The East-West Schism
In the 11th century, the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church separated from each other. Today, this is known as the East-West Schism or the Great Schism.
There had been several disputes about the theological differences. Different liturgies and the language barrier made a big step towards this separation. Constantinople had been claiming that it had become the “new Rome”, and therefore the new head and mother of the church. However, Rome did not accept this, and conflict took place.
The patriarch of Constantinople Michael Cerularius and the Roman legates had been fighting against each other. This was because Michael refused to accept the demand of dealing with recent attacks by Leo of Ohrid against the use of unleavened bread and other Western customs. As a result, both Cerularius and Cardinal Humbert who was the leader of the legation were excommunicated.
Nonetheless, the Church split even more along with their own theologies, and consequently made a very vast division that it became manly impossible to restore this rupture.
Sacraments and Indulgence
In the Roman Catholic Church they believe that there are seven sacraments that Christ established to the Church. According to them, a sacrament is a sensible sign of invisible grace. The seven sacraments include baptism, penance, Holy Communion, matrimony, holy orders, extreme unction (anointing of the sick), and confirmation. These were practiced back then, and are still practiced today.
In the Catholic Church there is also an indulgence. Even if it has been said that an indulgence is the “buying the forgiveness of sins”, it is not. An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to the forgiven sins.
The sacrament of penance, which is the confession of sins to a priest, is the one that cancels the eternal punishment. However, the temporal punishment remains. Nevertheless, when an indulgence is applied it can either reduce or eliminate the temporal punishment.
I believe that everything we do has a consequence either good or bad, however I don’t believe in indulgence. An indulgence omits the sacrifice of Jesus, it makes people live in a passive and sinful life.
If Jesus sacrificed his life in order for us to have life if we believe in Him (John 3:16), then what indulgence can be greater than that? Jesus came to make us free, and living in punishment is not freedom. There are consequences, but they are so we could repent and change the way we think.
If I believe that after committing a sin and confessing it to a priest and then doing what he tells me to do in order for me to have a temporal punishment, then I could go to heaven, how easy will it be for me to commit the same sin again knowing that after doing the indulgence nothing bad will happen.
I would only be lying to myself. That is why they call it a religion, because it is man-made, and filled with a form without a substance. That means that I still have control of my life, and that it is by deeds that I get to go to Heaven.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Jesus is the only way towards the truth, salvation, and the Father.
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Jesus is the way we should seek in order to go to Heaven, not indulgence.