As the Roman Empire expanded, Emperor Constantine changed the capital of the Empire from Rome to the site of Byzantium. This area was known as New Rome and also as Constantinople. The appointed bishop of New Rome had great authority, second only to the Pope in Rome. As time passed, the separation of the two branches of Catholicism led to slight differences in theology and ritual. There were many differing beliefs but most were minor and this difference, alone, was not the direct cause of the Great Schism. Added to the differences were the uncompromising attitudes of the leaders of both churches.
Both of these were what ultimately caused the division of the Eastern Church from the West. Catholic and Orthodox Churches are very similar regarding most doctrinal matters. Both have similar Eucharist ceremonies, known to the West as Catholic Mass and to the East as Divine Liturgy. Although they use slightly different items for communion, the purpose and ceremony is basically the same.
Both Catholics and the Orthodox follow the sacraments of baptism, confirmation, penance, the Eucharist, holy orders, matrimony and extreme unction. The two main differences between the Churches were the language used and the term “filoque.” The Eastern Church used mainly Greek as well as Coptic, Ethiopian, Syriac, Armenian, Georgian, Slavonic and others. The Western Church mainly used Latin in all their teachings. This allowed the Western Church members and leaders the ability to communicate with other Western Churches, while the East had a more difficult time due to language-barriers. The main theological differences between the Orthodox and Catholic Churches were about the source of the Holy Spirit.
Churches For a long time the Catholic church was the only denomination available; life was centred there, and all were taught the same message, in the same environment, whether they liked it or not, as the punishment was hell: and the doom paintings reinforced the belief that hell was a horrible place that you’d spend eternity in. But in 1517 everything changed. Martin Luther was the first ...
The Nicene Creed in the West stated that the Spirit comes from the Father and the son (“filoque”).
Eastern churches believed the Holy Spirit came only from the Father. The Churches also differed in their structure and relations with the government. The Western Church was headed by the pope and he was believed to have the power of excommunication. The Eastern Church was structured more democratically and they had no central organized structure. The Patriarch of Constantinople did not have much power outside of his own patriarchate.
Each church is self-governed. The Eastern Church cooperated with the government and did not have as many disputes as the West. However, the disputes in the West helped to maintain a balance between the King and the Church in the Western Church. The Churches also differed in other matters as well. Both Churches recognize that the Virgin Mary was a very holy person, but the Orthodox did not believe in Immaculate Conception. The West believed that Mary was sinless from the moment she was born, but the Orthodox found nothing in the New Testament that supported the Roman Catholic Church belief.
The Orthodox also strongly believed in the worship of icons, or images of Christ and the saints they were praying to. The Churches also differed on their view of purgatory. The Eastern Church did not believe that such a place existed between heaven and hell. Other minor differences included the Eastern Church’s allowance of divorce and married men as priests. The Great Schism is the official break of the two churches in 1054. Cardinal Humbert of Silva Candida attempted to force the East to concede to their demands but failed.
Patriarch Michael Cerularius and the Eastern Church refused to compromise their belief that all bishops should be equal and the Roman bishop shouldn’t have more power and authority. Because of this, Cardinal Humbert excommunicated the Patriarch. Cerularius then excommunicated the Pope, saying their beliefs were full of errors and they were no longer following the true church. Although the differences between the Eastern and Western Church appear minor to many, each strongly believed in their own religion’s accuracy. Both believed they were the true church who followed the laws and way of life set by the original Christians.
The world we live in is made out of a vast differing quality of distinctive societies. One of the main contrasts within this diversity of cultures is the differences between the East and the West. Eastern and Western cultures differ with one another in a wide range of point of view. In this essay, I will discuss how the distinction between the two varies and how it influences the behaviors and ...
The differences in language, doctrine, structure, etc. led to a rift between the two but it was not until the Great Schism that the Churches officially split as a result of uncompromising leaders.