image with the sign of Myriobiblos

Main Page | Library | Homage | Seminars | Book Reviews





Internet Dept.



Previous Page
Jοhn Ν. Karmiris
Professor in the University of Athens

The Schism of the Roman Church
Translated by Z. Xintaras

Theologia review, Athens 1950, 400-587 pp

Chapter III

Unfortunately, the reconciliation and communion between the two Churches, which was attained through the initiative of Photius, did not last for long. The schism of the Roman Church, which began in 867 at the time of Photius, on the responsibility of Pope Nicholas I, was destined to be completed in 1054 during the patriarchate of Michael Cerularius. At that time communion between the Eastern and the Western Churches was definitely interrupted by synodical decision, Rome again having given cause for it. Because, with very few exceptions, Nicholas' successors, Popes of Rome, who were ardent devotees of the absolute papal primacy and undesirous of rectifying Nicholas' great sin against the Unity of the Church, continued his same policy of attempting to humiliate and subdue the Eastern Church. Besides, they permitted the multiplication of Latin innovations(1). Benedict VIII even accepted in 1014 and in Rome itself the Filioque, which had been strongly attacked by the Orthodox and characterized as an heretical teaching(2). The Filioque now became a fatal schism-making element in the same way as it did during the time of Photius, resulting in the erasing of the Pope's name from the diptychs of the Orthodox Church. Until this day, no Pope's name has been recorded in them 3. Besides, Pope Sergius III (904 911) dared to make a new anti-canonical intervention in a foreign jurisdiction, i. e. in the Church of Constantinople, by confirming the fourth marriage of the emperor Leo VI, he Wise, which was not permitted in the East, and releasing him from the excommunication which the Patriarch Nicholas Mysticos had imposed upon him(4). All these things intensified the growing tension between Constantinople and Rome, which at last came to a head in 1054.

Pope Leo ΙΧ, through his imperialistic politics in southern Italy and his delegation to Constantinople under the Cardinal Humbert, chiefly gave occasion for the completion of the schism. In fact; Pope Leo ΙΧ, together with his cousin the emperor of Germany, Henry III, sought first to extend his sovereignty over southern Italy,(5) which belonged to Byzantium. He even introduced there Latin ecclesiastical customs, as his predecessor Nicholas I had formerly done in Bulgaria, abolished the Byzantine archdiocese of Sipontus, and deposed her archbishop, effecting also other similar interventions(6).

Afterwards, the same Pope, having received occasion, from a letter of Leo, archbishop of Βulgaria, to the bishop John of Tranes (Apuleia)(7), who was subject to the Patriarchate of Constantinople, sent to him (Leo of Bulgaria) and to the Patriarch Cerularius a very long and indecent, or rather insulting, letter in which, instead of refuting the contents of Leo's letter, he seized the opportunity to present the papal primacy in a form worse than Nicholas Ι had done. He asserted that the bishop of Rome is infallible and by divine right possesses double authority, ecclesiastical as well as political («imperialis potestas» !), citing almost the entire pseudo- «Gift of Constantine» in order to prove it(8).

It was the first time that the astonished Eastern Church heard these things which were contrary both to the letter and to the spirit of the Gospel, namely, that the Pope is infallible and that he is the source of all power(9). Βut in spite of all this, the Patriarch Michael Cerularius, who had not failed to send his enthronement letter to Rome according to ancient custom, answered the arrogant letter of Leo ΙX «with much humbleness», as he himself affirms in a letter to Peter of Antioch(10), being concerned with ecclesiastical peace and unity and overlooking the insolent and arrogant claims of the bishop of Rome, to whom he expressed his sorrow for the division of the Church. He thus left the door open for reunion.

Leo ΙΧ (11), however, was unsatisfied with this and sent a delegation to Constantinople for ecclesiastical reasons(12), members of which were the Archbishop of Amalfi Peter and the deacon and chancellor Frederick. This delegation was under the leadership of the rude and intolerant Cardinal Humbert, «an ambitious man, intriguer and devotee of the papal claims(13). Humbert himself on behalf of the Pope composed his letters of introduction to the Patriarch and to the emperor. In these he included a long and in many respects groundless indictment against Cerularius; as for example, that the latter ascended the patriarchal throne anti-canonically, supposedly being a neophyte. This was inaccurate, and so were other similar accusations(14). Having arrived about the end of March or early April of the year 1054 at Constantinople, Cardinal Ηumbert immediately began political negotiations with the emperor for the purpose of making an alliance between him and the Pope against the Normans, who were threatening the papal and Byzantine possessions. As a result, he postponed for a considerable time his visit to the Patriarch(15), against whom he let loose a violent polemic all the while that the delegation was in Constantinople(16). When at last the papal legates decided to call upon the Patriarch, they displayed to him,
as well as to the emperor, an indecent attitude and a behaviour unbecoming to clergymen or, as Cerularius confirms, «conducted themselves with pride and impertinence»(17). They appeared in Constantinople as critics and judges of the Patriarch on the
one hand «with excessive authority and shamelessness», and on the other as teachers of the Orthodox, because supposedly «what was orthodox was corrupted» by them(18). This was happening while for about four decades, that is from the patriarchate of Sergius II, as we have seen, the name of the Pope was crossed out from the diptychs in Byzantium. Almost simultaneously news was arriving that Pope Leo IΧ had died on the 13th of April 1054. Consequently, the delegation had lost both its authorization and authority until a new authorization be given by the Pope to be elected.

For these reasons and moreover because the Patriarch found the seals of the papal letter tampered with -which fact made him suspect its entire content as not genuine(19)- he deemed. it right to discontinue communion with the papal legates, and decided to discuss and co-operate with them only in a synod and in the presence of the Orthodox hierarchs and representatives of the other Patriarchs(20). This claim of Cerularius, though in accordance with Orthodοx theory and practice, the papal legates rejected, firmly holding to the absolute papal primacy, which in this circumstance also played its anti-canonical role.

Such being the situation, Humbert and the Latins with him, unconscious of their obligations toward brother Christians who were defending paternal dogmas and traditions, and deciding beforehand, it seems, to put the finishing touches to the existing ecclesiastical schism, boldly and irreverently entered the church of Ηagia Sophia on the 16th of July 1054(21) during the celebration of the Divine Liturgy and placed upon the altar a blasphemous libellous(22) with which they excommunicated «the whole Church of the Orthodox» and chiefly the Patriarch Michael for other reasons, but particularly because «they did not want to shave their beards similar to the Latins, nor did they discriminate in partaking from married presbyters, but even offered enzymes (leavened bread) and in the Creed did not say that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son, as in the Symbol of our faith, but only from the Father»(23)

These were the chief but groundless accusations and explanations of that unbecoming and desperate step of the Latins, who condemned the orthodox for their persistence in what was delivered unto them and anathematised them as «Simoniacs, Valesians, Arians, Donatists, Severians, Nicolaitans, Ρneumatοmaclιοi, Manichιees and Nazarenes»(24).

It is self-evident that the libellous of the Latins «contained an absurd and ignorant polemic»(25), worthy of its writers, just as the contention of Leo and Humbert that the Greeks allegedly corrupted the Creed of faith, while exactly the opposite occurred, also betrays an ignorant and clumsy inaccuracy.

After this previously unheard of and impious venture of the Latins, and in the midst of the common indignation, and uprising of the Orthodox, the Patriarch Michael Cerularius called together instantly on the 20th of July, 1054 a resident large synod which put under anathema the «sacrilegious and abominable document» (Latin , anathematisation) that was thrown on the holy altar, as well as those who wrote and consented to it. He avoided, however, excommunicating the Ρope(26). Thus one door was intentionally left open for reconciliation and reunion. This explains the attempts for union which were made later on the part of both, which unfortunately remained fruitless(27). At any rate, at this moment the Ρatriarchates of Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem sanctioned the synodical decision of the 20th of July and, imitating the Patriarchate of Constantinople, eliminated the Pope' s name from the diptych, and discontinued communion with him, the Church of Russia following suit. Thus, both Churches, Eastern and Western, officially and mutually denounced each other, the Roman Church again having given the occasion. The Latin excommunication proceeds from one of the following two initiatives: either directly from Pope Leo ΙΧ, as the Orthodox Synod of July 20, 1054(28) confirms on the basis of the papal representation's confession, which A. Michel(29) also accepts, or indirectly from the delegation, which must have acted on the basis of a special order or wide authorization of Leo ΙΧ. in fact, the papal legates themselves were declaring that «auctoritate apostolicae sedis, cuius legatione fungimur... anathemati, quod dominus noster reverendissimus papa itidem Michaeli et suis sequacibus, nisi resipiscerent, denuntiavit, ita subscribimus»(30) in either case, the guilt of the Roman Church is obvious(31), more so inasmuch as she did not consider it her bounden duty to invalidate officially in a general synod, as she ought undoubtedly to have done, the anti-canοnical and unjustified excommunication. On the contrary, she approved of it and since then has retained it(32).

That Pope Leo IΧ, together with his representative Ηumbert, bears the responsibility for the completion of the schism of 1054, is inferred from the aforementioned. They were the aggressors, while Cerularius was rather the defender, whatever reservations one may have as to some of his actions or to the expressions of his character(33). Because, as it has already been observed, the position of Cerularius on this point «formed, properly speaking, not an attack, but a defence and opposition to the provocative politics of Leo ΙX. Competent historians acknowledge this explicitly as, for example, W. Norden, W. Gieselrecht G. F. Herzberg, L. von Heinemann,
Otto Kaemel, W. Fischer, G. Ficker, A. Michel, J. Gay and others»(34).

Undoubtedly the Synod of July 20, 1054 would not have convened and would not have returned the excommunication if the unqualified and unjustified Latin excommunication of July 16, 1054 had not preceded. In this way, the schism was forced upon Cerularius above all by Humbert. The deeper cause for the painful events of 1054 was the conversion of the old canonical honorary primacy of the bishops of Rome to absolute ecclesiastico-political primacy and their attempt also to impose it on the Eastern Church. At this moment the primacy was expressed by the ecclesiastical and political penetration of Leo ΙX in southern Italy, by the anti-canonical activities of his delegation in Constantinople, as well as by his association and alliance with his cousin, the German emperor, against everything that was Greek Orthodox(35). Τhus we have in this case also an expression of the root disagreement concerning church government between the Orthodox East, on the one hand, which held firmly to the ancient synodical system and to the pentarchy of the Patriarchs, and the papal West on the other, which had accepted the monarchic and totalitarian system. Furthermore. Rome's pursuit of political aims, namely the separation from Byzantium of southern Italy, as had happened with Bulgaria during the time of Photius, forced Byzantium to assert its opposition, going so far as the schism(36).These two causes then provoked the completion of the schism of 1054, while on the contrary the chief dogmatic differences do not seem to have played at that moment a serious role, except for certain liturgical differences and customs which were thrown into the centre of the principal dispute.

In this way then, according to the able canonist, the Patriarch of Antioch Theodore Balsamon, «the once celebrated fullness of the Western Church, i. e. Rome, was split off from the spiritual communion of the other four holy- Patriarchs and fell into customs and dogmas alien to the Catholic Church and to the Orthodox»(37).


1. - See J. Karmiris, The symbolical texts of the Orthodox Catholic Church, p. 54. seq.

2. - Chrys. Papadopoulos, op. cit. pp. 185/6: «This painful event was a serious portent of the schism of the Roman Church. By officially accepting the addition which was unknown to the whole Church, but contrived in Spain for the first time and until then rejected by the Popes of Rome, she was destined to cut off and separate herself from the whole Church».

3. - See also B. Stefanides, op. cit. p. 344: «The first cause for the definite schism of the two Churches was the addition of the Filioque to the Creed of the Church of Rome. The bishop of Rome Sergius IV (1009) cited according to custom in his enthronement letter the Creed of faith in a free rendering, but with the addition of the FiIioque clause. According to the prevailing opinion this addition was introduced into the official Creed of the Roman Church five years later by Benedict VIII (1014), under pressure from the emperor of the West Henry II. The Patriarch of Constantinople Sergius, a nephew of Photius and a contemporary of these .Popes; following a synodical decision, crossed out the name of the aforementioned bishop of Rome Sergius from the diptychs of the Eastern Church with the result that to this day no papal name has been put in them». See also Α. Demetrakopoulos, History of the Schism of the Latin Church from the Greek Orthodox, Leipzig 1867, p. 20/1.

4. - Chrys: Papadopoulos, op. cit. p. 183 seq. B. Stefanides, op. cit. p. 348 seq. Regarding this new arbitrary intervention of Sergius and his conflict with,Nicholas Mysticos, J. Gay, L' Italie méridionale et l' empire byzantin, Paris 1904, p. 189, observes: «La vie scandaleuse (of Pope Sergius) fait un contraste , étrange avec la noble et austère figure du patriarche byzantin» Nicholas Mysticos.

5. - See Th. Popescu, Why the Patriarch Michael Cerularius attacked the Latins?, in «inaugural of the 35th anniversary of Chrys. Papadopoulos, Athens 1931, p. 371/3 (in Greek): «Leo ΙΧ was German (Bruno von Τοul), a relative (2nd cousin) and a devoted friend of Henry III, who had effected the election of Bruno as Pope. He was then an agent of the German emperor» who sought (to make) «southern Italy belong to the Holy Roman Empire of the German nation and to unite western Christendom under his own sovereignty. This Pope wanted and was able to advance the work of Henry, whose work was becoming his own. In fact, the imperial ideal was being identified for the most part with the papal. Leo ΙΧ, inspired by the desire to restore the papal power of Nicholas Ι, was between the latter and Gregory VII the most significant representative and evident embodiment of Rome's policy of absolute primacy. Besides, in the person of Leo ΙΧ this policy was German and imperialistic. Both offices, that of the emperor and the pope, were united».

6. - See also Β. Stefanides, op. cit. p. 345. The, Patriarch Michael, Cerularius considered it his duty to oppose these. Towards this end he closed the Latin churches and monasteries of Constantinople which were imparting Latin customs to the Orthodox by propagandas. These the Patriarch criticized in his letters to the Patriarch of Antioch Peter, as did Leo of Bulgaria in his letter to John, bishop of Tranes. It seems that Cerularius chief attempt was exactly this, to hinder the introduction of Latin ecclesiastical customs in the Orthodox East. See also G. Every, op. cit. p. 166 seq.

7. - The letter of Leo of Bulgaria was published by C. Will. Acta et scripta.quae de controversiis Ecclesiae Graecae et Latinae saeculo undecimo composita extant, Lipsiae 1861, p. 56-6ο. Migne P. G. 120, 836-844. It must be noted that this letter was written in the spring of 1053, but not by the Patriarch Michael and the Archbishop Leo, as the Cardinal Humbert, who took a leading part in everything, noted as regards this and the Latin translation. It was written only by Leo of Bulgaria, as the following writers have already proved: C. Will, op. cit: p. 53 seq.; Β. Georgiades. Michael Cerularius and the schism of the Churches, in «Ecclesiastiki Alitheia» 3 (1886) 373 seq. (in Greek), A. Michel, Der Autor des Briefes Leon von Achrida. Eine Vater versαmmlung des Michael Kerullarios, in «Byzantinisch - Neugriechische Jahrbücher» 3 (1922) 50 seq. and others. See also J. Gay, op. cit. p. 495. The Patriarch Μichael Cerularius in the year 1053, that is one decade after his elevation to the patriarchal throne; permitted -or perhaps exhorted- Leo of Bulgaria to write the aforementioned letter and the abbot of the monastery of Studion, Nicetas Stethatus, to publish his study against the Latins' (C.Will op. cit. pp. 127 - 136. Μigne Ρ.L. 143, 973-984. Α Demetrakopoulos, Ecclesiastiki Bibliothiki, Leipzig 1866, I, 18-36). He also ordered the closing of the Latin churches and monasteries in Constantinople certainly not in order to provoke the schism between the two Churches and to insure his independence which was never in danger (E.Amann, op. cit: pp. 1681/2); or to become emperor by the schism! (L. Brechier, Le schisme etc., pp. 213, 215, 217, 308), nor for other equally improbable reasons which heterodox writers imagine (for these see Th. Popescu, op. cit. p. 368 seq.) but to counteract on the one hand the provocations of the Latins in Constantinople and the dissemination of Latin innovations and customs among the Orthodox. On the other hand, his purpose was to oppose the anti-canonical intervention of Pope Leo IX in southern Italy, the dissemination there of Latin ecclesiastical customs, and the attempted subjection under him of the Greek archdiocese of Sipontus to the Latin οf Veneventus. In general he aimed to oppose the expansion of the papal sovereignty over the entire of southern Italy and even Constantinople, which was sought in co-operation and alliance with the emperor Henry ΙΙΙ and the «argironite» (bought by silver) magistrate and duke of Italy Argyros (See Th. Popescu, οp. cit. p. 370 seq). Contemporary historical sources testify that during those times the position of the Latins against the Orthodox was very provocative. Not only were the Latins in Constantinople and the papal delegation under the very abusive Cardinal Humbert provocative, but also Pope Leo ΙΧ himself, who in southern Italy intervened ecclesiastico-politically and in his letters to Cerularius «made such accusations and generally spoke in a way so threatening that it was evident that he was seeking excuses for disputes. The way in which his vicars conducted themselves in Constantinople and especially their superior, Cardinal Humbert, makes this even more indisputable». (Κ: Paparregopoulos, op. cit. vοl. IV p. 345).

8. - Τhe letter of Pope Leo ΙΧ was published by C. Will, op. cit. p. 65-68, Mansi, Cοncil. 19, 635/84. Latin theologians confess with pride that no one not even Gregory VII, expressed the papal primacy with such emphasis as Leo ΙΧ did (L. Brechier, op. cit. p. 192/3). According to C. Hefele, Conciliengeschichte, vol. IV. p. 770. Leo ΙΧ in doing this «theilte nur die Gebrechen der Kritik seiner Zeit»! But Leo proceeded further, «accusing the Greeks of altering the Creed of the Catholic Church, being in no way ashamed either of his office or history» («Encyclical letter of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church to the Orthodox everywhere», 2nd edition, Constantinople 1863, p. 29, in Greek), and even as producing more than 90 heresies: «diverso tempore ex diverso errore ad corrumpendum virginitatem catholicae Ecclesiae matris emergentes», Ιn addition, he criticized the folly of Cerularius and Leo of Bulgaria and brandished the power of the Roman throne, because they had dared to censure the Roman Church, which no one is supposedly able .to judge and censure. For this reason he called them to repentance so that they might not be included in the tail of the dragon which dragged «the third of the stars of the heaven and did cast them to the earth»! (Rev. 12,4).

9. - Earlier the Popes Nicholas Ι and Hadrian II ventured to formulate this in the libellous which was submitted to the Latin Synod of 869/70 at Constantinople for signing (see Mansi, Concil, 16, 27/8, Α. Pichler, op. cit. p. 189). Pope Marinus afterwards repeated it, as well as Stephen V in a letter to the Byzantine emperor Basil the Macedοn in 885 (Mansi, Concil. 18, 12/3). A. Pichler acknowledges that «der ganzen Kirche waren diese Anspruche fremd, dass der Papst die (Quelle aller geistlichen und weltlichen Jurisdiction und Unfehlbarkeit sei» (οp. cit, p. 257). Nektarius Kephalas.op. cit., Ι, 159/61 Chrys. Ρapadοpoulοs, op. cit. pp. 193/4.

10. - Migne P.G, 120, 784;.the moderate and prudent Patriarch of Antioch Peter, who read this letter, confirms this (ibid. p. 813), as well as the Pope Leo ΙX, who wrote to the emperor Constantine the Mοnοmachos: «preterea confrater noster archiepiscopus Michael exhortatorias ad concordiam et unitatem direxit nobis litteras» (C. Will, op. cit. p. 88, Mansi, Concil. 19.669). F. Mercenier acknowledges that the answers of the Patriarch and the emperor were indeed «extrêmement modéréesode fond et de forrme» (op. cit. p, 80).

11. - It must be noted that Leο ΙΧ and earlier written a letter to the Patriarch of Antioch Peter concerning both Michael Cerularius and the patriarchal throne of Constantinople in which he «had sought allies beforehand» against Cerularius. (Migne Ρ. L. 143,270 seq., Τh. Popescu, op. cit. p. 386/7).

12. - This papal representation had been asked for by the emperor Constantine the Monomachos chiefly for a political reason, namely to discuss and reach an understanding on the Byzantine and papal possessions in Italy, «which were being threatened by the Normans. Humbert, however, probably with the approval of Pope Leο ΙΧ, gave it also an ecclesiastical character. Sec Chrys. Ρapadοpοulοs. op. cit. 193/4. J. Gay, οp. cit. p. 491 seq. C. Hefele, op. cit. p. 771 seq. and the letter of Leo ΙΧ to the emperοr, C. Will, op. cit. p. 85 seq. Mansi, Concil. 19 667 seq. Negotiations, that is, were being transacted between Constantinople and Rome for the purpose of making a military alliance against the Νormans, against whom «in Mai 1053 zοg Leo mit einem aus allerlei Bestandtheilen zusammengebrachten Heere», but he was defeated and taken as a hostage! Herein a sufficient number of Roman Catholics, as «Petrus Damiani, Hermann der Gebrechliche u. A. die Niederlage des Ρapstes für eine göttliche Strafe erklären, weil es einem Priester nicht zustehe» die Waffen zu ergreiffen», to whοm Hefele answers, «dass der Papst auch Fürst sei, und als solcher die Pflicht habe, das Ρatrimοnium Petri zu vertheidigen!» (op, cit. p. 764).

13. - Ρh. Vafeides, οp. cit, p. 124.

14. - See B. Stefanides, op. cit. p.347.

15. - See also Ε Hermann, Ι Legati inviati da Leone ΙΧ nel 1054 a C/pel erano autorizzati a scomunicare il patriarca Michele Cerulario? in Orientalia Christiana periodica» 8 (1942) 214.

16. - Nektarius Kephalas, Metropolitan of Pentapolis, op. cit. ΙΙ, 21 seq.

17. - Fοr example they began «par créer un incident sur une question de protocole: Humbert et ses collègues prétendirent avoir le pas sur les métropolites siégeant au synode permanent, ce que ni le patriarche, ni les métropolites ne voulurent accepter. Les légats se contentèrent dοne de lui remettre la lettre qui lui était destinée et puis se retirèrent eu protestant.» (F. Mercenier, οp. cit. p. 82).

18. - Letter of Michael Cerularius tο Peter of Antioch. Migne P.G. 120, 816. C. Hefele did not hesitate to acknowledge that «die päpstlichen Legaten traten zu Con/pel im Bewusstsein und mit den Ansprüchen ihrer hοhen Stellung auf: sie wolllen und mussten den Vorrang Rome an den Τag legen» (op. cit. p. 775). Humbert had even composed a complete treatise, or to be more exact, a libellus against the Greeks, which was translated into Greek (C. Will, op. cit, p 93-Ι26), that according to Α. Pichler, «war nicht eine solide Erörterung, sondern eine von der rohesten Leidenschaft dictirte Schmahschrift, welche nicht nur das alte Lied, dass der Orient das Vaterland aller Haresien sei, wiederholte; sondern zugleich dem Patriarchen und der Griechischen Kirche Dinge zum Last legte, die reine Erfindungen waren» (op. cit. p. 258). See also C. Hefele, op cit. pp. 774/5, and a summary of this libellous, as well as that of a similar one against Nicetas Stethatus by the insultingly mad Humbert in «Ecclesiastiki Aletheia» 7 (1886/7) 6 seq. by B: Georgiades.

19. - It seems that Michael Cerularius really believed that the papal letter was forged not only because he found the seals tampered with and because Pope Leo from Sept. 1053 until Μarch 1054 was a hostage -of the Normans, dying after his release in Αpril 1054, but also because its content was incompatible and unworthy «of the virtue and politeness and knowledge of the Pope (as he himself wrote to Peter of Antioch, Migne Ρ. G. 120, 784). On the contrary, it agreed with everything that he had formerly heard from the Greek duke Argyros of southern Italy, who «not οnly οnce but twice already and three times and four was thrown out and expelled by us from communion and partaking» (ibid.). Argyros was not only ecclesiastically but also politically at one time in the service of the Byzantine emperor, at another against him and leader of the Normans, and still at another on the side of the Pope. Besides, he was always a personal enemy of Cerularius: With reason then the Patriarch suspected that neither the delegation, nor the letter really came from Pope Leo the intolerant Humbert and the fickle Argyros forged ΙΧ, but that everything. This, which was confirmed by John of Tranes (letter of Cerularius to Peter of Antioch; Migne Ρ. G. 120, 788), is also explicitly mentioned in the Synodical decision of July 20, 1054 (ibid. p. 741 and 745).

20. - Second letter of Michael Cerularius to Peter of Antioch; Migne P.G. 120, 816. C. Will, op, cit. p. 186.

21. - Α. Fortescu describes this sacrilegious act as follows in «The Orthodox Eastern Church(3)», London 1920, p. 185/6: «it was Saturday, July 16, 1054, at the third hour (9 a.m.). Τhe Hagia Sophia was full of people, the priests and deacons are vested, the prothesis (preparation) of the holy Liturgy has just begun. Then the three Latin legates walk up the great church through the Royal Door of the Ikonostasis and lay their bull of excommunication on the altar. As they turn back they say: Videat Deus et indicet. Τhe schism was complete... one realizes this and sees that the words of the Legates were heard and that God has seen and judged»! A simple comparison between the decision of the Orthodox Synod of Constantinople that met four days later and the Latin libellous, including the aforementioned excerpt of Fortescu, is enough to confirm in bow different a tone it was-composed. While these events establish clearly that the papal Legates provoked the completion of the schism, there are Roman Catholic theologians who speak about the supposed «Schism of Michael Cerularius»! about whom they even think that «plus encore peut-être que Ρhοtius mérite le titre de pére du schisme»!, as for example lately M.Jugie (op. cit. p. 187 seq., 232) who .admits, however, that the Latin act was «a tout point de vue, ce geste théâtral était regrettable. (ibid. p 205) and makes the cοnfirmation that «tous les membres du synode permanent constantinopolitain faire cause cοmmune avec Michel Cerulaire, aucun de ces prelats n'élève la voix en faveur des legats romains, et il faut reconnaître qu'il leur eût étè difficile de le faire» (ibid. p. 219).

22. - Migne Ρ. G. 120, 741/5. C. Will, op. cit. p. 153/4. Abοut this A. Pichler observes: «Diese Βulle wiederholte alle Beschimpfungen, welche Humberts Abbandlungen» enthielten und fügte die gräulichsten Flüche bei». Therefore «mit Mûhe entkamen die Legaten οhne Schläge, die sie recht wοhl verdient hatten» (op, cit. p. 259). And K. Paparregopoulos writes: «Τhe greatness of the tolerance and moderation of our own people was never before more splendidly proved than during that terrible moment when one nod of the Patriarch was able to bring on a dreadful punishment for the crime. But instead, our Hierarch permitted their harmless exit from the church; likewise after two days they were able harmlessly to leave Constantinople, after they had bidden the Emperor farewell and had received from him the customary- gifts...» (op. cit. vol. ΙV p. 346/7).

23. - Migne Ρ. G. 120, 817; see also p. 739. Particularly the papal legates were turned against the Patriarch Μichael whom or «rather the whole Orthodox Church of God and all those who do not accept their impious acts they anathematised simply because they wanted to remain pious and not betray Orthodoxy... This anathema their master, the most reverend Pope, issued against Miclιael and his followers» (ibid. p. 737, 745).

24. - F. Mercenier (Roman Catholic), addressing Roman Catholics, cοmments on the forementioned step of the Roman Catholic delegation as follows: «Pour monter toute la ville contre les Rοmαins, Cérullaire n' eut qu'a le faire traduire et a le lancer dans le public. L'effet fut immédiat. La stupeur et l' indignatiοn furent générales. Τellement que l' empereur doutant de l'exactitude de la version patriarcale fit revenir la légation qui avait quitté la ville et οrdonna que sous leurs yeux on en fit une traduction nouvelle: elle ne put que confirmer l'exactitude de la première. Cependant le peuple avait appris ce retour. Aussitôt l'emeute se mit a gronder et l' empereur, qui jusque là avait cru possible une reprise des négociations, se vit obligé d'éloigner au plus tôt l'ambassade pour ne pas exposer la vie de ses membres. Voilà dans quelles circonstances se consomma le schisme qui continue à désoler l'Église; en pleine vacance du Siège Apostolique, du fait de légats qui étaient sans pouvoirs. Et dire que rentre a Rome le cardinal Ηumbert crut pouvoir se donner un large satisfecit et que l'Occident crut qu'il avait rempοrté une éclatante victoire sur Cérulaire!» (οp. cit. pp. 84/5).

25. - K. Αmantos: op. cit. p. 229.

26. - Migne P. G. 120, 736/48. Mansi, Council, 19, 812/21. C. Will. op. cit. p. 155/68. See the opinion of the Patriarch of Cοnstantinοple Jozeph about this Synod in A. Demetrakopoulo History of the Schism, p. 26 ,seq.

27. - A. Demetrakopoulos. op. cit ρ. 29 seq Nektatius Κephalas. op. cit. ΙΙ, 78 seq. J. Κarmiris, The division of the Church and the attempts for union, Jerusalem, 1946 p. 7 seq.

28. - Migne P. G. 120 737, 745, above p. 565 note 1.

29. - Α. Michel, Die Rechtsgültigkeit des römischen Bannnes gegen Michael Kertullarios, in Byzantinische Zeitschrift.42 (1942) 192-205. Οn the basis of sources, A. Michel (who repeatedly occupied himself «with the schism of the 11th century in general, particularly in his work «Ηumbert und Kerullarios», Paderborn 1924/30) concludes (ibid) that «Papst Leo ΙX had selbst derf Patriarchen Michael Kerullarios bedingt gebannt und nach dem kurialen Gesandtschaftsrechte der Frühreform ware der Βann der Legaten auch nach wirklich vom bedingten Βanne des Papstes νöllig absehen. der siclι am Schlusse des ersten Briefes und am Schlusse des Dialoges sowie am Schlusse des zweiten Briefes findet (see p. 197 seq.), so «wäre doch die Gültigkeit des Bannes der Legaten nach dem damaligen kurialen Gesandtenrechte nicht zu bezweifeln» (p. 201).

30. - C. Will, op. cit. p.154. See also Α. Michel, op. cit. p. 195 seq., and Αnonymous, Le consοmmateur- du schisme grec, ou vie de Michel Cérulaire, Constantinople 1819, p. 123.

31- Οn the point in question M. Jugie thinks, οn the contrary, that «les légats romains n' ont pas lance les leurs (anathèmes) contre l'Église byzantine, mais contre un de ses patriarches et certains de ses clercs. Leur sentence elle-même parait, du point de vue canοnique, dénuée de toute valeur et n'a jamais été approuvée par le Saint-siège. Quand a l'excοmmunication des légats par Michel Cérulaire et son synode permanent, elle n'atteint ni le pape ni l'ensemble de l'Église d'Occident; c'est une simple mesure de représailles contre des étrangers insolents, qui ont ose élever contre Cerulaire et son clergé les accusations les plus fantaisistes et en qui l'οn n'a voulu voir que des émissaires du due d'Ιtalie, Argyros» (op. cit. p. 230, see also p. 298).

32. - Nektarius Keplιalas, οp cit. ΙΙ, 33 writes: «Pope Victor ΙΙ, successor to Leo ΙΧ, not only did not renounce, did not reject, did not invalidate the blasphemous excommunication of the legates, but even approved of it and confirmed it. So great did this act of the legates appear to the Pope and tο his successors, that it seemed good to them to perpetuate and successively cοnfirm it». Τhe Latin synοd of 1098 in Bari is censured as somehow confirming the excommunication of Humbert by condemning the Orthodox Catholic Church as heretical fοr nοt having accepted the latin Filiοque. Βut, accοrding to the Αrchbishοp of Athens Chrys. Papadopoulos, «this synοd did that which the synods of those who were breaking away from the one Holy Cathοlic and Apostolic Church were customarily doing. They would condemn her as heretical, for not accepting their mistaken teaching! 'Γhe synοd at Bari dared to cοndemn as heretics those who were nοt accepting the error of the Filioque. Thus, this synod broke the Rοman Church away from the Οne Ηοly Catholic and Apostolic Church» (οp. cit. p 206) It must be noted that similar ideas are also found with later Latin theologians, including our contemporaries: as for example, M. Jugie writes that Photius' teaching on the procession of the Ηoly Spirit, which is the same as saying of the entire Orthodox Church or of the ancient united Church. «introduit le schisme dans la Trinité en même temps que dans l'église, telle est la nouveauté hérétique dont Phοtius est le père»! (op, cit. p. 145), and Κ. Algermissen, whο asserts that in this dogma «muss die Orthodoxe Kirche von einer Lehre zurucktreten, die tatsachlich irrig ist und der Lehre der grοssen Vater der Ostkirche nicht entspricht» ! ! (Konfessionskunde, Ηannοver 1939, p 5Ι5).

33. - Contrary- to the opinion of certain heterodox, Michael Cerularius is considered by the orthodox as «a most saintly man» (Dositheus οf Jerusalem, History of the Patriarchs of Jerusalem,. Bucharest 1715, p. 756 in Greek), and «a man of great education and most-holy life» (Chrys. Ρapadοpoulos. op. cit. p. 190. Β. Georgiades, op. cit. p. 333), or as «the one who had adorned value and had correctly taught the saving word» (Α. Demetrakopoulos, Orthodox Greece, Leipzig 1872, p, 5,in Greek).

34. - See Τh. Popescu, op. cit. p. 385 for related references, on pp. 386/8 he writes: «Τhe actions of both Leo IX and Argyros contain sufficient reason for Michael Cerularius' opposition to the Latins... the Patriarch sought neither political nor personal purposes through them, but only to defend Orthodoxy and his rights. Νοt ambition but real for Orthodοxy, as Gay also states, and the intervention of Leo ΙΧ in southern Italy- incited the Patriarch to oppose the Latins. His opinion was that of the clergy, of the people and at last even that of the peacemaker Peter of Antiοch...Since these events in themselves adequately explain the act of the Patriarch of Constantinople, it is obvious that it was not the work οf ambition...As a sufficient number of non-Orthodοx historians recognize this distinctly, it is absurd and awkward to consider any longer the great and historically well-explained event of 1054 as a triviality of a personally interested individual».

35. - According to Κ. Ρapαrregοpoulοs, «the closest causes οf the dissension during the ninth, tenth and eleventh centuries were the establishment of the new western empire, which the eastern refused to recognize, and the uninterrupted effort of the Church οf the Romans to change her rights to sovereignty» (op. cit. vol. IV p. 340).

36. - Οn the Roman Catholic side it is recognized that «l'empire byzantin était en lutte pour ainsi dire permanente avec les- titulaires allemands de l' empire d'Occident pour la possession de l'Italie méridionale. Or presque tοujours les papes faisaient figure d'allies ou de simples chapelains de ses ennemis: circonstance bien faite pour que la-bas l'Eglise rοmaine fut traitee elle aussi en ennemie» (F.Mercenier, op. cit. p.75/6).

37. - Rhalles and Potles, οp. cit. vol. IV, p. 460. In his weighty «study», «An answer on behalf of patriarchal privileges», Balsamon writes: «The daemon of selfishness made the Ρope stand aloof from the assembly of the remaining most-holy Patriarchs and only in the West was it oppressive» (ibid, p 553).

Previous Page