Western Civilization lesson 110

What was the Great Schism? What factors brought it on?

Schism; definition. Believe it or not, the E and W suffered from GS in 1054 AD despite being one once. Something had to give—after all they were miles apart, not just spatially but in their beliefs and rituals regarding Catholicism. Shadily, two churches had been feuding for a long time. It began with Constantinople’s ambitions to be an even greater political power in 381. Constantinople was all “We should be the head of everything including the church.” And Rome was like “No. We’re the best forever because we were founded by St. Peter. Plus politics has nothing to do with religion” Constantinople was all “Yeah well we were founded by St Andrew.” (They weren’t.) There were other problems between the two sides as well. The East and the West spoke in different languages (Rome=Latin, C=Greek) and held different powers in esteem for their religious practices. (Rome= Pope, C gave power to their state officials, called patriarchs, to make the decisions for their church) In 1054 the Great Schism officially took place. Michael Cerularius, patriarch of Constantinople, closed all of the Western Roman churches in Constantinople. The Western Church didn’t like that so the Roman Legates excommunicated Michael. The East naturally sided with their own patriarch and split off to become the Orthodox while the west became the Roman Catholics.

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