I cannot thank you enough for these clear instructions. I have been working on this for almost 24 hours straight and your post finally got me up and running again.
I did things slightly differently to get it to actually work, but your steps helped me to get there.
yum downgrade php*
at the end, under Transaction Summary, I took note of everything it said would need to be removed because of dependencies and used wget to grab those packages. Eventually your transaction summary should say to remove 0 packages and reinstall 0 packages, and downgrade several packages, for me it was
At this point I said yes to the downgrade and it went through and did its thing. Then apache stopped working and I was getting PHP Fatal errors regarding the ioncube loader, the zendguard loader, and loading zend optimizer more than once.
I had to go into the php.d and I commented out everything in
I then copied the original contents of ioncube.ini and copied that line to load before zend in your etc/php.ini file
finally I started apache up with success and everything seems to be in order so far