Illustrated Description Of Russia

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Monk of the Greek Church

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The Greek church strongly resembles the Roman or Western catholic church in doctrine, but differs essentially from it in government and discipline. In the early ages of Christianity they formed but a single church; but a schism arose between, the patriarch of Constantinople and the bishop or pope of Rome, a schism which had its ostensible origin in a few words' difference of creed; but it really arose from nothing but the ambition for supremacy of the two catholic prelates. The Roman bishop wished to keep the clergy unmarried, and proclaimed, in his confession of faith, the credo that the Son proceeds from the Father, and the Holy Spirit from the Father and the Son, and is equal with them. The Greeks of the East maintained, on the contrary, that the Holy Scriptures do not forbid priests to marry ; that communion should be in two kinds, and that the Holy Ghost does not proceed from the Son, but the Father only, and is equal to them. This was the commencement of the religious quarrel which brought abou t the separation and division of the Christian church. It was the policy of the monarchs to bring about a reconciliation, if practicable, and councils were called in which the rival pretensions of the two bishops were warmly and earnestly debated ; the difference, instead of being healed, became envenomed, and the church was separated into two denominations, the Eastern or Greek, and the Western or Latin church, each claiming to be the orthodox and catholic church.

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Sears, Robert. An Illustrated Description of the Russian Empire. New York: Robert Sears, 1855