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to all, and on the other hand of the reigning capital (Constantinople) inferior to none in the Christian world."
One writer says that the contest for ecclesiastical superiority between Gregory I. of Rome, and John the Faster, patriarch of Constantinople, laid the foundation of schism between the Latin and Greek Churches.
Another mentions the strife for Episcopal pre-eminence. And another affirms, "the real conflict between the Churches was always the great one of jurisdiction."
Again, the cause is said to be geographical; for example, the Roman provinces east of the Adriatic were transferred to Constantinople: Bulgaria, converted, was absorbed by the Greek Church against the protest of the Latin.
The difference between the races is specified. The attempt of the Emperor Zeno to conciliate the Monophysites, and for which purpose he published "the Henoticon," to which the Western Church took immediate and determined exception; the elevation of Photius, the learned Primate of the East, to the patriarchate of Constantinople against the wish of Nicholas of Rome, occasioning the blast and counterblast of the bishops, and ending in mutual anathema. And finally, the pride of Rome, which would not brook the independence of Michael Cerularius, and impelled the papal legates to deposit on the altar of St. Sophia, A.D. 1054, the bull of excommunication. And perpetuating the separation and barring all reunion, the enormous crime of the fourth crusade, when the Latin Christians besieged the Eastern capital and ravaged Constantinople with fire and sword.
This mosaic of antagonism and separation may not be pleasant to contemplate; but it is such as history furnishes, and in it is presented on the one hand the free and responsible workings of human agency, and on the other hand the providential control of the Omniscient God" from seeming evil still educing good."
From the first era of Christianity the Roman Empire embraced the East and the West, having subdued to itself the world which Alexander had conquered. But Christianity began in the East, and diffusing itself spread westward. When ⚫ a Christian Church grew up in Rome it did not, like the empire, control the East and the West. Antioch and Jerusalem and
Alexandria already had their churches, which were apostolic, which had grown up to great influence and were venerable throughout the Christian world. When from the primitive simplicity of the clergy an advance was surreptitiously made toward a hierarchy, before the close of the third century there arose three patriarchs, one at Antioch, one at Alexandria, and one at Rome. The Roman patriarch, located at the capital of the empire, gradually acquired a metropolitan importance, which the difference in external circumstances denied to the others. But in the beginning of the fourth century the empire became Christian. Constantine abandoned Rome and transferred the seat of the empire to the Thracian Bosphorus. There he founded his new capital on " the seven hills," more beautiful and commanding than those of Rome, rising up beside the classic Hellespont and the Golden Horn, which like friendly arms adorn and defend the city on the east and the west--the most favored situation for the fairest capital which the world had ever seen, commanding at one view the two continents of Europe and Asia. Under the fostering care of his imperial favor and genius New Rome soon outstripped the Old, and the eyes of christendom were turned admiringly from the setting to this rising sun. Scarcely had Constantine completed his superb capital when he convoked a general council of the Christian Church, the first general council known in Christian history. This council, which all the Christian world to-day reveres, was convened not in the West but in the East; the West sent her quota of delegates, but the East had in this first council the superior representation. "Of the three hundred and eighteen bishops whose subscriptions were affixed to its decrees, only eight at most came from the West." This proportion, to say the least, is significant as to where the real strength of the Church centered. A few years passed by and the second general council of the Church was summoned, not to Rome, but to Constantinople. And this council established a new patriarchate for the new capital of the Roman empire, which by the imperial favor at once took precedence of Antioch and Alexandria. Several provinces, hitherto under the jurisdiction of Rome, from the Adriatic eastward, were transferred to Constantinople. Immediate exception was taken, and the conflict for jurisdiction opened never to terminate.
By the middle of the fifth century two other general councils had been summoned. These also were assembled in the East, almost within sight of the new capital. These councils likewise were acknowledged by the West, which sent a full delegation to each. The latter council constituted another patriarchate, that of Jerusalem, and also recognized the patriarchate of Constantinople as equal with that of Rome. Armed with such authority the Greek patriarch denied the supremacy of the Latin, and advised the Henoticon of the Emperor Zeno as a basis of union between the Orthodox and the Monophysites of the East. The Roman bishop seized upon this as a pretext, and by the agency of a sectional council of Italian bishops, haughtily and hastily excommunicated the patriarch of Constantinople, and was in turn defiantly excommunicated by him. This bold course of the Eastern bishop was approved by the emperor and by the Eastern Church, and even by the Roman vicar Andreas, on the specific ground that the Western Church had usurped authority, and by consequence had made its action illegal. A schism of twenty-five years between the East and the West was the result.
Again, the East and the West were reconciled. A fifth, sixth, and seventh general council was convoked at Constantinople. The West did not fail to be represented nor to acknowledge the councils; but so far removed was she from the imperial presence, called so far to the general councils, and rivaling the East in her pretensions, she sought to establish her own independent jurisdiction by withdrawing herself from the empire and the Church when she could not rule it. Occasionally a title was wrested from the East by bribery or fraud; as when Boniface III. induced the tyrant Phocas to transfer the title of Ecumenical or Universal Bishop from the Bishop of Constantinople to the Bishop of Rome, thus introducing the papal supremacy. (Mosheim, 7th century, part ii.)
Disaffected parties in the East looked not to Constantinople but to Rome for sympathy, and were sure to receive it, and thus the Romish pretensions were encouraged.
In the sixth century the Spanish Council of Toledo interpolated into the Nicene Creed the famous "Filioque." The Western Church, though claiming to be 66 semper eadem," adopted the interpolation. On the contrary, the Eastern Church, which without claiming immutability is really less
changeable, venerating her ancient symbols which she had employed for well nigh three centuries, rejected the innovation of the West with scorn and indignation. It is without doubt attaching too much importance to this act of the Council of Toledo, or at least underrating other causes, to say that "the rupture between the East and the West began with the insertion of the Filioque." The masses did not comprehend this new distinction concerning the procession of the Holy Ghost. Perhaps few of the Church dignitaries fairly comprehended it; yet all could very readily understand that the creed had been tampered with and changed by the Spanish bishops, and the innovation was promptly repudiated, and the integrity.of the time-honored symbol of the Church earnestly maintained. So that when Photius, the most learned of the ninth century, was rejected as patriarch of Constantinople by the Roman pontiff, he made this the climax of his defiant charge against the West, that the Roman Church had "adulterated the symbol or creed of Constantinople by adding to it the word Filioque.”
But while this dispute was growing into importance a new controversy arose between the East and the West. Indeed as the Roman pretensions advanced, the scope of the antagonism became more comprehensive. The new controversy involved the question of image worship. The subject was, however, by no means recent, although the dispute was new. For a century and more, images had received attention in the Church. East and West, the question was regarded differently, and more than once did the Latin and the Greek Churches exchange sides. Before the end of the sixth century images "made without hands" (ἀχειροποίητος) were introduced into the camp and cities of the Eastern Empire. Their worship had insinuated itself into the Church by insensible degrees until it became general, and peculiarly dear to the weaker and more superstitious. With various motives the clergy had gratified the popular desire, and the gayety of the capital had cherished the devotional display. But the eighth century beheld a stranger borne by a strange fortune to the throne of the Caesars. A peasant boy from the mountains of Isauria, yet possessed of genius and indomitable perseverance, he became the emperor of the East, Leo III. It was well. The folly of the times demanded a sovereign of clear head, honest purpose, and strong nerve. Even the daunt
less Isaurian for a while hesitated before the immense difficulties. But his own earnest convictions, and the taunts of the pagans everywhere, directed against the idolatry of the Christian Church, decided him; and he broke in upon the idolatrous worship with the intrepid zeal of a Cromwell. By imperial decree he prohibited the use of religious pictures. With rapid blows he demolished the images that thronged the churches. He purged the capital. He cleansed the provinces from idolatry. And then to convert this imperial condemnation into an ecclesiastical canon or law, a general council was summoned at Constantinople, recognized by the Greek Church as the seventh general council. After a serious deliberation of six months, this council of three hundred and thirty-eight bishops decreed unanimously that "image worship is a corruption of Christianity and a renewal of paganism, and that all such monuments of idolatry should be broken or erased." (Gibbon, chap. xlix.) It was one of the boldest movements in the history of the Church, and one of its noblest triumphs. It was a reformation which struck at a cherished superstition. All could understand it, even the most illiterate. It was not an abstraction, but something tangible. The people were sensitive and dissatisfied. But the Isaurian princes were not to be trifled with, and the reform was completed. Just then Rome was intent upon her own safety and aggrandizement; on the one hand to escape the Lombard invasion, on the other to gain the temporal dominion of Ravenna. By the aid of the Frank monarch (so steadily then and now the champion of the Roman Church) she secured both objects, and in A.D. 755 the Bishop of Rome was raised to the rank of a temporal prince. Free from danger, and elated by success, the Roman hierarchy turned its attention to the East. An ecclesiastical storm arose; the wildest that had ever swept over the face of christendom. For one hundred and twenty years it raged with unaccustomed fury. Council condemned council; the thunders of the East were answered by the thunders of the West. With varying fortunes the controversy was prosecuted, till the East finally discarded and the West retained the worship of images.
The iconoclasm of the East has been styled disparagingly "a sudden ebullition of feeling, a puritanical fanaticism in the breast of a single emperor." History on the contrary affirms