Moscow. Russian President Vladimir Putin has stopped the war with Ukraine for the last 11 months for two days on the appeal of the Orthodox Patriarch Kirill (Orthodox Patriarch Kirill of Moscow). Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a 36-hour ceasefire on Orthodox Christmas in Ukraine on Thursday, the first major ceasefire in the more than 10-month-long war, according to a report by Russia’s official news agency Tass. This step has been taken because Orthodox Christians, unlike Catholic Christians, celebrate their Christmas on January 7 every year according to the Julian calendar. Let us tell you that the Orthodox Church still uses the Julian calendar to celebrate Christmas Day, not following the Gregorian calendar.
In Russia, the Orthodox Church has had a huge influence from power to common life. The Russian Orthodox or Orthodox Church is considered the largest of the Eastern Orthodox communities. It has around 100 million followers within and outside Russia. At the same time, the President of Russia himself is considered a staunch conservative leader. The recent laws made on LGBT are well reflecting the impression of the Orthodox Church on their lives. In such a situation, he has announced a two-day ceasefire (Ceasefire in Ukraine-Russia War), respecting the appeal of Orthodox religious leader Patriarch Kirill. However, Ukraine has refused to accept this appeal, calling the Russian Orthodox Church a war propagandist.
The Eastern Orthodox Church, also known as the Orthodox Church, is the second-largest Christian church, which describes itself as the Church founded by Jesus Christ. Orthodoxy believes that Christianity and the Church are inseparable and that no one can be considered a Christian without knowing Christ and participating in the Church. The Eastern Orthodox Church claims today to be the continuation and preservation of the same early Church as written in the Christian scriptures. Those who believe in the Orthodox Church follow orthodox practices.
The Great Schism split the Catholic and Orthodox, Churches, into two in the year 1054, and the split still exists almost a thousand years later. On July 16, 1054, Michael Cerularius, Patriarch of Constantinople, was excommunicated from the Christian Church in Rome, Italy. The ex-communication of Cerularius was a major factor in the long-standing tension between the Roman Church in Rome and the Byzantine Church in Constantinople. The resulting schism divided the European Christian Church into two major branches, the Western Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church. This split is known as the Great Schism of 1054 or sometimes the “East-West Schism” or “Schism of 1054”.
The Great Schism resulted from a complex mix of religious disagreements and political conflicts. One of the many theological disagreements between the Western (Roman) and Eastern (Byzantine) branches of the Church was whether or not it was acceptable to use unleavened bread for the sacrament of Communion. The West supported this practice, while the East did not. These religious disagreements were made worse by a variety of political conflicts, especially regarding the power of Rome.
There are also other major reasons for the split in the practices of the two churches, some of which make the two distinct from each other. It is like this.
1. The biggest dispute between Catholics and Orthodox remains about the Head of the Church. Orthodox Christians regard Jesus Christ as the head of the Church, while the Roman Catholic Church is headed by the Pope, who uses the title ‘Lord of Christ’.
2. In the Roman Catholic Church, priests and bishops must observe celibacy before and after ordination, while in the Orthodox Church, the clergy is allowed to marry. However, Orthodox priests are not allowed to remarry if their wife dies.
3. Traditionally, the Orthodox clergy wears beards because, according to Leviticus, 21:5, the clergy is not to shave their heads or their beards or trim their body hair. However, Catholic priests do not shave, as the custom of shaving their heads still survives in Rome, the papal seat.
4. In 1570, Pope Pius V defined that followers of the Catholic Church should make the sign of the cross from head to chest and from left shoulder to right. Russian Orthodox Christians, on the other hand, make the sign of the cross with three fingers (thumb, forefinger, and middle finger), which is a symbol of the Holy Trinity. In addition, the Orthodox sign of the cross is performed from the right shoulder to the left.