The Savior Jesus Christ willed his earthly kingdom, the Church of God, to be one, holy, catholic, and apostolic. Before the Protestant Reformation in the 1500s, the most serious incident to occur in Church history was the Eastern Schism in AD 1054 between the Roman Western churches and the Byzantine East. How can Catholics and Orthodox, who shared a thousand years of ecclesiastical life in one faith, sacramental rite, and hierarchy, have ended up with an unrepaired and broken communion?
Historians and theologians have spent a great deal of ink detailing the roots and repercussions of this terrible and painful schism, and none of the numerous arguments that exist between Catholics and Orthodox are more important to the effort of reconciling than the papacy. Erick Ybarra investigates sources from the first century with a new look at how methodology and hermeneutics play a role in the understanding of the same texts in The Papacy: Revisiting the Debate Between Catholics and Orthodox. Furthermore, he performs a careful examination into the most key historical issues in order to demonstrate what was clearly acknowledged by both the East and the West throughout their years of ecclesiastical union.
Given this overwhelming evidence, the reader of The Papacy is free to judge whether current Catholicism or Eastern Orthodoxy has preserved the first millennium's concept of the Papal function.