The first real, although still partial, split came with the Nestorian and Monophysite heresies condemned at the Councils of Ephe-sus (431) and Chalcedon (451). A much more serious separation occurred in 1054, when the Eastern churches and Rome mutually excommunicated each other—ending recognition of the validity of the other as a proper church. The two main issues involved in this separation were the primacy of the pope and the manner of explaining the doctrine of the Trinity. The Orthodox accepted the pope as the most honored bishop of the Christian world, but he was still one bishop among many. They thus did not believe that the pope should have direct authority over all Christians.
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