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
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
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
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.