Author Topic: Rev. Father Adrian Fortescue: The Orthodox Eastern Church - the Photian Schism.  (Read 503 times)

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The following is from Rev. Father Adrian Fortescue's epic study on the Eastern Churches, and specifically on the Photian Orthodox Schism.

"PART II

THE SCHISM

We are accustomed to speak of the "Photian" schism, and to look upon Photius as its originator. This conception is not an unjust one. Photius was, far more than any other one man, responsible for the schism; he is the Luther of the Orthodox Church,[1] and, if one would attach the whole story to one name, there is no doubt that it should be his. At the same time, the movement is not contained in the story of Photius's life. We have seen that there had been many such schisms before his time (p. 96), and the quarrel that he caused was soon patched up, if not very heartily, and did not finally break out again till about 150 years after his death. Even then a reunion was arranged on two later occasions by the Councils of Lyons (1274) and Florence (1439), although each time it came to nothing. Nevertheless the schismatical Eastern Church has always looked upon Photius (he is St. Photius to her) as the champion of her cause against Rome, and we too consider him not wrongly as the father of their schism. This part will naturally fall into two chapters, describing the first schism under Photius and the second under Michael Cerularius.

CHAPTER IV

THE SCHISM OF PHOTIUS

1. The Patriarch Ignatius (846–857).

In 846 Methodius, Patriarch of Constantinople, died. At that time all the Orthodox Eastern Churches were in full communion with Rome. The Iconoclast troubles were just over. They had broken out again after the seventh general council (Nicænum II, 787) under the Iconoclast Emperor Leo V (the Armenian, 813–820), but at last Theodora, widow of the Emperor Theophilus (829–842) and Regent for her son, Michael III (842–867), had recalled the holy images on the first "Feast of Orthodoxy" (February 19, 842), and the Church of Constantinople had finally returned to communion with Rome. Throughout the Iconoclast persecution the Popes had steadily defended the images. We have seen how the image-worshippers in the East had appealed to the faith of Rome and to the authority of the Pope (St. Theodore of Studium, pp. 65–66). Methodius had been one of the champions of the same cause; he had formerly taken refuge in Rome during the persecution, and he was a friend of Pope Nicholas I (858–867), as well as a devout client of St. Peter and a defender of the rights of his see.[2] Now he was dead and the clergy of Constantinople met to choose his successor. By the advice of the Empress Theodora, but also by a free, canonical, and unanimous election, they chose the Hegoumenos (Abbot) of the monastery of Satyrus, Ignatius.

Ignatius was the youngest son of the Emperor Michael I (811–813) and his wife Procopia. When Michael I was deposed by Leo V he and his children were shut up in a monastery. The youngest son, then called Nicetas, became a monk when he was only fourteen years old, and took the name Ignatius. The usurper, by shutting up his rival's family in a monastery, meant to put an end to their career in the world. But then, as now, the road to high places in the Eastern Church led through the Lauras. At the Laura of Satyrus Ignatius gradually became the most important member of the community. He received Holy Orders, and was elected Hegoumenos. The next change was to the highest place in Eastern Christendom. The Empress sent an embassy to Pope Leo IV (847–855) to announce the appointment of the new Patriarch, as was the custom, and she in her message insisted on the free election by which he had been chosen, as also on his virtues and merits. The bishops who had elected him wrote to the same effect.[3] The Roman See therefore acknowledged Ignatius as Patriarch; that it would not change nor cease to do so was the cause of the schism. But no one disputes that Ignatius was canonically elected and was rightful Patriarch, at any rate for the first eleven years. The Orthodox Church always counts him as one in her lists. The question at issue was rather the right of the Government to depose him. Ignatius from the beginning had some enemies. The head of the opposition was Gregory Asbestas, Metropolitan of Syracuse in Sicily.[4] Probably because of the Arab invasion of his island this Gregory was living at Constantinople. It is not easy to find out how his quarrel with Ignatius began. Perhaps it was only about some political question; perhaps Gregory, the friend and countryman of Methodius, had hoped to succeed him himself. There is one account by which his ordination was supposed to be irregular, and while his cause was being examined he presented himself, with the other bishops, at Ignatius's consecration. Ignatius then told him to stand back, and not to show himself until his own affairs were set to rights. Some of the reasons given are quite absurd.[5] Whatever the cause may have been, Gregory and two other bishops who had taken his side organized an opposition to the Patriarch, and continually tried to work up the Court and the people against him. Ignatius had several times summoned them to a synod to be tried, when at last, in 854, he excommunicated them for insubordination and schism. Gregory Asbestas and his friends would not have been able to do much harm to the Patriarch had not the Government at the same time fallen foul of him.

The Court was then in an indescribable state of corruption. Theodora retired from public affairs in 856. Her son, Michael III, was still very young, and so her brother Bardas became a sort of regent with the title Cæsar. Michael was as vicious a young man as any that reigned at Constantinople, and to him the Imperial throne was just a means for enjoying himself. It is said that Bardas encouraged him so as to keep all the power in his own hands. Most of the Emperors had a surname given to them. This one has gone down to history as Michael the Drunkard (μεθυστής). Bardas was no better. His chief offence was that he put away his lawful wife and lived in open and shameless incest with his daughter-in-law, Eudokia. Ignatius then did what every bishop would be bound to do. He had already borne much from the Court. The drunken boy who stood at its head had found a suitable way of diverting himself by laughing at his religion. He had appointed a clown from the circus to be "his Patriarch." Dressed up in a caricature of bishop's vestments this man used to hold mock services, mimicking Ignatius, amid the shouts of laughter of Michael, his mistresses, and his companions. Ignatius had protested to no purpose, but this incest of the Cæsar could not be passed over. It was a notorious scandal throughout the Empire. Again he warned him, and commanded him to put away Eudokia. Bardas took no notice, and then, while still in this state of sin, he came with the rest of the Court to receive Holy Communion on the Epiphany in 857. The Patriarch refused it to him. That was his treason and offence. Michael was furious at the insult offered to his uncle, but Ignatius stood firm. A man who continued to live in public sin could not receive Holy Communion. Then came the affair of Theodora. Michael and Bardas thought they could get her out of the way by making her a nun, so they wanted the Patriarch to cut off her hair and put her into a nunnery. This, too, he refused to do as long as she herself was unwilling. The Emperor and the Cæsar then determine to get rid of Ignatius. They join forces with the party of Gregory Asbestas, condemn Ignatius to be deposed and exiled as a traitor. On November 23, 857, he is dragged off to the island Terebinth. The last thing he did before going into exile was to forbid his clergy to say the liturgy or to perform any rites in the cathedral till he came back. He put the great church under an interdict.[6] Michael and Bardas, having got rid of the lawful Patriarch, now look around for some more complaisant person to intrude into his see. They found the very man they wanted in Photius.

2. Photius.

Photius (Φώτιος) was one of the most wonderful men of all the middle ages. Had he not given his name to the great schism, he would always be remembered as the greatest scholar of his time, and as, in every way, the greatest man in the Byzantine Church. Since St. John Damascene († 744) no Eastern Church has produced any one who could be compared to Photius. He was born about 827; his father's name was Sergius. In after years his enemies had many stories to tell about his birth. The mother, they said, was an escaped nun; many holy bishops and confessors had foretold such horrible things of his future that Sergius determined to kill him and the mother at once; only they said, "You cannot prevent what God has ordained." Others, apparently with a rather confused recollection of the book of Genesis, compared his mother to Eve bringing forth the serpent.[7] All these stories are, of course, the calumnies of his enemies. There is no evidence that he was illegitimate. It is true that he was afterwards continually called a bastard, just as he was called a parricide, adulterer and murderer, but these are only the amenities of theological controversy. All that we know of his kin is that they were a great and lordly house, who had been distinguished for orthodoxy and had even suffered persecution in Iconoclast days. Photius was some relation of the Patriarch Tarasius (784–806), in whose time the seventh general council had been held (p. 80). He had had no intention of receiving Holy Orders: his career was to be that of a rhetorician and statesman. We know nothing about his teachers; but very soon he began to develop his extraordinary talent. All his contemporaries speak of his astounding memory and untiring power of work. He sat up for long nights reading, and he had read everything. So great an impression did he make on his pupils that they told stories of a contract made by him with the Devil—he had sold his soul for knowledge.[8] He was a sort of universal genius, philosopher, philologist, theologian, lawyer, mathematician, natural scientist, orator, poet. His extant works fill five volumes of Migne;[9] Hergenröther has published a collection of addenda.[10] His most important work is the Myriobiblion ("Thousand Books," the Bibliotheca Photii). It is an incomplete list of books he had read (only 280 out of 1,000), with descriptions of their contents, often long quotations and critical notes about their authors. All kinds of books on philosophy, rhetoric, history, grammar, medicine, &c., are quoted without any order. The Myriobiblion is the only harbour in which a number of Greek classics have been saved from oblivion. His Amphilochia is a collection of 326 theological essays, also put together without any order in the form of question and answer, and addressed to Amphilochius, Metropolitan of Cycicus, one of Photius's numerous pupils. Then there are a number of canonical works and controversy written in after years against the Latins and various heretics, commentaries on parts of the Bible, a Lexicon of Classical and Biblical Greek words that were no longer understood in the 9th century, sermons, and a large collection of letters.

Photius was then already a very famous man when the Patriarch Ignatius was sent into exile. He was closely connected with the Court. His brother Sergius had married Irene, the sister of Bardas and aunt of the Emperor. He himself held two important offices: he was Secretary of State (πρωτοσηκρῆτις and Captain of the Life Guard (πρωτοσπαθάριος). He was unmarried, so there would be no difficulty about that, and he was already an eager partisan of Gregory Asbestas and of the opposition to Ignatius, Under these circumstances Michael III and Bardas offered him the See of Constantinople, which they pretended was vacant, and he accepted it. In six days he hurriedly received all the orders,[11] and on Christmas Day, 857, Gregory, although himself suspended and excommunicate, consecrated him Patriarch. We should notice at once that this iniquitous proceeding would be much less of a shock to the people of Constantinople than it is to us. They were accustomed to see all kinds of depositions, and they usually quietly accepted what had happened without troubling about injured rights. Emperors were continually deposed and then murdered, or blinded, or shut up in a monastery by a usurper, and no one took any pains to distinguish between the sovereigns de iure and de facto. So also the Government, especially since the schism, when there is no Pope to interfere, has deposed and exiled patriarchs and set up intruders in their see over and over again. The Sultans in later years have never ceased doing so down to our own time, and the Orthodox historians print the names of all these bishops one after another, just as they de facto held the see.

Nevertheless Photius and the Court were very anxious to get Ignatius to resign. In case he would not do so they already foresaw trouble with Rome. So they sent messengers to persuade him to sign a document of resignation. His bishops had already promised to stand by him, and he now and to the end of his life steadfastly refused to give up his right.[12] Soon afterwards the bishops who remained true to him met and declared Photius, the intruded anti-patriarch, and all his followers to be excommunicate. Photius answered by pronouncing the same sentence on Ignatius and on his followers. The Government then began to persecute the Ignatian bishops. Metrophanes of Smyrna, their leader, was shut up in a dungeon, others were sent into exile, imprisoned, tortured. But the worst part fell upon Ignatius himself. He was taken to Mitylene, chained in a prison without enough food, and beaten in the face till his teeth were knocked out,[13] to make him resign. But Photius himself wrote to Bardas to protest against the way his opponents were treated.[14] On the other hand he evicted a number of Ignatian bishops[15] and intruded his own friends into their sees. Both the Emperor and Photius then write to the Pope to persuade him that everything is in order.

Fortunately, when this great crisis between the two halves of Christendom at last came, the Roman See was occupied by one of the very greatest of the Popes. Nicholas I (858–867) stands out as the champion of the Catholic side, as much as Photius was of the Byzantine Church that he was about to drag into schism. Nicholas was the greatest Pope between Gregory the Great (590–604) and Gregory VII (1073–1085). It was a very bad time in the West. After the death of Lewis the Pious (successor of Charles the Great, 814–840) the treaty of Verdun (843) divided his lands between his three sons, Lothar the Emperor, Lewis the German, and Charles the Bald. There were wars against Slavs and Normans, the Carling kings fought amongst themselves, other pretenders were set up; then came the Magyars. In all this time of violence and disorder one great figure stands out, that of Nicholas I. Like Gregory I, he was a Roman of one of the great houses, and like Gregory he showed the instinct of his Roman blood as a statesman and organizer. The claim of Photius was only one of many affairs he had to settle. At the same time he was bringing a rebellious Archbishop of his own Patriarchate, John of Ravenna, to his knees, he was standing out sternly for the sacredness of marriage in the affair of Lothar II's divorce, he was defending the suffragans of the province of Rheims against the tyranny of their Metropolitan,[16] and the freedom of the Church against Charles the Bald. In the century that followed Nicholas I, the Roman See sank to the lowest depth she ever reached; far worse than the Borgias and Medicis of the Renaissance were the horrible Stephens and Johns of the 10th century. A contemporary writer says of St. Nicholas I (he is a canonized Saint): "Since the time of Blessed Gregory (the Great) no one who has been raised to the Papal dignity can be compared to him. He commanded kings and tyrants as if he were the lord of the world. To good bishops and priests, to pious laymen, he was kind, humble, gentle and meek, to evil-doers he was terrible and stern. People say rightly that God raised up in him a second Elias."[17]

It was to this Pope that Photius appealed to get his place confirmed. He begins his letter: "To the most holy and venerable brother and fellow-bishop, Nicholas, Pope of Old Rome, Photius, Bishop of Constantinople, New Rome." It is significant that neither he nor any of his predecessors ever called themselves Œcumenical Patriarch when writing to a Pope. The letter is very humble and very deceitful. He says that his predecessor had resigned his office, and that then he, Photius, had been unwillingly forced to succeed him by all the metropolitans, bishops, and clergy of Constantinople; there is a great deal about the tears he shed when he was forced to accept this dignity, he adds an elaborate and very orthodox profession of his faith and begs for the Pope's prayers.[18] The Emperor's letter (probably composed by Photius[19]) was to do the business really. They wanted legates to confirm the deposition of Ignatius and to acknowledge Photius; then everything would be safe. Michael asks for the legates, but says very little about the real question at issue. He represents that there are still some effects of the Iconoclast trouble at Constantinople, which could best be put in order by a synod; will the Pope then send legates to this synod with full powers to deal with all disorders? Incidentally he mentions that the former Patriarch Ignatius has resigned because of his great age and weak health, he has retired to a very comfortable life in one of the monasteries founded by himself; unfortunately he had been guilty of various offences, such as forsaking his diocese, disobeying Papal decrees and being mixed up in treasonable conspiracies, for which his successor had been compelled to excommunicate him. This and all other matters the legates will be able to arrange when they come.[20] The letter is much too clever to be the Drunkard's own composition.

The Pope in answer sends two legates with letters[21] and instructions not to pass any sentence as yet, but to examine the claims of either side and to report. They were Rodoald, Bishop of the Portus Tiberis (Porto), and Zacharias, Bishop of Anagnia (Anagni). These two persons were the worst ambassadors ever sent by the Holy See to any place. Like other of their countrymen on other occasions, they arrived, their hands outstretched, their palms itching for bribes. Already on the way, at Rhœdestus on the Propontis, they are met by envoys from Photius who bring them costly gifts and especially beautiful clothes. When they arrive they are carefully kept from seeing any of Ignatius's friends; they hear all sorts of calumnies against him, and threats of what will happen to themselves if they disappoint the Emperor; meanwhile more presents come pouring in. The two bishops then throw overboard their honour and their loyalty to their Patriarch, and promise to do just as Michael and Photius wish. In May, 861, the synod meets in the Hagia Sophia; Michael and Bardas are present with a number of their courtiers and a splendid retinue. Ignatius presents himself in his patriarchal robes, but outside the Church a messenger from the Emperor meets him and forces him to take them off, and to appear only in his monk's habit, treating him as if already condemned and deposed before the trial begins. The most disgraceful part of the whole proceeding was that Photius, the plaintiff in the case, sat among the judges. Ignatius is then made to leave all his friends outside and to appear alone. He turns to the Legates and asks them what they are doing there. "We are the vicars of the Roman Pope Nicholas," they say, "and we have been sent to judge your case." Ignatius answers that he asks nothing better than to be judged by the Pope; "but," he says, "first dismiss that adulterer there,[22] otherwise you are not judges." All the Legates have to answer is, pointing to Michael, "He wishes it to be so."[23] Ignatius quotes the case of St. John Chrysostom's appeal to Innocent I to show that he cannot yet be deposed. When a bishop, he says, appeals to the Pope he cannot be sentenced before the decision has come from Rome. He also quotes the 4th Canon of Sardica (pp. 68, 69) to the same effect. Finally, with a dignified protest against this mockery of a trial, he formally appeals from these miserable and corrupt Legates to the Pope himself. But the synod pronounces sentence on him all the same. They dress him up in a set of vestments, then the Sub-deacon Procopius (whom he in former days had suspended for immorality) solemnly takes them off and every one, Legates and all, cries out the old formula: "Ignatius unworthy!"[24] The Legates sign the acts of the synod, deposing Ignatius and acknowledging Photius; then they go back home, laden with still more gifts.[25] The council had drawn up some other decrees, against Iconoclasm, &c., as a sort of blind, and for a time the Byzantines tried to get it recognized as an œcumenical synod, an attempt which came to nothing.[26] Here, too, the fatal incapacity of Greeks and Latins to understand one another confused the issue. The Pope had written in Latin and they had translated his letter quite wrongly: the Legates in this case were probably in good faith because they could not follow the Greek version. Anastasius Bibliothecarius, the contemporary chronicler of all this story, says: "The Roman Legates could not understand what was being read."[27] The Pope thought that the Greeks had mistranslated his letter on purpose. He says: "Among the Greeks such an impertinence is common, as various writings at different times show." And again he quotes another letter of Adrian I that was kept in the Archive at Constantinople, and then adds: "unless it has been tampered with after the manner of the Greeks."[28] The Emperor sent his Secretary of State, Leo, to Rome immediately after the Legates with two more letters for the Pope, one from himself and one from Photius. He encloses the acts of the synod, which he praises as a most holy and blessed assembly, worthy to be compared with the first of Nicæa. He says that it has deposed Ignatius according to the holy Canons and has, together with the Legates, acknowledged Photius. He also warmly praises these Legates. Photius's letter is a very long one.[29] He, too, misrepresents the whole business, protests his obedience to the Pope: "In order to prove our obedience to your fatherly love in all things," &c.,[30] and greatly praises Rodoald and Zachary: "Indeed the Legates of your fatherly Holiness are men illustrious by their prudence, virtue, and manifold wisdom, who honour him who sent them by their manners as much as did the disciples of Christ."[31] In short, he hopes that it will now be all right.

Meanwhile Ignatius also carried out his purpose of appealing directly to the Pope. He managed to send his friend the Archimandrite Theognostus[32] to Rome with a letter beginning: "Ignatius, tyrannically deposed and much tried, and his fellow-sufferers, ten Metropolitans, fifteen Bishops, and many Archimandrites, Priests, and Monks, to our lord, the most holy and blessed Patriarch of all Sees, the successor of the Prince of the Apostles, the Œcumenical Popes[33] Nicholas, and to the most holy Bishops under him[34] and to all the most wise Church of the Romans, health in the Lord."[35] His letter is short compared with the long rhapsody of Photius. He exposes his case and ends: "Do you also, most holy lord, show to me your lovingkindness and say with the great Paul: Who is weak and I am not weak?[36] Remember the great Patriarchs, your predecessors, Fabian, Julius, Innocent, Leo,[37] in short all who fought for truth against injustice, and rise up as our avenger, since we are so unworthily mishandled."

On the eve of Whitsunday a party of soldiers came to seize Ignatius; the Government wanted to cut off his right hand and blind him; but he just escaped and hid himself. Michael III went on getting drunk and cared nothing for the affairs of his Empire; he knew quite well that the wretched people, as far as they dared have a will of their own, were on the side of the rightful bishop. Nicetas David, the friend and biographer of Ignatius, has preserved some of the Emperor's jokes on the subject. "There are three Patriarchs," he said; "mine is Theophilus Gryllus (the clown), the Patriarch of the Cæsar (Bardas) is Photius, and that of the people is Ignatius."[38] He had no respect for Photius; on one occasion he told him that he had a face like a Khazar,[39] another time he called him "Marzuka," a cryptic name which Photius, who was much hurt by it, elaborately explains as meaning a dog who steals shoe leather.[40]

Meanwhile what was happening in Rome? The two Legates came back with their gifts hidden away and gave as specious an account of what had happened as they could (861). Then came Leo, the Emperor's secretary, with the letters from his master and Photius. Nicholas waited a long time till he had heard the other side. At last in 862 Theognostus arrives with Ignatius's letter. Then the Pope, having examined the whole matter, decides for Ignatius. He answers the letters of Photius and Michael. To Photius, whom he again addresses only as "Vir prudentissimus," giving him no title, he refutes all his arguments, insists on the right of the Holy See, which Photius himself had completely acknowledged, and sternly commands him to give up the place he has usurped.[41] To the Emperor he insists on the facts that he himself had entirely recognized Ignatius when he was first made Patriarch, that Ignatius had held the see in peaceful possession for twelve years, that the Legates had grossly misused their power. "We advise and command you, beloved son and most illustrious Augustus," he says, "at last to put down those who in their obstinacy are rebelling against the Bishop of the Church of Constantinople (Ignatius) … lest the honour of the Church of Christ, as well as the glory of the Imperial city, be lessened (which may God forbid) by your government."[42] Then he wrote an Encyclical to the other patriarchs, in which he reproaches the Court and Photius for these four offences: (1) That Ignatius was condemned without a fair trial; (2) that a successor to his see had been appointed before sentence was given; (3) that he had been judged by his own canonical subjects; (4) that Photius, a layman, had been suddenly made Patriarch without observing the Interstices. "And we order and command you," he ends, "respecting the privilege of this See, to maintain with us in the same Catholic religion the restoration of the right of the venerable Patriarch Ignatius, and the expulsion of Photius the usurper."[43] He had no sort of personal prejudice against Photius. "Consider very carefully," he wrote to Michael, "how Photius can stand, in spite of his great virtues and universal knowledge."[44] More Greeks of the Ignatian party then arrive in Rome and tell the Pope many further circumstances; how Photius had been ordained by Gregory Asbestas, an excommunicate bishop, and the persecution, illusage, and torture that Ignatius and his friends had to suffer. Nicholas published a decree excommunicating any one who struck a bishop; and then, since the affair was becoming more and more important, he summoned a great provincial synod at the Lateran in April, 863. This synod had chiefly to try the Legates for their conduct. At last these two ruffians got their desert. Rodoald was away on another embassy to King Lothar II the Frank,[45] Zachary was present. For having betrayed their duty to their Patriarch, for having exceeded their powers and connived at the injustice of the Emperor, for having taken shameful bribes, they were degraded from their office as bishops and excommunicated. The Pope in Council also solemnly declares: "With the authority of the great Judge, our Lord Jesus Christ, we determine, decide, and declare that Ignatius has not been deposed or excommunicate, that he was tyrannically driven from his see by the power of the Emperor without any canonical right, that he was only condemned by those who should themselves be condemned, who had no lawful authority, and who were not appointed by the Apostolic See for that purpose, so that the sentence has no value. Wherefore we, by reason of the authority given to us by God through the blessed Peter, by reason of the laws of the holy Canons and the Papal Constitutions, acknowledge him, our brother and fellow-bishop Ignatius, cancelling all contrary sentences, in his office and right as Patriarch and establish and confirm him therein."[46] Photius is to be excommunicate unless he retires from the usurped See of Constantinople as soon as he receives notice of this decision. Once more then, as in the cases of St. Athanasius, St. John Chrysostom, and so many others, Rome had spoken and had taken up the cause of a lawful bishop who was being persecuted by the civil power. The result was that the civil power dragged a great part of the Church into schism.

3. Open Schism.

It was at this juncture that Michael and Photius determined to throw off the authority of the Pope.[47] We have seen how they had hitherto acknowledged it. They had themselves appealed to Rome, they had asked for the Legates, they had stopped at nothing to have those Legates on their side. Now that the final decision had gone against them they had two alternatives left, to submit or to go into schism. Photius had lost his case by every right of Canon Law and by the decision of the highest court of Christendom, to which he himself had appealed. It would have been to the eternal disgrace of the Pope if he had not lost it. But he had one more card to play. As far as physical force went, no one could touch him. The Emperor was at hand with his soldiers, the Roman Patriarch could not send across the sea to turn him out. He would ignore the sentence, and use the old jealousies of the East against the West to carry the war into the enemies' camp, deny the Pope's authority altogether, and find whatever charges he could against the Latins.

First he strengthened his own position at home. Ignatius was kept chained in prison. The Papal letters were not allowed to be published; he insisted to the tyrants of the Government that this was their affair, they had put him in the place he held, the Roman Patriarch was trying to rule over their heads in their own land, the Ignatians were traitors for trying to protect themselves by the authority of this foreigner. It is the typical attitude of the schismatic, who betrays the Church to the State rather than obey the Pope. Then he dictates a letter from Michael to the Pope.[48] It is indescribably insolent. First he makes the Emperor say that it is a great honour for the Pope that he should again address him. He does not acknowledge him in any way as judge in this matter; as for the Legates, he had commanded their attendance and had not begged for them. All the Eastern Patriarchs are on his side. In spite of the Pope Photius will remain Patriarch; nothing the Pope can do will really help Ignatius. He demands an explanation of the Pope's treatment of Rodoald and Zachary, also that all the Ignatians who have fled to Rome should be handed over to him. Unless Nicholas retracts his decision in favour of Ignatius he, the Emperor, will come to Rome with an army to take a terrible vengeance.[49] Nicholas answers maintaining what he had done.

The schism was now complete. Nicholas had excommunicated Photius, Photius struck Nicholas's name from his diptychs; although of course the lawful Patriarch Ignatius was always in communion with Rome from his prison. This state of things lasted four years. During those years the situation was further complicated by the question of the Bulgarian Church.

4. The Question of Bulgaria.

The Bulgars were Turanians who had poured against the northern frontier of the Empire, coming from the middle of Asia, since ithe 6th century. In the year 861 Bogoris, their prince, wanted to become a Christian and to make his people be converted as well. He was baptized by a missionary sent from Constantinople, with many of his people. In 865 Photius wrote an Encyclical to Bogoris and his Bulgars, explaining the Christian faith and the duties of a Christian man.[50] There was as yet no bishop in Bulgaria. A layman from Constantinople came, pretending to be a priest and administering sacraments; then they discovered the fraud and cut off his nose and ears. Others come and set up business as prophets, magicians, and so on. Bogoris seems to have got tired of the Byzantines. He wanted to be free of them and to connect his Church rather with the Latins. So in 866 he sends an embassy to the Pope at Rome and another to the Emperor Lewis the German, King of the East Franks (843–876), at Regensburg. He begs the Pope to send him a patriarch, no less, to rule the Bulgarian Church, evidently wishing to be free of the authority of the Patriarch of Constantinople. But Nicholas knows of another way in which the Bulgars may be independent of Constantinople. They have settled in Illyricum, therefore they belong to the Latin Patriarchate. He sends them two bishops, Paul of Populonia and Formosus, who had succeeded the deposed Rodoald at the Portus Tiberis. With them he sends books and sacred vessels and an admirable pastoral letter answering all their questions and again explaining the Christian faith.[51] He promises them, not a patriarch but an archbishop, who shall have the Pallium from himself and shall then rule their Church. Formosus would have liked to be this archbishop; but Nicholas tells him to come back when the embassy is over and to look after his own flock at home. Instead he sends one Dominic, who sets up his chair at Achrida,[52] having been ordained and having received the Pallium at Rome. The Bulgarian Church was established as part of the Roman Patriarchate. The Pope at the same time sent Legates to the Emperor to explain and defend what he had done; but they were turned back from the frontier. The question then of who should have Bulgaria in his patriarchate very much embittered the quarrel between Photius and the Pope. The Byzantines had always wanted Illyricum to belong to them (pp. 44, 45) and they had been first in the Bulgarian field. On the other hand the Roman Patriarch had a much older claim to Illyricum; he had founded the Bulgarian Church by setting up the first bishops, and the Bulgars themselves were on his side. Indeed Bogoris, when the Latin bishops had come, promptly drove out all the Greek missionaries and refused to accept Photius's chrism. This made Photius specially angry; but from the point of view of the Latin bishops it was quite correct. The right of sending the consecrated chrism has long been a sign of jurisdiction in the Eastern Churches, just as much as that of ordaining bishops—to say nothing of the fact that Photius's chrism was consecrated by an excommunicate usurper. Eventually, when the schism was an established fact, the Bulgars went over to the side of Constantinople. But at last, after long centuries, the Church that Photius was so anxious to keep has in our own time become the chief thorn in the side of his successors, and the children of the men who drove away Photius's missionaries are now again refusing the Byzantine chrism (p. 316).

5. The Filioque.

Photius, now thoroughly angry with the Roman Court, at last prepares a final manifesto against it. In 867 he sends an Encyclical round to the Eastern Patriarchs, and, by way of carrying the war into the enemy's camp, he draws up the following accusations against the Latins. It will be seen that he has raked up any charges he can find. There are five points: 1. The Latins make the Bulgars fast on Saturday (so they do: that was then the universal custom in the Roman Patriarchate). 2. They eat butter, milk, and cheese during the first week of Lent (that is: we do not begin Lent till Ash Wednesday, whereas the Byzantines do on Quinquagesima Monday). 3. They despised married priests and thereby show themselves to be infected with Manichæan error. 4. They do not acknowledge Confirmation administered by a priest.[53] 5. They have changed and corrupted the Creed by adding to it the Filioque. The doctrine that the Holy Ghost proceeds from God the Father and God the Son he described as "godless, atheistic, and blasphemous." Photius then declares: "We, by the decree of our holy synod, have therefore condemned these forerunners of apostasy, these servants of Antichrist who deserve a thousand deaths, these liars and fighters against God … and we have solemnly excommunicated them."[54] He then proceeded to pretend to depose Pope Nicholas for these offences, and he tried to get the Western Emperor, Lewis II, to carry out his sentence. It should be noted that all these five points are local customs of the Latins. No one has ever tried to make Easterns fast on Saturday, eat cheese in Quinquagesima week, be celibate, stop priestly Confirmation, or say the Filioque in the Creed. The only quarrel against them was the iniquitous usurpation of Photius. In trying to turn his personal quarrel into a general dispute between the two great Churches he can find nothing better to say than to complain of some differences of custom, that were in no way his business, and on the strength of them to excommunicate all of us, over whom he had no pretence of jurisdiction, as well as our Patriarch, who was his own overlord as well. From this point the quarrel has shifted to a general one. It is no longer a question of Ignatius or Photius; it has become what it still is, an issue between Latins and Greeks. And no one can doubt who in that issue was the aggressor.[55] It is the last of Photius's five accusations that eventually became, and still is, the shibboleth of the quarrel. It seems that Photius at first did not think more of it than of the other points he had discovered. But it was soon found to be by far the best charge that could be made. It had much the most appearance of being a real abuse, and it has given them the chance of calling us heretics. In order not to interrupt the course of this story we may put off the consideration of the question itself till we come to examine the faith of the Eastern Churches to-day. We need now only note that this Encyclical of Photius (867) is the first occasion on which the accusation was made against us, that although the question itself is far too subtle and too abstruse to have really caused so much bad feeling for its own sake, nevertheless it has ever since been looked upon by the Easterns as a sort of compendium of all our offences; this very remote speculation, that either way has certainly never for a moment affected the trinitarian faith or piety of any single human being, has become to them a standard of anti-Latin orthodoxy, and they cherish and value it accordingly. And it has always been their accusation against us, not ours against them. They have anathematized us for what we believe and have added to the Creed. We have never asked them to add the word to their Creed. And in the main issue (the anathema pronounced at Ephesus in 431 against any one who modified the Creed) they are absolutely, incredibly wrong about the fact.[56]

Photius, then, had launched his thunderbolt, deposing our Pope, excommunicating us all. It is not easy to know what at this juncture the other Orthodox patriarchs thought about the matter. They could have had no conception how far-reaching its effects would eventually be. They only knew that there was a violent quarrel going on between two claimants to the See of Constantinople, and that one of them was very angry with the Pope. Neither fact was in any way a new one. Eventually, of course, they all sided with Constantinople. But, indeed, these Melkite Patriarchs were rather poor creatures. They had lost nearly all their sheep long ago. They all sat under the tyranny of the Moslem; the only great Christian lord they knew anything about was the Eastern Roman Emperor. They were already not much more than vassals of him and of his Patriarch. Soon they even came to live at Constantinople, as idle ornaments of a dying Court. The real chiefs of the Christian populations of Egypt and Syria were the Copt and the Jacobite. And they, as we have seen, had already for centuries been cut off from both Old and New Rome and had nothing whatever to do with this business, unless perhaps they took an unholy joy in seeing the persecuting Melkites at last fall foul of one another.

Photius, then, had won along the whole line. In spite of the Pope he sat firm on the patriarchal throne; the Court was all for him, no one could touch him, and he had punished the Latins for not recognizing him by excommunicating them. If the Pope had deposed him, he had answered by deposing the Pope. Suddenly there came what was the most dramatic change in Church history. In the midst of his triumph he fell. Ignatius came out of his prison back to the Hagia Sophia, and Photius had to taste the very punishment he had given to Ignatius. It was no just or loyal movement that brought about this crisis. It was only one of the endless sordid and bloody Palace revolutions that fill up Byzantine history. The Imperial Equery,[57] Basil the Macedonian, was a clever and ambitious fellow, and just as great a rogue as all the other courtiers. He succeeds first in murdering the Cæsar, Bardas (866), and becomes Cæsar himself. This was not enough for him; so in 867 the wretched Michael III ended his career by being murdered too. It was after supper on September 23rd when he was, as usual, drunk, that one of Basil's servants stabbed him to death. In the supper room reeking with spilt wine and blood, while Michael's mistresses were shrieking amid the overturned tables, Basil I (867–886) was proclaimed Augustus. From no love of justice or respect for the Pope's decree, but only out of a general hatred for all Michael's friends, Basil promptly deposed Photius and shut him up in a monastery. He then sent for the head of the rival party, Ignatius, and told him to be Patriarch again. As usual the people made no fuss, and, as long as they were not massacred, were just as ready to shout for Basil Augustus and Ignatius Patriarch as they had been for Michael and Photius.

In the same year, before he had heard of the sudden change at Constantinople, in the middle of many grave questions that were still undecided, Pope Nicholas I died (November 13, 867)." From: https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Orthodox_Eastern_Church/Chapter_4
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6. The Eighth General Council.

Nicholas's successor, Adrian II (867–872), was not unworthy of the great Pope whose place he took. He gathered up the reins, and in all the questions then pending, Lothar's divorce as well as the trouble at Constantinople, he carried on the policy of his predecessor. Soon after his accession he heard the news from the East. In the horrid but typical piece of Byzantine history that had just taken place neither Ignatius nor the Roman See had had any sort of part. On the other hand Rome had always recognized Ignatius as the rightful Patriarch, and however abominable the occasion by which he had been restored had been, Adrian, of course, could not cease to recognize him now that he had again come to his own. He also, according to the general practice of the Popes, accepted the situation in political matters and treated with Basil as Emperor.[58] It was Ignatius who first asked for a general council to clear up the whole business. As soon as he was restored, both he and Basil sent legates to Rome with exceedingly submissive and respectful letters to the Pope, asking among other things for a general council. Adrian first held a provincial synod at Rome (June, 869), in which Photius was again condemned, this time for having pretended to excommunicate Pope Nicholas. The same synod appointed the Papal Legates for the coming general council at Constantinople. They were Donatus, Bishop of Ostia, Stephan, Bishop of Nepi, and a deacon, Marinus.[59]

These Legates arrived in Constantinople in September of the same year (869) with letters from Pope Adrian to Basil and Ignatius. They were received with great pomp, and on October 5th the council was opened in the Hagia Sophia: this is the Eighth General Council (Constantinople IV). The attendance was always very small: only in the last sessions were there as many as 102 bishops present. The Legates presided; then sat Ignatius, then the legates of the Patriarchs of Antioch and Jerusalem; those from Alexandria did not arrive till the ninth session.

At the beginning of the first session the Emperor's representative and Ignatius asked the Legates to show their commission from the Pope. At first they are offended by what was an unusual request; but Ignatius explains that no one means any want of respect to them, still less to the great see they represent, only after the disgraceful way in which the former Legates—Rodoald and Zachary—had exceeded their powers the Eastern bishops thought it pertinent to ask this. The Legates are then satisfied; Marinus reads outs their instructions from the Pope in Latin, and Damian the interpreter translates what they have read into Greek. "Praise God," says Ignatius, "who has now so completely satisfied us as to your Holiness."[60] All the members of the synod then signed the formula of Hormisdas (pp. 85, 86), which to Catholics has therefore the authority of a general council. The Imperial Commissioner asks the Legates of the other patriarchal sees why they had not also condemned Photius long ago. Elias from Jerusalem answers that Ignatius's right was so evident that it had not needed their support, and, in any case, the Patriarch of Old Rome had done all that was needed. The session then ended with the usual acclamations, the Polychronion that Greeks will always work in on every possible occasion: "To the Lord Basil Augustus many years! To the pious Lady Eudokia Augusta many years! To the Roman Pope Nicholas eternal memory! To the Pope Adrian, to Ignatius and the three holy Patriarchs many years! To the Orthodox Senate many years! To the holy and œcumenical synod eternal honour!"

The next sessions appointed penances to the repentant Photian bishops. On the whole they got off very easily. They expressed the deepest sorrow for their schism; there were ten bishops, eleven priests, nine deacons, six sub-deacons, who signed a document expressing their contrition. They are suspended till Christmas (this was in October); during that time they are to abstain from fleshmeat, fish, cheese, and eggs every Wednesday and Friday, say Kyrie eleison and "Lord have mercy on me a sinner" a hundred times a day, and say the 5th, 37th and 50th psalms[61] once a day. Then on Christmas Day they are all to be restored to their functions. In the fifth session the arch-offender of all, Photius himself, is brought before the council. He could not possibly expect to be acknowledged by this synod as Patriarch of Constantinople, that it should declare him an intruder was its obvious duty. Nor could the synod allow him to exercise the orders he had received from the excommunicate Gregory Asbestas. Otherwise he was treated well and respectfully. But he himself behaved very badly. First he sulked; then he played the martyr, and finally used the words that our Lord had spoken at his trial, making a comparison that was simply blasphemous. At first he would not speak at all. "Speak, Lord Photius," said Baanes, the Emperor's delegate; "say whatever you will to justify yourself. The whole world is represented here; take care that the synod does not withdraw all sympathy from you. To what tribunal would you appeal? To Rome? It is represented here. To the East? Here are its delegates. For God's sake defend yourself." All Photius will say is: "Jesus did not escape condemnation through his silence," and "My defence is not of this world, if it were of this world you should hear it." True to the Erastian policy he had always followed, he ignores the Legates, refuses to speak to them, and only answers Baanes, the civil commissioner: "We will give an account to our holy Emperor," he says, "not to the Legates." He describes the repentant Photian bishops as "mice in tar," apparently meaning that they had got into as great a mess as a mouse would in a barrel of tar. The judgement of the synod on him was not harsh. He has to renounce his usurped claim and to acknowledge Ignatius, then he shall be admitted to lay communion. As he refuses to do so, he is again excommunicated. The council then passes a few more laws, chiefly against whatever remnants of the Iconoclasts may have still existed and against the interference of the State in ecclesiastical affairs. These last laws prove that, in spite of the presence of the Emperor's Commissioner (a presence that was according to the precedent of all former general councils), the synod was quite a free one.

The tenth and last session was held on February 28, 870, in the presence of the Emperor and of his son, Constantine. The Canons were read out and approved by all the members. Basil made a speech insisting on the independence of the Church, on her right to arrange her own affairs, and on the iniquity of civil interference in them—strange words in the mouth of an emperor. But he himself soon became the chief offender against these principles.

The synod ended with some pomp of display and with endless Polychronia. Its Acts were solemnly confirmed by Pope Adrian II.[62] It was acknowledged as the eighth general council by all the Easterns, except the Photian party, and it has always been so acknowledged by the Catholic Church.[63]

Photius now had to go into exile to Stenos on the Bosphorus, where his uncle Tarasius had built a monastery. He was certainly treated as a prisoner, but he was not starved nor tortured as Ignatius had been. The worst he complains of is that he is guarded by soldiers, and separated from his friends and books. Meanwhile he wrote an enormous number of letters. The undaunted courage of this really wonderful man never let him despair for a moment. He spent these years of exile encouraging his friends, consolidating his party and waiting for another turn of the wheel. He had to wait just eight years.

Ignatius was again Patriarch. Hitherto all we have heard of him has been good. He had bravely borne outrageous injustice and ill-treatment, his attitude towards the Roman See had been all that was correct, and now that see had restored to him his rights. Alas! at the end of his life Bulgaria proved too great a temptation for him, and because of these everlasting Bulgars he at last fell foul of his best friends. Was it that he now wanted to conciliate all his Byzantines by standing out for the aggrandizement of his see, or was there something in the air of Constantinople that made its Patriarch jealous of Rome? Ignatius, too, now begins to copy his rival and to try to filch Bulgaria from the Roman Patriarchate. He ordains an Archbishop for Bulgaria and persuades the Bulgar Prince to drive out the Latin hierarchy. One can imagine how edifying these quarrels between their mighty Christian neighbours must have been to the new converts. Pope Adrian II was dead; his successor was John VIII (872–882). John had prepared a bull of excommunication for Ignatius, when the news arrived in Rome that the Patriarch had ended his chequered life (October 23, 877). The Roman Church, forgetting this last episode, remembering only the trials he had so patiently borne and his otherwise unfailing allegiance to her, has canonized him. "It is very indulgent of her," says Mgr. Duchesne.[64] We may, perhaps, say rather that one offence, even against the rights of the Holy See, cannot outweigh the whole of a long and really saintly life. St. Ignatius was the type of a stern and God-fearing bishop, who was not afraid to rebuke the wickedness of an atrociously corrupt Court, even at the cost of his own fortunes. He was severe, perhaps even harsh, to his clergy, demanding from them in a bad time and at a luxurious and immoral city the ideal of earlier ages. That is why he was unpopular with some. But he was even more severe to himself. No one has questioned the austerity of his own life, and when he was persecuted he bore his trial with the firmness and dignity he had learnt during years of restraint in the Patriarch's palace. He stood out for the liberty of the Church against the State at a time when the worst Erastianism that has ever troubled the Church[65] was at its height, and he was loyal to the real authority in the Church, that of the first throne. We, too, may forget his one offence, the attempt upon Bulgaria, and remember him as one of the best bishops who ever sat on the soul-endangering throne of New Rome.

7. Photius lawful Patriarch (878–891).

Long before Ignatius died Photius had managed to gradually get back the favour of the Court. He was always servile to the civil authority. Now that he was deposed he professed to accept very respectfully the command of the Emperor. Then he began flattering the murderer of his former patron. Pride of good blood is a weakness upon which one may always count. So Photius set about to establish that Basil I was a gentleman. He worked up a mythical pedigree for him. As Basil was an Armenian by birth, he could not well be made to descend from King David, or Alexander, or Julius Cæsar; the one possibility was St. Gregory the Illuminator, the Apostle and national hero of Armenia. And so from St. Gregory he did descend, through King Tiridates, in a younger but true branch of the noble house of the Arsacides. Moreover he discovered ancient prophecies that had foretold that some day a scion of this house should eclipse all his forbears and be the mightiest, the most generous, noble, and virtuous lord in the whole world, and his name would begin with a B. It was all forged upon old parchment.[66] One can imagine how pleased Basil was. What better teacher could the Prince Imperial, Constantine, have than the man who had made these beautiful discoveries and who, if he looked again, might perhaps find something about a boy whose name would begin with C? So Photius was brought back to Constantinople and made the Prince's tutor (876). Having now got a place at Court, he goes on improving his position, making himself popular and strengthening his party. The next move was a reconciliation with Ignatius. How far he persuaded Ignatius to make friends really is doubtful,[67] but he is never tired of insisting on the reconciliation and the affection now existing between him and his former enemy. So when Ignatius died every one cried out for Photius to succeed him. All his party, which had always been a very strong one, clamoured for their candidate, and the Court now wanted him too. Once more an Embassy sets out for Rome to ask the Pope's consent to Photius' succession. They assure him that the whole Byzantine Church and the Court want Photius. And John VIII agrees; he absolves Photius from all censures, and acknowledges him as Patriarch. So Photius after all became lawful bishop of the see he had so long coveted. This concession of the Pope has been much discussed. It has been said that it was a deplorable weakness, and showed the most hopeless want of character.[68] It is true that Photius was very far from being the ideal man for such a place. On the other hand, the See of Constantinople now really was vacant, and the Byzantine bishops had the right of choosing whom they liked. The Pope was very anxious to get the Emperor's help against the Saracens, and it has always been the policy of the Roman See to concede whatever can be conceded without sin for the sake of peace. The Emperor in his letter had again protested his obedience to the Holy See.[69]

As soon as he was recognized, Photius wanted a council to meet at Constantinople, really, of course, to counteract the effect of the one that had excommunicated him. There does not seem to have been much reason for yet another synod; but they persuaded John VIII that it would clear up all remains of schism, and greatly help to strengthen the union between East and West; so he gave in and sent three Legates, Peter, Cardinal Priest of the Church of St. Chrysogonus across the Tiber; Paul, Bishop of Ancona; and Eugene, Bishop of Ostia. They were told to acknowledge Photius, and to make every one else acknowledge him too, but to insist that Bulgaria belongs to the Roman Patriarchate. These Legates, however, behaved nearly as badly as Rodoald and Zachary of unhappy memory. The council was opened in the Hagia Sophia in November, 879. As soon as the Legates are announced, Photius goes up and kisses Cardinal Peter, and says: "God has brought you here. The Lord bless your efforts and your sacred persons, and may he graciously confirm the protection and care shown to us by our most holy Brother and Fellow-Bishop, our Spiritual Father, the most blessed Pope John."

All that, however, was only meant to look nice before the synod. Photius had long become confirmed in his hatred of Rome and the West, and he meant this council to declare open war against them. The church was full of his friends, and he had it all his own way. There were seven sessions; the Emperor came to the two last. Photius talks all the time. He violently abuses the Synod of 869, rakes up again his charges against the Latins, especially the Filioque charge, makes an anathema against any one who adds anything to the Creed, claims Bulgaria and quashes all the Acts of 869.[70] The Legates agree to all this, and then they go back to Rome, and Photius sends the Acts of his council to the Pope for his confirmation. Instead, the Pope, of course, again excommunicates him. The schism had once more broken out. It lasted till Basil I's death (886). Photius and his friends had by now definitely taken up their line. They were a National Church, and, in spite of all their former appeals to Rome, now that Rome had pronounced against them, they were not going to recognize the authority of any foreigner. Let Old Rome look after the West, the Queen of the East was New Rome.

8. The End of Photius.

There is one more change before Photius dies. Again the wheel turns, and, after all his trouble, Photius once more has to go into exile. Basil I was succeeded by his son, Leo VI (886–912)—the eldest son, Constantine, was dead. And Leo, although he had been Photius's pupil, did not like his former tutor—it is difficult to know exactly why. So Photius is deposed and banished for high treason,[71] just as Ignatius had been thirty years before. Prince Stephen, the Emperor's younger brother, for whom no suitable provision had yet been made, becomes Patriarch (886–893)—a circumstance that probably explains the whole business. Whether Photius in exile again began making plans for his restoration we do not know; we do not even know where he was exiled. Suddenly, at this moment (886) the man who had made his name famous throughout Europe entirely drops out of history. He never got another chance, never reappeared in the city that had taken up his cause as her own. There is not even a letter that can be certainly dated as belonging to this second banishment. Where, in what distant monastery the old man ate out his heart during his last years, what bitter memories of his chequered career, what vain plans he may still have been forming, or what regret for the awful harm he had done, he may, perhaps, now in his loneliness have felt, of all this we know nothing. The gorgeous life of the great city went on, feasting and solemn synods, then silent murders and torture in the vaults of the palaces, and, far away, the old Patriarch waited, hoped, perhaps repented, till he died (February 6, 891).[72]

And then, after his death, gradually his people and his Church remembered what he had done for them. Rightly, all "Orthodox" Christians look upon Photius as the great champion of their cause. He delivered them from the tyranny of Rome, and because of that they have forgiven everything else. They have forgotten all his intrigues, his dishonesty, his miserable subservience to the secular power, the hopeless injustice of his cause. All the modern Greek or Russian knows of this long story is that Ignatius, a holy old man, resigned the patriarchate because of his great age, and was succeeded by St. Photius, greatest, wisest, best of Œcumenical Patriarchs, who valiantly withstood the tyranny of the Pope of Old Rome, and "broke the pride of the West." He appears always as a saint. In exile he is the most patient and heroic of confessors, on the patriarchal throne he is the grandest and justest of bishops; he is the most learned and orthodox of theologians, and always, whether prosperous or persecuted, the hero of their independence of Rome. They keep his feast on February 6th, and their hymns overflow with praise of him. He is "the far-shining radiant star of the Church," the "most inspired guide of the Orthodox," "thrice blessed speaker for God," "Wise and divine glory of the hierarchy," he who "broke the horns of Roman pride."[73]

The Catholic remembers this extraordinary man with very mixed feelings. Had he not given his name to the most disastrous schism in Church History, he would perhaps have been the last of the Greek Fathers. One cannot refuse to recognize his astounding learning. He was really a genius. There is no shadow of suspicion over his private life: he bore his troubles very manfully and well. But still less can one forget the dishonesty with which he pushed his utterly unjust claim. "Whilst in writing himself to the Pope he explicitly acknowledges him as the head of the Church, at the same time, in the letter he composes for Michael to Nicholas, he directly denies the Primacy."[74] "The story of this man offers us two sides that must be well distinguished. The Christian conscience is deeply pained by the schism of which he was so entirely the cause, to which he gave a permanent theological basis, that he by every possible means fostered and nourished, misusing his magnificent gifts for shameful selfishness. But this will not prevent the historian from acknowledging his amazing learning, his rare merit as a theologian and philosopher, a philologist and historian—indeed, as a scholar of every branch of knowledge."[75] There is one short sentence of his predecessor, St. John Chrysostom, that Nicephorus the philosopher, Photius's friend, quotes. It stands as the reason of his final condemnation: "Nothing can hurt the Church so much as love of power."[76]

9. Reunion after Photius.

Once again after Photius had disappeared the quarrel between the Churches was patched up. At first Rome would not acknowledge the new Patriarch, Stephen, either; he had been intruded into the See of Constantinople just as much as Photius in 857, and he was only sixteen years old. Stephen tried to persuade the Pope (Formosus, 891–896)[77] to recognize him, but apparently in vain. Stephen, in spite of his uncanonical age, had a double title to Byzantine canonization; he was a Patriarch and a Prince. So he is another of these astonishing saints (p. 103). Anthony II (893–895), Stephen's successor, held a synod in the presence of Roman Legates, and a union was arranged that lasted more or less for a century and a half. But it was rather a half-hearted union. Officially the two Churches were in communion. The Pope's name was restored to the Byzantine diptychs, and the many Latin monasteries in the East celebrated their Mass in communion with the local bishops. But the cleft was never completely healed after Photius. The Latins had always the profoundest distrust for Greek shiftiness, and the Byzantines were equally suspicious of Roman interference. Then came another imperial disturbance, in which the positions were reversed. The Emperor, Leo VI, married for the fourth time. A fourth marriage is forbidden by Byzantine Canon Law. So the Patriarch, Nicholas I (895–906), forbade the marriage. Leo, as usual, deposed the Patriarch. The Latin Church has never limited the number of wives a man may have, as long as all the others are properly dead; so Pope Sergius III (904–911) allowed the marriage and approved of the deposition. The Latin custom is undoubtedly more in accordance with Scripture (1 Cor. vii. 39, which applies also to men); on the other hand Leo ought to have obeyed the Canon Law of his own Church. Perhaps he thought that as Cæsar Augustus and Lord of the World he could use the privilege of any part of the Empire left to him by his predecessor, Octavian Augustus. But it was certainly hard on the Patriarch to be deposed for having judged according to his own law. If only the Pope had taken the opposite line, the situation of Ignatius would have been exactly repeated.

However, Leo VI died in 912, and his successor, Constantine VII (Porphyrogennetos, 912-958) at once restored the Patriarch, and so this trouble blew over too. The Emperor Basil II (the Bulgar-slayer, 963–1025) sent Pope John XIX (1024–1033) a sum of money in 1024 to persuade him at last to acknowledge the title "Œcumenical Patriarch." John took the money, and seems to have been ready to do so. But a wave of indignation over the West (the title had so long been the watchword of the anti-Latin party in the East) and a stern letter from Abbot William of Dijon made him change his mind.

The union, then, during this interval between Photius and Cerularius was not a very firm one, and all the time there was a strong anti-papal party in the East, which had inherited all Photius's ideas, which already looked upon him as its chief hero and saint, and which only waited for an opportunity of renewing his work. Yet the great mass of the faithful on either side knew nothing about the danger, and John Bekkos (John XI, Patriarch of Constantinople, 1275–1282) was not altogether wrong in saying afterwards that during this time there had reigned between East and West "perfect peace."[78] Thousands of Latin pilgrims went to the Holy Land, following the way by land down the Danube to Constantinople, and all the way they were received in the Eastern monasteries hospitably and kindly. Richard, Abbot of St. Vito in Lothringen, stops at Constantinople in 1026; he calls on the Emperor and the Patriarch, is courteously entertained by both, and receives from the Patriarch a relic of the true Cross and his blessing. Richard II, Duke of Normandy (996–1026, the grandfather of our Conqueror) sends large sums of money to the monasteries of Jerusalem and Mount Sinai to help pay the expenses of the Latin pilgrims they entertain. Equally pleasant were the relations of Greeks who came to us. St. Gotthardt, Bishop of Hildesheim, built a hospice on purpose for them. He says that he himself is not fond of Greeks, but that strangers must always be well treated for the sake of Christ. St. Gerard, Bishop of Toul, had numbers of Greeks and Scots in his diocese. He built special oratories for both, where they might worship God in the manner of .their own countries. It was these Greeks at Toul who, little thinking what they were doing, taught their language to the man who was to be their foremost adversary, Cardinal Humbert of Silva Candida. In all these relations there is no hint of suspicion of heresy on either side. The Greeks heard the Latins sing the Filioque, apparently without emotion, and the Latins were quite content to see them leave it out.[79]

There still exists an interesting witness of these last friendly relations before the final disaster. On the road between the Alban Lake and Tusculum, where the first slopes of Monte Cavo rise out of the great Roman plain, there stands a monastery. Its grey walls and bastions rise out of the vineyards amid the olives and peach trees, while above, the tawny roofs cluster around the great church and the slim red Lombard tower. From the court of this monastery you may look across the haze of the Campagna to the long white line and to the great dome of the Eternal City. And the stranger who, turning back from the glare of the Italian sun, goes into the cool church will learn from the Greek "Hail Mary" written round the walls, from the great screen across the chancel, perhaps from the unfamiliar chant of the monks, that here, in the middle of the Latin world, he has found a Greek Laura.

In the 10th century St. Nilos was driven from his Abbey of Rossanum, in greater Greece, by the Saracens. He might have gone to any other part of the Greek world and he would have been eagerly received as a confessor of the faith and as an already famous Saint. But he feared lest his own people would make him too proud, so he came rather to the country of the Latins, thinking to live there unknown. But he was mistaken. The Franks knew how to be generous and chivalrous to a stranger in trouble. He came, with his sixty Greek monks, to the great Benedictine mother-house at Monte Cassino. The Benedictines, always the most hospitable of religious, met him, says his biographer, "as if St. Anthony had come from Alexandria, or their own great St. Benedict from the dead."[80] He was very surprised, still more so when the Abbot asked him to use their church to sing his Greek Office, alternately with the Latin Opus Dei, "that, according to the word of God, all should be complete in him." Sixty Greek monks then kept their hours regularly in the Benedictine Abbey Church. And St. Nilos, as generous as his hosts, wrote a hymn about their founder, and, forgetting the prejudices of generations, trained his tongue to pronounce their strange language, and when his own office was done, turned the unfamiliar leaves of a Latin psalter to join them in theirs. Then he talks with the Benedictines, and, naturally, the question of their different customs is raised. The Saint's attitude is very unlike that of the arrogant schismatics at Constantinople. "As for Saturdays," he says, "whether we eat, or you fast, we both do all things to the glory of God," and he advises them by all means to keep the custom of their fathers. Some time later, however, he and his monks leave the monastery, thinking that they cannot encroach on even Benedictine hospitality for ever, and they set out for Rome. The Pope (Gregory V, 996–999) and the Western Emperor (Otto III, 993–1002), who was then also at Rome, went out to meet the strangers beyond the walls, and received them with every possible honour and respect. And out there in the Campagna, at Grottaferrata (κρυπτοφέρη) St. Nilos at last built a home for his wandering monks, and there he died, looking out towards Rome. Through all the changes that have taken place since, Grottaferrata has stood unchanged; not only has no Pope ever tried to destroy or Latinize it, it has always been a point of honour with them to endow it and to protect it. Still, after ten centuries, it stands within sight of the Roman walls, and still its monks sing out their Greek Office in the very heart of the Latin Patriarchate, while outside the Latin olives shelter its grey Byzantine walls.[81]

Summary.

Prepared by the ill-feeling of ages, the Great Schism between East and West at last came in the 9th century. The Byzantine Government in 857 iniquitously deposed Ignatius, the lawful Patriarch of Constantinople, and intruded Photius into his place. Both Ignatius and Photius then appeal to Pope Nicholas I. The Pope sends Legates who, however, take bribes and accept all that has happened. Then the Pope, better informed, punishes his Legates, acknowledges Ignatius only, and excommunicates Photius as an intruded anti-bishop. Photius answers by striking the Pope's name off his diptychs. The feelings of both sides were very much further embittered by the question of the Bulgarian Church, which each claimed for his Patriarchate. In 867 Photius publishes a manifesto against the Pope and all the Latins, making five charges, of which the most important eventually was that we have added the Filioque to the Creed. In the same year Nicholas dies and a Palace revolution causes Photius's banishment and Ignatius's restoration. Peace was at once restored between Rome and Constantinople. In 869 the eighth general council is held, confirming Ignatius, again excommunicating Photius. Then, in 877, Ignatius dies and is succeeded by Photius, who is now recognized by the Pope (John VIII). Another council meets in 879, again attended by Roman Legates. But this council, entirely led by Photius, who now hated Rome as his own personal enemy, on the strength of the Filioque and the Bulgarian affair, again causes open schism, which lasts till, in 886, a new Emperor (Leo VI) again banishes Photius. He dies in exile in 891. After his death peace is restored between the Churches, although by this time there is already a strong anti-papal party at Constantinople. But the great mass of Christians on either side are reconciled, and have no idea of schism for one hundred and fifty more years."
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Offline spasiisochrani

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In his 1948 book, *The Photian Schism*, the Catholic scholar Fr. Francis Dvornik contends that there was no second Photian schism and no second excommunication of Photius, who lived in communion with Rome from the time of his reconciliation until his death.

https://books.google.com/books?id=X_A8AAAAIAAJ
 
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Offline Xavier

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In his 1948 book, *The Photian Schism*, the Catholic scholar Fr. Francis Dvornik contends that there was no second Photian schism and no second excommunication of Photius, who lived in communion with Rome from the time of his reconciliation until his death.

https://books.google.com/books?id=X_A8AAAAIAAJ

Hi Spasiisochrani. Do you have any more information on that available that you can share? Right now, I agree with Fr. Fortescue. But I'm open to seeing evidence for this view.

Continued from above:

CHAPTER V

THE SCHISM OF CERULARIUS

We now come to the final rupture. If the story of Photius's usurpation and schism is discreditable to the Byzantine Church, that of Cerularius is far more so. It is the same, or an even worse story of aggression against Rome, and it is infinitely more gratuitous. In the case of Photius one can at any rate understand his motives. He wanted to be Patriarch, and, as the Pope would not have him, he would not have the Pope. In this schism of Cerularius one asks oneself continually: What is it all about? No one had attacked him; there does not seem to have been the very least provocation; the whole story looks as if he and his friends had no other motive than a love of schism for its own sake. A sketch of the three persons most concerned in this final separation will help to make the story clear.

1. The Pope, the Emperor, and the Patriarch.

The final blow came just in the middle of the 11th century. At that time the Roman Court was recovering from a very bad period. After John VIII (872–882), of whom we have heard in the last chapter, came Marinus (882–884). From his time corruption of every kind gradually spread over Rome, and things got steadily worse, till the German Popes begin with Clement II (1046–1047). During that long period of a century and a half there is hardly one, perhaps not one Pope, who was even an ordinarily good bishop. It is a long story of simoniacal elections, murder and violence of every kind, together with shameless lust. The Romans still remember the three abominable women (le donne cattive), old Theodora, Marozia, and young Theodora, who from about 900 till 932 ruled Rome, filling the city with their abominations, and setting up one wretched boy after another as Pope. Meanwhile the Normans were plundering the coast of Italy, the Saracens had conquered Sicily, were ravaging the South of the Peninsula, and had come thundering even to the very gates of Rome. Then at last in the 11th century came the reaction. As for civil affairs, the great Saxon Emperors saw to them. Otto I (936–973) crushed the Magyars (at the river Lech in 935) and then came to set things right in Italy. He broke down all the little tyrants who were devastating the country, and once more joined all Germany, from Strassburg to the Oder, and Italy down to Gaeta in the Western Roman Empire. The reform of the Church was the work of the Cluniac monks. The Benedictine Abbey of Cluny (Cluniacum), in the diocese of Macon in Burgundy, had for its Abbot since 910 Berno, once Count of Burgundy. After Berno came St. Odo († 941). Cluny first reformed itself, going back to the strict keeping of St. Benedict's rule; then an enormous number of other Benedictine houses were founded under its obedience, and from them came all the great bishops and Popes who in the 11th century wiped out the shame of the past by their stern discipline and their own saintly lives. Greatest of all, the soul of the reform and of the whole Cluniac movement was Hildebrand, counsellor and director of seven Popes before he became one of the greatest of all as St. Gregory VII (1073–1085). The Pope who was concerned with the schism of Cerularius was the third of the German reforming Popes, and one of the many disciples of Hildebrand—St. Leo IX (1048–1054). He was Bruno, Count of Nordgau in Elsass, and a cousin of the Emperor Henry III (1039–1056). Then he became Bishop of Toul. When Pope Damasus II (1047–1048) died, the Emperor tried to appoint Bruno Pope.

It is not certain whether Bruno had ever actually been a Cluniac monk, but at any rate he stood very much under the influence of the Abbey and of Hildebrand. It was Hildebrand who persuaded him not to accept so uncanonical an appointment, so he went to Rome dressed as a pilgrim, and protested to the Roman clergy that they were to hold a free election, and that if he were not lawfully chosen he would go back to Toul, his diocese. Then, when he had been canonically made Pope, he set about his task of a reform in root and branch. He sternly put down Simony, and all his life he fought against the incontinence of the clergy. These were the two radical vices spread throughout his patriarchate. Every year at Easter he held high session at Rome, and tried cases of these crimes. And on all sides pitilessly he deposed simoniacal clerks, no matter how high their place or great their influence. Metropolitans and archbishops, even the Emperor's own chaplain, one after another they had to go if they had bought their places with money. In this reform he had very great men to help him—Hildebrand, Hugo Abbot of Cluny, and St. Peter Damian, whose burning language about the horrible state of things that had gone before (Liber Gommorhianus—the Book of Gomorrha) is as indignant and also as candid as should be that of a Saint. No Pope ever had a higher or a more uncompromising idea of the dignity and rights of his see than Leo IX. We shall see this from his correspondence with the Greeks. The views of Leo are already those of Gregory VII, and the foundation of all his polity is that, by the promise made by our Lord to St. Peter, the Roman See "must hold the primacy over the four sees, Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, and Constantinople" (notice how he will not give Constantinople the second place; he is still true to the principle of Leo the Great, p. 42), "as well as over all the Churches of God throughout the whole world."[1] Leo IX was also concerned about the peace of Italy, and was always a determined enemy of the Norman pirates. These Normans were also the enemies of the Emperor in the East, who still had a precarious tenure over Southern Italy (Magna Græcia), a tenure that chiefly showed itself in attempts to assert the jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Constantinople in those parts.[2] So the Pope seeks for an alliance with the Ernperor against the common enemy, and treats with Argyros, a freebooting person who had got from Constantinople a commission to fight against the Normans.[3] The republic of Amalphi acknowledged the suzerainty of New Rome till 1073, and its doge was an Imperial "Proedros." There was, then, every reason for the Eastern Emperor and the Pope to remain friends at this time, and they both knew it. It was the Patriarch who forced the schism on them, very much against the will of both. But such a man as St. Leo IX was not likely to allow the rights of the Holy See to be defied. One is as glad that the cause of the Latins was represented by so great a man as Leo in 1054 as that Nicholas was Pope in 857.

The Emperor, Constantine IX (Constantine Monomachos, 1042–1054), was of a very different type. One of the many adventurers who climbed from a low place to the Roman throne, he had already been exiled for trying to usurp it, when he succeeded quite peaceably by marrying Zoe, the youngest daughter of Basil the Macedonian. She had already been twice married, and had made both her husbands Emperors (Romanos, 1028–1034, and Michael IV, 1034–1041). Now in 1042 she marries for the third time. Her husband, Constantine, had also been twice married, so that there was a double infringement of Byzantine Canon Law,[4] but this time no one made much difficulty. Constantine had been strong, learned, witty,[5] and very beautiful; but soon after he became Emperor he was struck by paralysis, and remains henceforth well-meaning but hopelessly weak and frightened. The chief policy of his reign was to drive the Normans out of Magna Græcia, and for this he needed the help of both the Pope and his Western rival. For every reason, then, he wanted to keep friends with the Latins, and, as we shall see, he was always strongly against the schism.

The cause of all the trouble was Michael Cerularius (Κηρουλάριος) the Patriarch (1043–1058). Like Photius, who was in all things his predecessor and model, Cerularius had not originally intended to be a priest. He was born of a great senatorial house of Constantinople, and began his career as a statesman. He seems to have had some place at Court, but in 1040 he was banished because of a plot to depose Michael IV. It was said that if the plot had succeeded Cerularius himself would have become Emperor.[6] They try to make him a monk, so as to cut off all further danger from him, but he absolutely refuses to take vows, until the suicide of his brother suddenly changes the attitude of his mind, and he freely enters a monastery. As soon as Constantine IX becomes Emperor he sends for Cerularius, who seems to have been already his friend, and greatly favours him. As he is a monk, and so cannot hold any of the great offices of state, Constantine invents a new rank on purpose for him. Cerularius is declared the Emperor's "familiar friend and guest at meals,"[7] and on the strength of this very vague position becomes the most powerful man in the Empire. But for a monk advancement must follow the usual road to a bishopric, so Cerularius is made Synkellos, that is practically secretary of the Patriarch. The Synkellos was always a bishop, and held a place in the Church of Constantinople second only to that of the Patriarch himself. It seems that at this juncture he was ordained bishop from having had no order at all, without having kept the Interstices, and that this is what the Roman accusation of being a neophyte means, which was afterwards made as often against him as it had been against Photius.[8]

The Patriarch Alexios (1025–1043) died on February 22, 1043, and at once Constantine appointed his friend to succeed him. There was no election; the Emperor went "like an arrow to the target"[9] and chose Cerularius. That was, however, the end of their friendship, and the new Patriarch, as we shall see, was entirely ungrateful to his former patron. It is not difficult to form an opinion about Cerularius's character. Michael Psellos knew him well, and he wrote a funeral oration in his honour,[10] as well as a detailed history of his own times, from 976 to 1077.[11] This history is (together with the acts of the Controversy published by Will) the chief source for the story of this time. From Psellos's account it is clear that the leading notes of Cerularius's character were a savage reserve, vindictiveness, and unbounded pride. He never forgave an injury,[12] he impressed the people by the austere dignity of his manner, and, as we shall see, on the patriarchal throne he considered himself to be placed far above the weak and paralytic Emperor, and behaved as if he held the first place in Christendom. His relaxation appears to have been the search for the philosopher's stone,[13] an occupation that had the advantage of being always interesting and never exhausted. It was then almost to be expected that two such characters as those of Leo IX and Michael Cerularius should clash; and yet the attack on the Latins made by the Patriarch was so wanton, so entirely unprovoked, and so especially ill-timed in the interests of the Empire, that there can be only one explanation of it. He must have belonged to the extreme wing of the anti-papal party at Constantinople—the party left by Photius—and must have been determined from the beginning on war with Rome on any or no pretext, as soon as ever he had a chance of declaring it.

2. The Schism.

It was in the midst of the "perfect peace" between the two halves of Christendom, in the year 1053, that a letter arrived for a Latin bishop from one of his Greek brothers. As we shall see, this letter was the opening of a campaign already carefully thought out by Michael Cerularius. The letter was written by Leo, formerly a clerk of the Church of Constantinople, and now Metropolitan of Achrida,[14] and was addressed to John, Bishop of Tranum (Trani in Apulia).[15] But Leo says that he means it "for all the bishops of the Franks and for the most venerable Pope." It is an attack on all the customs of the Latin Church that are different from those of Constantinople. He is specially indignant at two—fasting on Saturdays and the consecration of unleavened bread. These two customs, he says, are totally unchristian; they are nothing but a return to Jewish superstition, the unleavened bread, because the Jews keep their Passover with it, and the fasting on Saturday he connects in some confused way with the Jewish Sabbath. This last idea is, of course, quite specially absurd. To fast, or at least abstain, on Saturday as well as on Friday was the custom in the West for many centuries. The abstinence is still the rule in Italy. Benedict XIV (1740–1758) declared that it does not bind in countries where a contrary custom has been prescribed against it,[16] and now throughout the greater part of the Catholic Church the faithful have never even heard of it. The idea of the abstinence was that it should be kept during all the time that our Lord was dead and buried, from the day of the Crucifixion till he rises again on Sunday morning. It was never even remotely connected with the old Sabbath, which was a feast day (like our Sunday) on which no Jew has ever fasted. All through this story one is equally amazed at the impertinence of these Byzantines who will not mind their own business (no one ever asked them to use unleavened bread, and they could always eat as much as they liked on Saturday) and at the ridiculous charges they rake up. We may also note at once that throughout the quarrel that is coming now the question of the Filioque is hardly touched at all: their great grievance this time is our unleavened bread (Azyme). John of Tranum reads his letter and then sends it on to Cardinal Humbert of Silva Candida, asking what he thinks of it. This Cardinal Humbert will be the chief defender of the Latins throughout the quarrel. He was a Burgundian, and had been a monk at one of the Cluniac houses in Lothringen. Lanfranc says that he was a great scholar.[17] The Pope brought him out of his monastery, made him Bishop of Silva Candida[18] and a cardinal, and kept him at Rome as one of his own advisers. Cardinal Humbert then (being a Greek scholar) translates the letter into Latin and shows it to the Pope.

Meanwhile Cerularius, having sent off this declaration of war,[19] proceeds to strengthen his position at home. It is most important to him to make sure that all the East is with him. To secure this he sends round to the other patriarchs and to various metropolitans a treatise written in Latin by a monk of Studium (the great Laura, once so faithful to Rome, pp. 65, 141, note 4), Niketas Stethatos (Pectoratus in Latin) against the Western Church.[20] Niketas asks in this treatise how the Romans, "wisest and noblest of all races," can have fallen into such "horrible infirmities." He answers that certain Jews at the time of the Apostles had, for the hope of wicked gain, corrupted the pure Gospel at Rome. The "horrible infirmities" are Azyme bread for Mass, fasting on Saturday, and celibacy. This last point was specially offensive to a Pope who was standing out for the celibacy of clerks with all his might. The politeness of his reference to the Romans as the wisest and noblest of races does not at all accord with the general tone of his writing, for he goes on to apply to them St. Paul's words: "dogs, bad workmen, schismatics" (Phil. iii. 2), also "hypocrites and liars, who forbid marriage and abstain from foods that God has made"[21] (1 Tim. iv. 1–3).

Cerularius's third move was to make it quite clear that he meant war to the knife. There were a number of Latin churches at Constantinople; the Emperor's Varangian guard, who were all Norsemen and Enghshmen, had one, so also the merchants from Amalphi and the Magyars; there were some Latin monasteries, too, and the Papal Apocrisarius (Nuntius at the Court) had a Latin chapel in his house. Cerularius has all these churches shut up, even the Apocrisarius's chapel, in defiance of the universal respect paid to embassies, and he tells all the Latins in the city to stop being Azymites and to use the Byzantine rite. His Chancellor, Nikephoros, who of course believed in the Real Presence just as we do, bursts open Latin tabernacles and tramples on the Blessed Sacrament, because it is consecrated in Azyme.[22]

One wonders why Cerularius had waited so long before making his attack. He had become Patriarch in 1043. There had been no provocation meanwhile; nothing whatever had happened to irritate him. And now suddenly, after ten years, in 1053, he behaves like this. The only explanation is that he had been waiting for an opportune moment, when the Pope would be in as weak a position as possible. And that moment had come. The Pope's army had just been badly defeated by the Normans at Civitella (1053) and he himself had only escaped because of the reverence that these Normans felt for the person of St. Peter's successor. It is true that the Normans were even more the enemies of Byzantium; it is also true that a feeling of chivalry prevents decent people from launching a wanton attack on any one just when he is in trouble; but of course Cerularius cared nothing about that.

Leo IX then answers the letter of Leo of Achrida.[23] He evidently knows from whom the attack has come, for he begins: "Leo, Bishop, Servant of the Servants of God, to Michael of Constantinople and Leo of Achrida, Bishops." The leading idea of his letter is that peace and concord must reign throughout the Church. Woe to those who break it! Woe to those who "with high-sounding and false words and with impious and sacrilegious hands cruelly try to rend the glorious robe of Christ, that has no stain nor spot." He most emphatically asserts the primacy of his see.[24] He will not deign to defend the practices attacked by Leo of Achrida: "Do you not see," he says, "how impudent it is to say that the Heavenly Father has hidden from Peter, the Prince of the Apostles, the proper rite of the visible sacrifice?" He quotes all the Petrine texts, and he also makes much of the Donatio Constantini.[25] For this he deserves no blame, since no one suspected its authenticity till the 15th century. And he turns the tables on the aggressors by showing how often heresies, and real heresies, have come from Constantinople, and have been condemned by Rome. He mentions Eusebius of Nicomedia, Macedonius, Nestorius, Eutyches, Pyrrhus, and others, showing that, instead of being corrected by the East, Old Rome has continually saved the Church from the errors of New Rome. With regard to Cerularius's violence to the Latin churches, he points out that no one has ever thought of troubling the many Byzantine churches and monasteries in the Latin Patriarchate. The letter is neither immoderate nor offensive, and the Pope's anger is certainly not greater than the wanton attack on his Church deserved. He also shows his appreciation of the situation by addressing it to Cerularius as well as to Leo of Achrida, and by at once coming to the root of the whole matter, the Roman Primacy. On receipt of this letter, Cerularius seems for a moment to have wavered from his scheme and to have made some overtures of peace. His answer is not extant, but it is referred to in several documents. He writes to Peter of Antioch that he had proposed an "alliance" with the Pope, and he himself says why: "That he might be well-disposed and friendly to us concerning the help he is to give us against the Franks (he means the Normans)."[26] Evidently for a moment the importance of the war against the Normans overshadowed in his mind the great plan of breaking with Rome.

But this attitude did not last long, and even while it did last his overweening pride made him suggest what he wanted in the most impossible way. His own word, alliance (σύμβασις), shows his point of view. It was to be a treaty drawn up between two equal and independent Powers, or rather not equal, for he had arrived at thinking himself a far greater man than the Pope. "You write to us," answers Leo IX, "that if we make your name honoured in the one Church of Rome, you will make our name honoured throughout the whole world. What monstrous idea is this, my dear brother?"[27] To have written such nonsense to the Pontiff who was obeyed from Sicily to Norway, and from Poland to the Atlantic, seems, if it were not meant just as another insult, to be the very madness of pride. The Pope's answer to this proposed "alliance" is: "So little does the Roman Church stand alone, as you think, that in the whole world any nation that in its pride dissents from her is in no way a Church, but a council of heretics, a conventicle of schismatics and a synagogue of Satan." He solemnly warns Cerularius against that pride that has always been so great a temptation to the Patriarchs of Constantinople. "How lamentable and detestable is that sacrilegious usurpation by which you everywhere boast yourself to be the Universal Patriarch." … "Let heresies and schisms cease. Let every one who glories in the Christian name cease from cursing and wounding the holy apostolic Roman Church." But he still hopes for peace and he ends: "Pray for us, and may the holy Trinity ever keep your honourable Fraternity."[28]

With this letter and with an exceedingly friendly one to the Emperor, "Our honourable and beloved son in Christ and glorious Augustus,"[29] the Pope sends three Legates to Constantinople. They were Cardinal Humbert, Cardinal Frederick, the Chancellor of the Roman Church, Leo's cousin[30] and Peter, Archbishop of Amalphi. It was the last Embassy that went from Rome to Constantinople.[31] Meanwhile the Emperor Constantine IX was exceedingly annoyed at the whole disturbance. He did not want a schism in the least; he did not care what sort of bread the Latins use, nor what they eat on Saturday, he wanted the Pope to help him fight the Normans. So he still hopes it will all be made up; he receives the Legates with great honour and lodges them in one of his own palaces. But Cerularius has quite recovered from his idea of an alliance with the Pope; the letter that these Legates brought for him doubtless helped the recovery. He is now very angry at their behaviour. The immemorial custom is for a Papal Legate to take the position of the Pope himself. He is the Pope's representative and alter ego. We have seen (Chap. II, pp. 75–81) that the Legates presided at general councils, taking rank before all the patriarchs. But Cerularius wants these Legates to sit below, not only himself, but all his Metropolitans too. That they refuse to do so, that they do not prostrate themselves before him and that they bear their crosiers in his diocese are the injuries he complains of to Peter of Antioch.[32] Because of these three points he describes their conduct as "so great insolence, boastfulness, rashness," and says that they have an "arrogant proud spirit" and are "stupid."[33] Several weeks pass in discussion. Cardinal Humbert composes a "Dialogue between a Roman and a Constantinopolitan," in which he quite temperately answers their charge of Judaism in our customs;[34] and an answer to the treatise of Niketas Stethatos.[35] This answer is not temperate. He writes as violently as any Byzantine, and heaps up abusive epithets. Niketas is no monk, but an epicure, who ought to Hve in a circus or house of bad repute, a dog, an abominable cynic, and is made of the same stuff as the Mohammedans. Incredible as it seems, this language converted Niketas. He publicly retracts his book and curses all the enemies of the Roman Church, becoming "henceforth our friend."[36] There seems no doubt that the Emperor made him do so. Suddenly Pope Leo IX dies (April 19, 1054), just as Nicholas I had died, in the middle of the negotiations. He was not succeeded till a year later by Victor II (1055–1057). Cerularius now refuses to see the Legates and will have nothing more to do with them;[37] he had already taken the final step by striking the Pope's name off his diptych.[38] This was open schism.

The Legates then at last prepare a bull of excommunication. They are still on quite good terms with the Emperor, and they are very careful to say nothing against the Byzantine Church.[39] "As far as the pillars of the Empire are concerned, and its wise and honoured citizens, this city is most Christian and Orthodox." "But we," they go on, "not bearing the unheard-of offence and injury done to the holy Apostolic and first See, wishing to defend in every way the Catholic faith, by the authority of the holy undivided Trinity and of the Apostolic See, whose Legates we are … declare this: That Michael, patriarch by abuse, neophyte, who only took a monk's habit by fear and is now infamous because of many very bad crimes, and with him Leo, called Bishop of Achrida, and the Sacellarius of the said Michael, who with profane feet trampled on the sacrifice of the Latins and all their followers in the aforesaid errors and presumptions shall be Anathema Maranatha … with all heretics, and with the devil and his angels, unless they repent. Amen."[40] Now that the crash is coming, one asks oneself what else the Legates could have done. They had waited long enough, and if ever a man clearly showed that he wanted schism it was Cerularius. He had already excommunicated the Pope by taking his name off the diptychs. We should note that this is the only sentence that the Roman Church pronounced against the Eastern Communion. She has never excommunicated it as such, nor the other patriarchs. If they lost her communion it was because they too, following Cerularius's example, struck the Pope's name from their diptychs.

It was Saturday, July 16, 1054,[41] at the third hour (9 a.m). The Hagia Sophia was full of people, the priests and deacons are vested, the Prothesis (preparation) of the holy Liturgy has just begun. Then the three Latin legates walk up the great church through the people, go in through the Royal Door of the Ikonostasis and lay their bull of excommunication on the altar. As they turn back they say: Videat Deus et iudicet.[42] The schism was complete.

It is always rather dangerous to claim that misfortunes are a judgement of God, and indeed no one could have any thought of satisfaction at the most awful calamity that ever happened to Christian Europe. At the same time one realizes how, from the day the Legates turned back from the altar on which they had laid their bull, the Byzantine Church has been cut off from all intercourse with the rest of Christendom, how her enemies gathered round this city nearer and nearer each century, till at last they took it, how they overturned this very altar as Cerularius had overturned the Latin altars, took away the great church as he had taken away ours, and how since that the successors of the man who would not bow to the Roman Pontiff have had to bow to, have had to receive their investiture from, the unbaptized tyrant who sits on the throne of Constantine; one realizes this and sees that the words of the Legates were heard and that God has seen and judged.

3. After the Schism.

The final breach had now come. It is because of these events, culminating in the scene of that Saturday morning, that a hundred millions of Christians to-day have no communion with the Catholic Church. The Legates seem to have still hoped that there would be no breach between the Churches. They had only excommunicated Cerularius and his party. The Emperor was still warmly on their side; had he been strong enough to get rid of the Patriarch the whole affair might have blown over. But he was hopelessly weak in his paralysis, and Cerularius was already by far the strongest man in the Empire. Two days later the Legates set out for Rome. Constantine IX gives them splendid presents for the Pope and for the great monastery of Monte Cassino, always specially favoured by the Eastern Emperors. Hardly were they gone when Cerularius sends after them to call them back; he is now prepared to treat with them. What did he really want? There seems no doubt that he meant to have them murdered. Reckless and useless as such a crime would have been, the evidence is conclusive. Cardinal Humbert says so quite plainly: "Michael tried to make them come to the Church of Holy Wisdom the next day as if to a council, so that—he having already shown the people a copy of the bull, which he had corruptly translated—they should there be massacred. But the prudent Emperor, foreseeing this, would not allow the meeting unless he himself were present."[43] The Emperor keeps the Legates carefully guarded in his own palace and undertakes to protect their persons whatever happens. Then Cerularius refuses to meet them (on these terms) after all. So they set out again for Rome and this time arrive there quite safely. The Patriarch is now furious with the Emperor and excites a tumult against him. That this revolution was the work of Cerularius is attested by Humbert[44] and practically confessed by himself. Poor Constantine, terribly frightened, sends an Embassy to the Patriarch, treating with him as with an independent Power, or rather as with a superior, and writing him an abject letter, which Michael himself scornfully describes as "supplicating."[45] He begs Cerularius not to be hard on him, says that all the trouble caused by this Legation was the fault of Argyros (!), is quite prepared to let Argyros be put in gaol (if they can catch him) and the bull be publicly burned; he solemnly excuses himself for having let the Legates get away unhurt "because of their character as ambassadors."[46] This letter plainly shows who was responsible for the revolution and what it was that Cerularius wanted to do to the Legates. The Patriarch then holds a synod against the Latins and their bull; and he is so pleased to see the Emperor's humiliation before himself, that he publishes his letter at the end of the Acts of the synod,[47] not realizing how he thereby makes his own crimes known to all future ages. In this same synod he reproduces the old Encyclical of Photius with all its charges against the Latins and excommunicates us all.

Meanwhile the great question was: What would the other Eastern Patriarchs do? It was, indeed, almost a foregone conclusion that they, who were all Greeks, brought up under the now overwhelming influence of Constantinople, would side with her, just as all the Latin bishops stood by Rome. The Patriarchs of Alexandria and Jerusalem were almost negligible quantities. They sat under the Moslem with their little flocks; they, of course, violently hated the Copts and Jacobites who were better disposed to the Mohammedan Government, and as Melkites who had always stood out for the "Imperial" Church they turned their eyes with reverent piety to that distant Imperial city where reigned the Orthodox Cæsar and, in happy freedom, the Orthodox Patriarch, whom they had now long looked upon as their chief. So when Cerularius sent them round an order to strike the Pope's name off their diptychs,[48] they quietly obeyed.

The position of the Patriarch of Antioch was just then more fortunate. In 968 the Roman armies had conquered back his city and so he was again free under a Christian Government, although most of his Patriarchate was gone. Both sides then try to win Peter of Antioch.[49] There are very few people in this history for whom one feels so much sympathy as with this Peter. He had all the prejudices of his race. He cannot bear Latins; he thinks we are barbarous, ignorant, gross in our habits, not fit to be compared with the pure Christians and refined "Romans" who enjoy the blessings of the Imperial State and the Greek tongue. And yet he dreads schism more than anything else in the world and he hopelessly tries to make excuses for us to Cerularius, and implores him to be patient with our unpleasant ways, and at any rate, whatever happens, not to make a schism.

Only two years before the schism, in 1052, he had, as usual, sent to announce his election to Pope Leo IX. He had, as usual, acknowledged the Roman Primacy.[50] Leo answered with a letter as courteous and friendly as any could be.[51] He makes the most graceful parallel between the two Petrine Churches: "Your Apostolic See has addressed our Apostolic See." He remembers that "it was in the great Antioch that Christians were first named." Touching an old grievance, he says that "Antioch must keep the third place," and that "we have heard that certain people are trying to diminish the ancient dignity of the Antiochene Church." That means, of course, the ambition of Constantinople, by which Antioch would sink to the fourth place. Unfortunately, the Pope's letter got lost on the way, and afterwards Peter complains, somewhat sulkily, that the Pope had never answered him.[52] When the quarrel began Leo made Dominic, Patriarch of Venice,[53] write to Peter. This letter,[54] too, is almost excessively moderate. Dominic is very polite to the "eminent Patriarch of the most high and holy Church of Antioch and great and Apostolic man." He, too, refers to the Petrine succession of the see "which we know to be the sister of our mother the Roman Church." He tells him all about Leo of Achrida's letter, and explains that, if the Latins prefer to use Azyme, they by no means intend to disparage the Eastern use of leaven. "Because we know that the sacred mixture of fermented bread is used and lawfully observed by the most holy and Orthodox Fathers of the Eastern Churches, we faithfully approve of both customs, and confirm both with a spiritual explanation." He thinks that leavened bread typifies the hypostatic union, and Azyme our Lord's purity. One cannot sufficiently admire the reasonableness and toleration of Rome at a time when Cerularius was calling us Jews, and our Holy Eucharist "mud."[55] Dominic's last argument is pathetically meek: "If, then, our offering of Azyme bread is not the Body of Christ, we are all of us cut off from the source of life." Meanwhile, Peter of Antioch had also heard from Constantinople, and he now embarks on a hopeless career as a peacemaker. He answers Dominic quite kindly, although he will not let him be a patriarch, since there can only be five, and he himself is the only person who has a quite certain right to the title.[56] He says that "the most holy Patriarch of Constantinople does not think you to be bad men, nor cut off from the Catholic Church … but he thinks your faith halting in this one point only, in the oblation of Azyme."[57]

Cerularius, however, to make sure of Peter's support, now embarks on a career of lying. The first lie is that the Pope's name has not appeared on the Byzantine diptychs since the sixth general council (680), and (for he now imagines himself quite a Pope, with jurisdiction over the other patriarchs) he orders Peter to remove it from his diptychs at once, and to see that the same is done at Alexandria and Jerusalem.[58] This brazen falsehood is at once refuted by Peter. In his answer[59] he first quotes Cerularius's words, and goes on: "I am covered with shame that your venerable letter should contain such things. Believe me, I do not know how to explain it, for your own sake, especially if you have written like this to the other most blessed patriarchs."[60] He then mentions all the Popes who, since 680, have been specially reverenced at Constantinople—Agatho most of all—and he says: "When I went to Constantinople forty-five years ago, I myself heard the Pope mentioned in the holy mysteries with the other patriarchs by the Lord Patriarch Sergius of holy memory."[61]

But the unblushing Cerularius has many more lies to tell. He sends Peter this amazing account of what had happened in the affair of the Legates: the Legates had not been sent by the Pope at all, but by Argyros.[62] Argyros, who was still freebooting about Italy and pretending to fight the Normans, and whom Cerularius for some reason always hated, seems to have been a general scapegoat. Then the Legates who came, fraudulently pretending to be sent by Rome, were themselves disreputable persons; one of them had once been Bishop of Amalphi, but had been turned out from that see for just causes, and had wandered about Italy for five years (this was pure fiction); another pretended to be an archbishop, but no one could find where his diocese was (Cardinal Humbert: his diocese was Silva Candida); the third was a sham chancellor. It is tedious to repeat the pages of falsehood he sends to Antioch, how the Legates had forged letters, broken open seals,[63] and how they had excommunicated all the Easterns because they neither shave the beard, nor use Azyme nor say the Filioque.[64] By this time Cerularius has found some more grievances against us besides the three chief ones (Azyme, Saturday fast, and celibacy). He bitterly complains of these customs, too: Latin clerks shave the beard, eat unclean food, their monks eat meat on Wednesday, they say the Filioque, and sing in Mass "One holy Lord Jesus Christ in the glory of God the Father through the Holy Ghost"; they have a kiss of peace in Mass, their bishops wear rings, do not venerate relics, despise the Eastern Fathers, will not pray to St. Gregory of Nazianzum, St. Basil, or St. John Chrysostom, and their bishops go to war.[65] Of all this amazing list of nonsense, some statements are sheer falsehoods, as that Latins do not venerate relics nor pray to the Saints he names.[66] In some cases one simply cannot, with the best will, make out what he means: why he objects to bishops' rings, shaving, or the verse at the end of our Gloria, unless on the general principle that the whole world must conform to Constantinople, down to the smallest trifles. One accusation (about our eating food Levitically unclean) is too ridiculous, as coming from the man who was always accusing us of Judaism. But in one point he has happened to hit on a real abuse—the 11th-century Latin bishop was too much disposed to go a-fighting. Peter, in his answer, agrees about the Filioque, but points out how absurd the other charges are.[67] In the case of the verse in the Gloria he reminds Cerularius that the Eastern Liturgies contain almost exactly the same words.[68] As for relics, the Romans have the very bodies of St. Peter and St. Paul, and "Adrian the Roman Pope presided at the Seventh Synod (against the Iconoclasts)." "And we have seen the Frank pilgrims in our venerable churches give every honour and reverence to sacred pictures."[69] But, above all, Peter of Antioch dreads schism, and the pathetic words, with which he implores Cerularius not to make one, end their correspondence. He writes from no love of Latins. "They are our brothers," he says, "although their rusticity and stupidity often make them behave indecently. We must not expect from these barbarians the same perfect manners as we find among our civilized people."[70] But he says: "I beg you, I implore you, and in spirit I embrace your sacred feet and entreat Your Divine Beatitude to give way and to accommodate itself to circumstances. For it is to be feared that you, in trying to heal these differences, may only make a schism, which is worse, and that in trying to lift them up you may cause a great calamity. Consider what would certainly happen if that great first and Apostolic See be divided from our holy Churches—wickedness would spread everywhere, and the whole world would be upset, the kingdoms of all the earth would be shaken, everywhere would be much woe, everywhere tears."[71]

We have every reason to suppose that Peter never did go into schism; he had plainly refused to strike the Pope's name from his diptychs once, and we see how strongly he feels about the evil of breaking the communion of that great first and Apostolic See." He died the last Catholic Patriarch of Antioch of the old line; may he rest in peace. His attitude was typical of the older Eastern tradition with its utter ignorance of anything outside the Empire, even of the Latin language, its absurd idea that "Franks" were all miserable savages,[72] its pathetic self-complacency, and yet its firm conviction that for no reason may Catholic unity be broken.

4. The End of Cerularius.

It would still remain a mystery why Cerularius should have been so absolutely determined to break with Rome at any cost, why he should have cared to heap up lies and attempt murder, apparently for no possible object but just the pleasure of being in schism, did not his future career give the clue to the whole scheme. He was by far the strongest and most popular man in Constantinople, and he wanted to be the recognized head of the Empire. At one time later he seems to have tried to join the rank of Emperor and Patriarch in his own person, and when that plan failed his idea was to set up a kind of theocracy, in which the State should be the humble vassal of the Church, and the head of the Church the acknowledged over-lord of the head of the State. It was the exact reverse of the Erastianism that, as a rule, flourished unchecked in the Eastern Empire, a sort of concrete case and actual practice of the Utopia of which Gregory VII and Boniface VIII dreamed. The breach with Rome was only a means, the first step in this plan. Cerularius could easily manage to be the head of the Eastern Patriarchs, but he knew it was hopeless to expect the Roman Pope to submit to him. So he had definitely to cut the tie between the Eastern and Western Churches—any excuse must serve, for no one could possibly really care about the ludicrous accusations he brought against us.[73] Then, unquestioned master of a great homogeneous ecclesiastical body, he could and did proceed to fight for civil supremacy as well.[74] Only here the fortune of war turned against him and he fell. He had already shown Constantine IX that he was the greater man of the two. Constantine after that was very careful not to annoy the Patriarch again. He died in 1055 and was succeeded by old Theodora, his wife's sister, the last descendant of Basil the Macedonian. Cerularius, says Psellos, "tried to rule over the Empress."[75] When she died (1056) Michael VI (1056–1057) succeeded. But Michael wanted to reign independently of his over-lord, so Cerularius, who is the kingmaker of the Eastern Empire, again rouses the people, overturns Michael, goes himself to cut off his hair and make him a monk, and sets up Isaac Komnenos (1057–1059) in his place. At first Isaac, who knows quite well to whom he owes his place, is very docile. The year 1058 was the time of Cerularius's greatest power. The Emperor let him rule as he liked in the Church and the Palace; he appointed the officers of state and at last succeeded in being the only real sovereign of the Empire.[76] "Losing all shame," said Psellos afterwards, "he joined royalty and priesthood in himself; in his hand he held the cross, while from his mouth imperial laws came."[77] But gradually Isaac got tired of being the Patriarch's vassal and wanted to really reign. So once again Cerularius works up a revolution. His language to the Emperor lacked respect: "You beast," he said, "I made you and I will crush you."[78] However he did not succeed this time. He seems to have meant to get himself actually crowned Emperor after this revolution.[79] But Isaac was too quick for him. Before Cerularius had time to arrange his insurrection he was arrested and tried for high treason (1059). It was Psellos, his old friend and future panegyrist, who was the advocate for the crown, and the comparison of his indictment with the funeral oration he pronounced when Cerularius was dead and had to be glorified is an interesting example of Byzantine honesty. Now everything had to be made as black as possible, and so besides the accusation of treason, which was a true bill, Psellos heaps up every kind of absurd charge. Cerularius was guilty of Hellenism[80] and Chaldaism—that is, heathen witchcraft; he had invoked "material ghosts." (It is true that when he had given up the philosopher's stone he had developed a polite taste for spiritualist seances.) Also his language was so vulgar that he made people blush; in short he was "impious, tyrannical, murderous, sacrilegious, and unworthy." But Cerularius did not live to suffer the capital punishment that probably awaited him. While he was being taken, strongly guarded, to Madytos[81] he died (1059). At once, then, his apotheosis begins.[82] Now that he is no longer dangerous to any one the Emperor affects much regret for all that had happened. His body is brought with great pomp to Constantinople, and is buried in the monastery of the Holy Angels. And gradually the people forget everything evil that he did and transform him into a saint. A yearly panegyric is instituted in his memory, and the same Psellos who had brought the charges against him, preaching before the Emperor, describes his former victim as the wisest, holiest, most persecuted of men.[83] Cerularius had not succeeded in his plan of setting himself up as the head of a great theocracy; but he had done a far greater work and one that still lasts, he had definitely established the schismatical Eastern Church.

At the end of all this story of the schism one remark needs to be made. The sometimes almost incredible facts are not in dispute. Cornelius Will's Acta et Scripta are a collection of contemporary letters and reports, from which each step of the story is made plain, and from which, as a matter of fact, all this account has been written. And people who have studied the matter know it all. Philip Meyer's article on "Cerularius" in the great German Protestant Encyclopædia of Theology,[84] for instance, says of the quarrel between the Churches: "This time it was Michael who arbitrarily took it up again, just at a time when the Court of Byzantium and the Pope had enough reason for an alliance in the Norman war." … "Michael violently suppressed the Latin rite, that was used in many monasteries and churches over there, and in 1053 sent, in a letter to the Bishop of Trani in Apulia, a regular declaration of war against the Roman Church." When the Legates came "Michael himself rejected their advances. Then the Legates took the last step, and on July 16, 1054, laid an elaborate bull of excommunication on the altar of the Sophia Church, which, with prudent respect for the Court, heaped up curses, abuse, and heretical names against the Patriarch, his followers, and the practices of his Church." Afterwards Cerularius "was dishonest enough to represent the whole Embassy as having not been sent by the Pope." "As far as hatred and passion goes, both sides may have been about equal; but in chivalrous pride and judgement the representatives of the Roman Church were superior to their adversary." "As the defender of Greek Orthodoxy, Michael, however, was remembered by his Church with great honour, although without much desert, as far as his mind and character are concerned." So far a scholar who, in spite of his prejudice against Rome, at any rate knows his subject. But the small text-books of history, the handbooks and compendia that go about in England, have nothing to say about the whole quarrel except, perhaps, that Photius refused to acknowledge the Pope's assumed primacy, and that the Eastern Church under Cerularius finally threw off the yoke of Rome. All that Mr. Hutton (as one instance out of many) in a little book on Constantinople[85] has to say is: "Two great names embody in the East the final protest against Roman assumption." "Photius … owed his throne to an election which was not canonical." "The papal claim to decide between two claimants to the patriarchate was fiercely resented" (! both had formally appealed to Rome). "The position which Photius defended with skill and vigour in the 9th century was reasserted by Michael Cerularius in the 11th. He regarded the teaching of the West on the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, says Psellus, as an intolerable heresy; and he was prompt to reassert jurisdiction over the Churches of Apulia, now conquered by the Normans and made subject to Rome. The final breach came from Rome itself. On July 16, 1054, two Legates of the Pope laid on the altar of S. Sophia the act of excommunication which severed the Patriarch from the communion of the West, and condemned what were asserted to be seven deadly heresies of the Eastern Church." It is hardly necessary to point out all the inaccuracies of this account. The Normans did not conquer Apulia till Roger II (1105–1154); it had always been ecclesiastically subject to Rome. Cerularius's grievance was not the Filioque but Azyme bread. The final breach came from Constantinople. There were three Legates; they did not accuse the Eastern Church of any heresies.

It is because such travesties are all that people seem to have generally heard about the greatest calamity that ever befel Christendom, and especially because of the unfailing assumption that Rome must have been the aggressor, that these two chapters contain so much detail about a story that is itself neither very interesting nor at all edifying.

Summary.

The story of the final schism in the 11th century is a much worse case of Byzantine arrogance and intolerance than the story of Photius. In 1053 Michael Cerularius suddenly, for no reason whatever except apparently for some private scheme of ambition, declares war against Rome and the Latin West. He makes one of his metropolitans—Leo of Achrida—send an offensive letter to a Latin bishop; himself publishes over the East a treatise against Latins, and shuts all the Latin churches in his patriarchate. The Emperor, Constantine IX, wants peace. The Pope, St. Leo IX, sends three Legates to Constantinople; but Cerularius will have nothing to do with them, and has already struck the Pope's name off his diptychs. At last, in 1054, the Legates lay a bull of excommunication against (not the Byzantine Church but) Cerularius and his adherents on the altar of the Hagia Sophia. Cerularius orders all the other Eastern patriarchs to remove the Pope's name from their diptychs, and grossly misrepresents what has happened. But the Patriarch of Antioch, for one, still tries to make peace. After the schism, Cerularius, by far the strongest man at Constantinople, becomes a sort of kingmaker, till at last he falls and dies, just as he has been condemned for treason. After his death he becomes a quite mythical hero.
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Offer your Life to Jesus and Mary: TEXT OF THE LIFE OFFERING, adapted: Dear Lord Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with Your most Precious Blood and Your Sacrifice on Calvary, We hereby Offer our whole Lives to the Intention of Your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Together with our life, we place at Your disposal all Holy Masses, all our Holy Communions, all Rosaries, all acts of consecration, all our good deeds, all our sacrifices, and the suffering of our entire life for the Adoration and Supplication of the Holy Trinity, for Unity in our Holy Mother Church, for the Holy Father, Pope Francis the First; and for His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. For His Eminence Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, His Excellency Metropolitan Hilarion, as well as His Eminence Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, that they may re-unite their flocks with the Roman Catholic Church, and there may soon be but One Fold and One Shepherd. For all the 220+ Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, for all 6000+ Bishops of the Universal Church that they may be true Apostles and Shepherds; and for the 400,000+ Priests, the 700,000+ Nuns, 50,000+ Monks, 100,000+ seminarians, that they may all become the Saints the Divine Will wishes them to be; for all the 1.35 Billion Members of the Church, the Millions of Catholic Catechumens and Children to be born and baptized in this Decade; we pray for good Priestly and Religious Vocations, for All Lay Apostolates, and All Souls until the end of the world. O my Jesus, please accept our life Sacrifice and our offerings and give us Your grace that we may all persevere obediently until death. Amen." https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

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PART III

THE ORTHODOX CHURCH SINCE THE SCHISM

One of the many deplorable results of the great Eastern schism was that from that time the people of Western Europe—that is the nations that were in every way the leaders of civilization—gradually lost sight of their fellow-Christians on the other side of the Adriatic. The Popes never forgot the ancient Churches now cut off from their communion. We shall see how they tried to close up the breach; always from the 11th century to the 20th Rome has schemed, arranged, worked in every possible way for the re-conversion of the Eastern schismatics. And for a time, after the 11th century, people in the West were still conscious of that wonderful city on the Bosphorus, where in half-mythical splendour reigned the great prince whom they now barbarously called the "Greek Emperor."

The Crusades brought Eastern and Western Europe together for a time, but really only as enemies; already, then, these Greeks were almost as strange to our fathers as the Saracens and Turks whom they went out to fight. Then came the fall of Constantinople, and a thick cloud falls over all the Eastern Churches, till in the 19th century at last the first beginnings of Christian independence in the Balkan Peninsula drew people's attention incidentally to the metropolitans and popes who helped the insurrections.

The period from the schism in 1054 to the beginning of Greek independence in 1821 is cut in half by the fall of Constantinople in 1453. During the first half the facts that will most interest Catholics are the attempts at reunion and the Crusades, as far as they affect the Eastern Churches; concerning the period after 1453, one should have some idea of the conditions under which the Christians subject to the Turk lived, of their relations to the Roman See, of perhaps one or two of their theologians during this time, and especially of the great affair of Cyril Lukaris and the Synod of Jerusalem in 1672.

CHAPTER VI

THE REUNION COUNCILS

The Popes, after the schism had become an undeniable fact, never lost hope of undoing it. Of the numberless attempts made by them, the messages, conferences, proposals, that were taken up by one Pope after another, the most important were three councils—at Bari in 1098, Lyons in 1274, and Ferrara-Florence in 1439. We may notice at once that the attitude of Rome towards the Eastern schismatics has always been rather different from that towards Protestants. First, to the canonist and theologian, who do not measure the dignity of Churches by their riches or numbers, the loss of the great Apostolic Eastern Churches is much more deplorable than that of the Protestant bodies. Secondly, there is not the special bitterness about the Eastern schism that there is about the Reformation. The first Protestants were the children of the Pope's own patriarchate, whose fathers had been converted from Rome, who had used the Roman rite, and had received the Holy Orders they now rejected from the Pope. Thirdly, the Eastern Churches are far nearer to us than any Protestant congregation. Practically, as we shall see, the only thing wrong with the Easterns is the schism. Their faith hardly differs at all from ours. And they are corporate bodies, Churches in themselves, quite properly constituted with a hierarchy whose orders no one has ever thought of questioning. And with such bodies the Roman Church can treat. So Rome has always been very much more conciliatory to the Eastern Churches than to Protestants. With the numberless Protestant sects she can have no communication; out of a disorderly crowd of rebels[1] each member must come back and be reconciled by himself, with the Eastern Churches corporate reunion is a really possible ideal. We express it all roughly, but quite well, when we call Protestants heretics and the "Orthodox" schismatics, and when we pray for the conversion of Protestants and for the reunion of the Eastern Churches.

1. The Council of Bari, 1098.

The Western Church did not realize at once, in 1054, that a permanent rupture had now come. There were still relations in one or two cases before all intercourse came to an end. Pope Alexander II (1061–1073) sent Peter, Bishop of Anania, in 1071 to the Emperor Michael VII (1071–1078), apparently to discuss political questions only. The Emperor received Peter very kindly and entertained him for a whole year, but the Patriarch John VIII (1064–1075) and his clergy would have no communion with him. There were still some theologians in the Byzantine Church who saw no reason for schism, and who wrote to protest against the absurd fuss that was being made about harmless local Latin customs, such as Theophylactus of Achrida (successor of the Leo who had opened the campaign), who, about 1070, wrote an allocution defending the Latins, except in the matter of the Filioque.[2] They were the first members of the Latinizing party that has existed ever since in the Orthodox Church. But gradually all friendly relations ceased and every one realized that a definite schism had now established two rival communions. And then, as always happens, the differences become fossilized, and the two streams, once parted, flowed farther and farther apart. At last some Latin writers, unfortunately, began making unworthy reprisals and, forgetting the dignified tradition of their side in this miserable quarrel, found fault with various quite harmless Byzantine customs in the same mean spirit as their charges against us.

The first council held between, at any rate, some members of either side after the schism was at Bari, in Apulia, in 1098. Pope Urban II (1088–1099) was carrying on the fight of Gregory VII against the Emperor Henry IV (1056–1106), and in 1095 had proclaimed the First Crusade at the Council of Clermont. Then, possibly in connection with that movement, he held this synod at Bari. The hero of the council was our St. Anselm of Canterbury († 1109), and as its Acts have been lost the little we know about it is from Eadmer's life of his master.[3] Anselm had fled from the Red King the year before (1097) and was now in the Pope's company.

The "Greeks" at Bari were probably bishops of the Byzantine rite in Southern Italy.[4] The Normans were then conquering those parts, and whatever pretence of jurisdiction the Patriarch of Constantinople had advanced over "greater Greece" was now coming definitely to an end (p. 46). But these Italian Greeks shared the ideas of their fellow-countrymen across the Adriatic about the Filioque, and this council was held to convert them on that point. Although Cerularius had made so little of the Filioque grievance, it will now be (with the Primacy) always the chief difference between the two Churches. It is not known how many Greeks were present nor who they were. Nor is the result of the council known, except that under the pressure of the Norman Government all these Italo-Greeks did eventually accept both the Pope's jurisdiction and the Catholic faith about the procession of the Holy Ghost. There was never again any question of schism in greater Greece. All we know of the council is this scene described by Eadmer, who was present with St. Anselm. Pope Urban begins by explaining our faith in the double procession. Then the Greeks answer him and the Pope seems to have got into difficulties, for he cries out: "Father and master, Anselm, Archbishop of the English, where are you?" St. Anselm was sitting in the front rank of the fathers, "and I," says Eadmer, "sat at his feet." Now he stands up and answers: "Lord and father, here I am, what do you want?" "What are you doing?" says the Pope, "why do you not speak? Come, I beg you, help us to fight for your Mother and ours. Look at these Greeks who are trying to soil her purity by dragging us into their error." St. Anselm then goes up and stands by the Pope, and all the Fathers begin talking at once and asking who this stranger may be. Urban tells them to be quiet and explains to them Anselm's fame, his great holiness, and how he is now an exile for the faith. Then Anselm speaks and refutes all the difficulties of the Greeks. When he has done the Pope says: "Blessed are the words that came from your lips." Unfortunately Eadmer cannot tell us much about what St. Anselm actually said. Instead of listening to what was going on he had been staring about him. First he notices that the Archbishop of Beneventum was wearing by far the finest cope. Then he suddenly recognizes this cope as one sent to Beneventum by Egelnoth, a former Archbishop of Canterbury, in exchange for a relic. He is further surprised to see that the Pope is not wearing a cope but a chasuble with the pallium over it. However, Eadmer's distractions do not much matter, because St. Anselm afterwards wrote down all his arguments in a treatise "Of the Procession of the Holy Ghost," which is published with his other works.[5] This same Synod of Bari was about to excommunicate William Rufus of England, but St. Anselm persuaded the Pope to be patient with him yet a little longer. That is all that is known about it.

2. The Second Council of Lyons, 1274.

All through the 13th century, since the Crusaders had taken Constantinople in 1204 (p. 225), the Eastern Empire, now shut up in a corner of Asia Minor around Nicæa between the Latins and the Turks, was reduced almost to the last gasp. In their despair the Emperors saw the only hope in an alliance with the West. If the Crusaders, instead of attacking them, would join them against the Turk, there might yet be some chance for the old Empire. And they saw that the first step to such an alliance must be reunion with the Latin Church. So there are a succession of embassies, proposals, arrangements made for this purpose by the Emperors, which eventually lead to reunion at the Council of Lyons in 1274. But the people over there were against the union all the time. Now especially, after the outrages they had suffered from the Crusaders, their hatred of the Franks had grown tenfold, and even to the Government the union was really only an annoyance to be borne for political reasons. So naturally the union did not last. Only in the West was there a real enthusiasm for reunion for its own sake. The Patriarch of Constantinople, Germanos II (1222–1240), now in exile with the Emperor at Nicaea, wrote to Pope Gregory IX (1227–1241) in 1232 acknowledging his Primacy, and asking for reunion. The Pope sent four friars, two Dominicans and two Franciscans, with letters to Nicæa. They were very well received by the Emperor (John III, 1222–1254), but they could not arrange a union. Michael Palaiologos (Michael VIII, 1259–1282), after he had reconquered Constantinople (1261), again opened negotiations with the Pope. He was still afraid of having to defend his city against another Crusade. If only the Latins would acknowledge him and help him fight the common enemy of all Christians, the Turk, he might yet save or even enlarge his Empire.

As soon as Gregory X (1271–1276) became Pope, he set about arranging for a general council. This council was once more to arouse the Western princes to a great Crusade, so as to save the remnants of the Latin princedoms in the Holy Land, now in deadly danger, and to arrange a reunion with the Eastern Churches.

The council met on May 7, 1274, in the Cathedral of Lyons;[6] five hundred bishops and one thousand abbots were present, also King James I of Aragon, and ambassadors from the (Western) Empire, France, England, and Sicily, as well as the Latin Patriarchs of Constantinople and Antioch (p. 224); the Greek bishops arrived at the third session, on June 24th. This is the Second Council of Lyons and the fourteenth œcumenical council. The Latin Patriarch of Constantinople was given the second place after the Pope—the first recognition on the part of the Roman Church of the old claim of Constantinople to that place, now made in favour of a man whom the patriarch of the old line of course abhorred. The greatest theologians in the Church were summoned. St. Thomas Aquinas died on the way (March 7, 1274);[7] St. Bonaventure was the soul of all the discussions till he too died (July 15, 1274) during the council. Meanwhile, at Constantinople Michael VIII had been doing everything he could to bring about the union. A Franciscan, John Parastron, himself a born Greek, had been travelling backwards and forwards, arguing and persuading, but the Patriarch Joseph I (1268–1274) would have nothing to say to any peace with the Latins. So they shut him up in a monastery and told him that if the union succeeded he would have to stay there, but if it did not he might come back and be Patriarch again. Meanwhile John Bekkos (John XI, 1274–1282) was set up in his stead. This Bekkos had been an enemy of the Latins, but he now became or professed to be as eager for reunion as the Emperor himself. They sent to Lyons as ambassadors Germanos, an ex-Patriarch of Constantinople (he had been Germanos III, 1267),[8] Theophanes, Metropolitan of Nicæa, George Akropolites the Imperial Chancellor, and two other lay statesmen. These persons arrived, having been plainly told to concede anything and to make sure of the union whatever happened; so there were practically no discussions and there was no difficulty at all. In the name of their Emperor, the Patriarch, and the Orthodox Church they admitted the Roman Primacy, the Filioque, and everything. The Orthodox were to restore the Pope's name to their diptychs, to keep all their own rites, customs, and laws, and were not to add the Filioque to their Creed over there, although they were to acknowledge the doctrine. On the feast of St. Peter and St. Paul High Mass was sung according to the Latin rite, the Epistle and Gospel were sung in Latin and Greek, after the Latin Creed the same Creed was sung again in Greek by Germanos and the Italo-Greek bishops, and they had to sing "who proceeds from the Father and the Son" three times. And St. Bonaventure preached. In the last sessions the decrees of the council were drawn up and were promulgated by the Pope on November 1st.[9] The first dogmatic decree is that the Holy Ghost proceeds from God the Father and the Son as from one principle in one "Spiratio."[10] The Byzantine delegates then went back with letters from the Pope to the Emperor, the Patriarch, and all bishops of their Church.

As soon as they arrived the Pope's name was restored to the diptychs, and a great Liturgy was celebrated at which the Epistle and Gospel were sung in Greek and Latin— a return for the compliment at Lyons. But the people did not want the union, and an insurrection against it was cruelly put down. John Bekkos then wrote and argued in favour of it, and two bishops and two Dominicans sent by the Pope as Legates were received with great honour. But gradually, as the Emperor saw that no Crusaders came to fight for him, his ardour cooled too. Pope John XXI (1276–1277) made the fatal mistake of requiring them to add the Filioque to their Creed, in spite of the agreement at Lyons. This greatly increased the anti-papal party. Michael VIII then gave up quarrelling with his own people for the sake of a policy that had failed, and the union became the merest shadow of a pretence. Pope Nicholas III (1277–1280) finally excommunicated Michael as a favourer of schism. As soon as Michael died his successor, Andronikos II (1282–1328), broke the last link. He formally repudiated the union, brought the ex-patriarch, Joseph I, out of the monastery where he had been shut up, restored him (although he was on his death-bed), and deposed John Bekkos. Then the Emperor did public penance for having formerly accepted the union, and made every one else do so too. The whole movement had never been a really genuine one, and it now came to an utter end. Already it was the enemies of the union who could pose as the conservative party, and the intensely conservative instinct of all Easterns in Church matters made that position a stronger one as each century passed, strengthening the schism merely by making it older.[11]

3. The Council of Ferrara-Florence, 1438–1439.

The most famous reunion council was that held by Eugene IV at Ferrara and Florence. Its story is very much like that of the Second Council of Lyons. Again the Eastern Empire is in the direst distress from the Turks, again the Emperor wants union with the Latins for purely political reasons—that they may come and fight for him—and again the union is hated and soon denounced by the Byzantines. Pope Eugene IV (Gabriel Condolmer, 1431–1447) was having great trouble with the Council of Basel. At that time the schism of the West was just over, and the whole Catholic world had been scandalized by seeing two and then even three rival claimants to the Papacy. In that horrible confusion many people saw only one means of restoring order, a general council. This was the cure for all evils, and so they were always demanding general councils. There had been a great council at Pisa in 1409, another at Constance from 1414–1418, and as soon as Eugene IV was elected again every one clamoured for another general council to reform the Church. Since the confusion of the Western schism people had begun to distinguish between a council and its president the Pope, and the watchword of the reforming party was that a council is above every one, even the Pope. The Pope must obey a general council like any one else; once it has been lawfully summoned it can do even depose the Pope. This had been defined at Constance in the third session—before it became an œcumenical synod. Wyclif and Hus had appeared, strange antinomian sects already abounded who taught the wildest extravagances and entirely rejected all ecclesiastical authority. The first breath of the great storm that was coming—the Protestant Reformation—was in the air. Eugene IV had sworn at his election to summon yet another council; so unwillingly he had to do so. He opened the synod at Basel on July 23, 1431, through his Legate, Cardinal Cesarini. Then, as very few Fathers came, he dissolved it almost at once and summoned it to Bologna. But the council would not go there, it got out of hand almost at once, demanded the retractation of the bull of dissolution, renewed the decree of Constance that a general council is above the Pope, summoned Eugene to appear before it, then declared him contumacious, deposed him, and set up Duke Amadeus of Savoy as anti-Pope—Felix V. By this time all the moderate members had left Basel; no one wanted a renewal of the time when the Church was torn by the claims of two Popes, Æneas Silvius Piccolomini (afterwards Pius II, 1458–1464) and Nicholas of Cusa, Bishop of Brixen, who were at first the leading spirits at Basel, went over to the Pope's side. The schismatical council, now reduced to about twenty or thirty bishops under Cardinal d'Allemand, Archbishop of Aries, lost the sympathy of every one by its extravagance, and at last even Duke Amadeus went quietly home, and the whole movement whittled out almost unnoticed in 1443.

Meanwhile Eugene IV had again changed the place where his council was to be held, and summoned it from Bologna to Ferrara on September 11, 1437. The bishops at Basel, who made up their number by admitting a crowd of parish priests and doctors of divinity, excommunicated every one who took any part in the proceedings at Ferrara. Eugene excommunicated all the rabble at Basel. The object of the council at Ferrara was to be reunion with the Eastern Churches. It would be, indeed, a triumph for the Pope if he could show the Christian world that just now, when he was at war with what called itself an œcumenical council, he had once again joined all the Easterns to the West under his authority. And the Byzantine Court, at any rate, was very willing to be reunited. The Eastern Roman Empire was then at its very last gasp. The Ottoman Turks had come into Europe, taking Adrianople in 1354; then gradually they had swallowed up more and more of the Empire. Macedonia, Thessaly, Thrace, Bulgaria, Servia had all gone. Every one knew that they meant to take Constantinople, and, unless help came from the West, it could only be a question of time, and of a very short time, till they did so. So again during the early part of the 15th century there had been negotiations with the Latins. Already at Constance in 1418 an embassy from the Eastern Emperor had appeared; Pope Martin V (1417–1431) had had relations with the other patriarchs. The Emperor John VII (Palaiologos, 1425–1448) at last made up his mind that some steps must be taken at once. Unfortunately there were two powers, each claiming to represent the Latin Church, that wanted to treat with him. Pope Eugene and the Basler Fathers. Eugene was first in the field and sent a fleet of ships to Constantinople to bring the Emperor and his bishops to Ferrara; while they are waiting another fleet arrives, sent by the Council of Basel. The Pope's admiral is so angry at this that he is hardly prevented from sailing out to fight the council's fleet. So the first time the Byzantines saw these Latins who had come to preach the absolute necessity of union to them they enjoyed the edifying spectacle of a violent schism nearly leading to battle between two Latin parties. However, consistent to their own traditions, the Greeks thought that if they were to have any dealings with the Latins at all it must be with the Latin Patriarch, so they would have nothing to say to the Basler Council. The Pope agreed to pay all expenses and to entertain them as long as they were in Italy. The Emperor came himself with a gorgeous train. The dying Empire still had wonderful jewels, brocades and vestments, relics of a better time, and all these were shipped onto the Pope's vessels to impress the Latins. With the Emperor came the Patriarch of Constantinople, Joseph II (1416–1439, his own brother and a very old man), twenty-two other bishops, and a train of seven hundred followers; the Patriarchs of Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem sent legates.

They land at Venice on February 8, 1438, are received by the Doge with great pomp and are enormously impressed by the splendour of the city.[12] From this time the question of reunion was enormously complicated and confused by the most absurd quarrels about precedence and etiquette. It was the lirst time an Emperor of the old line had come to the West for nine hundred years. Pathetically true to the theory on which his whole system was based, even now on the eve of utter disaster, John VII insists on acting as the successor of Julius Cæsar; he is Augustus, Autocrat of the Romans, Lord of the Christian World. The people he meets in Italy are still to him and to his Court barbarians, Franks, savage tribes with whom the Roman Emperor condescends to treat. But the Western princes, who had almost forgotten the existence of the Eastern Empire, see in him only a poor Greek king who has come to beg their protection against his enemies.

The Greeks then come to Ferrara and the Emperor enters the city under a great canopy at the head of his retinue, all decked out as sumptuously as possible. But the Patriarch is told he must kiss the Pope's foot. He says he will not dream of doing any such thing; if the Pope is older than he is he will treat him as a father, if the same age as a brother, if younger as a son. The Pope then agrees to kiss the Patriarch's cheek. So that trouble passed over. Although the motive that brought the Byzantines to Ferrara was really only a political one, there were on both sides men who hoped for reunion for its own sake and for religious reasons. The Pope doubtless was pleased at the idea of the triumph over the Basler schismatics that this union would bring him, but he was also a really good man, and he made very great sacrifices both of his dignity and his money for the sake of healing the lamentable breach that divided Christendom. It is also to his everlasting credit that he alone of the Western princes afterwards kept his word and really did send help against the Turk. In the Emperor's train were two bishops who also deserve to be remembered with honour by every one who cares for the cause of union between the Churches, Isidore, Metropolitan of Kiev, and Bessarion, Metropolitan of Nicæa. Both were eager for the union, and both worked hard all the time to overcome the barriers. Bessarion was one of the greatest men of his age. Afterwards he became a great leader of the Renaissance, and he is famous as a scholar and patron of letters, while we remember him, too, as always a staunch and loyal friend to the Holy See from the Eastern Church. But among the Byzantine bishops was also Mark Eugenikos, Metropolitan of Ephesus, as determined an enemy of any compromise with the Latin heretics as Isidore and Bessarion were friends of reunion. The council had already been opened on January 8, 1438, at Ferrara, the Byzantines arrive on February 28th. It sat at Ferrara for nearly a year (sixteen sessions); then in January, 1439, the Pope proposed that it should move to Florence because the pest had broken out at Ferrara. An even weightier reason seems to have been that his finances were running out (all the time he was royally entertaining the Emperor and his seven hundred followers), and that the city of Florence had offered to lend large sums of money if the council came there. The idea that he wanted to get the Greeks further away from the sea-board and therefore more entirely in his own power (afterwards suggested by some of them[13]) is quite absurd. In any case they could not get away until he lent them his ships again. The council now stayed at Florence till the Byzantines went back home in August, 1439.[14] There were at first endless disputes as to how the Fathers should sit, what rank each was to have, and so on. The Emperor very nearly left the council because the ambassador of the Duke of Burgundy would not do him homage. The Greeks were always turning sulky and saying that they would go back home if they were not treated properly. Although it was the Easterns who had everything to gain by the union and who had really come to be saved from utter disaster, the ridiculous pride that never forsook Byzantines made them insist on the most exaggerated deference. All through the Latins showed much more zeal for the union than they did, and the Latins humoured their pride generously. It was agreed that the Latins should sit all down the Gospel side of the church with the Pope at their head, and the Byzantines down the Epistle side under the Emperor (that is what they wanted!); after the Emperor sat the Patriarch. Only in one point the Greeks could not have their way: the Patriarch's throne had to be three steps lower than the Pope's. While the long months dragged on in this strange land the Greeks got very homesick; they understood nothing of the rites they saw around them, they complained that when they went into a Latin church they could make nothing of the ikons, there was not a single Saint they even knew by sight, the crucifixes were solid statues, all they could do was to chalk up two lines on a wall cross-wise and say their prayers before that.[15] Indeed by this time the liturgy of either side had become a deep and suspicious mystery to the other. Towards the end of the council the Pope was to assist in state at the Byzantine Liturgy. Then he said that he was not sure what they did and that he would like to see it all done in private first before he committed himself to a public assistance. Naturally they were very indignant. On this occasion the Emperor let fall the astonishing remark that they had come all this way to reform the Latin Church. The Greeks could not bear our plainsong, but they had the comfort of being able to wear far more gorgeous vestments. The old Patriarch Joseph never went back to his own country. He died while the council was going on (June 10, 1439), having first written down his acceptance of the union and his acknowledgement of the Roman Primacy. So he was buried with great honour at Florence in St. Maria Novella. There he still lies, far away from his city, among the Latins whose ways he could not understand, and a set of Latin verses over his tomb still tells the traveller of the strange chance that brought "Joseph, the great prelate of the Eastern Church," to be buried here. Meanwhile, the real business of the council was this. First ten Fathers from either side were elected to examine the differences between the Churches. On the Byzantine side the chief members of this commission were Isidore of Kiev and Bessarion, both conciliatory, and Mark of Ephesus, steadily opposed to us. The chief Latins were Cardinal Julian Cesarini, Andrew Archbishop of Rhodes, and John of Montenegro, who on one occasion made a speech that lasted two whole days. The differences were: the Filioque, Azyme bread at Mass, Purgatory, the Epiklesis, the Primacy. They soon agreed about Purgatory when they were told that material fire is not part of the faith of the Latin Church. They gave in altogether about the Epiklesis[16] and admitted that Consecration takes place at the words of Institution. As for Azymes, the Turkish armies at their very gates had at last made them see reason; they admitted that both leavened and unleavened bread are equally valid and lawful. Naturally the longest discussions were about the Filioque and the Primacy.

In the Filioque dispute Mark of Ephesus got into trouble for misquoting St. Basil. At last the Greeks agreed to admit the formula of their own Fathers, and both sides united in the confession that the Holy Ghost proceeds from one principle and that the truth is rightly expressed by the Latins who say "from the Father and the Son" as well as by the Greeks in their form "from the Father through (διὰ) the Son."[17] The Easterns were not asked to add anything to their Creed—a position, by the way, that the tolerance of the Holy See has always accepted. Concerning the Primacy they admitted this formula: "The Pope is the Sovereign Pontiff, the Vicar of Christ, Shepherd and Teacher of all Christians, to guide and rule the whole Church of God, though without prejudice to the rights and privileges of the other Patriarchs."

So on July 6, 1439, the decree of the council was published, beginning "Let the heavens rejoice and the earth be glad," containing the articles as agreed to by both sides and solemnly proclaiming the restored union.[18] It was signed by Pope Eugene IV, eight cardinals, four Latin patriarchs, sixty-one archbishops and bishops, forty abbots and four generals of religious orders on the Latin side, and by the Emperor John VIII, the Vicegerent of Constantinople (the see being vacant), the legates of the three other patriarchs, sixteen metropolitans, four deacons, and various laymen. Only Mark of Ephesus would not sign. On August 26th the Byzantines went back home on the Pope's ships. After they had gone the council went on sitting, chiefly to complete its work by reuniting the other Eastern Churches. The Armenians had already long opened negotiations with the Roman Church. John XXII (1316–1334) had founded a mission of Dominicans in Armenia and had already brought about a union. Now the Armenian Katholikos sent four legates to Florence to renew and strengthen this union. They did not arrive till the Byzantines had gone. In November the decree of this union was published. The Armenians renounced Monophysism, accepted the Council of Chalcedon and the Filioque. At the same time Eugene IV published his Instruction for the Armenians about the Sacraments, which has become famous because of its teaching concerning Holy Orders.[19] The Copts and Abyssinians also sent a legate, the Coptic Patriarch of Alexandria sent a certain John, who was Abbot of the monastery of St. Anthony. This Abbot John was also authorized by the King of Abyssinia to act as his ambassador. There was then a rivalry and schism going on among the Syrian Jacobites, who had set up two rival patriarchates since 1293. The Eastern rival, who ruled over all the Jacobites living between the Tigris and the Euphrates, and the Metropolitan of Edessa sent legates to Rome, for in 1444 Eugene had once more moved the council, that still went on sitting, to Rome. All the Maronites who had not already been converted at the time of the Crusades now came in too, but only one Nestorian bishop (Timothy of Tarsus) with a few people. Of course all these heretics gave up their errors, accepted the Councils of Ephesus and Chalcedon and acknowledged the Roman Primacy.[20] We count the Council of Florence as the seventeenth œcumenical synod. It is difficult to see from what point of view its œcumenical character could be denied. It was held in the presence of the Pope, the Patriarch of Constantinople, and the legates of the Patriarchs of Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem. There were many more Easterns present than there had been Latins at any of the early synods that we all agree in calling œcumenical. Even if one were to take up the shamelessly Erastian position that the Emperor's presence and consent are necessary, Florence had both. Indeed, as a last possibility, if one were to require the presence of such old schismatical bodies as the Monophysites and Nestorians (a position which the Orthodox would of course abhor, and which would involve the denial of all councils except the first two), the heads of the Armenian, Coptic, and Abyssinian Churches were represented, and there were at least some Jacobites and Nestorians present. So that except, perhaps, Nicæa in 325 no council has ever had such a clear right to be considered œcumenical. This is, perhaps, the reason why the Orthodox who now reject its decrees quite specially hate it.[21] But the union of Florence was destined to come to as bad an end as that of Lyons two centuries before. On the Byzantine side it had been from the beginning a political move of the Government which the people had never wanted. As soon as the Emperor and his followers came home again to Constantinople they found every one in an uproar against them. They had betrayed the Orthodox faith, they had all become Azymites, Creed-tamperers, cheese-eaters, dogs, heretics, hypocrites and Latins. Mark of Ephesus was the hero of the hour. But the Emperor kept to what he had done. The successor of old Joseph II (who had died at Florence) was Metrophanes II (1440–1443), also a friend of the union, and when he gave his blessing in public the people turned away their faces not to be defiled by a Latinizer's prayer. But the Pope's name was restored to the diptychs, and officially the Byzantine Church was in communion with Rome. John VIII died in that communion, and his brother, the last Emperor Constantine XII (1448–1453), was also determined to uphold it. On the very eve of the fall of the city—on December 12, 1452—he held a great feast of the union; and when the hero-Emperor fell before the walls of his city he, too, died a Catholic. But the help from the Franks did not come. Eugene IV did everything he could to send it; he unceasingly wrote to the Western princes, imploring them to prevent the awful calamity that was at hand; but they would not listen. At least the Pope did what he himself could; he sent two galleys and three hundred soldiers, but of course so small a number could not make much difference.

It was not till after the fall of Constantinople that the union was formally repudiated by the Byzantine Church. Mohammed the Conqueror naturally did not want the Christians over whom he ruled to be friends with the great Western Powers, so the cause of "Orthodoxy" found a new champion in the Turkish conqueror, of all people.[22] As soon as he had taken the city he sent for the leader of the schismatical party, George Scholarios (who seems to have been a layman), and had him made Patriarch (p. 241). Scholarios became Gennadios II (1453–1456). But it was not till 1472 that a synod at Constantinople solemnly rejected the union and anathematized the Council of Florence and all who accepted its decrees. During the thirty-three years then, between 1439 and 1472, the Byzantine Church was, at any rate officially, in communion with the Holy See. But the people of the city, now as wildly fanatical and intolerant as the last remnant of a lost cause always is (witness the Jews of Jerusalem during the siege), had said: Rather the Sultan's turban than the Pope's tiara; and they have had their wish.

4. Cardinal Bessarion.

The two metropolitans who had most favoured the union ended by coming over to live in the West. Eugene IV made both cardinals. Isidore of Kiev when he got back to Russia was promptly put in gaol for his share in the union. He escaped in 1443, came to Rome, and, as Cardinal Isidore, was Legate to Constantinople and leader of the little band of soldiers whom the Pope sent to help the Emperor. He was called the Cardinalis Ruthenus. The Cardinalis Nicenus was Bessarion. He at last despaired of his own people, and came to settle at Rome.[23] Here he became one of the leaders of the Renaissance movement. A scholar equally versed in Greek and Latin, he was one of the first men who introduced to the Western world the forgotten Greek classics. He was an enthusiastic Platonist, and by his writings greatly helped on the study of Plato, that, with the reaction against Aristotle (who had reigned unquestioned "master of them that know" in the middle ages), was one of the chief notes of the Renaissance. He was always a generous and splendid patron to the poor Greek scholars who had fled from Constantinople; a lavish collector of Greek manuscripts[24] that he then edited or translated. He held in his palace an Academy of Italian and Greek Humanists, and although he had left his own country he never forgot his patriotism, and lavishly helped every enterprise against its enemies. The Popes continually used him as Legate,[25] and charged him with the reform of the Greek monasteries in Southern Italy. He was a warm friend to Grottaferrata, the chief of these monasteries.[26] As a scholar, philosopher, and Mæcenas, he redeemed the honour of the Greek name throughout Europe; certainly no one in his age was more worthy of the sacred purple. After having very nearly become Pope[27] he died in 1472. It was doubtless not only the religious motive[28] that led the great Humanist to despair of the wild fanaticism, hopeless narrowness and unbearable pride of his own countrymen, and to turn away from the ugly clouds that gathered around the dying Empire to take his part in the movement that was rising like a wonderful dawn all over the broad lands of the West. And we, who know what we owe to the light of the Renaissance and who are grateful to the men who brought it, have to remember together with the Humanist Popes, with More, Erasmus and the others, also the Nicene Cardinal, Bessarion.

Summary.

Since the schism there have been three councils in which Eastern and Western bishops met to discuss their differences. At Bari, in 1098, Pope Urban II summoned some Greeks, apparently Calabrians or Sicilians, and argued with them about the Filioque. St. Anselm of Canterbury defended the Catholic belief; otherwise this synod is not at all important and we know little about it. Two general councils brought about a reunion, each for a short time. The Eastern Emperor, Michael VIII, sent ambassadors to the Second Council of Lyons, held in 1274 by Pope Gregory X. They accepted the faith of the Roman Church in every point at once, in the hope of getting help from the Western princes against the Turk. But when they got back home and found that no help came the union was soon rejected by the Byzantine Church. The story of the Council of Florence in 1439 is an almost exact repetition of the same thing. Sore beset by the Turks, despairing of help save from the Franks, the last Emperor but one, John VII, came to the council with a great following, to make peace with Pope Eugene IV. Again the Eastern bishops (except one, Mark of Ephesus) agree with the Latins, and the reunion is proclaimed. But it was very unpopular at Constantinople; it lingered on, at any rate in form, for one generation, and was finally repudiated after the fall of the city by a Synod of Constantinople in 1472. Other Eastern Churches, either wholly or in part, the Armenians, Copts, Abyssinians, Maronites, some Jacobites, one Nestorian bishop, were also reunited to the Catholic Church at Florence. The Uniate Churches date from this council. Cardinal Bessarion, who had been the chief promoter of the union among the Easterns, eventually came to live at Rome, and was one of the greatest of the Renaissance scholars.
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Offer your Life to Jesus and Mary: TEXT OF THE LIFE OFFERING, adapted: Dear Lord Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with Your most Precious Blood and Your Sacrifice on Calvary, We hereby Offer our whole Lives to the Intention of Your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Together with our life, we place at Your disposal all Holy Masses, all our Holy Communions, all Rosaries, all acts of consecration, all our good deeds, all our sacrifices, and the suffering of our entire life for the Adoration and Supplication of the Holy Trinity, for Unity in our Holy Mother Church, for the Holy Father, Pope Francis the First; and for His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. For His Eminence Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, His Excellency Metropolitan Hilarion, as well as His Eminence Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, that they may re-unite their flocks with the Roman Catholic Church, and there may soon be but One Fold and One Shepherd. For all the 220+ Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, for all 6000+ Bishops of the Universal Church that they may be true Apostles and Shepherds; and for the 400,000+ Priests, the 700,000+ Nuns, 50,000+ Monks, 100,000+ seminarians, that they may all become the Saints the Divine Will wishes them to be; for all the 1.35 Billion Members of the Church, the Millions of Catholic Catechumens and Children to be born and baptized in this Decade; we pray for good Priestly and Religious Vocations, for All Lay Apostolates, and All Souls until the end of the world. O my Jesus, please accept our life Sacrifice and our offerings and give us Your grace that we may all persevere obediently until death. Amen." https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

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CHAPTER VIII

UNDER THE TURK

1. The Fall of Constantinople, May 29, 1453.

In Chapter VI we left the Eastern Roman Empire, after the Council of Florence, on the eve of destruction. The story of that calamity, the great turning-point of the history of the Orthodox Church, and one of the chief turning-points of European history, is too well known to need a long description here. The Emperor John VIII was succeeded by his brother Constantine XII (Palaiologos, 1448–1453). This most heroic prince, although now without any hope of success, was faithful to his trust to the last. The Turkish Sultan, Mohammed II (the Conqueror, 1451–1481) had now seized everything up to the very walls of Constantinople. Constantine tried desperately to get help from the West, and Pope Nicholas V (1447–1455) too did all he could to persuade his Latins to save the city. To their eternal shame no one of them would move. They did not believe that the city would really fall; it had so often come out of the direst straits before; and they really cared very little for the last poor remnant of the old Empire. The days of the Crusades had gone long ago. They reaped their desert afterwards when the Turk poured across Servia, Bosnia, Hungary, and came thundering to the very gates of Vienna.[1]

But there were two honourable exceptions to this selfish policy. We have seen that Pope Eugene IV had sent all the help he could, two ships and three hundred men (p. 217).

The little Republic of Genoa had constant relations with Constantinople in her trade and, unlike Venice, her policy was always a friendly one to the Empire. Just across the Golden Horn, at Galata, was a colony of Genoese merchants,[2] so for their sakes too the Republic had an interest in the defence of Constantinople. Genoa then alone, besides the Holy See, sent help—a fleet of five ships and seven hundred men, under the valiant sea-captain John Giustiniani. This little fleet arrives at the gate of the Golden Horn on April 21, 1453, and finds it blockaded by 150 Ottoman galleys. With his five ships Giustiniani fights his way through them and sails into Constantinople, bringing a force that was not strong enough to save the city, but that, at any rate, could share the glory of the heroic defence, and leave to the "proud" Republic a memory of which it really had a right to be proud. Constantine XII had also tried everything to make terms with the enemy. Knowing that resistance was now quite hopeless, he sent to Mohammed to offer him any sum of money, if only he would be content with what he had already conquered and would spare the city. But Mohammed would not hear of this. To the Moslems the most glorious day of their history was approaching; ever since the time of the original Mohammed, the Prophet of God, the dream of every True Believer had been that some day they would conquer "Rum," that is New Rome, and set up the throne of the Khalifah on the ruins of the Christian Empire. But Mohammed II was quite ready to be kind to the Emperor, to give him a palace and a pension if he would give up the city quietly. But Constantine could not do that. As long as he lived the Roman Emperor must defend the Roman world, even if that world were shut up within the walls of one city. So he answers Mohammed in words that at the end of this long Byzantine period at last are really worthy of the Roman Cæsar: "Since neither oaths, nor treaties, nor any offer can bring us peace," he says, "go on then with the war. I trust in God; if he will soften your heart, I shall indeed rejoice, if he lets you take my city, I shall submit to his will. But until the Judge of all men settles this quarrel I must live and die defending my people." And now after a thousand years of defence against so many different enemies, New Rome is about to fall in a blaze of heroic glory that makes one forget all the ugly pages of her long history. The Romans had drawn a chain across the Golden Horn to prevent the barbarian fleet from attacking their walls. Early in May, they awoke one morning to find that fleet riding at anchor right up by the city. Mohammed had carried out the almost impossible plan of laying down greased planks round by land and of dragging his ships one by one over them. He had made the most elaborate arrangements to win at last what would be the crowning victory of his faith. A Magyar renegade made him a monstrous bronze cannon that could throw gigantic stones against the walls of the city. Seven hundred men were told off to serve this engine. Happily, when it was fired it blew up (after they had spent two hours loading it), made an appalling noise, scattered death around the Turkish camp, and judiciously selected the apostate who had made it for its first victim. The siege lasted from April 6 to May 29; 258,000 Turks fought against less than five thousand Romans.[3] After they had broken down part of the wall, Mohammed ordered a general assault for Tuesday, May 29th. He had again offered Constantine liberty, riches, and the whole Peloponnesus for a princedom; and Constantine had again refused. The Emperor had done everything that could be done, with the courage of despair. He had throughout the siege never ceased encouraging his soldiers, inspecting the defence of the walls, taking his share in every part of the work. When the morning of that most disastrous of days dawned he went to the Hagia Sophia, heard the Liturgy and received Holy Communion. It was the last Christian service held in the great cathedral, and we shall remember, too, that he received that last Sacrament in communion with the Holy See and with the Catholic Church. Then he made that speech to his men that Gibbon calls the funeral oration of the Roman Empire, and rode out to die. He stood, surrounded by his guard, near the Gate of St. Romanos, defending while he lived the city he could no longer save. Fighting valiantly with his back to the wall, he fell in the tumult of the assault, as the last heir of the Roman name should fall, fighting for Christ and Rome and adorning the Imperial purple with the glory of his heroic blood.[4] Constantine Cæsar Augustus Palaiologos was the 80th Roman Emperor since Constantine the Great, the 112th since Cæsar Octavian. With him the old Empire died.

The barbarians burst into the city, carrying death and havoc, and the day that had begun with the chant of that last sad liturgy ended with the shrieks of a hideous massacre. Then Mohammed the Conqueror rode his white horse up the Hippodrome, and gradually the news spread throughout the distant lands of the Franks that at last the impossible had happened, that Constantinople had fallen; facta est quasi vidua domina gentium.[5]

2. The Rayahs.

It is important to understand the position of the Orthodox Christians under their Turkish masters since they have been a conquered people. It is really only one special case of the treatment of any non- Mohammedan Theists under Moslem law. The fundamental idea of that law is, first of all, that Moslems should by right rule over the whole world. The Koran says: "The earth is God's and he gives it to whom he will of his servants" (S. vii. 125); and this is understood to mean that God is the supreme Lord of all men, and that he gives his servants, the True Believers, Moslems, right over all. They have never distinguished religion and politics. It is a distinction they still cannot understand. All law and right comes from God and his Prophet; and it makes no difference whether that law concern the hours of prayer or the payment of taxes. The Koran is both Bible and Code of Civil Law. The visible head of the Moslem world is the Khalifah, the Vicar of Mohammed; all authority comes from him, he can command anything, as long as he does so conformably with the Koran, and he is head of both Church and State, or rather Church and State are the same thing. Since then, like all great religions, they want to convert every one to the faith that they believe to be the only true one, they also want their Khalifah to rule temporally over all men as well. In theory, at any rate, you cannot be a real orthodox True Believer unless you obey the Khalifah in all things; he is both Pope and Emperor, and as the whole world accepts Islam, so will all independent kings and princes be replaced by his Emirs.[6] That is the ideal. As a matter of fact they have not yet conquered the whole world. So the great division of all is between the House of Peace (Dar al-Islām), where Islam reigns, and the House of War (Dar al-Harb), that is, all parts not yet converted and submitted to the Khalifah. It will be understood, then, that they never want a pretext for making war on unbelievers. It is the right and the duty of all Moslems to convert (if necessary by force) all the House of War, to join it to the House of Peace in the obedience of the Khalifah. Such a process is one of the very first religious duties[7]—the Holy War (Jihad), from which they are only excused when it is for a time impossible. Whereas, then, both Christians and Moslems wish to convert all unbelievers to their own faith. Christians can do so without changing the civil organization of any State, and the new converted Christians can and should go on fulfilling the same civil duties to a heathen Government as their heathen fellow-citizens. But the Mohammedan theory makes this impossible, and conversion to them involves political submission to their Khalifah—to convert is to conquer. When they have conquered a country they distinguish between the two kinds of unbelievers they may find there. First there may be Kuffār (Kafirs), that is idolaters or worshippers of false gods. They are to have no mercy. Either they accept Islam or they are killed. Secondly, Moslems may find in the conquered land people who worship the true God, though not in the right way. These people are the Ahl al-Kitāb (Kitabis)—"People of the Book." Namely, God has given to men three successive revelations, each true and right while it lasted, though the two earlier ones have already been, and the present one will some day be, supplanted by a succeeding and more perfect one. Each of these revelations or religions has a book inspired by God. They are: The revelation of Moses, of which the book is the Old Testament, that of ‘Isa the son of Mariam (by which they mean our Lord), whose book is the New Testament, and that of Mohammed with his Koran. Some day the Mahdi will come and supplant Islam too.[8] Meanwhile it is the last and at present the true revelation. The People of the Book then are those who still follow one of the older revelations given before Islam, that is Jews and Christians, each of whom have a book to show for their belief.[9] And these Kitabis are not to be persecuted. "Fight those who do not believe in God and in the day of judgement (the Kafirs) … and those who have received the book shall pay you a poll-tax and be subject to you " (Sura ix. 29). The Kitabis were originally called Dhimmis ("protected ones") by the Arabs; the Turks call them Rayahs (Ra‘iyyah, Flock). They have to pay a poll-tax and a land-tax, they may not serve in the army. To convert a Moslem to their faith or seduce a Moslem woman, to speak openly against Islam, to make any treaty or alliance with people outside the Moslem Empire, is punished with death. The Rayahs must also dress differently from Moslems, may not have as high houses as their masters, nor expose any sign of their faith (crosses) outside their churches, nor ring church bells, nor bear arms, nor ride a saddled horse. A Rayah's evidence cannot be accepted in a court of law against a Moslem. If they obey these laws they are not to be in any way annoyed or molested; they may keep all their other customs and social arrangements, and are quite free with regard to their religion.[10] Of course any Rayah may always accept Islam and thus enter the governing race; if he does so it is death to go back. These, then, were the conditions imposed upon all Christians and Jews by the Turks.[11] The only point added by them was what was certainly the worst of all—the tribute of children. A certain number of the strongest and healthiest Christian children of six or seven years old were taken away every year to supply the Sultan's Janissary (yeni cheri = new troop) guard. They were, of course, brought up as Moslems, knowing neither father nor mother nor country, having no attachment to, anything or any one except to their barracks and the Sultan. So they formed a tremendous engine in the hands of the Government, and the Christians, whose lands were harried and whose homes were burnt by the Janissaries, had the additional horror of knowing that these persecutors were really their own children. The Janissary corps lasted till 1826. It was only then, after they, knowing their own strength, had become too utterly unruly, that Sultan Mahmud II (1808–1839) at the risk of his own life abolished them.[12] This most cruel piece of tyranny was not part of the law of Islam, but a special and private abomination of the Turk.

With this exception, however, the fate of the Rayahs was not the worst possible. What they had to complain of was, first, that they always remained a separate subject-people under a race of foreign conquerors and masters; and, secondly, that they were at the mercy of tyrants, who at any time could, and who continually did, overstep their own law. The root of the whole evil was that Christian and Moslem never could, never can mix into one people. There have been other conquests as cruel and as unjust as the Turkish conquest of the Empire, and yet in other cases after a century or two the races have mixed and no one either knows or cares any longer whether he belongs by blood to the original conquerors or conquered. This can never happen where Moslems rule over Christians. No one now asks whether an Englishman be Briton or real Englishman or Norman, whether an Italian be Roman or Goth or Lombard; but the Turk and the Rayah belong to two different nations to-day as much as in 1453. The difference of religion in this case makes a barrier that nothing can break down. Religion to the Moslem is the only thing that matters at all. Islam is the perfect example of a theocratic democracy, governed of course, like most democracies, by an irresponsible tyrant. Neither race nor language nor colour makes any difference.[13] All True Believers are equal and any one of them may rise to any position: the world of the Arabian Nights, in which barbers become Great Wazirs and pastry-cooks marry Sultans' daughters really exists (or did exist until the invasion of Western manners quite in our own time) round the Bosphorus. All Islam are brothers. But, on the other hand, people who are not True Believers are utterly shut out from the world in which Moslems live. They remain another nation, may be tolerated, and may exist side by side with their own laws, but they are always as remote from the governing class as another species. And to be a subject-nation governed by a foreign race is a position with which no civilized people can be finally satisfied. So there have been endless revolts among the Rayahs, and after a revolt the Turk has no mercy. That is why, in spite of the tolerance of Moslem law, the history of the Ottoman Empire in Europe has been one long, monotonous story of the shedding of Christian blood. The Rayahs have always been in revolt, and the Turks have always been massacring. It began when they slew steadily through the whole day as soon as they had entered Constantinople in 1453; it is going on to-day all over Macedonia. And there has been no change in between.

But even when they do not revolt the Rayahs have no certainty that the Turk will keep his own law. Selim I (1512–1520) in a fit of religious enthusiasm suddenly ordered all churches to be turned into mosques and all Rayahs to become True Believers under pain of death (1520). With infinite difficulty the Patriarch Jeremias I persuaded him to obey the command of his own Prophet. Murad III (1574–1595) and Mohammed III (1595–1603) both nearly carried out the same plan. In Crete in 1670, fifteen thousand Christian children were taken from their homes, circumcised and brought up as Moslems. Throughout Asia Minor, where the Turk has always been very anxious to Ottomanize the whole population, the punishment for speaking Greek was to have one's tongue torn out. Of course thousands of Rayahs did apostatize; and in the purely artificial medley of races who, joined by the profession of Islam, make up the Turkish people there is a great proportion of Greek and Slav (that is originally Christian) blood. On the other hand, it is the eternal glory of the Orthodox people that as a people it has remained faithful. This is the most wonderful fact of the history of the Eastern Churches. These Rayahs, cut off from the West by the schism, forgotten by civilized Europe, ignorant and miserable, a servile race, paying for their faith by taxes, disabilities, degrading humiliations, and the sacrifice of their own children, always exposed to the violence of their masters, having every possible advantage to gain by turning Turk, yet kept their faith throughout those centuries of oppression. And what they suffered, how many thousands of them shed their blood for the name of Christ during those long dark ages, God only knows. But we, who have never had to sit under the shadow of the Sultan's blood-stained throne, if we remember the ugly story of their fathers' schism must also remember how valiantly the Eastern Christians have stood for Christ ever since, and how in the days of her trial the Byzantine Church, once so foolish and obstinate, has sent that long procession of her children to join the white-robed army of martyrs.

3. The Porte and the Christian Churches.

As soon as the Turks settled down after their conquest they began to organize the subject-peoples. They classified them naturally according to their religions. Our idea that there is one law for all and that a man's religion, as far as the State is concerned, is his own private affair only is one that the Turk has never understood. Moslems are the dominant race directly under the Sublime Porte.[14] And the Rayahs, too, must be organized according to their various "nations." By millet (nation) the Turk means simply religion. This use of this word alone shows their whole attitude. The subject-nations then were (and are): first, and by far the largest, the Roman nation (rum millet). And the Roman nation (strange survival of the name of the dead Empire) is nothing else than the Orthodox Church, under the Patriarch of Constantinople. Every Orthodox Rayah in Turkey, no m.atter of what descent, belongs to the Roman nation. Next in size come the Armenian nation (ermeni millet), who are the Monophysite (Gregorian) Armenians and the Armenian Catholic nation (ermeni katulik millet), that is the Uniates. The other Monophysites (Jacobites, Copts, and a few Abyssinians) are represented by the Armenian Monophysite Patriarch of Constantinople, all other Uniates (katulik) by the Armenian Catholic Patriarch. Then comes the Jewish nation (yahudi millet), nearly all Sephardim from Spain,[15] and lastly the Latin nation (latin millet). Catholics of the Latin rite.[16] The few native Protestants (mostly converted Armenians and a very few Syrians) are not a millet. The Porte will not allow them to be one, and they form a small irregular organization under the Minister of Police.[17] In this way, then, all the Rayahs were classified and arranged in groups. Since each "nation" is a religious body, it is natural that, when the Porte looked for responsible heads and representatives of the nations under it, it should have fixed on their ecclesiastical superiors. This quite agrees with the view of the Moslems, who always confuse civil and spiritual authority; and indeed there was no one else to choose. So the Œcumenical Patriarch became the recognized civil head of the Roman nation.

4. The Porte and the Œcumenical Patriarch.

It is strange that the last step in the advancement of the Patriarch of Constantinople should be due to the Turkish conquest. He now takes something like the place the Emperor would have taken, if Constantine had not preferred a glorious death to the shame of being a tributary prince under the Sultan. And so the Patriarch reached the highest point of his career. When we first met him he was not a patriarch at all, nor even a metropolitan, but only a local bishop under Thrace. Now he has an enormous patriarchate covering all Russia, Turkey in Europe, and Asia Minor; in ecclesiastical affairs he has precedence and something very like jurisdiction over the other Eastern patriarchs, and in civil affairs he has authority over them and all Orthodox Christians.[18] Only he must humble himself before the Sultan, and to make this degradation quite complete he is invested with the signs of his spiritual jurisdiction by the unbaptized tyrant who is his lord. The patriarchs, although they held so great a place over Christians, have always been made to feel that they are nothing before the Turk. They represent the enormous majority of subjects of the Porte in Europe, but they have never been given even the smallest place in the Diwan, that is, the Sultan's advising council. And the Sultans have deposed them, reappointed them, even killed them, just as they liked. On the whole, then, for a Christian bishop the place of a small diocesan ordinary, from which the Patriarchs of Constantinople rose, was more dignified than the servile grandeur they now enjoy. And, as we shall see, the last epoch of this history is the story of how they have lost their authority piece by piece, till at the present moment the Œcumenical Patriarchate is only a shadow of what it once was.

The See of Constantinople was vacant during the last troubled years of the falling Empire. Athanasius II had been elected in 1450 and had resigned at once. When the first storm of the conquest was over and the Turks at last rested from the massacre of May 29th, Mohammed II realized that, now that he had at last taken New Rome, he did not want to reign over deserted ruins. So he ordered the slaying of Christians to stop, and persuaded those who had fled and hidden themselves to come back. He promised them the usual conditions of Rayahs and set to work to organize his conquest. He seized the finest churches (this was directly forbidden by his own law); the Hagia Sophia was whitewashed all over, the names of the Prophet and the first Khalifahs were hung up on huge round boards over the old ikons, the altar and Ikonostasis were destroyed, and a Mihrab to show the direction of Mecca was fixed in the apse, the Church of the Holy Apostles (in which the Emperors since Constantine had been buried) was razed to the ground to make room for a mosque, and any other churches the conquerors wanted were seized too.

Mohammed, however, took care to have a new patriarch elected; he made the metropolitans choose George Scholarios, because he was a bitter enemy of the union. Scholarios became Gennadios II (1453–1456). When he was elected Mohammed sent for him and said: "Be patriarch, and may Heaven protect you. You may always count on my favour, and you shall enjoy all the rights of your predecessors," and then, copying the custom of the Emperors, he solemnly invested him with the signs of his office and gave him a diploma (berat) exactly defining his rights. All the patriarchs since have submitted to this same degrading ceremony, and have received, each one as soon as he is elected, the berat, that declares him an Imperial Ottoman functionary. Although the Sultan allowed the old form of election to go on, there was no pretence about the fact that it depended simply on his will; as he deposed patriarchs so did he appoint them. Very often after having been deposed for a time the same man was re-elected. This has happened as often as five times (pp. 265, 267); there seem to have been nearly always, as there are at this moment, three or four ex-patriarchs living at the same time. None of them reigned more than a year or two, and so the number of Patriarchs of Constantinople since 1453 is quite incredible. For instance, during the seventyfive years from 1625 to 1700 there were fifty patriarchs—an average of eighteen months each.

The last and worst result of the subjection of the Church to the Moslem tyrant was Simony. Each patriarch had to make the Sultan an enormous present of money in return for his appointment; to raise this money they then sold all benefices to their bishops and priests, and so the taint of Simony, the buying and selling of the things of God, has been for centuries one of the characteristic marks of the Orthodox Church. However, when he had bought his berat from the Sultan and had swallowed as best he could the shame of the investiture, the Patriarch became, as far as his fellow-Rayahs were concerned, a great lord. The spiritual rights given to him by the berat were: Full authority over all churches and convents, and in all questions of faith, discipline, or rites, the right to depose any unworthy bishop or other clerk in his patriarchate, the right to hand over to the Porte contumacious clerks for punishment. Most of these rights he uses only in union with his synod. As head of the Roman nation the Patriarch judged all questions of marriage law and all disputes between Orthodox Christians, in which both sides had agreed to sue at his court.[19] He could levy taxes from his nation for ecclesiastical purposes, and could keep a small number of gendarmes at his service.[20] Neither he nor any clerks paid any taxes to the Porte at all, and he was the official representative of the other Orthodox patriarchs at the Court. Until quite lately the Byzantine patriarchate was enormously rich. All property of bishops or other celibate clerks who died intestate came to it; also regular taxes from the clergy, the simoniacal purchase-money for all bishoprics and other benefices, heavy stole-fees, legacies, and the ordinary endowments of the See of Constantinople made up a very great income. On the other hand the disbursements, and especially the heavy bribe each patriarch had to pay to the Sultan for his appointment, and for the sake of which the Sultan took care to change the occupier of the see as often as possible, made a steadily growing debt. This debt, called the court-debt (τὰ αὐλικά), was met by an additional tax on the clergy; and so the Orthodox bishops and priests, who were free from taxes to the Porte, found that the payments they had to make to the Phanar left them on the whole in a worse case than laymen.

The patriarchate, having lost the cathedral of the Holy Wisdom, was first set up at the church of the Pammakaristos ("the All-blessed one," our Lady); Murad III (1574–1595) in 1586 turned this into a mosque, and the Patriarch moved to St. Demetrios's Church. In 1603 he moved again to St. George's Church, where he still remains. This church of St. George is the centre of the Greek quarter of Constantinople, the Phanar (so called from the old lighthouse), on the bank of the Golden Horn, behind the city. The Phanar has been ever since the centre of the Orthodox Church, and the name is used for its government, much as we speak of the Vatican. It has also been the centre of the Greek people under the Turk; the rich Phanariote merchants who live around the seat of the patriarchate have always been the leaders of their countrymen; they pride themselves on speaking the purest Greek, their strong national feeling has formed the nucleus of the hatred of Slav, Roumanian, and Bulgar, that is still the chief note of Greek policy, and even now that part of their people are independent, Greeks all over the world look, not to Athens and the Danish Protestant who reigns there, but to the Phanar as the centre, and to the Œcumenical Patriarch as the chief of their race.[21]

We shall come back to the Phanar and the organization of the patriarchate when we come to the state of the Orthodox Church to-day (p. 338). Meanwhile it is only fair to remember that much of the degradation of the patriarchal throne during the long dark ages of Turkish oppression was not the fault, but the very great misfortune of the Christians. And many of those patriarchs who had to serve the tyrant so basely stood out valiantly against him when it came to a point that no Christian possibly could concede. Gennadios's immediate successor, Isidore II (1456–1463), was murdered for refusing to allow a Christian woman to become the second wife of a Moslem. Maximos III (1476–1482) was mutilated for the same cause, and so there have been many confessors of the faith on the patriarchal throne down to the martyr-patriarch, Gregory V (p. 341).
Summary.

The great turning-point of history for the Orthodox Christians after the schism was the Turkish conquest of their lands that ended with the taking of Constantinople on May 29, 1453. The old Roman Empire then ended with the glorious death of the last Emperor, Constantine XII. The Christian subjects of the Porte, called Rayahs, were allowed to keep their religion and customs, and were tolerated as an inferior and subject race. But they continually tried to revolt, and were each time cruelly put down; even when they did not revolt the Turks often broke their own law and persecuted them. The Porte organized all the Rayahs in different nations, meaning thereby religions, and each nation was put under its ecclesiastical head in civil matters too. So the Œcumenical Patriarch became the civil head of his people, thus gaining even more authority. But he was degraded by having to be invested by the Sultan, and each patriarch was forced to pay a heavy bribe for his appointment; from this beginning Simony became a characteristic of every rank in the Church. The patriarchs were very rich, but the Sultan changed them continually for the sake of the bribes. During the centuries of Turkish tyranny the Rayahs kept their faith, and thousands of them suffered valiantly for Christ.
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Offer your Life to Jesus and Mary: TEXT OF THE LIFE OFFERING, adapted: Dear Lord Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with Your most Precious Blood and Your Sacrifice on Calvary, We hereby Offer our whole Lives to the Intention of Your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Together with our life, we place at Your disposal all Holy Masses, all our Holy Communions, all Rosaries, all acts of consecration, all our good deeds, all our sacrifices, and the suffering of our entire life for the Adoration and Supplication of the Holy Trinity, for Unity in our Holy Mother Church, for the Holy Father, Pope Francis the First; and for His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. For His Eminence Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, His Excellency Metropolitan Hilarion, as well as His Eminence Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, that they may re-unite their flocks with the Roman Catholic Church, and there may soon be but One Fold and One Shepherd. For all the 220+ Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, for all 6000+ Bishops of the Universal Church that they may be true Apostles and Shepherds; and for the 400,000+ Priests, the 700,000+ Nuns, 50,000+ Monks, 100,000+ seminarians, that they may all become the Saints the Divine Will wishes them to be; for all the 1.35 Billion Members of the Church, the Millions of Catholic Catechumens and Children to be born and baptized in this Decade; we pray for good Priestly and Religious Vocations, for All Lay Apostolates, and All Souls until the end of the world. O my Jesus, please accept our life Sacrifice and our offerings and give us Your grace that we may all persevere obediently until death. Amen." https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

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