What incident or reason divided the Roman catholic church from the orthodox church of Russia.

And who decided the differences between the two churches and faiths?

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    What makes you think the Russian orthodox church was involved in the schism? It may be one of the more influential of the current orthodox churches but at the time of the schism it wasn't as influential as the then orthodox church based in Constantinople. – Fred Feb 6 '16 at 1:21
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    Please don't blame OP for the Russian Orthodox screwup - that was mine. I had a senior moment. I'll reverse the edit. – Mark C. Wallace Feb 6 '16 at 13:16
  • The bishop of Rome was accorded higher honors than the other four patriarchs --- those of Constantinople, Antioch, Jerusalem, and Alexandria --- and he claimed that made him the boss, entitled to give orders to the other four. They disagreed. That was one issue. Another was the "filioque clause" in the Roman version of the Nicene Creed. The Creed enacted in the 4th century by the Council of Nicea referred to "the Holy Spirit, Who proceeds from the Father", but western Christians started reciting the prayer by saying "the Holy Spirit, Who proceeds from the Father and the Son"..... – Michael Hardy Feb 16 '16 at 1:04
  • The additional words "and the Son" are the "filioque" clause, held by Eastern Christians to be heretical. The phrase is still used today by Western Christians and not by Eastern Christians. However, none of this explains why these disagreements came to a head in the 11th century. – Michael Hardy Feb 16 '16 at 1:06

There are two ways to look at that.

The first is to look at the late Classical period, where the Remnants of the Roman Empire in the east lost control of Rome, and thus the papacy. This allowed the Popes the ability to exert their ecclesiastical power without having to worry about any political repercussions.

An "all-powerful" emperor is obviously not going to put up with that. So within the remaining (Byzantine) empire, eventually that power got transferred to the pope's former subordinate in Byzantium. This split between "Catholic" and "Greek Orthodox" later got enshrined in doctrinal differences, but this was its actual source.

enter image description here You'll see from this map that the start of the initial (Photean) Schism happened to coincide with the Byzantine loss of temporal authority in Rome.

The second way to look at it is to look at how the Russians got converted to Christianity. Russia really wasn't ready to embrace a world religion until roughly the year 1000. Vladimir the Great sent emissaries to his neighbors essentially shopping for his new religion. At that time, it really wasn't much of a contest, simply because the Byzantines were far and away their richest neighbors. Russian sources talk about how impressed they were with Hagia Sophia, the great Basilica in Constantinople. Arab sources instead view it as part of the negotiations required to get an alliance between the two. But either way, Vladimir turned out to be serious about it, and converted the Kievan Rus to Eastern Orthodoxy.

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