However, because of the Ottoman Turkish threat a further
attempt was made for a union. It was believed that all could be
forgotten if the west defended the east against the Turks.
A conference was set up in Florence in 1438 and lasted two
years. A union was almost assured accept for the resistance of St.
Mark of Ephesus. St. Mark felt that union could only occur if there
was a return to the faith set up by the Holy fathers of the church. He
deemed it more appropriate to live as slaves to the Turks then dishonor God
by abandoning the Orthodox religion. Out of the 17 bishops that
attended the conference he was the only one who voted against the
union. He was so well respected that when the Pope heard of his
rejection he replied "All that we have done is nothing."
As a result of St Marks resistance to a union that would not
preserve the Orthodox religion he was declared a saint, and is hailed as the atlas of Orthodoxy
being celebrated on the 19th of January.
It could be said that St. Mark preserved the Orthodox
religion through his rejection of a union that did not return to the roots
As a result of the resistance of the population to a union,
and the occupation of the east by the Ottoman Turks union would no longer be
discussed for many centuries.
Currently there is an Ecumenical movement with the aim
of uniting the Christian churches. Many bishops of the Orthodox church
do not wish to see a union that results in the end of Orthodoxy, among them
is the Patriarch of Jerusalem. They wish to see a union, but
resist union for the same reasons as St. Mark.