Ramifications of the mutual excommunications during the Great Schism

What ramifications does the mutual excommunication by the Catholic Pontiff and the Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch, which occured as a result of or as a reason for the Great Schism, have on members of each body according to each body’s beliefs?

If I remember correctly, Orthodox believe that non-Orthodox Christians are not Christians. Furthermore, the traditional belief by Catholics is that non-Catholic Christians are not true or saved Christians, if they are Christians. Both seem to believe that there is no salvation outside of the Church (“the Church” being their own, of course, and generally none other).

Did the excommunication of the Pope affect only his personal salvation or the salvation of all of his followers? Similarly, did the excommunication of the Ecumenical Patriarch affect only him or those who followed him as well? What about current-day followers of the Pope and Patriarch (neither of whom have excommunicated each other but who occupy the sees of an excommunicated leader)?


I’ve read about this guy Jesus. Lots of lepers, lots of whores, no Popes.

That is besides the point.

Jesus was silent, I believe, regarding in what form His religious followers should organize. Situational exegiencies demanded organization and a structure of authority. For long-term survival, the Christians needed the same for instruction, teaching, rites, fellowship, etc.

After all, people believe that Jesus rested the future of His teachings upon Peter, who would lead His flock. Peter and those after him were to be the Christians’ supreme leader, as it were.

Anyway, the issue at hand refers to when the line of Peter developed into two strains, and each declared the other as invalid. The supreme leader was equipped with excommunication for discipline of the transgressor and protection of the flock. The Bishop of Rome and the Patriarch of Constantinople both wielded this powerful tool at each other - what I am wondering is if this affected only the specific personages or also their followers and successors?


Hey, just because Jesus was Jewish, doesn’t mean he was a lawyer!

You know, IANAX, but it strikes me as conceptually blasphemous or something to focus so damn hard on the materiality of the supposed “succession”; to insist upon the importance of a human hierarchy rather than upon the spiritual aspect of the, um, gift, or whatever, of Xianity.

Isn’t splitting this kind of hairs the kind of sophistry cautionary parables are made of?

Of course, “Pharisee” is Aramaic for “Republican”. You could look it up.

Well, if you look at it from a certain Christian perspective, the issue of hierarchy makes all the difference.

Jesus came to save humanity. Humans may be saved by joining themselves to the Body of Christ, which is the Church. Jesus also placed into the hands of mortals the authority to bind those who are saved. “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth will have been bound in heaven, and whatever you released on earth will have been released in heaven” (Matthew 16:19). Furthermore, Jesus explicitly placed the future of His church on one human, Peter: “You are blessed, Simon son of Jonah, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but my Father in heaven! And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overpower it” (Matthew 16:17-18). Those who succeed Peter share his authority and ability to bind and release.

So, for some Christians the issue of “authority” is serious indeed. Many Churches emphasize the necessity of “apostolic succession,” which is being able to trace the line of authority of one’s clergy back to the Apostles, specifically Peter.

It is this ability to bind and release that comes into play in the issue of excommunication. Excommunication is basically releasing: a person released from the Body of Christ on earth will remain removed from salvation upon death.


and “Sadducee” for “Democrat”…

and guess what Caiaphas & Annas were! G

Btw, both modern Catholic & Orthodox theology do recognize the presence of true saved C’tians outside of their own Communions. And even in ancient days, they recognized the possibility of Christ theoretically having His true people outside of those Churches, even outside of the knowledge of the Christian faith.

I’m not familiar with Orthodox theology, but I’d be surprised if the Orthodox assert that non-Orthodox are not Christian. Do you have any reference for that? (Maybe yBeaf will come by and help on this point.)

Here’s a thread on the Roman Catholic position on “outside the church” - according to tomndebb’s take on it, backed up by the Cathechism, Roman Catholicism does not assert that only Roman Catholics are saved: * Extra ecclesiam nulla salus*.

And here’s an old thread that addesses this issue, although in the context of an inquiry why some Christian groups assert that Roman Catholics are not Christians: Catholics not Christians?

I had thought to address the OP, but I see my work is done, here. :wink:

(One thing to remember about excommunication is that it is not equivalent to damnation. The point of excommunication is to formally notify a person that they are now separated from the benefits and blessings of the church so as to “wake them up” and lead them to reconsider their actions or beliefs. Obviously, two patriarchs, each believing that they are already in the correct variant of the church, are not going to be very impressed by being excommunicated from a group that has (in their views) lost their way.)

hmmmm! That link seems to be buggy, although I don’t immediately see a problem with the URL.

Extra ecclesiam nulla salus

Yeah, where have you been? Leaving me to do all that heavy linking work… :slight_smile:

Link just worked okay for me, so I’m not sure what the problem was.

You’ve got three slashes following the “http:”.

that’s odd - it worked for me, and brought it up with two slashes only. why would that be?

but then, in my opinion html and the internet rival the peace of God in passing all understanding…