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Attempt to Unite the East and West

For several centuries after the major schism that occurred  in 1054 between the eastern and western churches there were attempts for reunification of the church.  All attempts to unify the church failed for a variety of reasons, only a brief few will be given below.

The western church felt that it should have  control of all the churches under the leadership of the Pope in Rome.  The eastern church did not agree with the west as in the east all the bishops were equal to one and other, not one was greater than the other.

The east believed that the west had committed a heresy by adding to the Nicene creed that the Christian religion was based on.  The east felt that the addition must be removed.  The west argued that the addition to the creed was indirectly indicated in the bible.  However, to the east it was considered blasphemous as the Nicene creed had been left unchanged for many centuries.  The Nicene creed had been agreed upon by an Ecumenical council of bishops and had been declared infallible and unchangeable.  To the east the changing of the Nicene Creed was considered a heresy and therefore the west was not Christian but heretic.

Though there are many more reasons. The sacking of Constantinople by the western forces in the fourth Crusade became one of the largest obstacles to union.

The Byzantine Empire asked support from its' Christian brothers in the 13th century in a war against the Muslims, only to have its' capital sacked by the people it considered allies.  It is said that never has a civilization been raped as much as Byzantium was raped by the Christian west in Constantinople.  Thousands of stolen relics of the ancient city of Constantinople can currently be found in modern Europe.

It was on April 13th 1204 when en route to Constantinople the Fourth Crusaders committed what historian Sir Steven Runciman considered "The greatest crime in history."  The Christian sack of Constantinople. The Crusaders did not control their actions they raped, pillaged, burned, and looted what they did not destroy to enrich the cities of Europe.  The western cultural cities of Paris, Venice, Turin and others  at that time overflowed with the stolen relics of Constantinople, as they do till this day.  

After the city was sacked a new Latin empire was set up in the east, and  for almost a century  attempts were made to convert the people to the Latin rite.  The Orthodox populations resisted conversion and remained Orthodox, but what occurred to them could not forgotten.  Resentment exists in the east till this day as a result of the betrayal of the west, and the  failed attempt of the west to forcefully convert the east. 

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