July 20, 1054
DescriptionPatriarch of Constantinople excommunicates the Bishop of Rome after legates of Pope Leo IX deposited a bull of excommunication on the altar during liturgy in the Hagia Sophia, which becomes the final step in the Great Schism between the Catholic and Orthodox churches
RateVery important (8)
The relation of the Byzantine Church to the Roman may be described as one of growing estrangement from the 5th to the 11th century. In the early church three bishops stood forth prominently, principally from the political eminence of the cities in which they ruled—the bishops of Rome, Alexandria, and Antioch. The transfer of the seat of empire from Rome to Constantinople and the later eclipse of Alexandria and Antioch as battlegrounds of Islam and Christianity promoted the importance of Constantinople. Concurrently, the theological calmness of the West, in contrast to the often violent theological disputes that troubled the Eastern patriarchates, strengthened the position of the Roman popes, who made increasing claims to preeminence.