Interesting essay on the background and aftermath of the 1054 “Great Schism”


A few weeks ago I came across a balanced, well-researched, and very well-written essay on the ecclesiastical history leading up to the 1054 “Great Schism” and its aftermath by Dr. Margaret Trenchard-Smith of Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

One interesting point of many which she brought up is that by the time Cardinal Humbert put the bull of excommunication on the altar at Hagia Sophia, Pope Leo IX who had commissioned the Cardinal and his legation to treat with Constantinople’s Patriarch Michael was dead, rendering the bull null and void from the moment it was issued.

Trenchard-Smith argues that the schism didn’t really become final and ‘real’ to the people of East and West until the Fourth Crusade and its aftermath which destroyed any remaining feelings of unity between the Eastern Orthodox and the Western Catholics.


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