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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Grandmother, parts 2356 - 2359

 2356. Relations between East and West had long been embittered by ecclesiastical differences and theological disputes. Prominent among these were the issues of the source of the Holy Spirit, whether leavened or unleavened bread should be used in the Eucharist, the Pope’s claim to universal jurisdiction, and the place of Constantinople in relation to the Pentarchy. 

2357. In the year 1053 the first step was taken in the process which led to the formal schism.  The Patriarch of Constantinople, Michael Cerularius ordered the closure of all Latin churches in Constantinople. According to the historian John Bagnell Bury, Cerularius' purpose in closing the Latin churches was "to cut short any attempt at conciliation.”

2358. In the above paragraphs one comes across words like ecclesiastical, jurisdiction,  and pentarchy, and unpronounceable names like Chalcedonian and Cerularius, but this should not obscure the fact that the ancient Christian church was sundered in two in the ancient world over arguments about what kind of bread to use in a church service.

2359. But ultimately this splitting up of a huge historic organization is inevitable once an institution reaches a certain size. The splitting of an organism into two sections, and the subsequent two sections going to war with each other seems to almost be a law of nature.

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