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The East–West Schism of 1054, sometimes known as the Great Schism, formally divided the State church of the Roman Empire into Eastern (Greek) and Western (Latin) branches, which later became known as the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church, respectively. Relations between East and West had long been embittered by political and ecclesiastical differences and theological disputes. Prominent among these were the issues of "filioque", and whether leavened or unleavened bread should be used in the Eucharist, the Pope's claim to universal jurisdiction, and the place of Constantinople in relation to the Pentarchy.
Pope Leo IX and Patriarch of Constantinople Michael Cerularius heightened the conflict by suppressing Greek and Latin in their respective domains. In 1054, Roman legates traveled to Cerularius to deny him the title Ecumenical Patriarch and to insist that he recognize the Church of Rome's claim to be the head and mother of the churches. Cerularius refused. The leader of the Latin contingent, Cardinal Humbert, excommunicated Cerularius, while Cerularius in return excommunicated Cardinal Humbert and other legates.
The validity of the Western legates' act is doubtful, since Pope Leo had died, while Cerularius's excommunication applied only to the legates personally. Still, the Church split along doctrinal, theological, linguistic, political, and geographical lines, and the fundamental breach has never been healed, with each side accusing the other of having fallen into heresy and of having initiated the division. The Crusades, the Massacre of the Latins in 1182, the capture and sack of Constantinople in 1204, and the imposition of Latin Patriarchs made reconciliation more difficult. This included the taking of many precious religious artifacts and the destruction of the Library of Constantinople.
Efforts were made to reunite the two churches in 1274 (by the Second Council of Lyon) and in 1439 (by the Council of Florence). However, despite the formal reunification embodied by the acts of these councils, no effective reconciliation was realized since the Orthodox believe that the acts of councils must be ratified by the wider Church and the acts of these councils never attained widespread acceptance among Orthodox churches. In 1484, 31 years after the Fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks, a Synod of Constantinople repudiated the Union of Florence, making official the position that had already been taken by Orthodox in general.
In 1965, the Pope Paul VI and the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Athenagoras I nullified the anathemas of 1054, although this nullification of measures taken against a few individuals was essentially a goodwill gesture and did not constitute any sort of reunion between churches. Contacts between the two sides continue: Every year a delegation from each joins in the other's celebration of its patronal feast, Saints Peter and Paul (29 June) for Rome and Saint Andrew (30 November) for Constantinople, and there have been a number of visits by the head of each to the other. The efforts of the Ecumenical Patriarchs towards reconciliation with the Catholic Church have often been the target of sharp criticism from fellow Orthodox.
There was no single event that marked the breakdown. In the centuries immediately before the schism became definitive, a few short schisms between Constantinople and Rome were followed by reconciliations. Even during the period of Early Christianity, part of the East (Western Anatolia) was in disagreement with Pope Victor I over Quartodecimanism, holding that Easter (called Pascha in both Greek and Latin) should be celebrated at the full moon, like the Jewish Passover, not on the following Sunday. See Easter controversy for details.
John Binns specifically writes that, after the fall and destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, the natural learning centers of the Church were Antioch and Alexandria. Constantinople was not founded (that is, renamed from "Byzantium") until after the First Council of Nicaea (325).
The historian Will Durant writes that, after Jerusalem, the church of Rome naturally became the primary church, the capital of Christianity. Rome had an early and significant Christian population. It was closely identified with Paul the Apostle, who preached and was martyred there, and the Apostle Peter, who was a martyr there as well; Peter was also considered chief among all the Apostles and the first Bishop of Rome. While the Eastern cities of Alexandria and Antioch produced theological works, the bishops of Rome focused on what Romans admittedly did best — administration.
In the early church, up until the ecumenical councils, Rome was regarded as an important center of Christianity, especially since it was the capital of the Roman Empire. Bishops of churches in the eastern and southern Mediterranean generally recognized the persuasive leadership and authority of the Bishop of Rome. But these bishops did not acknowledge any juridical authority of Rome.
In the fourth century, when the Roman emperors (reigning in Constantinople) were trying to control the Church, theological questions ran rampant throughout the Roman Empire. The influence of Greek speculative thought on Christian thinking led to all sorts of divergent and conflicting opinions. Theology was also used as a weapon against opponent bishops, because being branded a heretic was the only sure way for a bishop to be removed by other bishops—incompetence was not sufficient grounds for removal.
When the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great legalized Christianity, he summoned the First Ecumenical Council at Nicaea in 325 to resolve a number of issues which troubled the Church. The bishops at the council confirmed the position of the metropolitan sees of Rome and Alexandria as having authority outside their own province, and also the existing privileges of the churches in Antioch and the other provinces. Later, these sees were called Patriarchates and were given an order of precedence: Rome, though it was no longer capital of the empire, was given first place, then came Alexandria and Antioch. In a separate canon, the Council also approved the special honor given to Jerusalem over other sees subject to the same metropolitan.
Soon, Constantine erected a new capital at Byzantium, a strategically placed city on the Bosporus. Constantine named it "Nova Roma Constantinopolitana" (New Rome City of Constantine),. Soon the local bishop's seat being established by Saint Andrew was elevated to Patriarch under Constantine, as Metrophanes of Byzantium at the time occupied the bishops seat before the New Capital was established. Constantinople is often described as 'New Rome', because it imitated Rome in many ways and became the new capital of the empire.
The Second Ecumenical Council, held at the new capital in 381, elevated the see of Constantinople to a position ahead of the other chief metropolitan sees, except that of Rome, which was stated to have the greatest honor. Mentioning in particular the provinces of Asia, Pontus and Thrace, it decreed that the synod of each province should manage the ecclesiastical affairs of that province alone, except for the privileges already recognized for Alexandria and Antioch. In the Council of Chalcedon, held 70 years later, Constantinople was given power over Pontus and Thrace.
The Fourth Ecumenical Council at Chalcedon in 451 confirmed the authority already held by Constantinople. There were now five patriarchs presiding over the Church within the Byzantine Empire, in the following order of precedence: the Patriarch of Rome, the Patriarch of Constantinople, the Patriarch of Alexandria, the Patriarch of Antioch and the Patriarch of Jerusalem (see Pentarchy).
The West's rejection of the Quinisext Council of 692 also led to pressure from the Eastern Empire to reject many Latin customs as non-Orthodox. The Latin practices that had developed in the Western branch of the Church that had got the attention of the other Patriarchates were condemned such as; the practice of celebrating Masses on weekdays in Lent (rather than having Pre-Sanctified Liturgies); of fasting on Saturdays throughout the year; of omitting the "Alleluia" in Lent; of depicting Christ as a lamb. Larger disputes were revealed regarding Eastern and Western attitudes toward celibacy for priests and deacons, with the Council affirming the right of priests to marry and prescribing excommunication for anyone who attempted to separate a clergyman from his wife, or for any cleric who abandoned his wife.
Pope Sergius I protested against the council, and refused to sign the canons. At Sergius's refusal, Justinian dispatched a military delegation to Rome to induce Sergius to sign; the imperial army at Ravenna, however, composed mainly of native Italians, rallied to support the Roman Pontiff, marching on Rome. Meanwhile, in Visigothic Spain, the council was ratified by the Eighteenth Council of Toledo at the urging of the king, Wittiza, who was vilified by later chroniclers for his decision. Fruela I of Asturias reversed the decision of Toledo sometime during his reign (757–768).
The Eastern Orthodox churches hold this council be part of the Fifth and Sixth Ecumenical Councils, adding its canons thereto.
Disunion in the Roman Empire further contributed to disunion in the Church. The Emperor Diocletian famously divided the administration of the eastern and western portions of the Empire in the early 4th century, though subsequent leaders (including Constantine) aspired to and sometimes gained control of both regions. Theodosius the Great, who established Christianity as the official religion of the Roman Empire, died in 395 and was the last Emperor to rule over a united Roman Empire. Following his death, the division into western and eastern halves, each under its own Emperor, became permanent. By the end of the 5th century, according to John Romanides the Western Roman Empire had been overrun by the Germanic tribes, while the Eastern Roman Empire (known also as the Byzantine Empire) continued to thrive. Thus, the political unity of the Roman Empire was the first to fall. These Germanic tribes, particularly the Franks, influenced and changed the Latin Church.
In the West, as a practical matter, the collapse of civil government left the Church in charge in many areas, and bishops took to administering secular cities and domains. When royal and imperial rule reestablished itself, it had to contend with power wielded independently by the Church. In the East, however, imperial and, later, Islamic rule dominated the Eastern bishops.
Many other factors caused the East and West to drift further apart. The dominant language of the West was Latin, whilst that of the East was Greek. Soon after the fall of the Western Empire, the number of individuals who spoke both Latin and Greek began to dwindle, and communication between East and West grew much more difficult. With linguistic unity gone, cultural unity began to crumble as well. The two halves of the Church were naturally divided along similar lines; they developed different rites and had different approaches to religious doctrines. Although the Great Schism was still centuries away, its outlines were already perceptible.
Following the Sack of Rome by invading European Goths, Rome became increasingly isolated from the churches in the eastern and southern Mediterranean. This was a situation which suited and pleased many of the patriarchs and bishops of those churches.
According to John Romanides, the rise of the Frankish Empire after the Goths and the fall of the Western Roman Empire saw the establishment of a papacy beholden to the Franks from 752 to 844. These Frankish Popes were military leaders according to Saint Boniface known to "shed the blood of Christians like that of the pagans."[unreliable source?]
The Eastern Orthodox theologian Romanides states that it was not until the rise of Charlemagne and his successors, and the influence of the Palatine School established by the Englishman Alcuin (735–804), that the Church of Rome became almost exclusively committed to Augustinian theology.
The primary causes of the Schism were disputes over conflicting claims of jurisdiction, in particular over papal authority—Pope Leo IX claimed he held authority over the four Eastern patriarchs (see also Pentarchy)—and over the insertion of the Filioque clause into the Nicene Creed by the Western patriarch in 1014. As also Pope Nicholas I made it clear that he believed the power of the papacy extended "over all the earth, that is, over every church". Eastern Orthodox state that the 28th Canon of the Council of Chalcedon explicitly proclaimed the equality of the Bishops of Rome and Constantinople, and that it established the highest court of ecclesiastical appeal in Constantinople.
Eastern Orthodox argue that the seventh canon of the Council of Ephesus explicitly prohibited modification of the Nicene Creed by any man (not by Ecumenical church council) drawn up by the first Ecumenical Council in 325. The Council made this prohibition in light of the fact that the earlier second Ecumenical Council, had already modified the Creed adopted at Nicaea, making additions such as "who proceeds from the Father". Eastern Orthodox theologians state this change of the wording of the churches' original creed, was done to address various teachings outside of the church in specific the Macedonius I of Constantinople teaching which the council claimed was a distortion of the church's teaching on the Holy Spirit. This was not a change of the orthodoxy of the churches' original creed.
There were other less significant catalysts for the Schism however, including variance over liturgical practices.
In Eastern Christendom the teaching of Papal Supremacy is called False Isidorean Decretals as it is based on the false documents of Christian canon law under the name Pseudo-Isidore. The Orthodox East contests the teaching that Peter was the Patriarch of Rome as St. Irenaeus says that Pope Linus was the first bishop of Rome and Pope Cletus the second. It is generally conceded that St. Peter was bishop of Antioch who was then succeeded by Evodius and Ignatius. The Eastern Orthodox do not hold the primacy of the Pope of Rome over the Eastern church; they teach that the Pope of Rome is the first among equals. The Seven Ecumenical Councils were held in the East and called by the Eastern Emperors, Roman pontiffs never presided over any of them.
At least three councils (867, 869, 879) were held in Constantinople over the deposition of Ignatius by Emperor Michael III and the replacing of him by Photius. The Pope in disagreement in 863 then held a synod at the Lateran that reversed the Eastern Churches and the Emperor's action, and this was taken by the East as an unacceptable intervention of the Pope of Rome. The use of the Filioque was also condemned. Due to various conflicts arising during the replacement of Patriarch Ignatius of Constantinople by Photius, the Council of Constantinople (867) was convened via Photius, to address the question of Papal Supremacy over all of the churches and their patriarchs and the use of the Filioque. Pope Nicholas I was intervening in the appointing of Patriarchs in jurisdictions other than his own, (Patriarchs that were supposed to be equal to him) and in their confirmation process. At the time of the early church and these councils there were no other Patriarchs in the West other than Rome, whereas there were the four other Patriarchs of the East.
Pope Nicholas had attempted to remove Photius and reappoint Ignatius as the Patriarch of Constantinople by his own authority and decree. Thus the Pope was intervening in the matters of Imperial authority as well as the other churches of the East and their own internal councils and authorities, which they understood to be outside the Pope's own jurisdiction of Rome. The council of 867 was followed by the Council of Constantinople 869. The Council of Constantinople in 879 then restored the conclusions of the Council of 867. The Roman Catholic Church rejects the councils of 867 and 879 but accepts the council of 869. Pope Nicholas I was deposed and the teaching of the Filioque was condemned in the council in 867. The Council at Constantinople in 867 excommunicated Pope Nicholas I, who was then replaced by Pope Adrian II (due to the death of Nicholas I), and rejected Nicholas' claims of primacy, his efforts to convert Bulgaria, and the addition of the Filioque in parts of the Latin Church.
Many other issues increased tensions.
Most of the direct causes of the Great Schism, however, are far less grandiose than the Filioque. The relations between the papacy and the Byzantine court were good in the years leading up to 1054. The emperor Constantine IX and the Pope Leo IX were allied through the mediation of the Lombard catepan of Italy, Argyrus, who had spent years in Constantinople, originally as a political prisoner.
Patriarch Michael I ordered a letter to be written to the bishop of Trani in which he attacked the "Judaistic" practices of the West, namely, the use of unleavened bread. The letter was to be sent by John to all the bishops of the West, including the Pope. John promptly complied, and the letter was passed to Humbert of Mourmoutiers, the cardinal-bishop of Silva Candida, who translated the letter into Latin and brought it to the Pope, who ordered a reply to be made to each charge and a defense of papal supremacy to be laid out in a response.
In 1054, Pope Leo IX sent a letter to Michael Cærularius, Patriarch of Constantinople, that cited a large portion of the forgery called the Donation of Constantine, believing it genuine. The official status of this letter is acknowledged in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 5, entry on Donation of Constantine.
Leo IX assured the Patriarch that the donation was completely genuine, not a fable or old wives' tale, so only the apostolic successor to Peter possessed that primacy and was the rightful head of all the Church. The Patriarch rejected the claims of papal primacy, and subsequently the Catholic Church was split in two in the Great East-West Schism of 1054.
Michael was convinced to cool the debate and thus attempt to prevent the impending breach. However, Humbert and the Pope made no concessions, and Humbert was sent with legatine powers to the imperial capital to resolve the questions raised, once and for all. Humbert, Frederick of Lorraine, and Peter, Archbishop of Amalfi, arrived in April 1054 and were met with a hostile reception; they stormed out of the palace, leaving the papal response with Michael, who in turn was even more angered by their actions. The patriarch refused to recognize their authority or, practically, their existence. When Pope Leo died on 19 April 1054, the legates' authority legally ceased, but they effectively ignored this technicality.
In response to Michael's refusal to address the issues at hand, the legatine mission took the extreme measure of entering the church of the Hagia Sophia during the Divine Liturgy and placing a bull of excommunication on the altar.
The consummation of the East–West Schism is thus generally dated from the year 1054, when this sequence of events took place. However, these events only triggered the beginning of the schism, and it was not actually consummated by the seemingly mutual excommunications. The New Catholic Encyclopedia reports that the legates had been careful not to intimate that the bull of excommunication implied a general excommunication of the Byzantine Church. The bull excommunicated only Patriarch Michael I, Leo of Achrida, and their adherents. Thus, the New Catholic Encyclopedia argues that the dispute need not have produced a permanent schism any more than excommunication of any "contumacious bishop." The schism began to develop when all the other Eastern patriarchs supported Michael I. According to the New Catholic Encyclopedia, it was the support of Emperor Michael VI Stratiotikos that impelled them to support Michael I. Some have questioned the validity of the bull on the grounds that Pope Leo IX had died at that time and so the authority of the legates to issue such a bull is unclear.
The legates left for Rome two days after issuing the bull of excommunication, leaving behind a city near riot. The patriarch had the immense support of the people against the emperor, who had supported the legates to his own detriment. To assuage popular anger, the bull was burnt, and the legates were anathematized. Only the legates were anathematized and, in this case too, there was no explicit indication that the entire Western church was being anathematized.
The bull of excommunication issued against Patriarch Michael by the papal legates made 11 accusations against Michael and "the backers of his foolishness", beginning with that of promoting to the episcopacy men who have been castrated and of rebaptizing those already baptized in the name of the Trinity, and ending with the accusation of refusing communion and baptism to menstruating women and of refusing to be in communion with those who tonsure their heads and shave their beards. Denial of the procession of the Holy Spirit from the Son (with no mention of the Nicene Creed) is given seventh place in this list of eleven.
At the time of the excommunications, many contemporary historians, including Byzantine chroniclers, did not consider the event significant. Francis Dvornik stated: "In spite of what happened in 1054, the faithful of both church remained long unaware of any change in their relations and acts of intercommunion were so numerous that 1054 as the date of the schism becomes inadmissible." Kallistos Ware agrees: "Even after 1054 friendly relations between East and West continued. The two parts of Christendom were not yet conscious of a great gulf of separation between them. … The dispute remained something of which ordinary Christians in the East and West were largely unaware." The Russian Church felt so little separated from the Western that it instituted a liturgical feast to commemorate the largely violent transfer of the relics of Saint Nicholas of Myra from Asia to Bari in Italy in 1089. This fluidity explains in part the different interpretations of the geographical line of division in the two maps given here, one drawn up in the West, the other in a country where Eastern Orthodoxy predominates. Areas such as the extreme south of Italy are interpreted variously as adhering to either East or West. And even in areas whose rulers took one position, there were some who gave their allegiance to the other side. An example is Kingdom of Hungary, where the Roman Catholic Church was upheld by the crown from the time of Stephen I, but "monasteries and convents belonging to the Byzantine Church were founded sporadically in the eleventh century.
Efforts were made in subsequent centuries by Popes and Patriarchs to heal the rift between the churches. However, a number of factors and historical events worked to widen the separation over time.
The participants (crusaders and Venetians) in the Fourth Crusade captured and sacked Constantinople in 1204, looting The Church of Holy Wisdom and various other Orthodox holy sites, and converting them to Latin Catholic worship. Various holy artifacts from these Orthodox holy places were then taken to the West. The victors set up in what had been the empire's territory a number of feudal crusader states, of which the most important was the Latin Empire of Constantinople, thus initiating the period of Greek history known as Frangokratia (dominion by the Franks). The break-up of the Byzantine Empire is seen as a factor that led to its conquest by Islam. The crusaders also appointed a Latin Patriarch of Constantinople. An attempt by the Latin Empire to capture the city of Adrianople, then a Bulgarian possession, was defeated in the Battle of Adrianople (1205).
In northern Europe, the Teutonic Knights, after their successes in the northern crusades, attempted to conquer also the Orthodox Russian Republics of Pskov and Novgorod, an enterprise endorsed by Pope Gregory IX. One of the major defeats they suffered was the Battle of the Ice in 1242. Sweden also undertook several campaigns against Orthodox Novgorod. There were also conflicts between Catholic Poland and Orthodox Russia. Such conflicts solidified the schism between East and West.
The Second Council of Lyon was convoked to act on a pledge by Byzantine emperor Michael VIII to reunite the Western and Eastern churches. Wishing to end the Great Schism that divided Rome and Constantinople, Gregory X had sent an embassy to Michael VIII Palaeologus. On 29 June 1274, Gregory X celebrated a Mass in St John's Church, where both sides took part. The council declared that the Roman church possessed “the supreme and full primacy and authority over the universal Catholic Church.” The council was seemingly a success, but did not provide a lasting solution to the schism; the Emperor was anxious to heal the schism, but the Eastern clergy proved to be obstinate. Michael VII's son and successor Andronicus II repudiated the union.
In the 15th century, the eastern emperor John VIII Palaeologus, pressed hard by the Ottoman Turks, was keen to ally himself with the West, and to do so he arranged with Pope Eugene IV for discussions about reunion to be held again, this time at the Council of Ferrara-Florence. After several long discussions, the emperor managed to convince the Eastern representatives to accept the Western doctrines of Filioque, Purgatory and the supremacy of the Papacy. On 6 June 1439 an agreement was signed by all the Eastern bishops present but one, Mark of Ephesus, who held that Rome continued in both heresy and schism. It seemed that the Great Schism had been ended. However, upon their return, the Eastern bishops found their agreement with the West broadly rejected by the populace and by civil authorities (with the notable exception of the Emperors of the East who remained committed to union until the Fall of Constantinople two decades later). The union signed at Florence has never been accepted by the Eastern churches.
In 1453, the Eastern Roman Empire fell to the Ottoman Empire. But Orthodoxy was still very strong in Russia which became autocephalous (since 1448, although this was not officially accepted by Constantinople until 1589); and thus Moscow called itself the Third Rome, as the cultural heir of Constantinople.
Eastern Christians expressed a belief that the Fall of Constantinople was God's punishment for the Emperor and clergy accepting the West's doctrines of Filioque, Purgatory, and the supremacy of the Papacy. The West did not fulfill its promise to the Eastern Emperor of troops and support if he agreed to the reconciliation. The Sack of Constantinople is still considered proof by the East that the West ultimately succeeded in its endeavor to destroy the East.
Under Ottoman rule, the Orthodox Church acquired power as an autonomous millet. The ecumenical patriarch was the religious and administrative ruler of the entire Rum Millet (Ottoman administrative unit), which encompassed all the Eastern Orthodox subjects of the Empire. Those appointed to the role were chosen by the Muslim State. In fact, Mehmed II when he conquered the City formally assumed the legal function of the Byzantine Emperors, and the appointment of the patriarch Gennadius II. Mehmed and his agents did all they could to stamp out pro-Roman parties among the Greek Christians, and to that end Mehmed enormously strengthened the Greek church, as this helped to protect the Ottoman Sultunate from any united Christian foe.
As a result of the Ottoman conquest, the entire Orthodox communion of the Balkans and the Near East became suddenly isolated from the West. For the next four hundred years, it would be confined within the Islamic world, with which it had little in common religiously or culturally. The Russian Orthodox Church and the Orthodox Churches from Wallachia and Moldavia were the only part of the Orthodox communion that remained outside the control of the Ottoman Empire.
The growing might of the Moscow contributed also to the growing authority of the Autocephalous Russian Church. In 1589, Metropolitan Job of Moscow became the first Patriarch of Moscow and All Rus'; making the Russian Church one of the five honorable Patriarchates.
However, in 1721 Tsar Peter I abolished completely the patriarchate and so the Church effectively became a department of the government, ruled by a Most Holy Synod composed of senior bishops and lay bureaucrats appointed by the Tsar himself. An independent (from the state) patriarchate was reestablished in 1917, but after the death in 1925 of Patriarch Tikhon of Moscow, who had been persecuted by the Soviet authorities, the patriarchate remained vacant until 1943, when, during the Second World War, the Soviet government allowed somewhat greater freedom to the Church.
The Eastern Catholic Churches consider themselves to have reconciled the East and West Schism by keeping their prayers and rituals similar to those of Eastern Orthodoxy, while also accepting the primacy of the Bishop of Rome. Some Eastern Orthodox charge that joining in this unity comes at the expense of ignoring critical doctrinal differences and past atrocities.
Since the beginnings of the Uniate movement, there have been periodic conflicts between the Orthodox and Uniate in Ukraine and Belarus, then under Polish rule, and later also in Transylvania (see the Romanian Church United with Rome). During Russia's Time of Troubles there was a plan by the conquering Polish monarchy (of Latin Rite, not Uniate) to convert all of Russia to Roman Catholicism. The Russian national holiday, Unity Day, was established due to this conflict. Patriarch Hermogenes was martyred by the Poles and their supporters during this period (see also Polish-Lithuanian-Muscovite Commonwealth).
At a meeting in Balamand, Lebanon in June 1993, the Joint International Commission for the Theological Dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church the delegates of the Eastern Orthodox Churches declared "...and that what has been called 'uniatism' can no longer be accepted either as a method to be followed nor as a model of the unity our Churches are seeking" (section 12 of the document).
At the same time, the Commission stated:
The doctrine of papal primacy was further developed in 1870 at the First Vatican Council which declared that "in the disposition of God the Roman church holds the preeminence of ordinary power over all the other churches". This council also affirmed the dogma of papal infallibility, declaring that the infallibility of the Christian community extends to the pope himself, when he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church.
A major event of the Second Vatican Council, known as Vatican II, was the issuance by Pope Paul VI and Orthodox Patriarch Athenagoras of a joint expression of regret for many of the past actions that had led up to the Great Schism between the Western and Eastern churches, expressed as the Catholic-Orthodox Joint Declaration of 1965. At the same time, they lifted the mutual excommunications dating from the eleventh century.
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The Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue Between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church first met in Rhodes in 1980.
In June 1995, Patriarch Bartholomew I, who was elected as the 273rd Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople in October 1991, visited the Vatican for the first time, when he joined in the historic inter-religious day of prayer for peace at Assisi. Pope John Paul II and the Patriarch explicitly stated their mutual "desire to relegate the excommunications of the past to oblivion and to set out on the way to re-establishing full communion."
In May 1999, John Paul II was the first pope since the Great Schism to visit an Eastern Orthodox country: Romania. Upon greeting John Paul II, the Romanian Patriarch Teoctist stated: "The second millennium of Christian history began with a painful wounding of the unity of the Church; the end of this millennium has seen a real commitment to restoring Christian unity." Pope John Paul II visited other heavily Orthodox areas such as Ukraine, despite lack of welcome at times, and he said that healing the divisions between Western and Eastern Christianity was one of his fondest wishes.
In June 2004, the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I's visit to Rome for the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul (29 June) afforded him the opportunity for another personal meeting with Pope John Paul II, for conversations with the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and for taking part in the celebration for the feast day in St. Peter's Basilica.
The Patriarch's partial participation in the Eucharistic liturgy at which the Pope presided followed the program of the past visits of Patriarch Dimitrios (1987) and Patriarch Bartholomew I himself: full participation in the Liturgy of the Word, joint proclamation by the Pope and by the Patriarch of the profession of faith according to the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed in Greek and as the conclusion, the final Blessing imparted by both the Pope and the Patriarch at the Altar of the Confessio. The Patriarch did not fully participate in the Liturgy of the Eucharist involving the consecration and distribution of the Eucharist itself.
In accordance with the Roman Catholic Church's practice of including the clause when reciting the Creed in Latin, but not when reciting the Creed in Greek, Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI have recited the Nicene Creed jointly with Patriarchs Demetrius I and Bartholomew I in Greek without the Filioque clause.
The efforts of Orthodox patriarchs towards reconciliation with the Catholic Church has been strongly criticized by some elements of Eastern Orthodoxy, such as the Metropolitan of Kalavryta, Greece, in November 2008. In 2010, Patriarch Bartholomew I issued an encyclical lauding the ongoing dialogue between the Orthodox Church and other Christian churches and criticizing those who are “unacceptably fanatical” in challenging such dialogue. The encyclical lamented that the dialogues between the two churches were being criticized in “an unacceptably fanatical way” by some who claim to be defenders of Orthodoxy despite the fact that these dialogues are being conducted “with the mutual agreement and participation of all local Orthodox Churches”. The Patriarch warned that "such opponents raise themselves above episcopal synods and risk creating schisms". He further accused some critics of distorting reality to “deceive and arouse the faithful” and of depicting theological dialogue not as a pan-Orthodox effort, but an effort of the Ecumenical Patriarchate alone. As an example, he pointed to "false rumors that union between the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches is imminent" claiming that the disseminators of such rumors were fully aware that "the differences discussed in these theological dialogues remain numerous and require lengthy debate". The Patriarch re-emphasized that "union is not decided by theological commissions but by Church Synods".
Despite efforts on the part of Catholic Popes and Orthodox Patriarchs to heal the schism, only limited progress towards reconciliation has been made over the last half century. One stumbling block is the fact that the Orthodox and the Catholics have different perceptions of the nature of the divide.
Most of the ecclesiological issues seem to be within the realm of compromise and accommodation with the exception of the doctrines of Papal Primacy and Papal supremacy. The official Catholic teaching is that the Orthodox are schismatic meaning that there is nothing heretical about their theology, only their unwillingness to accept the supremacy of the Pope which is presented in Catholic teaching as an ecclesiological issue, not a theological one. With respect to Primacy of the Pope, the two churches agree that the Pope, as Bishop of Rome, has primacy although they continue to have different interpretations of what that primacy entails. The Eastern Orthodox insist that the primacy is largely one of honor, the Pope being "first among equals" primus inter pares. The Catholic Church, on the other hand, insists on the doctrine of Supremacy. It is widely understood that, if there is to be reconciliation, both sides will have to compromise on this doctrine. Although some commentators have proposed ways in which such compromise can be achieved, there is no official indication that such compromise is being contemplated.
From the perspective of the Catholic Church, the ecclesiological issues are the central issue which is why they characterize the split between the two churches as a schism. In their view, the Eastern Orthodox are very close to them in theology and the Catholic Church does not consider the Orthodox beliefs to be heretical. However, from the perspective of Orthodox theologians, there are theological issues that run much deeper than just the theology around the primacy and/or supremacy of the Pope. In fact, unlike the Catholics who do not generally consider the Orthodox heretical, and speak instead about the Eastern "schism", some prominent Orthodox theologians do consider the Catholic Church to be heretical on fundamental doctrinal issues of theology, such as the Filioque.
These doctrinal issues center around the Orthodox perception that the Catholic theologians lack the actual experience of God called theoria and thereby fail to understand the importance of the Heart as Noetic or Intuitive faculty. It is what they consider to be the Catholic Church's reliance on pagan metaphysical philosophy and rational methods such as scholasticism rather than on intuitive experience of God (theoria) that causes Orthodox to consider the Catholic Church heretical. Other points of doctrinal difference include a difference regarding human nature as well as a difference regarding original sin, purgatory and the nature of Hell.
The most frequently discussed point of theological difference is embodied in the dispute regarding the inclusion of the Filioque in the Nicene Creed. In the view of the Roman Catholic Church, what it calls the legitimate complementarity of the expressions "from the Father" and "from the Father and the Son" does not, provided it does not become rigid, affect the identity of faith in the reality of the same mystery confessed. The Orthodox, on the other hand, view inclusion of the phrase to be almost heretical (see also the Trinity section).
More importantly, the Orthodox see the Filioque as just the tip of the iceberg and really just a symptom of a much more deeply rooted problem of theology, one so deeply rooted that they consider it to be heretical and even, by some characterizations, an inability to "see God" and know God. This heresy is allegedly rooted in Frankish paganism, Arianism, Platonist and Aristotelian philosophy and Thomist rational and objective Scholasticism. In opposition to what they characterize as pagan, heretical and "godless" foundations, the Orthodox rely on an intuitive and mystical knowledge and vision of God (Theoria) based on Hesychasm and noesis. While Catholics accept the Eastern Orthodox intuitive and mystical understanding of God as valid, they consider it to be complementary to the rational and philosophical Scholasticism of Thomas Aquinas. Pope John Paul II has characterized the Western and Eastern approaches as operating as "two lungs" in the Body of Christ. In contrast, the Eastern Orthodox reject the rational and philosophical foundations of Western Christianity as pagan and heretical and assert that until the Western Church learns to see God and know God as the Eastern Church does, there cannot be even the remotest possibility of reconciliation.
Despite this pessimistic opinion of the prospects for reconciliation, Patriarchs of the Eastern Orthodox Church have shown a willingness to work with successive Popes of the Catholic Church in joint ecumenical efforts. A Joint Theological Commission meets regularly to identify areas where progress is needed in order to achieve reconciliation.
Jeffrey D. Finch claims that "the future of East-West rapprochement appears to be overcoming the modern polemics of neo-scholasticism and neo-Palamism".
Some Eastern Orthodox theologians point to a number of theological issues outstanding. These issues have a long history as can be seen in the 11th Century works of Orthodox theologian and saint Nikitas Stithatos.
In the Roman Catholic Church too, some writers can be found who speak pejoratively of the Eastern Orthodox Church and its theology, but these writers are marginal. The official view of the Catholic Church is that expressed in the Decree Unitatis redintegratio of the Second Vatican Council:
In the study of revelation East and West have followed different methods, and have developed differently their understanding and confession of God's truth. It is hardly surprising, then, if from time to time one tradition has come nearer to a full appreciation of some aspects of a mystery of revelation than the other, or has expressed it to better advantage. In such cases, these various theological expressions are to be considered often as mutually complementary rather than conflicting. Where the authentic theological traditions of the Eastern Church are concerned, we must recognize the admirable way in which they have their roots in Holy Scripture, and how they are nurtured and given expression in the life of the liturgy. They derive their strength too from the living tradition of the apostles and from the works of the Fathers and spiritual writers of the Eastern Churches. Thus they promote the right ordering of Christian life and, indeed, pave the way to a full vision of Christian truth.
The Roman Catholic Church's attitude was expressed by Pope John Paul II in the image of the Church "breathing with her two lungs". He meant that there should be a combination of the more rational, juridical, organisation-minded "Latin" temperament with the intuitive, mystical and contemplative spirit found in the east.
Eastern Orthodox charge that the Eastern and Western churches have different approaches to understanding the Trinity. The influence of St Augustine and, by extension, that of Thomas Aquinas in the western Mediterranean on this issue are not generally accepted in the Orthodox Church.
The "Filioque", Latin for "and (from) the Son", was added in Western Christianity to the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed. This insertion states that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Son as well as from the Father. The doctrine expressed by this phrase inserted into the Nicene Creed is accepted by the Catholic Church, by Anglicanism and by Protestant churches in general. Christians of these groups generally include it when reciting the Nicene Creed. Nonetheless, these groups recognize that Filioque is not part of the original text established at the First Council of Constantinople in 381 and they do not demand that others too should use it when saying the Creed. Indeed, the Roman Catholic Church does not add the phrase corresponding to Filioque (καὶ Υἱοῦ) to the Greek text of the Creed, even in the liturgy for Latin Rite Catholics.
At the 879–880 Council of Constantinople the Eastern Orthodox Church anathematized the "Filioque" phrase, "as a novelty and augmentation of the Creed", and in their 1848 encyclical the Eastern Patriarchs spoke of it as a heresy. It was qualified as such by some of the Eastern Orthodox Church's saints, including Photios I of Constantinople, Mark of Ephesus, Gregory Palamas, who have been called the Three Pillars of Orthodoxy.
The Eastern church believes by the Western church inserting the Filioque unilaterally (without consulting or holding council with the East) into the Creed that the Western church broke communion with the East.
Orthodox theologians such as Vladimir Lossky criticize the misguided focus of Western theology of God in 'God in uncreated essence', which he alleges is a modalistic and therefore a speculative expression of God that is indicative of the Sabellian heresy. Orthodox theologian Michael Pomazansky argues that, in order for the Holy Spirit to proceed from the Father and the Son in the Creed, there would have to be two sources in the deity (double procession), whereas in the one God there can only be one source of divinity, which is the Father hypostasis of the Trinity, not God's essence per se. In contrast, Bishop Kallistos Ware suggests that the problem is more one of semantics than of basic doctrinal differences.
Pope John Paul II recited the Nicene Creed several times with patriarchs of the Eastern Orthodox Church in Greek according to the original text. Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI have recited the Nicene Creed jointly with Patriarchs Demetrius I and Bartholomew I in Greek without the Filioque clause. The action of these patriarchs in reciting the Creed together with the Pope has been strongly criticized by some elements of Eastern Orthodoxy, such as the Metropolitan of Kalavryta, Greece.
Vladimir Lossky, a noted modern Eastern Orthodox theologian, argues the difference in East and West is due to the Roman Catholic Church's use of pagan metaphysical philosophy (and scholasticism) rather than actual experience of God called theoria, to validate the theological dogmas of Roman Catholic Christianity. For this reason, Lossky argues that Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholics have become "different men". Other Eastern Orthodox theologians such as John Romanides and Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos have made similar pronouncements. According to the Orthodox teachings, Theoria can be achieved through ascetic practices like hesychasm (see St John Climacus), which was condemned as a heresy by Barlaam of Seminara.
Orthodox theologians charge that, in contrast to Orthodox theology, western theology is based on philosophical discourse which reduces humanity and nature to cold mechanical concepts. Orthodox theologians argue that the mind (reason, rationality) is the focus of Western theology, whereas in Eastern theology, the mind must be put in the heart, so they are united into what is called nous, this unity as heart is the focus of Eastern Orthodox Christianity involving the unceasing Prayer of the heart.
In Orthodox theology, in the Eastern ascetic traditions one of the goals of ascetic practice is to obtain sobriety of consciousness, awakeness (nepsis). For humankind this is reached in the healing of whole person called the soul, heart. When a person's heart is reconciled with their mind, this is referred to as a healing of the nous or the "eye, focus of the heart or soul". Part of this process is the healing and or reconciliation of humankind's reason being called logos or dianoia with the heart, soul. While mankind's spirit and body are energies vivified by the soul, Orthodoxy teaches man's sin, suffering, sorrow is caused by his heart and mind being a duality and in conflict. According to Orthodox theology, lack of noetic understanding (sickness) can be neither circumvented nor satisfied by rational or discursive thought (i.e. systematization), and denying the needs of the human heart (a more Western expression would be the needs of the soul) causes various negative or destructive manifestations such as addiction, atheism and evil thoughts etc. A cleaned, healed or restored Nous creates the condition of sobriety or nepsis of the mind.
Orthodox theologians assert that the theological division of East and West culminated into a direct theological conflict known as the Hesychasm controversy during several councils at Constantinople New Rome, between the years 1341–1351. They argue that this controversy highlighted the sharp contrast between what is embraced by the Roman Catholic Church as proper (or orthodox) theological dogma and how theology is validated and what is considered valid theology by the Eastern Orthodox. The essence of the disagreement is that in the East one cannot be a genuine true theologian or teach knowledge of God, without having experienced God, as is defined as the vision of God (theoria). At the heart of the issue was the teaching of the Essence-Energies distinctions (which states that while creation can never know God's uncreated essence, it can know His uncreated energies) by Gregory Palamas.
The Eastern Orthodox do not accept Augustine's teaching of original sin. His interpretation of ancestral sin is rejected in the East as well. Nor is Augustine's teaching accepted in its totality in the West. The Roman Catholic Church rejects traducianism and affirms creationism. Its teaching on original sin is largely based on but not identical with that of Augustine, and is opposed to the interpretation of Augustine advanced by Martin Luther and John Calvin. Its teaching departs from Augustine's ideas in some respects. The Eastern Church makes no use at all of Augustine. Another Orthodox view is expressed by Christos Yannaras, who described Augustine as "the fount of every distortion and alteration in the Church's truth in the West".
What the Eastern Orthodox accepts is that ancestral sin corrupted their existence (their bodies and environment) that each person is born into and thus we are born into a corrupted existence (by the ancestral sin of Adam and Eve)[page needed] and that "original sin is hereditary. It did not remain only Adam and Eve's. As life passes from them to all of their descendants, so does original sin. We all of us participate in original sin because we are all descended from the same forefather, Adam."
Both East and West hold that each person is not called to atone for the actual sin committed by Adam and Eve. Rather each person is called to overcome the corrupted world they are born into and seek salvation by way of the community established by God. By attaining the Holy Spirit which validates this community (church). Here the two churches greatly differ, as to the meaning of attaining the Holy Spirit, both having radically different meanings East and West.
The teaching of the Roman Catholic Church about original sin is that all people inherit the sin of Adam, and the teaching of the Eastern Orthodox Church is that, as a result of Adam's sin, "hereditary sin flowed to his posterity; so that everyone who is born after the flesh bears this burden, and experiences the fruits of it in this present world."
According to the Western Church, "original sin does not have the character of a personal fault in any of Adam's descendants", and the Eastern Church teaches that "by these fruits and this burden we do not understand [actual] sin". The Orthodox and the Catholics believe that people inherit only the spiritual sickness (in which all suffer and sin) of Adam and Eve, caused by their ancestral sin (what has flowed to them), a sickness leaving them weakened in their powers, subject to ignorance, suffering and the domination of death, and inclined to sin.
John Cassian (ca. 360 – 435), who is venerated as a saint by both the Eastern Orthodox and the Roman Catholic Church, is considered to be an early proponent of the view that in the sixteenth century became known as Semipelagianism. Semipelagianism is a set of doctrines according to which, while admitting the need of divine grace for salvation, the first steps sometimes are in the power of the individual, without the need for grace, which intervenes only later. Cassian endeavored in his thirteenth chapter of Conferences section eleven to demonstrate from Biblical examples that God frequently awaits the good impulses of the natural will, before coming to its assistance with His supernatural grace. While the grace often preceded the will, as in the case of Matthew and Peter, he said, on the other hand the will frequently preceded the grace, as in the case of Zacchæus and the Good Thief on the Cross. Cassian's position has been described as a "middle way" between Pelagianism, which taught that the will alone was sufficient to live a sinless life, and the view of Augustine of Hippo, that emphasizes the absolute need for grace. Cassian's doctrine was against Augustine doctrine of predestination as well Calvinism's predestination, which Calvin stated he based on Augustine's.
The Eastern Orthodox agree that each individual must choose God by their own free will and rejected Augustine's teaching of predestination, interpreted as conflicting with free will, in which interpretation it is rejected also by the Roman Catholic Church.
The Roman Catholic Church teaches that, even after the Fall, man remains free, and that freedom in man is an "outstanding manifestation of the divine image". Cassian himself was never condemned: his first opponent, Prosper of Aquitaine, held him in high esteem as a man of virtue and did not name him as author of the opinion that he was attacking. But the view that the first steps of salvation are in the power of the individual without any need of divine grace, a view expounded by Cassian and Faustus of Riez, was condemned by the Latin church in the local Council of Orange in 529.
The doctrine upheld by the Eastern Orthodox Church, is that salvation involves man freely giving the assent of faith to the Word of God and cooperating with the prompting of the Holy Spirit preceding and preserving his assent and also man sometimes by his own volition seeking salvation. This doctrine of synergy is comparable to saving a drowning man by throwing a rope to him, which he must choose whether or not to grab in order to receive the help offered.
In the Eastern Orthodox Church, Cassian's doctrine is not referred to as Semipelagianism it is referred to as the theological doctrine of synergy or cooperation between man's will and the will of God. The working together of the Holy Spirit and each person, towards the person's salvation.
Some Orthodox theologians also express the belief that the doctrine of Original Sin has led western theology to develop the doctrine about the "Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary" (which was defined by Pope Pius IX in 1854). Eastern theologians consider this doctrine to be wrong, since it claims that God Himself protected the Virgin Mary from the sickness of sin, so that she could give birth to Christ, while they believe that the Virgin Mary was chosen to give birth to Christ, because of her own desire to love God and follow God's will.
Another point of theological contention between the western and eastern churches, is the doctrine of purgatory (as it was shown at the Second Council of Lyons and the Council of Ferrara-Florence). It was developed in time in western theology, according to which, "all who die in God's grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven." However, some eastern theologians, while agreeing that there is beyond death a state in which believers continue to be perfected and led to full divinization, consider that it is a state not of punishment but of growth; hold that suffering cannot purify sin, since they have a different view of sin and consider suffering as a result of a spiritual sickness. Western theology usually considers sin not only as a sickness that weakens and impedes, but also as something that merits punishment.
The Eastern Orthodox Church holds that "there is a state beyond death where believers continue to be perfected and led to full divinization". Although some Orthodox[who?] have described this intermediate state as "purgatory", others distinguish it from aspects associated with it in the West: at the Council of Ferrara-Florence, the Orthodox Bishop and Saint Mark of Ephesus argued that there are in it no purifying fires. This also involves, according to Eastern theologians, differences about the way Heaven and Hell are taught and experienced. The teachings of the Eastern Orthodox Church, do not reflect the commonly held beliefs Western Christians, i.e. there is no Wrathful God in the sky, neither is there a heaven up in the sky. Heaven, the Kingdom of God and eternal Damnation are both, being with and in the presence of God.
Eastern Orthodox consider the teaching of punishment in the after life by Western Christianity a corruption of the original teaching of the eternal fire. The traditional Orthodox teaching is that "those who reject Christ will face punishment. According to the Confession of Dositheus, persons go immediately to joy in Christ or to the torments of punishment". " This is different from the West's teaching of Damnation.
In Orthodox doctrine there is no place without God. In eternity there is no hiding from God. In Catholic theology, God is present everywhere not only by his power but in himself. One burns because even though they have rejected God they are to be with God for all eternity. God's energies burn them. This is the teaching that to those that reject God, his love will be the fire that burns them (called the River of Fire). In Orthodoxy torment for the damned is not some created place called Hell, where people are without God. As the English word Hell is not in the Greek bible, although the Greek word κόλασις, which now means "the situation of spiritual punishment after the last judgement of those who died without repenting of their sins" is found in the Greek Bible. The word Hades is not expressed as a place strictly of eternal damnation in the Greek bible either. It as the bosom of Abraham is where both Lazarus and the rich men existed; neither was in a separate place from God or one another.
While eastern theology considers the desire to sin, as the result of a spiritual sickness (caused by Adam and Eve's pride), which needs to be cured. One such theologian gives his interpretation of Western theology as follows: "According to the holy Fathers of the Church, there is not an uncreated Paradise and a created Hell, as the Franco-Latin tradition teaches". The eastern Church, believes that hell or eternal damnation and heaven exist and are the same place, which is being with God, and that the very same Divine love (God's uncreated energies) which is a source of bliss and consolation for the righteous (because they love God, His love is Heaven for them), is also a source of torment (or a "Lake of Fire") for sinners (because they don't love God, they will feel His love this way). The Western Church speaks of heaven and hell as states of existence rather than as places. Whereas in Eastern Orthodoxy there is no Hell per se, there is damnation or punishment in eternity for the rejection of God's grace.
Many of the issues that currently separate the two churches are ecclesiological. Several of the issues mentioned below have been raised against the Western Church for centuries, as can be seen in The Byzantine Lists: Errors of the Latins, by Tia M. Kolbaba (University of Illinois Press, 2000), which treats of the Latins' prohibition of ordination of married men, the addition of Filioque to the creed, Lenten fasting different from that in the East, fasting on Saturday, azymes in the Eucharist, differences on baptism, marriage within forbidden degrees, failure to revere icons sufficiently, bishops wearing rings, insufficient reverence for the Virgin Mary, making the sign of the cross differently, various liturgical differences and many similar "errors". The Western Church only bars first cousins from marrying and often grants dispensations or exceptions to the rule, but the Orthodox Church bars second cousins and does not grant any dispensations.
A major sticking point is the style of church government. The Orthodox Church has always maintained the original position of collegiality of the bishops resulting in the structure of the church being closer to a confederacy in structure. The Orthodox have synods where the highest authorities in each Church community are brought together, but unlike Roman Catholicism no central individual or figure has the absolute and infallible last word on church doctrine. In practice, this has sometimes led to divisions among Greek, Russian, Bulgarian and Ukrainian Orthodox churches, as no central authority can serve as a rallying point for various internal disputes. The Second Vatican Council has re-asserted the importance of collegiality to a degree that appears satisfying to most if not all ecclesial parties.
The Roman Catholic Church's current official teachings about papal privilege and power that are unacceptable to the Eastern Orthodox churches are the dogma of the pope's infallibility when speaking officially "from the chair of Peter (ex cathedra Petri)" on matters of faith and morals to be held by the whole Church, so that such definitions are irreformable "of themselves, and not by the consent of the Church" (ex sese et non ex consensu ecclesiae) and have a binding character for all (Catholic) Christians in the world; the pope's direct episcopal jurisdiction over all (Catholic) Christians in the world; the pope's authority to appoint (and so also to depose) the bishops of all (Catholic) Christian churches except in the territory of a patriarchate; and the affirmation that the legitimacy and authority of all (Catholic) Christian bishops in the world derive from their union with the Roman see and its bishop, the Supreme Pontiff, the unique Successor of Peter and Vicar of Christ on earth.
Principal among the ecclesiastical issues that separate the two churches is the meaning of papal primacy within any future unified church. The Orthodox insist that it should be a "primacy of honor", as in the ancient church and not a "primacy of authority", whereas the Catholics see the pontiff's role as requiring for its exercise power and authority the exact form of which is open to discussion with other Christians.
Leo IX sent a letter to Michael Cærularius, Patriarch of Constantinople, in 1054, that cited a large portion of the Donation of Constantine believing it genuine. The official status of this letter is acknowledged in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 5, entry on Donation of Constantine, p. 120:
Leo IX assured the Patriarch that the donation was completely genuine, not a fable or old wives tale, so only the apostolic successor to Peter possessed that primacy and was the rightful head of all the Church. The Patriarch rejected the claims of papal primacy, and subsequently the Catholic Church was split in two in the Great East-West Schism of 1054.
The declaration of Ravenna in 2007 re-asserted the belief that the bishop of Rome is indeed the protos, although future discussions are to be held on the concrete ecclesiological exercise of papal primacy.
Most Orthodox Churches through economy do not require Baptism in the Orthodox Church for one who has been previously baptized in the Roman Catholic Church. Most Orthodox jurisdictions, based on that same principle of economy, allow a sacramental marriage between an Orthodox Christian and some non-Orthodox Christians. The Catholic Church allows its clergy to administer the sacraments of Penance, the Eucharist and Anointing of the Sick to members of the Eastern Orthodox Church, if these spontaneously ask for the sacraments and are properly disposed. It also allows Catholics who cannot approach a Catholic minister to receive these three sacraments from clergy of the Eastern Orthodox Church, whenever necessity requires or a genuine spiritual advantage commends it, and provided the danger of error or indifferentism is avoided. Catholic canon law allows marriage between a Catholic and an Orthodox. The Orthodox Church will only administer the sacraments to Christians who aren't Orthodox if there is an emergency.
The Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches authorizes the local Catholic bishop to permit a Catholic priest, of whatever rite, to bless the marriage of Orthodox faithful who being unable without great difficulty to approach a priest of their own Church, ask for this spontaneously. In exceptional circumstances Catholics may, in the absence of an authorized priest, marry before witnesses. If a priest who is not authorized for the celebration of the marriage is available, he should be called in, although the marriage is valid even without his presence. The Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches specifies that, in those exceptional circumstances, even a "non-Catholic" priest (and so not necessarily one belonging to an Eastern Church) may be called in.
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