Concerning international relations, the entire XIXth century passed under the banner of the Eastern Question. The enemies of Russia, both past and present continue to brand and label the XIXth century efforts of Russia as nothing more than imperialism. While not totally excluding the possibility that Russia had political concerns in the Crimean War, we nonetheless are aware of the fact that for both Russians and their rulers the war with Turkey was fought to liberate captive Orthodox Christians. It was accepted as a duty of conscience, as a mission, given by Divine Providence to Russia, which at the time was the most powerful government. Noble deeds are rarely seen in international relations and are thus not readily understood. War with the infidel Turks was understood by Russia as a battle between good and evil. Russia made sacrifices but also had successes during the battles to liberate the Slavs, who shared the same faith, and who had for five centuries languished under Turkish oppression. To this very day on the central square of the Bulgarian capital of Sofia rises the grand monument to the Tsar-Liberator Alexander II and all the valiant Russian warriors. The Russian fleet also took part in the engagement at Navarinsk in 1827, and the events that followed, which led to the liberation of Orthodox Greece in 1830. The most cherished dream, however, of liberating Constantinople was not realized. For this sad fact humanity is indebted, one might discern, to a great extent to the Vatican.
Until now, the Crimean war and the whole “Eastern Question” have been explained by historians in terms of human, political and intergovernmental considerations, without the role of the Vatican being mentioned. The latter was the instigating and compelling force behind the infamous fact that caused England and France to become allies of the infidel Turks against Orthodox Russia. Though the Vatican had no real army to speak of, it made up for it by an abundance of influential, secret advisors and agents, a whole army of clerics scattered throughout the world. To substantiate this, we quote the words of the Archbishop of Paris, Cardinal Sibor, which were pronounced at the start of the Crimean War, “It is a sacred deed, a God-pleasing deed, to ward off the Photian heresy [Orthodoxy], subjugate it and destroy it with a new crusade. This is the clear goal of today’s crusade. Such was the goal of all the crusades, even if all their participants were not fully aware of it. The war which France is now preparing to wage against Russia is not a political war but a holy war. It is not a war between two governments or between two peoples, but is precisely a religious war, and other reasons presented are only pretexts.” The truth could not be more clearly stated. Khomyakov very perceptively notes that the ancestors of the Roman Catholics who had long ago committed “moral fratricide” by unilaterally changing the Creed inevitably would resort to “physical fratricide.”
Dostoyevsky illustrates that Cardinal Sibor was not the only warrior on the field when he writes so frankly about a Roman Catholic conspiracy. “Militant Roman Catholicism savagely takes the side of the Turks. At the moment, there are no more savage haters of Russia than these militant clerics. It was not some prelate but the Pope himself, who loudly and with joy spoke of the ‘victories of the Turks’ and predicted a ‘fateful future’ for Russia at various Vatican meetings. This dying old man, the ‘head of Christianity’ was not ashamed to admit in public that every time he hears of a Russian defeat he experiences joy.
These words of Dostoyevsky are in accord with the above quoted statements of Khomyakov, when he speaks of religious hatred of Orthodoxy. “In the western confessions, in the bottom of every soul rests a deep hostility for the Eastern Church.” This statement can easily be backed by the example of the Crimean War where, “one camp consists of people confessing Orthodoxy and the other camp consists of Romans and Protestants united around Islam.”
From The Vatican and Russia, here.