Click image to enlarge   The General References Page

General References are proposed to aid better understanding Byzantine Icons and to help placing the Sacred Art of Icon Painting in the appropriate historical and religious context
•  Byzantine Empire  •  Rome Catacombs
•  History of Icons and Mosaics
•  Eastern Orthodoxy  •  Iconoclasm
 •  The Great Schism  •  The 4th Crusade
•  Art Theft on a gigantic scale...
To navigate this page : Use Floating Menu
to the left, or click to go to LINKS MENU
Also click to see Ancient & Medieval Byzantine
Icons, Frescoes & Mosaics

 Copyright © 2002-2007 P.W. de Ruyter        Updated : 2 October 2007

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     6. Roman Catholic Sites
        - Apparitions
        - Byzantine Icons     
        - Catholic Resources  
        - Ecumenical Councils   
        - Inquisition
        - Miscellaneous Articles
        - The Holy Shroud (Turin Shroud)

     7. Ecumenical Issues
        - The Great Schism
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     8. Bibles, Encyclopedias

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Attention : The chapters on Geographic and Historic data, on Ethiopian icons
and on Coptic icons, have been moved to the Medieval Byzantine Icons page.


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General World History

General World History Texts, Many of Them from a Biblical Perspective.

Hellenism Network > History > Byzantine Empire

Site Map, 500-1000 A.D. - A Timeline of Art History by The Metropolitan Museum of Art , New York. A highly interesting and unique piece of work representing the entire world history in graphical form, while thereby at times going into interesting detail about an art subject in a particular country or region of the world ! Quite unbelieveable but true !

The Byzantine Empire

Constantinople on the web *New!* Oct. 2007
Web-site of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople
With Videos about Byzantium and Orthodoxy

Byzantium Through The Ages
- A Timeline - History - Works of Art

A Time Line of Church History (Eastern Orthodox perspective).
This Timeline shows in parallel the 1000 years of Byzantium and the events of the early Church.

A concise account of the tradition of Byzantine icon painting in Greece

Byzantine Empire: A one-page summary.

The Byzantine Empire - Yasou : Excellent article, outlining the Latin phase, the Justinian built Hagia Sophia Church, law, literature and arts under Justinian, expansion, iconoclasm, golden age, and decline and crusades

The Constantinople Home Page (primarily Arcitecture) - Bob Oosterhout

Byzantine Monuments. In this article, authored by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, you will find particulars about the Church of Panagia of Blachernae, but what you will really find is a short history of the Byzantine Empire

The Byzantine Empire - Donald MacGillivray Nicol
Excellent site with very thorough descriptions by an expert historian.

The Byzantine Empire - Andreas Theodosiades, Cyprus (sxetikos)

Byzantine Empire >> Part of Byzantine Studies at Notre Dame University (in Notre Dame, Indiana, USA). The basis for these studies is the Library of Byzantine Civilization which Notre Dame acquired from Milton V. Anastos, one of America's greatests Byzantinists.

Explore Byzantium Good descriptions of the various phases of the Byzantine Empire, complete with maps, timelines, images.

Byzantine Empire - Links by Open Directory Project

European Middle Ages, The Byzantine Empire
Part of World Civilizations - Richard Hooker, Washing State University

All about Turkey, The Byzantine Empire
==> includes list of all Emperors from Constantin I (323 - 337) to Constantin IX (1448 - 1453)

If you want to know more, or if you want to visit sites and read works with a more systematic or scientific oriented approach, the first website to visit is the one of Paul Halsall, the great specialist in everything 'Byzantium':

Byzantium: Byzantine Studies on the Internet - Paul Halsall, Fordham, NY City's Jesuit University
It provides access to several other sites, the two of immediate interest being:

Gallery: Byzantine Images -

Internet Medieval Sourcebook -

You can also consult Nancy Mautz' terrific resource :
--- Byzantine and Islamic Worlds - NM's Creative Impulse - Nancy B. Mautz

The Byzantine Empire - Catholic Encyclopedia

Byzantine Empire

Maps &Timelines

A Time Line of Church History (Eastern Orthodox perspective)

Maps of Byzantium : click the link below & scroll down Dead Link

Gallery of Maps - 48 entries (Source: Hellenic Macedonia)

Maps of Asia Minor

Map of Constantinople

Lonely Planet >> An excellent and practical source of information on any country. For further information, consult the Texas University Maps (next link)

People and Places of the World. Photos by Galen R. Frysinger Sheboygan, Wisconsin USA >> pictures of places to have some idea how they look today

Russian Links >> history, maps

Texas University Maps / Maps Source >> scroll down to US Maps & World Maps >> provides links to many map sources, including : Lonely Planet, MapQuest, National Geographic Society and Yahoo.

Timelines of Religious History


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A one-page History of Iconography (Maria Ciucur)

Ancient Routes (Rodney Baird)

Archaeology in Bulgaria

Art and History of Icons in Russia from the 10th century to date.
(Art et histoire des icônes en Russie du Xe siècle à nos jours.) (Marie-Agnès Deriglazoff)

Art History, Resources on the web (Chris Witcombe): Part 7, Art of the Middle Ages (November 9, 2004)

Balkan Elements in Orthodox Church Painting of the Post-Byzantine Period in Central Europe.
By Waldemar Deluga, Warsaw (2001)

Byzantine Art

Byzantine Art (Charles Diehl)

Brief History of Russian Icons
(IPL, Path Finder: Russian Icons, The Regents of the University of Michigan)

Byzantine and Islamic Worlds

Christianity and Culture (Dr. Mark G. McGowan, University of St. Michael's College in the University of Toronto)
>> click 'Table of Contents' to go to the Christian Imagination Course.

Christian Art through the Ages (Dr. Rozmeri Basic)
Images provide a clear understanding of the evolution of Christian art detailing nine (9) main periods from the Early Christian art (200-500) to the Palaiologan Period (1261-1453). Sheer beauty and great education. A truly maginificent site!

(The) Development of Western Civilization - World History
Byzantine and Islamic Worlds (Nancy B. Mautz)

Early Christian Art and Architecture ; Early, Middle, and Post-Byzantine Art and Architecture (Belmont University, Honors Program)
- Many images of Christian and Byzantine Architecture
- Many icons, frescoes and mosaics. Excellent site!

History of Mosaic Art
     Mosaic History, part 2 - Decline and revival

Icons, Their History and Construction (PDF file). Excellent site!

Internet Guides to Byzantine and Early Christian Art
(University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign) ==> part of previous link

Internet Medieval Sourcebook
(Paul Halsall, Fordham, New York City's Jesuit University)
==> Select the topic of interest from the menu appearing on top of page

Internet Resources, Subject Guide
(University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign) -> many different categories of links

Large Horizontal Graphical Timeline of the Byzantine Empire

Medieval History - Byzantine Art and Architecture

NIXNET Medieval Art General References: The largest site on the internet dealing with Minor Medieval Arts. It currently has over 400 links to other medieval art sites, organized by subject area and country.

Organization of the Russian Orthodox Church
     & Kievan art and architecture

Orthodox Art and Architecture (John Yiannias) *New!*

Russian Art and Architecture (Bucknell University)


There are about sixty different catacombs, but only a few can be visited: those of St. Callixtus, St. Sebastian, Priscilla, Domitilla and St. Agnes are generally open to the public.

In this section you will see early images of Jesus and images of the following catacombs : St. Callixtus (Calisto), Domitilla, Priscilla and Via Latina. Several related links are provided as well.

Following are two magnificent sites with many images :

The Christian Catacombs of Ancient Rome : An Introduction (by Dr. Joseph Byrne, Belmont University)

Art in the Christian Catacombs of Rome

The Good Shepherd

Jesus the Healer
"Your faith has saved you"

Catacombs of Domitilla
==> 35 images

Early Images of Jesus ==> 6 interesting quality images

Short Bibliography and Glossary

The 'Orante' figure

The Good Shepherd

International Catacomb Society: Visiting the Christian Catacombs ...

Related interesting links

  Below are 3 more images from the Catacombs. They are part of the art site of Dr. Rozmeri Basic. This magnificent site is a 'must see', it can be seen on this same page.

Samson and the Lion.
Wall-painting, c. 350-400.
Via Latina Catacomb,
(Dr. Rozmeri Basic)

The Good Shepherd, praying figures. Wall-painting.
Catacomb of Priscilla,
(Dr. Rozmeri Basic)

Raising of Lazarus,
Wall Painting, 350-400.
Via Latina, Catacomb,
(Dr. Rozmeri Basic)

The Priscilla Catacombs

Entrance of the
Priscilla Catacomb

Three Jouths in the
Fiery Furnace

The Sacrifice of Abraham

The Good Shepherd

A Catacomb Gallery
(excavated underground

Orant figure from the
Giordani Catacombs

The oldest known image
of the Madonna

Greek Chapel

The Breaking of the Bread

Jesus and the Samaritan Woman
Catacomb of Via Latina.
Jesus asks a Samaritan woman for water at the well (see John 4:7-10). In turn, He offers her the water of eternal life.

Iconography and Iconoclasm in Byzantium
Icononodules and iconoclasts)

The era of Iconoclasm* (726-843 AD) was one of the most important spiritual crises of the Byzantine Empire. It was a major conflict that broke out between partisans (iconodules) and enemies (iconoclasts) of icons, between defenders of Orthodoxy and heretics: it was a doctrinal war. A first period (730 to 780) starts in 730 when Leon the Isaurian (726-741) decretes the prohibition of the icon cult which he classifies as idolatry. But it is not just a religious quarrel; it is the close of an era, the coming together of all sorts of tendencies, religious, political and economical that put into question all values in each and every domain. It is a complex phenomena. Nevertheless, dogmatic question points are at the root of the problem. Following a period of reinstatement of the holy images (780-813), a new iconoclastic period (813-842) breaks out which ends in 843 with the Victory of Orthodoxy.

==> Iconoclasm cannot really be fully understood outside of the context of Iconography and the Incarnation. Visit the page The Essential Feature of Icons

* Iconoclasm : Specific references on the 100-year-long conflict during which many icons were destroyed

Icons: Brief History (Alexander Boguslawski): Iconodules and Iconoclasts.
- The iconodules (defenders or lovers of icons) based their defense of icons on the Doctrine of the Incarnation and on the Dogma of the Two Natures of Christ.
- The iconoclasts (Emperor Leo III and a group of overzealous "puritans,") argued that misinterpretation of religious images leads to heresy.

Iconoclasm: Documents of the Iconoclastic Controversy:
Iconodule Position and Iconoclast Position (Dr. Kenneth W. Harl)

Icons and iconoclasm (Alan L. Hayes, Toronto School of Theology)

Medieval Sourcebook - Iconoclasm (Paul Halsall, Fordham University, New York)

Icons and iconoclasm in Byzantium (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York)

Iconoclasm in Eight-Century Byzantium (Paul Stephensen)

Iconoclasm (Absolute Astronomy Reference)

Iconoclasm (Catholic Encyclopedia)

Iconoclasm (

History of the Iconoclastic (Image Breaking) Heresy


Meteor Monastery
(scroll down for more)


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Chilandar Monastery
(scroll down for more)

St. Basil's Cathedral, Moscow
St. Basil's Cathedral, Moscow

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Ipatievsky Monastery, Kostroma
Church of The Resurrection,
St. Petersburg

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Eastern Orthodoxy

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Cathedral of the Assumption, Moscow
Cathedral of the

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Cathedral of the Assumption, Moscow
Annunciation Cathedral

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View of 3 cathedrals, Moscow
View of 3 cathedrals,

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Saint Sofia Cathedral

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Transfiguration Monastery, Ellwood City PA
Transfiguration Monastery,
Ellwood City PA

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     The following references are rich sources of information that may help to better understand the Orthodox Faith. Some of the referenced articles are authored by Orthodox, others by Catholics. They point out the essential elements of the Orthodox Faith, elements also that are complementary to other faiths.

(1) THE ORTHODOX TRADITION, Saving Medicine for the Whole Church.
A heartwarming account of an Orthodox Christian, the like of which I haven't found before. The heartwarming tone is set right at the start: Although the Schism between East and West was tragic and probably preventable, it seems that God providentially has spared the Eastern Church from many of the mistakes and their consequences that have beset the West. I haven't been able to figure out who the author is. But he is among God's chosen to be able to write what he did with love in his heart. I placed his writing ahead of all others because of it.

(2) What is Orthodoxy? by the St. Mary Orthodox Church Chambersburg PA
==>  Very informative site ! And many beautiful icons !

(3) The Orthodox World (click 'cancel' in dialog box).
     The (Russian, Orthodox) authors specifically direct their attention to the Western reader, as part of an effort to make their Church better known, loved and accepted, as it is. The site is very complete. Here is what they themselves are saying about it : « The site can be considered as a general encyclopedia on Orthodoxy, created for a Western reader. In it we want to pay particular attention to the things that unite us and to those that are different to our traditions, but that complement each other ».
     All icon images are of high quality and great beauty. A highly instructive and beautiful website !

(4) Orthodox Faith and Life (Bishop Alexander) -> Very informative site !

(5) Foundational Beliefs - Orthodox Eastern and Roman Catholic

(6) Orthodoxy and Catholicism, A Comprehensive and Impartial Guide to Issues and Materials (byTim Spalding, a Catholic) -> Very informative site !

(7) Eastern Orthodoxy Index Page (by Dave Armstrong, a Catholic)
      Table of Contents :
      - Critiques of Orthodoxy/Dialogues
      - Defenses of Catholic Doctrines Disputed by the Orthodox
      - Orthodox Links (including links to icon sites)
      - Catholic Links
      - Catholic Encyclopedia Articles
      ==> Very informative site !

(8) Pages Orthodoxes La Transfiguration (Paul Ladouceur)
This is one more excellent site. The images are beautiful and they are shown in their religious context .
         The site is a particularly rich source for getting to know various different elements of the Orthodox Faith. For example, The Jesus Prayer (The Prayer of the Heart), considered one of the most important elements of Orthodox spirituality, is described in full detail, by a number of different authors. More on the Jesus Prayer can be found in the separate section below. Since the site is in French, several English references are provided therein as well.
In order to get to the images, click the above link ; when you arrive on the site, click 'Pages Orthodoxes' ; next 'Index des Images' ; then scroll down one screen. Don't be discouraged if at first you have some difficulty navigating the site. It is worth the effort to seek and read because many of the texts accompanying the images are very profound and a source for reflexion or meditation that one seldom sees on the Internet.
Here is the world renowned icon of the Holy Trinity (La Sainte Trinité) of Andrei Rublev  

(9) Russian Orthodox Church - Official Webserver of the Moscow Patriarchate

(10) Diagram with organizational structure of Eastern Christianity

(11) Orthodox Links
A total of 840 categorized links prepared by the Open Directory Project (the largest human-edited directory of the web).

(12) TheoLogic Systems Orthodox WorldLinks
A total of 714 categorized Orthodox WorldLinks as (verified as of 2-May-2003)

(13) Apologia - The Fullness of Christian Truth (by Tracy Elizabeth Tucciarone López, a Catholic)

(14) Églises orthodoxes. Un article de Wikipédia, l'encyclopédie libre.

(15) Excerpts from "These Truths We Hold."
The Holy Orthodox Church: Her Life and Teaching. *New!*
Compiled and edited by a monk of the St. Tikhon’s Monastery Excellent!

The Jesus Prayer - Prayer of the Heart
La Prière de Jésus - La Prière du Coeur

The Jesus Prayer is considered one of the most important elements of Orthodox spirituality. In this section you will find links to a number of articles each written by a different author : 11 links to articles in French (selected & annotated by the auther of Les Pages Orthodoxes), and 13 links to articles in English.

The Jesus Prayer or Prayer of the Heart :
« Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God,
have mercy on me, a sinner »

Prière de Jésus ou Prière du Coeur :
« Seigneur Jésus-Christ, Fils de Dieu,
aie pitié de moi, pécheur »

Christ Pantocrator, Sofronov - 20th c.
Christ Pantocrator
Sofronov - 20th c.

The icon of Christ Pantocrator by the monk Sofronov (Monastère de Chevetogne, Belgium), shown above, together with its accompanying text is part of a series of 12 articles, each written by a different author, about The Jesus Prayer or Prayer of the Heart . This is all in French though. If you have difficulty reading French, then here are some excellent references in English.


- The Orthodox Rosary - The Jesus Prayer. Excerpts from the book 'Orthodox Church' by Bishop Kallistos Ware . Bishop Kallistos Ware is a Greek Orthodox Bishop in Oxford, Great Britain and one of the world's most popular Orthodox speakers. More on the author's writings can be found on this same page, by clicking the following 2 links : (1) Orthodoxy (2) The Great Schism . If you want to know other writings by Bishop Ware, then click the link that follows to be taken to the Search / Site Search utility and search the web with the keywords "Kallistos Ware". Also, many times forgotten, the IE 'Find' utility is an excellent tool to search for articles by Bishop Ware or others on this page.

- Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
The Jesus Prayer, by Fr. Steven Peter Tsichlis

- Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia
The Jesus Prayer, by Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

- Praying with the heart - The Jesus Prayer

- The Jesus Prayer and Hesychasm

- The Jesus Prayer - Prayer of the Heart : an additional 8 links to the Jesus Prayer

Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America - Resources

Early Church History.
    Links related to early Church history: 'Creating a Hypertext Encyclopedia of
    early Church History' (The Ecole initiative, Evansville University ).

    Even though the above Evansville source of links is dead, the following link gives access to the page
    (Rutgers University) Department of Religious Studies, which starts with
    Religious Study Links. Click the above link, press PgDn once, then click
    Virtual Religion Index .
    Now click Christian Tradition, ,
    then scroll down to Eastern Orthodoxy.

Nick's Greek Orthodox Page
Orthodox Doctrine - Lives of Saints - Prayers - Book Reviews - News

Links and Resources. Links to sites of Byzantine sister churches and parishes, or institutions, organizations or sources of information about Byzantine Christianity and/or Eastern Christianity -- some of which also include information about Russian Catholics or Christianity in Russia
(The Unofficial homepage of the Society of St. John Chrysostom of Ayatriada, Istanbul, Turkey)
Orthodoxy by Bishop Kallistos Ware
Orthodoxy THE INNER KINGDOM ($14.95, paper, xii, 230 pages; Volume One of THE COLLECTED WORKS, St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 0-88141-209-0) cloth
- The opening chapter recounts the author's journey to Orthodoxy.
- What is it that makes Bishop Kallistos's works so engaging?
- Bishop Kallistos is that rare individual whose work is accessible to the layperson, but at the same time worthwhile for the specialist.
- Like all great spiritual writings, Ware's works can be appreciated by persons of any spiritual persuasion.
- With what I have recently learned about Mgr. Ware the book should be very interesting and informative
Orthodox Easter - Holy Fire

Orthodox Eastern Church (The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001) -> good historic overview

Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy (V. Potapov)
(Click Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy) Very informative
(Russian Orthodox Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, Washigton, DC)

Orthodoxy on the Internet

Religion in Russia
(Discovering Russia at CCDS

St. Luke's Missionary Society: Medieval Serb Orthodox Chants, Orthodox Christian Information Center ; General Links (Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Rask and Prizren)

TSERKOVNOST :: An Eastern Orthodox Resource Centre is an independent non-incorporated non-profit religious educational institution established under the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States of America and the laws of the State of Florida. It is not an official organ of any particular Orthodox jurisdiction. *New!* Very informative.

Eastern Orthodox Churches


Antiochan Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America

Orthodox Christian Information Center

Orthodox Christian Portal - in English - in Romanian

The reason behind the different calendar of Church Feasts in the East and West (in French)

The Date of Orthodox Easter 1875 to 2124

Acathist Hymn



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The Three Hierarchs
of the Church, 20th c.

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"Christian Classics Ethereal Library" - Classic Christian books in electronic format, selected for your edification. . Following are two chapters, but there are many more. Excellent!

Early Church Fathers


The Three Hierarchs of the Church

The Three Pillars of Orthodoxy Ss. Photios the Great, Mark of Ephesus, and Gregory Palamas *New!*
Very informative.

Doctors of the Catholic Church By Tommy Ferris. Superb!


Eastern Rite Churches

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Byzantine Catholic Church in America

Byzantine Catholic Church - Page of Faith

What is the Byzantine Catholic Church?

Eastern Rite Churches

Eastern Rites Today

Melkite Church (The Melkite Greek Catholic Church)

Melkite Church in America / Byzantine Catholic Church in America / Melkite Greek Catholic Church in Canada

Melkite Catholic Church of Australia and New Zealand

Melkite Greek Catholic Church Information Center (unofficial Melkite Greek Catholic Web site)

- About Melkite icons

- Acathist Hymn / Akathist Hymn / Hymn of the Akathistos
(Melkite Greek Catholic Church Information Center)

Links and Resources


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This section of the General References page is not yet fully organized. For now, the main subjects in this chapter are :


The Ecumenical Councils and their Chief Doctrines (Catholic Online)

Also see / copied from Eastern Orthodoxy (15) :
Excerpts from "These Truths We Hold."
The Holy Orthodox Church: Her Life and Teaching. *New!*
Compiled and edited by a monk of the St. Tikhon’s Monastery Excellent!


Even though there are few Roman Catholic websites on byzantine icons, they do exist. The following references are examples thereof.

Orientale Lumen - Articles on Christian Iconography and Christian Icons.
The site is authored by Rev. James N. Chevedden, S.J. and Scholastic Paul A. Zalonski, S.J. (a bi-ritual Jesuit priest).

Centre d'Etudes Russes Saint-Georges, directed by Father Egon Sendler S.J. , reportedly Western Europe's most eminent iconographer.

St. Andrei Rublev Icon Studio, USA. It is the studio of Father William H. McNichols, an American iconographer.

Christus Rex : a private, non-profit organization that presents over 5000 images of religious works of art preserved in churches, cathedrals and monasteries all over the world

-- Christus Rex hosts some very beautiful byzantine icons. However, one has got to know that they are there, as the title is buried in another chapter that sounds as if icons don't exist. To find them, select 'Renaissance Paintings Gallery', then 'A new featured section' 'Russian Icons' .

-- NOTE : The above 'Russian Icons' title is not to be confused with a title of the same name, i.e. 'Russian Icons', listed right underneath 'Renaissance Paintings Gallery'. That title refers to the site of Orthodox contemporary iconographer Tatiana Vartanova. Click this link / line to see a reference to her site (Icon Painting and Restoration) included on the Contemporary Byzantine Icons page.

Catholic Canada - Online Directory

Catholic Information Network

Catholic Pillar and Foundation

Christians on the web - Des Chrétiens sur le web

Works and Writings by Yuri Koszarycz, Senior Lecturer (School of Theology, McAuley Campus) Australian Catholic University.
     (1) Ecclesiology: A Study in Church History. Excellent !
     (2) The Australian Ejournal of Theology online
click on February 2006 to retrieve ISSUE 6 - ISSN 1448 - 6326, or click the following direct link

Eternal Word Television Network, Global Catholic Network

Le Kiosk des sciences religieuses

Le site religieux de Bayard

Links to Other (Roman Catholic) Web Sites

(The) Marian Shrines website

Pope John Paul II - Apostolic Letters, Speeches...
   - Speeches
   - Orientale Lumen - Apostolic Letter

Roman Catholic Periodicals and News Reports
   - L'Osservatore Romano, Weekly Edition in English
   - Madonna House Publications - A Catholic Christian Publisher of Religious Books, AudioBooks, Videos, Music.
   - National Catholic Reporter
   - The Tablet
   - Zenit, the World seen from Rome
      Animations Flash

Top 50 Catholic websites in the world (New Advent / Catholic Encyclopedia)


Church Approved Stigmatist Writes to Mel Gibson. The Following is a letter by Myrna Nazzour of Damascus

The Inquisition. A Brief History of the Inquisition - Written by Robert Jones - presents an overview of the Inquisition, including a look at the “justification”, methodologies, victims, and results of the 600-year reign of this most dreaded institution

The Inquisition (Catholic Encyclopedia) ==> enter 'inquisition' in search box

Notre-Dame-du-Cap (Quebec), Canada's most important pilgrimage place

Our Lady's Library
The Millennium of Christianity is ... Not in Russia But the Ukraine

Saint Joseph / About Saint Joseph
   - Finding Saint Joseph (by S. Miesel)
   - Saint Joseph (Catholic Encyclopedia)
   - L'Oratoire Saint-Joseph

The Dick Staub Interview (Source: Christianity Today)
- About Dick Staub
- The Dick Staub Interview: Why Frederica Mathewes-Green Loves Icons


(1) Apparitions & Eucharistic Miracles ==> Caution! Read note below.
(2) Apparitions of Jesus and Mary ==> Very good!
Note: Both above sites are interesting. However, caution must be exercised in (1) as some apparitions are not recognized by the Church. Therefore, in order to avoid exposure to any unverifiable misinterpretations, it may be wiser to consult site (2). The reason being that in site (2) each miracle is accompanied with a 'rating' indicating the Church's stand relative to the particular miraculous event. If no rating is available yet, the status is indicated of the Church's investigation.

Apparitions of the Virgin Mary in Lourdes, France (1858)
- Introduction
- Bernadette
- The Grotto
- The Apparitions
- Bishop's Commission
- Episcopal Commission's Report
- Canonization
- Her Incorrupt Body
     Source: Catholic Online

Apparitions of the Virgin Mary in Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina (1981 - present)

THE HOLY SHROUD - Le Saint Suaire

- The Holy Shroud - Official Site

- The Holy Shroud of Turin

- The Shroud of Turin

- The Holy Shroud of Turin (Catholic Encyclopedia)

- Turin Shroud 'shows second face'

- Discovery of a second face on the Turin Shroud

- Le Saint Suaire de Turin - Site is in French. It has many links in both English and French

- Rethinking the Shroud objectively

- Are the Holy Cloth of Edessa and the Holy Shroud of Turin one and the same? It's what researchers are suggesting

Holy Mandylion, 17th century. Dionysiou Monastery, Mount Athos, Greece.


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        With the exception of the section on the Great Schism immediately following, the articles in this chapter, shown after the (section on the) Great Schism, primarily serve as starting points for those who want to know more about ecumenical issues.
        The section on the Great Schism contains several articles and citations of (mostly) Orthodox authors. Much of it is new information for the Roman Catholic I am. Despite some strong wording, the information, taken as a whole, has provided me with a deeper understanding of this issue, for which I am grateful.
        And even though it may be healthy, at times, to hear issues expressed in a confrontational manner, I believe that what ultimately will bring us closer together is speaking the Truth with Love while focussing on the points we can agree on. Among others, this will include:
        - The veneration of the Holy Virgin Mary by the Eastern Orthodox Church particularly as this is being expressed through the sacred art of icon painting in the traditional style;
        - The sense of organization in the Roman Catholic Church with as result the ability of the Roman Catholic Church to speak with one voice;
        - Prayer.

    - The Great Schism generally refers to the formal rupture in 1054 between the differing Latin and Greek branches of Christianity.
    - This section proposes several well written and informative articles with regard to the WHY, HOW and WHEN of the Great Schism of the Undivided Church. The authors are religious from the Greek Orthodox Church. It is truly heartwarming to see that several authorities are making an effort to clarify matters by efficient non-judgemental communication.
    - References dealing directly with this issue are shown within this section. Others, of more general nature, are shown outside of it.

     - Rev. George Mastrantonis presents an in-depth look at the causes and history of the Great Schism that split the Ecumenical Church in two:  Eastern Orthodoxy in the East, and Roman Catholicism in the West.

    - In this article, taken from his book "The Orthodox Church", Bishop Kallistos Ware tells how the events took place, in 1054, as if it happened a few hours ago. With an easygoing, clearly understandable style, he puts the facts before us and does not shy away from saying what he thinks.

    - This article helps us understand (1) what «Filioque» stands for, and (2) how its interpretation or translation has been a factor in the Great Schism.
    - The article, from "Catholic Answers" (no specific author is mentioned), starts off by explaining that the dispute centers around the question of how the word «Filioque», which in Latin means «and the Son», was or should be interpreted or translated. Does the Spirit proceed from the Father, or from the Father «and the Son», or from the Father «through the Son».
    - The article also shows how certain unrelated circumstances surrounding the events of that time may have precipitated the events that followed, which is as if to say that had the circumstances been different, history would have turned out different as well. In any case, it seems that other unrelated events may somehow have impacted the course of the Schism events.

FILIOQUE (Catholic Encyclopedia)

FILIOQUE (On the Question of the Filioque)


    - Webmaster's Note: The following are starting sentences of some of the sections.

    - There has been no greater assault on the Church than the one presented by Catholicism * (4th Crusade).
    - The exact date of the schism between East and West cannot really be established. Conflicts arose as early as the fourth century and while there is not an easily recognizable "official break", the ninth century clearly sees heresy in the Western "Church" as an institution. These divergent paths have never ceased to carry Rome further away from the Church and what were once cracks, are now gorges. Front and center among these disagreements is the Primacy of Rome / the Bishop of Rome.
    - Roman Catholics find it hard to accept, because of intense conditioning, that their "Church" with its medieval trappings of power and prestige and an institution whose unique infrastructure depends on an archaic system of law could separate itself from the "purity" of the early Church.
    - We are however disposed to great tolerance toward Roman Catholics who believe in the divine origin of the Papal prerogatives; for we know that this prejudgment is communicated to all of them with the first elements of religious instruction, and that everything in the Roman Church tends to strengthen it in their souls. But the more deeply this delusion is rooted in the Roman Church, and generally in all the West, the more are we bound to combat it with vigor.

Les premiers fruits du voyage de Jean-Paul II en Bulgarie
      Here is a REPRINT of a recent (25 May 2003) article form ZENIT in which Pope Jean-Paul II reiterates his desire, expressed since the beginning of his pontificat, to see the moment re-appear that "the Church of Christ respirates with its two lungs".
      Even though the reprint article is in French, ZENIT makes its publications available in several languages, thus it probably can be found in English as well.

    - The article 'Eastern Orthodox Churches' includes a good summary description of the essential elements together causing the Great Schism

APOLOGIA The Fullness of Christian Truth (by Tracy Elizabeth Tucciarone López, a Catholic) .
        Of particular interest in Apologia, i.e. in the context of this chapter on Ecumenism, is the spiritual journey of James (Jim) Likoudis. This journey, called 'From Orthodox to Catholic', can be heard on Real Audio. On the Apologia Index page, click the link 'From Orthodox to Catholic' under 'Conversion Stories in Real Audio'. You can also click the link right here on this line . 'From Orthodox to Catholic' was aired / seen on the EWTN weekly program 'Journey Home' hosted by Marcus Grodi.

Pope Innocent III and the Great Schism
Read about the man, the office, the power, and the split between the Eastern and Western Christian (Catholic) Church throughout the 11th -13th centuries. Find out about the part the Fourth Crusade played in the "big picture" - very informative text
* See The Fourth Crusade


In the "black section" that follows you will find links on the Crusades. Even though I have not studied this subject in detail, it is clear that the Fourth Crusade went out of control and had grave consequences for the Byzantine Empire. And even though the sacking of Constantinople wasn't planned beforehand, the fact that it happened isn't something that 'Western Christianity' can be proud of. The references that follow shed more light on the reasons why control was lost. 'Chronology of the Crusades' further down sums it up in a few paragraphs.

It is a good idea, also, to read more about the Crusades in general in order to understand why they were initiated and to place the events of the Fourth Crusade in the proper context. In one of the chapters of his site "Paradoxplave", Adrian Fletcher has managed to do this for us in a few lines. His account of the Crusades (the next 2 bullets) is very clear, and the shortest and most lively of anything I have seen todate.

THE CRUSADES (Paradoxplace Insight Pages).   By Adrian Fletcher.   *New!*

Paradox Site Directory  -    *New!* 

International Congress - The Fourth Crusade and Its Consequences -
       Athens, 9 - 12 March 2004

Medieval Sourcebook: The Fourth Crusade 1204: Collected Sources (by Paul Halsall)

Google Search - Fourth Crusade

Crusades (Catholic Encyclopedia)
- In "The Crusade against (!) Constantinople" a detailed history of events can be found of how and why the Fourth Crusade went out of control.

Chronology of the Crusades
- World History, Byzantine and Islamic Worlds 5. Chronology of the Crusades >> has short descriptions this is the html version of the (following) word.doc file
(both files are believed to be part of Nancy Mautz Creative Impulse)
- Click following Google Search / link for more chronology references :

Chronology (Timeline) of the Crusades. Fourth Crusade 1198-1207


What exactly did the Fourth Crusaders plunder? *New!*
If the people that made this entry in the " History Forum" are to be believed, then this is what was stolen :

After the killing, after the city had been subdued, there began a slow and steady removal of treasures out of the Orthodox temples and into the cathedrals, churches, monasteries, convents, cities and towns of Latin Europe. Some of these items had been venerated, cherished, and protected for centuries, others for a millennium. Now they were being carted away from over a hundred and fifty churches: altars, altar screens, tabernacles, antimins, icons, icon frames, processional, pectoral and altar crosses, gold and silver chains, panagias, mitres, croziers, chalices, patens, star covers and spears, Gospels, Epistle books, ladles, church plate, censers, votive lights, relics, candelabra, epitaphia, fans, reliquaries, vestments, banners, manuscripts, miniatures, ivories, carvings, mosaics, thrones, tapestries, furniture and architectural items. Cartloads of gold and silver from Santa Sophia found their way into the Vatican treasury. Constantinople had become the gold mine which supplied Latin Christendom.

The wealth was so great that the looting continued for sixty years. A century earlier, after the First Crusade, Jerusalem, Antioch, and Edessa were similarly stripped for a period of forty years. Now it was happening to the imperial city. A scandalous traffic in relics was started. The head of St. John the Baptist was carried off to Amiens. Amalfi, Italy took the head of St. Andrew the First-Called from the Church of the Holy Apostles, along with a set of heavy bronze doors. The bishop of Soissons shipped home the head of St. Stephen and a relic of St. John. The remains of St. Clement, pillaged from the Church of St. Theodosia, were taken to Cluny. St. Albans received the relics of St. Marina. Halbstadt claimed the relics of St. James. The True Cross was divided up among the barons, with a portion sent to the pope, and another fragment taken to Paris. A priceless gold and enamel reliquary encrusted with jewels, containing a fragment of the Wood wound up in a nunnery in Steuben. King Louis IX of France paid 10,000 silver marks for the "true" Crown of Thorns, for which he built St. Chapells in Paris.

Gone was the maphorion of the Theotokos, as was her zone and the wonder-working icon. Gone or destroyed--the relics of St. Luke and St. Timothy; no trace of the relics of St. John Chrysostom. An altar cloth with the relic of St. Paul was missing. Nothing is known of the stone seat of St. Mark.

The Venetians were the most discriminating--they knew exactly what to take. From the Monastery of the Pantacrator they appropriated a group of exquisite gem-crusted enamel cameos, (a vast collection of panagias), to enhance the Palo D'Oro, an elaborate Byzantine bejeweled gold screen which was used in the Cathedral in Venice to cover the relics of St. Mark. (We will recall that St. Mark was stolen from Alexandria in the ninth century). They also carried off the Icon of the Theotokos of Nikopeia, as well as a relic of St. Stephen (the feet already were in Venice). The golden tabernacle from the Church of the Holy Apostles, a replica of the church itself, was added to their booty. Venice's prized possessions are the four magnificent glided bronze horses, cast in Constantine's time, which once stood in the Hippodrome; today, except when removed for cleaning, they stand atop the gallery of St. Mark's basilica. The porphyry statue of four tetrarchs, taken from a palace, stands in a corner of St. Mark's treasury.

Venetians valued craftsmen, and they took away the best: goldsmiths, silversmiths, jewel workers, iconographers, woodcarvers, stone and glass workers. Much of the Venetian glass technique so famous today originated in Constantinople. St. Mark's contains the finest collection of Byzantine craftsmanship in the world. It includes 32 Byzantine chalices, plus assorted relics, reliquaries, altar pieces, Gospels, Jewels, vestments, manuscripts and church plate. The collection includes the Veroli casket, the finest Byzantine carved ivory in the world, and the Psalter of Emperor Basil.

Dandolo sent home shiploads of mosaics, panels, stones, pillars, precious marbles, columns of rare stones and the many building components which have gone into creating the texture of the city which today is Venice.

Ecumenical Studies
The subject is one of the chapters of a website named 'Architecture, Art & Iconography'

Ecumenism in the Eastern Church (Fr. Walid Moussa)
A Transcribed Talk by Fr. Walid Moussa, Maronite Priest -- December 22, 1998

Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America - Ecumenical Issues

      - The Basic Sources of the Teachings of the Eastern Orthodox Church

      - An Orthodox Christian View of Non-Christian Religions

      - Tradition in the Orthodox Church

The Christian Coptic Orthodox Church Of Egypt

Things Catholics often don’t understand about Eastern Orthodoxy

The Orthodox Tradition - Saving Medicine for the Whole Church
Written by an American Orthodox, the site presents a down to earth introduction to the Orthodox Tradition with a wealth of links, including access to beautiful icons. The site is NOT an official document of the Orthodox Church.

Cardinal Husar (UGCC*) Says Roman Bureaucracy Hinders Catholic-Orthodox Unity;302/
(*UGCC is short for 'Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church')

Inter-ritual Associations
      - RCMO. Rassemblement de Chretiens du Moyen Orient (Montreal, Canada)

In pictures: Russian icon returns BBC NEWS Update Saturday 28 August 2004

World Orthodoxy News *New!*
The start of the page does not provide a menu or table of contents. Simply scroll down a few screens until you see :
    - Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad :
      Our Cooperation Is Absolutely Necessary and Is Awaited by Millions of People

Divine Motives - By Dale Keiger - Johns Hopkins Magazine - November 1999  *New!*
Why did King Louis IX, by all accounts a wise man, commit his nation to a crusade that was doomed to fail? Professor Dan Weiss looked to art to find the answer


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New American Bible

The Bible, King James Version Old and New Testaments, with the Apocrypha
University of Virginia

World Wide Study Bible
The World Wide Study Bible organizes scripture versions, commentaries, sermons, study guides, and book references according to scripture passage. Are you studying a particular passage? You'll find many relevant references here.


Bible LSG NT
La Bible. Ancien Testament. Nouveau Testament. Traduction Louis Segond (1910). Les quatre Evangiles: Evangile selon saint Matthieu; Evangile selon saint Marc; Evangile selon saint Luc; ...

Documentary Sources on Catholic Teaching, including Bible Reviews:

'Catholicism' (Paul Halsall) ; now click first entry for commentary on several bibles:
- Guide to Catholic Sources >> Medieval Sourcebook: Documentary Sources on Catholic Teaching



ArtCyclopedia: Byzantine Artists; example: search for the names and bibliography of well known Byzantine Artists

World Wide Arts Resources

Artlex on Byzantine Art


Catholic Encyclopedia >> example: use search engine to look for lives of saints (keyword "lives of saints")

Christian Classics Ethereal Library

World Wide Encyclopedia of Christianity
The World Wide Encyclopedia of Christianity is intended to provide one-stop access to a number of dictionaries and encyclopedias of Christianity, and other topical references. Full texts by recognized religious scholars, organized in directories

Catechism Online
   - English: Catechism of the Catholic Church    
   - French: Catéchisme de l'Église Catholique


Internet Public Library


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- Art theft on a gigantic scale
- The Byzantine Fresco Chapel Museum / The Menil Collection
- A major step in fight against illicit traffic in cultural property
- The Dick Staub Interview: Why Frederica Mathewes-Green Loves Icons
- The Orthodox tradition shares its riches

The following articles describe the looting of Churches and Monasteries after the occupation of northern Cyprus by Turkish forces in 1974. These scenes reflect what European police investigators now say is one of the most systematic art-looting operations since the Nazis plundered the countries they occupied during World War II.

- Church Treasures of Cyprus (by Mark Rose)

- Looting in Cyprus and Michel van Rijn (selection of newspaper and magazine articles)

- The Byzantine Bust

- The Plunder of Cyprus

- Dutch former art dealer and smuggler who has collaborated with police against the illicit art trade. Includes a 'Swindler's list' of art theft news; synopsis of his book 'Hot Art and Cold Cash'

- From Cyprus to Munich
(includes several images)

- Stolen Byzantine Icons returned to Cyprus
10 July 2004

- Special Report: Church Treasures of Cyprus
The 13th c. fresco of the church of St. Themonianos in Cyprus was one of the sacred art pieces looted by Dikman [img:]. The report / article [] describes how the fresco ended up in the USA and how it was reconstructed.

- The Case of the Kanakaria Mosaics

The Byzantine Fresco Chapel Museum / The Menil Collection


The Dick Staub Interview: Why Frederica Mathewes-Green Loves Icons

The Orthodox tradition shares its riches - 20 May 2005 (National Catholic Reporter)

Miracle Worker. The Basilica of St. Nicholas in Bari, visited for centuries by both Catholic and Orthodox pilgrims, brings its treasures to an exhibition in Moscow.

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