AND THE SIN OF PRIDE
Pride is the primordial sin, the sin of Lucifer in rebelling against God Who sent him and his minions flying headlong into the Stygian pit. First among the deadly sins, it is most hated by God. It is also the root of man’s rebellion against his Creator, for in tasting the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, our ancient ancestors proceeded to assert themselves against the source of their being. In the governance of the affairs of the Church, pride is the sin of those high hierarchs who digress from their mandate received from Christ on the first Pentecost to serve as the shepherds and keepers of the purity and unity of His flock in the model of the Good Shepherd and who exalt vain notions of self as potentates lording over their ecclesial empires, obsessed with the trivia of theological obscurantism and ready to sunder the seamless garment of Christ in furtherance of their ambitions.
The purpose of this page is to examine schism in the Church in light of the sin of Lucifer. Schism or breach in the unity of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of the Creed of Nicaea/Constantinople is of ancient origin (1 Cor. 1 : 10) and has plagued the Church since Apostolic times. It differs from heresy in that schism concerns breach of ecclesial unity whereas the latter perverts the unity of the faith. For the purpose of this page we define “the sin of pride” as a cardinal offense against God, the quality or state of inordinate self-esteem, an unreasonable conceit of one’s superiority over others approaching or including arrogance, insolence, or complete lack of humility. Since the time of the Apostles the Church has known breaches in its unity so great in number as to escape reasonable accounting. We limit our purview, therefore, to just a few in order to illustrate the theme of this page.
In the year 1054 AD, toward the end of the pontificate of Leo IX (d. 4 / 19 / 1054) three papal legates departed Rome bound for Constantinople on a mission to secure Patriarch Michael Cerularius’ acquiescence to several papal demands concerning disputes of a doctrinal and jurisdictional nature, submission to which would have effectively reduced the Ecumenical Patriarch’s role in the Church to that of a junior bishop subordinate to the Pope. In the centuries immediately preceding 1054 the first two patriarchs of Christendom had become increasingly estranged over several doctrinal and jurisdictional disputes.  That which provoked the Pope to dispatch legates to Constantinople with an ultimatum arose from the attempt of the Pope to impose on the Greek churches of southern Italy and Sicily, which adhered to Byzantine ecclesial and liturgical traditions, the practices of the Roman Church. The attempted Romanization or Latinization of these Greek churches prompted the Patriarch to close the Latin churches in Constantinople. 
Upon arriving in Constantinople the Roman legates met with the Patriarch in a vain effort to secure his submission. Upon his refusal, the legates proceeded to Hagia Sophia  on July 16, 1054 during the celebration of the Divine Liturgy and, to the surprise and horror of all assembled, entered the sacred space and placed a papal bull (writ of excommunication) on the altar. Even by the ruder standards of that day, the effrontery of the papal legates was outrageous. The Patriarch returned the affront by excommunicating the Pope whereupon the two Churches struck one another from the diptychs. The split between East and West remains to this day in spite of efforts to heal the same.
While the schism of 1054 remains one of major consequence for the Universal Church, later schisms illustrate the continuing discomfort of the Roman Church with other Apostolic Churches of different liturgical and ecclesial traditions. In 1878 a Ruthenian (eastern Slavs akin to Ukrainians) named Alexis Toth married and was thereafter ordained a priest of the Ruthenian Greek Catholic Church in Slovakia whose bishops were in communion with the Roman See. In 1889 his bishop sent him to America to minister to Ruthenian Greek Catholics in Minneapolis, MN. Because the Ruthenian Greek Catholics had no hierarchy in America, Fr. Toth sought faculties to serve the Greek Catholic community from the Roman Catholic Archbishop, John Ireland, of Minneapolis. Archbishop Ireland rejected and refused to receive the widowed priest as a bona fide Catholic and priest and denied his request for faculties. In defiance the Archbishop Fr. Toth began serving the Greek Catholic community. Within a year he and his parishioners transferred themselves to the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Bishop of Alaska, resident in San Francisco. Thereafter Fr. Toth traveled among the Greek Catholic parishes in the Northeast and induced many of them to sever their ties with the Roman Church. The schism authored by Archbishop Ireland persists to this day.
In 1929, Pope Pius XI, at the behest of the Roman Catholic hierarchy of North America, issued a papal decree, CUM DATA FUERIT, which forbad henceforth the ordination of married men to the priesthood of the Eastern Catholic Churches in North America and prohibited the import of married clergy from abroad as well as ordered the transfer of church property from parish trustees to the bishop. Once again the imposition of Roman standards on Eastern Catholic Churches caused dissent. In 1935, 37 Ruthenian Greek Catholic parishes opposed to Romanization severed ties with Rome and reorganized themselves as the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church with a resident bishop in Johnstown, PA which eventually was accepted into the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarch. This schism persists to this day. 
The above three examples of prelate-induced schisms are but a few which have rend the seamless garment of Christ. What they have in common is their origin in the efforts of the Roman Church to impose on other Catholics of the Church of Nicaea/Constantinople the theology and practices of the Roman Church as if they alone were authentic and universal. In other words, to the Romanizers, the term “Catholic” meant Roman Catholic whereas other Catholics were summarily dismissed as inadequate or imperfect at best and schismatic or even heretical at worst.
In the centuries after 1054, a few efforts were made to undo the damage of the Great Schism. These depended largely on attempts by the Roman Church to exploit the growing Ottoman Turkish menace threatening the remnants of the Byzantine Empire. Because those efforts were ill founded, they failed.
In recent times, renewed interest in restoring the unity of the Churches gained ground. The patriarchs of East and West began to exchange visits. In 1967 Pope Paul VI visited Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras. Together they set aside the mutual excommunications of 1054 and pledged to explore opportunities for closer relations. In subsequent years Patriarchs Demitrios and Bartholomew visited the Vatican several times. In November 2006 Pope Benedict XVI visited his apostolic brother, Bartholomew I, in Constantinople, which visit is to be reciprocated by Bartholomew’s proposed visit to Ravenna in May 2007. (see page Hagia Sophia at http://www.byzantines.net/byzcathculture/hagiasophia.html) These visits and the mutual exchanges of lesser hierarchs have promoted the rapprochement of the two Churches. Moreover, both prelates have reaffirmed their commitment to restoring the unity which existed in the first millennium.
The chosen path to unity is not easy. Both Churches have evolved in the centuries after 1054 away from an environment and common traditions of unity which existed in the first millennium. Under the so-called Petrine Doctrine [footnote 2] the Roman Church came to view itself as sole arbiter of all matters theological, canonical and ecclesial, thereby usurping the function of the ecumenical councils which had dealt with contentious issues in the past thereby reducing the Eastern patriarchs to the role of house prelates subject to the Vatican bureaucracy. In the East the Churches, fearful of the Ottoman Turks who held the Ecumenical Patriarch captive, asserted their independence from Constantinople, sometimes arrogantly so.  Today the Eastern Orthodox Churches continue to repeat the mantra of unity under the Ecumenical Patriarch as first among equals whereas in reality they accord him scant respect and no authority. Thus, for them the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of the Creed is more symbolism than of practical consequence.
We, of course, cannot predict what the future course toward unity might take. Rather, we suggest that certain parameters are more likely than others. First, the current attitude of the Roman Church that it is the sole Catholic and Apostolic Church of the Creed and that its sister Churches in the East are pale reflections thereof must yield to a notion of unity based on equality and consensus, not subordination. Second, the oft heard expectation that the Eastern Catholic Churches might serve as models of unification is vain fancy, for those ecclesial bodies, ostensibly autonomous, are in reality subordinated to and controlled by the Vatican bureaucracy and are so regarded by the Orthodox. Third, the view that “Catholic” means Roman Catholic must yield to a more expansive concept of the Universal Church as inclusive of all the Apostolic Churches and offshoots thereof which profess the faith of the Seven Ecumenical Councils. The theology, ecclesiology, traditions and practices of all must be respected. We note in mitigation that this older Roman view has been in modern time in substantial retreat. Fourth, the environment or spirit of rapprochement must be in humility and love such as illustrated by the icons below.  
CONCLUSIONS AND COMMENTS
As we stated in the page, HAGIA SOPHIA, elsewhere in this Web site, the path to unity will not be easy. Many Catholics and Orthodox still cling to reactionary and uncharitable attitudes which work against unity. Such attitudes die hard particularly where vested interests and adverse cultural traditions intervene. In fact, many Catholics and Orthodox are comfortable with the status quo.
The centuries following 1054 illustrate time and again that schisms are easier to create than to heal. Only the continued efforts and good intentions of hierarchs and laity in the spirit of humility and love can overcome the sin of pride which underpins schism. In the meanwhile much can be done to bring the Churches closer together as stated in the page, Hagia Sophia, elsewhere in this site, among which, in our opinion, should be the abandonment of the unchristian practice of the Churches to exclude one another from the diptychs.  The refusal of the Churches to pray for the welfare of their sister Churches is unbecoming of people who claim to be followers of Christ. Frankly we should expect a better example from those whom we regard as the successors of the Apostles.
1) Issues such as papal supremacy, the Roman Church’s unilateral insertion of the filioque in the Creed, use of leavened bread in the Eucharist, clerical celibacy, fights over turf such as authority over the Greek churches in southern Italy and Sicily, etc.
2) The scriptural basis for the so-called Petrine doctrine is found at Matt. 16, 13 - 20. This doctrine, adhered to only by the Roman Church, holds that the Pope as successor of the Apostle, St. Peter, inherited special authority over the entire Church. The doctrine evolved during the Middle Ages to vest primary authority in the popes in all matters theological, canonical and ecclesial, i. e. the capacity to rule the Church as its chief doctrinal and administrative head in derogation of the traditional authority of the Eastern Patriarchs over their Churches and the traditional role of the ecumenical councils which had resolved theological and other disputes during the first millennium. This doctrinal evolution reached its climax in 1871 during the First Vatican Council wherein the pope was declared, as a matter of dogma, to be supreme authority of the Church. The pope’s pronouncements in matters of faith and morals were held to be “infallible” when issued “ex cathedra”. Needless to say, the Eastern Patriarchs rejected the entire notion of papal supremacy, holding that Peter and his successors are first in dignity among equals as held by the Council of Chalcedon in 451, but that such primacy in dignity went no further. In the Middle Ages the Petrine doctrine moved from the religious realm to the secular, in that the popes asserted secular authority over the monarchs of Europe, installing and deposing the same, as well as asserting secular rule over parts of Italy, the so-called Papal Estates. In support of these claims the popes took on the pomp and circumstance of oriental potentates, wearing in public ceremonies three crowns (tiara), were carried about on litters followed by toadies waving peacock-feathered fans and insisting that the faithful abase themselves in their presence. In modern time such imperial pretensions of grandeur were widely regarded by the faithful as ridiculous and were finally swept into the dustbin of history by Pope John Paul II who, upon his election to the papacy chose to be installed as a bishop, not crowned, who wore on his head an episcopal miter, who walked about on his own legs, who kissed the ground upon his arrival on visits abroad and who exhibited the humility of Christ, of whom he was a vicar.
3) See HAGIA SOPHIA at: http://www.byzantines.net/epiphany/hagiasophia.htm
4) In addition to the above examples of prelate-induced schisms, there are others which came into being as the result of the interference of laymen in the affairs of the Church. Important among these was the severance of the Church in England from Rome in the 16 th century by King Henry VIII, who, having failed to secure from Rome an annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon, proceeded to have Parliament declare him “Head of the Church of England”. Henry’s schism ripened into a full-blown heresy during the reign of the Protestantizer, Elizabeth I, and finds itself today riven by disputes over the introduction of novel and venal practices alien to Christian traditions such as the “ordination” of women and homosexuals to the clergy and the institution of “same-sex marriages”.
Another lay-induced schism occurred in China with the ascension to power of the Communist regime of the atheist, Mao Tzedung, in the 1950 ies. The so-called Patriotic Church in China resulted from the regime’s fear of any contacts between religious or any other entities within China with those outside of the country. Parallel to the schismatic Patriotic Church of China is the underground Catholic Church whose prelates, priests and laity are in union with Rome in spite of great peril to themselves. In recent times representatives of Rome have been in contact with Beijing in quest of a resolution of this schism.
5) In the early 16 th century Russian religious nationalism asserted itself, inter alia, in the formula of Moscow as “the third Rome”. Churchmen proclaimed that Rome had succumbed to heresy, that the second Rome (Constantinople) had been vanquished by the heathen Turks, but Moscow as third Rome remained the vessel of true Orthodoxy, and a fourth Rome there would never be. This doctrine continued to color the Russian Orthodox Church’s view of itself and others into the modern era and is widely believed to be extant today.
6) In our view, these icons illustrate what the relations between the Churches should be, namely predicated on love and humility in place of squabbles over inane theological minutia and fights over turf. Humility and love are derive from the example of Jesus Christ and should be the model governing the behavior of the Churches in their relations with one another. Our readers will note that the first icon shows the Apostles, Peter and Andrew, the Apostolic founders and first bishops of the Churches of Rome and Byzantium/Constantinople respectively, embracing in the kiss of peace. Similarly the images of the Patriarchs of East and West are similarly embracing in the kiss of peace. This is the way it should be. The kiss of peace is an integral part of the Byzantine liturgy; it precedes the recitation of the Nicene Creed.
7) In his book, THE ORTHODOX CHURCH, Bishop Kallistos of Diokleia (Timothy Ware), a senior Orthodox bishop in Great Britain, rejects the notion of papal supremacy announced in the First Vatican Council, and states: “Surely we Orthodox should be willing to assign to the Pope, in a reunited Christendom, not just honorary seniority but an all-embracing apostolic care. We should be willing to assign to him the right, not only to accept appeals from the whole Christian world, but even to take the initiative in seeking ways of healing when crisis and conflict arise anywhere among Christians. We envisage that on such occasions the Pope would act, not in isolation, but always in close cooperation with his brother bishops. We would wish to see his ministry spelt out in pastoral rather than juridical terms. He would encourage rather than compel, consult rather than coerce.” p. 316
8) For a definition of the term “diptychs” as used herein, see footnote 12 in the page, HAGIA SOPHIA, found at http://www.byzantines.net/byzcathculture/hagiasophia.html