The Great Schism of 1054


The Great Schism happened in the one and whole Christian church on 16 July 1054 AD, was the separation of the church in the Eastern Roman Empire and the church in the Western part of the Empire. It is also known as the East-West Schism of 1054. The decisive incident in the Schism was the excommunication of Michael I Cerularius, the Patriarch of Constantinople by the Roman Catholic Pope St. Leo IX. In turn Cerularius excommunicated the legates of the Pope on 20 July 1054. This incident was not the beginning of the schism, neither was it the end of it. The result of this schism was the separation of the single Christian church into two major branches: the Western Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Though the Schism was fueled by political ambition in the East, there were cultural, theological and ecclesiastical reasons behind the Schism. The Church in the Western Roman Empire and the other half in the Eastern Roman Empire was influenced by different philosophies that developed different approaches to theological and ecclesiastical doctrines. They understood the same scripture in two different level. All these led the Christian Church to the Great Schism.