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Branches of Christianity

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1 Sarah R = "The Great Schism, also known as the East-West Schism, was the event that divided "Chalcedonian" Christianity into Western (Roman) Catholicism andEastern Orthodoxy.^[1]^ Though normally dated to 1054, when Pope Leo IX and Patriarch Michael I excommunicated each other, the East-West Schism was actually the result of an extended period of estrangement between the two bodies of churches. The primary causes of the Schism were disputes over papal authority -- the Roman Pope claimed he held authority over the four Eastern patriarchs, while the four eastern patriarchs claimed that the primacy of the Patriarch of Rome was only honorary, and thus he had authority only over Western Christians -- and over the insertion of the filioque clause into the Nicene Creed. There were other, less significant catalysts for the Schism, including variance over liturgical practices and conflicting claims of jurisdiction.The Church split along doctrinal, theological, linguistic, political, and geographic lines, and the fundamental breach has never been healed. It might be alleged that the two churches actually reunited in 1274 (by the Second Council of Lyons) and in 1439 (by the Council of Basel), but in each case the councils were repudiated by the Orthodox as a whole, given that the hierarchs had overstepped their authority in consenting to these so-called "unions". Further attempts to reconcile the two bodies have failed; however, several ecclesiastical communities that originally sided with the East changed their loyalties, and are now called Eastern Rite Catholic Churches. For the most part, however, the Western and the Eastern Churches are separate. Each takes the view that it is the "One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church", implying that the other group left the true church during the Schism.http://www.theopedia.com/Great_Schism"
2 Sarah R = ""The Protestant Reformation was a major 16th century European movement aimed initially at reforming the beliefs and practices of the Roman Catholic Church. Its religious aspects were supplemented by ambitious political rulers who wanted to extend their power and control at the expense of the Church. The Reformation ended the unity imposed by medieval Christianity and, in the eyes of many historians, signaled the beginning of the modern era. A weakening of the old order was already under way in Northern Europe, as evidenced by the emergence of thriving new cities and a determined middle class."http://www.theopedia.com/Protestant_Reformation"
3 Sarah R = "If we were to look backwards, to the left of this gray line would be Judaism. Christianity began as a reform movement or sect of Judaism. It began to separate itself from Judaism following the destruction of the temple in 70AD and subsequent events."