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Roman Catholic Church Vs Eastern Orthodox Church

1143 words - 5 pages

Before the split of 1054, the Roman Catholic Church or Western church and the Eastern Orthodox Church or Byzantine church were almost one with each other. The two churches held the same ideals and got along with one another the majority of the time. They had previous splits in the past but they were never a permanent situation because they usually found a solution to their issues and differences. The split between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church in 1054 seemed to have no resolution when their theological, political, and cultural differences became too much for them to harmonize upon.
Although the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church ultimately had more differences which ended up causing their split, they once had quite a few a similarities. The churches shared “many of the same prayers and liturgies” (“Eastern Orthodox”, 2001 para.1). Both the Eastern and Western churches had a difference in opinion in defining and numbering sacraments but they did agree on what the seven major sacraments for their churches should be. They also agreed upon that the male clergy should consist of bishops, priests, and deacons.
“On July 16, of 1054, as afternoon prayers began, Cardinal Humbert, legate of Pope Leolx, strode into the Cathedral of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople, right up to the main alter, and placed on it a parchment that declared the Patriarch of Constantinople, Michael Cerularius, to be excommunicated” (Dennis, "The East-West schism.", MasterFILE Premier, 1990, para. 1). This act is known as the beginning of the split between the two churches. Even though this act was thought to be the breaking stick, the split of the two churches had been in the works for quite a while. About a year prior to the incident on July 16, 1054, Michael Cerularius, commanded the closure of all Latin churches. The buildup of their differences caused them to have antipathy for one another.
The theological differences were some of the biggest reason why the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches split. The Eastern churches had theological roots in Greek philosophy and the Western churches had theologies that constructed on their Roman law (“Schism of 1054”, 2014, para. 3). A strong issue that the two churches had was the theological proposition of the placement and addition of “the Son” to the Roman creed. The Roman churches included the “Father and the Son” in the Nicene creed without consulting the Eastern church while the Eastern church only used the Father. The Orthodox Church believe it should have been written with “the Father” proceeded by the Holy Spirit.
Besides theological differences between the two churches there were also political and cultural controversies. Before the split the Western church had begun to push for the solidification of papal authority. The push for papal authority would cause the churches to become more autocratic and centralized (Dennis, The East-West Schism, para. 10). This push had...

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