Citizendium - a community developing a quality, comprehensive compendium of knowledge, online and free.
Click here to join and contribute
CZ thanks our previous donors. Donate here. Treasurer's Financial Report

Difference between revisions of "Talk:Eastern Orthodox Church"

From Citizendium
Jump to: navigation, search
(Muddle: indeed)
Line 336: Line 336:
Let us be clear. The anathema of 1054 was an event from which the schism took its name: A pivotal event. There were other events related to other schism which differ from the one mentioned here. The section labeled Anathema of 1054 is just that, an explanation of the meaning of Anathema of 1054 appropriate to the text of the article. Mssr Jackson, please refrain from such sweeping editorialisation in the future. [[User:Thomas Simmons|Thomas Simmons]] 20:59, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
Let us be clear. The anathema of 1054 was an event from which the schism took its name: A pivotal event. There were other events related to other schism which differ from the one mentioned here. The section labeled Anathema of 1054 is just that, an explanation of the meaning of Anathema of 1054 appropriate to the text of the article. Mssr Jackson, please refrain from such sweeping editorialisation in the future. [[User:Thomas Simmons|Thomas Simmons]] 20:59, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
If you persist in deleting the true statement that Cerularius & the synod excommunicated only the legates & their colleagues & inserting the false statement that they excommunicated the whole Latin church I'll have to take this to a higher authority (whoever that might be: I'm new here).
None of the scholars I've cited bove regards 1054 as the main event. Therefore the article should not give it special treatment. If you insist, we can have equally lengthy accounts of all the other major events in the process to balance it out, but I think that would be better put in a separate article & only a brief account of the whole topic given here. [[User:Peter Jackson|Peter Jackson]] 11:49, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

Revision as of 11:49, 13 November 2008

This article is developing and not approved.
Main Article
Related Articles  [?]
Bibliography  [?]
External Links  [?]
Citable Version  [?]
To learn how to update the categories for this article, see here. To update categories, edit the metadata template.
 Definition Those Christians who are in communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. [d] [e]
Checklist and Archives
 Workgroup categories Religion and History [Editors asked to check categories]
 Talk Archive none  English language variant Not specified

I have gotten the roles of author and editor reversed. Larry Sanger has pointed out that as an author, I can not nominate this for approval. I would appreciate it if an editor would take a look at this and help establish approved status. Thomas Simmons 16:35, 16 March 2007 (EPT)

Here it is, the basic structure of the EOC page. Let me know what styles need to change. Thomas Simmons 00:03 11 March 2007 (EPT)

FYI: This article is from scratch, it is not taken from the Wikipedia article. It relies on common knowledge of the reader (assumed admittedly) with regard to religion and Christianity and is constrained to simply noting those aspects which may not be commonly known amongst non-Orthodox Christians. It will grow from this set of premises. References are from noted sources and specifically the Orthodox Church. Conflicts or disputes over POV (religions are apparently consumed by them so this should come as no surprise) are noted briefly in anticipation of other articles that would be better suited to lengthy description (e.g. the Filioque and the Council of Florence). Thomas Simmons 12:53 14 March 2007 (EPT)


This feels more like an outline than an article. I think I would hold off on approval until it is filled out a little... --Joe Quick | Talk 19:15, 13 March 2007 (CDT)

To continue with consensus that would mean there is an agreed upon structure not evident here. Is there such a format for this article? I have not found any. There are specific criteria for approval which I believe this meets but as to what exactly has to be incorporated to 'fill it out' is not delineated. Thomas Simmons 15:13, 14 March 2007 (EPT)

I don't know that there is or even should be a standardized article structure - the way that the information is presented will always depend on what it is that is being presented. Still, I read sentences such as, "The Orthodox Church is distinguished from the Western Christian Churches which are primarily the Roman Catholic, Protestant and non-denominational churches," and my first question is "How so?"
This article is well organized and seems to cover the topic. I'm certainly not an expert on the topic, but I feel like many of the ideas must have more behind them, and I'd like to learn some of that background information as I read. --Joe Quick | Talk 13:39, 14 March 2007 (CDT)

How so? Got it. The first point would be that the OCC distinguishes itself as a church undivided, the divisions are geophysical and lingustic rather than theological and represent a unified church. This is disimliar from the Roman Catholic vs. non-Roman Catholic division and the myriad Protestant and non-denominatinal churches who do not have a unified process of establishing church doctrine and policy. A second point is that it also differs in that it was not subject to the Scholasticism of the Middle ages and the Reformation vs. counter-Reformation episode. Third, it is also distinguished by the adherence to the original Seven Councils and none since. Fourth, another point of departure is the Filioque which most churches employ having received this from the Roman Church. The OCC also represent an ancient corporate body from whcih (depending on who you listen to) the Roman Church alienated itself long before the Reformation (The five patriarachates became four in 1054).

The basic beliefs, the core beliefs, are the same as the other Christian Churches that incorporate the Symbol of the faith, That said, the OCC do not recognise the Pope in Rome (as opposed to the Pope in Alexandria) as the Church Primate (not ape but final authority) That is both theologiccal and administrative in nature. This is also true of the churches originating in the conflict of the Reformation and the Coutner Reformation. Basically, the five points elusidated in the text. Thomas Simmons Talk12:14, 15 March 2007 (EPT)

A proposed outline of subcategories would be helpful. Thomas Simmons 16:38, 16 March 2007 (EPT)

Citations needed

Many of the recent additions are not being tied to their sources. This seriously undermines the credibility of the article. Please go back and edit the revisions as soon as possible.Thomas Simmons 21:46, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

How much, where is it prevalent ?

The article reads in a scholarly manner, perhaps more scholarly than would be useful for the common person (my reaction). A tidbit of information I hoped to understand was "How common is this faith"? An answer at says 250 million, worldwide. Terry E. Olsen 22:08, 23 April 2007 (CDT)

Not sure of its relevance. After all these years seeing and hearing claims of total numbers, this does not do much more than just add to the pile of unprovable claims. These numbers are often political ploys. Orthodox Churches claim vast numbers and state they are the second largest group of Christians after Roman Catholicism. (Some wags give two numbers--Pre-Stalin and Post-Stalin and the numbers vary by tens of millions). Baptists are also an enumerated group as are Jehovah's Witnesses and Anglicans. Jurisdictions are recognized in some groups and none at all in others leaving boundaries as meaningful or meaningless criteria. (Are we talking worldwide or nationally? And who is counting them?). Definitions of what makes one a Baptists, say, or a Greek Orthodox vary considerably. It is a vexed question. --Thomas Simmons 21:24, 25 April 2007 (CDT) +17 hours

Question concerning the patriarchs

Does anyone know what the headgear of Orthodox patriarchs is called. Also tiara? See an image here. Cheers, —Arne Eickenberg 10:58, 9 July 2007 (CDT)

Found it. It's called mitra or mitre. —Arne Eickenberg 13:51, 11 July 2007 (CDT)

Suggested Retitle

"Eastern Orthodox Church" is a phrase that has increasingly fallen into disuse. I used to be at a Church that was listed in the yellow pages under "Eastern Orthodox Church", and what they found was that nobody looked there. "Orthodox Church" or "Orthodox Christian Church" is the most commonly used phrase today. John Whiteford 07:13, 18 November 2007 (CST)

Would that cause confusion with the Oriental Orthodox Churches, such as the Armenian and Coptic churches?—Nat Krause 16:31, 18 November 2007 (CST)
The Oriental Orthodox are a much smaller group, and as such, they are generally referred to with either the qualification "Oriental" or "Non-Chalcedonian". The biggest groups are often spoken of independently, as "Coptic Orthodox". "Syriac Orthodox," "Ethiopian Orthodox" or "Armenian Orthodox", but they are almost never spoken of as simply being "The Orthodox Church. John Whiteford 22:58, 18 November 2007 (CST)

The question of common use was the reason why I placed a number of redirects in the CZ including "Orthodox Christian Church" and "Orthodox Church." Inputing either will get the reader to the Eastern Orthodox Church article.

Another problem is that increasingly the mainstream churches in the US are being referred to as "orthodox" although this is not a formal appleation for any of them to my knowledge. It is simply the overuse of the phrase to the point where it has little historical import and does not actualy delineate the focus of the topic. The disambiguation here might need a short note later. --Thomas Simmons 17:33, 14 December 2007 (CST)

Question about the Reference to "The Orthodox Church"

The reference given refers to the 1963 edition of "The Orthodox Church" by Timothy Ware. However, I have an edition on hand that is copyrighted 1963, 1964, and while I am aware of some minor changes, this page is not even close to the section on Ecclesiology... which is where I would have expected the first reference to have come from. Now the 1994 edition is quite different, and that I do not have on hand, but can check later. But the question for whoever cited this for the first footnote, which edition do you have. Does Bishop Kallistos (Timothy Ware), actually suggest that all the titles listed for the Orthodox Church are in common use... because several of them are not. For example, "The Church of the Seven Councils" is more of a description than an actual title the Church goes by, as is "The Ancient Christian Church, and "The Church Ecumenical." John Whiteford 23:13, 18 November 2007 (CST)

The edition I used for the footnotes was the New Edition, Penguin Books, paperback, reprinted 1997 with revisions which I failed to note in the footnotes--hence the confusion. I have corrected the citation.

The various titles are those gleaned from various sections of the Church, including the Serbian, the Georgian, the Russian, the Greek and the American, in everyday discussions and in other instances in making definitive statements. Bishop Ware, for example, uses "Church of the Seven Councils" in his book (see excerpt at Orthodox Church Chapter 1). Bishop Ware's book is widely referred to within many of the jurisdictions which lends credence to his use of the terms.--Thomas Simmons 18:12, 14 December 2007 (CST)


Regarding Changes by Aleta Curry

  • Traditionally and formally the Orthodox Church refers to itself as the “One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church" (Ware, p. 307), a phrase also used by denominations in other traditions.

I am not aware of the use of this phrase by non-Orthodox Chruches. Some references here would be helpful.

  • Christians in some other denominations also use the word "Orthodox" in their names, and "orthodox" is increasingly applied (as an adjective) to other mainstream denominations to distinguish them from modern and evangelical ones. This article will discuss Eastern Orthodoxy as a denomination.

I am aware of its use as an adjective in political commentary in the media, for example, but have not seen it attributed in an actual formal title.

These need some references since they are not in Ware and the designation of the Orthodox Churches as a denomination or a branch of Mainstream Christiantiy will need further clarification. One simple reason being that the Original Church including the the Alexandrian, the Antiochean, the Jerusalem, the Constantinople and Roman Churches are not branches as such. Those that followed, such as the Armenian and the Georgian and the Russian and the Serbian could be considered branches except that the Original Churches do not consider them branches given that they are in full communion and in many cases are totally autonomous. So the Eastern Orthodox Church is not a topic as a denomination in this way since it gives the article a specific political bias. It might be helpful if the view is attributed to a specific governing body and that must be noted in that context.--Thomas Simmons 19:34, 16 December 2007 (CST)

I have returned the original statement to Ware's definition and omitted references to denomination. Reasons are the label is so politically charged and historically questionable I think we can argue that it is more of an interpretation than a description. It does make a certain amount of sense in limited contexts but the issue is rather too vexed to simply employ it as a descriptive appellation. --Thomas Simmons 17:16, 17 December 2007 (CST)

Incidentally, I have heard the term "orthodox" used by some evangelicals to contrast what they see as the broad mainstream of Christianity as opposed to marginal groups such as Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses. I'm not sure how widespread this usage is.—Nat Krause 18:47, 18 December 2007 (CST)
I am not sure either but I do see it in the same places as a tag to define, if rather loosely, what they approve of and do not. It think it is, in that sense, being used as a political label. --Thomas Simmons 19:06, 19 December 2007 (CST)

1054 or 1954?

"Latin Church after a synod of Eastern Orthodox Bishops on July 20 of 1954."

Domergue, well spotted.

How embaraaaaassssing. :) --Thomas Simmons 19:43, 13 January 2008 (CST)

Schism with Rome

This section was added to a subtopic that carried specific references by a recognised scholar. The added information sounds familiar but it must be linked to actual sources. Again, this is a problem with Wikipedia that we strive to avoid here. Could we have these additions specifically cited, say, in the next couple of weeks if not earlier? Thomas Simmons 10:17, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

Main sources are Blacwell Dictionary of Eastern Christianity and Runciman, The Eastern Schism. Do you want full citations?
I'm not sure about the comparison with Wikipedia. According to our policy pages, we don't want citations for everything, whereas WP in principle does. Policy does say citations should be given for surprising statements. If "surprising" means "contrary to the standard mythology copied from one non-specialist book into another for generations", then it would be appropriate to give citations here. Peter Jackson 11:15, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
We DO NOT cite everything, Peter is correct; that [citation needed] thing is particularly WP. There is no need to cite the date of the Great Schism or the Battle of Hastings. You're implying that Ware is the only person of any standing to say that the Great Schism occurred in 1054; if he were, you'd need to say so, AND quote his opposition, but this is agreed upon so it is not referenced at all. Aleta Curry 01:32, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
I think you misunderstand the content issues here. Before I came along, the section included the statement that the schism was a gradual process, but this statement was buried in the middle of the section, which was otherwise entirely about 1054. What I've tried to do is embody that statement in an account of major events in the process, with 1054 as just one. The statement that the schism occurred in 1054 is contested by Runciman, who, in addition to the straightforward factual statements I've put in, says the 1054 split seems to have been patched up & the churches continued to regard themselves as one. He ascribes the real schism to the Crusades. I'd say even that is oversimplification, as illustrated by the othr facts I've added, & also the fact that Aquinas still regards the Greeks as part of the Church. I think in this article it's better to give such a selection of facts rather than clutter it up with rival scholarly interpretations. The latter belong in a specialized article on the schism. Peter Jackson 10:34, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

I do not think in misinterpreted anything here. Let us be clear. The article is not to reflect the personal political perspective of the authors and it must be sourced. Using well known dates such as the Battle of Hastings is not a meaningful comparison although I have rarely read--if ever--an encyclopedia article on the topic that omitted such crucial information. This is not a chat room to post personal views on the topic. For that reason, omitting sources very definitely contravenes CZ policy in this situation. Posting additional information within a sourced segment also presents the problem of putting words in someone else's mouth when there is no evidence they ever said such things.

Citing Runciman and providing a clear statement on his work in this context would be helpful but he must be cited and his work specifically attributed to him. Thomas Simmons 22:13, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

Blackwell Dictionary of Eastern Christianity, page 316: "The schism between Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches has conventionally been dated from this event [1054]. This is at least misleading. The anathemas were directed against persons, not churches; the Pope had not been commemorated in Constantinople for a quarter of a century before the anathemas; and there were bishops in communion with both Rome and Constantinople long after the anathemas were issued." Peter Jackson 09:51, 1 November 2008 (UTC)

My remark about misunderstanding was addressed to Aleta. Peter Jackson 09:52, 1 November 2008 (UTC)

The Church Ecumenical

I am not sure what this last addition (italics) refers to. Could the author who contributed provide an explanation and a source for this? "Its basic beliefs are articulated in the wording of the Nicene Creed (an essential statement of the Christian faith); and it is distinct in that it keeps the original liturgical calendar." Thomas Simmons 10:25, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

Sources for this were requested in December last year. I will just place the unsourced addition here until it can be linked to a sources

"(The phrase is contained in the Nicene Creed and is also used by some other denominations in other traditions who employ the Creed in their liturgy.) Its basic beliefs are articulated in the wording of the Nicene Creed (an essential statement of the Christian faith); and it is distinct in that it keeps the original liturgical calendar."

it is distinct in that it keeps the original liturgical calendar
I meant to indicate the difference between liturgical year based on the Julian calendar and that based on the Gregorian. E.g. Orthodox Easter is on the Julian, no? Simplistically put, I'll admit, but I figured someone would expand on it eventually. Aleta Curry 02:31, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

I also noticed that if the wording were changed to say ""(The phrase is contained in the Nicene Creed WHICH is also used by some other denominations in other traditions who employ the Creed in their liturgy.)" it would slightly alter the meaning. However, I am not aware of any other established church that formally refers to itself as the ""One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church" although I have been in numerous churches who do employ the Nicene Creed as it is used by the Roman Catholic Church. A little help here would be informative.Thomas Simmons 10:35, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

This doesn't need a source. You may not be aware of it, but it is common knowledge that e.g. the Roman Church believes itself to THE One, Holy etc. I'm not willing to argue about which church is right about that, but no church's article can claim the title exclusively without making it clear that it's not the only church whose faithful think so.
I disagree. If the Roman Church also uses this, point to a source and cite it. Generalisations like this:
"The Eastern Orthodox Church also uses some other appellations self-referentially; some of these terms are also used by other denominations:"
do not enhance the credibility of the article. In fact, it is moot given the article's focus. If any other groups refer to themselves thusly, write an article about the phrase(s) and link it to this one. The article does not exist to provide a directory of all the different religious groups in their world and their views on the topic. It exists describe the Eastern Orthodox Church. Muslims, Jews, Protestants etc. will have other views. That is why there are articles about those groups.
If every statement here were to be followed by the opposing views of other religions about those views, the article would fill the Library of Congress. And it would elucidate nothing--no one would bother reading it.
I agree that my moving words around created ambiguity. (The 'who' instead of 'which' was a brain glitch.) How about something like:
"This phrase is contained in the Nicene Creed and is also used by some other denominations in other traditions which employ the Creed in their liturgy.) The basic beliefs of the Eastern Orthodox Church are articulated in the wording of the Nicene Creed (an essential statement of the Christian faith); and the Church is distinct in that it keeps the original liturgical calendar. or: (full stop) The Eastern Orthodox Church is also distinct in that it keeps the original liturgical calendar"
Aleta Curry 02:31, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

Needs to be neutral, balanced and not claiming exclusivity (part 1)

The thrust of my minor rewrites here is to redress what I interpret as a tone of bias in some of the passages. Religious articles are tricky at best, but certainly anything that smacks of writing the view of one particular group of adherents as if it is the "right" view or the only way of looking at it is a problem and needs editing. I make the same sorts of objections e.g. when people use 'catholic' when they mean 'Roman Catholic'. It's not the same thing, even if Roman Catholics claim the term; they're not automatically entitled to exclusively use just because they think they should have it.

The problem with writing a politically balanced view of a subject in this category is that is in and of itself a politically biased view. The point here--in this article--is to present the orthodox view of themselves. Critiquing that view would be appropriate for an article on comparative religion. But making the assertion here as in any such article simply burdens the article with personal and --this is important--uncited sources.Thomas Simmons 22:02, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
I don't have time to get involved here, and I hope to offer more light than heat here, so don't take the following as being decisive in any controversies you're having, because I haven't familiarized myself with them. I only wanted to comment on the above statement of Thomas'. I have to disagree, and strongly, with it; if the article is balanced, it's balanced, not biased. The mere fact that the article is about the Eastern Orthodox Church does not entail that it should be written from that church's point of view, any more than an article about Scientology should be written from Scientology's point of view, or an article about Cartesian dualism should be written from a Cartesian dualist point of view. Of course, the full world view of the church, discussed sympathetically and fully, is very important. Generally, if you want to say that there is an exception to CZ:Neutrality Policy for any class of article, I would be very keen to hear about it. But until the matter has been settled that way, we should proceed on the assumption that the neutrality policy applies in this case as well. --Larry Sanger 06:37, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

I do not claim to be an authority on the Eastern Orthodox Church. About catholicism in general, however, I've got a fair store of knowledge.

About this:

those churches known as Monophysitic churches that employ the term orthodox as part of their names. The Monophysite Churches embrace the belief that Jesus the Christ had only a divine nature and did not have a human as well as divine nature.

Sorry; obviously I didn't 'save' my note to the TALK page. The reason I changed it was simply for sense and flow. Are you suggesting that ALL churches which use the term 'orthodox' but are not in the Eastern Orthodox Communion are monophysitic? It's a bookish and specialist term and will need a definition elsewhere in the article but to me it wasn't well placed thrown into an already too-long intro, that's all. I've actually written a definition, and you might be interested in a current forum discussion we're having about how to deal with definitions in text.

The information I have used is the information that is produced here in accordance with the source. Altering this view, again, without sources and to create a political perspective other than the Orthodox Churches view of themselves interjects a political authority which the authors simply do not have.Thomas Simmons 22:02, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

Aleta Curry 02:31, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

There are numerous small breakaway groups from Orthodoxy that call themseves Orthodox without being Monophysite. Peter Jackson 10:36, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
That is another article then. And a good way to introduce a counter perspective. This article is not for arguing whether or not the Orthodox Churches are correct in their views. That would be to assume political authority and is not what an encyclopaedia does.Thomas Simmons 22:02, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
There do seem to be quite a few statements in the article that represent only the Orthodox view but are treated as fact, or phrased in ways that might be interpreted that way. I've corrected a few about Patriarchates. Clearly you can argue till the cows come home about who is the authentic, legal patriarch. It seems rather futile to me, & belongs only in specialized articles. What general articles can & should do is look at the body instead of the head: where did most of the church end up? If you do that then you can say objectively that
  1. of the 3 original patriarchates, 2 are now Roman Catholic & 1 Oriental Orthodox
  2. only the 2 patriarchates added by the Council of Nicaea are Eastern Orthodox
This is not a critique of the Orthodox Church. It serves only to provide their perspective of themselves--from cited sources. Such a critical appraisal long after the fact would be suited to another article and not this one. This is not and has no authority to be an anti-Orthodox diatribe. It needs to remain true to the topic or it is by its nature deceptive.Thomas Simmons 22:02, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
The facts for Antioch are summarized in my additions to the schism section: when Constantinople refused to recognize the elected Patriarch of Antioch in 1724 & appointed its own (the same offence they'd criticized the Pope for in the Crusades) most of the church stayed with the elected Patriarch & ended up as the Melchite (Greek Catholic) rite.
The "facts" that have been added are without sources. CZ has a policy on political posturing from authors. It belongs in the discussion, not the article.Thomas Simmons 22:02, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
In the 6th century the Emperor, the Pope & the other patriarchs deposed the Ptriarch of Alexandria, but most of the church remained loyal to him & now form the Coptic (Oriental Orthodox) Church. Peter Jackson 11:00, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

All in all there are more and more additions that represent the personal views of the contributors and not cited sources of good repute. This transgresses CZ policy.Thomas Simmons 22:02, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

It only contravenes policy if the statements don't represent the views of scholars. Citations in the article are not required by policy in general, so the obvious place for them is right here. I've given one above & will supply others in due course.
Which scholars? Who are they? Where and when did they say these things? Those scholars have names and they have published if their views have been made available. CZ is based on published information, not personal opinions of the CZ authors.
Neutrality policy requires we give a balanced view. If we give the Orthodox view we must give other views as well. Alternatively we can just stick to unquestioned facts. And we must certainly make clear in the article which is which. Peter Jackson 09:58, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
Balanced view? About religion? Simply stating the account by scholars of historical events would suffice. But they have to be real and they have to publish their ideas and their research and those publications have to be cited. Furthermore, the sources must attributed to their work, not someone else's. Adding lengthy statements in a section where none of the cited sources have provided the information upon which the statements are made is not accurate.Thomas Simmons 11:39, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
Blackwell Dictionary of Eastern Christianity, page 132: "From the time of Patriarch Peter IV (576-78) there existed in Egypt two competing patriarchs and hierarchies, the CHALCEDONIAN (or MELKITE) and the non-Chalcedonian or Jacobite. The vast majority of the people in the Egyptian church recognized only the latter and the former was maintained in power only in the city of Alexandria with the aid of the civil and military authority."
Statistics of church membership for 1995 from World Christian Encyclopedia, 2nd ed, Oxford University Press, 2001, Volume 1:
page 16 Melkites 1,116,000 (Roman Catholic melkite patriarchate of Antioch, also nominally Alexandria & Jerusalem)
Greek Orthodox patriarchate of Antioch:
  • Lebanon (page 448) 300,000
  • Syria (page 722) 242,000
  • Turkey (page 756) 5,000
  • small numbers elsewhere
By my arithmetic, about 2/3 of the pre-1724 patriarchate of Antioch are RC. Peter Jackson 11:17, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
So, you are saying we should write an encyclopedia article based on--encyclopedias? And the politics of their authors? And your arithmetic? Thomas Simmons 11:39, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
I'm giving you sources as I find them. Here's another couple:
  • Oxford History of Christianity, pages 151f, says the schism was a long process & the final break can't be dated earlier than 1724
  • Cambridge History of Christianity, volume 3, pages 223f, says 1054 wasn't the final break
We're supposed to be basing the encyclopaedia on scholarly opinion. Let's have a look at how that works in practice here. Take first the general question of the schism. Earlier generations of historians dated it to 1054. Runciman argued
  1. that was just 1 stage in a long process
  2. the most important stage was the Crusades
I've now cited 3 major reference sources that accept at least conclusion 1. I think it's now your turn. Can you prove the existence of a significant body of specialist opinion that rejects his arguments? Note that this is quite a different thing from non-specialist sources who give no indication of having ever heard of him & are therefore worthless.
Now, Antioch. I can certainly cite you several sources saying there was a schism there in 1724, with 1 side becoming the Melchite & the other the Eastern Orthodox patriarchate. Are you going to dispute that fact? The actual numbers may not be relevant to this particular article, depending on exactly what it's going to say. As long as the article doesn't assert as fact, or state in a way readers might interpret as an assertion of fact, that the present-day EO patriarchates are the same as those in ancient times, then we probably haven't got a problem.
As we haven't got a verifiability principle like Wikipedia's I assume the original research rule can be treated slightly more liberally, allowing simple arithmetic. However, I did read somewhere an explicit statement that most of the faithful ended up RC, & maybe I'll be able to find that again. Peter Jackson 11:53, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

Needs to be neutral, balanced and not claiming exclusivity (part 2)

FYI: I have placed a divider here to help maintain a manageable editorial format. If it gets too long it becomes more difficult to edit. Thomas Simmons 21:01, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

This is sort of spiraling out of control and I am not able to place your comments (RE: Peter Jackson 11:53, 3 November 2008 (UTC) and prior comments) in a shared framework--they are rather incoherent to me. You seem to be having a debate about something else. Write a section or an article on the Schism. It has already been started. Make the sources clear and be sure the material is derived from the cited sources. Be sure to avoid your own theorising. The act of anathema is a documented fact. The schism is a rather involved process that took place over centuries. Do not include your own research if any. We routinely turn down applications from people who want to use CZ to publish their own works or promote their own ideas.Thomas Simmons 11:50, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

That the "schism was a rather involved process that took place over centuries" is exactly what I was saying. That's why I changed the section. It did indeed say that, but only buried in the midst of a lengthy account of just that one event. In other words, the section was heavily unbalanced so I rebalanced it by adding a selection of other details. An alternative way would be to delete most of the section. I haven't put any ideas of my own in the article. Everything I put in is drawn from published sources. Possibly some of them are of questionable reliability, but that's another matter. As you don't disagree with the general point, what are we arguing about? Peter Jackson 17:10, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

I see the point of the section and by implication the point of the article has been missed. The section was entitled "The Anathema." That simply says the text confined itself to the topic and as such was coherent. It was also, and this is crucial, limited to the information from published sources. It did not digress into a broader historical drama played out over centuries and it did not carry the personal political opinions of the author. Simply asserting that the text is from scholars without hard evidence to establish this is counterproductive and does not enhance the credibility of the CZ.

The Anathema section was very simply limited to the topic and its sources. That is not only good writing, it is part of the CZ ethos. We do not make things up and we do not wander all over the place making unrelated comments. The actual events of the schism, the players, the rationale, the outcomes, is a topic that would fill volumes. The Anathema thread is but a very small part of a vast tapestry. Embedding and thus overwhelming the Anathema after the fact in a huge treatise is counter productive and does not fit into the style we have adopted here. The entire rationale for this section has been completely overlooked. Furthermore, we are not empowered to bury the work attributed to others in personal agendas. We do not put words in other peoples' mouths. So, write the section on the Schism. make sure it is thoroughly attributed and it will eventually be a an article of its own. In fact there is probably enough text now to separate it into another article and link it to the relevant articles. Thomas Simmons 21:56, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

In writing the article on "The Great Schism of 1054" as it is called regardless of the centuries of events leading up to it to differentiate it from the The Great Schism of 1378, confer the authoritative work here [1] and here [2] for a measure of the morass of interpretations proposed by actual church scholars. Avoiding bias in this matter will be an exercise in presenting widely differing views.Thomas Simmons 22:33, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

Here is a summary of events that provides primary sources in the final paragraph. [3] Thomas Simmons 22:42, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

Hey all-- I've been off the wiki for a while, and I hadn't seen the developments on this page. As an uninterested observer here are a few comments, and a couple suggestions.
There are two points of policy that have been raised in the discussion of this article. First, Citizendium policy on original research is that original research novel enough to merit publication in an academic journal is out of bounds, but that synthesis and low-level research is OK (such as might be found in an undergraduate paper). In addition, statements commonly known to experts do not need to be sourced. These policies are so that we can avoid the Wikipedia trap of having to find citations for each statement in an article. In this case, the latter point is moot because we don't have any Religion editors who work on Orthodoxy. I don't know if this is a live issue anymore, but in my eyes, arithmetic does not seem to be a violation of our original research policy. (As a point of form, it would be good to know just where these numbers are coming from. Given the time frame, I would guess that the data are pretty reliable, but I just don't know.)
A second issue is neutrality. Thom, you've been arguing that because this article is about a particular religion, there is no way for it to be really neutral. If I'm interpreting you correctly, you're raising the the legitimacy of describing a religion from "outside" as opposed to from "inside"-- a hoary debate in the study of religion. Citizendium does not and will not have any opinion on which approach is legitimate. As Larry is fond of saying, we "go meta" and describe both opinions. This means that we do not give the opinions of scholars working from outside without qualification, nor are we going to exclusively represent the views of religious practitioners-- we will cover both. This means that it is emphatically not neutral for us to exclusively present "the orthodox view of themselves," as you suggest.
My first, central suggestion is that it might be helpful to use the talk page to hash out the wording of the article. If the contributors are committed to it, having specific wording on the table can move the discussion forward. Another point I wanted to add is that Steven Runciman might not be the best secondary source for the schism-- Runciman is a very important Crusades scholar, but he is notoriously biased in favor of the Byzantines and against the West. I will keep my ears open; if I hear of good scholarship on the schism I will pass it on. Brian P. Long 04:15, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
Thomas still doesn't seem to have caught on to the point I was trying to make. He agrees that "The schism is a rather involved process that took place over centuries." and "The Anathema thread is but a very small part of a vast tapestry.": his own words above. So why can't he see that for the article to give a very detailed account of just that one event & nothing whatsoever about the other stages in the process is an almost total misrepresentation of the truth?
A different approach. The more lengthy & detailed our account of the schism is, the more specialized it gets & the more difficult it is to determine scholarly opinion. so may i suggest shortening the treatment? We could even delete the section altogether & just have a short statement in some other section along the lines of those quoted above. Or we could add just a brief list of highlights, eg:
  • Popes after 1009 were generally omitted from the official lists in Constantinople
  • in 1054 the Papal legates and the Ecumenical Patriarch excommunicated each other (revoked 1965)
  • between 1098 and 1310 the Papacy established Latin patriarchates in place of the Eastern ones (abolished ?1965)
  • there were unpopular and short-lived attempts at reunion in 1274 and 1439
  • disputes within the patriarchate of Antioch about relations with Rome and Constantinople culminated in a disputed patriarchal election in 1724 and a schism into rival Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox patriarchates
I believe these are all undisputed historical facts. Peter Jackson 11:26, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
I agree with you that these particular facts of the case are uncontroversial. However, the relationship between the Schism of 1054 and the events leading up to it is tricky, and I agree with you, Peter, that it seems like most scholars feel that the Schism was part of a longer process. However, I have not had time to read the references Thom has provided. There are definitely some tricky doctrinal and historiographical questions here. I think we need to give a longer look at these issues, and hammer out the wording on the Talk page. Gotta run to class. Thanks, Brian P. Long 14:21, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
I also wanted to make a plea for some patience on the part of all members of this discussion. The way things are supposed to work is that we would have a subject area Editor look over the article and make final decisions about the coverage of particular topics. Since we don't have a subject area Editor, we just have to muddle through. It's of the utmost importance that we figure out a reasonably good compromise here. Brian P. Long 14:25, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
Slight change to my suggestion above. For the 3rd item read
  • between 1098 and 1310 the Papacy established Latin patriarchates for the Eastern sees(abolished ?1965)
I'm not sure whether anyone disputes "in place of", but it might be difficult to establish, so maybe better avoided. Peter Jackson 17:19, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
Two more points in this discussion (and this may be the last thing I say for a couple of days). First off, I think it's important that we brush up the discussion of anathema. I am drawing this distinction from the Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church and from the Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium-- that's all the further I can look into it at the moment. As far as I can tell, it is inaccurate to loosely define the status of anathema at 1054 as we have. We need to make this more precise.
I also wanted to give a slight retraction-- apparently, whatever the faults in his other works, Runciman's "Eastern Schism" is solid scholarship. Thanks, Brian P. Long 23:49, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

CZ policy has been clearly and thoughtfully explained, let's stick to it.

We ought to be able to act like grownups, and if we can't, I suggest we call in a mediator early. Brian's comments [Brian P. Long 04:15, 5 November 2008 (UTC)] and later on the same day are, to my way of thinking, spot on.

Thomas, for you to accuse (me? Peter? Someone else?) of starting anything even approximating 'anti orthodox diatribe' is just unworthy of you and I don't know how to begin to defend myself against such tactics except to stay calm and tell you as politely as I know how that that's just not the way to do things. I have not read any diatribe at all.

Now Brian has called for patience; I'm certainly willing to comply. What I'm NOT willing to do is engaged in endless arguing when the points have already been made. I would've stayed at The Other Wiki if I felt otherwise.

Thomas, I believe this article must be written neutrally. Brian and Peter seem to concur. If you think we three are wrong, then let's call in Gareth or if he's unavailable head straight to Larry and straighten it out.

Aleta Curry 01:51, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

Anyone accusing me of anti-Orthodox bias might like to go to Wikipedia and have a look at my comments on the RCC talk page, where I'm just as critical about that article's similar bias in favour of its subject. When this article talks about theology, the reader can reasonably be expected to assume that it's Orthodox theology, so we needn't keep saying so in every sentence. (It might sometimes be useful to the reader to make comparative statements, but that can be looked at on a case-by-case basis.) However, when the article makes historical statements, the reader will naturally assume that they represent the views of competent historians. If instead we give the views of the Church, we must say so absolutely clearly. Peter Jackson 11:41, 7 November 2008 (UTC)


References and elucidation requested

A source for this and possibly the works for those named would be helpful here.

"Many theologians on both sides, such as St Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury, held and hold that there is no inconsistency between what the Latins mean by ex patre filioque and what the Greek theologians mean by ek to patri dia tou uiou (from the Father through the Son)."

Names of the theologians, their works, works in which their works are referred to, the relevant texts for Anselm for example. Thomas Simmons 21:43, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

OK, I'll se what I can find. Peter Jackson 11:49, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
I hope I didn't jump into a discussion that was already underway, but I added a section discussing the Western/Latin justification for adding the Filioque-- namely, that it had been implicit in the Creed established at the Council of Constantinople and that the primacy of the Bishop of Rome meant that he was free to change the Creed as he saw fit. This was implicit in what was already written, but I thought it would be better if the article was more explicit. The more I get into the thick of this article, the more I feel like we might want to move some of the discussion of the theology to a separate article-- and maybe even to an advanced subpage, where we can give the sources in the original languages. This is a case where original language quotations seem very appropriate.
Peter, if you're looking for primary sources and secondary sources, you could do a lot worse than Pelikan's Spirit of Eastern Christendom. Pelikan gives a thorough discussion of all of the issues involved, and also gives really thorough references to primary sources in the margins. Brian P. Long 16:34, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
Brian, RE: Jaroslav Pelikan, excellent addition to the article. Thomas Simmons 21:43, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

Schism Bibliography

Hey all--

I hit the library to try to clear up a few lingering questions about the Schism, and have made some progress.

Vol. 4 of the New Cambridge Medieval History has a good chapter by Jean Richard on the Eastern Churches around the time of the schism. I didn't have time to read the whole chapter, but it also has an involved discussion of the events surrounding the Patriarchate of Antioch at the end of the 11th century. It also sheds some light on current opinions on Runciman. According to Richard, such "classic accounts [...] need to be reviewed in the light of numerous studies." (p. 571) He points the interested reader to an article by Franz Tinnefeld for further information. I tracked the article down, and can share the reference if anyone else wants it, although it's in German. He also points the reader to a couple of articles (in French) by Stiernon about the later relationship between the papacy and the Orthodox Church. Unlike the Tinnefeld article, these ones aren't in the library here.

The second thing I wanted to improve about the Schism section was the discussion of anathema, and here I have made less progress. I've looked at the Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium, the Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, Naz' Dictionnaire de droit canonique, and a couple of other places, and nowhere have I been able to find a discussion of just what Leo IX and Humbert would have meant by the excommunication/anathema. Complicating matters is the fact that, in the West, excommunication is changing at about this time (a change one sees codified a century later in Gratian's Decretum). If anyone has come across a discussion of the meaning anathema/excommunication had at 1054, please pass it my way.

Thanks, Brian P. Long 22:24, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

If you give me the French refs I'll see whether we have them at Cambridge. I can still read French quite well, unlike German, where I'm very rusty. Peter Jackson 11:51, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
I lied; looking at the specific Stiernon references again, one is in French and the other is in Italian. Either way, they are: Stiernon, D. (1962), 'Rome et les églises orientales,' Euntes Docete 15: 319-85 and Stiernon, D. (1976), 'I rapporti ecclesiastici tra Roma e Bizancio. Il patriarca di Constantinopoli Giovanni X Kamateros e il primato romano,' in Problemi di storia della Chiesa: il medioevo dei secoli XII-XV, Milan, pp. 90-132.
When I was running down the references, I only looked for the French one-- i.e. it does look like we do have the Italian one in the library here, if necessary. Thanks, Brian P. Long 15:53, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
Just checked our catalogue & we haven't got that periodical. Peter Jackson 10:53, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
For what it's worth, I checked out the Latin wording of the 1054 Bull of Excommunication in the Patrologia Latina (vol. 143, 1001-04) and the verb used to describe the act of excommunication or anathematization is "anathematizo." Without clarification of the meaning of anathema at the time, though, I don't think this is really very helpful. Thanks, Brian P. Long 19:58, 11 November 2008 (UTC)


We now have 2 different accounts of the events of 1054, in 2 sections. The 1st falsely states that Cerularius & the synod excommunicated the entire Latin Church. (See above for a citation to contradict this.) It also omits the fact that the papal throne was vacant at the time. The 2nd mentions this fact but says nothing either true or false about the excommunication by the East. This is quite intolerable.

Let's get back to 1st principles. What are we trying to do here?

  1. If the objective is to state what the Church believes about the schism, then
    1. we must say so absolutely explicitly
    2. we must mention points of disagreement: thus
      1. if the Church believes the schism took place in 1054, we must also mention that historians believe it was a long & complicated process in which 1054 was only one step, not the first, last or most important;
      2. if the Church believes that the entire Western Church was excommunicated, we must mention that historians disagree;
      3. we must mention that Pope Leo died in April 1054 & his successor Victor II was not chosen until September.
  2. On the other hand, if the objective is to give an accurate history of the schism, we should have a lot less detail about 1054 to avoid giving it more prominence than historians give it.

Peter Jackson 11:53, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

Runciman, pages 49f, also says the excommunication by the East was personal, not directed at the Western Church. The complete texts of the documents from both sides can be found in Latin & Greek in Migne's Patrologia Græco-Latina, vol cxx, cols 735-48. This confirms there was no excommunication of the West. The statement must be either deleted from the article or else clearly identified as an Orthodox belief that historians reject. Peter Jackson 15:40, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

As an interim measure I've relabelled the sections as the views of the Church & historians respectively until Thomas explains what he's trying to do. Peter Jackson 15:50, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

Let us be clear. The anathema of 1054 was an event from which the schism took its name: A pivotal event. There were other events related to other schism which differ from the one mentioned here. The section labeled Anathema of 1054 is just that, an explanation of the meaning of Anathema of 1054 appropriate to the text of the article. Mssr Jackson, please refrain from such sweeping editorialisation in the future. Thomas Simmons 20:59, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

If you persist in deleting the true statement that Cerularius & the synod excommunicated only the legates & their colleagues & inserting the false statement that they excommunicated the whole Latin church I'll have to take this to a higher authority (whoever that might be: I'm new here).

None of the scholars I've cited bove regards 1054 as the main event. Therefore the article should not give it special treatment. If you insist, we can have equally lengthy accounts of all the other major events in the process to balance it out, but I think that would be better put in a separate article & only a brief account of the whole topic given here. Peter Jackson 11:49, 13 November 2008 (UTC)