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The Great Schism








The Greek culture was present in the Eastern part of the Empire while the Latin one predominated in the Western part. This contributed to the creation of two different mentalities, two different worlds in one. The Greek language was used in culture, education and Latin in administration. Beginning with the third century the Empire was divided and this situation worsened things. The emperor did this having in mind a better administration of the Empire.
Moving the capital from Rome to Constantinople (330) was an obvious sign that the Roman emperor ( Constantine the Great) wanted to renew the Empire, to strengthen it, and this could be done only by getting rid of the past, with its mentality. By this time Rome had already collapsed. This collapse was seen as the vengeance of God upon Rome, which for centuries had persecuted Christianity ( E. Benz - “The Eastern Orthodox Church” p.176). The court and all the administration were transferred to Costantinople, leaving Rome “deserted”. From now on the old capital was seen as a memory of a glorious past, while Constantinople was seen as the new heart of the Empire. The only authority left in Rome was papacy; not being under the constant surveillance of the emperor the popes gained more and more power, which, unfortunately was not only religious , but also political. And so their power spread in the whole West.
With the creation of the new capital another question arises: How important should the See of Constantinople be? It was logical that no other see could be more important than the See of Constantinople, because it was the capital of the Empire. So it had to be equal to the see of the old capital. Of course, this did not please the popes.
The alienation between East and West was also due to linguistic errors. Theological writings were misinterpreted by both sides, and letters were not translated correctly.
The most important cause of the schism was the religious one.




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