Right from the start many different interpretations of Jesus and his teachings arouse in the Christian community. To resolve disagreements and to create an unique interpretation of Christian teachings ecumenical conference were held up.
The decisions became more and more dogmatic but the dissent grew. These ecumenical conferences rather split than unified all the different churches. Nevertheless, the question of leadership and power became more and more important. The first schism separated the Oriental Orthodox Church in the 5th century. The Great Schism separated the Eastern Orthodox Church from the Roman Catholic Church in the 11th century. The Reformation split the Protestants from the Roman Catholic Church in the 16th century.
Roman Catholic Church
The Roman Catholic Church
is the largest group of Christianity. This church has a strict hierarchical structure
with the Pope as its head.
The Roman Catholic Church esteems the Pope as the highest representative of
God on earth.
Oriental Orthodox Church
Oriental Orthodox Church refers to the communion of Eastern Christian Churches that recognize only the first three ecumenical councils, namely the First Council of Nicaea, the First Council of Constantinople and the Council of Ephesus, The dogmatic definitions of the Council of Chalcedon were rejected.
Eastern Orthodox Church
Eastern Orthodox Church split from the Roman Catholicism during the Great Schism caused by disputes over papal authority, conventionally dated to 1054. Nevertheless, the separation was actually the result of an extended period of estrangement between the Latin speaking Western and the Greek speaking Eastern Church. The Church split along doctrinal, theological, linguistic, political, and geographic lines, and the fundamental breach has never been healed.
various Christian groups having the same religious beliefs but denying the leadership
of the pope in person and the Roman Catholic Church in general.
In the Middle Ages the Roman Catholic Church has become so powerful and wealthy that many
church officials misused their power to gain personal wealth. Even the Roman Catholic Church
itself was criticized to be more interested in earthly wealth than spiritual values.
Thus, many individual preachers or churches advocated a formal separation from the
Roman Catholic Church.