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Separation of the Christian Churches of the East from unity with Rome. The schism was centuries in the making and finally became fixed in 1054, when the Patriarch of Constantinople, Michael Cerularius (died 1059), was excommunicated by the papal legates for opposing the use of unleavened bread by the Latin Church and removing the Pope's name from the diptychs or list of persons to be prayed for in the Eucharistic liturgy. A temporary reunion with Rome was effected by the Second Council of Florence (1439) but never stabilized.
All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.