absolution Certificates.[9][28]
  • 1842 Russian diplomat Ivan Sergeyevich Gagarin converted to the Roman Catholic Church and joined the Jesuit Order, becoming dedicated to union between the Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches.[note 28]
  • 1847 Restoration of Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem by Pope Pius IX; 1847 Agreement between the Holy See and Russia.
  • 1848 Encyclical of the Eastern Patriarchs sent by the primates and synods of the four ancient patriarchates of the Orthodox Church, condemning the Filioque as heresy, declaring the Roman Catholic Church to be heretical, schismatic, and in apostasy, repudiating Ultramontanism and referring to the Photian Council of 879-880 as the "Eighth Ecumenical Council."
  • 1853-56 Crimean War is fought between Russia on the one hand, and the Ottoman Empire, Britain, France, and (later) Sardinia on the other, ostensibly over which church would be recognized as the "sovereign authority" of the Christian faith in the Holy Land, and over Russia's claim of protection over the Greek Christians in the Turkish Empire; the French Catholic Abp. of Paris Marie-Dominique-Auguste Sibour pronounded that this was a holy war against the Orthodox.[note 29]
  • 1854 Declaration of Immaculate Conception of Mary as dogma.
  • 1857-66 J.P. Migne produces the Patrologia Graeca in 161 volumes, including both the Eastern Fathers and those Western authors who wrote before Latin became predominant in the Western Church in the 3rd century.
  • 1863 Abbé Vladimir Guettée, a French Roman Catholic priest who converted to the Orthodox Church, writes "The Papacy: Its Historic Origin and Primitve Relations with the Eastern Churches", a strong criticism of the Papacy.
  • 1870 Declaration of Papal Infallibility to be dogma at First Vatican Council.
  • 1875 Uniate diocese of Chelm in modern day Poland incorporated into Russian Orthodox Church under Alexander II, with all of the local Uniates converted to Orthodoxy.
  • 1889 Roman Catholic priest Fr. Antonio Francisco Xavier Alvares (Julius of Goa) and hundreds of Goan Catholic families (approximately 5000 Roman Catholics) left the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Goa and Daman and joined the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church as the Independent Catholic Church of Ceylon, Goa and India, with Fr. Antonio being ordained as the first (Latin-Rite) Oriental-Orthodox Metropolitan of Goa-Ceylon (1889-1923).[note 30]
  • 1894 Praeclara Gratulationis Publicae (on the Reunion of Christendom), an Encyclical Letter of Pope Leo XIII promulgated on June 20, called for the reunion of Eastern and Western churches into the "Unity of the Faith", while also condemning Freemasonry; criticized by Ecumenical Patriarch Anthimus VII in 1895; Pope Leo XIII issues Orientalium Dignitas, a papal encyclical concerning the Eastern Catholic Churches including a prohibition aganist Latinizing influences among Eastern Catholics.
  • 1895 Council of Constantinople, convened and presided over by Patriarch Anthimus VII, and attended by 13 bishops, condemns all the Franco-Latin heresies, including the new false dogma of the so-called Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary by St. Anne, and the blasphemous teaching that the pope is supposedly infallible and undeposable.[9][29]
  • 1908 English Roman Catholic priest and Byzantine scholar Dr. Adrian Fortescue writes The Orthodox Eastern Church, written to teach Roman Catholics and people in the West about the Orthodox Church.
  • 1914 Martyrdom of Fr. Maxim Sandovich, Protomartyr of the Lemko people.
  • 1918 The "St. Sophia Redemption Committee" is formed in Britain after the Armistice, whose members included two future Foreign Secretaries and many prominent public figures, seeking to restore Hagia Sophia into an Orthodox Church (1918-1922);[30] Roman Catholic opposition to the St Sophia Redemption Committee included Msgr. Manuel Bidwell (Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Westminster) who was on the initial committee, Roman Catholic British MP Sir Stuart Coats also on the committee, Cardinal Pietro Gasparri the Papal Secretary of State, and the Vatican who wished to block Hagia Sophia from becoming a Greek Orthodox Church again according to the Grand Vizier of Constantinople who had an offer of Papal support.[31][note 31]
  • 1924-26 Cathedral of Alexander Nevsky (Warsaw) is demolished by Polish authorities less than 15 years after its construction.
  • 1923 Pope Pius XI proclaimed the controversial Uniate Bp. Josaphat Kuntsevych a "hieromartyr" on the 300th anniversary of his death, in the encyclical Ecclesiam Dei (The Church of God).
  • 1925 Concordat of 1925 between Poland and the Holy See included recognition of the Uniate Church in Poland.[32]
  • 1926 The Benedictine monastery Chevetogne Abbey is founded in Belgium, dedicated to Christian unity, being a ‘double rite’ monastery having both Western (Latin rite) and Eastern (Byzantine rite) churches holding services every day; the Society of St. John Chrysostom is founded to promote awareness and friendship in the Christian West for Christians of the East, through prayer and liturgy, conferences and lectures, and praying for the unity of the Churches of East and West; Pope Pius XI decides to attempt the establishment of a provisional hierarchy for the Roman Catholic Church without the knowledge of the Soviet government;[note 32] French Jesuit scholar and Roman Catholic bishop Michel d'Herbigny receives episcopal ordination in secret and behind closed doors from Eugenio Pacelli (the future Pope Pius XII) in the failed attempt to establish a clandestine hierarchy for the Catholic Church in the Soviet Union during the religious persecutions of the 1920s.
  • 1929 Papacy and the Kingdom of Italy ratify the Lateran Treaty, recognizing sovereignty of Papacy within the new state of the Vatican City, bringing to an end the so-called "Roman Question";[note 33] Russicum (Russian College or 'College of St. Therese') founded in Vatican City by Pope Pius XI and run by the Jesuits; Papal Bull Cum data fuerit regulates Uniate clergy in the US, mandating celibacy, resulting in the return of several parishes back to Orthodoxy in 1938.
  • 1930 A Pan-Orthodox Consultation in Mount Athos concluded that the only possible relations on the part of the Orthodox toward the Roman Catholics was "Relations of defense on the part of the Orthodox toward Roman Catholic Proselytism."[33]
  • 1937 Pope Pius XI issued the encyclical Divini Redemptoris, condemning Communism and the Soviet regime; the Serbian Orthodox Church led by Patr. Varnava (Rosic) of Serbia and Bp. Nikolai Velimirovic fiercely resisted the attempt by the government of Yugoslavian Prime Minister Milan Stojadinović to implement a Concordat with the Vatican, which would have virtually established the Roman Catholic Church in Yugoslavia and granted it privileges denied to the Orthodox Church, resulting in the proposal never being ratified.[note 34]
  • 1938 In the Volhynia region of modern day Western Ukraine, by 1938 the Polish government had overseen the destruction of 190 Orthodox churches and converted a further 150 churches to Roman Rite Catholicism, despite its Ukrainian majority, and despite Pope Leo XIII's encycical Orientalium Dignitas of 1894; the few Orthodox churches that were permitted to stay open were forced to use the Polish language in their liturgies.[34] American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese founded, when a group of 37 Carpatho-Russian Eastern Catholic parishes, under the leadership of Fr. Orestes Chornock, were received into the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

WWII and Post-WWII Era

  • 1939 The last remaining Orthodox Church in Lutsk, the Volhynian capital was converted by Polish State decree to Roman Rite Catholicism.[34]
  • 1941-45 Croatian Ustasa[note 35] terrorists, part of whose ideology included Roman Catholic Clericalist Fundamentalism, kill 500,000 Orthodox Serbs, expel 250,000 and force 250,000 to convert to Catholicism;[note 36] the Orthodox in Croatia were forced to wear the Cyrillic letter "P" for Provoslavets, or Orthodox, like the Jews who were forced to wear the Star of David during World War II; [24] martyrdom of Bp. Sava of Gornji Karlovac, and Fr. Djordje Bogic.
  • 1943-44 Hundreds of Orthodox priests of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church eliminated, tortured and drowned by Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists - Ukrainian Rebel Army, aided by Uniate Metr. Josyf Slipyj who was a spiritual leader of Nazi military units[35][36][note 37] that were later condemned by the Nuremberg tribunal, and who was imprisoned by Soviet authorities for aiding the UPA; zenith of the Papist[note 38] persecution in Poland against Orthodox faithful in the region of Helm and Podlaskia - Holy Poles martyred by the Papists.
  • 1946 Metr. John of Kiev received Fr. Gabriel Kostelnik and twelve other priests from the Unia to Orthodoxy; state-sponsored synod held in Lviv Ukraine dissolves the Union of Brest-Litovsk and integrates the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church into the Russian Orthodox Church, with Soviet authorities arresting resisters or deporting them to Siberia; Croatian Roman Catholic Abp. of Zagreb Aloysius Stepinac is tried and found guilty of collaboration with the fascist Ustaše movement and complicity in allowing the forced conversions of Orthodox Serbs to Catholicism;[37][note 39]
  • 1947 Death of Alexei Kabalyiuk, Apostle of Carpatho-Russia, who played a major role in reviving Orthodoxy in Transcarpathia in the early 20th century.
  • 1948 Martyrdom of Carpatho-Russian priest Protopresbyter Gabriel Kostelnik.
  • 1949 Papal Decree against Communism by Pope Pius XII excommunicates all Catholics collaborating in communist organizations.
  • 1950 Declaration of Bodily Assumption of Mary as dogma.
  • 1952 Ecumenical Patr. Athenagoras officially visited, for the first time in the last one thousand years, the Papal representative in Constantinople, who returned the visit.[33]
  • 1958 Pope John XXIII and Ecumenical Patr. Athenagoras exchanged formal letters calling for peace among the Christian churches.[33]
  • 1962 The secretive Metz Accord is made between the Holy See and the U.S.S.R. (attended by Metr. Nikodim (Rotov) of Leningrad) at Metz, France, on 13 August 1962, renewing the previous pacts of 1942 and 1944 concerning the Vatican's Ostpolitik, by which Eastern Orthodox participation in the Second Vatican Council was authorized in exchange for a non-condemnation of atheistic communism during the conciliar assemblies.[38][39]
  • 1962-1965 Vatican II institutes major reforms, especially liturgical, into Roman Catholic Church; Patr. Maximos IV Sayegh of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church urged reconciliation between the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches, spoke forcefully against the Latinization of the Eastern Catholic Churches, and championed the Eastern tradition of Christianity, winning a great deal of respect from Eastern Orthodox observers at the council and the approbation of the Ec. Patr. Athenagoras I.
  • 1963 Pope Paul VI announced the relaxation of the Roman Catholic ban on cremation in a confidential letter to bishops and issued his Instruction on 5 July, 1963.[40]

Era of Dialogue

See also

External Links




  1. Although it was not until the fifteenth century that "Pontifex Maximus" became a regular title of honour for Popes.
  2. See: Letters of Augustine (No. 28, 71, 81) and the Letters of Jerome (No. 112), in:
    A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, Translated into English with Prolegomena and Explanatory Notes under the Editorial Supervision of Henry Wace and Philip Schaff. Oxford: Parker; New York: Christian Literature Co., 1890-1900.
  3. After the fall of the Western Empire, the terms "Greek East" and "Latin West" are applied to areas that were formerly part of the Eastern or Western Empires, and also to areas that fell under the Greek or Latin cultural sphere but which had never been part of the Roman Empire. In this sense, particular attention is given to differences in Christianity in the two parts, specifically between Western Christianity and Eastern Christianity.
  4. This anathema was later one of the main arguments against Papal infallibility in the discussions surrounding the First Vatican Council of 1870, but ultimately it was not regarded as being contrary to the proposed dogma.
  5. In Moravia, as in Bulgaria, the Greek mission clashed with German missionaries at work in the same area. Traces of the Slavonic mission lingered on in Moravia for two centuries more, but were eventually eradicated; and Christianity in its western form, with Latin culture and the Latin language (and the filioque), became universal. The attempt to found a Slavonic national Church in Moravia came to nothing. After its collapse in Moravia, the work of the Slavic apostles was saved for the Slavs and Europe by Bulgaria when its ruler Boris, in his endeavor to establish a national church, protected and encouraged the Slavic missionaries who sought refuge in his land. Thus, the Cyrillo-Methodian tradition was preserved and further cultivated in Ochrid and Preslav, two great and dissimilar centers which created a rich literature and culture Byzantine in inspiration, yet Slavic in language and ideology. Therefore other countries, where the brothers had not themselves preached, benefited from their work, most notably Bulgaria, Serbia, and Russia.
  6. Antoni Mironowicz. The Orthodox Church in Poland. Sonca.org. 2010.
  7. "The Council of 879-880 in Constantinople, under the Ecumenical Patriarch, Archbishop of Constantinople and New Rome, Saint Photios the Great, Equal to the Apostles, which condemned as heretical the teaching of the Filioque, and is considered by the consciousness of the Church to be the 8th Ecumenical Council, because in it were representatives of all the Patriarchates, including the then Orthodox Pope of Rome, John the 8th, and because the decisions of this council were universally accepted."
  8. Their palace was in Ostrov Tumski, where the royal couple worshipped in a chapel before Christianity became the official religion. It is the foundations of this chapel, marking the beginning of Christian life in Poland, which archaeologists think that they have now uncovered. Its pre-Romanesque structure shows the Orthodox architectural style of Western Europe before the schism. We should recall that in southern Poland, along the Moravian border which had been ruled by St Rostislav, Slav Orthodox missionaries had begun their task of spiritual enlightenment well before Mieszko’s marriage to Dobrawa. This discovery will surely lead the spiritually sensitive in Poland to realise that the origins of Poland's Christian faith are in Orthodoxy, and not in late eleventh-century Roman Catholicism. This was imported from Germany, and only developed to any great extent in Poland in the twelfth century. (Orthodox England. Orthodox Europe: Poland uncovers its original Orthodoxy.)
  9. "At this point, the once Roman papacy converts to a Frankish organization and becomes a simple pawn of the autocracy. Due to the Frankish control of the papacy, the rulings of the Eighth Ecumenical Council of 879 (of which Pope John VIII had participated) are uncanonically rejected. This allows the filioque to be introduced into the Church of Rome, as well as the papal claims of world domination (heretical views condemned by the Eighth Ecumenical Council). The new Frankish papacy also begins to reject the title of "Ecumenical Patriarch" for the Archbishop of Constantinople (New Rome), an historic title bestowed upon the latter as early as 7th century. A Roman Orthodox party in the West rejects the new Frankish Germanic pope and elects a truly Roman and Orthodox Pope, John XVI."
  10. "From 1009, the Franks controlled the succession to the papal throne and Latin orthodoxy dropped its resistance to the innovations devised at the court of of Charlemagne, making it official doctrine."
    • Christos Yannaras. Orthodoxy and the West: Hellenic Self-Identity in the Modern Age. Transl. Peter Chamberas and Norman Russell. Brookline: Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 2006. p.18.
  11. Clerical celibacy was officially reaffirmed once again by Pope Innocent II in 1139 at the Second Lateran Council, and finally at the end of 1563 at the Council of Trent.
  12. Speros Vryonis in Byzantium and Europe gives a vivid account of the sack of Constantinople by the Frankish and Venetian Crusaders of the Fourth Crusade:
    The Latin soldiery subjected the greatest city in Europe to an indescribable sack. For three days they murdered, raped, looted and destroyed on a scale which even the ancient Vandals and Goths would have found unbelievable. Constantinople had become a veritable museum of ancient and Byzantine art, an emporium of such incredible wealth that the Latins were astounded at the riches they found. Though the Venetians had an appreciation for the art which they discovered (they were themselves semi-Byzantines) and saved much of it, the French and others destroyed indiscriminately, halting to refresh themselves with wine, violation of nuns, and murder of Orthodox clerics. The Crusaders vented their hatred for the Greeks most spectacularly in the desecration of the greatest Church in Christendom. They smashed the silver iconostasis, the icons and the holy books of Hagia Sophia, and seated upon the patriarchal throne a whore who sang coarse songs as they drank wine from the Church's holy vessels. The estrangement of East and West, which had proceeded over the centuries, culminated in the horrible massacre that accompanied the conquest of Constantinople. The Greeks were convinced that even the Turks, had they taken the city, would not have been as cruel as the Latin Christians. The defeat of Byzantium, already in a state of decline, accelerated political degeneration so that the Byzantines eventually became an easy prey to the Turks. The Crusading movement thus resulted, ultimately, in the victory of Islam, a result which was of course the exact opposite of its original intention. (Vryonis, Speros. Byzantium and Europe. Harcourt, Brace & World, New York, 1967. pp.152); (Philip Hughes. "History of the Church Vol II", Innocent III & the Latin East. Sheed & Ward, 1948. pp.372.)
  13. The Crusaders demanded that the Iveron monks convert to Catholicism and acknowledge the primacy of the Roman pope. But the monks condemned their fallacies and anathematized the doctrine of the Catholics. According to the Patericon of Athos, the Iveron monks were forcibly expelled from their monastery. Nearly two hundred elderly monks were goaded like animals onto a ship that was subsequently sunk in the depths of the sea. The younger, healthier monks were deported to Italy and sold as slaves to the Jews. Some sources claim this tragedy took place in the year 1259, while others record that the Georgian monks of the Holy Mountain were subject to the Latin persecutions over the course of four years, from 1276 to 1280.
  14. The Council also stated that no priest, under pain of excommunication, may communicate the people under the forms of both bread and wine:
    This holy synod also decrees and declares, regarding this matter, that instructions are to be sent to the most reverend fathers and lords in Christ, patriarchs, primates, archbishops, bishops, and their vicars in spirituals, wherever they may be, in which they are to be commissioned and ordered on the authority of this sacred council and under pain of excommunication, to punish effectively those who err against this decree.
    Roman Catholic Church executes Jan Hus. The charges against him: Practicing Orthodoxy. Papal Encyclicals Online. Council of Constance 1414-18: SESSION 13 - 15 June 1415.
  15. The XXI session of the Council of Trent (July 1562) further discussed the "The Doctrine Of Communion Under Both Kinds And The Communion Of Little Children". Besides declaring that "communion under either form is sufficient for salvation", and "the Church may, according to circumstances, times and places, determine or change whatever she may judge most expedient", reinforces the decree from the Council of Constance:
    "...the reasons which moved the holy Catholic Church to decree that laymen and priests not celebrating are to communicate under the one species of bread only, are so stringent that under no circumstances is the use of the chalice to be permitted to anyone"
    EWTN Global Catholic Network. "Canons On Communion Under Both Species And That Of Little Children." THE COUNCIL OF TRENT. Session XXI - The fifth under the Supreme Pontiff, Pius IV, celebrated on the sixteenth day of July, 1562.
  16. Saints Photius the Great, Mark of Ephesus, and Gregory Palamas, have been called the Three Pillars of Orthodoxy.
  17. At Florence, some of the Greek party, especially Bessarion, Metropolitan of Nicaea, and Isidore, former Metropolitan of Kiev and all Rus', showed themselves to be strong supporters of the union, but the great majority of the Church back home was against them. The Patriarchates of Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem and the churches of Russia, Romania, and Serbia all rejected it immediately. In Byzantium only a small minority accepted it. Emperors John VIII and Constantine IX (1448-1453) proved unable to force their will on the Church. Most Byzantines felt betrayed. (E. Glenn Hinson. The Church Triumphant: A History of Christianity up to 1300. Mercer University Press, 1995. p.443.)
  18. Loukas Notaras the last Megas Doux of the Byzantine Empire, had remarked: "better the turban of the Turk than the tiara of the Pope!" This was typical of the sentiment among the monastic party, opposed to the Council of Ferrara-Florence, of whom the future Patriarch Gennadius Scholarius was the leader.
  19. Orthodox dioceses were divided between Roman Catholic Venetian rulers and the Ottoman sultanate. Whereas under the latter they enjoyed relative freedom of religious expression, this was not the case in the Venetian-ruled areas. There all Orthodox bishops and metropolitans were replaced by Latin representatives of the pope.
  20. The document shows that membership in the Church of God was seen as essentially conditioned by communion with the Pope of Rome. Those who do not belong to the Roman-Catholic Church cannot be saved because they are not members of the Church of God as such. Membership in the Roman Catholic Church was thus thought of as the only possible way of attaining salvation.
  21. "The origins of the Unia are found in the Lateran Council of 1215 and in the Bull of “Pope” Innocent IV. Officially, however, two Jesuits, Antonio Possevino (1533-1611) and Peter Skarga (1536-1612), created the Unia in Poland. These two monks put Unia in practice in Poland. They did this in order to Latinize the Orthodox of Poland and Northwestern Russia. The King of Poland, Sigismund III, whom the two Jesuits had raised, helped them in this."
  22. The most convincing condemnation of Kuntsevich's character is found in a letter dated March 12, 1622, one and a half years before his death, from the Lithuanian chancellor Leo Sapiega, clearly a Roman Catholic, the representative of the Polish king himself:
    "By thoughtless violence you oppress the Russian people and urge them on to revolt. You are aware of the censure of the simple people, that it would be better to be in Turkish captivity than to endure such persecutions for faith and piety. You write that you freely drown the Orthodox, chop off their heads, and profane their churches. You seal their churches so the people, without piety and Christian rites, are buried like non-Christians. In place of joy, your cunning Uniatism has brought us only woe, unrest, and conflict. We would prefer to be without it. These are the fruits of your Uniatism."
    These words are not the fantasies or the slanders of a fanatically-tempered Orthodox, but the contents of a historical letter from the head of a Roman Catholic state, the Chancellor of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, written on behalf of the Polish King to a turbulent Uniate bishop. (Deacon Herman Ivanov-Treenadzaty. The Vatican and Russia. Orthodox Life, Vol.XL, No.2 [March-April 1990], pp. 8-24.)
    See also:
    Fr. Lev Gillet. Review of: S. Josaphat Hieromartyr. Documenta romana beatifications et canonizationis, I, 1623-1628. By Athanasius G. Welykyj, OSBM. Analecta OSBM,Series II. Rome, 1952. xxv + 306 pages. The Slavonic and East European Review. Vol.31, No.77, Jun., 1953. p.596.
  23. Marguerite Marie Alacoque was briefly preceeded in establishing the devotion to the Sacred Hearts by her contemporary Fr. Jean Eudes (canonized in 1925), a French missionary who was founder of the Congregation of Jesus and Mary, of the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity of the Refuge, and author of the Propers for Mass and Divine Office of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. The feast of the Holy Heart of Mary was celebrated for the first time in 1648, and that of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in 1672.
  24. The Old Catholic Church of the Netherlands headquartered at the city of Utrecht in the Netherlands was Ultrajectine in tradition, rejecting papal infallibility and holding to the belief that only the Church in Ecumenical Council may speak infallibly; it was Roman Catholic in liturgy and belief, but refused to submit to Papal abuses.
  25. (Greek)
    “Τον Παπα να καταράσθε, διότι αυτός θα είναι η αιτία του κακού”. See:
    • Saint Kosmas (ho Aitōlos), Fr. Nomikos Michael Vaporis. Father Kosmas, the Apostle of the Poor: The Life of St. Kosmas Aitolos, together with an English translation of his teaching and letters. Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 1977. 164pp. ISBN 9780916586102
  26. The Dhidhaskalia Patriki or Paternal Teaching, attributed to the Patriarch Anthimos of Jerusalem, and published in Istanbul in 1798, described the attitude of the Orthodox hierarchy during the late eighteenth century to the influence of Western ideas in the Greek world. The Dhidhaskalia Patriki has in fact achieved a certain notoriety among historians as one of the more extreme examples of ecclesiastical anti-Westernism, and its significance was not lost on contemporaries.
  27. For a discussion of Khomyakov see:
    Joseph L. Wieczynski. Khomyakov's Critique of Western Christianity. Church History. Vol.38, No.3, Sep., 1969. pp.291-299.
  28. Despite the failure of his unionist activity, Gagarin exerted important influence on such contemporary and later Roman Catholic and Russian thinkers as Pope Pius IX, Alexei Khomiakov and Vladimir Solovev.
  29. "It is a sacred deed, a God-pleasing deed, to ward off the Photian heresy [Orthodoxy], subjugate it and destroy it with a new crusade. This is the clear goal of today's crusade. Such was the goal of all the crusades, even if all their participants were not fully aware of it. The war which France is now preparing to wage against Russia is not a political war but a holy war. It is not a war between two governments or between two peoples, but is precisely a religious war, and other reasons presented are only pretexts." (Deacon Herman Ivanov-Treenadzaty. The Vatican and Russia. Orthodox Life, Vol.XL, No.2 [March-April 1990], pp. 8-24.); (In: Monseigneur Charles Journet. "Exigences chretiennes en politique". Ed. L.V.F. Paris, 1945. p.274.)
  30. Fr. Antonio Francisco Xavier Alvares (Mar Julius I) was consecrated in 1889 by St. Gregorios of Parumala, Metr. Athanasius Paulos of Aluva, and Malankara Metr. Dionysius Joseph II; this church maintained relations with the Syrian Orthodox Patr. of Antioch Mar Ignatius Peter III, and was permitted to continue its Latin or Western rite liturgical practices.
  31. Coats pointed out that in 1453 Constantinople had officially been in communion with Rome as a Uniate church. As such, he argued, St. Sophia should continue as a Greek Rite Uniate Church. Cardinal Gaspari gave an interview to the French press while in Paris to observe the peace negotiations, explaining that from Rome's viewpoint the great church had been catholic longer than anything else, being only in schismatic hands from the time of Michael Cerularius to the Council of Florence. The Grand Vizier of Constantinople indicated to the British that he had an offer of Papal support, as the Vatican wished to block St. Sophia becoming a Greek Orthodox Church. The Rev. J.A. Douglas, a member of the Redemption Committee reported that:
    " 'The traditional diplomacy of the Vatican has certainly laboured for decades under the influence of what would happen if the Oecumenical Patriarch, a dangerous witness against Roman claims, even when half-buried in the slum of the Phanar and paralysed by Turkish tyranny, should emerge and be the symbol of a great and progressive Communion which functioned with glorious St. Sophia as its mother church.' "
    (Prof. Erik Goldstein. Holy Wisdom and British Foreign Policy, 1918-1922: The St. Sophia Redemption Agitation. In Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies Vol.15 (1991): p.48.)
  32. The Pope's plans were set down in the rescript Plenitudine Potestatis and the decree Quo aptius, and involved the establishment of Apostolic Administrators in metropolitan centres, to replace the diocesan structures that had existed in Tsarist times. (Christopher Lawrence Zugger. The Forgotten: Catholics of the Soviet Empire from Lenin Through Stalin. Syracuse University Press. 2001. p.229.)
  33. The Politics of Vatican City takes place in a framework of an absolute theocratic monarchy, in which the head of the Roman Catholic Church, the Pope, exercises ex officio supreme legislative, executive, and judicial power over the State of the Vatican City (an entity distinct from the Holy See), a rare case of non-hereditary monarchy. According to the text of the treaty the Holy See characterizes itself as a neutral State, with a declaration of intent to remain outside any territorial competition (Lateran Treaty, Art.24, para.1,2).
  34. This treaty would have given enormous priviledges to the Roman Catholic Church which was actually a minority church in Yugoslavia (according to the 1931 census 48.7% of population were Orthodox, while 38% were Roman Catholic). The Serbs felt this to be an attack on the Orthodox Church, and the Church together with virtually all the Serbian people mounted unprecedented resistance to the proposed agreement. In the midst of the crisis Patriarch Varnava (Rosic) died. His health had suffered under the strain of the controversy, and it was even rumored that he had been poisoned. The concordat was passed by the parliament on the very day the patriarch died, and was immediately followed by the excommunication of those Serbian deputies who voted in favor of it. There was also a demonstration organized by the Church and headed by bishops and clergy that set out from the cathedral in Belgrade and was violently broken up by the police. The prime minister had a serious crisis on his hands and withdrew the proposal.
  35. A Croatian fascist, anti-Yugoslav separatist movement, whose ideological movement was a blend of fascism, Nazism, Croatian ultranationalism, and Roman Catholic Clericalist Fundamentalism. (Palmer Domenico, Roy. Encyclopedia of Modern Christian Politics. Greenwood Publishing Group. 2006. ISBN 0313323623).
  36. According to the Simon Wiesenthal Center (citing the Encyclopedia of the Holocaust). The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum states that "Ustaša units, often encouraged by Catholic clergy, carried out a program of compulsory conversion of Orthodox Serbs to Catholicism; resistance often resulted in murder. Some Serbs, particularly members of the elite, were not even offered the option of conversion to avoid being killed." (Holocaust Era in Croatia 1941-1945 JASENOVAC: History: II Targeted Populations. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum). The late Bishop Nikolai (Velimirovich) inscribed into the Church calendar by his own hand the following notation for the date August 31 (O.S.): "The 700,000 who suffered for the Orthodox faith at the hands of the Roman crusaders and Ustasi during the time of the Second World War. These are the New Serbian Martyrs."
  37. SS-Galicia division (Galizien/Galichina) and the Wehrmacht Nachtigall battalion.
  38. Papist is a term, usually regarded as a disparaging or an anti-Catholic slur, referring to the Roman Catholic Church, its teaching, practices or adherents. It was coined during the English Reformation to denote a Christian whose loyalties were to the Pope, rather than to the Church of England. Over time, however, it came to mean one who supported Papal authority over all Christians. A similar term, "papalism", is sometimes used.
  39. 39.0 39.1 "After World War II, Stepinac was arrested by the Communist regime and tried and convicted for his complicity in war crimes and mass murder. Of course, this trial is dismissed by neo-Ustasha propaganda and the official history as a Communist show trial meant to discredit Roman Catholicism. Stepinac served 5 years in prison as a convicted war criminal for complicity in genocide. He died in 1960 under house arrest. The theory of command responsibility cited today by the Hague and international war crimes law experts was employed in the postwar trial of Archbishop Stepinac. He was found guilty according to this theory. A 1947 publication, The Trial of Stepinac, relates the findings of the Yugoslav War Crimes Commission." (Dr. Carl Savich (J.D.). Another Side of the Pope: John Paul II’s Balkan Legacy. Balkanalysis.com. April 9, 2005.)
    See also: Dr. Srdja Trifkovic. Shades of Grey: The Record of Archbishop Stepinac. OrthodoxyToday.org. June 8th, 2011.
  40. "Fr. John Romanidis, of blessed memory, revealed that a Papist “bishop” had confided to him that, according to the Vatican’s plan, the union would not happen from the top, that is to say, from the bishops, the theologians and the dialogues, but rather from the so-called grassroots ecumenism, that is to say, through the mutual association between the two sides and the gradual implementation of sacramental intercommunion (intercommunio), which is already being put into effect by Rome and the Orthodox Ecumenists."
    • (Greek)
    ΑΡΧΙΜ. ΓΕΩΡΓΙΟΣ ΚΑΨΑΝΗΣ, Ἡ κρίσις Θεολογίας καί Οἰκουμενισμοῦ ἐν Η.Π.Α., Ἀθήναι 1968, pp. 17-20.</span> </li>
  41. According to Fr. Uwe Michael Lang:
    "The most important directive is found in paragraph 262 of the Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani, the General Instruction of the new Roman Missal, issued in 1969. That says, 'It is better for the main altar to be constructed away from the wall so that one can easily walk around the altar and celebrate facing the people (versus populum).' The General Instruction of the Missal issued in 2002 retained this text unaltered except for the addition of the subordinate clause, 'which is desirable wherever possible'. This was taken in many quarters as a hardening of the 1969 text to mean that there was now a general obligation to set up altars facing the people 'wherever possible'. This interpretation, however, was rejected by the Congregation for Divine Worship on 25 September 2000, when it declared that the word 'expedit' ('is desirable') did not imply an obligation but only made a suggestion."
    (Fr. Uwe Michael Lang. Turning Towards the Lord: Orientation in Liturgical Prayer. Ignatius Press, 2004. pp.9-10,25-26.)
  42. According to Pope Benedict XVI:
    "...The liturgical renewal in our own century took up this alleged model and developed from it a new idea for the form of the liturgy. The Eucharist - so it was said - had to be celebrated versus populum (toward the people). The altar - as can be seen in the normative model of St. Peter's - had to be positioned in such a way that priest and people looked at each other and formed together the circle of the celebrating community. This alone - so it was said - was compatible with the meaning of the Christian liturgy, with the requirement of active participation. This alone conformed to the primordial model of the Last Supper. These arguments seemed in the end so persuasive that after the Council [Vatican II] (which says nothing about "turning toward the people") new altars were set up everywhere, and today celebration versus populum really does look like the characteristic fruit of Vatican II's liturgical renewal."
    (Pope Benedict XVI. The Spirit of the Liturgy. Transl. John Saward. Ignatius Press, 2000. p.77.)
  43. "..."Orthodoxy is not one of the churches, but The Church herself. She has preserved precisely and authentically the teaching of Christ in its pristine splendor and in all its purity. Over and above a simple, unbroken historical continuity and consistency there exists in her a spiritual and ontological authen­ticity. The same Faith, the same Spirit, the same life. It is this which constitutes the distinguishing feature of Orthodoxy and which justi­fies her claim that she is and remains The Church" (Episkepsis, #227, March 15, 1980)...From the Orthodox point of view there is no justification for Optimism in regard to the dialogue, and for this reason no haste should be exhibited concerning it. The Roman Catholics are pressing the dialogue, hoping to strengthen themselves by annexing Orthodoxy to themselves, for they are confronted by very powerful internal disturbances and crises, as is well known. The number of former Ro­man Catholics who have converted to Orthodoxy also disturbs them. But Orthodoxy has no reason to hasten towards dialogue since the papists remain so obdurate and immovable as regards infallibility, uniatism, and the rest of their pernicious teachings. Hastening the dialogue under such conditions is equivalent to spiri­tual suicide for the Orthodox." (The Announcement of the Joint Conference of the Abbots of Mount Athos. April 9-22, 1980.)
  44. 'We have already referred indirectly to the Eastern Orthodox Churches. What are relations like with them? "Contacts with them are only superficially easier; in reality we are faced with grave problems. These Churches have an authentic doctrine, but it is static, petrified as it were. They remain faithful to the tradition of the first Christian millenium, but they reject later developments on the grounds that Catholics decided upon these developments without them. For them, questions of faith can only be decided by a 'really ecumenical' council, i.e., one which includes all Christians. Therefore they regard as invalid what Catholics have declared since the split..."' (Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger with Vittorio Messori. The Ratzinger Report: An Exclusive Interview on the State of the Church. Ignatius Press, 1985. pp.161-162.)
  45. "...as the Pope began to speak, the Rev. Ian Paisley, the hard-line Protestant clergyman and a member of Parliament from Northern Ireland, rose to heckle him. "I renounce you as the anti-Christ! I renounce you and all your cults and creeds!" Paisley shouted from the rear of the chamber, quoting Thomas Cranmer, a pope-hating Archbishop of Canterbury who was burned at the stake in 1556." (William D. Montalbano. Ulster's Paisley Disrupts Talks: Pope Urges W. Europeans to Seek Unity With East. LA Times. October 12, 1988.)
  46. "...we cannot fail to recognize the infidelities to the Gospel committed by some of our brethren, especially during the second millennium. Let us ask pardon for the divisions which have occurred among Christians, for the violence some have used in the service of the truth and for the distrustful and hostile attitudes sometimes taken towards the followers of other religions." (HOMILY OF THE HOLY FATHER. "DAY OF PARDON". Sunday, 12 March 2000).
  47. "...Some memories are especially painful, and some events of the distant past have left deep wounds in the minds and hearts of people to this day. I am thinking of the disastrous sack of the imperial city of Constantinople, which was for so long the bastion of Christianity in the East. It is tragic that the assailants, who had set out to secure free access for Christians to the Holy Land, turned against their own brothers in the faith. The fact that they were Latin Christians fills Catholics with deep regret. How can we fail to see here the mysterium iniquitatis at work in the human heart? To God alone belongs judgement, and therefore we entrust the heavy burden of the past to his endless mercy, imploring him to heal the wounds which still cause suffering to the spirit of the Greek people. Together we must work for this healing if the Europe now emerging is to be true to its identity, which is inseparable from the Christian humanism shared by East and West." (ADDRESS OF JOHN PAUL II TO HIS BEATITUDE CHRISTODOULOS, ARCHBISHOP OF ATHENS AND PRIMATE OF GREECE. Friday, 4 May 2001.)
  48. In his first interview with Western journalists since 2002, Patriarch Alexei II reiterated Orthodox complaints against Catholics. "Unfortunately relations are not at their best today because the proselytising activity of the Roman Catholic Church is being carried out in both Russia and in CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) countries. Many missionary orders work in Russia today, especially in the shelters and orphanages, where children who have been baptised in Orthodoxy are being converted to Catholicism." Deep wounds have been inflicted by Uniate Catholics in the western area of Ukraine, he added. (Greg Watts. Russia and Rome Rethink Relations. The Sunday Times. February 14, 2004.)
  49. "Orthodox leaders have always complained bitterly about the various Eastern Rite churches, which follow many Orthodox traditions but are loyal to the Vatican. They are widely perceived as Vatican infiltrators trying to lure away Orthodox followers and erode Orthodox churches." (Brian Murphy. Tale of two Europes: Political unity advances while ancient religious rifts persist. Times-Colonist. January 25, 2003. p.25.)
  50. "It is decided that the assembly of the Holy Martyrs and Confessors of the eparchy of Helm and Podlaska shall be on the first Sunday of the month of June. They are ranked in the chorus of the Saints:
  51. This was the 11th of a series of Orientale Lumen Conferences, since they began in 1997. Orientale Lumen EuroEast I was jointly announced by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the Pontifical Oriental Institute, the Catholic and Orthodox Society of St. John Chrysostom, and Eastern Christian Publications. The thematic focus of the 80 participants of Orientale Lumen Euro-East I was "Liturgy as the Foundation of Dialogue." The meeting transpired over the anniversary of the founding of Constantinople on May 11,330 A.D.
  52. Since its foundation in 2004, the Saint Irenaeus Joint Orthodox-Catholic Working Group has held annual meetings at: Paderborn (2004), Athens (2005), Chevetogne (2006), Belgrade (2007), Vienna (2008), Kiev (2009), and Magdeburg (2010).
  53. From 1863 until 2005, the Annuario Pontificio included also the title "Patriarch of the West". This title was first used by Pope Theodore I in 642, and was only used occasionally. Indeed, it did not begin to appear in the pontifical yearbook until 1863. On 22 March 2006, the Vatican released a statement explaining this omission on the grounds of expressing a "historical and theological reality" and of "being useful to ecumenical dialogue". The title Patriarch of the West symbolized the pope's special relationship with, and jurisdiction over, the Latin Church—and the omission of the title neither symbolizes in any way a change in this relationship, nor distorts the relationship between the Holy See and the Eastern Churches, as solemnly proclaimed by the Second Vatican Council.
  54. The conference was organized jointly by the Pontifical Council for Culture and the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate.
  55. From the perspective of the Church Secular Humanism is defined as a religious philosophical worldview based on atheism, naturalism, evolution, and ethical relativism, attempting to function as a civilized society with the total exclusion of God and His moral principles. At the conference Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev called in most resolute terms for an institutionalized Orthodox-Catholic alliance, without which, he said, it would not be possible to defend traditional values in Europe: "What we are witnessing is the final attack of militant secularism on the remains of Christian civilization in Europe." Note that at its 50th anniversary World Humanist Congress in 2002, the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) published its "Amsterdam Declaration", the defining statement of worldwide secular Humanism, embracing Humanist, atheist, rationalist, secular, skeptic, Ethical Culture, freethought and similar organisations worldwide.
  56. Metr. Panteleimon (Lampadarios) of Antinoe; Metr. Seraphim (Stergioulis) of Kythira; Metr. Kosmas (Papachristos) of Aitolia and Akarnania; Metr. Seraphim (Mentzelopoulos) of Piraeus; Metr. Dr. Artemije (Radosavljevic) of Raska and Prizren, Kosovo and Metohia; Bp. George (Schaefer) of Mayfield, Abbott of the Hermitage of the Holy Cross (Wayne, West Virginia).
  57. "...These dialogues, together with every effort for peaceful and fraternal relations of the Orthodox Church with other Christians, are unfortunately challenged today in an unacceptably fanatical way – at least by the standards of a genuinely Orthodox ethos – by certain circles that exclusively claim for themselves the title of zealot and defender of Orthodoxy. As if all the Patriarchs and Sacred Synods of the Orthodox Churches throughout the world, who unanimously decided on and continue to support these dialogues, were not Orthodox. Yet, these opponents of every effort for the restoration of unity among Christians raise themselves above Episcopal Synods of the Church to the dangerous point of creating schisms within the Church...moreover, union is not decided by theological commissions but by Church Synods...Beloved children in the Lord, Orthodoxy has no need of either fanaticism or bigotry to protect itself. Whoever believes that Orthodoxy has the truth does not fear dialogue, because truth has never been endangered by dialogue..." (Patriarchal and Synodal Encyclical on the Sunday of Orthodoxy, February 21, 2010.)
  58. Eastern-rite Jesuit scholar Rev. Robert Taft made a similar appeal for union when he delivered the annual Kelly Lecture at the University of Toronto's St. Michael's College in 2000. (Jesuit slams Catholic-Orthodox rift. Victoria Times Colonist. December 16, 2000. A12.)
  59. The mummified body of St. Simeon was taken from Jerusalem to Constantinople in the 13th century, and was apparently destined for Venice when a storm on the Adriatic Sea forced the ship off course toward what is now Croatia. The saint’s remains have been venerated in Zadar since that time. In 2007, during a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, Archbishop Ivan Prendja of Zadar met with the Greek Orthodox Patriarch Theophilus III of Jerusalem, and agreed to provide a relic of St. Simeon to be venerated in an Orthodox monastery dedicated to the saint. Archbishop Prendja died in January of this year, but his successor, Archbishop Zelimir Puljic, carried out his promise in a ceremony in Zadak, turning over the relic to representatives of the Orthodox patriarchate. (Croatian archdiocese gives cherished relic to Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem. CatholicCulture.org. October 13, 2010).
  60. In announcing this exciting development, His Eminence Metropolitan Athenagoras (Aneste) of Mexico expressed his great pleasure in welcoming the OCCG which was received in its entirety, including their former clergy, seminarians, lay ministers, catechists and affiliated membership into the canonical family of the Orthodox Church, under the guidance of Archiepiscopal Vicar Archimandrite Dr. Andrew (Vujisić) of Tralles. Following their official reception, the leaders of OCCG, Messrs. Andrew Girón and Michael Castellanos traveled to Mexico City where on the weekend of March 19-21, they were ordained to the Holy Priesthood, receiving the title of Archimandrite. The OCCG has an approximate membership of 527,000 faithful and catechumens, overwhelmingly indigenous, with 334 churches in Guatemala and southern Mexico, with 12 (formerly OCCG) clergymen and 14 seminarians, who are assisted in their pastoral ministry by 250 lay ministers and 380 catechists.
  61. This single act assists, what appears to conscientious Orthodox Christians, as the further Protestantization of the Roman Church by progressive bishops and theologians.
  62. The International Commission for English in the Liturgy prepared a new English translation of the Roman Missal, the completed form of which received the approval of the Holy See in April 2010. Some of the revisions are:
    • The Nicene Creed now starts with “I believe in one God” instead of “We believe in one God.”
    • Jesus is now “consubstantial with the Father” rather than “one in Being with the Father.”
    • Communion begins with the words, “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof,” instead of “Lord, I am not worthy to receive you.”
    • The response “And also with you,” is now rendered “And with your spirit.”
  63. For Easter 2015 and the following years, a decree formulated by the ACOHL will be submitted to the Holy See for approval. This decree is to state that all the Catholic Churches of the Holy Land will permanently adopt the Julian calendar for the celebration of Easter with the consequential adjustment of the liturgical calendar for the beginning of Lent and the feast of Pentecost. Meanwhile, the Bishops of the Catholic Churches of the Holy Land have the option of starting the implementation in 2013. This is the case with the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem.
  64. </ol>


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Further reading


(Scroll down past the Greek section to get to the English version. Bishop Paul's article which explains why and how he was converted to Orthodoxy from Roman Catholicism. )