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The Great Schism: Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism

However, as early as the fourth century A.D., there were cultural, sociological, political and linguistic differences between the Christians of Eastern and Western Europe which eventually led to separation in the Church. The Eastern Christians spoke Greek where the Western Christians spoke Latin. Where the Eastern Church's administration was governed by a group of bishops (i.e., Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem) which shared a common language and cultural background, the Western Church's administration was governed by a single bishop: the bishop of Rome. All these factors led to some basic theological differences between the Orthodox Church of the East and West.

Unfortunately, by the eleventh century A.D. the differences between East and West became great enough to cause a separation of the One Holy Orthodox Catholic Church. The Eastern Church became known as the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Western Church became know as the Roman Catholic Church, for it was governed and administered by the bishop or Pope of Rome. Again it must be emphasized that there were many factors besides theological ones which led to the schism of the one Christian Church. However, some theological issues which were promulgated by the Western Church were never and are not to this very day accepted by the Eastern Church such as: the infallibility of the Pope of Rome on matters of Church doctrine, the universal jurisdictional authority of the Pope of Rome, the doctrine of Purgatory, the immaculate conception of the Virgin Mary, the unauthorized addition of "and the Son" to the eighth article of the Nicene Creed, et. al.

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