Born in 1955. Lebanese.
Daughter of Alfred and May Murr.
Historian, painter, novelist, and professor of History of Art and
Architecture at the Lebanese University.
- Comme un Torrent qui Gronde (1987, novel).
- Baalbek Monument Phénicien (1997, document proving that
the monuments of Baalbek can only be Phoenician), and a touristic
guide which completes it, Phoenician Baalbek (2001), also
available in French : Baalbek la Phénicienne (2005) and
Arabic : Baalbak al-Finiqiyyat (2001).
- Liban Assassiné
Story of Taef (2009)
- Si Beyrouth parlait (2011)
- She also published a series of two books showing how some historical,
psychological and artistic indications usually neglected can provide
a far different view: La Renaissance en Question, 1-Des
Origines à Léonard de Vinci (1998); 2-De Michel-Ange à
nos jours: le Retour des Idoles (2000).
- After 12 years of Bible research, she is writing Prophéties
de la Bible pour le Liban Moderne, a series of Bible studies
published simultaneously in French and Arabic. The first, Habacuc
and Obadiah, has been published in 2000 with the approval of Father
Georges Rahmé. The second (in process) will study Bible texts about
- She has also published Barbara de Baalbek, a fiction with a historical
background allowing the reader to live in the times and ambiance
of the building of Baalbek’s temples.
- Finally, she published in Beirut a very controversial book called
1453 : Mahomet
II impose le Schisme Orthodoxe, which shows that
the Orthodox Schism is illegal from the Orthodox point of view.
She narrates the true story of the fourth Crusade and of the events
that led to the fall of Constantinople and followed it. Using the
facts themselves, she does not adopt the viewpoint of the old chroniclers
if it is not consistent with these facts or with other facts given
by other trustworthy first hand sources. She shows that old propaganda
has corrupted the truth through many documents of their times, as
much as modern propaganda does with many of todays’s documents (Paris
2003). Translated into English (1453 : Muhammad II imposes the
Orthodox Schism) and in Arabic (1453 : Mouhammad et-Tani
yafridou-l-inchiqaq el-Orthodoxi (2003).
Lina Murr Nehmé
is also a painter, who won a degree from the Beaux-Arts of Paris
(1982). She made her first exhibition at Halate (Lebanon, 1984), and
then, exhibited many times in Lebanon, France and the United
She currently lives in Beirut, Lebanon.
Biographie (in French)
Lina Murr Nehmé
est née le 12 juillet 1955. Diplômée des Beaux-Arts de Paris, elle
vit à Beyrouth, où elle enseigne l’Histoire de l’Art à l’Université
Libanaise. Son œuvre sur Baalbek lui a valu le Prix Saïd
Elle a déjà publié:
de Guibert :
1453 : Mahomet II impose le Schisme Orthodoxe
Chez Aleph & Taw :
Baalbek la Phénicienne
Prophéties de la Bible pour
le Liban moderne
La Renaissance en Question (2 vol.)
Muhammad II imposes the Orthodox Schism (également traduit en
Phoenician Baalbek (également traduit en
Preface to '1453: MAHOMET II IMPOSES THE
took part in the Council of Florence in which he called upon
the Orthodox to embrace the Union of the Churches. A little
time after his return to Constantinople, however, he retracted
and claimed that the conflict between the two Churches was so
serious that Christ was against the unity of the Christians,
that is, against the only thing that could save Constantinople
from the Turkish invasion.
Scholarios revealed his true
motivations by accepting the position of Patriarch offered him
by the Turkish Sultan, his expensive gifts and a full
exemption from the taxes he levied on the Christians. The
chronicler of Muhammad II wrote, He made him Patriarch and
High Priest of the Christians, and gave him, among many other
rights and privileges, the rule of the Church and all its
power and authority.
Sultan convened a synod to “elect” him, and he solemnly gave him the
Patriarchal Staff and Pallium.
He also appointed him
The Ethnarch is a ruler who represents the invader,
and it is in this capacity that Scholarios helped the Ottomans to
impose, upon the people he had sold, the myth of a legal Orthodox
To justify himself, he claimed that pressures had
been exerted in Florence that rendered the decrees of the Council
void, since the Westerners had made their offer of military
assistance conditional upon the cessation of the Schism.
that were true, what would there be to say about the pressures
exerted on the Synod that elected him under the patronage of a
Sultan who resorted to murder when he was crossed? Such an election
is null and void from the Orthodox point of view: a Moslem does not
have the right to convene a synod. Much less can he name the
His propaganda claimed that the Byzantines were
happy to be governed by a man of their nation. To realize what the
situation really was, one must imagine the same misfortunes falling
upon Rome, which resembles the Constantinople of 1453 in the
abundance of her churches, in her beauty, in the number of her holy
relics, in the scorn in which she holds her Anointed One and his
display of pageantry, and in her certainty of being superior, as a
Christian city, to all the other cities in the world.
now imagine an Oriental dictator conquering Rome after an atrocious
massacre. Let us imagine his tanks entering Saint Peter’s Basilica,
blazing a bloody path amidst the crowds of faithful seeking
sanctuary in it. Let us imagine this dictator then entering and
climbing up on the papal altar, like an idol on its pedestal, while
on his orders a proclamation is read, transforming Saint Peter’s
Basilica into a temple of his religion. Let us imagine him executing
all the notables of Rome who would have been hostile to him, and
thereupon imposing the chief of the collaborators as Pope upon the
Christians. Let us then imagine him convening a conclave composed of
the few Cardinals he left alive, in order to confirm his nomination
by “electing” this collaborator. Let us imagine his bestowing upon
him the Pallium, giving him valuable gifts, exempting him from the
taxes he would levy on the other Christians, then appointing him
also President of the Italian Republic in order to be able to
control the population more effectively.
Let us furthermore
imagine the feelings of the Romans with respect to this instrument
of the occupant, and we will realize how the average Christians of
Constantinople regarded Scholarios.
It is unfortunate that their
version of the facts was not written—or if it was, it has not
reached us, because the only Patriarchs accepted by the Ottomans
were those who repressed the freedom of expression. Hence, the truth
of what the eyewitnesses really felt, died with them. And out of
ignorance, we, the Orthodox, have been repeating through the
centuries the version the Sultans wished us to repeat: that the
Catholic West was apostate; that the Council of Florence was not
valid because the Byzantine participants had betrayed the Orthodox
dogma; that Emperor John VIII had acted there under pressure—and
therefore, that Scholarios’ annulment of the Union decree was
The truth is far more honourable for us.
Council of Florence, the Orthodox refused to add the Filioque to the
Creed, refused to modify Saint Basil’s liturgy, refused to use
unleavened bread for the Liturgy, refused to authorize the Pope to
appoint the Patriarch of Constantinople, refused even to allow the
Patriarch’s election to be held outside of Constantinople. Moreover,
they did not make one single dogmatic renunciation: they united
themselves with the Latins only after the Latins had conceded that
the Holy Spirit has a single principle, the Father.
However they did abandon pride in Florence, by accepting
the Pope’s primacy. But they were far from doing that because they
were subjected to pressure. They were, in fact, subjected to an
opposite pressure, since the Pope was at the time in a position of
extreme weakness. Italian armies were waging war on him in the
field, and a Republic had been proclaimed in Rome. He was a refugee
in Florence, and the rich Italian merchants despised him. At the
same time, the King of France was waging a theological war against
him through the Council of Basel. The aim of this war was the final
destruction of Papal power.
The military and financial
interests of Emperor John VIII should have prompted him to abandon
the Pope and make an agreement with the Council of Basel in order to
please the King of France and obtain his military assistance. By
refusing to prostitute himself, he saved the Church from a new
Western schism and enhanced the prestige of the Pope in the West
This act of heroism proves that the Council of Florence
was completely free and disinterested. This is the prime condition
for a Council to be ecumenical and moved by the Holy Spirit.
other two conditions are that it include the most important
personalities of the two Churches and that they submit themselves to
the texts of the Bible and of the ancient Fathers of the Church. If
such was the case, then the Union of the Churches promulgated by the
Council of Florence, would be irrevocable as far as the Orthodox are
concerned, and the existence of the schism would be
The time has come to see what really happened by
confronting the numbers, the texts and the deeds and to rehabilitate
the victims of Constantinople by exposing the true faces of their
executioners and of those who betrayed them.
However, let it
be clearly understood that, by accusing personalities of the past,
my book does not intend to attack in any way the Pope, or the
present Catholic or Orthodox Patriarchs or Bishops, who are the
victims—and not the authors—of this historical lie imposed by the
Ottomans. As a Greek Orthodox residing in Beirut, I am on the
contrary proud of my Archbishop, Elias Audi, and of the head of my
Church, Ignatios Hazim, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, who
contradicted Scholarios by declaring in 1983 in the Cathedral of Our
Lady of Paris, “The disagreement between the Orthodox and the
Catholics is not dogmatic… We are capable of uniting with Rome
because we are stubbornly faithful to our roots.”
the Hierarchy of Constantinople been composed of men like these at
this fateful moment, they would have risen against the Sultan,
refusing to flee or become his instruments when he was enslaving
their people and transforming their churches into mosques. He would
therefore have been forced, either to kill them, or to leave their
In both cases, he would not have been able to
impose such a flagrant lie on the Orthodox of the whole
between the Orthodox and the Catholics is not dogmatic... We are
capable of uniting with Rome because we are stubbornly faithful
to our roots.”
Thus spoke, in June 1983, the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch,
Ignatios IV Hazim, in the Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris.
Thus also spoke the Orthodox who, in 1439, had put an end to the
Schism after interminable discussions with the Catholics at the
Council of Florence.
At this Council, the scholarly George Scholarios had called upon
them to embrace the Union of the Churches. A short time after his
return to Constantinople, however, he retracted and claimed that
the causes of the Schism were so grievous that Christ did not want
the unity of the Christians, that is, the only thing that could
save Constantinople from the Turkish invasion.
After the fall of Constantinople, Scholarios revealed his true motives
by accepting the position of Patriarch offered him by the Turkish
Sultan, his expensive gifts and a full exemption from the taxes
he levied on the Christians. And he helped the Ottomans to impose
on the Orthodox the myth of a legal Schism.
From the Orthodox point of view, a Moslem cannot convoke a synod
to elect a Patriarch, nor choose that Patriarch, especially if there
is a legitimate one. And the decree of such an “Antipatriarch” certainly
cannot prevail against that of a Council which included the heads
of the two Churches. The Council of Florence is therefore still
valid from the Orthodox point of view.
People say that History repeats itself. It is all the more true,
when it comes to the tragic story of the fall of Constantinople…
same Book available in French<<
Interview with Lina Murr Nehme concerning her book: '1453:
MUHAMMAD II IMPOSES THE ORTHODOX
Q: LMN, why did you write the
book called, “1453 : Mehmet II Imposes the Orthodox
LMN: Because it is enough to narrate
what really happened to change the peoples’ views.
people know that the Union of the Churches of Rome and
Constantinople had been proclamed in Florence in 1439, then in
Constantinople in 1452 ? However a few months later, Constantinople
fell, with torrents of blood, into the hands of Muhammad II, Sultan
of the Turks. And the land of the Byzantines became Moslem and got
to be called Turkey.
Mehmet II killed those who annoyed him.
Would he let his new subjects freely practice their religion? Yes,
on condition that the leader of their Church be in his pay and at
What made the union of the Churches fail was also what
made of the Byzantine lands a Moslem country. That story of violence
and love, of hate, of treason and heroism, concerns us today more
than ever, because it confirms the saying “History repeats itself”.
Proving all that was my objective in writing 1453 : Mehmet
II Imposes the Orthodox Schism. It took seven years of work.
With all my heart, I hope it will help you to read between the lines
of current events.
Q: To whom is your book addressed
LMN: To a very vast public : the
history of this period was filled with stories that were humorous
and others that were sad, with anecdotes, with suspense, with
surprise reversals, with adventures, with absurdity, with marvels of
resistance and heroism and with marvels of cowardice. What happened
is so unbelievable, and the stories of the period are so poignant or
scandalous that I had to cite them and put images for me not to be
accused of exaggerating. I also put images to please the eye, to
recreate the atmosphere of those times, because I was trained as an
Q: What echoes do you get about your
book from the Orthodox ?
LMN: I thought that after the
publication of this book, there would no longer be a single Orthodox
on earth who would accept to speak to me. I thought they would have
neither the humility, nor the love to accept such a painful truth. I
thought that even the Catholics would fight me. And I have been
fought, which proves that my book is having an impact. However I am
not fought by the Orthodox as such, on the contrary: in Lebanon, the
Orthodox are the ones who have most served my book. Perhaps it is
because in Lebanon, we love each other, among communities, and would
like union. A practicing Orthodox journalist set as a condition for
her help that this book would help the union. Also, we are lucky to
have a Patriarch who desires union, and who has the courage to say
the truth. It is Ignatius IV Hazim, the Greek-Orthodox Patriarch of
Antioch. He said in Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris, in June 1983,
“The disagreement between Orthodox and Catholics is not
dogmatic…We are able to unite with Rome because we are stubbornly
loyal to our roots.”
Q: Yet there is nonetheless some
theology in this book, otherwise, why the title, Mehmet II
Imposes the Orthodox Schism?
LMN: Certainly: for those who are interested,
I put a technical section at the end of the book. In that part,
I also ask common sense questions such as, “Can Orthodoxy be
represented by the leaders of the collaboration with the enemy?”
A very grave question, because Constantinople was a theocraty; the
chief collaborators were thus those who worked to replace Orthodoxy
with Islam. It so happens that they were also the leaders of the
party opposed to the Union. Inversely, the leaders of the party
in favor of the Union were also the leaders of the defense of Constantinople.
I also show, with facts that are generally not noticed, that the
Orthodox were in their majority favorable to the Union at the time.
It is the contrary of what one reads generally in books, but so
be it. As for me, I prove what I say.
Of course though, the traitors will accuse the others of treason
in order to camouflage their own treason. And their accusations
have endured, because history is written by the victors. It is not
the fault of the Orthodox of today if, for four centuries, insistence
has been placed on details to prevent them from seeing this side
- Phoenician Baalbek<<
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