Ap World History Comparative Essay

756 Words4 Pages

After the Roman empire fell and Rome split into the Eastern and Western empires, each empire developed differently. The differences can be clearly seen when analyzing the churches which each empire produced. In the year 1054, the Christian church branched out in the Eastern and Western empires to Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholicism, respectively. The alienation between the Eastern and Western churches was deeply rooted in political and cultural differences. As Western culture evolved, largely due to the influx of Germanic peoples in the West, the Eastern culture stayed virtually the same, sustaining a tradition of Hellenistic Christianity. Disagreements between the churches and whom lead those churches lead to great conflict between …show more content…

Both religions believe in the Holy Trinity, even if they do not necessarily have the same theological beliefs as to where the Holy Spirit comes from. Both religions also cite the same text; the Bible. The differences between the two churches is significant, however. Roman Catholicism is far more structured than the Eastern Orthodox church; at the head of all Catholic affairs is the Pope. As previously stated, the Pope holds much more power than the patriarch does in the Orthodox church. The Pope has final authority on all matters, names cardinals, and appoints bishops (“Roman Catholic Church”), which only adds to the power he has to change present and future church policy. The structure of Roman Catholicism is also quite different from that of Eastern Orthodoxy. Cardinals are the highest dignitaires after the Pope; they constitute the supreme council of the church, and elect the successor of the current Pope following his death. Bishops are the chief liturgical figures in the diocese, and is distinguished from the priest by its additional power to confer Holy Orders, and act as the usual minister of Confirmation. The bishop also holds the most jurisdictional power within the diocese, as he is able to admit priests into his diocese, and exclude them from practicing within it. The clergy - or priests - and the laity are directly under the bishop, who do not have any significant power within the church. Nonetheless, the two churches differ

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