Assyrian Church of the East
Followers of the Assyrian Church of the East and its offshoot the Ancient Church of the East are typically ethnic Assyrians. However, an offshoot of the Assyrian Church of the East broke off to join the Catholic Church between the 1660s and 1830, another group split off to form the Ancient Church of the East in the 1960s. Both of these members are typically ethnic Assyrians. At its height, the Church had spread from its heartland in Upper Mesopotamia to as far afield as China, Central Asia, Asia Minor, a dispute over patriarchal succession led to the Schism of 1552, resulting in there being two rival Patriarchs. A more recent schism in the church resulted from the adoption of the Gregorian calendar by the Assyrian Church of the East, the opponents to the reforms created the Ancient Church of the East in 1964, headquartered in Baghdad and headed since 1968 by a separate Catholicos-Patriarch. The Assyrian Church of the East was headed by the Catholicos-Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East and it is an Apostolic church established by Thomas the Apostle, Thaddeus of Edessa, and Bartholomew the Apostle.
In 410 the Synod of Seleucia-Ctesiphon, held at the Sasanian capital, Catholicos Isaac was required both to lead the Assyrian Christian community, and to answer on its behalf to the Sasanian emperor. Under pressure from the Sasanian Emperor, the Church of the East sought to distance itself from the Greek Orthodox Church. Thus, the Mesopotamian churches did not send representatives to the various Church Councils attended by representatives of the Western Church, the leaders of the Church of the East did not feel bound by any decisions of what came to be regarded as Roman Imperial Councils. Despite this, the Creed and Canons of the First Council of Nicaea of 325, the Churchs understanding of the term hypostasis differs from the definition of the term offered at the Council of Chalcedon of 451. For this reason, the Assyrian Church has never approved the Chalcedonian definition, the theological controversy that followed the Council of Ephesus in 431 proved a turning point in the Churchs history.
The Sasanian Emperor, hostile to the Byzantines, saw the opportunity to ensure the loyalty of his Christian subjects, the Catholicos-Patriarch Babai confirmed the association of the Assyrian Church with Nestorianism. After this split with the Western World and synthesis with Nestorianism, during the period between 500–1400 the geographical horizons of the Church of the East extended well beyond its heartland in present-day northern Iraq, north eastern Syria and south eastern Turkey. The St Thomas Christians were believed by tradition to have converted by St Thomas. The Assyrian churches area of influence was from this point up until the Assyrian genocide a triangular area between Amid, Mêrdîn, however, it was decided that Shimun should be reinstated. This matter was to be settled at additional synods in 1975, in 1976, Dinkha IV was elected as Shimun XXIII Eshais successor. The 33-year-old Dinkha had previously been Metropolitan of Tehran, and operated his see there until the Iran–Iraq War of 1980–1988, Dinkha IV went into exile in the United States, and transferred the patriarchal see to Chicago.
Much of his patriarchate had been concerned with tending to the Assyrian–Chaldean–Syriac diaspora community, on 27 September 2015, he was consecrated as Catholicos-Patriarch in the Cathedral Church of St. John the Baptist, in Erbil
Divine Liturgy is the Eucharistic service of the Byzantine Rite which is the Rite of the The Great Church of Christ and was developed from the Antiochene Rite of Christian liturgy. As such, it is used in the Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches, Armenian Christians, both of the Armenian Apostolic Church and of the Armenian Catholic Church, use the same term. Some Oriental Orthodox employ the term holy offering for their Eucharistic liturgies instead, the term is sometimes applied to Roman Rite Eucharistic liturgies, though the term Mass is more commonly used there. In Eastern traditions, those of the Eastern Catholic and Orthodox Churches, the Divine Liturgy is seen as transcending time, all believers are believed to be united in worship in the Kingdom of God along with departed Saints and the celestial Angels. To this end, everything in the Liturgy is seen as symbolic, yet not just merely symbolic, according to Eastern tradition and belief, the Liturgys roots go back to Jewish worship and the adaptation of Jewish worship by Early Christians.
This can be seen in the first parts of the Liturgy termed the Liturgy of the Catechumens that includes reading of scriptures and, the latter half was added based on the Last Supper and the first Eucharistic celebrations by Early Christians. Each Liturgy has its differences from others, but most are similar to each other with adaptations based on tradition, culture. The Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great, used on the 5 Sundays of Great Lent, on the eves of the Nativity and Theophany, and on Holy Thursday and Holy Saturday, it is celebrated as a vesperal liturgy. In some traditions, Saint Basils Liturgy is celebrated on the Exaltation of the Life-giving Cross on September 14, all together, St. Basils liturgy is celebrated 10 times out of the liturgical year. The Divine Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, is used during Great Lent on Wednesdays, and a handful of other occasions, and on the first three days of Holy Week. Nowadays it is celebrated as a vesperal liturgy, the Liturgy of the Faithful has no Anaphora.
It is traditionally attributed to St. Gregory the Dialogist, although some believe it originated with Patriarch Severus of Antioch. The Liturgy of Saint Mark was observed in the Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria on at least that Saints day until recent times. As numbers in a diocese increased dramatically the bishop as presiding over the Eucharistic assembly appointed presbyters as celebrant in the local community, the Church is understood in Eastern Orthodoxy not in terms of the presbyter, but the diocesan bishop. When the latter is present, he is chief celebrant and hymns are added. The hierarch commemorates his hierarch demonstrating unity with the greater Orthodox community, Psalms are numbered according to the Greek Septuagint. For the Hebrew Masoretic numbering that is familiar in the West. The format of Divine Liturgy is fixed, although the specific readings and hymns vary with season, in modern times, this restriction applies only to Holy Communion — reception of the sacrament of holy communion
Western Christianity consists of the Latin Church of the Catholic Church, and a variety of Protestant denominations. The name has applied in order to distinguish these from Eastern Christianity. Today, the distinction between Western and Eastern Christianity is not nearly as absolute, due to the spread of missionary activities, migrations. The adjectives Western Christianity and Eastern Christianity are thus used to refer to historical origins rather than present geographical locations. For most of its history the church in Europe has been divided between the Latin-speaking west, whose centre was Rome, and the Greek-speaking east, whose centre was Constantinople. Cultural differences and political rivalry created tensions between the two churches, leading to disagreement over doctrine and ecclesiology and ultimately to schism, like Eastern Christianity, Western Christianity traces its roots, directly or indirectly, to the apostles and other early preachers of the religion. In Western Christianitys original area Latin was the principal language, Christian writers in Latin had more influence there than those who wrote in Greek, Syriac, or other Eastern languages.
With the last-named form of Eastern Christianity, reunion agreements were signed at the Second Council of Lyon and the Council of Florence, but these proved ineffective. The rise of Protestantism led to divisions within Western Christianity, which still persist, and wars—for example. In and after the Age of Discovery, Europeans spread Western Christianity to the New World, Roman Catholicism came to the Americas, Asia and the Pacific. Protestantism, including Anglicanism, came to North America, Australia-Pacific and this Western version has the additional phrase God from God, which was in the Creed as adopted by the First Council of Nicaea, but which was dropped by the First Council of Constantinople. The date of Easter usually differs between Eastern and Western Christianity, because the calculations are based on the Julian calendar and Gregorian calendar respectively, for example, the Church of England continued to observe Easter on the same date as the Eastern Church until 1753. Even the dates of other Christian holidays differ between Eastern and Western Christianity, Western Christianity makes up about 90% of Christians worldwide, with the Roman Catholic Church accounting for over half and various Protestant denominations making up another 40%.
Hussite movements of 15th century Bohemia preceded the main Protestant uprising by 100 years and evolved into several small Protestant churches, waldensians survived also, but blended into the Reformed tradition
Phillip Emmons Isaac Bonewits was an American Druid who published a number of books on the subject of Neopaganism and magic. Born in Royal Oak, Bonewits had been involved in occultism since the 1960s. Bonewits was born on October 1,1949 in Royal Oak and his mother and father were Roman Catholics. He was married to Rusty Elliot from 1973 to 1976 and his second wife was Selene Kumin Vega, followed by marriage to Sally Eaton. His fourth wife was author Deborah Lipp, from 1988 to 1998, on July 23,2004, he was married in a handfasting ceremony to a former vice-president of the Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans, Phaedra Heyman Bonewits. At the time of the handfasting, the marriage was not yet legal because he had not yet been divorced from Lipp. Paperwork and legalities caught up on December 31,2007, making them legally married, Bonewits only child, Arthur Shaffrey Lipp-Bonewits, was born to Deborah Lipp in 1990. In 1966, while enrolled at UC Berkeley, Bonewits joined the Reformed Druids of North America, Bonewits was ordained as a Neo-druid priest in 1969.
During this period, the 18-year-old Bonewits was recruited by the Church of Satan, during his stint in the Church of Satan, Bonewits appeared in some scenes of the 1970 documentary Satanis, The Devils Mass. Bonewits, in his article My Satanic Adventure, asserts that the rituals in Satanis were staged for the movie at the behest of the filmmakers and were not authentic ceremonies and his first book, Real Magic, was published in 1972. He founded the short-lived Aquarian Anti-Defamation League, an early Pagan civil rights group, in 1976, Bonewits moved back to Berkeley and rejoined his original grove there, now part of the New Reformed Druids of North America. He was elected Archdruid of the Berkeley Grove, Bonewits was a regular presenter at Neopagan conferences and festivals all over the US, as well as attending gaming conventions in the Bay Area. He promoted his book Authentic Thaumaturgy to gamers as a way of organizing Dungeons and Dragons games and to give a background to games of Magic, the Gathering.
In 1983, Bonewits founded Ár nDraíocht Féin, which was incorporated in 1990 in the state of Delaware as a U. S.5013 non-profit organization and he made the organizations first public announcement in 1984, and began the membership sign-up at the first WinterStar Symposium in 1984. Since that time, ADF has developed one of the worlds largest forms of contemporary Druidism practiced as a religion. Although illness curtailed many of his activities and travels for a time, in that year, he resigned from the position of Archdruid but retained the lifelong title of ADF Archdruid Emeritus. He lived in Rockland County, New York, and was a member of the Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans, in 1990, Bonewits was diagnosed with Eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome. The illness was a factor in his resignation from the position of Archdruid of the ADF
The First Iconoclasm, as it is sometimes called, lasted between about 726 and 787. The Second Iconoclasm was between 814 and 842, according to the traditional view, Byzantine Iconoclasm constituted a ban on religious images by Emperor Leo III and continued under his successors. It was accompanied by destruction of images and persecution of supporters of the veneration of images. Iconoclasm, Greek for breaker of icons, is the destruction within a culture of the cultures own religious icons and other symbols or monuments. People who engage in or support iconoclasm are called iconoclasts, a term that has come to be applied figuratively to any person who breaks or disdains established dogmata or conventions, people who revere or venerate religious images are derisively called iconolaters. They are normally known as iconodules, or iconophiles and these terms were, not a part of the Byzantine debate over images. They have been brought into usage by modern historians and their application to Byzantium increased considerably in the late twentieth century.
The Byzantine term for the debate over religious imagery, iconomachy means struggle over images or image struggle, Iconoclasm has generally been motivated theologically by an Old Covenant interpretation of the Ten Commandments, which forbade the making and worshipping of graven images. It was a debate triggered by changes in Orthodox worship, which were generated by the major social and political upheavals of the seventh century for the Byzantine Empire. Traditional explanations for Byzantine iconoclasm have sometimes focused on the importance of Islamic prohibitions against images influencing Byzantine thought, the role of women and monks in supporting the veneration of images has been asserted. On the other hand, the wealthier Greeks of Constantinople and the peoples of the Balkan and Italian provinces strongly opposed Iconoclasm, Christian worship by the sixth century had developed a clear belief in the intercession of saints. A strong sacramentality and belief in the importance of physical presence joined the belief in intercession of saints with the use of relics and holy images in early Christian practices.
Believers would, make pilgrimages to places sanctified by the presence of Christ or prominent saints and martyrs. Relics, or holy objects which were a part of the remains, or had come into contact with, the Virgin or a saint, were widely utilized in Christian practices at this time. The use and abuse of images had greatly increased during this period, in some cases it defends itself against infidels with physical force. Key artefacts to blur this boundary emerged in c.570 in the form of miraculously created acheiropoieta or images not made by human hands and these sacred images were a form of contact relic, which additionally were taken to prove divine approval of the use of icons. The two most famous were the Mandylion of Edessa and the Image of Camuliana from Cappadocia, by in Constantinople. The latter was regarded as a palladium that had won battles and saved Constantinople from the Persian-Avar siege of 626
Anthony of Padua
Saint Anthony of Padua, born Fernando Martins de Bulhões, known as Anthony of Lisbon, was a Portuguese Catholic priest and friar of the Franciscan Order. He was born and raised by a family in Lisbon, Portugal. He was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church on 16 January 1946 and he is the patron saint of lost things. Fernando Martins was born in Lisbon and his wealthy and noble family arranged for him to be instructed at the local cathedral school. At the age of fifteen, he entered the community of Canons Regular at the Augustinian Abbey of Saint Vincent on the outskirts of Lisbon. In 1212, distracted by frequent visits from family and friends, he asked to be transferred to the motherhouse of the congregation, there the young Fernando studied theology and Latin. After his ordination to the priesthood, Fernando was named guestmaster, while he was in Coimbra, some Franciscan friars arrived and settled at a small hermitage outside Coimbra dedicated to Saint Anthony of Egypt. Fernando was strongly attracted to the simple, evangelical lifestyle of the friars, news arrived that five Franciscans had been beheaded in Morocco, the first of their order to be killed.
King Afonso ransomed their bodies to be returned and buried as martyrs in the Abbey of Santa Cruz, inspired by their example, Fernando obtained permission from church authorities to leave the Canons Regular to join the new Franciscan Order. Upon his admission to the life of the friars, he joined the small hermitage in Olivais, adopting the name Anthony, Anthony set out for Morocco, in fulfillment of his new vocation. However, he fell ill in Morocco and set sail back for Portugal in hope of regaining his health. On the return voyage the ship was blown off course and landed in Sicily, from Sicily he made his way to Tuscany where he was assigned to a convent of the order, but he met with difficulty on account of his sickly appearance. He was finally assigned to the hermitage of San Paolo near Forlì, Romagna. There he had recourse to a one of the friars had made in a nearby cave, spending time in private prayer. One day, in 1222, in the town of Forli, on the occasion of an ordination, a number of visiting Dominican friars were present, Anthony objected but was overruled, and his sermon created a deep impression.
Not only his voice and arresting manner, but the entire theme and substance of his discourse and his moving eloquence. Everyone was impressed with his knowledge of scripture, acquired during his years as an Augustinian friar, at that point, Anthony was sent by Brother Gratian, the local Minister Provincial, to the Franciscan province of Romagna, based in Bologna. He soon came to the attention of the founder of the order, Francis had held a strong distrust of the place of theological studies in the life of his brotherhood, fearing that it might lead to an abandonment of their commitment to a life of real poverty
Saint Nicholas, called Nikolaos of Myra, was a historic 4th-century Christian saint and Greek Bishop of Myra, in Asia Minor. Because of the miracles attributed to his intercession, he is known as Nikolaos the Wonderworker. The historical Saint Nicholas is commemorated and revered among Anglican, Lutheran, in addition, some Baptist, Methodist and other Reformed churches have been named in honor of Saint Nicholas. Saint Nicholas is the saint of sailors, archers, repentant thieves, brewers, pawnbrokers. The historical Saint Nicholas, as known from history, He was born at Patara. In his youth he made a pilgrimage to Egypt and the Palestine area, shortly after his return he became Bishop of Myra and was cast into prison during the persecution of Diocletian. He was released after the accession of Constantine and was present at the Council of Nicaea, in 1087, Italian merchants took his body from Myra, bringing it to Bari in Italy. Nicholas was born in Asia Minor in the Roman Empire, to a Greek family during the century in the city of Patara.
He lived in Myra, Lycia, at a time when the region was Greek in its heritage, culture and he was the only son of wealthy Christian parents named Epiphanius and Johanna according to some accounts and Theophanes and Nonna according to others. He was very religious from an age and according to legend. His wealthy parents died in an epidemic while Nicholas was still young and he tonsured the young Nicholas as a reader and ordained him a presbyter. In the year AD305, several monks from Anatolia in Asia Minor came to the Holy Land to Beit Jala and this was before St. Sava’s Monastery was founded in the desert east of Bethlehem on the Kidron Gorge near the Dead Sea. These monks lived on the mountain overlooking Bethlehem in a few caves, in the years 312–315, St. Nicholas lived there and came as a pilgrim to visit the Holy Sepulchre, Golgotha and many other sites in the Holy Land. The Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church is located on the site of his cave in Beit Jala where today there are stories about Nicholas still handed down from generation to generation.
A text written in his own hand is still in the care of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, in 317 he returned to Asia Minor and was soon thereafter consecrated bishop in Myra. In 325, he was one of many bishops to answer the request of Constantine and appear at the First Council of Nicaea, Nicholas was a staunch anti-Arian, defender of the Orthodox Christian position, and one of the bishops who signed the Nicene Creed. Tradition has it that he became so angry with the heretic Arius during the Council that he struck him in the face. The modern city of Demre, Turkey is built near the ruins of the home town of ancient Myra
A saint, historically known as a hallow, is a term used for a person who is recognized as having an exceptional degree of holiness or likeness to God. Depending on the context and denomination, the term retains its original Christian meaning, as any believer who is in Christ and in whom Christ dwells, whether in Heaven or on Earth. Depending on the religion, saints are recognized either by official ecclesiastical declaration, the English word saint comes from the Latin sanctus. The word translated the Greek ἅγιος, which derives from the verb ἁγιάζω, the word ἅγιος appears 229 times in the Greek New Testament, and its English translation 60 times in the corresponding text of the King James Version of the Bible. In the New Testament, saint did not denote the deceased who had recognized as especially holy or emulable. Many religions use similar concepts to venerate persons worthy of some honor, the anthropologist Lawrence Babb in an article about Sathya Sai Baba asks the question Who is a saint.
These saintly figures, he asserts, are the points of spiritual force-fields. They exert powerful attractive influence on followers but touch the lives of others in transforming ways as well. In the Bible, only one person is called a saint, They envied Moses in the camp. The apostle Paul declared himself to be less than the least of all saints in Ephesians 3,8, in the Catholic Church, a saint is anyone in Heaven, whether recognized on Earth or not. There are many persons that the Church believes to be in Heaven who have not been formally canonized, sometimes the word saint denotes living Christians. They remind us that the Church is holy, can never stop being holy and is called to show the holiness of God by living the life of Christ, the Catholic Church teaches that it does not make or create saints, but rather recognizes them. Proofs of heroicity required in the process of beatification will serve to illustrate in detail the general principles exposed above upon proof of their holiness or likeness to God.
On 3 January 993, Pope John XV became the first pope to proclaim a person a saint, on the petition of the German ruler, before that time, the popular cults, or venerations, of saints had been local and spontaneous. Pope John XVIII subsequently permitted a cult of five Polish martyrs, walter of Pontoise was the last person in Western Europe to be canonized by an authority other than the Pope, Hugh de Boves, the Archbishop of Rouen, canonized him in 1153. Thenceforth a decree of Pope Alexander III in 1170 reserved the prerogative of canonization to the Pope, one source claims that there are over 10,000 named saints and beatified people from history, the Roman Martyrology and Orthodox sources, but no definitive head count. Alban Butler published Lives of the Saints in 1756, including a total of 1,486 saints, the latest revision of this book, edited by Rev. Herbert Thurston, SJ and British author Donald Attwater, contains the lives of 2,565 saints. Monsignor Robert Sarno, an official of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints of the Holy See, expressed that it is impossible to give an exact number of saints
Eastern Christian monasticism
Eastern Christian Monasticism is the life followed by monks and nuns of Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy, the Church of the East and Eastern Catholicism. Monasticism began in the East, and it is in the East that it continues to this day to have the strongest influence on the life of the local Christian communities. The mystical and other-worldly nature of the Christian message very early laid the groundwork for the ascetical life. The example of the Old Testament Prophets, of John the Baptist and of Jesus himself, going into the wilderness to pray and we read of communities of virgins living a common life committed to celibacy and virtue. The accounts of some of these virgins are preserved in the martyrologies of the day, the beginning of monasticism per-se comes right at the end of the Great Persecution of Diocletian, and the founder is Saint Anthony the Great. St. Anthony was among the Desert Fathers - those who left the world to seek God in the silence, around him gathered many disciples, whom he guided in the spiritual life.
These first monks were hermits, solitaries who battled temptation alone in the wilderness, as time went on, monks began to congregate into closer communities. Saint Pachomius is regarded as the founder of monasticism, wherein all live the common life together in a single place under the direction of a single Abbot. The first such monastery was in Tabennisi, Saint Theodore of Egypt, the principle disciple of St. Pachomius, succeeded him as head of the monastic community at Tabennisi. He would go on to found a type of monastic institution. A skete is composed of individual monastic dwellings surrounding a common church, each monk lives by himself, or with one or two others, coming together only on Sundays and feast days. The rest of the time they spend working and praying alone, on this threefold foundation all subsequent Christian monasticism was built. As the birthplace of monasticism, Egypt has continued the monastic tradition unbroken until the present day, like the Byzantines, monasticism has continued to play a crucial role in the life of the church, and bishops are always chosen from among the ranks of monks.
After the Islamic invasion in 639, the Egyptian Christians found themselves dispossessed in their own land, a number of Coptic monasteries have been established in the New World. Ethiopia was one of the first nations to accept Christianity, officially converting in 341, king Abreha became the first sovereign in the world to engrave the Sign of the Cross on his coins. From the year 341 it was subject to the Patriarch of Alexandria, the church is officially known as the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. In 480 the Nine Saints came from the Mediterranean world to establish Ethiopian monasticism which has continued to flourish despite wars and inaccessible monasteries are still occupied to this day throughout the Christian regions of the country. The Ethiopian Church maintains monasteries in the Holy Land, most notably Deir Es-Sultan, Monasticism was very popular in early Syrian and Mesopotamian Christianity, and originally all monks and nuns there were hermits
Eastern Christianity consists of four main church families, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Oriental Orthodox Churches, and the Assyrian Church of the East, as well as the Eastern Catholic Churches. The term is used in contrast with Western Christianity, the term does not describe a single communion or religious denomination. Some Eastern churches have more in common historically and theologically with Western Christianity than with one another, the various Eastern churches do not normally refer to themselves as Eastern, with the exception of the Assyrian Church of the East and its offshoots. Eastern Christians do not share the religious traditions, but do share many cultural traditions. Christianity divided itself in the East during its early centuries both within and outside of the Roman Empire in disputes about Christology and fundamental theology, as well as national divisions and it would be many centuries that Western Christianity fully split from these traditions as its own communion.
The Eastern churches differences from Western Christianity have as much, if not more, to do with culture, for the non-Catholic Eastern churches, a definitive date for the commencement of schism cannot usually be given. Oriental Orthodoxy separated after the Council of Chalcedon in 451, since the time of the historian Edward Gibbon, the split between the Church of Rome and the Orthodox Church has been conveniently dated to 1054, though the reality is more complex. This split is referred to as the Great Schism. Eastern Orthodox Christians accept the decisions of the First seven Ecumenical Councils, the Eastern Orthodox Church is organized into self-governing jurisdictions along geographical, ethnic, and/or linguistic lines. Eastern Orthodoxy is thus made up of 15 or 16 autocephalous bodies, smaller churches are autonomous and each have a mother church that is autocephalous. This is in contrast to the Catholic Church and its various Churches, members of the latter are all in communion with each other, parts of a top-down hierarchy.
The majority of Catholics accept both the Filioque clause and, since 1950, the Assumption of Mary and this puts them in sharp contrast with the Eastern Orthodox. Yet some Catholics who are not in communion with the Catholic Church side with the Eastern Orthodox here and reject these teachings and it is estimated that there are approximately 240 million Eastern Orthodox Christians in the world. Today, many adherents shun the term Eastern as denying the universal character. They refer to Eastern Orthodoxy simply as the Orthodox Church, these churches are called Old Oriental churches. Oriental Orthodoxy developed in reaction to Chalcedon on the limit of the Byzantine Empire and in Egypt. In those locations, there are Eastern Orthodox patriarchs, thereafter it was often known, possibly inaccurately, as the Nestorian Church in the West. Surviving a period of persecution within Persia, the Church of the East flourished under the caliphate and branched out, in the 16th century dynastic struggles sent the church into schism, resulting in the formation of two rival churches