|Pope John XVI the Benevolent|
2. The Stages of the Schism
The Schism was in fact gradual. However, influenced by papal propaganda for many centuries, historians often refer to "schisms" of the 5th, 7th and especially of the 9th (under Photios) centuries, which never happened. Nowadays, thanks to the extensive research of Francis Dvornik and Fr. John Romanides, the truth is gradually being restored. So the stages that led to the Schism of 1054 are not the iconoclastic stance of Constantinople in the 8th century, nor some mythical excommunication of Photios in the 9th century. All these, as well as prior disputes, were resolved over time and validated formally in Synods with the participation of the Eastern Patriarchates and the Pope.
The actual stages that led to 1054 were the following four: