The Church is the congregation and unity of God‘s people together in one whole body, known as the Mystical body of Christ, because of the way devout followers of Christ, come to experience Christ through the Sacraments, Clergy, and Litany. The Catechism of the Church states that the Pope, Bishop of Rome and Peter’s successor, is the perpetual and visible source of the foundation of the unity of the bishops and all the faithful in one whole company or unity. Pope Clement V, when elected as Pope.
He had decided rather than moving to Rome, Clement V lived in Avignon, a small town in France, and after his death many other Popes to come still continued to live and continue their papacy there in Avignon, in France, instead of the original home of all Peter’s descendants, in Rome. By the time when Poe Gregory XI came into position as the Pope. Pope Gregory XI moved the papacy from France back to Rome in 1377. Later on that year, Pope Gregory’s death, cause the cardinals to create a conclave to elect a new Pope, but as the election ended the cardinals had elected an Italian cardinal, who would become the new Pope, and he took the name f Urban VI.
Pope Urban VI’s reforms were not welcomed by the other cardinals, they claimed that they had been forced by the Roman mob to vote for the Italian Pope, and that Urban VI, therefore wasn’t the true Pope. The cardinals held another conclave just months after Urban VI’s election, and as a result the new Pope was the nephew of the French king, and this man took the name of Clement VII, but Clement VII wasn’t the true Pope, but an antipope, because Urban VI, still held his position as Pope. Clement VII, unable to take control of the papacy in Rome, Clement VII was recognized as Pope by the
King of France, So Clement VII returned to Avignon in France, and established his own papal court, while Pope Urban VI, still in Rome, would not step down for his position as Pope. As time went on, Clement VII and Urban VI died, and the competing group of cardinals elected new popes, and each one claming to be the real pope, this time period in the Church is know as the Great Schism of the West. Up until the tenth century, while the Great Schism continued; all of those who followed Jesus Christ in the Church shared the same creed, canon of Scripture, the same respect for he teachings of the Church councils and Sacraments, and most important of all, they all followed the same moral code and unity under the same Pope. But cultural and political differences continued to arise between the east and western parts of the Roman Empire. In 1054, a split or schism, took place in Catholicism, separating the Church in the eastern and western parts of the Roman Empire.
Due to this schism there were three popes claiming to be the real Pope, until a general council of the Church met from 1414 to1418 in the city of Constance, Switzerland. This council had decided to set aside all three rival opes, and finally in 1417 a new pope was elected, Pope Martin V, who was accepted by the Western Church. It took almost forty years, for the Great Schism of the West to be finally terminated, but the power of the papacy had been weakened, and the leadership of the Pope would no longer be important to many civil leaders. So the Church in the Western part of the empire grew into what we now know as the Roman Catholic Church, which is still remaining under the leadership of the Pope, and the Eastern part of the empire became the Eastern Church, now known as the Eastern Orthodox Church.
The Eastern Churches that chose to remain in union with or were later reunited with the Roman Catholic Pope and Bishops would be called the Eastern Churches. They are called Churches, instead of one, like the Roman Catholic Church, because each one of their Churches(Eastern) follows its own ancient tradition, teachings, dogmas, retaining their own bishops, language, and liturgical customs. The Catholic Church today, it consists of twenty-two Churches; the twenty-one Easter Churches and the one Roman Catholic Church. The Eastern Church in the eastern part of the Roman empire, and it decided not to take art in the acceptance of the Pope’s leadership, and because of it now it is know as the Easter Orthodox Church, because it relies on their own traditional teachings.
One of the major impacts of the Great Schism is that, even though it was solved, it lasted still to this day. Yet one of the greatest hopes of the Pope and the whole Church today is the unity of the Easter Orthodox Church to its original state with the Roman Catholic Church. The Catechism of the Church states that the Pope, the Bishop of Rome, today Pope Francis I, is the perpetual and visible source of the foundation of the unity of the Church, ishops and all the faithful, in one whole company or unity.
Even though the Church might be separated, in its different branches and beliefs, it still holds on to its belief of one true God, to whom we know, love and serve, as the basis of the Catechism of the Church states. The only hope of the Church now, is that the Church comes together as it used to be once again, in the harmony and peace in witch it was founded upon, by Jesus Christ, to Peter to us, through our present Pope; Pope Francis I , to the whole Catholic Church and to its members.