Talk:Eastern Orthodox Church

From Citizendium
Jump to navigation Jump to search
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)

CZ Policy


Here is the excerpt from the article CZ: Mechanics

See Help:Citation style for details.
We expect citations in about the same quantity as in academic encyclopedias. Citations are not usually needed for information that is common knowledge among experts. But the following categories of claims generally do need citation:
direct quotations
claims with unique sources (such as survey results, or the finding of a particular paper)
implausible-sounding but well-established claims
claims central to the article
Always give an online link for any reference, at least to the abstract (via, for example, a PubMed reference.)
Rather than use several references in a single sentence it is better to include several sources in one citation.

You will notice that this is keeping with the primary statement about how the articles are to be presented

"Citizendium aims to build a body of articles that cover, at a general level, every aspect of their topics. Their purpose is to introduce the topic in an accessible way that is at the same time authoritative. An article is not a mere summary or list of information, but a connected piece of prose, meant to be read all the way through. Articles must be selective and simplified in the information they present, but this does not mean that they need be brief; they should say what they need to as clearly as possible, in a concise and interesting way."

Accessible and authoritative. Citations provide the authority of the statements made here. They also make, and this is crucial, the sources accessible. Without sources there is no way a reader can access the original information and verify accuracy or authority.

Thomas Simmons 00:00, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

Grammar, Spelling, Punctuation etc.

For CZ policy on relevant mechanics please refer to

Strunk and White's Elements of Style is very useful; the first edition is available here.
For American English, please consult The Chicago Manual of Style for matters of formatting, punctuation, etc. and Garner's Dictionary of American English Usage for issues of usage.
For British English, consult Fowler's Modern English Usage.

Thomas Simmons 00:00, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

Approval Standards

"Encyclopedic. Articles must resemble encyclopedia articles. This means that there are many things that they are not, such as dictionary definitions or personal essays. Some other ancillary, helpful reference material, in the form of tables and lists, are also permissible. See what Citizendium articles are not."[1]

NOTE: Not personal essays. By refraining from providing sources, authors may breach the policy forbidding personal essays.

"Accurate. Articles are to be held up to a high standard of accuracy. Editors should review every substantive claim made by an article, and be of the opinion that the claim is well justified by the relevant evidence, before approving the article."

NOTE: To review the accuracy and supportive evidence of a statement, it is imperative that the Editors and the readers in general have sources.

"Coherent. Articles must be coherent or unified, that is, integrated by a single style and plan, or "narrative flow." An incoherent article appears written by different people or at different times, or with different conceptions about the article's proper structure and style. Typically, an incoherent article repeats information pointlessly and leaves out crucial information where an expert would expect to find it."

NOTE: Simply inserting text in an article does not mean that contribution maintains coherency. It must be placed in context and with related statemens and sources. Numerous occasions arise when one author's text with citations is expanded by another without maintaining consistency with the verifiable evidence provided for the original statements.

"Not original research. Articles should be aimed to serve as excellent encyclopedia articles, and thus are summations of what is known about a topic. Hence, while articles may sum up their topics in novel ways, they should not do so in ways that imply new theories or analyses that in academic contexts would require peer review for publishing. In other words, they should not contain original research or observations. See the original research policy."[2]

Thomas Simmons 00:00, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

Original Research Policy

The following text is what appears on Approval Standards:
"Articles should be aimed to serve as excellent encyclopedia articles, and thus are summations of what is known about a topic. Hence, while articles may sum up their topics in novel ways, they should not do so in ways that imply new theories or analyses that in academic contexts would require peer review for publishing. In other words, they should not contain original research or observations."
This policy eventually will be expanded and clarified.

NOTE: Without authoritative sources, there is no way the reader may infer other than original and unsourced statements from the text. It is imperative that authors identify their sources to avoid the appearance of original work.

Thomas Simmons 00:00, 6 December 2008 (UTC)


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)

This was placed in the midle of a well sourced text:

"It should be noted that the papal throne was vacant at the time of these excommunications, Leo having died in April 1054 and his successor not being chosen until September."

It is necessary to ensure that unattributed text is not embedded in that which is attributed. It is unethical to put words in anyones mouth as such. The MLA or APA styles are easily obtained and followed. A simple example would be, CHAPTER/ARTICLE TITLE, AUTHOR/EDITOR, (YEAR). JOURNAL/BOOK. CITY:PUBLISHER. Please use them, it is a matter of ethics.

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 article is the EOC not the schism that involves a great many other institutions and a long and involved history. Placing a large text here on a vast sub topic is inappropriate. It needs and must only be painted in broad strokes and then a link placed here for a fuller discussion. That discussion needs to be moved to a topic specific article. Since I started this article I have made it clear that its purpose to to elevate the article above the norms at Wikipedia. We simply waste our time providing no more validity to the views expressed here if they are unfounded statements by contributors who can not be bothered to identify their sources and provide the reader with the assurance that they are not simply making it all all up or just adding their own personal views. Thomas Simmons 23:31, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

How many times do we have to tell you? It's not our policy to give citations for everything. That's the way Wikipedia do things. It's rather dubious even there. Even if

  1. a citation is given
  2. it's a "reliable source"
  3. it actually says what the article says it says

there's no guarantee another equally or more reliable source doesn't flatly contradict it. So our system is supposed to be based on having experts to tell us what most experts think. Of course the problem is that we haven't actually got editors for most specialities, so we have to do our best without.

Now to your mor specific remarks. I've said below that I myself prefer a brief account of the schism in this article with a detailed account elsewhere. However, what I find unacceptable is that this article should give a lengthy account of just 1 event, which many if not most scholars don't consider the most important, with little or nothing about anything else, unless it is simply reporting the Church's own point of view, explicitly says so & points out briefly where historians disagree.

An aside on the question of reliable sources. I notice that one of the sources cited in this article is Wikipedia! Peter Jackson 17:22, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

Not sure why the exclamation point is used but I will take this as a query since it notes a common practice --citing ones sources to serve the purpose of supporting the text. Wikipedia gets referred to a lot--BBC, The Guardian, Wall Street Journal etc.--and that is the point of the citation, not Wikipedia's credibility. In this case it serves in a very straight forward matter--showing how the public would be required to search for the issue by name.

It is also moot to add that many of the articles here were originally, in their entirety, taken from WP and then either verified or rewritten. It is also important to note that on the whole the sources I have brought here are quite diverse and reflect the objective of the statements offered in the text.

I have limited my recourse to other encyclopedias as much as possible rather than over-reliance as we have discussed here. The Catholic encyclopedia is referred to by many sources including medieval and ancient historical sites at various universities. and in the media such as BBC. I bring the Britannica in from time to time as well. We benefit from their position as they will eventually from ours--the on-line encyclopedias have radically changed their approach to their readership. I often use them as I do WP as a starting point or to retrieve a greater amount of sources to provide evidentiary support for statements here. I also use them to form a basis of comparison--are we doing a better job? These sources may also serve to notify the reader that the text we offer here brings the familiar and credible since many readers probably never will read Barclay, Ware, Schaff, Meyerndorff, Ostroumoff or Pelikan.Thomas Simmons 21:48, 6 December 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. Aleta Curry 02:31, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

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)
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)

Let me just point out here that we do have a verifiability principle. The editors need to know where the information comes from and it must be accessible.Thomas Simmons 21:52, 6 December 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 [3] and here [4] 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. [5] 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)

The text

“This diverges from the original creed in which the Spirit is asserted to proceed from the Father exclusively. “

was replaced with

“This diverges from the original creed which simply says the Spirit is "proceeding from the Father". “

It has been reverted.

Please submit your changes to discussion before such comprehensive rewrites are made. The original text contains the essence of the statement while the rewrite omitted the historical and doctrinal issues that are at the heart of the matter. Such changes may serve to alter the basic meaning of such text, do not comply with the scholarly sources cited and are not in keeping with the collegial spirit of the CZ Policies.Thomas Simmons 22:34, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

The previous wording is a blatant misrepresentation of the creed, which says nothing about "exclusively". I alreaady explained this in #Filioque again. Peter Jackson 09:24, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

Blatant misrepresentation? You are invited to make your point. Here is the point made by my sources. The large number of sources that I have brought here to provide support for my statements make it clear that the issue is whether or not the Holy Spirit proceeds from God and God only--exclusively--hence the dispute that has been taking place for more than a millennium. The case here is simple, over simplify and mislead--that is misrepresentation--or elucidate the issue clearly. Such a simplistic interpretation is very misleading, For example, A STOP sign simply means stop. However, it also means that if you do not stop you will get pulled over, you will get fined, you will have to appear in court, you may lose your license, the insurance company will raise your rates etc. So it does not simply mean STOP.

It might be illuminating to tell the reader that while it could be construed as a simple statement, it carries a complex much more important meaning. The advocates on both sides--and it is their view we are presenting here--regard this simplistic interpretation as inaccurate.

Now, I have answered a broad allegation of making inaccurate statements, I have referred to the evidence cited in the text, and I have provided a clear illustration of how reducing an issue to its simplest elements can be very misleading. Thomas Simmons 21:09, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

I have altered the text to make Mr. Jackson's point while preserving the implications of the various sources offered here.Thomas Simmons 21:55, 6 December 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)

I might add that the Oxford & Cambridge Histories cited above also mention only excommunication of the legates, not the church. That's 4 secondary authorities as well as the primary source. Peter Jackson 12:07, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

The following also state that the anathema was personal & either say or imply that the Western Church was not covered by it:

  1. Blackwell Dictionary of Eastern Christianity, page 99; this is by a different contributor (Andrew Louth); the earlier citation was by David J. Melling
  2. Hussey, Orthodox Church in the Byzantine Empire, p 135
  3. Jugie, Le Schisme byzantin, p 211

That makes 7 scholars & the original source document I've cited.

Also, Louth, on the next page to the above, agrees with Runciman's conclusion that the real cause of the break was the Crusades. Hussey has this to say (loc cit):

"Viewed in their historical framework the events of 1054 have in a sense been magnified out of all proportion ... [page 136] ... Posterity has however read into this dramatic episode 'a formal schism' which did not tyhen exist. ... Once the Roman legates had left ... it was no doubt thought that normal relations between Constantinople and the curia would eventually resume ... And this is in fact what happened. ... 1204. that was when the real schism occurred." At this point the book cites an article in the Bulletin de l'Association Budé, which unfortunately isn't available here. Perhaps someone can access it.

"The quarrel made virtually no impact at the time on Byzantine society an dgets hardly a mention in contemporary writings."

Similarly, Runciman, p 50: "Why then has this episode been given such inflated importance? At Constantinople it was barely noticed at the time except as an internal crisis in which the Patriarch won a victory over the Emperor. But it was taken seriously in the West."

p 160: "... till Balsamon's time [c 1200] there is no suggestion that the whole Western Church was considered actually schismatic by the average Greek ... Pope Innocent IV ... in 1245 ... implies that it had only happened in his lifetime."

Total so far 3 scholars saying the main cause was the Crusades, 1 (above) saying the final break can't be dated earlier than 1724, & I'm not sure how many others rejecting the idea that 1054 was the main event. Peter Jackson 16:49, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

Absent any response, I've corrected the basic factual errors for the 3rd time. I notice also that the author cited for the account given is Bishop Kallistos Ware, presumably the same person as the Kallistos Ware who wrote the relevant chapter in the Oxford History of Christianity that I cited above. Peter Jackson 17:03, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

I've just had a look at Ware's account of the schism, as linked in note 48, presumably put there by Thomas. in fact it almost entirely agrees with my account of the schism, not Thomas'. In particular, it says Cerularius didn't excommunicate the Western Church as a whole. Peter Jackson 17:12, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

Filioque again

Ref for Anselm & Theophylact: Runciman, pages 72-7, especially 77: " Theophylact he saw no reason why the divergence should lead to schism." Peter Jackson 16:57, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

Repositioned the statement on Anselm (Archbishop of Canterbury) and Theophylact (head of the Bulgarian Church) with introductory clause in the subsection on the schism itself. Placing it in the section of the filioque without any cohesive clause left it dangling, a non-sequitur. In future use of the APA or the MLA style is preferred here. Basically used here that is [ARTICLE/CHAPTER TITLE] Author, (Year), Journal/Book Title, City:Publisher. [1]

These views from both sides of the issue drawn from the past are very important. Why, for instance, did Anselm and Theophylact hold these views? If anyone has further sources on this, the issue of whether it was viewed then as a problem or not needs to be enlarged and added to the article on the filioque and the Nicene Creed. Such counterpoints to contemporary and modern opinion would go a long way to elucidating the issue then and now and add a great deal to those articlesThomas Simmons 23:47, 18 November 2008 (UTC).

Before I come to that, let me point out that the wording "This diverges from the original creed in which the Spirit is asserted to proceed from the Father exclusively." is biased & unacceptable. It plainly asserts that the Orthodox interpretation is the only true one, which we're not entitled to do. I've replaced it with a literal translation of the Greek. Notice, by the way, that the Latin uses a finite verb procedit where the Greek uses the participle ekporeuomenon. The distinction isn't important of course.

Now, I've no objection in principle to moving the statement. However, I'd point out that we haven't yet got a coherent account of the schism, as I pointed out in the preceding section. I'd still like to hear your views on which of 3 patterns to follow:

  1. a long, detailed account of the schism: this would have a series of sections, giving details of
    1. papal supremacy
    2. filioque
    3. diptychs
    4. anathemas (1054)
    5. crusades
    6. Lyons
    7. Florence
    8. Antioch (1724 & events leading up to & following)
  2. a brief account along the lines I suggested above, with a full account in a separate article
  3. an account of what the Church itself believes happened, explicitly identified as such, only briefly noting where historians disagree

I can give a bit more about Theophylact & Anselm here, from Runciman's explanation. His sources may give more. Anselm addressed a synod of Greek bishops in from Sicily & southern Italy, after those areas had been conquered by the Normans. He persuaded them to stop objecting to the use of the filioque by others while continuing to omit it themselves. The statement I cited isn't from this, but from a letter. Theophylact said the filioque was wrong, but the Latins used it because of the poverty of the Latin language. Ie they couldn't really say what they really wanted to say.

On style, I'd point out that I'm supplying refs here only for the talk page, as they're required by policy in the actual article only in particular sorts of cases, so I don't think style is relevant. Peter Jackson 11:17, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

Added item 1.1, which I forgot originally. Peter Jackson 11:29, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

Constable comment

I notice that there are no active editors on these pages. If you find yourself in a disagreement, use your Religion editors workgroup list to help clear it up. Notice that there are email lists for each of the workgroups as well. Keep up the good work. D. Matt Innis 02:33, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

Editor assistance requested

As suggested by a constable above, I'm requesting editor assistance on the issues under discussion here. Please note that postings are often out of sequence. Peter Jackson 11:47, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

My main points:

  1. The statement in the article that the creed asserts that the Spirit proceeds from the Father exclusively is a blatant misrepresentation: there is no "exclusively" in the creed.
  2. There is far too much emphasis on 1054 in the account of the schism with Rome. Many or most scholars, as cited above, now regard it as just one stage in a long & cmplicated process: not the first, last or most important. Giving it most of the space & calling it "culmination" is inappropriate.

Peter Jackson 12:09, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

I take this to be read that the words are devoid of any implication other than the meaning of 'proceeds' and 'from'. There is nothing even vaguely simple about the meaning of the word even in common use today. The Oxford Compact gives five definitions on-line--none of which literally correspond to the use of the word in the Creed. Reading the Creed with over-literal simplicity is to impose meaning that is not there and ignore meaning that is. It is also to assume that the reader imparts (and is the sole authority involved in doing so) the correct semantical weight and interpretation nearly 1700 years after it was written.

The Creed has a great deal of exclusivity in it. 'Only begotten', 'One God', 'One Lord', 'before All ages/worlds', 'one essence', 'through whom all things are made'. etc. It is a creed resplendent with exclusivity. The statement "Who Proceeds from the Father" is very exclusive and the basis of the dispute with the Roman Church-who by the way insist that the meaning of the words used in Greek are not the same as those in Latin and thereby not a doctrinal difference but a semantic difference. The entire issue of the Filioque is about utter exclusivity and thereby the utter essence or substance and hence origin of the Son and the Spirit/Ghost. If the issue was not about exclusivity then the dispute would not have arisen--not for this reason anyway. It is simply not another way of saying the same thing--it is a different thing altogether in the perceptions of the disputants.

As for "far too much emphasis" at this point in the development of the article, it is not about how much space is apportioned to any one subtopic but how much has been written. To date the overwhelming support for statements made in the text in unswerving compliance with the both the letter of CZ policy and the spirit have been those I brought here to show that I am not submitting any original material and that the statements made are by those who represent credible sources. Many of the scholars I have cited (in the text of the article for the reader to peruse and the editor to access and ascertain credibility and accuracy) consider the event important and others have gone on to say that while the event was largely unnoticed by the laity and rank and file clergy at the time, it grew in importance over a period of nearly one millennium. To this day there is a great deal of ink spilled over the issue by writers in both spheres of the issue.

So, there is no misrepresentation being made here except to say that the issue boils down to what is in fact is a simplistic reading made 1700 years after the fact.Thomas Simmons 15:11, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

The wording imposes the Orthodox interpretation, which is a violation of neutrality policy.

I too have supplied masses of citations in support of the material I've been presenting.

It's correct in some sense to say that the event grew in importance. But what does that actually mean? It grew in the importance people imagined it had. Peter Jackson 16:32, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

Yes, the issue is of exclusivity. To assert that exclusivity is the factually correct interpretation violates neutrality. Peter Jackson 16:33, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

I can't agree. The article is about the Eastern Orthodox Church. Failing to provide the reader with the interpretation of the Creed and the Filioque as interpreted by the EOC would in itself be misleading. So the wording is not an imposition but is a matter of coherency and accuracy, it is wholly related to the subject of the article and faithfully reports the meaning of the wording within the framework of the article as stated clearly in the introduction.

Meanwhile, the two sides of the issue--one that it is exclusive and the other that it is not--are both stated in the article. Further, pointing to the the Interpretation of the oldest institutions involved in the dispute is simply being historically accurate. To refer to this as an imposition and therefore a breach of neutrality is not, in my opinion, what is taking place here. We are elucidating an issue and by denying the article a precise rationale behind the issue simply defeats the purpose of the article--to provide a description of the issue within the context of the topic--in this case, the Eastern Orthodox Christian Church. The sources I have brought make it clear that the statements and the underlying disagreement is very definitely about the limitations of the statement and the authority of the decision in that context. Otherwise there would be no dispute. As I have pointed out, even today the words used can be interpreted differently and so must be done in context. Saying that it is simple is inaccurate even in today's usage of the disputed wording.

So, as to the assertion, "To assert that exclusivity is the factually correct interpretation violates neutrality," I see only that and not a compelling argument that supports a simplistic reading which arises from outside the context and 1700 years after the fact.Thomas Simmons 22:51, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

It's perfectly true that the article is about the EOC. So when we make purely theological statements in the article it's obvious that they are statements about Orthodox doctrine, & I don't have any problems about that. (I don't know whether that's policy, though.) However, when we get into historical statements about the creed, that's quite a different matter. They must be made in historically accurate & unbiased ways. Therefore any statements that involve interpretation must be clearly identified.

What do you mean by "the oldest institutions involved"? Both sides claim to be that, & we can't take sides. Peter Jackson 09:15, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

That is why I used the plural, institutions. I am aware of their claims. On the other hand, all accept that the Church in Jerusalem is the oldest which is in fact in the Orthodox communion. So how providing for historical accuracy and a point of disagreement is taking sides is, as far as has been noted here, unfounded for these reasons.Thomas Simmons 09:34, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
I'm failing to see why this is a difficult concept or why we're still having problems with it.
Articles must be written neutrally.
Where anything is not written neutrally, it must be clearly understood at reading that this is written from XYZ point of view.
It's not negotiable.
Why is this hard?
Aleta Curry 00:37, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
The only problem I am having is understanding what the accusation of bias is referring to. The accusation is not being used to illuminate the issue. It is a ambiguous and I see no way in dealing with it constructively here.Thomas Simmons 09:34, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
I've told you 2 or 3 times already. It's perfectly simple. The statement in the article that the creed says the Spirit proceeds from the Father exclusively is not a factually correct statement. It's the Orthodox interpretation. Peter Jackson 12:15, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

The most controversial statement seems to be this, from the Filoque section, "This additional word means that the creed diverges from the original creed in which the Spirit is asserted to proceed from the Father exclusively."? Would this be an acceptable rewrite:

The Western Church contends that this merely clarifies the Creed. The Eastern Church, however, believes that the change is both significant and undesirable, since in their view the original Creed asserts that the Spirit proceeds from the Father exclusively. Sandy Harris 04:19, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
Fine with me. Peter Jackson 10:09, 12 December 2008 (UTC)


A non-expert looking in.

Some text is:

The Eastern Orthodox Church may also refer to:

  • The Orthodox Christian Church
  • The Church of the Seven Councils
  • ...

Shouldn't that be "... may also be called" or "is also referred to as"?

Both are true but they do have slightly different meanings. In this context the current wording makes the definition the subject of the statement and in the second version the speaker is the implied subject. In other words, the first is saying--'this phrase refers to this'. In the second, 'that speaker means that'.Thomas Simmons 09:26, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
"may also refer to" is standard wording for disambiguation. In other words, where a particular term has more than 1 meaning. Here we have the reverse. We have different names with the same meaning. Peter Jackson 12:18, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
Sandy's right. It's a small point, but it should be:
"The Eastern Orthodox Church" may refer to blah blah blah.
Or, as Sandy has written, The Eastern Orthodox Church may also be called etc.
Aleta Curry 20:46, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

As a non-expert reader (which I'd say is the main audience for an encyclopedia), I need a lot more simple/summary/overview info.

If the basic issue between Eastern & Western churches is that the West has a Pope but the East considers him just another bishop, say that, and give some history of the development. If it's something else, say that.

It is a basic issue in that it is one of a great many and the roll of the Pope is the difference, not his existence per se. There are in fact two Popes.Thomas Simmons 09:26, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

The part about apostolic succession is not clear to me. Is it the case that both churches claim to be the successors, Rome via Peter and the East via some more general mechanism? Can the current patriarchs trace their succession back all the way? When were these claims first made, and when did the other church reject them?

The Seven Councils needs a list, with a little about what each did. One attacked the Arianists (link), another rejected Nestorianism (link), ... Also links to the Councils not accepted by EOC, only in the West.

The opening paragraph is almost unreadable. The worst example is "including but not exclusive of Armenia, Georgia, Russia, Ethiopia and others." Here's my shot at a better intro:

The Eastern Orthodox Church is one of the great historical branches of Christianity, the other being the western European or Roman Catholic Church. Until 1054, the two were united.

The Eastern Church was established during the Byzantine Empire (the eastern Roman Empire), in Antioch, Jerusalem, Constantinople, and Alexandria. Other churches — such as those of Armenia, Georgia, Russia, and Ethiopia — hold that they were established directly from those; these are covered here as well. All these churches are in communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. Their basic doctrine is the canons of the original Seven Ecumenical Councils from 324 A.D. to 787 A.D.[2]. The article also covers some churches (Link needed!) that have in the past but do not currently accept the canons of the Ecumenical Councils.

The article does not include the 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. User:Sandy Harris

Unreadable? How collegial of you. I disagree. I have conferred with numerous people who have read it and find it readable. When you work on a Wiki you have to delineate the purpose of the article clearly otherwise it will balloon into a vast and amorphous blob--one of the biggest criticism that WP has received from the likes of the BBC and Nature. The article is meant to discern between very old institutions who started out together and many who later went their own ways as well as those we still work together. Including but not exclusive of means just that. It could be worded "including but not limited to"? The introduction defines the content.Thomas Simmons 09:26, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
As for the other questions and their answers. A) We are working without remuneration; B) the topics you suggest are articles in and of themselves and would be quite lengthy, C) we need authors who understand the issues and are willing to familiarise themselves with the literature; and last, we need folks who can write on topic. You are here discussing your ideas--so you have the spirit of the CZ firmly in hand.Thomas Simmons 09:26, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
Yes, well, one thing has nothing to do with the other, i.e. the fact that we're volunteers and don't have enough expert authors etc. does not negate Sandy's questions and comments in the least.
The opening may be 'readable', Thomas, but it is also simplistic (as opposed to 'simply put'), misleading and inaccurate. Before you demand specifics, I will point out that they have been furnished and you have reacted defensively and simply chosen to ignore them.
It is very difficult to work cooperatively with you and will continue to be so unless your (at present, miserable) attitude changes.
Aleta Curry 21:07, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

Apostolic succession. The Roman Catholic position is that a valid succession of bishops is found in the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Oriental Orthodox Church, the Church of the East, the Old Catholic Church & various small breakaway groups. It rejects the claims of the Anglican Communion to a valid apostolic succession. In addition to the ordinary succession of bishops, it also claims the special succession of the Papacy. The Eastern Orthodox Church regards sacraments, including ordination, performed outside itself as having only a sort of potential validity; the Church may choose to recognize them ("economy"). Peter Jackson 18:14, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

I'm not sure what point you mean to make here, Peter. It seems to me that this should be discussed in an article on the Apostolic succession. The RC view, or anyone else's does not have to be represented here and need only be touched on to the extent needed for comparison or context. Aleta Curry 23:50, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
I was merely providing a partial answer to one of Sandy's questions above. Peter Jackson 09:24, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

Revisiting Filioque

Hi Sandy,

I wrote long ago in the article:

"This additional word means that the creed diverges from the original creed in which the Spirit is asserted to proceed from the Father exclusively.

You revised with

"The Western Church contends that this merely clarifies the Creed. The Eastern Church, however, believes that the change is both significant and undesirable, since in their view the original Creed asserts that the Spirit proceeds from the Father exclusively.

In point of fact, I wrote only what I could show from the sources quoted, and you have preserved that in the new revision. However, this new rewrite is now making an additional statement of fact that has not been supported by the cited sources. If the Papacy does in fact say the word clarifies anything, we need to be able to present that to the reader and any editor who may want to verify it in the coming year. Do you have a source on hand that you could cite here? Thomas Simmons 22:16, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

Thomas, Sandy is trying to get your point across to the reader using language that does not imply that the Eastern Orthodox Church's position is the *correct" interpretation, or the *only* interpretation of this complex matter.
Not the point at all actually. The debate lies with two very old institutions. Later developments are certainly worth treating but this particular debate, the original debate, has been going on for over a millennia between these two institutions. Bias here is not a question-both parties are biased--historical accuracy is the point. Whatever the Roman Catholic position, it needs to be established on verifiable evidence that has been published, evidence that engenders reader confidence and verifiable evidence that an editor may certify. This is CZ policy. A general and broad statement made purely from an author's personal bias, no matter how elucidative it may seem to that author about what may or may not be true, does not advance the purpose of the article and does not adhere to CZ policy. Thomas Simmons 04:57, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
Sandy suggested the language of the rewrite a couple of weeks ago, and only Peter responded.
The Filioque was one response to perceived heresy, having to do with issues involving whether or not Jesus existed eternally with the Father, and suggesting that Jesus was created, and that Jesus in turn created the Holy Ghost. The addition of the Filioque attempted to put an end to some of these notions, and in that sense Sandy is correct in using the word 'clarify'.
Actually it was not a response to perceived heresy but I leave it to you to make the argument from supporting evidence if you wish. Thomas Simmons 04:57, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
This is of course beyond the scope of this article, and should be discussed at filioque, whenever someone has time to take it on.
It is in fact well within the scope of the article since it concerns unsupported statements - a matter directly addressed by CZ policy - that categorically declare a position for a rather large and ancient institution which is at the center of the article's topic. Thomas Simmons 04:57, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
Two things in response to 'If the Papacy does in fact say the word clarifies anything, we need to be able to present that to the reader and any editor who may want to verify it in the coming year.' One, an Editor (capital 'E' used advisedly) in Christianity worth his or her salt would not need a source to verify this--I know it and I'm not even an expert. Two, it would be helpful if you do not use 'the Papacy' or 'Roman Catholicism' synonymously with 'the Western Church', as the Roman church is just one of the branches of Western Christianity.
Yet an Editor does acknowledge that our mission is to serve our readers. There is a great deal of very arcane knowledge in any topic we treat here which would be well within the expertise of any qualified Editor--not that this makes any such statements about the knowledge base of any one who edits here. Having worked through various curricula in several countries I am well aware of the limitations of time and simply saying that any "Expert" worth his or her salt would know is not a statement I would ever believe to be supported by the evidence: The assumption of common knowledge is often a rash one. The statements about what the Roman Catholic church believes and why it acted must still be supported by direct evidence. Thomas Simmons 04:57, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
Thanks Aleta Curry 23:25, 31 December 2008 (UTC)
p.s. the Catholic Encyclopedia has an online article--rather wordy-at There's more discussion at:
I did not add the statement. Supportive evidence needs to be provided by the author of the statements. Thomas Simmons 04:57, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
One caveat about using the online Catholic Encyclopedia -- it's an online copy of a work published 100 years ago, which (depending on the topic) may contain extremely outdated information. It was published, of course, before the Second Vatican Council of the 1960s; it also omits the results of any social-science, historical, archeological, etc., scholarship done over the past 100 years.
Take a look, for just one example, at the Catholic Encyclopedia's article on "animism," which uses phrases such as "the lowest savages existing today" -- not exactly the kind of discourse that present-day anthropologists use!
As an alternative, the New Catholic Encyclopedia, published in 1967 and currently in the process of revision, is likely to be much more reliable on many topics; it is available online (to affiliated persons only) through a few large libraries, but the paper version can be found in many university and public libraries. I'm sure that Aleta and most of the other people involved in this discussion are aware of this and can evaluate the reliability of the 100-year-old article on filioque better than I can, but I wanted to make sure that newcomers to this discussion were aware of the issues surrounding reliance on the online Catholic Encyclopedia. Bruce M. Tindall 15:02, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church gives a lot of background. There's a filioque article and I'm sure stuff on the double procession.
Also, there has been mucho mucho ecumenical discussion of this stumbling block to Christian unity. One interesting discussion centres on the difference in meaning between Latin and Greek of (I think) the words used for 'proceeds'-- which changes the English meaning.
The Anglican Communion has also called for reexamining the filioque with respect to Anglican-Orthodox ecumenism. It was a point at one of the Lambeth Conferencees if memory serves.
There is PLENTY of information available online, if you wish to do further reading.
Aleta Curry 23:43, 31 December 2008 (UTC)
I have no sources. I not claiming expertise in the field, just trying to contribute more neutral wording based on the discussion. Brian Long wrote above, "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." Essentially, I just reworded that. I dropped the bit about the Pope because it is dealt with in a later paragraph. Sandy Harris 01:24, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

What's up?

So this is the article that Peter has been talking about! Peter, before I start on a long trek through this talk page, is it safe to say we can start here? (and maybe archive the rest?) Or do you think it contains stuff we'll need? D. Matt Innis 12:12, 25 October 2010 (UTC)


I've been invited to comment, but have to avoid becoming a participant in the dispute. Is there a general feeling that participants here would welcome a clear ruling from me, informed by CZ policies and the discussion here, that they would accept as binding pending any subsequent decisions of the editorial and Management Councils, in the interests of allowing everyone to move on? I haven't read the arguments above yet so have no pre-formed opinion, have no conflict of interest that I know, and if I see any issues that need to be addressed by either council I would present those to them in a form that allows all interested parties to comment (as in the case of the article on Myanmar, these are here in the sections on Naming of Countries and Editorial Workgroups.Gareth Leng 10:00, 25 October 2010 (UTC)

I think there are some important issues raised above and having them re-examined by a neutral party is an excellent idea. It's not urgent, though. The last substantive change to the article was me changing the filoque section in Dec 2008 and the last talk page comment Jan 2009.
I'm not sure if the neutral party should be a religions workgroup editor (do we have any active ones?) or the ombudsman, but either is fine with me. My guess is some of the policy questions might go to the editorial council in any case. Sandy Harris 12:31, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
At a guess (and I say at a guess because I've only skimmed the issues), if I can come to any interim decision, that decision would be interim pending the involvement of an expert editor. Can't say yet whether there are policy issues that need to be referred on.Gareth Leng 14:05, 25 October 2010 (UTC)

Religion Editor, Editorial Council

It's certainly worth looking at the list of Religion Editors and emailing to see if there is interest. User:Robert H. Stockman helped out with Satanic ritual abuse, and even reached out to outside experts.

Let me be the first to say I don't understand the issues on first reading. Could the participants create a section here where they could note possible broader policy issues for the EC?

--Howard C. Berkowitz 15:19, 25 October 2010 (UTC)

1) By all means contact a religion editor. 2) Given that Howard has joined here then I'm withdrawing from here. My role begins when lower levels of dispute resolution are exhausted. Call me again if that happens.Gareth Leng 17:46, 25 October 2010 (UTC)

I didn't think I had any official role here; I'm not a Religion Editor and am looking for information on a subject about which I know very little. Howard C. Berkowitz 18:52, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
OK, I read that as meaning that you are not a party to the dispute or intending to become one, or aiming to mediate. If so, before looking at the details, can I ask the disputants a) to identify the issues (very briefly)that need to be resolved; I will read the Talk page so no need to repeat details. b) consider whether the Talk page contains all the information that I need to know c) ask whether disputants want a swift interim decision from me pending the involvement of expert editors? I am asking them to agree to be bound by that decision pending either an expert editor or EC involvement.

They may not want a decision, merely my guidance; if so please say so Gareth Leng 11:52, 26 October 2010 (UTC)

Guidance, I think. I see no issues that are precisely enough stated that you could render a decision.
There are tricky issues around how to write neutrally about a topic where some very different and contradictory positions are taken. Obviously we must at least describe the Orthodox view on various questions and in many cases go beyond that to give a clear and forceful statement of their position, but where there is serious controversy we should avoid implying that that is the only view or the correct view. On the other hand, we should not clutter up this article with too much material on non-Orthodox views. There's a balance to be struck, and it is not always easy to see where it lies.
The argument around the Filoque text is a clear example of this, but not the only one here. The difficulty is by no means unique to this article; it is a general issue affecting many articles on many wikis.
There has also been debate around the citation policy. Sandy Harris 01:06, 27 October 2010 (UTC)
Many thanks, this makes it clear. OK I'll look through the article and Talk page as soon as I can get time and try to make some constructive suggestions. Please note that, in doing this, I will not be joining sides in any dispute; I can't do that in my role, but if I can say something that might help I'll do so, or else I'll keep quiet. I'll look out for issues that may need to go to the EC, I see one immediately.Gareth Leng 11:04, 27 October 2010 (UTC)
There are currently 2 "active" religion editors listed, though neither has yet made a single contribution to CZ. I did notify them a while back. Likewise, I notified all the 15 religion editors listed when the dispute arose (before the active/inactive distinction was introduced into the category software. Peter Jackson 10:19, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

As a reader, indentation, interspersed comments, etc., hard to follow

Some sections are almost unreadable, in part because they intersperse responses into comments that might be years old, do not necessarily preserve signatures in interrupted paragraphs, and do not always follow indentation. My initial impression is that additional subheadings might tend to clear this up; some comments were very long. I am not qualified to develop and insert subheads, but perhaps someone more expert can do so. Howard C. Berkowitz 12:29, 27 October 2010 (UTC)

Attempted summary

OK, let me try to summarize. However, I must admit I'm a bit confused myself about the situation.

The most important point at issue is or was neutrality. Thomas insisted on a text that said that the original creed said the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father exclusively. Now there's no dispute about the actual wording of the creed. It says το εκ του πατρος εκπορευομενον (apologies for the lack of diacritics, but this system doesn't seem to have a full set). Literally that translates as "which [is] proceeding from the Father". The wording Thomas was insisting on was the Orthodox interpretation of that. The Catholic and Protestant interpretation is that the wording of the creed doesn't exclude procession from the Son as well, and their view is that this is in fact true.

I tried replacing this with a neutral wording, but Thomas reverted. You can read the ensuing arguments above. Sandy then proposed another neutral wording, which Thomas objected to, but didn't revert. I'm not sure what Thomas's position is at present, as he hasn't commented here for a long time. Peter Jackson 10:06, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

Not sure why it is a problem to place an Orthodox interpretation in an article on the Orthodox and place comparative views on the Creed in an article on the Creed itself. Besides failing to fully utilise this electronic medium in way that Encyc. Brit has yet to discover, this is not an article on the Creed. What others think about the Creed as opposed to what the Orthodox think is not for this article - it would overwhelm it and it would be misleading to leave the title as is.Thomas Simmons 19:35, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
Is this the neutral wording?
[Original] This diverges from the original creed in which the Spirit is asserted to proceed from the Father exclusively.
[Replaced with] This diverges from the original creed which simply says the Spirit is "proceeding from the Father".
Referring to this as 'simply says' is neutral? The Orthodox Churches do not think there is any leeway so it is not simple. And yes, it is exclusive - the Orthodox Churches are clear about this and this is an article about the Orthodox Churches. These two statements above are wholly different points of view and writing this second statement as if it is the Orthodox view or the only reasonable view is not neutral. Categorically. I have never understood the mindset that thinks dogmatic statements can be stated neutrally, they are dogma. The various political and religious persuasions are defined by their dogma - or lack of it. I do not see how anyone can write an accurate article on any such group and believe that they can neutralise their statements. The Shia, the Sunni, the Southern Baptists, the Republican Party and on an on make strong statements and they must be presented as such. You can not rewrite them and say here is what they believe, here is what they are saying. That is misleading at best. It is not neutral to attempt it. We have an obligation to state their dogma and note the varied interpretations. On the other hand, the need to note such divergent points of view is clear too. By pointing out this divergence, we take the article to the edge of a larger discussion. And another article.
And that larger discussion is where we make a contribution, as an encyclopaedia, to the debate that has raged for centuries, we elucidate this further. State the varying dogmas. This is a good jumping off place for an article: Find the sources that argue the other direction and we have that article. And it would be very appropriate to place this invitation to read further here in this article as well as corollary and conflicting statements in other articles such as that of the Roman Catholic Church. Meanwhile, just a simple and brief presentation of these points of view from an historical perspective would work here and link to the bigger article - but presenting it in text attributed to specific sources is not ethical. Why is this important? The exclusivity of this statement was the basis of conflict for centuries. That has now changed. The Roman Catholic and the Armenian and the Ethiopian and other churches are making new statements. This would be a great article.Thomas Simmons 20:40, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

Now the other matter in dispute was a question of (un)due weight. The article spends a lot of time on the events of 1054. It even says "In 1054 an event took place that is commonly recognised as a pivotal episode in the history of the Great Schism." I don't think that's even true. You can read the citations above and see what you think. It seems to me that historians don't regard this event as all that important. It was just one of a long series, the most important being the Crusades.

If space were to be allocated in accordance with historical importance, then either this account should be abridged or a much longer account of the schism should be given. The latter in turn would, it seems to me, result in a too high proportion of the article spent on the schism.

Alternatively, if it is considered reasonable, this account might be included as, explicitly, an important part of the Church's "mythology" or self-image. Peter Jackson 10:15, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

Many thanks, this is very clear and helpful. One thing seems obvious to me: on the "other matter", this aricle should have the History workgroup added and I've done that - we do have History editors, though whether they feel qualified to comment I don't know. I'm certainly not going to assume expertise where I have none; though if no history editor weighs in I may come back.
The first matter I will think on and wait to hear if Thomas wants to add anything. There are other incidental issues that have arisen here (e.g. referencing; style disputes; approval issues) - I note these but will comment on them only if explicitly asked to.Gareth Leng 12:12, 28 October 2010 (UTC)
I can understand the relevance of history, and I am a History Editor. I am also a History Editor who knows almost nothing about this subject, so I can comment only in terms of historical writing, and, possibly, fact checking. Would this be of any use? I do know somewhat more about the Crusades. Howard C. Berkowitz 14:14, 28 October 2010 (UTC)
I'd guess that what you know about is the military aspect of the Crusades, which could reasonably be considered the primary aspect. What we're talking about here is the fact that the Crusaders, when they captured Antioch, Jerusalem and Constantinople, deposed the native patriarchs and appointed Western replacements, and these were ratified by the popes. Naturally, the deposed patriarchs and their followers didn't accept this and were thenceforth in schism with Rome. Historians seem to consider this the most important part of the schism process, which sounds plausible to me. But it wasn't straightforward. We may like to think of religions as divided neatly up into discrete denominations, but reality is often more complicated. We have an example in our own time, where some members of the so-called Anglican Communion have in fact excommunicated others, but all are still in communion with Canterbury (this is what we mathematicians call a non-transitive relation). Similarly, in the case in point, after the above-mentioned schisms, there were sometimes/often/usually/always some people in communion with both sides at once. This was true until 1723/4, when the Holy Synod decreed excommunication for anyone reconciling with Rome. Only from that point are there 2 separate churches clearly defined. Peter Jackson 16:57, 28 October 2010 (UTC)
Gareth, I certainly agree with waiting for Thomas. I notice his contributions have been thin, though they do exist and he was still, as of a few days ago, a constable. If he doesn't comment in whatever you consider a reasoanble time you might consider emailing him. Peter Jackson 16:59, 28 October 2010 (UTC)
Over at the Unitarian-Universalist Meeting House, we don't have a problem with compartments; everything is accepted in the same compartment. :-) Howard C. Berkowitz 17:10, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

A summary of my contributions here (being a constable is not an issue since I have no such role here as an author) is that other points of view must be identified as such and the sources must be cited and they must be written as a coherent part of the text. The issue of the filioque is a good example. If representatives of the Orthodox Churches make statements in writing, I cite them as such or simply do not bring it up. I do point out feedback I get in the discussion as background notes to aid in interpreting what is meant. The real issue here is that simply stating differing opinions does not work. The statements must be identified by source. That is why I state who has made a particular statement and where. I simply choose Orthodox sources. This is pragmatic given the huge amount of material. Disagreement from non-Orthodox sources need to be identified. Sticking a conflicting statement in the middle of a text that draws from Bishop Ware is misleading and unethical. This approach has been used here and I have addressed this numerous times. Thomas Simmons 22:03, 31 October 2010 (UTC)

I'll leave it to Gareth to try to understand what that means and explain it to me. Peter Jackson 11:25, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, I should make that clearer. Most of what you say is clear in the abstract, but I've no idea what relevance it has to the issues under discussion. Peter Jackson 11:31, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
OK. That could mean we are not on the same page at all and have not correctly inferred/implied what we think is going on. Thomas Simmons 19:35, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

It may be worth noting for anyone trying to mediate or just to get an overview that this is not the only article involved. Some of the same issues, and the same players, appear in related articles such as Nicene Creed. Sandy Harris 00:54, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

Thomas, maybe you didn't notice Howard's complaint in the previous section that interpolating comments in the middle of other people's can be confusing.
Neutrality in things like this is basically quite simple. Instead of saying "This diverges from the original creed in which the Spirit is asserted to proceed from the Father exclusively" you say something like "In the opinion of the Orthodox Church, this diverges from the original creed in which, on their interpretation, the Spirit is asserted to proceed from the Father exclusively". There are many different ways of doing something like that, and Sandy and I have both made suggestions. But the basic point is straightforward: when something is disputed, you don't present it as unquestioned fact; you present it as someone's view. Peter Jackson 10:49, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
Placing comments - Yea old habit. Been doing this since the web actually started with chat pages. It has been used for about two decades to actually imitate an actual conversation. I have relocated a number of them. Which ones did I miss? Thomas Simmons 19:36, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
NB - I make the distinction about perspective from the Orthodox Church very clear when I wrote:
The Filioque, simply put, is a dogma in which the Holy Spirit (pneuma Theou)[22] proceeds from the Father and the Son. On the face of it, it merely looks like the addition of one word. Yet the underlying issue is far more complex. The Western Church contends that this merely clarifies the Creed. The Eastern Church, however, believes that the change is both significant and undesirable, since in their view the original Creed asserts that the Spirit proceeds from the Father exclusively.
It is their view. It is dogma. But it is their view.Thomas Simmons 20:52, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
I further elucidate this wider issue by noting in the article on the Creed:
Eastern Orthodox Bishop Kallistos Ware has also recognised that the filioque variant may be more semantical than doctrinaire. [10]Thomas Simmons 19:42, 2 November 2010 (UTC)


OK, let's pause on this discussion until I can find the time to get a grasp of the issues and points raised, unless anyone has a fresh point to add.Gareth Leng 12:15, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

As I've been reading through the article I've made many minor copy edits that should be uncontroversial, and some that are intended to simplify or clarify without losing or changing meaning. Please revert any changes at will if I have inadvertently done so. I'm just trying to understand the whole article, so the changes I've made are to make it clearer to me.Gareth Leng 12:25, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

Among the edits I've made, some need explaining or questioning: first, I've used Eastern Orthodox Church consistently as the Church title; it's explained that there are other names, but I find it confusing that different names are used in different places - I think it helps to call the same thing by the same name, but please check I didn't make a mistake (there's also an issue with the naming of the Western Church/Latin Church/Roman Church/Roman Catholic Church that I'd prefer resolved but haven't touched). Second, I've left dates as AD (not A.D.) and not used CE; CE is widely used on Citizendium but see no reason for forcing it on articles like this. Third, I've dropped a few things that seemed like asides into footnotes, as they seemed to break the flow badly. Fourth, I've added a line to state that the filioque was not adopted fully by Rome until 1014 - that for me made a lot more sense of this as a live issue in 1054. Fifth, I've tried to make it clear that certain things are particular to the Eastern Orthodox Church where I had some trouble in seeing that this was the case. I may have got these wrong. Sixth, I've done various bits of rewording that just seemed sensible, but tried hard to keep meaning.

I guess I came to some views that might (or might not) help. Part of the dispute is about neutrality - or rather about what constitutes neutrality in an article like this. Actually I consider both Thomas' position and Peter's perfectly reasonable approaches in principle to writing a neutral article. Coming to this article as a disinterested and ignorant reader, the key issue for me was less one of neutrality but of clarity - the content is so dominated by the disagreements between the Churches that it really has to be made clear exactly which beliefs are exclusive to the Eastern Orthodox and which are shared by the Roman Catholic Church. Thus for clarity and intelligibility, rather than for the sake of neutrality, it seems essential to be explicit about this. I don't think we particularly need arguments here from the Roman Catholic perspective, and I don't see problems with using mainly Orthodox sources, but we do need statements that qualify particular things as being 'as interpreted by' or 'as understood by' the Orthodox Church wherever these are not common to both. I've tried to do some minor rearrangements and inserted qualifications - these were really done to help me understand things rather than in any attempt at balance. However, there are still several places where franly I'm unsure whether the article is talking about interpretations common to both or exlusively Orthodox.

On the detail of sources. In some places I found these intrusive - the multiple references to Ware especially. This is an expert led encyclopedia, so we don't need dense sourcing. That's not to say we forbid it, and there may be good offsetting reasons, and it's certainly excellent practice to do as Thomas has done and closely sorce everything at first. However, there is a virtue in then thinning down: when I see something referenced, it is a flag that the point needs substantiation - i.e. that it might be controversial or disputed. When uncontroversial things are referenced it dilutes this message - our attention is not drawn to the key contentious issues where expert resolution is needed. If the points referenced to Ware are indeed controversial then I would be very worried that a single source is relied on for so many controversial points. I'd thus prefer that these were thinned out. The Wikipedia reference I deleted - we don't reference that because versions are not stable, and because their strength wholly rests on their sources, that we would be better quoting instead. In the particular case I just thought it was redundant.

On the question of historical judgements relating to 1054; that may have to wait for a History expert - I'd suggest confining these issues to a single section so that it's more feasible to get a swiftish expert view on that alone. I think there's no cause for dispute about actual events, only about their impact, and about the weight given to them in this article. I can see that it is possible (for example) that events regarded as insignificant by the Roman side may be seen as monumental by the Orthodox side - if that is the case, well that can be said, and if that is said, then the Orthodox perceptions might reasonably be given prominence here.Gareth Leng 18:41, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

That was a lot of work Gareth. Looks good. Your point that, "we do need statements that qualify particular things as being 'as interpreted by' or 'as understood by' the Orthodox Church wherever these are not common to both," is quite true. I have tried to make this clear when context may be confusing but it is bound to get complicated whilst writing and needs to be amended from time to time. Thomas Simmons 20:31, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
It's not so much a matter of "events regarded as insignificant by the Roman side may be seen as monumental by the Orthodox side". Rather, the "mythology" or whatever you want to call it of both churches says they split in 1054, and has said that since the 14th century, but modern historical research into the actual contemporary sources for the 11th to 13th centuries shows that's not so. Peter Jackson 10:48, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
Not sure what you are going on about here. Clearly the opinions raised in the article attribute the split or alienation to a long chain of events in a time before internet and fossil fueled transport - things happened at a much slower pace. 1054 was a seminal year to participants, involved major players in the saga at a time of turmoil and confusion and like just about everything in history that grows with retelling, it has loomed large in the minds of both churches for sometime and cast a long shadow in the literature. Thomas Simmons 20:19, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
How many times do I have to explain? Are there any specialist historians who claim 1054 was the most important stage in the process? There are certainly a number who say it wasn't. The article as it stands gives the impression that it was. Peter Jackson 10:51, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
clearly within the Church that is currently widely regarded as a significant date, and that perspectve needs to be explained. The view of historians also needs to be expressed and explained, and there's no call for the article to decide between these. We just report what the different views are. Assessing the relative weight will have to wait for expert eyes. But don't hold back from adding to the article to explain other views/ perspectives on these events.Gareth Leng 17:19, 6 November 2010 (UTC)
I doubt we're dealing here with an actual church dogma saying the historians have got it wrong. It's more a matter of mythology or folklore. The churches, like most non-specialists, are simply ignorant of what historians have discovered. But of course that mythology must be mentioned. Peter Jackson 10:50, 8 November 2010 (UTC)

Next step

Well, Gareth seems to have done what he can. The next step seems to be the EC. (There's no need for an interim ruling from the ME because there's no edit war going on.) Before we go there I want to post a bit more source material. Peter Jackson 16:16, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

Chadwick, East and West, Oxford University Press, 2003:

page 212: [1054] "There was no excommunication of the Pope, though eventually it came to be supposed that that was what the patriarch had done."

Peter Jackson 16:20, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

page 213: "Peter III of Antioch (1052–6) deplored Michael's letter [to him about the events of 1054] and held a strongly unionist position."

Peter Jackson 16:22, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

page 214: "Peter of Antioch radically disagreed with Michael Cerularius. He had no intention of removing the Pope's name from the diptychs ... What had lately occurred at Constantinople was deplorable and shocking, but exchanges of calculated offensiveness between Cerularius and Humbert did not amount to a formal breach between the Latin and Greek churches. The fracas did not appear to Peter sufficient ground for refusing to acknowledge the Pope's honour as first bishop ..."

Peter Jackson 16:27, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

page 216: "Granted that the outcome was not in the full and formal sense a schism, it was nevertheless a declaration of cold civil war in the Church, an inauguration of mutual deep freeze."

Peter Jackson 16:29, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

page 222: "[Pope] Urban [II] asked the emperor [Alexius Comnenus] if perhaps there was a schism of which no one had told him; to the best of his knowledge there had been no canonical decision to that effect. ... He received the answer that indeed there was no schism ..."

Peter Jackson 16:32, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

page 223: "The Greek patriarch and bishops accepted their emperor's view that no state of schism existed."

Peter Jackson 16:34, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

A couple of corrections and clarifications of earlier material. Runciman's account of the events at Jerusalem is that, after the Crusaders deposed the Greek patriarch and replaced him with a Latin, the Greek succession effectively disppeared. That is, though there must have been a succesion of Greek patriarchs, there's [virtually] no mention of them in contemporary douments, so they must have had very little following. De facto, the Latin patriarch was accepted throughout the patriarchate, so there was no real local schism [though presumably Constantinople continued to recognize the Greek succession]. This changed only after Saladin retook Jerusalem, and the Greek patriarch reappeared. Peter Jackson 16:42, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

I looked into this sometime back and never put my findings here. The Apostalic Succession has probably been decimated a number of times. What happens is that the responsibility and the lineage reverts to the remaining clergy who have themselves received their appointment by those in a direct link to the Apostles: Patriarchs appoint Metropolitans, who in turn appoint Bishops who appoint priests who appoint deacons. In this way an entire succession can be preserved by some guy hiding in a small village or isolated monastery in Asia Minor until the situation changes. This has happened a number of times, for example, when the Russian Church supplanted Romanian, Ukrainian, Georgian and a number of other jurisdictions. It happened when Rome overran numerous jurisdictions during the crusades and much later. It was common when the Ottomans were taking large tracks of land in the Balkans and on the Greek peninsula. It also happened when the Church of Rome appointed its own jurisdiction in Russia in the 16th century. The local clergy simply walked out and maintained the line of succession even when Bishops and Metropolitans are imprisoned, martyred or otherwise compromised. It is not unusual for the lower hierarchies to counter decisions from the Patriarchal or Metropolitan level either. In this way, the Succession is maintained at the local level in small churches. Thomas Simmons 21:09, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

The other point is the later events at Antioch. I subsequently found a more specialized source, which therefore supersedes the less specialized sources I used earlier: Frazee [sic], Catholics and Sultans. Here's the gist:

  • in 1716, Patriarch Cyril V signed a declaration of Catholic faith sent him by the Pope [presumably he was thereafter in communion with both Rome and Constantinople]
  • after his death in 1722, his successor Athanasius III went to Constantinople and got the patriarch and Holy Synod to decree excommunication for anyone reconciling with Rome
  • after his death in 1724 there was a disputed election for his successor [Frazee doesn't comment on the question of canonical validity of either election]; one contender became the Eastern Orthodox patriarch, the other the Melchite/Greek Catholic one; the clergy and laity split, but the Sultan awarded all church property to the Orthodox side

Peter Jackson 16:49, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

Hi Peter. I don't see a problem with you correcting, amplifying and developing the historical perspective in the section on 1054 and the last section (I've sectionalised this provisionally as "Later Developments"). There certainly can't be any objection to you adding well sourced detail like the above. I think if there should be any dispute about historical fact then it will be confined to these two sections, making it easier to focus on and get an expert view. But it will be better to get an expert view on specific things in these two sections that need to be decided between, if necessary. But I suspect it should be possible to expand these in a way you're both happy with. (if agreed, by acknowledging that one version of certain events is Church dogma and another the contemporary historical perspective).Gareth Leng 18:02, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
I refer back to my #Attempted summary above.
On the first issue, as far as I can tell Thomas has never actually agreed to Sandy's wording. He objected to it but didn't revert it. I can't find that he's ever withdrawn his objections. So it seems to me there's still a dispute.
On the second issue, yes, your proposal would be one way to go. My concern there is that this would devote far too much of the article to the topic of the schism. Thomas actually agrees with me there ([6]). But again, he seems never to have actually agreed to any other solution either.
Peter Jackson 11:21, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
Just because people disagree, there's not a problem - if people are willing to concede on certain points or compromise, we needn't hunt for everyone to agree to everything; that would be unreasonable. Thomas stated his objections but didn't seek to impose them, as I would expect from a conscientious and good intentioned contributor. Maybe Sandy can confirm he's considered them, and has either modified or stands by that wording. If Thomas still wants that wording reviewed, we should log this as an issue to be decided by an expert editor; Sandy's wording should I think stand pending that decision.
On the second issue; take it bit by bit. The last section on Later developments clearly isn't adequate - whether it needs to be added to, trimmed down or reworded I wouldn't know, but can you rewrite that in a way you think appropriate and let's just see if Thomas has anything to add or debate?
The section on the schism - OK, it's your joint assessment that the length is right but you're uncertain about the content. How about you placing an alternative version of that section, in due course (in your own good time), here on the Talk page, and we can compare (and perhaps more importantly, an expert editor can compare)Gareth Leng 13:32, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
I may do that. It might be 2 versions, as I said above there are 2 different ways of dealing with this. But bear in mind that the reason you're involved is that there are no expert editors. Peter Jackson 17:54, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
On looking quickly through the present state of the section, I see you seem to have rewritten things to meet a lot of my concerns. I'll have a more detailed look when I have more time. Peter Jackson 18:44, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
I have of course read Thomas's comments, but I stand by my wording. It was an attempt to fix what I saw as a glaring neutrality problem; it may not be the ideal wording, but at least it does that. Sandy Harris 00:38, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
I agree entirely.
On the schism question, one way of dealing with it might be to write the schism article first, where there should be no problem in putting everything important in, and then discuss how to summarize it in this article. Peter Jackson 10:46, 19 November 2010 (UTC)


OK, here's a rough suggestion.

By the 14th century, both churches had come to suppose that, in 1054, Pope Leo IX and Ecumenical Patriarch Michael Cerularius had excommunicated each other and the two churches had been separate ever since. Modern historical research shows this tradition to be mistaken. In fact, Leo had died and his successor not yet elected when the events happened, and it was his legate, Cardinal Humbert of Savoy, and Michael who issued mutual anathemas. The legate's authority after the Pope's death is doubtful, as is whether these events constituted a schism. If they did, it was both local and temporary. Patriarch Peter III of Antioch (1052-6) refused to split with Rome, and a few decades later Pope Urban II and Eastern Emperor Alexius Comnenus, supported by his Patriarch and clergy, agreed there was no schism.

However, when the First Crusade (1095-9) captured Antioch and Jerusalem, the crusaders deposed the Greek patriarchs and replaced them with Latins, and these actions were ratified by the Pope. There was then a schism between Rome and those Greek patriarchs. The same thing happened at Constantinople in the Fourth Crusade in 1204.

Even after this, Alexandria remained in communion with both sides for some time, and there were a number of short-lived reunions between Rome and one or other Eastern patriarchate over the ensuing centuries. The last of these was with Antioch in the early 18th century. Following this, the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church decreed excommunication for anyone reconciling with Rome. This in turn was followed by a disputed election for Patriarch of Antioch in 1724, resulting in a split of the patriarchate into Orthodox and Catholic patriarchates. From that point on, the two churches have been entirely separate.

In 1729, the Pope forbade sharing of worship and sacraments with the Orthodox, and in 1755 the Orthodox Church decreed that Catholics converting to Orthodoxy must be rebaptized. More recently there has been some movement in the opposite direction. In 1965, Pope Paul VI and Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras publicly cancelled the events of 1054. The Vatican has allowed the Latin patriarchates of Constantinople, Alexandria and Antioch to lapse, though that of Jerusalem continues, as do various Eastern-rite ("Uniate") patriarchates.

Comments? Peter Jackson 11:40, 8 February 2011 (UTC)

Sounds like other sources I have looked at. The last bit rings true but I have not got sources. There were the actions taken, in 1964 if memory serves, when all anathemas were withdrawn by the Ecumenical Patriarch and the Pope at their respective places. What sources are we going to quote? Thomas Simmons 17:14, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

As you seem basically happy with it I've now imported it into the article, though of course it can be adjusted later.

This isn't Wikipedia. We don't usually cite sources in articles. The EC recently confirmed that existing policies like that remain in force till they get round to changing them. You can suggest something to them if you like. As an editor you should get your suggestions taken seriously. Peter Jackson 11:01, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

Still want to see those sources. Otherwise it looks like we are just making it up. Given the controversial nature of the subject and its limited number of scholars, it would be a good idea to make sure the reader knows where we are coming from. Thomas Simmons 19:39, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

One problem with this rather large deletion of text is that the text replacing it is primarily focused on the Church of Rome. While it is important to include their interactions, the view point of the EOC has been abrogated, the issues that are still considered relevant dropped or glossed over and the underlying reasons have been pretty much eliminated, not what the article is meant to do. This is fine for an article on the Roman Church, it is hardly fair to the topic here. Let's stick to the topic and reinstate the text deleted, retain the new text and make sure the altered perspective is incorporated in the relevant articles. Thomas Simmons 19:52, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

You can't just change policy unilaterally, particularly in a subject where you're not an editor. And I can't see anything in the text that's particularly controversial. Indeed, that's to some extent deliberate. I tried to stick to the basic facts and avoid all the doctrinal complexities. This article is about the EOC, not the schism, and I think it should have only a brief account of that, which is what I tried to write. Peter Jackson 09:57, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
Not sure why you said 'change policy unilaterally'. Without sources, there is no way an editor or a reader can ascertain whether this is a personal view or was derived from credible sources. Neutrality may be impugned unless we can show it is sourced outside. That is not a change of policy. Is that what you were referring to? Meanwhile, unless I read you wrong here, the causes for the schism, doctrinal or otherwise, are not de facto, not facts. Thomas Simmons 03:38, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
I'm not sure what you mean by "primarily focused on the Church of Rome". It's not their point of view. In fact, I think most neutral (e.g. Protestant or atheist) readers of this account would conclude that the Pope was largely to blame. The main cause of the schism was his attempts to impose his authority on the East. He'd been claiming supremacy at least since the 3rd century, but till he started trying to enforce it the East just ignored it. Peter Jackson 10:01, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
Whether one can say it is their point of view or it is a description of events, it is still pretty much focused on what the Church of Rome was doing.Thomas Simmons 03:38, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
The policy is given at [[7]].
It's mainly focused on what Rome did because those actions were the main causes of the schism. Indeed, thinking about it further, I suspect even Catholic historians would admit that the Pope's tactics were unwise. In the case of the Protestant schism the papal legate to the Council of Trent at one point said that if the shepherds had been doing their job properly it would not have been possible for so many of the sheep to stray. I dare say they'd say the same here.
You're correct to say that causes are not "facts" sensu stricto. Nevertheless there seems from the citations above to be a consensus that the Crusades were the main cause. Peter Jackson 09:37, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
This area is hardly common knowledge. The sources, while hardly unique - though sometimes they could be - are in a very limited field of study unlike say, high school biology. Much of it is , i.e. could be implausible, and are certainly controversial. And they are central to the article.
"See Help:Citation style. We expect citations in about the same quantity as in academic encyclopedias. Citations are not usually needed for information that is common knowledge among experts. But the following categories of claims generally do need citation:
  • direct quotations
  • claims with unique sources (such as survey results, or the finding of a particular paper)
  • implausible-sounding but well-established claims
  • claims central to the article
Thomas Simmons 18:50, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
You could indeed interpret the 3rd point, "implausible-sounding", as including "contrary to popular beliefs". I'm not unsympathetic to that interpretation. On that basis, the article might include citations for the following:
  1. Humbert's excommunication/anathematization of Michael was delivered after the Pope's death so may well have been invalid
  2. He didn't explicitly excommunicate/anathematize the whole eastern church, though he did refer to Michael's supporters.
  3. Michael's response explicitly mentioned that the Pope was dead (but not the legal point) and excommunicated/anathematized only Humbert and his colleagues, not the Pope or the western church.
  4. It's doubtful whether this constituted a schism.
  5. Peter of Antioch refused to break with Rome.
  6. Urban II and Alexius Comnenus (backed by his patriarch and clergy) agreed there was no schism.
  7. The Crusades were the main cause of the schism.
  8. It wasn't complete till 1724.
Now, if you look back over this page you'll find citations already supplied for (almost) all of this. We can put them in the article if you like. Peter Jackson 09:44, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
"Without sources, there is no way an editor or a reader can ascertain whether this is a personal view or was derived from credible sources. Neutrality may be impugned unless we can show it is sourced outside."
That's the Wikipedia approach, which is a bit naive. What you call "credible sources" and they call "reliable sources" are often wrong and often contradict each other. Outside sourcing therefore doesn't guarantee neutrality. There are plenty of sourced statements on Wikipedia that are wrong or contested, either because the editors who inserted them weren't aware of that or because they deliberately suppressed views they didn't like. Peter Jackson 09:49, 7 April 2011 (UTC)


Hello all--

Sorry to be away during the debate about this article. I may do some reading and try to see if there's a way we can refine the section on the 'Schism With Rome.' I still think there's some work to be done there. (It's nowhere near as clear as the relevant sections in the Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium, for example-- not that we will be able to match Kazhdan.) We haven't talked about the azymes issue-- which was important for the eleventh century schism-- and we haven't talked about resentment for the opposite church lower down in the church hierarchies, which was of central importance in later efforts at reconciliation.

But that's in the future. For the moment, as a minor matter, let me suggest that we bring our spelling of Byzantine names into line with the spellings in the Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium. (Thus Keroularios instead of Cerularius.) These spellings are fast becoming the standard for English language scholarship, with only a handful of hold-outs. Thanks, Brian P. Long 21:00, 5 September 2011 (UTC)

It's long been the practice to use Greek spellings for modern Greek names. From what you say it's quickly becoming so for mediaeval ones too. Maybe they'll eventually displace Latin ones even for ancient Greek.
On the schism, bear in mind that we don't want a long and detailed account in this article. A separate article is obviously desirable. Azymes were indeed an important issue in the 11th century, but bear in mind also that it's disputed whether there ever was an actual schism in the 11th century. Anyway, it's the sort of issue one has to be careful to avoid projecting back present-day attitudes on. Rome now considers Eastern and Western practices on this (and clerical celibacy) equally valid, but did it do so then? Peter of Antioch certainly said such differences of practice weren't important. Peter Jackson 17:03, 8 September 2011 (UTC)
It's certainly true that it was resentment lower down that torpedoed the reunions of Lyons and Florence, but I think this was mainly a matter for Constantinople. I can't say offhand whether the other patriarchates were involved in those reunions, but we have to avoid here, again, projecting back the present-day situation, where the four Eastern patriarchates act as a unit. In fact, for centuries they split and reunited with Rome more or less independently of each other. Peter Jackson 17:10, 8 September 2011 (UTC)
Hey Peter-- Why don't we go ahead and start a separate, more expansive article on the schism, and once we have that in decent shape we can decide what should go in this article. I've been gathering bibliography, and I will post it on a subpage once the article's up. Should we call this article "Schism of 1054"? Brian P. Long 03:02, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
Certainly not. As I said just above, it's disputed whether there actually was a schism in 1054. There could of course be a more specialized article on the events of that year, but I think a general article on the Great Eastern Schism would be more useful to start with. That would be one possible title. Peter Jackson 09:44, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
Any suggestions should be discussed with Thomas before being acted on. Peter Jackson 16:56, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
  1. [ARTICLE/CHAPTER TITLE] Author, (Year), Journal/Book Title, City:Publisher.