Orthodox relics ‘were not looted’

Your article of November 29, 2004, titled «Looted Orthodox relics return home,» contains a serious flaw. Unlike the relics of St John Chrysostom, the relics of St Gregory the Theologian were not looted in 1204. They were transferred to Rome for safekeeping during the Iconoclast crisis of the eighth century. The East was in turmoil, and Orthodox Christians turned to their brethren in the West for assistance to preserve this heritage. The return of these particular relics is not a restitution of something stolen, but rather a reminder of a time when East and West walked hand-in-hand in the footsteps of Christ. Let us not tarnish the memory of this positive partnership with false history. FATHER THOMAS DOWD, Pierrefonds, Canada.