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The Great Schism

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The Great Schism (1054) is an article that teaches about the circumstances that coincided to cause schism in the Holy Apostolic Church of Roma that was established by The Holy Apostles in the beginning. These factors were both secular and religious. For instance, the language barrier, culture differences, ecclesiastical views and political interests. These factors over years were gradually increasing. This was particularly after the inversion of the Western empire by barbaric Germanic tribes, as well as the Muslim invasion of the three Eastern Patriarchates, (Lasvegasorthodox,2011).

The fight between Constantinople and the Rome over the five dioceses in the southern part of Italy, the lack of agreement over the missions in the countries of Slavonic   and Bulgaria, the opinions that differed over the authority of Pop, as well as the lack of agreement on canonical and liturgical; all were widening the gap that existed between once brotherly churches. The dogmatic disagreements were all brought up by the climatically differences, that all led to the matter Holy Spirit from the son, as well as the insertion ‘of and the son’ on the creed. The direct reason that led to the Schism was the verse “the lord and provider of life. Who proceed from the father and the son.” (Attiah, 2011).

In the sixth century, this kind of insertion was brought to Europe from Spain, whose church had been fighting for the retention of Christ Divinity against the heretics who were following the Arius teachings. It was during Charlemagne Empire that Filioque was declared a doctrine; however, it was not enforced on top of Rome, as the Roman Popes rejected the idea. The first Pop to fight it was Saint Leo III, who declared the original creed be said without Filioque, he also ordered its carving on two silver plate  and be hanged in Saint Peters church.

After 2 centuries, Rome was taken over by the Germans, who assigned Pop Serguis, who supported the filioque. After going through Constantinople advised the Pop to reverse his decision, but in vain. After failing, he called the council, which resolved at removing Pop’s name from the diptychs of the church. Meaning that, now Rome was off it rejects the proposed law. Due to pressure, the law was declared official. The Patriarchates in the East accepted the decision that was reached upon by the Patriarch of Constantinople Sergius by avoiding communion with Rome as the circumstance was. This is well stated in the letter sent to Constantinople Michael Cerularius, from Antioch Peter III, after  the Declaration of the excommunication in 1054, the letter indicate that, Rome  and the church of Antioch had been cut from participating in holy communion for the last 45 years. Other churches followed letter in avoiding the Holy Communion, (Attiah, 2011).

After losing Holy Communion and increasing hostility between East and West, for political reasons, negotiations continued to restore the church unity. However in the process, Cardinal Humbertus acted opposite to the negotiation spirit unfortunately by placing the Anathema letter to the Holy alter of Hagia Sophia in 1054. The Constantinople reacted by calling for a council which then anathematized the letter, author, and all those who a proved it. This was not the first time tension grew high in the church. However, this was settled by both the west and the east calling for the council. In the council, it was agreed that, every addition to the creed was to be condemned.

In conclusion, the year 1054 wasn’t the year that communion was suspended between Rome and the East as claimed by many, the real year was 1009. As a result, 1054 excommunication was just among other causes of schism; however, it deepened the dogmatic disagreements, that begun with Filioque, which grew with West’s demand of Pop with supreme authority. The other was the controversial dogmas and cannons. This was letter accompanied by endless accusations, offensive writings from both sides, as well as amplified misunderstandings.

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