How extensive was Eastern Orthodoxy immediately after the 1054 split?

Basic question: How pervasive was Eastern Orthodoxy compared to (Western) Catholicism immediately after the East/West schism?

Another way of asking: After the 1054 schism, was there ever a time when there were more Orthodox than Catholics?

Today, there are far more Catholics in the world than Orthodox, which may give the impression that Orthodoxy is a an offshoot of Catholicism (and not the other way around). Currently, around 1.2 billion Catholics and about 300 million Orthodox. Has the proportion always been similar? I know that a lot of the Catholic numbers come from the Americas, which come so much later than the initial split.

So could it have been there were actually more Orthodox than Catholics at one time, sometime in the 11th century or after?

Numbers don’t tell the whole story, but I do wonder: what was the extent of Catholicism (under papal authority) compared to Eastern Christianity that went into schism? What lands were thoroughly Catholic right after the split (11th century)? Obviously plenty of Western European lands. But did Orthodoxy also have a firm hold on many of the lands we consider Eastern Europe and the Near East at this time—beyond Constantinople? Some Orthodox give the impression that Rome was the odd man out, while everyone else remained orthodox.

Obviously, distinctly Catholic and Orthodox lands would go on to influence other peoples. So, for instance, I believe Russia was heavily influenced by Eastern Orthodoxy only after the split (but that may be wrong). But you get the idea.

Historically speaking, a condensed 1st 400 years

The Church has been Catholic from the 1st century. The English word Catholic is a transliteration of the Greek katholikos which is a compound word from kata, which means according to, and holos, which means whole. catholic.com/tracts/what-catholic-means

So one THEN can ask, where does kata holos appear in scripture and particularly kata holos ekklesia ?

Acts 9:31 the church throughout all ἐκκλησία,καθ’,ὅλης ,τῆς ,Judea and Galilee and Sama’ria…" = Kataholos Church.

Ignatius was Bishop of Antioch from ~69 a.d. to ~107 a.d. He was ordained by the apostles, and was a direct disciple of St John. It was in Antioch where the disciples were first called Christian Acts 11:26 . And Ignatius in his writings uses both “Christian” and “Catholic Church” in his writings.
[LIST]
*]St Ignatius, uses Christian (ch 2) and Catholic Church (ch 8) Epistle to the Smyrnæans of which schismatics won’t be going to heaven Epistle to the Philadelphians (ch 3) . As an aside, where would Ignatius learn to teach that warning and corresponding consequence for one’s soul, for commiting and remaining in the sin of schism / division from the Catholic Church? Paul condemned division / dissention from the Church Romans 16:17-20 , Galatians 5:19-21 and Jesus does NOT approve of division in His Church John 17:20-23 , and since the HS only teaches what comes from Jesus John 16:12-15 no one can say the HS inspired all the division we see today in Christianity. There is no expiration date to that warning and condemnation
*]St Polycarp, Bp Smyrna, disciple of St John called the Church the “Catholic Church” The Martyrdom of Polycarp
*]Muratorian canon earlychristianwritings.co…uratoria n.html uses authority of “Catholic Church”
*]Irenaeus ~180 a.d. wrote “Against Heresies” called the Church the “Catholic Church” Adversus haereses [Bk 1 [URL=“http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0103110.htm”]Chapter 10 v 3], and also Irenaeus who was taught by Polycarp, teaches all must agree with Rome [Bk 3, [URL=“http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0103303.htm”]Chapter 3, v 2-3]
*]Cyprian~250 a.d. calls the Church the Catholic Church Epistle 54
*]The Nicene Creed, 325 a.d., it’s a matter of faith to believe in the “One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church”
*]Augustine ~395 There are many other things that most justly keep me in her * bosom. . . . The succession of priests keeps me, beginning from the very seat of the Apostle Peter, to whom the Lord, after His resurrection, gave it in charge to feed His sheep, down to the present episcopate. And so, lastly, does the name itself of Catholic, which, not without reason, amid so many heresies, the Church has thus retained; so that, though all heretics wish to be called Catholics, yet when a stranger asks where the Catholic Church meets, no heretic will venture to point to his own chapel or house.Against the Epistle of Manichaeus Called Fundamental (ch 5 v6)
*]etc
[/LIST]
The same Church Pope Francis is over today, 266th successor to St Peter.

Jesus started one Church. The Catholic Church. He gave all His promises to His Church. Jesus does NOT approve of division in His Church John 17:20-23 , and since the HS only teaches what comes from Jesus John 16:12-15 no one can say the HS inspired them to divide from the Catholic Church especially when considering the scandal of all the division we see that is called Protestantism. As you can see from the links above from Paul, which ultimately came from Jesus, division is condemned as are those who do it and remain in it. For 2000 years division from the Catholic Church has been condemned. There is no expiration date to that. I’m thinking why would ANYONE go against Jesus?

Re: Orthodox Church, when is the first time in history, properly referenced, that we see the name Orthodox Church in writing*

It is very difficult to guess at the numbers of Christians because so much of the then Christian world was under Moslem invasion and occupation at the time. Italy and Asia Minor/Constantinople were among the few exceptions.

v 3], and also Irenaeus who was taught by Polycarp, teaches all must agree with Rome [Bk 3, [URL=“http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0103303.htm”]Chapter 3, v 2-3]
*]Cyprian~250 a.d. calls the Church the Catholic Church Epistle 54
*]The Nicene Creed, 325 a.d., it’s a matter of faith to believe in the “One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church”
*]Augustine ~395 There are many other things that most justly keep me in her * bosom. . . . The succession of priests keeps me, beginning from the very seat of the Apostle Peter, to whom the Lord, after His resurrection, gave it in charge to feed His sheep, down to the present episcopate. And so, lastly, does the name itself of Catholic, which, not without reason, amid so many heresies, the Church has thus retained; so that, though all heretics wish to be called Catholics, yet when a stranger asks where the Catholic Church meets, no heretic will venture to point to his own chapel or house.Against the Epistle of Manichaeus Called Fundamental (ch 5 v6)
*]etc
[/LIST]
The same Church Pope Francis is over today, 266th successor to St Peter.

Jesus started one Church. The Catholic Church. He gave all His promises to His Church. Jesus does NOT approve of division in His Church John 17:20-23 , and since the HS only teaches what comes from Jesus John 16:12-15 no one can say the HS inspired them to divide from the Catholic Church especially when considering the scandal of all the division we see that is called Protestantism. As you can see from the links above from Paul, which ultimately came from Jesus, division is condemned as are those who do it and remain in it. For 2000 years division from the Catholic Church has been condemned. There is no expiration date to that. I’m thinking why would ANYONE go against Jesus?

Re: Orthodox Church, when is the first time in history, properly referenced, that we see the name Orthodox Church in writing*

I like and appreciate this information but don’t really think it relates to the question.

Hmmm okay then how about the lands/nations?
What areas of the world were Catholic in the 11th century (after schism) and which lands were specifically Orthodox in their rejection of the papacy?

I’m just trying to better understand the origin and spread of Orthodoxy.

Also, how come when I try to find a diagram of church history or chart of church divisions on Google Images, every single one shows the “Roman Catholic Church” splitting off of the Orthodox or “One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church”?

By the 11th century Western Europe was Christian. Sure, there were non-Christians, but the kingdoms were pretty much Catholic.

Scandinavia was the last major part of Western Europe to be Christianized, and that started in the 8th century, with Archdioceses being established there in the 12th century.

The “Orthodox” are really two different groups. The Eastern Orthodox and the Oriental Orthodox. The Eastern Orthodox were the ones who split in 11th century. The Oriental Orthodox split in the 5th century.

In regards to Russia, Saint Cyril and Saint Methodius translated The Bible into Old Slavic back in the 9th century, which paved the way for large numbers of conversions in Russia. The 9th century is also when Russia received her first Bishop.

All of these people were Catholic. They were Byzantine Rite, but still 100% Catholic.

NOTE: The Eastern Orthodox is not an offshoot of the Catholic Church, nor is the Catholic Church an off shoot of the Orthodox. The Church was split in half (mostly by Rite) due to mainly political reasons. The whole Church was under the Pope before the Schism.

Furthermore, Eastern Orthodoxy has not spread since the Schism. Sure, they have missions for the people in diaspora, but the Eastern Orthodox have expanded beyond their “territory” before the Schism. Constantinople was the Patriarchy that was originally supposed to evangelize the unchurched lands after the Schisms of the Church of the East and the Oriental Orthodox, but they really never did, expect for Eastern Europe. However, it’s important to note that the Eastern Churches were being invaded and taken over by Islam, so much so that the first Crusade was a response by the West to requests for help from the Patriarch of Constantinople.

In closing, the only Apostolic Church to truly evangelize the nations (before and after each Schism) was the Catholic Church, who has evangelized the nations all over the world.

God Bless

Depends on what you mean by “Roman Catholic Church”

If you mean the Roman Rite, then yes, the Roman Rite was not first. However, the Church of Rome (Diocese of Rome) was founded by St. Peter.

The first 3 of the 5 orginal Patriarchies were Antioch, Alexandra and Rome. Jerusalem and Constantinople were not upgraded to Patriarchies until approx. the 4th century.

You have to remember, that Roman Catholics just a part (though today the largest part) of the “Catholic Church”

The Catholic Church consists of Roman Rite Catholics, Byzantine Rite Catholics, Maronite Catholics, Syriac Rite Catholics, Ethiopian Rite Catholics

This is a good video done by high school students: youtube.com/watch?v=Vu6XtvFL5_4

Here is another video on Armenian Catholic Church - youtube.com/watch?v=5iY4yk3Y1QA

And here is one on the Byzantine Catholics youtube.com/watch?v=n3zurm-jcVU

Finally - let me pose a question. If the Catholic Church is not the true Church of Christ, then why is it that the Catholic Church alone is the one the devil and the secular world targets first? Why is it that when bashing the Sacraments and the Blessed Virgin Mary, people only attack the Catholic Church and not any of the other groups who believe in the Sacraments and honor the Mother of God?

I pray this is helpful. God Bless

This map is probably accurate as to the situation in 1054.

How extensive it was in comparing East and West is beyond my knowledge.

looys.net/files/rites.gif

This is a graph that I obtained from another member on these forums username Vico. It is my understanding (which could be incorrect) that there are branches of the orthodox churches that either never separated from Rome or who reunited with Rome and are therefore no longer called “Orthodox”, rather they are part of the Catholic Church who celebrate the Eastern Rites of the Liturgy even though others that use the same rites are part of the “Orthodox Churches” who remain separated.

Good luck trying to find a definitive answer.

Everybody has an agenda.

  • We have to be careful not to project backwards to 1054 categories that became evident long afterwards. How many Christians in 1054 were aware a “split” happened. 1%?

  • You are right, numbers don’t tell the story of who split off from whom. It is possible 80% of the room might get up and walk out.

  • “Eastern Orthodox Churches” are not the same thing as “Eastern Rite Christianity”. Many Eastern Rite Christians are in union with the pope. There is a branch of “Western Orthodox” Christians. How many people in 1054 would have identified themselves as belonging to “Eastern Orthodox Church” in whatever local language?

  • Given the level of communications and transportation at that time, my guess is that most people simply went on worshipping at the local parish for generations. Their descendants were classified under new categories.

:shrug: My bad, I should have been clearer by highlighting the text I was responding to

when you wrote

"today, there are far more Catholics in the world than Orthodox, **which may give the impression that Orthodoxy is a an offshoot of Catholicism (and not the other way around). Currently, around 1.2 billion Catholics and about 300 million Orthodox. Has the proportion always been similar? I know that a lot of the Catholic numbers come from the Americas, which come so much later than the initial split ".

That’s why I gave a condensed history (1st 400 years) of Christianity (Catholicism and the Catholic Church) all properly referenced as an answer to address your point.

That said, I’ve been asking the following question in many different ways for years on these forums, with no answer…yet. I’ve gotten some opinions, but without references properly referenced, the question remains unanswered…that is, so far.

*When is the first time in history, in writing, properly referenced, where/when we see the name “Orthodox Church”

On the contrary, historically speaking #2 , the Church was and is ALWAYS the Catholic Church. That is what makes it Catholic, it’s the same worldwide, united to the pope, successor to Peter. That’s why we profess faith in the creed, “I believe in One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church”. Divisions, were and always have been, condemned in scripture and Tradition

RE: the qualifier Roman, that has a certain history as well Roman Catholic

So how did this entire eastern region go with the Orthodox side of the schism? Did they all just automatically disagree with the west’s view of papal primacy? Were those eastern areas influenced by Constantinople?

For example, did Alexandria and Antioch and other ancient Eastern Christian communities side with Orthodox because these areas were “controlled” by Constantinople? Or did they independlty agree?

What would the typical Eastern Christian layman or church man have thought of the bishop of Rome?

So how did this entire eastern region go with the Orthodox side of the schism? Did they all just automatically disagree with the west’s view of papal primacy? Were those eastern areas influenced by Constantinople?

There was a division between the Eastern, Greek speaking, and the Western, Latin, church long before 1054.

For example, did Alexandria and Antioch and other ancient Eastern Christian communities side with Orthodox because these areas were “controlled” by Constantinople?

The Eastern, Greek speaking, church was under the Patriarch of Constantinople. Alexandria was Coptic. Some Eastern Christians, such as the Maronites, consider that they never broke communion with Rome. Some later came back into communion. The largest Eastern Orthodox group, by far, is the Russian Orthodox Church, which developed after 1054, and is more or less independent of Constantinople.

What would the typical Eastern Christian layman or church man have thought of the bishop of Rome?

The average Eastern layman probably didn’t know who the Bishop of Rome was. There was a history of Rome-Constantinople conflict that Eastern presbyters would have known of.

With regard to the last point - but would they have understood the importance of his office, e.g., his primacy?

catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?id=1355

Byzantium and the Roman Primacy

by Francis Dvornik

To answer that, I’d like to provide the following

It always in some way has to do with authority and obedience to authority.

#50**, **all internal links in that link, are operational

I could be wrong about this, but I believe I recall reading, perhaps in Gibbon, that at the time of the schism the east as a whole was more populous than the west. But that did not take long to change because the eastern empire was unstable, and its extent depended on its military success from time to time against the Arabs and the Turks. After 1054, the eastern empire shrunk very significantly, and within 100 years. The west was also unstable, politically, but not theocratic in the same way the east was, where the church and state were essentially the same entity. So after the Arian heresy declined after about the 7th Century, Latin Christianity was very much predominant in western and central Europe.

It’s also true that the Oriental Orthodox, which prevailed in much of the Byzantine lands, had already split from both Latin and Greek Christianity. So, the strictly “Greek” part of the eastern church (which included a good deal of Muscovy by then) probably did not outnumber the “Latin” part all by itself.

Not all that informative, I guess, but I think that’s the case.

To my further understanding, the relationship was not all that bad at first, and there were at least two attempts at reconciliation. But after the Turks conquered Byzantium, the relationship went downhill. Also, since, after the fall of Constantinople, the Russian branch of Eastern Orthodoxy became dominant. Russia and the west almost never got along, and Eastern Orthodoxy followed suit in that hostility. Interestingly, Poland was caught between the Slavs and the Teutons, with a Slavic language and ethnicity, but with a Catholic and western orientation, but viewing the Teutonic peoples with suspicion. So, Poland adopted a sort of “third way” of cultural association with southwestern Europe; a sort of “Mediterranean” cultural overlay.

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