The Great Schism A Religion Essay School Essay

1131 words - 5 pages

Religion Assessment
By Nicola Sherwood
The Great Schism in evolved a disharmony and conflict which had been present for centuries stemming from a wide variety of issues within the umbrella of Christianity, splitting into the Western Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church. These differences being language barriers, cultural differences, hierarchy order, the conventions of liturgy, geographical location and politics over multiple centuries. As a result of the split in 1054 CE both churches have flourished and developed together and individually with their similarities and differences.
The Western Church spoke Latin while the Eastern Church spoke Greek, they struggled to communicate and become less enthusiastic to work together as they had no means of discussion. The hardest hurdle to overcome was the incapability of translating confusing metaphors and teachings from the Bible. Mistranslation did start leading to major tension, one happened in 787 CE with the use of Icons. There was a church council called Nicaea, in the East, the council wanted the churches to use images as a form of teaching which if done correctly could ultimately help Christians in worshipping God. When taken to the West and translated for Charlemagne's court, the word venerate was incorrectly translated to adore which was an obvious heresy. Charlemagne told Frankfurt council in 794 CE to prohibit the teachings of Nicaea which caused disharmony between them. Language barriers were also formed within priesthood, a case states of a Greek speaking western priest being forced to learn Latin in order to preach. The misunderstanding led to the existent geographical issues where both churches were adamant to not communicating to each other. Language differences, produced two very different worlds and these affected all areas of life including the church.
Hierarchy is required in any religion as to have a sense of authority and decision making. Papal Authority allows the Pope to have supreme authority over all Bishops and it is still held and taught in the Catholic Church today, this was put in place by the doctrine of papal jurisdiction (Catechism of the Catholic Church, nos 553, 834, 880–887). At the top the of the pyramid is regarded as the position of power and influence in the Western church it is the pope, for the Eastern Church it is the Patriarch of Constantinople. Both churches have Cardinals, Priests and Bishops yet the Western Church has Archbishops under cardinals while the Eastern has Emperors who select the Patriarch of Constantinople. For a hierarchy to work dependence and respect for leadership is key. An extract of a letter written in 1135 CE by an Eastern bishop to a Western bishop reveals a complaint against the West and a sense of dissatisfaction, the Eastern bishop discusses the ideas of papal infallibility by internationalising Rome. “…I ask your pardon when I say this about the Roman Church, for I venerate her along with you. But I cannot fol...

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