Schisms Various great schisms are found in the history of the Church. There was the great schism which divided the Eastern and Western churches. In the Western Church there were early schisms —
(2) the schism of Felicissimus at Carthage, about A.D. 250, which was in reality an opposition to the episcopal authority of Cyprian under the lead of Novatus, SEE NOVATIANS;
(3) the schism of Novatian, a presbyter at Rome, A.D. 251. There was also the schism of Meletius. The Popish Church was rent by a great schism in the 14th century. Seventy years did the popes reside at Avignon, and after this one party chose Urban VI and another party Clement VII. France held by the last and England by the first, and for the next half century the rival popes claimed each to be the infallible head of the Church.