Issue of celibacy causing the great schism?

How significant was the issue of mandatory clerical celibacy in relation to the great schism between east and west? Was it one of the top 3 reasons? Does the issue hinder a possible re-unification?

Cardinal Humbert cited it as a reason why Greeks were heretics, but given that the Western Church has come to terms with it as a discipline which differs in the East I don’t think it’s an issue. The East doesn’t particularly care about the marital status of priests in the West prior to ordination.

Humbert was wrong. On a great many things. He also cited bearded clerics as heresy. Suffice it to say he was exactly the wrong man to send.

Actually he did not. He didn’t actually declare practices to be heretical, but more obliquely referred to the sowing of seeds (tares) of heresy. Moreover on beards, the issue was the not the Greek practice, but their rejection of the practice of the Latins:

… and because they grow the hair on their head and beards, they will not receive
in communion those who tonsure their hair and shave their beards following the decreed practice of the Roman Church.

This of course is how the mess got started, with the Patriarch launching an offensive against various Latin practices. He also was wrong for the job.

Given how much he made up I have a bit of trouble believing that.

Who is “he”, and what did he make up?
What is “that”?

Haha. That is the funniest thing I’ve read all day.

And, as I noted, not true.

I spoke to a ROCOR priest when I was an inquirer into Orthodoxy, and he told me that it’s heretical to be clean shaven as an Orthodox priest :eek:

He being the subject of your post, Humbert.

He made up such allegations that the Greeks castrated their guests (I expect there would be evidence of that, so if you want to argue he didn’t make that up you are welcome to show evidence). That he’s shown a willingness to engage in such libel puts the rest of his claims into doubt.
My guess is he met a court eunuch.

Interesting that Humbert didn’t cite divorce and remarriage as one of the ‘evils’ of Constantinople. Catholic apologists today cite that as a huge issue yet it didn’t even appear on Humbert’s radar, despite it being accepted practice in the East.

So you know of eunuchs, but you think that castration was not practiced? :confused:

There are issues that were considered very important long ago that we no longer have a problem with now. For example, the issue of using azymes (unleavened bread) in the Eucharist. The Catholic Encyclopedia states regarding Michael Caerularius:

“His chancellor Nicephorus burst open the Latin tabernacles, and trampled on the Holy Eucharist because it was consecrated in azyme bread.”

Today I’ve never heard this mentioned as a barrier to reunion. :shrug:

Admittedly this isn’t my argument, but as I recall, eunuchs were not unknown in Rome either: the famous castrati come to mind. In any case, it seems to me there’s a huge difference between simply having eunuchs and castrating one’s guests (ouch!).

Here is the text of the bull of excommunication by Cardinal Humbert:

A Brief or Succinct Account of What the Ambassadors of the Holy Roman and
Apostolic See Did in the Royal City attributed to Cardinal Bishop Humbert of
Silva Candida.

“Acta et Scripta Quae de Controversiis Ecclesiae Graecae et Latinae Saeculo Undecimo Composita Extant”
Leipzig & arburg 1861, Documents VIII-X, pp. 150-4.

The Excommunication with which Michael Kerularios and his Followers were wounded

Humbert, cardinal bishop of the holy Roman Church by the grace of God; Peter,archbishop of Amalfi; and Frederick, deacon and chancellor, to all the children of the catholic Church.

The holy, primary, and apostolic see of Rome, to which the care of all the churches most especially pertains as if to a head, deigned to make us its ambassadors to this royal city for the sake of the peace and utility of the Church so that, in accordance with what has been written, we might descend and see whether the complaint which rises to its ears without ceasing from this great city, is realized in fact or to know if it is not like this. Let the glorious emperors, clergy,senate, and people of this city of
Constantinople as well as the entire catholic Church therefore know that we have sensed here both a great good, whence we greatly rejoice in the Lord, and the greatest evil, whence we lament in misery. For as far as the columns of the imperial power and its honoured and wise citizens go, this city is most Christian and orthodox. But as far as Michael,who is called patriarch through an abuse of the term, and the backers of his foolishness are concerned, innumerable tares of heresies are daily sown in its midst.

  1. Because like Simoniacs, they sell the gift of God;
  2. like Valesians, they castrate their guests and promote them not only to the clergy but to the episcopacy;
  3. like Arians, they rebaptize those already baptized in the name of the holy Trinity, and especially Latins;
  4. like Donatists, they claim that with the exception of the Greek Church, the Church of Christ and baptism has perished from the world;
  5. like Nicolaitists,they allow and defend the carnal marriages of the ministers of the sacred altar; l
  6. like Severians,they say that the law of Moses is accursed;
  7. like Pneumatomachoi or Theomachoi, they cut off the procession of the Holy Spirit from the Son;
  8. like the Manichaeans among others, they state that leave is ensouled (animatum); 9. like the Nazarenes, they preserve the carnal cleanness of the Jews to such an extent that they refuse to baptize dying babies before eight days after birth and,
  9. in refusing to communicate with pregnant or menstruating women, they forbid
    them to be baptized if they are pagan;
  10. and because they grow the hair on their head and beards, they will not receive in communion those who tonsure their hair and shave their beards following the decreed practice (institutio) of the Roman Church.

For these errors and many others committed by them, Michael himself, although admonished by the letters of our lord Pope Leo, contemptuously refused to repent. Furthermore, when we, the Pope’s ambassadors, wanted to eliminate the causes of such great evils in a reasonable way, he denied us his presence and conversation, forbid churches to celebrate Mass, just as he had earlier closed the churches of the Latins and, calling them"azymites," had persecuted the Latins everywhere in word and deed. Indeed, so much did he persecute them that among his own children, he had anathematized the apostolic see and against it he still writes that he is the ecumenical

Therefore, because we did not tolerate this unheard of outrage and injury of the first, holy, and apostolic see and were concerned that the catholic faith would be undermined in many ways, by the authority of the holy and individuatedTrinity and the apostolic see, whose embassy we are performing, and of all the orthodox fathers from the seven councils and of the entire catholic Church, we thus subscribe to the following anathema which the most reverend pope has proclaimed upon Michael and his followers unless they should repent.

Michael, neophyte patriarch through abuse of office, who took on the monastic habit out of fear of men alone and is now accused by many of the worst of crimes; and with him Leo called bishop of Achrida; Constantine, chaplain of this Michael, who trampled the sacrifice of the Latins with profane feet; and all their followers in the aforementioned errors and acts of presumption: Let them be anathema Maranatha with the Simoniacs, Valesians, Arians,Donatists, Nicolaitists, Severians, Pneumatomachoi,
Manichaeans, Nazarenes, and all the heretics - nay, with the devil himself
and his angels, unless they should repent. AMEN, AMEN,AMEN.";wap2

I wonder what the original Latin/Greek word rendered as “guest” was in the notice. It is obvious in context that there was no claim that all “guests” were treated that way, or was there a suggestion of compulsion. The key issue was their being being made clergy (and even a bishop). I don’t know the historical examples. But given the limits of the claim and the historical reality of the eunuchs, I think it hasty and unfounded to dismiss the charge a priori.

“There are issues that were considered very important long ago that we no longer have a problem with now.” Thanks for that remark… That is progress.

And thanks for posting the text.

  1. like Pneumatomachoi or Theomachoi, they cut off the procession of the Holy Spirit from the Son;

How many times has that item been twisted into saying that it was claimed that the Greeks dropped the filioque from the Creed?

This was the first time that I’ve read the bull of excommunication and something struck me: there’s no mention of the Papacy as a reason for the schism.

There’s no mention of the Papacy as a reason for the schism.

It seems that in the view of Cardinal Humbert, the Greeks did not reject Catholic ecclesiology, which today is considered the principal reason for the schism.

Wow. :eek:

Do you actually read what others post, or do you skip words so you can pretend they said contradictory things?

In case you are reading it and just “forgot”, he accused the East of castrating guests, not of castration alone.

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