Author Topic: What to do with the booty (and memory) of the 4th Crusade?  (Read 3679 times)

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Offline GabrieltheCelt

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What to do with the booty (and memory) of the 4th Crusade?
« on: November 28, 2007, 01:38:07 AM »
This topic is split from the thread "Patriarch Bartholomew is ready to accept the Pope's primacy"
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,13577.0.html

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El Papa might get a bit more Eastern love when he returns all the gold and treasures taken during the fourth crusade.  Since he excommunicated us, it was OK to steal from us since we were no longer Christians.  But since the excommunications were rescinded, it's time to return to all the booty. 
« Last Edit: November 28, 2007, 04:41:11 PM by cleveland »
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Offline lubeltri

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What to do with the booty (and memory) of the 4th Crusade?
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2007, 01:43:17 AM »
El Papa might get a bit more Eastern love when he returns all the gold and treasures he took during the fourth crusade. 

Yeah, you guys can sure hold a grudge. ;) 800 years, and your fathers' fathers' fathers never experienced it.

I doubt the Lord wants the Easterns to place conditions on their charity.

I thought John Paul II made a great gesture by returning the most sacred relics of St. John Chrysostom.

Offline Αριστοκλής

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What to do with the booty (and memory) of the 4th Crusade?
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2007, 10:36:11 AM »
Yeah, you guys can sure hold a grudge. ;) 800 years, and your fathers' fathers' fathers never experienced it.

Don't be so certain about my family, lub. For me it was my father's mother's father's, etc...
"Religion is a neurobiological illness and Orthodoxy is its cure." - Fr. John S. Romanides

Offline lubeltri

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What to do with the booty (and memory) of the 4th Crusade?
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2007, 03:51:27 PM »
Don't be so certain about my family, lub. For me it was my father's mother's father's, etc...

Yes, and my long-distant ancesters suffered from many things as well. Am I personally affected by these things?

Now, if I were a Romanian Catholic or a Serbian Orthodox, I might be justified in having grievances (though Christ calls all to forgive in charity). But the statute of limitations on the Fourth Crusade expired long ago. It is tiresome to hear EO today harping about it as some sort of personal affront.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2007, 03:54:03 PM by lubeltri »

Offline Αριστοκλής

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What to do with the booty (and memory) of the 4th Crusade?
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2007, 04:05:51 PM »
Yes, and my long-distant ancesters suffered from many things as well. Am I personally affected by these things?
True, it's entirely possible that your "Greek" side were descended from refugees from the City - many went to Italy.
Quote
Now, if I were a Romanian Catholic or a Serbian Orthodox, I might be justified in having grievances (though Christ calls all to forgive in charity). But the statute of limitations on the Fourth Crusade expired long ago. It is tiresome to hear EO today harping about it as some sort of personal affront.

Sorry, statute has not expired except to RCs who prefer not to recognize the crusade and the Latin aftermath as the event that made the schism permanent. I only have negative feelings for dismissive RCs on  this issue. But this has been argued before and doesn't belong in this board.
"Religion is a neurobiological illness and Orthodoxy is its cure." - Fr. John S. Romanides

Offline Αριστοκλής

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What to do with the booty (and memory) of the 4th Crusade?
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2007, 04:12:37 PM »
Sheesh...can't we just forget about the Fourth Crusade?
It's more than the 4th crusade - it's all of them.
Quote
Is Christ really going to come down, look at the Catholics and say, "AHA! You still have horses outside of St. Marks Basilica! Well, I guess I know where to put you know."
Maybe... :D

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Offline stanley123

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Re: What to do with the booty (and memory) of the 4th Crusade?
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2007, 02:15:31 AM »
El Papa might get a bit more Eastern love when he returns all the gold and treasures taken during the fourth crusade.  Since he excommunicated us, it was OK to steal from us since we were no longer Christians.  But since the excommunications were rescinded, it's time to return to all the booty. 
It was definitely wrong, of course, to rob Orthodox Churches of gold and treasures. And unfortunately, this was done during the fourth crusade. I would like to see these items returned to the Orthodox Church. When I mentioned this to my local Catholic priest, his response was to ask me the following: Who, today, has the title to these items? The implication was that the Pope did not have the legal title to the property. Further, he remarked that property from some Catholic Churches was taken during the Communist era and given over to the Orthodox Churches. Although, it looks to me like since the overthrow of Communism in the East, some of this property has been returned to the Catholic side.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2007, 02:16:13 AM by stanley123 »

Offline JoeS

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Re: What to do with the booty (and memory) of the 4th Crusade?
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2007, 07:12:52 PM »
Yeah, you guys can sure hold a grudge. ;) 800 years,...

Does it show?  ::)

Offline JoeS

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Re: What to do with the booty (and memory) of the 4th Crusade?
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2007, 07:15:49 PM »
It was definitely wrong, of course, to rob Orthodox Churches of gold and treasures. And unfortunately, this was done during the fourth crusade. I would like to see these items returned to the Orthodox Church. When I mentioned this to my local Catholic priest, his response was to ask me the following: Who, today, has the title to these items? The implication was that the Pope did not have the legal title to the property. Further, he remarked that property from some Catholic Churches was taken during the Communist era and given over to the Orthodox Churches. Although, it looks to me like since the overthrow of Communism in the East, some of this property has been returned to the Catholic side.

Any properties that may still exist are so scattered it would be difficult in identifying all the stuff that was taken to the west. St. Mark's in Venice (no friend of Rome at that time) is purported to contain articles that were taken.  I would like to see things returned but I don't loose any sleep over it. 

Offline Veniamin

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Re: What to do with the booty (and memory) of the 4th Crusade?
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2007, 07:33:22 PM »
I thought John Paul II made a great gesture by returning the most sacred relics of St. John Chrysostom.

Given that your religious organization was willing to kill Orthodox to get ahold of those in the first place, one must wonder just what plan you have in mind that would warrant returning them.
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Offline GreekChef

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Re: What to do with the booty (and memory) of the 4th Crusade?
« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2007, 08:14:27 PM »
Okay, I just have to say this.  Bear with me, please.

I took several classes at the seminary that really drove home the damage that was done to Orthodoxy, the Byzantine Empire, and really to Christianity in general by the 4th crusade.  It breaks my heart every time I think about it, because it wasn't just about the booty.  It was the fact that the damage done by the 4th crusade set the Empire (and consequently Orthodoxy) on the road to decline, a road that was FAR off in the distance and would not have come nearly so soon had the crusade not been as damaging as it was.  The 4th crusade opened the door to the invading Muslims by fatally weakening the empire, and every time I look at a picture of Agia Sophia, or hear about the persecutions that Christians (ALL Christians) suffer in Turkey, or death threats by Turks against Patriarch Bartholomew, I'm reminded of this and it makes me sad.

That being said, I also think that it's a bit of a waste of time doing the "what might have been" thing, and I think it is a) unbecoming of us, b) a waste of time and effort, and c) a setback in any and all ecumenical talks to keep bringing up the fact that the Catholic church was responsible for the 4th crusade and continually blaming them and demanding that they repent and repay us for it. 

Please don't take this the wrong way... it's not meant as a challenge or a condemnation of anyone.  I recognize that culturally, this wound is still very much alive and has been passed down through generations (keep in mind the oppression that the Greeks have suffered at the hands of the Turks- all of this can be traced back to that crusade).  After all, I began this post by stating how hurt I still feel about it. 

But I do believe in Christian forgiveness, and in moving on.  I also DO appreciate all the steps that both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict have taken in repenting and repaying.  I don't think we can ask for much more than what they have already done (being publicly apologizing for the crusades and returning the precious relics that they had--- especially considering that the relics belong to two saints that THEY revere as well as us; St. John Chrysostom AND St. Gregory the Theologian/Nazianzus). 

Just my humble opinion.  Hope I'm not offending or upsetting anyone.  If so, I beg your forgiveness!

In Christ...
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Offline lubeltri

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Re: What to do with the booty (and memory) of the 4th Crusade?
« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2007, 09:15:00 PM »
Okay, I just have to say this.  Bear with me, please.

I took several classes at the seminary that really drove home the damage that was done to Orthodoxy, the Byzantine Empire, and really to Christianity in general by the 4th crusade.  It breaks my heart every time I think about it, because it wasn't just about the booty.  It was the fact that the damage done by the 4th crusade set the Empire (and consequently Orthodoxy) on the road to decline, a road that was FAR off in the distance and would not have come nearly so soon had the crusade not been as damaging as it was.  The 4th crusade opened the door to the invading Muslims by fatally weakening the empire, and every time I look at a picture of Agia Sophia, or hear about the persecutions that Christians (ALL Christians) suffer in Turkey, or death threats by Turks against Patriarch Bartholomew, I'm reminded of this and it makes me sad.

That being said, I also think that it's a bit of a waste of time doing the "what might have been" thing, and I think it is a) unbecoming of us, b) a waste of time and effort, and c) a setback in any and all ecumenical talks to keep bringing up the fact that the Catholic church was responsible for the 4th crusade and continually blaming them and demanding that they repent and repay us for it. 

Please don't take this the wrong way... it's not meant as a challenge or a condemnation of anyone.  I recognize that culturally, this wound is still very much alive and has been passed down through generations (keep in mind the oppression that the Greeks have suffered at the hands of the Turks- all of this can be traced back to that crusade).  After all, I began this post by stating how hurt I still feel about it. 

But I do believe in Christian forgiveness, and in moving on.  I also DO appreciate all the steps that both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict have taken in repenting and repaying.  I don't think we can ask for much more than what they have already done (being publicly apologizing for the crusades and returning the precious relics that they had--- especially considering that the relics belong to two saints that THEY revere as well as us; St. John Chrysostom AND St. Gregory the Theologian/Nazianzus). 

Just my humble opinion.  Hope I'm not offending or upsetting anyone.  If so, I beg your forgiveness!

In Christ...

Good post. When I look at pictures of Hagia Sophia, I feel the same way, brother. Counterfactual arguments are always dicey in history, but I think your historical analysis is very likely.


My first exposure to Byzantium at the age of 10 was in this context. I read a novel called The Trolley to Yesterday by John Bellairs. It involves an historian named Professor Childermass who knocks down a wall in the basement of his home and discovers a trolley on some track. The trolley turns out to be a time machine. The professor all his life has lamented with sorrow the fate of Byzantium in 1453, especially that of the poor people praying in Hagia Sophia when the Turks broke into the city.
 
Now with this opportunity, he cooks up a harebrained scheme to save Constantinople from the Turks. As he is departing, his young friends Johnny Dixon and Byron Ferguson hitch along for the ride, in an effort to stop him from getting himself killed. However, all run into trouble and risk getting trapped in Byzantium in the middle of the siege of April 1453.

I already mentioned the part about the ghosts of the Templar knights roaming around in penance for their role in 1204.

It's a great read. Good book for the young (and young at heart). Before I read it, I had never even heard of Byzantium or Constantinople. I was at the downtown library within a week after finishing it.

Offline lubeltri

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Re: What to do with the booty (and memory) of the 4th Crusade?
« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2007, 09:21:20 PM »
Given that your religious organization was willing to kill Orthodox to get ahold of those in the first place, one must wonder just what plan you have in mind that would warrant returning them.


Offline Mo the Ethio

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Re: What to do with the booty (and memory) of the 4th Crusade?
« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2007, 09:30:44 PM »
"Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names."
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Offline Veniamin

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Re: What to do with the booty (and memory) of the 4th Crusade?
« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2007, 09:37:40 PM »
When I look at pictures of Hagia Sophia...

Look at them the way Gollum looked at the ring, no doubt.  I can just hear it now..."Those stupid, bearded, orthodoxes...they kept the precious, kept it from us, yesssss...we wants it back, don't we, precious?"
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Offline GreekChef

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Re: What to do with the booty (and memory) of the 4th Crusade?
« Reply #15 on: November 29, 2007, 09:57:51 PM »
Good post. When I look at pictures of Hagia Sophia, I feel the same way, brother. Counterfactual arguments are always dicey in history, but I think your historical analysis is very likely.


Actually, it's 'sister.'   ;D  I forget that the sidebar doesn't say whether we are m or f, and not everyone knows what "Presbytera" means, and of course people who don't know me can't figure out what my name is.  My name is Mari (pronounced Mauri), and "Presbytera" is what we call our priest's wives.  My husband is a priest.

Thanks for the book suggestion.  It sounds awesome!!!  I'm going to add it to my list of 'must reads.'

God's love and mercy be with you!
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Offline GreekChef

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Re: What to do with the booty (and memory) of the 4th Crusade?
« Reply #16 on: November 29, 2007, 09:58:55 PM »
Look at them the way Gollum looked at the ring, no doubt.  I can just hear it now..."Those stupid, bearded, orthodoxes...they kept the precious, kept it from us, yesssss...we wants it back, don't we, precious?"

I just really hope that this is a joke...   :-X
Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.
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Offline scamandrius

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Re: What to do with the booty (and memory) of the 4th Crusade?
« Reply #17 on: November 29, 2007, 10:22:24 PM »
(though Christ calls all to forgive in charity). But the statute of limitations on the Fourth Crusade expired long ago. It is tiresome to hear EO today harping about it as some sort of personal affront.

Can you please cite the relevant canon(s) dealing with statute of limitations regarding grand larceny?  Thanks.

If you are sick of hearing Orthodox whining about it, why not just get your hierarchs to return the spoils?  Problem solved.  :D
« Last Edit: November 29, 2007, 10:30:32 PM by scamandrius »
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Offline ozgeorge

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Re: What to do with the booty (and memory) of the 4th Crusade?
« Reply #18 on: November 29, 2007, 10:25:52 PM »
Can you please cite the relevant canon(s) dealing with statue of limitations regarding grand larceny?  Thanks.
I wonder if there is a statute of limitations on Judas Iscariot's betrayal of Christ?

If you are sick of hearing Orthodox whining about it, why not just get your hierarchs to return the spoils?  Problem solved.  :D
LOL :D
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Offline lubeltri

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Re: What to do with the booty (and memory) of the 4th Crusade?
« Reply #19 on: November 29, 2007, 10:38:31 PM »
Actually, it's 'sister.'   ;D  I forget that the sidebar doesn't say whether we are m or f, and not everyone knows what "Presbytera" means, and of course people who don't know me can't figure out what my name is.  My name is Mari (pronounced Mauri), and "Presbytera" is what we call our priest's wives.  My husband is a priest.

Thanks for the book suggestion.  It sounds awesome!!!  I'm going to add it to my list of 'must reads.'

God's love and mercy be with you!

Oops.  :-[ Should have looked at your avatar next time! Presbytera is pretty clear to me.

Offline lubeltri

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Re: What to do with the booty (and memory) of the 4th Crusade?
« Reply #20 on: November 29, 2007, 10:43:04 PM »
Can you please cite the relevant canon(s) dealing with statute of limitations regarding grand larceny?  Thanks.

If you are sick of hearing Orthodox whining about it, why not just get your hierarchs to return the spoils?  Problem solved.  :D

You think that would solve the problem? I can only imagine what you'd demand next from us!  :)

Of course I was not being literal about the statute of limitations. I was referring to an unwritten statute of limitations that determines when personal grudges become petty.

Some EO I've talked to seethe about this and seem to think that the Pope personally ordered the sack of Constantinople.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2007, 10:49:42 PM by lubeltri »

Offline lubeltri

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Re: What to do with the booty (and memory) of the 4th Crusade?
« Reply #21 on: November 29, 2007, 10:47:16 PM »
Hilarious!!!    Love it!!!

That's from Father John Zuhlsdorf's wonderful blog. He awards it to whining posters on comboxes who are never satisfied. I think he was the model for it---at least, it looks like him. It sure comes in handy. It should be kept on standby, next to OzGeorge's wonderful DON'T FEED THE TROLL cartoons.

Offline Peter J

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Re: What to do with the booty (and memory) of the 4th Crusade?
« Reply #22 on: November 29, 2007, 10:58:54 PM »
(though Christ calls all to forgive in charity). But the statute of limitations on the Fourth Crusade expired long ago. It is tiresome to hear EO today harping about it as some sort of personal affront.

Can you please cite the relevant canon(s) dealing with statute of limitations regarding grand larceny?  Thanks.

If you are sick of hearing Orthodox whining about it, why not just get your hierarchs to return the spoils?  Problem solved.  :D

Lubeltri, scamandrius, and everyone else,

I consider "statute of limitations" to be a valid concept, but it can be misapplied. For example, suppose a certain crime is reported to the proper authorities, who listen politely, say "Thank you for bringing this to our attention", and then do nothing more.

Suppose further that month after month, year after year, the victim returns and reminds the authorities of the crime that had been committed, who listen politely, say "Thank you for bringing this to our attention", and then do nothing more, until one day the authorities instead say "Sorry the statute of limitations has expired, so you can no longer come here, month after month, and annoy by reporting the same crime over and over."

I mean just suppose ...

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Offline scamandrius

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Re: What to do with the booty (and memory) of the 4th Crusade?
« Reply #23 on: November 29, 2007, 11:42:47 PM »

Of course I was not being literal about the statute of limitations. I was referring to an unwritten statute of limitations that determines when personal grudges become petty.

I was joking about the statute of limitations.  Ha, ha.

Theft and murder which inspired such grudges, however, are anything but petty offenses.

And please don't think you (i.e. Roman Catholics) are being singled out.  You will find that many EOs harbour similar grudges against the Muslims who stole and desecrated Hagia Sophia, the communists who ransacked our churches, killed our clergy and monastics and did everything possible to eliminate the EO.  Will you say that our grudges against them are as petty?  Such things die hard, unfortunately.
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Offline prodromos

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Re: What to do with the booty (and memory) of the 4th Crusade?
« Reply #24 on: November 30, 2007, 06:39:16 AM »
My view on this is education. Many Catholics sitting in churches in Florence and Rome have no idea that many of the relics and other treasures that surround them in their churches were obtained under not particularly honorable circumstances. They now have a long established tradition of venerating these relics and icons and have grown up with these and other treasures adorning their churches. They are part of their history and belong to them so it is up to them to decide what should be done with them. First, however, they need to be taught the history of how they came to be in their possession in the first place. They need to be taught what price it cost the Church and the empire in the East. They need to be taught this truthfully and honestly by their own Church.
I don't believe we are justified in demanding their return, they can only be offered back freely, and only then can there really begin to be understanding and healing taking place.