The following are excerpts from an old book from the late 1800s. Nevertheless, most of the information is pretty good. The author is at times critical of Orthodoxy as he is Anglican, but it is clear he is more critical of Roman Catholicism. Excerpts that are interesting are cited here. I offer comments whenever I feel like it!
Pope Vigilius condemned dyophysitism in some writings
Soon after he became Pope Vigilius wrote to the Monophysite Bishops Anthemius and Severus expressing his agreement with them and to the Empress he wrote condemning in accordance with his stipulation the Tome of Pope Leo and anathematizing Diodorus of Tarsus, Theodore of Mopsuestia, and Theodoret. He also wrote to Justinian and Memnas accepting the Tome of Leo and the Council of Chalcedon and condemning Anthemius Severus and the Monophysites (p. 290)
Note: The sixth council taught that Vigilius’ monoenergetic statement was a forgery.
Pope Honorius tried suppressing the orthodox writings of Patriarch Sophronius of Jerusalem
Honorius wrote two letters to Sergius both of which were ordered to be burnt by the Sixth Ecumenical Council in which he approved of what Sergius and Cyrus had done and agreed that there was only One Will in Christ in his answer to Sophronius he enjoined silence on the subject of the Two Wills or Energies (p. 311).
Crusaders Replaced the Orthodox Bishops of Antioch and Jerusalem
After a siege of seven months the city [of Antioch] was betrayed to them and made a Principality for Bohemund who bound himself to the Emperor Alexius that the Patriarch should not be chosen from the Latin but from the Greek Church. This agreement the Latins soon forgot and in two years the Greek Patriarch was made to give place to the chaplain of Adhemar Bishop of Puy who had accompanied the Crusade as representative of the Pope (p. 416-417).
The Holy Sepulchre was recovered and the Kingdom of Jerusalem with a nominal dependence on the Emperor established Simeon the Patriarch [who was in Cyprus] … Paschal II who had succeeded Urban as Pope appointed a Latin Patriarch Daimbert Archbishop of Pisa and Latin clergy who usurped their jurisdiction and revenue in place of the Greeks (p. 417).
Roman Catholic policy in 12th century Cyprus
The Cyprian Church [in the late 12th century] was Latinized. Guy made the French language the language of the government Latin becoming the language of the Church. Latin Bishops and Clergy were put in possession of the rich endowments of the Church toleration however was allowed to the Greeks who although deprived of their property, remained under the jurisdiction of their own Bishop, whilst Armenians, Nestorians, and Copts were allowed to build Churches (p. 423).
Sack of Constantinople and the setting up of a parallel Roman Catholic jurisdiction
The Patriarch John Camateros stripped of his Patriarchal robes and seated upon an ass was driven from the city and Thomaso Morosini one of their own countrymen was intruded by the Venetians into the Patriarchate (p. 430).
John Camateros the Patriarch of Constantinople was still living, but the Venetians would have a Patriarch of their own nor would they [the Venetians] accept one appointed by the Pope. Without consulting Innocent’s wishes or approval they insisted on Morosini, a Venetian sub deacon, and in January 1205 the Pope sanctioned the election and took the intruded Patriarch under his special patronage, with his own hands he ordained him Deacon and within a week Priest and Bishop and invested him with the Pall insisting that he should recognize the supremacy of the Pope of Rome. Innocent violated every Canon of the Catholic Church which regulated the election and deposition of Bishops and forbade two Bishops to exist in the same city (p. 431).
Officially sanctioned persecution of Orthodox
[In the 13th century, Popes] granted Indulgences to the latter in their attacks on the heretics [i.e. Orthodox] (p. 434).
Orthodox “conditions” for reunion by Emperor John Vataces (13th century)
Several subsequent attempts at reunion made by Vatatces were all grounded on the condition that the Greek Empire at Constantinople should be re-established, the Latin Patriarchs except the Patriarch of Antioch who might continue till his death, be removed and the Greek Patriarchs restored (p. 440).
Pope sanctioned crusade against Greeks at Rhodes
The servitude of Rhodes was, says Gibbon, delayed about two centuries by the establishment of the Knights Hospitallers or the Knights of St John of Jerusalem. After the fall of Acre, they migrated first to Cyprus but despairing of rendering any effectual aid to Jerusalem against the growing power of the Ottomans they obtained from Pope Clement V permission to turn their arms against the Greeks. The Pope praised their Christian zeal and the Knights under pretext of a Crusade collected a force with which in 1310 they defeated the troops of Andronicus and gained possession of Rhodes where they set up an independent kingdom which was long the bulwark of Christian Europe against the Ottoman power (p. 453).
Was Barlaam of Calabria accepted into Orthodoxy from a Latin jurisdiction with no conditions?
In 1337 Pope Benedict XII (1334-1342) reopened with Andronicus the matter of the proposed reunion. In 1339, Barlaam a monk of the monastery of St Saviour at Constantinople who though born and educated in Calabria in the Latin Church was a strong opponent of Romanism was sent by Andronicus to Avignon to procure assistance against the Turks on the condition of reunion which was to be effected by a General Council to decide the points of dispute between the Eastern and Western Churches (p. 457).
All the patriarchates other than Constantinople rejected the Council of Florence
The Bishops who had subscribed the Union, several of whom were Latins holding Greek Sees, now joined the popular side against the Emperor [and] declared that their consent had been extorted by force and publicly retracted their subscription. Nor was the schism confirmed to the Greeks. The Russians, which at that time comprised the larger part of the Orthodox Church, abjured the Union. The three other Eastern Patriarchs in a Synod at Jerusalem AD 1443 with one voice condemned it and threatened to excommunicate the Emperor and all who adhered to it denouncing Metrophanes [of Constantinople] as a heretic and cancelling his Ordinations (p. 471).
Crusades against, and parallel churches set up in, Russia
But in 1205 in a battle on the borders of the Vistula, he [Roman, Grand Prince of Galich] was defeated and slain by the Poles and a Latin Archbishopric set up in Galich. Roman was succeeded by his young son Daniel under whom Red Russia was a prey to civil wars. In 1218 Galich was stormed and taken by Mistislav the Brave Prince of Novgorod by whom the Roman clergy were driven out of the country (p. 495).
The Novgorodians, having opposed the Livonian Knights of the Sword (the indefatigable enemies of Orthodoxy), Pope Gregory IX, the arrogant Pope who persecuted the great German Emperor Frederic II and drew upon himself the censure of St Louis of France, proclaimed against them a Crusade with the promise of plenary indulgence. Alexander…feeling that he was fighting for the Orthodox Church, opposed the Western with an Eastern Crusade. Having first received in the Church of St Sophia the benediction of the Archbishop Spiridion, he set out against the army of Scandinavian and Western Crusaders and won the brilliant victory on the Neva, which gained for him the surname of Nevski (p. 500).
Lithuania almost went Orthodox…and then it didn’t
Olgerd was succeeded by his son Jagiello (1377 – 1434). [Pagan] Lithuania was under the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of Moscow and it seemed at the time that the victors would be absorbed by the vanquished and become Russified by their conquest…The religious difficulty was surmounted by Jagiello’s adandoning the Greek and adopting at Cracow the Latin faith…a large number of still Pagan Lithuanians underwent compulsory Baptism into the Roman Church (p. 511).
The inauspicious founding of Uniatism in Ukraine and the creation of a parallel church
One of the several irregularly Consecrated Bishops was Cyril Terlecki Bishop of Luck in Volhynia who had not only been twice married but was also a man of notoriously profligate life, but deceived by his hypocritical assurances, the Patriarch at his visitation allowed him to retain his See…Terlecki, dreading a reforming Synod by which he well knew his profligacy and hypocrisies would be exposed, prevailed with Ragoza not to convoke one. Having been imprisoned by the civil governor of Luck, a convert to Romanism, he attributed it to his being a Bishop of the Orthodox Church and seeing no other means of preserving his Episcopal revenues conceived the idea of a Union on the basis of his acknowledging the supremacy of the Pope, but retaining the doctrines and ritual of the Greek with the Roman Church. The Patriarch, finding on a second visit that Ragoza had not summoned the Council and that the misdemeanours [of] Terlecki were too glaring to admit of doubt, as he could no longer trust Ragoza, committed by his letters the task of summoning the Council to Meletius Bishop of the neighbouring See of Vladimir in Volhynia. But the crafty Terlecki, who was as averse as before, and for the same reasons, to a Council made a friendly visit to Meletius and abstracted the Patriarchal Letters and on the death of Meletius ,which happened shortly afterwards, prevailed upon Ragoza to consecrate to the See of Vladimir a man of no better character than himself, Ignatius Pociej, who as he well knew held the same views as himself regarding the Orthodox Church. Terlecki and Pociej were the two authors in 1595 of the Unia in which they were soon joined by Ragoza (p. 542-543).
The Prince of Ostrog and the Orthodox party were summoned to attend the dissident Synod at Brzesc but instead of attending it they themselves held a counter Synod and one much more numerously attended of the Orthodox at the same place to which were sent two Exarchs, Nicephorus and Cyril Lucar by the Patriarch of Constantinople. The Synod refused to accept the terms of the Unia and passed an anathema on the apostates from the Orthodox Church. The Uniats retaliated with an anathema against the Orthodox. Cyril Lucar barely escaped with his life whilst Nicephorus was actually seized and strangled (p. 544).
Thus the Church of Western Russia became broken up into two parts, the Orthodox and the Uniats. No further changes were at first effected and the Uniats had few adherents. But the Polish government soon took measures for the more rapid propagation of the Unia and a violent and long lasting persecution of the Orthodox clergy set in. Their Bishops were prevented from holding intercourse with their clergy [and] their Priests dared not show themselves in public not even to bury their dead. Their monasteries were emptied, the monks expelled, their Churches were farmed to Jews. In Vilna, says Mouraviev, the Orthodox Churches were converted into inns. In Mensk the Church lands were given to a Mahometan morgue. Horrible atrocities were perpetrated. Many Priests, says Dr Neale, were baked and roasted alive or torn in pieces by iron instruments. The stipulation made with the Uniats by Rome was violated ,their ancient Liturgies were mutilated or their use forbidden. The Jesuits, under pretext of being Uniat Monks, overcame the mind and conscience of the Lithuano Russian nobility establishing schools for the well born youth and insinuating themselves into the families of the great so that in one century, the 17th, all the nobility of Western Russia were Uniats, although the greater part of them subsequently went over to the Roman Catholic religion. Of the remaining classes the clergy and the inhabitants of the towns and villages, one half preserved the faith of their ancestors the other joined the schism. Inimical to each other both parties were equally persecuted and hunted down by the Roman Catholics were deprived of civil rights (p. 545)
The Unia continued for nearly 250 years and it was the pitfall by which Cyril Lucar was overwhelmed. We shall in another chapter come to the time when the Uniats not merely in thousands but in millions returned to the Orthodox Church but the end of the movement and the readiness with which the Uniats returned in their millions to the Orthodox Church can only be appreciated through an understanding of the commencement of the movement…So that when on the partition of Poland all of the Western region which had wrested from it reverted to the sceptre of Catharine, Uniats so soon as they gained toleration and had liberty follow the dictates of their own consciences especially in and Podolia reverted in shoals to the Orthodox (p. 546).
The Polish Government however, notwithstanding the lately declared treaty averse to the Ecclesiastical connexion with Moscow, extirpated all the Orthodox Sees in the Polish provinces and the Uniat Archbishop of Polotsk assuming the title of Metropolitan of Kiev and all Russia appointed by degrees Uniat in all the Sees previously occupied by the Orthodox Bishops (p. 582).
Uniates were peacefully brought back into Orthodoxy by Synod of Polotsk in 1839
In the Week of Orthodoxy February 1839 all the Greco Uniat Bishops together with the principal [canonically Orthodox] clergy held a Synod at Polotsk…The Synod resolved to receive the Bishops Priests and all the flock of the Greco Uniat Church into Communion (p. 645).
Thus the Russian Uniats returned to the Orthodox Greek Church. As the Uniats were in doctrine one with the Orthodox Church and as the only point required of them on their union with Rome had been submission to the Pope, so now the only act of profession required of them was, “Our Lord Jesus Christ is the One True Head of the One True Church.” The Pope Gregory XVI 1831 1846 issued against the re union an ineffectual allocution, but the public opinion of Europe saw in the return of the Uniats a case of historical justice (p. 646).
Continued Roman evangelization of the Orthodox
The Jesuits again in 1860 endeavoured to establish a Uniat Church in Bulgaria and in 1861 the Pope Consecrated Sokolski as Archbishop but in August of the latter year he returned to the Orthdox Church (p. 646).
In 1875 96 Uniate parishes in Poland voluntarily returned to Orthodoxy
In 1875 fifty thousand Uniats from forty five Parishes in the Diocese of Seidlitz in Poland with twenty six Priests disagreeing with the late Vatican Decree seceded from Rome and were by the Archbishop of Warsaw admitted into the Orthodox Church and later on in the same year fifty one Parishes at Zamoscid gave in their adherence to the Orthodox Church and a former Uniat Priest was Consecrated Orthodox Bishop of Lublin (p. 647).