The following pages are an extension of lectures delivered in St. Margaret's, Lothbury; St. Mark's, Marylebone Road; and the Hospital Chapel, Ilford, at various times in 1914. In this present year of grace it is thought they may have a special interest.
R. W. BURNIE.
THE Christian Religion is, as a necessary result of its absolute truth, the religion of paradox. God must always be paradoxical to Man; the Infinite must be paradoxical to the finite.
It is one of the paradoxes of our religion that although the Church on earth is led into all truth by the Holy Spirit, yet she has in her a perverse and self-willed human element--a human element often made so mischievous by the astute misguidance of the Devil that (if it were possible) it would altogether wreck the Kingdom of God on earth. The Devil, who is ever the 'ape of God,' often imitates the very institutions which God has used or appointed for the welfare of His Kingdom, in such a way as to go nigh to destroy it.
It was by God's appointment that Alexander the Great was raised up to evanescent empire for the sole purpose of diffusing the Greek language--the language of the Gospel--through further Europe and nearer Asia. It was God Who selected for the Incarnation the time of the beginning of the Oecumenical Monarchical Empire of Rome. It was [1/2] by God's inspiration that the first Christian Emperor transferred the capital of that Empire to the New Rome of Constantinople--to a city Christian from its inception, where the language of the people was the language of the Gospel. So was secured for a thousand years a civilised Christian Roman Empire, which for more than half the time between Augustus and ourselves maintained a glorious, often victorious, struggle against horde after horde of barbarians and infidels. That Empire, after converting the great Slavonic race which, it may be, will have the honour of gaining in the end decisive triumph for Christendom, succumbed because of the growing up of the tares which, while men slept, the enemy had sown among the wheat. It is the growing up of these tares we trace in these pages. Tares are exactly like wheat till the ear appears; but they bear poison. It is an excellent thing to speak the most perfect of human tongues--the language of the Gospel. Yet, if a healthy pride in it is perverted to contempt of all written in the language of the first Caesars--save secular laws--there may be trouble in store for those willingly ignorant of the words of Ambrose, Augustine, Leo. Nothing can be seemingly more providential than the union of the God-permitted secular Oecumenical Empire with the God-given and God-vivified Oecumenical Church. Yet there lurk in such union the opposite dangers of Caesarean [2/3] usurpation in holy things--or of the Kingdom of Heaven being transformed into a kingdom of this world--of the Church becoming a State--to use the phrase of Maitland--with law courts and lawyers, and with policemen and prisons. The East largely fell into the first danger. In the later Middle Ages the West fell entirely into the second. Lastly, the foundation of the New Christian Rome is utilised by the Sower of the Tares to stir up never-ceasing strife between the Bishops of the Old Rome and the New.
From very early days, as the two crops grew together, there were signs of growing antagonism between East and West--an antagonism nearly always determined, in struggle after struggle, in favour of the East. The Oecumenical Church had become largely identified, in practice, with the Oecumenical Empire. In the fifth century the western part of that Empire was dying. The capture of Old Rome by the barbarians at the beginning of that century (although only temporary) had inflicted a mortal blow. When the Roman power in Italy was restored by Justinian and his generals in that great and magnificent sixth century, the Old Rome was no longer even a second capital: it was a conquest of the New Rome. The quite Byzantine Ravenna was the government centre in the West.
During the two centuries we have just summed up, the fourth Oecumenical Council (taking up and [3/4] extending an enactment of the second Oecumenical, wherein the West was entirely unrepresented) had decreed, A.D. 451, in its famous 28th Canon:
'For the Fathers rightly granted privileges to Old Rome, because it was the Imperial City. The one hundred and fifty most religious Bishops [sc. at the second Oecumenical at Constantinople], actuated by the same consideration, gave equal privileges to the most holy throne of New Rome, justly judging that the city which is honoured with the Sovereignty and the Senate, and enjoys equal privileges with the Old Imperial Rome, should, in ecclesiastical matters also, be magnified as she is and rank next after her.'
Six hundred Bishops made this decree. Leo I's legates were not present, and that great and sainted Pontiff energetically repudiated it. He disputed the right of Constantinople to rank with the old patriarchates, and affirmed that the privileges of Rome rested on the foundation of the See by the Prince of the Apostles. Constantinople, despite its shadowy claim to foundation by St. Andrew, was not an Apostolic See at all.
The real fact was that, from the earliest times, there had been cross-currents of opinion: one basing the importance of Sees on their Apostolic foundation, the other on the size of their See cities--that is, in effect, on their secular prominence. In the case of Rome, Alexandria, and Antioch, both [4/5] currents combined. Yet secular importance soon became the really decisive factor. Ephesus always retained a considerable position, but never quite reached patriarchal rank. In the latter part of the fourth century and the beginning of the fifth, Milan almost rivalled Rome itself--mainly because it was a favourite dwelling-place of western Emperors; although, doubtless, the great name of St. Ambrose helped.
So, despite of St. Leo's vehement protests, Constantinople in practice maintained its position.
It is true that an inclination on the part of Constantinople to tolerate heresy, rather than actual heresy on its own part, gave a temporary advantage to the Old Rome. The acceptance of the 'Formulary' of Pope Hormisdas by the Byzantine Patriarch terminated a schism of thirty-five years between the two great Sees, but was certainly a dangerous concession which the older Rome has not forgotten.
However, the conquests of Justinian prepared an overwhelming revenge for the Eastern Patriarchate. Pope St. Silverius was uncanonically deposed and exiled by Belisarius with even less ceremony than the Emperors in their worst days measured out to the Constantinople Patriarchs. Pope Vigilius is seized by soldiers and brought to Constantinople. He is induced to condemn the so-called 'Three Chapters': i.e. the person and writings of Theodore of Mopsuestia, the letter of Ibas, and certain writings [5/6] of Theodoret. In answer to this a western Council (of Carthage) excommunicates Vigilius. Even the Patriarchs of Alexandria and Jerusalem refuse to accept the view of their Roman brother; whereupon, substantially by Justinian, these two Patriarchs are deposed. The Emperor--'Caesar Augustus to the universal company of the Catholic and Apostolic Church'--summons the fifth Oecumenical Council. In the summons, which agrees with the subsequent decisions of the Council, the Emperor took the view already taken by Vigilius condemning the 'Three Chapters'; but he by no means rests himself on papal authority.
Thereupon Vigilius turned completely round, and in conjunction with the Bishop of Milan (then also sojourning at Constantinople) purported to depose the Bishop of Caesarea and to excommunicate the Patriarch of New Rome for not denouncing the Emperor. To escape Imperial vengeance, the Pope fled across the Straits to Chalcedon. A peace was thence patched up with the Patriarch, who died soon after. His successor wrote to Vigilius, 'his most holy and most blessed brother and colleague in the ministry,' urging the meeting of the new Council. The Pope agreed, and the Council met. Once more Vigilius turned round. He refused to attend the Council and to condemn the 'Three Chapters.' The Council struck his name from the list of those remembered at Mass and threatened [6/7] excommunication. The Emperor banished him to an island in the Sea of Marmora. After six months there, he made his final change by accepting the Council and condemning the 'Three Chapters.' On his way back to Rome he died. The West, despite the Pope, for some time refused to accept the fifth Oecumenical. The successor of Vigilius was forced into orthodoxy by Constantinople; but he carried neither Italy nor Gaul with him. As Duchesne says, 'the Church of Rome was humiliated.'
At the end of the sixth century the Lombard conquests from the Empire in Italy, and their dominance near Rome, once more gave greater independence to the Roman Bishop. The great personality of St. Gregory and the new West-grown monasticism of St. Benedict helped. The Pope began to take the place of vanished Western Emperors as the inheritor of the majesty of Old Rome. Constantinople, nevertheless, relaxed not an atom of her pretensions. The Patriarch, John the Faster, assumed the title of Oecumenical Patriarch. St. Gregory, as we know, was driven to fury. Yet it is noteworthy that he not merely appealed to the older Patriarchates of the further East against Constantinople, but placed the other Petrine Sees in joint tenancy and equality with his own. Thus he writes to the Patriarchs of Alexandria and Antioch:
 'Although there may be many Apostles, yet for the very princedom of the Apostolate that one See has prevailed in authority which is from one; although situate in three places. For that one exalted the See [Rome] in which he deigned to rest and make an end of this present life. He adorned the See [Alexandria] into which he sent his disciple, the Evangelist. He strengthened that See in which (although about to leave it) he sat for seven years [Antioch]. Thus the See is one, and of one, over which now, by Divine authority, three Bishops rule.'
This ingenuous (perhaps ingenious) appeal to Antioch and Alexandria had no success. It marks, however, a change in the whole position in the seventh, eighth, and ninth centuries. Constantinople was losing her recovered political power in the West. On the other hand, Old Rome had sunk from one of the great cities of the world to a moderate-sized town of, at most, 20,000 inhabitants, striving, as it were, to keep warm by the almost extinct fires of an all but vanished civilisation. The destruction of the great aqueducts by the barbarians had been the final blow. The loss of the baths entailed the loss of the ancient culture. In the great baths all the distinctive characteristics of the Greco-Roman world had centred. There had lingered the atmosphere of Antonine times. In this desolation the Pope was left alone. He was [8/9] not merely confessedly the first in precedence of Christian Bishops, save for some isolated claims even at that pre-eminence by occasional Patriarchs of New Rome; he succeeded also by mere force of circumstance to something of the glamour of the Caesars. We must not lose sight of the fact--which also dominated men's minds in the West--that he had the custody of the limina Apostolorum. To the new barbarian races of Britain, Gaul, Germany, Spain, North Italy, the 'Greek' Empire, as they called it, was becoming almost as strange as China is to us to-day--almost as strange and more remote. The union of Europe by the 'concord of the Augusti' had crumbled away. Means of intercommunication had largely disappeared, and the Eastern episcopate had, to the Westerns, faded out of sight.
Quite contrary was the Eastern point of view. We do not even yet, after a millennium, grasp this all-important fact. To the Orientals the West had simply lapsed for a time to barbarism. It was a region where for the moment scattered uncivilised tribes dwelt amid desolated cities. The new races were regarded much as Capetown might once have regarded imperfectly Christianised Zulus who had occupied the Transvaal. It was a state of things which could not last. Doubtless, in time, the West would be restored to the habitable world: the oecumene). For the Empire was still, during those centuries, vigorous as well as civilised. [9/10] Gibbon has conveyed to us quite a false notion of Byzantine weakness, which the last-century labours of Finlay, Pears, Bury, and many others, have corrected. The 'Byzantines'--the Romans, as they called themselves--were manfully warring against the ever-renewed hordes who were beginning to push back the Eastern frontiers. They were converting Bulgars, Slavs, and Russians to the Faith. Contemporaneously with the final schism, in the eleventh century, Russia was, once for all, finally brought into the fold of Orthodoxy. At the time of the practical beginning of the schism, in the ninth century, the East enormously outweighed the desolated West: not merely (as was the case nearly to the end of the Roman Empire of the East) in riches and culture, but in population.
I insist upon these things, because I am convinced that the origin of the schism was political and by no means theological, although theological protests there were. The only quite genuine theological dispute, that concerning the supremacy of the Old Roman See, originated in secular considerations.
It is true that the Catholic Church in the East had lost much by its resistance to heresy on purely theological grounds. After Chalcedon (451) the Orthodox in Egypt had always been in a minority. Two centuries later, in 641, the Monophysites [10/11] covered themselves with undying infamy by assisting the Arab infidels to wrench that glorious heritage from the Empire, an Empire hated because of its adherence to the Catholic Faith. They have had their reward. The millions of Coptic Christians have shrunk to at most some two hundred thousand. Syria, too, was largely lost to the Faith, and its heresy largely helped the infidel capture of Jerusalem in 637. The Nestorian dissentients from the earlier Council of Ephesus (431) found refuge outside the Empire and, for a time, flourished mightily. All these heresies have been judged by God. The only heretical body in the East which really continues to hold its ground is the Armenian. It may be that the Armenians reject Chalcedon under a mistake, and that they are not really Monophysites. So a recent Oecumenical Patriarch seems to have thought.
One theological dispute there was which long rent the East asunder and did afford an opportunity to the Western Apostolic See to pose as a champion of Orthodoxy, although the West generally gave little support to the Popes in this matter. This was the strange madness of the iconoclasts, which swept over the Orient from 724 to 787--so swept with Imperial support. Yet the seventh Oecumenical Council which condemned the image-breakers was summoned by the Empress Irene at the suggestion of the patriarch Tarasius. Tarasius [11/12] presided, although he gave the Roman Legates a place of honour. This Council once more anathematised Pope Honorius, condemned also (after his death) in the sixth Oecumenical a century before. The Pope of Old Rome adhered to the Council, but ventured a formal protest against the assumption of the title of 'Oecumenical Patriarch' by Tarasius.
However, Rome did not carry the West with her--at least, in Lombardy and beyond the Alps--in this her adherence to the seventh Oecumenical. At Frankfort, where they were misled by barbarous Latin mistranslation of the Greek Oecumenical decrees, they spoke contemptuously of 'the late synod of the Greeks.' The 'Greeks 'themselves fell away again under an iconoclastic Emperor in 832. Ten years later, however, the Empress Theodora restored veneration of images in the capital on the First Sunday in Lent--kept ever since as one of the great feasts of the Eastern Church,--'the Lord's Day of Orthodoxy.' Rome did not profit by the opportunity the Eastern madness had seemed to give her.
Incidentally, as it were, the Popes had severed the political union with the Eastern Empire. Adrian I had formed a close alliance with Charles the Great of Germany. Leo III, his successor, in 795 sent Charles the banner of Rome and the keys of St. Peter's tomb. Charles, on his part, protected [12/13] Leo in all ways, and procured a decision from a mixed court of nobles and prelates that the Pope was above all human judgment. In grateful return, Leo, suddenly, at High Mass of Christmas 800, crowned Charles as Augustus and Emperor. So began that phantasm, sometimes becoming very real, which men afterwards called the 'Holy Roman Empire'--of which it has been said quite truly that it was neither Holy, nor Roman, nor an Empire. For a very few years the iconoclastic Emperor, Nicephorus, brought himself to concede the Imperial title to him whom we call Charlemagne. In 825 Michael and Theophilus, 'Emperors of the Romans,' would only style the successor of Charlemagne 'their dear and honourable brother, the glorious King of Franks and Lombards, by them called Emperor.' Paul 'the Macedonian,' however, refused the Imperial title altogether to the new Western claimants, and Constantinople never afterwards yielded it to them.
In this ninth century, and in the heyday of the new Frankish Empire of the West, arose the 'forged decretals.' Very possibly, as is often now insisted, they were not forged in the direct interests of the Papacy. In any case, for seven centuries they became the title-deeds of the Papacy. The East, on the other hand, since 691, had had its own genuine code of canons--a code repudiated by the Roman Popes.
II. Photius and Afterwards: The Actual Schism
SUCH was the state of the world and of the Church when the long schism between East and West practically began, although for a time it was to be theoretically healed. Speaking humanly, the course of history had made it inevitable. A strong-willed and admirable Patriarch of Constantinople in conflict with an equally strong-willed and admirable Pope of Rome brought the long-prepared severance about. As might be expected, there was much to be said on both sides.
Photius (canonised in the East) became Patriarch of the New Rome in 857. Nicholas I, 'the Great' (canonised in the West), became Pope of the Old Rome in 858.
Photius had been a layman, of irreproachable life and marvellous learning. To him we owe some account of priceless books which have perished, probably for ever, in the Latin occupation of Constantinople. He was high in secular office--Secretary of State and Captain of the Guard. He was married to a sister of the Caesar Bardas who practically ruled the Augustus, Michael 'the Drunkard.'
No one can justify (although he may excuse) [14/15] the acquiescence of Photius in the manner in which he was raised to the Patriarchate. The holy Patriarch Ignatius had refused Communion to the Caesar, uncle of the Augustus, because of his incestuous union with his daughter-in-law. He had also refused to receive the dowager Empress into religion against her will as a punishment. Ignatius had enemies, too, among the clergy. An Imperial edict banished him to an island. A synod of Bishops was got together to declare him deposed as unworthy. This is at least the Ignatian account. We labour under the disadvantage of having lost the Photian story. The Ignatians destroyed it in their time of triumph. The same synod elected Photius Patriarch. In six days, after passing through the diaconate and priesthood, he was consecrated. There had been leading examples of such sudden elevations, beginning in the West with St. Ambrose at Milan.
Photius intimated his accession to the Pope. It does seem that in the composition of this customary intimation (always sent to all the Patriarchs) he was more deferential in the case of Rome than had been usual. The Emperor also wrote to the Pope. The nuncio who was entrusted with the letter bore costly presents. Nicholas thought things suspicious (one wonders if he remembered the familiar Virgilian tag--probably his learning hardly reached so far to paganism). He sent two Legates [15/16] to Constantinople to make an inquiry. An account had been received from Ignatius which seemed to show Photius an intruder.
The Legates are said by Roman writers to have been bribed in Constantinople. In any case, 318 Bishops came together in synod with the Legates and (after hearing seventy witnesses) affirmed the previous synod, condemned and deposed Ignatius, and approved Photius. Ignatius was sent to prison; but he escaped and sent a protest to Rome.
In 863 Nicholas held a synod at Rome, wherein the Legates were repudiated, the synods of Constantinople condemned, and Photius also. The Pope was stimulated to further action by the dispute which had arisen over the new Bulgarian Church. The Bulgarians had been converted by the Easterns and given an episcopate by Photius. For obvious reasons they did not desire ecclesiastical connection with their political enemies of the Empire. Nicholas obliged them by giving them a hierarchy of his own. In the end, as generally with Slavs, the East triumphed; but the dispute long continued and became one of the main immediate causes of the schism. Here, again, the origin was secular.
In 867 Photius issued an elaborate and learned letter to the Catholic Church, in the course of which he gave judgment of deposition against Nicholas. A palace revolution, however, struck down the [16/17] intrepid Patriarch for a time. The new Emperor, Basil 'the Macedonian,' deposed Photius and restored Ignatius. Basil was seeking reconciliation with Old Rome. In 869 he summoned a fresh Council at Constantinople. This Synod was attended once more by Roman Legates, and is called by Latins the eighth Oecumenical. It condemned Photius. The Bulgarian dispute, however, continued. On this point the Emperor refused to yield to the Western claims.
It is worth while to note the main points of Photius's encyclical letter of 867. It was profoundly anti-papal. The chief burden was the denial of the growing Roman pretensions; but the interpolation in the Creed of the Filioque was also denounced. This last topic was left entirely in the background at the time of the final schism, two centuries later. Great importance is ascribed to other Roman errors, which do not strike the modern Western mind as of equal moment. Such errors were: (1) Fasting on Saturdays other than Holy Saturday; (2) eating butter and cheese and drinking milk in the first days of Lent; (3) condemnation of married priests; (4) not acknowledging the validity of confirmation given by priests.
Photius regained power with the Court, and in 878 again succeeded Ignatius, after the latter's death, as Patriarch.
 In 879 a fresh Oecumenical Council was held at Constantinople. John VIII, the weaker successor of the great Nicholas, consented to send Legates to it. This synod is called by the Greeks the 'eighth Oecumenical,' although they hardly put it on the same level as the first seven, acknowledged alike by East and West. Photius was acclaimed by the Fathers as having suffered, like Our Lord, by misapprehension and outrage. The synod of 869 (the Latin 'eighth Oecumenical') was repudiated. The See of Constantinople was declared to be the first of all, with primacy over even Old Rome. To all this the Legates subscribed--certainly a remarkable fact.
Naturally, on their return to Rome, the now usual accusations of having been bribed were made against them. The Bishops of Rome would seem to have been unfortunate in the moral character of their nuncios. On one point the Legates had stood firm: they had vainly striven to hinder the inclusion of Bulgaria in the eastern jurisdiction.
John VIII was furious when he perceived how, from his point of view, his complacency had been betrayed. He sent the Cardinal Marinus to Constantinople to protest formally. The Cardinal succeeded in solemnly anathematising Photius from the ambon of the Church of the Holy Apostles; but no effect followed.
The Patriarch was deposed a second time, for [18/19] quite other reasons, in 886, by the Emperor Leo, 'the Wise,' who had been his pupil. He died in retirement among his loved books. In 883 he had published his Syntagma Canonum and a Nomocanon. The last work contains the text of the civil laws, but only the titles of the canons. It is a Western charge against the Easterns that the Oriental commentators have busied themselves rather with the latter book, and that it therefore has become the true foundation of eastern ecclesiastical law.
St. Stephen, the successor of St. Photius, remained out of communion with Old Rome. A peace was patched up with the not very creditable Pope Formosus in 893. The East abandoned nothing. No large Council was called to condemn the synod of 879. The Easterns have therefore some grounds for styling that synod the eighth Oecumenical.
Then followed the tenth century--a sad age for the West. The new Western Empire entirely collapsed. The Papacy sank to quite its lowest depth of degradation and moral infamy. At the end of the century the Eastern Empire--at least, on its Asiatic frontiers--was renascent and triumphant. A large part of Syria, after three centuries, had been retaken from the Saracens. Since 968 Antioch had been once more Imperial and Christian.
The Old Rome revived with the full coming of the eleventh century under the reforming zeal [19/20] of Hildebrand and the reign of his friend and comrade, Pope Leo IX.
With the wheat, as usual, came the tares. The revival of Old Rome and therefore of the papal claims roused the jealous attention of the New Rome. Michael Cerularius was Patriarch of Constantinople. He was more powerful than the Emperor, who yet was a strong Augustus and a striking figure. In 1053 Michael organised an elaborate attack on the West, mainly for the use of unleavened bread (azymes) and Saturday fasting. The Filioque had now a quite subordinate place.
Leo IX sent Legates to Constantinople, who proved more intractable than their predecessors of Photian times. The Emperor received them graciously. He needed the Pope's help against the Normans who were desolating Sicily, still part of the Empire of New Rome. The Patriarch, for his part, would have none of them. On July 16, 1054, the Legates, trusting to Imperial protection at least, audaciously marched up the great Church of the Holy Wisdom and deposited a bull, excommunicating the Patriarch, on the altar. The Emperor provided for their safe return to Italy. Michael Cerularius, in reply, anathematised the West.
Doubtless men thought the schism would pass, as so many other schisms between the two great primatial Sees had passed. This time it [20/21] was to last nine centuries at least, to inflict immeasurable hurt on Christendom, and to bring the Turk into Europe in place of the Christian Empire. The tares were in full poisonous flower. In our next section we shall see the poison at work.
Let us close with the words of Peter of Antioch, who vainly urged patience on Michael Cerularius; although afterwards Antioch, with Russia and the whole East, loyally rallied to the Oecumenical Patriarchate:
'Be patient with the barbarians. They are our brothers, although rude and stupid; we must not expect too much from them.'
This illustrates the Eastern standpoint we find so hard to grasp.
III. Results of the Schism: Some Attempts at Reunion
THE tares appeared in fullest luxuriance when once the schism was consummated in 1054.
In this section we consider the more immediate results of the great rending and some earlier failures at healing it.
The question is still between Constantinople and Old Rome. Till the capture of New Rome by the infidels all else is subsidiary.
New Rome and its position, when once it is restored to Christendom, will ever be a main difficulty. Even in the first Balkan War, as perhaps now, they were not at the Vatican so anxious as are some of us to see the Oecumenical Patriarch once more back in his own Church of the Holy Wisdom.
Constantinople, however, was politically decaying with rapidity in the four centuries between 1054 and 1453. Rome was recovering with even greater rapidity from what had seemed her mortal sickness, and growing alike in spiritual power and in spiritual and even intellectual enlightenment. The Reformation of St. Gregory VII completely [22/23] changed the face of the Western Church. It assured the position of the Pope as the true heir of the Western Caesars; but it did immeasurably more: it produced a succession of saints and doctors who are very really the spiritual successors and developers of the Fathers. They speak with bitterness of the Schoolmen in the East, because they do not know them, and because St. Thomas of Aquin wrote a treatise 'against the Greeks,' which is quite vitiated and made of no effect by his assumption of the authenticity of the forged decretals and of forged patristic passages. Yet the bitterness is unconsciously increased by the incapacity of the Orient to rival the Schoolmen.
In 1053 the Western clergy were already awaking from the barbarism of the Dark Ages, which had never really touched the New Rome. At the end of the period of four hundred years, the laity of the West were awaking too. Yet, amid all this wheat of intellectual and spiritual development, there had sprung up those tares of the forged decretals which the Devil had sown in the ninth century. In the East they never received the slightest recognition. There, men were secured from such impostures not only by the surviving learning which could produce such a man as St. Photius, but by possession, since 691, of a body of genuine Canon Law in the decrees of the 'Quinisext' Council in Trullo. These decrees were rejected [23/24] by the barbarian and papalising West simply from motives of dislike. They are genuine enough in their reproduction of ancient synodical and other determinations, but occasionally wrongly ascribed and uncritically arranged. In this their genuine character they differ toto caelo from the 'forged decretals,' which are so transparently false that only unlearned barbarians could, in the first instance, have given credit to them. Later, of course, their long acceptance caused them to be taken for granted even by master minds. None now so poor in knowledge as to do them reverence. Thus, their long acceptance may be pleaded in extenuation of many of the crimes of the West against Christianity and civilisation during the four centuries which followed the final schism--crimes which sounded the lowest depth of wickedness in the atrocities of the Fourth Crusade--that hideous orgy of sin which is unparalleled in history, if we remember that the actors in it were no sworn rebels against God, but vowed soldiers of the Cross.
Doubtless the ultimate responsibility for the schism was on Old Rome, because of its innovating claims to primacy and supremacy by Divine right. Yet the immediate guilt was on New Rome. Leo IX and Hildebrand would have left the East alone--at least for a time--had not Michael Cerularius gratuitously attacked the West. Since the peace with Formosus in 893, no real steps had been taken [24/25] to condemn the Council of 879, nor had the East been asked to make the slightest concession by Formosus or his successors. It was quite possible to contend that Constantinople held the Oecumenical Primacy by consent of the Latins themselves. In the meantime, therefore, the Orient might have gone on quietly in enjoyment of things possessed, with much justification from Latin silence.
God in His justice punished first the immediate authors of the schism, the Easterns. In their own turn He then punished (and is punishing) the ultimate authors thereof, the Western Papists. Apart from their more obvious punishments, East and West suffered indirectly, the former from the beginnings of ossification, the latter from false and morbid developments.
The worst of all is that the whole Church has been stricken down by functional disorder of the grievous sort. We are bound to confess that our Holy Mother lies upon a bed of sickness, and that we have to strain our ears to catch her faltering commands. The gates of death can never prevail against her, and therefore her sickness is not organic, but, short of that, it is surely as serious as can well be.
Up to the time of the consummated schism, the Empire waged no unsuccessful warfare against the hordes ever pouring in from further Asia. In the eleventh century she had to meet new foes in Turks [25/26] and Tartars. Slowly the new foes gained ground. Yet it was the growing pride of the reinvigorated West and Occidental contempt for the 'schismatics' of New Rome which gave final victory to the barbarian infidel and overthrew the great bulwark of Europe against Asia. The Devil succeeded in perverting the noblest movements of Western Christians to his own ends, because of the pride and greed which mingled with them. It was the Crusades which destroyed the Eastern Empire and brought the Turk into Europe. The first Crusaders were at the outset invited by New Rome. When the schism was yet new, in 1074, St. Gregory VII (who had been Hildebrand) summoned the Western rulers to join the Eastern Emperor against the Turks. Yet even the first Crusades much weakened the old Romano-Hellenic civilisation. The passage of disorderly feudal warriors through civilised lands still teeming with rich cities could not but cause disaster. Still, for a time, they were preferable to Turks. In the First Crusade they recaptured the Holy Land and set up there a fantastic feudal system of their own, with a King of Jerusalem and a principality of Antioch. In this Crusade the Crusaders fought side by side, or at least in alliance, with the troops of the Emperor. In the Second Crusade the new Emperor, Manuel, allowed the Imperial armies to assist the Crusaders in their conflict with the common foe. Manuel [26/27] went further: he strove with all his might to effect reunion with the Western Church--even at the cost of recognising the supremacy of the Bishop of Old Rome. In this he failed; because here the clergy and people of the East absolutely declined to follow him. Neither hierarchy nor laity could be coerced in such matters by the strongest Augustus, the most unquestioned autocrat. The idea that the Byzantine Emperors were lay-Popes, that the Orthodox Church was (and is) hopelessly Erastian, is a carefully fostered Roman delusion. Caesaro-Papism is a figment, not a fact. It is unhappily true that the Eastern Church has yielded too much to the State: that Patriarchs have been deposed practically at the Imperial nod: that to please secular authorities the Christian law of marriage has been infringed. There have, however, always been points which Eastern Bishops would not yield at the decree of any Caesar. One of these points has ever been papal supremacy. Later on, when some of them were induced by the prospect of starvation to capitulate in this regard at Florence, the Church at home promptly repudiated the capitulators.
The Patriarchs of Constantinople have frequently manifested great independence of the Emperors. We have seen that Michael Cerularius practically made the schism in defiance of his Augustus. The Patriarch Arsenius and his successor refused [27/28] absolution to Michael VIII and kept him excommunicate because of the cruelty which had marked his usurpation of the Crown. Many other examples might be given. As Sir Edwin Pears says:
'History abounds in illustrations showing that the Church [in matters of dogma] would not consent to dictation from the Emperors, and the clergy would not blindly follow the Patriarch. But when dictation was supposed to come from Rome, the great mass of the clergy and people were (as they had been from the time of Photius) on the side of the Church and, if need be, against the Emperor.' Caesar was assuredly not Pope. There was no Pope. Despite the friendly attitude of the Emperor Manuel, the Second and Third Crusades strained hard the alliance between East and West. Their failure was ascribed in the West to the treachery of 'the Greeks.' In sober truth, the crusading hordes, especially the Germans, frequently treated the territory of the Empire, through which they were allowed by favour to pass, as a conquered country. In the Third Crusade the Christian populations fled at the approach of the Western armies. Not without cause. Already, in 1159, a French adventurer, who had achieved the dignity of 'Prince of Antioch,' had invaded Cyprus, sacked its towns, and ravaged the island. Our own Richard I, towards the end of this twelfth century, seized the island for his own in revenge for the [28/29] imprisonment of shipwrecked crews of his by a rebellious nephew of the Emperor Andronicus who was holding it in defiance of Caesar Augustus. Richard kept what he had seized. Presently he sold Cyprus: first to the Templars, and afterwards to Guy de Lusignan, 'King of Jerusalem.' As Finlay says:
'The subjection of the Greeks to the Franks was commenced by an English King. Richard . . . struck the first blow at the national independence of the Hellenic race on the part of the Crusaders.'
The lesson was taken up and immeasurably worsened by the unspeakable infamy of the Fourth Crusade.
A great and wise and holy Pope organised this mighty expedition to recover once more the Holy Land. Mainly by the perfidy and ambition of Venice (anxious to succeed Constantinople as the world-emporium), the great venture of Innocent III was perverted into a filibustering raid on the first city of the world, the only city of its rank which had been built by Christians for Christians. Men with the Cross of Christ upon their breasts turned aside from the easy conquest of disorganised Mohammedan Egypt and an open way to Jerusalem to sack the New Rome with all the lawless fury of the barbarians they were. Great, of course, was the booty their crime gave them. But to robbery these sworn warriors of the Crucified added every [29/30] circumstance of anti-human crime. They anticipated the worst deeds of the atheists of the French Revolution. Every possible insult was offered to religion: every possible infamy wrought on priests and monks and nuns. In that most glorious of Christian churches, the great fane of the Holy Wisdom, the Cross-bearers seated a wicked woman on the Patriarch's throne and caused her to dance and sing ribaldry in the sanctuary. It is impossible to describe the Devil's triumph. The very Turks two hundred and fifty years later, were more restrained in their wickedness. Corruptio optimi pessima.
A Latin Emperor from Flanders was crowned Augustus. Sixty-one years of a burlesque and incredibly foolish 'Latin Empire,' intertwined with an exotic and fantastic feudalism, began Across the Straits at Nicsa the Greek Empire persisted In 1261 Michael VIII (Palaeologus) regained the Imperial city.
Against the crime of the Latin conquest of 1204, Innocent III had protested: he had done more, he had censured its authors. The Popes however, were bribed into acquiescence by the establishment of a Latin hierarchy. Even after the recapture of Constantinople they long hankered after the Latin pretenders who for a time continued to claim the Empire of the East.
It is significant and very sad that even Montalembert in the last century spoke of [30/31] 'The unhoped-for success of the Fourth Crusade in overturning the Byzantine Empire.'
The restored Empire of 1261 staggered on with a mortal wound. The years till 1453 were two centuries of long agony. The 'Latin' barbarians had destroyed the economic and administrative organisation of a thousand years, and it could not be restored. Yet the Empire could and did maintain itself against any Latin feudal return. During the whole period the Popes kept ever to the front the question of reunion--reunion on Latin conditions, of course. So soon as the Popes recognised the futility of bringing back the Western pretenders, the Oriental Caesars were ready to meet them halfway. Yet, whatever Augustus might say, the clergy and people of the Orthodox East would have nothing to do with papal supremacy. That sums up the stories of Lyons and Florence. The temporary Latin conquest had branded hatred of the West, and therefore of Rome, on the very hearts of the Orthodox. To them the Pope was always the Sovereign in fact, as well as the Supreme Pontiff, of the West.
The Council of Lyons met in 1274 under the presidency of Gregory X himself. Michael VIII sent ambassadors. He even induced an ex-Patriarch, and two other Eastern Bishops, to attend. They acknowledged the papal supremacy, and recited the Creed with Filioque inserted. Thereupon Michael, [31/32] in 1277, proclaimed the 'Union' and persecuted the leading Orthodox. Yet the 'Caesar-Pope' (in the quite unhistoric phrase of De Maistre) had to succumb. In the next reign all these doings were repudiated.
The story of Florence is pitiable--a squalid tragedy. It is best read in the few incisive pages of Creighton. Augustus came himself to save his dying Empire by Western help. He brought with him the Patriarch of Constantinople and many Eastern Bishops. There came also the Metropolitan of Russia. They were pensioners of the Pope, and deliberated under silent threat of starvation. They capitulated--all but Mark of Ephesus, who covered his apostolic See with a fresh glory of confessor-ship. Yet Lyons was repeated, despite Imperial decrees; Greek and Russian clergy and people alike refused submission. The Pope tried his best to get Western help sent to the Uniate Empire he fancied had been fashioned. He tried in vain; for he was no longer (as the Easterns had imagined) de facto political monarch of the West. In 1453 the Turk destroyed the last citadel of the old Christian civilisation. Had it not been for the schism, he would long before have been beaten back for ever from the City of Constantine. In the meantime the new nations of the West had been (as they have remained) too jealous of each other to combine against the infidel.
 Still, though the mills of God grind slowly, they do grind exceeding small. In the place of the vanished Empire of Constantine there was growing up as the bulwark of Catholic anti-papalism the great Empire of Russia, which is yet surely far from its full development, which yearly by conversion and natural growth adds millions to the Church. The old Greek genius, too, which has done so much for the Mystical Body, is visibly revivifying itself. So it is that Benedict XV already to-day finds himself confronted with a hundred millions of Orthodox communicants who repel his claims as did St. Photius and Michael Cerularius those of his predecessors.
IV. Present Difficulties: Doctrinal, Ceremonial, Disciplinary
IN that wonderful 'acted parable' of the first miraculous draught of fishes we are told (according to the better reading and the right translation) that 'their nets were breaking.' Doubtless we should read 'their nets'; for the whole point of the history is that there were two ships (St. Luke v. 6 sqq.). Moreover, the nets (as the tense indicates) brake not, but, rather, 'were breaking.'
So it has been with the Church since the schism. There are two boats. Our Lord sits specially in Simon Peter's and teaches there. Peter has a kind of leadership. Yet when they launch out into the deep those in Peter's boat, upon the nets beginning to break, have to appeal to their partners which are in the other ship--their 'fellow sharers.' James and John do not appeal to Peter, but Peter to James and John.
We are at present at the time when the nets of the Church--the nets of discipline and orthodoxy--are breaking. We may yet have to cry from the West to our fellow sharers, which are in the other ship, for help. Although there are two ships (perhaps [34/35] more), there is only one enterprise. The Bishops and pastors of the Church are partners and fellow sharers in one adventure. That is the precise meaning of the Greek words used concerning the Apostles.
To-day we think of the difficulties of help because of the distance which has insensibly spread between the ships.
It will be useful briefly to summarise the history of the East since the Mohammedan taking of New Rome. The effect of that catastrophe has been, and is, tremendous. Already, after the 'Latin' Conquest in 1204, the relative position of East and West in regard to civilisation and learning had begun to be inverted. The happenings of 1453 completed the process. The remaining men of learning fled westward to Italy and took with them their manuscripts (such as Latin filibusters or infidels had not destroyed). When the invention of printing came, it came in the West. The Oriental Service-books were first printed at Venice. The treacherous merchant princes had achieved their desire. Venice, in some poor sense, had succeeded to the New Rome.
In the Orient, the flame of learning was kept just dimly alight. Curiously enough, it was only in Crete that it could be said to really burn. Crete was as yet saved from the Turks by Venetian domination. Russia was still passing through a [35/36] period corresponding to the Dark Ages of Western Europe.
In 1587 the Metropolitan of Moscow was made Patriarch of Moscow by the Patriarch of Constantinople, then an exile in Russia. As Mouravieff puts it: a fifth Patriarch was instituted in place of the Patriarch of Rome who had fallen away.
This expression brings out one of the difficulties in restoring intercommunion. The official teaching of the East (so far as it has official teaching on the subject) is that the whole West has fallen away and is outside the Catholic Church. In that exclusion we naturally share. Long ago, when I was very young, a Greek lady once expressed her astonishment to me at the way in which we spoke of 'dissenters.' Surely we ourselves were 'dissenters from dissenters'! More than a generation before Mouravieff had said to Palmer:
'We think even the Latin Church heretical; but you are an apostasy from an apostasy, a progression from bad to worse.'
This view is not now held by all Orthodox Bishops; but it has numerous adherents in the East, and is a logical deduction from much Orthodox teaching.
The manner of the installation of the first Patriarch of Moscow illustrates a very curious occasional practice in the East since the schism--a practice of which there are other examples. [36/37] Assuredly such a practice shows the defectibility of parts of the Church. The promise of indefectibility is given only to the Church as a whole and not to any section of it, however large. 'As the Church of Jerusalem, Alexandria, and Antioch, have erred; so also the Church of Rome, hath erred,' as the Article says, 'even in matters of faith.' We may add Moscow (as well as Canterbury) to the Sees enumerated in the Article. Such reflections enable us to receive with calmness the story of the Metropolitan's 'consecration' as Patriarch of Moscow. Jeremiah of Constantinople repeated over Job, the Metropolitan of Moscow, the whole Office for the ordination of a Bishop.
'It was rightly thought,' says Mouravieff, 'that a double portion of grace was requisite for the chief pastor of the Church.'
There has, in truth, been a tendency in the later East to regard the Patriarchate as a separate order from the Episcopate. Some such vague idea must have been present dimly to the mind of Jeremiah, or he would have realised that he was sacrilegiously reiterating a sacrament. The East is often vague and dim. Easterns lack the clear-cut precision of definition which the Latin Fathers and the Schoolmen have taught us.
So it is that in the East the Patriarchate has semi-ofhcially been superadded to the Episcopate as its indispensable mouthpiece. It has not been [37/38] so defined in a Western way, as in the parallel case of the Papacy. That is not the method of the Orient. Definition there is a last resort. Yet the East has acted for once in these occasional examples of reconsecration more logically upon its dim conceptions than the West upon its explicit teaching. The Pope receives no special sacramental grace for the office of the Papacy. St. Thomas of Aquin felt the difficulty and dealt with it not very successfully.
The new Patriarch of Moscow was styled 'Oecumenical Lord': as he of Constantinople was Oecumenical Patriarch, he of Alexandria Oecumenical Judge. He was given precedence after the other Patriarchs, next to Jerusalem; but the Russian authorities always set him in the second place, next to Constantinople. His elevation was approved by the other Patriarch.
Nikon, the sixth Patriarch of Moscow, was a strong-willed ruler and much disliked because of his reforms of Russian service books to bring them into harmony with their Greek originals. In the end he was deposed by a synod of Moscow, at which the Patriarchs of Alexandria and Antioch presided, although his reforms were approved. Nikon illustrated the immense authority a Patriarch might wield, even in the secular sphere, and the danger of conflict between Patriarch and Tsar. Undoubtedly, his history had much to do with the [38/39] abolition of the Patriarchate by Peter the Great, after twelve Patriarchs had ruled. That revolutionary monarch transferred the jurisdiction of the Patriarch to a 'Holy Governing Synod.' The latter institution still exists. The manner in which it is constituted is quite indefensible on primitive or Catholic principles. It has, however, served as an example for a similar 'Holy Governing Synod' for the Kingdom of Greece upon its Church becoming autocephalous. Peter's changes were approved by the other Patriarchs. It is ill arguing with the master of legions.
In the time of Nikon, and for long after, Russia was still in the Dark Ages. An illustration of this is afforded by the observations of the Russian Church historian concerning the famous Patriarch:
'Nikon had experienced in every rank of the Church all that a spiritual person can experience, and having shown in every station a strict pattern of good conduct, he exacted the same with equal strictness from all who were under his authority. He required, so far as it was possible, that those who came to be ordained, either as deacons or priests, should at least be able to read and write. He severely punished intemperance, according to the custom of those times, with stripes and imprisonment, not sparing even his own confessor.'
Yet it must ever be remembered that during [39/40] all its history the Russian Church has been a Church of confessors of pre-eminent sanctity, and sometimes of martyrs. Certainly the Russian clergy of the seventeenth century would shine as stars in comparison with contemporary French priests as St. Vincent of Paul found them.
Quite apart, however, from the want of culture of the Russian clergy in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, there is a permanent matter of discipline which must ever (not only in Russia, but in the East generally) tend towards a lowering of the standard of the parochial clergy. This is the curious distinction now for long made between 'seculars and 'regulars.' The primitive rule in the East permitted a married man to be ordained to the subdiaconate and even to the higher orders, including the Episcopate. Priests, however, were not allowed to marry after ordination, although, according to some conciliar legislation, a deacon might, if at his ordination he declared his intention to marry. In the Latin Communion the primitive rule has evolved into the enforcement of celibacy on all the holy orders (including the subdiaconate). In the East the course of development has been other. Perhaps this other development is partly accounted for if we remember that the earliest monastics were laymen not in orders and that monasticism began in the East. The growth there of clerical monks possibly originated the reservation for such monks [40/41] of a special place in the hierarchy. The present Eastern rule dates from days before the schism. A parish priest must be married; but he must have married before receiving the subdiaconate. The practice is for secular clergy to marry during their readership--the lowest minor order, according to the Easterns. These clerks, the 'white' clergy as they are called, are, with many honourable exceptions, neither among the more spiritual nor the more learned. If a priest's wife die while he is in charge of a parish, he must join the ranks of the regular or 'black' clergy by entering a monastery. On the other hand, Bishops must be unmarried. They therefore must be taken from the ranks of the regulars. Mouravieff said to Mr. Palmer in 1840:
'If forced celibacy be the trouble of the Latin Church, forced marriage is that of ours. Nearly all our clergy, black as well as white, are the sons of clerics. So they are a complete caste. Nobles, merchants, soldiers, and princes are free to become priests, but they never do.'
The exclusion of the parochial clergy from promotion to the Episcopate, which follows from the Eastern system, would seem inevitably to stamp them with a certain brand of inferiority.
Let us turn, for a moment, to look at the partial recovery of the East, other than Russia, from the catastrophe of 1453. That recovery sprang from [41/42] the darkest time of all--that obscure time of the seventeenth century when it seemed as if a Patriarch of Constantinople had committed the Orthodox Church to Calvinistic Protestantism.
The strange true story of Cyril Lucar, eminently seventeenth century and therefore eminently romantic (for it was the age when earlier centuries met and clashed with modern times), is best read in the second volume of Dr. Neale's 'Patriarchate of Alexandria.' Cyril was born in Crete, 1572. He travelled much in the West. He saw much of the Latin Communion, and also made the acquaintance of many Calvinists in Switzerland and Poland, and perhaps also in Elizabethan England. He had always been and remained a very good man: he became a learned man. His brain, however, was of a quite unsystematic type, notably deficient in logical power. In the beginning of the seventeenth century the Latins, aided by the new methods of the Jesuits, were at many different points--in Lithuania, Poland, Little Russia, at Alexandria, and at Constantinople,--sometimes by the most pestilent intrigues, gaining governmental authorities to persecution of the Orthodox. Humanly speaking, the end of the Orthodox East seemed approaching. Such was the situation when Cyril became successively Patriarch of Alexandria and Constantinople. By reaction, he entered into correspondence with Geneva and Holland. In this correspondence he [42/43] undoubtedly denied baptismal regeneration, the reception by the wicked of the Body of the Lord, veneration of images, the invocation of saints. He rejected tradition, and affirmed justification by faith only. The Oriental Church, he said, had been bewitched. Now, by the writings of evangelical doctors, he, at least, had come to understand what was the very pure Word of God. Later, indeed, in a public document, which he styled the 'Confession of the Greeks,' he became Orthodox on baptismal regeneration. Yet he, first implicitly and then explicitly, denies the infallibility of the Church. He excludes from the Church all not predestinated to eternal life. He limits the Sacraments to two only. He says nothing of the Episcopate as necessary to the Church, nothing of an intermediate state (except to deny Purgatory). He apparently asserts only a virtual presence in the Holy Eucharist. In consequence of Latin intrigues, after a most adventurous tenure of the Oecumenical Throne, diversified by depositions and banishments, Cyril Lucar was bowstrung, by order of the Sultan, in 1638.
A synod held at Constantinople in the same year, under Cyril of Beroea, anathematised Cyril Lucar. A synod of Jassy in 1642, under the next Oecumenical Patriarch to the Bercean Cyril, pronounced Cyril Lucar heretical, and excommunicated all adhering to him. In Russia, a synod of Kieff [43/44] had put forth a catechism, emphatic against Protestantism, which had been proposed by Peter Mogila, Metropolitan of that city and a great glory of the Russian Church, and by an eminent priest, Isaiah Trophimovich. This catechism has been now long known as 'the Orthodox Confession of Faith.' It is generally accepted throughout the Orthodox Communion, although sometimes criticised as somewhat tinged with Latinism.
These synods, however, did not suffice to crush all movement towards Protestantism in the Orthodox East. In the Greek portion of the East, the Catholics were unfortunate in their champions. Some were avaricious or profligate: some were Latinising: all were worldly. Through intrigue with the infidel the Oecumenical See of New Rome had become a very kaleidoscope in its changes of occupant. In fifteen years there were fourteen occupiers or re-occupiers of the Universal Throne. It was evident that some steps must be taken to affirm conclusively, once for all, the synods of Constantinople and Jassy.
In 1668 a synod of Nikosia of the autocephalous Church of Cyprus condemned the Calvinists at the instigation of Hilarion, a very learned person afterwards Archbishop.
At last, in 1672, the Patriarch Dositheus held a synod at Jerusalem (known also as the synod of Bethlehem). The decrees of this famous synod [44/45] have now been adopted by the whole East, including Russia--with some reserve in the Russian case as to phraseology, criticised as too Western scholastic. The synod is, from the Eastern point of view, practically of Oecumenical authority. It condemns the 'decrees attributed to Cyril Lucar' and the whole system of Protestantism. Dositheus was a most learned Cretan of saintly life. He had a veneration for the sanctity of life of Cyril. He therefore insisted on the synod saving Lucar's character by denying the authenticity of the writings, which were undoubtedly his; but the writings themselves were absolutely declared heterodox. The Council affirmed the Sacrifice for Quick and Dead, the Seven Sacraments, and the whole body of truly Catholic Doctrine. Two decrees bring out one practical difficulty which the action of some of our own Bishops in the near past has placed in the way of intercommunion. They affirm the efficacy of the Eucharist for living and departed. They declare that it avails in the highest degree for those saved by repentance, but who have not had time to bring forth fruits thereof in this life.
In 1870 the Sacred Synod of the Hellenic Kingdom wrote to 'the Most Sacred and Most Reverend the Lord Archibald Campbell, Archbishop of Canterbury, being of one mind' (as they say) 'with the Most Holy Oecumenical Patriarch and his synod,' [45/46] and offered the prayers of the Church for the souls of Christians of the Canterbury Confession buried by Orthodox priests in Hellenic cemeteries.
Dr. Tait, in a very courteous reply, thought it necessary to say that 'our Church does not sanction prayers for the departed.'
One may trust indeed that no Archbishop of Canterbury will ever so write again.
Yet litera scripta manet, and the ambiguous aspect of our Episcopate, even now, is one of our greatest difficulties with the Orthodox East.
Some equally important difficulties I reserve for the last of our sections.
I hope, however, to close upon an optimistic note in regard to our hopes for the future.
V. Future Hopes
IN the time to come, intercommunion with the East may be restored. There are still, however, some present difficulties, not yet fully considered, which it may help us in our hopefulness to face.
In our last section something was said of the difficulties caused by our own spiritual rulers. The precise difficulty raised by Dr. Tait in 1870 may not be likely to be raised again; but serious difficulties do exist in other directions from Anglican episcopal action.
The recognition of the schismatic and heretical Copts in Egypt (who lie under the anathema of an Oecumenical Council emphatically 'received in England') in much the same sort of semi-official way in which we recognise the Orthodox themselves is certainly a great obstacle to intercommunion. The East does not understand liberalism in religion. They have suffered too much for steadfastness in the Faith not to value that virtue.
We need hardly insist that any confederation with Protestants rejecting the Apostolic Succession and Sacramental Grace would be fatal to intercommunion with the Orthodox.
 We must, however, urge that any apparent leaning to such a confederation on the part of Anglican Bishops raises at once yet another stumbling-block in the way of such intercommunion. The East has had enough, once for all, of the policy of Cyril Lucar.
The synod of Jerusalem declared that 'The dignity of the Bishop is so essential in the Church that without him neither Church nor Christian could be or be spoken of; for he, as a successor of the Apostles, having received, in continual succession, by the imposition of hands and the invocation of the All Holy Spirit, the grace that is given him of the Lord of binding and loving, is a living image of God upon the earth, a fountain of all the Sacraments.' (Decree X.)
'The Evangelical Mysteries are seven. A less or greater number we have not in the Church. Any number of the Mysteries other than seven is the product of heretical madness. They consist of something natural and something supernatural, and are of necessity efficient means of grace to the receivers.' (Decree XV.)
'The Mystery of the Sacred Eucharist can be performed by none other except only by an Orthodox priest who hath received his priesthood from an Orthodox and canonical Bishop in accordance [48/49] with the teaching of the Eastern Church. . . . The Catholic Church rejects and anathematises those that transgress.' (Decree XVII.) [I call especial attention to this last requirement (which is contrary to Western teaching) in a moment.]
As we are looking at the Jerusalem (or Bethlehem) Decrees, let us take one other on a different subject:
'We acknowledge the Saints as intercessors and mediators, especially after their death, when all reflective visions being done away, they behold clearly the Holy Trinity, in Whose Infinite Light they know what concerneth us.' (Decree VII.)
Yet another on some cognate matters:
'We adore the Mother of God the Word with Hyperdulia; we adore, or rather honour, all the Saints and Angels with Dulia. We adore and honour the Wood of the Lifegiving Cross, the Manger at Bethlehem, the Holy Gospels, the Sacred Vessels wherein the Unbloody Sacrifice is performed. We adore and honour and kiss the Images of Our Lord Jesus and of His Most Holy Mother and of all the Saints. This, however, is only relative worship. But the worship of Latreia--that is, the kind of worship peculiar to God--is given to God alone.' (Quest. 10.)
Despite the last two sentences, one is not quite certain that all Anglican Bishops would subscribe to this, even to-day. We must remember that the East judges us by our Bishops.
Even the more orthodox of Anglicans may find difficulties in Eastern teaching and practice in [49/50] two opposite ways. The East is in some directions more rigorous than the West (Rome and Canterbury alike); in other directions less rigorous than the West (Rome and Canterbury alike). The reason for both Eastern rigorousness and Eastern want of rigorousness seems to be that, in a sense, the Orient is in a condition of 'arrested development.' Let us hasten to add that such phrases have been pressed altogether too much. Nothing could be more untrue than to follow many Latin writers and represent the Eastern Church as a kind of fossil survival. That part of the Catholic Church is very much alive to-day. It is, as we have noticed, yearly adding millions to its communicants, both by the rapid growth of the Russian population and by conversions of Asiatic Mohammedans and pagans. If even we were tempted to apply the description to the shrunken Patriarchate of Constantinople, which has lost from its jurisdiction the Hellenic Kingdom (as before it lost Russia) and which is about to lose, apparently, the Kingdom of Servia, which has de facto, if not de jure, lost that Bulgaria which was snatched from Old Rome at the cost of the schism--if we were tempted so to speak or think only of Constantinople, we should pause when we remembered the illustrious Pontiffs who have lately adorned the Oecumenical Throne--such Pontiffs as Bryennios, the discoverer of the completion of St. Clement's Epistle.
An illustration of rigour condemned by the West [50/51] (condemned, as the Westerns fancy, cecumenically) is the rebaptism of those not baptised in the Orthodox fold. Herein is also exemplified a certain want of unity in Eastern teaching--as also a lack of respectful criticism of archives.
In Russia, after varying practice, it has now long been the custom not to rebaptise Westerns coming over, although baptised without trine immersion. This was at the suggestion of Constantinople. Yet New Rome itself has reverted to the rigorist view and rebaptises all Westerns.
Some ten years ago the Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem requested the Orthodox Patriarch to accept Anglican baptisms as valid. His Holiness referred the question to his Theological Council. That Council reported that Anglican baptisms were invalid because Anglicans were not three times immersed, contrary to Canon VII of the Second Oecumenical Council (Constantinople I). Nevertheless, since the Book of Common Prayer appeared to contemplate immersion as the preferable course, and since the Book was consistent with even a threefold immersion, His Holiness might, in suitable cases, by what is called in the East 'economy' (i.e. prudent stewardship) specially recognise Anglican baptisms.
This whole decision is, of course, absolutely unintelligible to Western minds accustomed to clear-cut logical views on such matters. The fact, [51/52] however, is that there is no such Oecumenical Canon as that cited. The supposed decree is part of a letter stating the practice at Constantinople at least eighty years after the Second Oecumenical Council in the latter half of the fifth century. This is the conclusion of all Western canonists upon evidence set out long ago by our own Bishop Beveridge--a conclusion confirmed by Hefele. This portion of a letter was incorporated into general Eastern Canon Law by the 'Quinisext' Council in 692. It was not then alleged to be a decree of 381 (Constantinople I). Moreover, it is very arguable that this incorporated letter does not prescribe trine immersion as essential at all, but merely describes certain heretics as persons who do not use it.
When this decision of the Patriarch of Jerusalem was published here, I ventured to write to The Guardian, pointing out the facts in the last paragraph. A few weeks afterwards, the Jerusalem correspondent of that journal informed us that my letter had been translated into Greek, that it had excited much interest in the Holy City, and that the Patriarch's Theological Council was preparing a reply. So far as I know, we have vainly waited for that reply, which has not yet come.
If, indeed, we be not validly baptised, even if in special cases we may, by economy, be treated [52/53] as baptised, it seems idle to speak of intercommunion between our Churches. We can have neither Bishop nor Church: so it would seem, at least, to Occidentals. Yet, in the East, conservative adherence to the Code of the 'Quinisext' is quite compatible with practical treating of us as though we were of the Faithful. Thus Patriarchs of Jerusalem have actually advised Orthodox people to accept Anglican ministrations and Anglican sacraments in parts of the world where Orthodox priests cannot be had.
At this stage we need hardly trouble ourselves about comparatively lesser things--such as our differences in regard to the minister and the 'matter' of Confirmation.
Some of us, who have accepted the fully developed practice as the West, in regard to devotion to the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, are made anxious sometimes by Eastern custom as concerning the Presence of Our Lord under the sacramental veils outside the Divine Liturgy. We know that the Orthodox accept the full truth of the Real Presence, and that certainly they of the East reject the Lutheran figment of a Presence in the Liturgy only, withdrawn after its completion. When they take the Blessed Sacrament to the sick, they adore. Yet, perhaps, we are shocked to see a Greek 'taking no notice' when he passes the Blessed Sacrament reserved in the Church. We cannot understand, [53/54] either, how the Sacrament can remain under the species of Wine when that species has surely ceased to exist, to be in any sense Wine at all, because of its having been dried up and heated by elaborate processes.
It is suggested in explanation of these difficulties that the East has never been forced by the pressure of heresy to think out the original deposit of faith concerning the Eucharist as has the West. The Orientals have had the happiness not to be troubled with heresy in this regard. That happiness has, in accordance with God's law, involved a corresponding loss. God overrules heresies to the formulation of the contrary truths in detail. Therefore the East has never had occasion for such a doctor of the Sacrament of sacraments as St. Thomas Aquinas, and has not produced such a one.
There is yet another practical matter which presses us much. No doubt in actual fact the East has fallen away from the Christian Law of Marriage by permission of divorce in the sense of allowance of remarriage. Thirteen or fifteen causes justifying dissolution of a valid marriage with this allowance are enumerated by post-Photian Eastern canonists who are (as we have indicated) somewhat disposed to put the Civil Law of the later Empire on an equality at least even with the 'Quinisext.' In Russia, at least, a considerable term of imprisonment [54/55] imposed upon the husband enables the wife to marry again without any effective protest on the part of the Church. This is indeed the secular law in some British colonies, although not there the law of the Church. One is assured by Greeks that among them divorce in the sense of permission of remarriage is practically unknown, whatever the dicta of Balsamon and Zonaras, and they are shocked by the English Divorce Act. Still, it cannot be denied that here, at least in the Orient, the World has invaded the Church. In truth the things of God have been given to Caesar.
Still it is quite possible to contend that in theory and on paper the East maintains the Christian Law of Marriage. The Quinisext Code expressly declares binding all the African Code. Canon CII (CV in the Greek version) of the latter code is clear for the absolute indissolubility of marriage. Surely we have too many defections of our own to mourn, to maintain separation because of this one defection in practice of our Eastern brethren!
I have left for the last the question which is often put in the forefront--the Filioque; the words 'and from the Son' added to the Creed. Frankly, although with every respect for much authority on the other side, I do not regard this as either the cause of the schism or such a serious obstacle to the mending of the schism as is [55/56] sometimes supposed. The raising of this question by the East was in the nature of an afterthought. The addition of the phrase was certainly not due to Old Rome. It was first made in Spain in the conflict against the Gothic Arians at the Third Council of Toledo in 589. It spread throughout the West except in Rome. There the Popes were long determined that it should not be introduced into the text of the Creed. Leo III caused two shields of silver, inscribed with the Creed in Latin and Greek, without the interpolation, to be put up in what is called the 'Confession' in St. Peter's. Only in 1014 did Benedict VIII, on much pressure from Henry II of Germany, allow the Creed to be sung at Mass in Rome with the addition. The silver shields did not disappear for yet two centuries more. In the end they went because of the taunts of the Greeks.
In regard to the purely theological question the West has made it clear that it is not intended to impugn what is called the 'Monarchy' of the Father, to set up two Sources in the Godhead. This would be indeed a fatal error concerning the Blessed Trinity. The East is rightly jealous of such possible heresy. At Florence the Latins affirmed emphatically that the Father was Sole Principle of the Undivided Godhead.
Perhaps the Filioque should not have been added. The Council of Ephesus did not indeed, as [56/57] is sometimes said, prohibit all additions to the Creed. It is clear that the Council meant by the ambiguous Greek word heteran not 'another' Creed, but rather a 'different' Creed. This is apparent from the action of Chalcedon. Still, it was neither courteous nor brotherly to add the Filioque to an Oecumenical Symbol (whether of Ephesus or Chalcedon) without Eastern consent. Yet, so long as we make it clear that we mean only that the Holy Spirit proceeds by one Spiration from the Father, although through the Son, we may surely ourselves, after so many centuries, now use the Filioque without insisting on its use by the East. That unhappy Council of Florence at least achieved one result: it did make clear our orthodoxy as to this.
The nets are beginning to break under the ingathering of good and bad fish. The time would seem to be approaching when we must cry to our partners in the other ship to come and help us. We of Ecclesia Anglicana are not burdened or hindered in our cry by the Papal claims. This much (and it is much) has come to us of good from all the mischief of the sixteenth century. Perhaps God has raised even us up to interpret the West to the East, the East to the West. That may be the providential meaning of the spiritual miracle of the last century which has so largely restored to us our forgotten heritage of Catholic Faith and Practice.
 The East has need of Western movement and Western search after new aspects of the One Truth. We may perhaps find that Oriental Christians are neither so vague nor so rigorous in practice as they sometimes seem in theory.
Forty years ago an eminent Russian said: 'We should, as much as we are able, co-operate in the foundation in the West of a Western Orthodox Church, united with all the local Churches of the East by the bond of one dogma, but having its own rites and discipline.' For our parts, indeed, we want no new church: that be far from us. Other foundation can no man lay than that which is laid. We are, we hope, built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the Chief Corner Stone. Yet local portions of the One Church may crumble to the dust: have often so crumbled. We have indeed good reason to dream better things of the Church of England. Yet should the Vision Splendid of our Catholic Revival fail from our sight (me genoito), we may possibly have to look--as Dr. Liddon long ago suggested--not to Old Rome with her impossible Papal claims, but to that Orient which is the Mother of us all.