Great Schism Project
By babulaj, Updated
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The other factor that led to the split of the East and the West were the iconoclasts and iconophiles The iconoclasts wanted to destroy icons in the Church and the iconophiles wanted to supported the icons, which were images of religious figures: Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and the Saints. The first event in history to have an absurd amount of iconoclasts, known as an iconoclasm, involved Emperor Leo III, who wanted to destroy icons since people worshiped them instead of God, which is a form of idolatry. Emperor Leo III also wanted to help the unification of Muslims and Jews and destroying the icons would be very useful towards them since they do not allow images of God in human form. Two well known iconophiles, St. John of Damascus and Empress Irene, both fought against the destruction of icons. St. John of Damascus believed that since Jesus was God in human form, the portrayal of icons would be completely fine, and Empress Irene convinced Pope Adrian I to order the Second Council of Nicaea.
In 1054 A.D., a crucial event in history known as the “Great Schism" occurred, which was the division of the Eastern and Western Churches in the Roman Empire.
Patriarchs fought against the Pope when he clarified that the Holy Spirit advances also through the Son, Jesus Christ, as shown by Patriarch of Constantinople, Michael Cerularius, turning down the inclusion, with Cardinal Humbert giving him the order to prohibit the Pope from further actions, causing the split of the Eastern and Western Churches on July 24, 1054.
One of the two leading causes towards the split of the East and West was Byzantium, a colony that survived for more than a thousand years with heavy Christian markings. This colony kick-started the downfall of the West through the Pope's loss of power in Rome and the collapse of political structures, but the East, however, had strong nationalism and their emperor, Justinian, deemed the best for last emperor in Rome, had been successful through his military campaigns and revolutionary arts and law.
While the East and the West were on a rapid decline, there were two people who were trying their hardest to keep Rome's defenses up to speed: Pepin the Short and Charlemagne. Pepin was the son of Charles Martel, given Frankish rule by Pope St. Gregory, and the Pope aided the Pepin-Carolingian Dynasty and wanted Pepin to be Rome's shield. The Pope's job was to be the temporal leader over the Carolingian lands, which later became to be known as Papal States, named after Pepin. The other person to help defend Rome was the grandson of Charles Martel, Charlemagne. He reigned from 769, fused most of Western Europe, and was very dedicated to God, as shown by through spending money to the Church, initiating new dioceses, as well as reforming the Clergy. He was later crowned the Holy Roman Emperor by Pope Leo III.
As of today, the East and the West are still trying to cure the Schism due to the damage made by the false impressions debates in the past. St. John Paul II communicated with the Eastern Orthodox Church in 2001, saying that the Schism will be healed someday.
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