EIGHTH CENTURY

ICONOCLASTS: A sect stirred up and supported by Leo the Isaurian who used his influence and power as Emperor to wage a bitter war against the veneration of sacred images of all kinds. This outbreak commenced about the year 723 and led to much violence.
      The Iconoclasts held that the veneration of sacred images was idolatry. This error was condemned by the Second Council of Nice in the year 787.

ADOPTIONISTS: A sect whose origin is attributed to Elipandus Archbishop of Toledo, Spain.
     They held a double sonship in Christ; one by generation and nature, and the other by adoption and grace. Christ as God is indeed the Son of God by generation and nature, but Christ as man is Son of God only by adoption and grace. Hence they maintained "The Man Christ" to be the adoptive, and not the natural, Son of God.

NINTH CENTURY

GREEK-RUSSIAN: This independent church is the result of what is known in history as the "Greek Schism". Its origin dates from the time of Photius, a high official in the civil service of the Byzantine government, distinguished for his learning and literary taste. In 858, on the deposition of Ignatius, he was hurried through all the ecclesiastical degrees and installed by the Emperor Michael III as Patriarch of Constantinople. Pope Nicholas I objected to the irregularities of Photius' elevation, and convoked a council at Rome which deposed and excommunicated him. Photius then gave the conflict a doctrinal turn and brought about conditions that paved the way for the Schism between the Eastern and Western Churches. Photius was deposed and sent into exile several times, the last being in 886, and a few years later died in an Armenian monastery. The schism commenced by him, although suppressed several times, continues to the present day.
      The Greek Orthodox Church or, more correctly, the Orthodox Eastern Church, denies the supremacy of the Pope; holds that the Catholic Church erred in prescribing celibacy for the clergy, and teaches that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father alone.

 

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Last edited March 17, 1998