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This volume treats of the fateful history of the schism of the Byzantine Greco-Slav Churches from the Chair of Peter and the dogmatic issues that have developed between the Catholic Church and the autocephalous Eastern Orthodox Churches. It engages in a refutation of Eastern Orthodox objections to the Roman Primacy of universal jurisdiction in the Church and justifies the doctrine of the Procession of the Holy Spirit "from the Son" (reflected in the famous "filioque" clause added to the Latin text of the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed).

In particular, chapters III and IV deal extensively in analyzing the radical deficiency of Eastern Orthodox ecclesiology as found in the works of Alexei Khorniakov, Alexander Schmemann, George Florovsky, Bishop Kallistos Ware, and Nikos Nissiotis.

Of interest to ecumenists, the volume contains for the first time in English the full text of St. Thomas Aquinas' famous "Contra Errores Graecorum", together with St. Peter Damian's "Letter to the Patriarch of Constantinople", and the Letter to a Greek Abbot in Constantinople by the Dominican missionary John de Fontibus. Also for the first time in English is the fascinating "Apologia for Unity With Rome" by the 14th century Byzantine Greek Thomist and unionist Demetrios Kydones. In this impressive "Apologia", one of the most remarkable documents of the Byzantine Middle Ages, Kydones criticized the racial pride of those opposed to union with Rome, and which he blamed for their inability to study impartially the evidence for Catholic teaching. His own studies (based on his translations of St. Thomas' writings into Greek) convinced him that the Latin Fathers agreed with the Greek Fathers in matters of faith, and that there were no valid grounds for maintaining their separation from the See of Peter.

The author carefully examines Eastern Orthodox ecclesiology (doctrine concerning the nature of the Church) and utilizes the Angelic Doctor's teaching to show how the Procession of the Holy Spirit "from the Son" underlies the Visible Unity of the Church as manifested in the See of Peter's being the Episcopate's visible (and necessary) Center of Unity.

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