Essay on The East-West Schism of 1054

Bryant Mondor, Fall 2015 

The East-West Schism of 1054 led Pope Leo IX and Patriarch Michael I to excommunicate one another due to disagreements over papal power resulting in two separate churches being formed: the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church. The history of this schism has led to modern day Popes still acting on this pivotal moment in the Catholic Church’s history. The history of the Roman Catholic Church has seen many controversies over the years, whether over teachings, actions, or beliefs many of these conflicts were eventually solved and looked passed. However, after a series of disagreements between the Roman and Byzantine Empires in years prior, actions taken by both sides regarding power and practices, as well as wording of the Nicene Creed and past doctrine are what led this last split between the East and West, including the topics of “filioque”, azymes, and Papal authority specifically. Pope John Paul II in 2001, met with Orthodox Archbishop Christodoulos in Greece, where both apologized for the past actions of their respective churches. The two men ended their meeting together with the reciting of “The Lords Prayer”, and while the spilt remains, it seems as if finally after all these years the Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church have put the past behind them and are now focused on a healthy relationship between the two churches. While the future remains yet to be seen it is important to note that Pope John Paul II apologized not only for past offenses but also those in the future that Catholics had committed against Orthodox Christians.