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Responding to Arguments for the Filioque (ab Utroque procession)
http://www.geocities.com/trvalentine/orthodox/filioque.html ^ | TR Valentine

Posted on 10/15/2005 5:23:09 PM PDT by JohnRoss

Responses to Arguments in Support of the Filioque

In this section, we will examine the usual arguments presented by supporters of the Filioque. The first part of the section will be an examination of the "logical" arguments. The second part will look at excerpts taken from Patristic writings that apologists for the Filioque present as proof-texts. Not surprisingly, Augustine and other Western writers are the most frequently cited Patristic sources. But since we have already demonstrated that Augustine is unreliable as an orthodox source of theology of the Holy Trinity, we will not examine his texts in this section. Neither will we examine the texts of those writers who followed in Augustine's footsteps. Rather, we will limit our examination to Eastern writers since apologists for the Filioque think these should be more impressive to Orthodox Christians.

Three warnings about Patristic citations should be noted:

1.

Just as it is quite easy to proof-text the Scriptures, it is also quite easy to do the same with Patristic writings. Frequently, such proof-texts are taken out of context and/or misapplied to the topic. One need not look very far to see how various Protestant denominations use proof-texts to support mutually exclusive beliefs. 2.

Orthodox Christians do not regard any single person as infallible in matters of dogma. It is not difficult to find instances where the Fathers have been in error about a particular thing. (Of course, if the errors are serious or numerous, the writer does not qualify as a "Father".) Orthodox Christians seek to find the consensus of the Fathers. In non-dogmatic matters, this may be very difficult to do as the Fathers may have a wide variety of opinions. But, in cases of dogma, it is generally easy to find that which has been believed "everywhere, always, and by all", i.e. universality, antiquity, and consent. Opinions which are limited to a region (e.g. the West), that have developed after the Apostolic Age, or are not held by the overwhelming majority of Fathers, does not meet the standards for dogma. 3.

These texts are presented in English to English speakers. They are translations. Without examining the passage in its original language and in context, it may be easy to misinterpret these texts. If anyone reading this could supply the original Greek for the following passages, this author would be most grateful.

Before proceeding, it should be noted that one frequently finds in the writings of the Eastern Fathers the formula "the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father through the Son". This formula is deemed perfectly orthodox by Orthodox Christians. It testifies to the fact that none of the Divine Persons acts apart from the others; they share the one Divine Will.

A common analogy is that as a man, when vocalising a word exudes breath, so the Father, when speaking (begetting) the Word exudes (spirates) the Holy Spirit (the Greek word for "breath", ρνεύμα also means "spirit"). This analogy demonstrates both the distinction between the Son and the Holy Spirit and their inseparableness. It also demonstrates that the Son and the Holy Spirit are of the Father and not the Father's creations.

When the Fathers testify that the Holy Spirit is the "Spirit of God" as well as the "Spirit of Christ", they mean that the Holy Spirit has His eternal and existential origin in the Father whilst being inseparably one with the Son with whom He (the Holy Spirit) is naturally united and of the same essence. In other words, the Holy Spirit has His "perfect procession" (the phrase is from Saint Cyril of Alexandria) from the Father and is joined to the Son in unity by reason of their shared essence (their consubstantiality). It is the consubstantiality of the Three Divine Persons that is being expressed or, as Saint Maximus the Confessor phrases it: "the unity and unchangeableness of the Divine Essence".

Apologists for the Filioque frequently assert that "proceeds from the Father and the Son" is equivalent to "proceeds from the Father through the Son". Although "and" and "through" may sometimes by synonymous in English (the paperwork must go through the boss usually means that the boss needs to add something such as a signature and thus constitutes an addition, an "and"), in Greek "through" (διά) and "and" (και) are never synonymous. "Through" (διά) never means a contributory effect; it means a "tunnelling" or "channelling", whereas "and" (και) usually means a "copulative" (i.e. a joining together which expresses an addition) and sometimes also a cumulative effect (i.e. an addition which implies an insufficiency on the part of the elements separately). In sum, διά always excludes addition; και always means addition. The words are mutually exclusive.

ARGUMENT: Just as the Father externally sent the Son into the world in time, the Son internally proceeds from the Father in the Trinity. Just as the Spirit is externally sent into the world by the Son as well as the Father [John 15:26, Acts 2:33], He internally proceeds from both Father and Son in the Trinity. This is why the Spirit is referred to as the "Spirit of the Son" [Gal. 4:6] and not just the Spirit of the Father.

RESPONSE: The phrase "Spirit of the Son" [Gal 4:6], "Spirit of Christ" [Rom 8:9 and 1 Pet 1:11], and "Spirit of Jesus Christ" [Phil 1:19] do not speak of origin, let alone existential origin as does John 15:26. All beings have "spirits". The Spirit of the Son, He Who is consubstantial with the Father and the Holy Spirit, must be the Holy Spirit lest we separate the Son and the Holy Spirit. This does not, however, mean that the Son is the existential origin of the Holy Spirit. As explained above, if I give a Rawlings baseball glove to my son he may tell others he received the glove from me, but the glove's ultimate origin is Rawlings. Similarly, we can say we receive the Holy Spirit from the Son (because the Son sent Him), but the Holy Spirit's ultimate origin is the Father. Possession is not the same as existential origin.

ARGUMENT: All things that the Father has belong to the Son [Jn 16:15], and thus the Father's ability to "proceed" the Holy Spirit is given to the Son.

RESPONSE: Those who use this argument must admit that this cannot mean all things since the Father cannot give His Fatherhood to the Son (which would be an absurdity!), but because they make a Divine substance the source of the Holy Trinity, they fail to understand the nature of the Fatherhood — that which makes the Father the source (αρχή) of the Son and Holy Spirit.

ARGUMENT: That the Holy Spirit is from the Son can be seen in Jn 20:22: "And having said this He breathed on them and said to them, 'Receive the Holy Spirit.'"

RESPONSE: This argument ignores the difference between the Holy Spirit's Eternal Origin and His temporal coming into the world. The Holy Spirit was not "spirated" for the first time in the Upper Room, but exists eternally. Once this distinction is recognised it becomes clear that this passage speaks of the Holy Spirit's coming into the world (His temporal origin) and does not refer to His eternal, existential origin. This verse does, however, testify to the formula "the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father through the Son" because the Holy Spirit comes to us through the Lord Jesus Christ.

ARGUMENT: It oversimplifies to say that the Son does not impart existence to others. John 1:3 states: "All things through Him came to be, and without Him came to be nothing which has come to be." This is reaffirmed in the Nicene Creed itself which makes clear that the creation is the work of both Father and Son. Indeed, Christians both East and West acknowledge that all three persons of the Trinity are involved in the work of creation (see Genesis 1:1-3).

RESPONSE: This argument has been included because, as incredible as it may seem, it is frequently found in arguments presented in support of the Filioque. Roman Catholics arguing for the Filioque (self-described as "traditionalist and/or conservative") have written these passages:

... the procession into the temporal world must be through the Son (and as such from both simultaneously) because all temporal creation is through the Son, or Logos.

All temporal creation is through the Logos, and all procession in the temporal world is through the Logos, "as from one principle". Still, from the Father ultimately who creates all, including the begotten Son.

The point missed in the east is that all creation was through the Logos, and as such the Spirit must come to us through the Logos.

"Father and Son as from one principle" implies the necessity of the Son, upon which all creation depends, for procession to the temporal world. Ultimately, the question is, does or can the Spirit exist or come forth into the temporal world without participation of the Logos? We say no, because the entirety of temporal creation, it is revealed, is through the Word.

This argument is incredible because John 1:3 (as well as the application of that which is the Nicene Creed) teaches that "through the Son" all creation was created. The Holy Spirit is not a creation, He is eternally God. Any person who teaches that the Holy Spirit is included in those things which "came to be" as referred to in John 1:3 cannot be regarded as a Christian. Such an argument is in the same category as the claim from the Jehovah's Witnesses that the Son is created as "a god".

ARGUMENT: If the dual procession be denied, it is not clear how we are to distinguish between the Word and the Spirit, between the Second and Third Persons of the Trinity. We distinguish between the Father and the Son, even though they are co-eternal and co-equal, and omni-perfect, by virtue of the fact that the One begets and the other is begotten — that is, the being of One is derived from the being of the Other. But if we say that the Son is derived from the Father alone, and that the Spirit is derived from the Father alone, how are the Son and the Spirit different? We may indeed say that it is the Second Person, not the First or the Third, that was made flesh for our salvation in the Person of Jesus of Nazareth. But this does not answer the question at hand, for the distinction of the Divine Persons must lie in the nature of the Godhead, not in the relation of God to a universe which He need not have created.

RESPONSE: This argument was taken, verbatim, from a supporter of the Filioque. It is, of course, the problem explained in Objection #2 above, that human "wisdom" (philosophy) is given precedence over Divine Revelation. Rather than restating all the problems with this argument, let us simply recall the statement of Saint John of Damascus:

We have learned that there is a difference between begetting and procession, but the nature of the difference we in no wise understand.

— Saint John of Damascus

ARGUMENT: The first distinctive statement about the Holy Spirit that we find in the Creed is that He is the Life-giver. Now, what does it mean to give life? What is the difference between a dead cat and a live one? A dead body may have all the parts that a live one has, but in a live body the parts are interacting, each part carrying out its distinctive function for the good of the whole body. The life of an organism, the spirit of an organism, is the "glue" that unites the parts into an integrated whole. So, in the Church, it is the Spirit that gives to each member a function to be carried out for the enhanced life of the whole Body of Christ, and gives the gifts necessary for carrying out that function. Not all members receive the same gifts; but, as the Apostle Paul points out to the Corinthians, the one gift available to every member is also the one gift most to be desired, and that is the gift of love, by which the whole body is joined together, all the members being united in love with Christ and with one another. Thus, if anyone asks what is the special activity of the Holy Spirit, we must answer that it is to unite in love. And if it is of the nature of the Spirit to unite things, then we may be sure that He has been carrying out this activity for all eternity. Before there was a Church, before there was physical life of any kind, the Spirit was the bond of love and unity between the Father and the Son. From all eternity, independently of any created being, God is the Lover, the Loved, and the Love itself. And the bond of unity and love that exists between the Father and the Son proceeds from the Father and the Son.

RESPONSE: This argument was also taken from a supporter of the Filioque. The error of subordinating the Holy Spirit to a bond of love between the Father and the Son has already been addressed. There is a second error in the above argument: equating the Holy Spirit to a member of the Church. The Holy Spirit is God, not a member of the Church. There is also a third, more subtle error in this argument: the idea that life is dependent upon role/purpose. First, the Holy Spirit, being God, is not dependent upon anything for His existence. Second, the gift of life we humans have from the Giver of Life (the Holy Spirit along with the Father and the Son) is a free gift. We live the roles of our life because we first exist. It is not necessary for us to engage in some role in order for us to exist.

ARGUMENT: A creator (e.g. a writer, sculptor, musician, architect, etc.) first conceives of an idea before he is able to give it expression (e.g. a word, statue, composition, building, etc.). The expression does not create the idea; the idea creates the expression. Thus it is that "No one knows the Son, except the Father, and no one knows the Father, except the Son, and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him." [Matt 11:27] Thus theologians say that the Father is aware of Himself only by contemplating His image in the Son. And, just as in any creative act on the part of a human creator, the appreciative and understanding response proceeds not simply from the creative idea but from the creative idea revealed in the creative expression of that idea, so on the level of the Divine Creator, the Holy Spirit proceeds not solely from the Father but from the Father and the Son.

RESPONSE: The first part of this argument is fine. Clearly, idea precedes expression. But one needs to be careful about applying human concepts about human beings to the Divine Persons of the Holy Trinity. As soon as one expresses a limitation of any of the Divine Persons (e.g. "the Father is aware of Himself only ...") alarms should go off in the mind of any right-thinking Christian. This idea seems more dependent upon human "wisdom" (philosophy) than upon Divine Revelation. It seems to deny the Father's self-awareness. But if even human creatures possess self-awareness, then to deny this to the Father is a gross blasphemy. Furthermore, it is unclear how the creative process of human beings can apply to the Son or the Holy Spirit Who are not creatures.

QUOTATIONS

Tertullian, Against Praxeas, 4:1

I believe that the Spirit proceeds not otherwise than from the Father through the Son.

This is the typical Eastern formula "through the Son" discussed above.

It should be noted that whenever Tertullian is cited, one must examine from which of the three periods of his life the citation is taken: his Orthodox period, his semi-Montanist (a heresy) period, or his Montanist period. His Against Praxeas is from Tertullian's Montanist period. Since Tertullian died a heretic, he is not deemed a Father of the Church.

Origen, Commentaries on John, 2:6

We believe, however, that there are three persons: the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit; and we believe none to be unbegotten except the Father. We admit, as more pious and true, that all things were produced through the Word, and that the Holy Spirit is the most excellent and the first in order of all that was produced by the Father through Christ.

Like Tertullian, Origen was judged by the Church to be a heretic and is not deemed a Father of the Church. The above is clearly heretical, reducing the Holy Spirit to being the first of creation, i.e. a creature. On the contrary, the Holy Spirit is uncreated God.

Saint Maximus the Confessor, Questions to Thalassium, 63

By nature the Holy Spirit in his being takes substantially his origin from the Father through the Son who is begotten.

This is the typical Eastern formula, "through the Son".

Saint Gregory the Wonderworker, Confession of Faith

One God, the Father of the living Word, of subsistent Wisdom and Power, and of the Eternal Image. Perfect Begetter of the Perfect, Father of the only begotten Son. One Lord, Only of Only, God of God, Image and Likeness of the Godhead, Efficient Word, Wisdom comprehending the constitution of the universe, and Power shaping all creation. Genuine Son of Genuine Father, Invisible of Invisible, and Incorruptible of Incorruptible, and Immortal of Immortal, and Eternal of Eternal. And one Holy Spirit, having substance of God, and who is manifested [to men, that is,]* through the Son; Image of the Son, Perfect of the Perfect; Life, the Cause of living; Holy Fountain; Sanctity, the Dispenser of Sanctification; in whom is manifested God the Father, who is above all and in all, and God the Son, who is through all. Perfect Trinity, in glory and eternity and sovereignty neither divided nor estranged. *(The bracketed phrase above is thought to be a later editorial addition.)

"... manifested through the Son" means that it is through the Son that the Holy Spirit is presented to men. This has nothing to do with the Holy Spirit's eternal origin. It refers to His temporal origin as is described in John 20:22.

Didymus The Blind, The Holy Spirit, 37

As we have understood discussions . . . about the incorporeal natures, so too it is now to be recognized that the Holy Spirit receives from the Son that which he was of his own nature . . . So too the Son is said to receive from the Father the very things by which he subsists. For neither has the Son anything else except those things given him by the Father, nor has the Holy Spirit any other substance than that given him by the Son.

Didymus the Blind followed Origen in much of his teachings regarding creation. Like Origen, his writings were condemned as heretical. For this reason, he is not a Father and is not regarded as a reliable source for doctrine. This passage appears to be Neoplatonic inasmuch as it appears to echo Augustine's identification of causality as the defining attribute of Divinity. The above presents the Father as the cause of the Son and the Son as the cause of the Holy Spirit, i.e. a plurality of spheres of being, arranged in hierarchical descending order, each sphere of being derived from its superior. If this is an accurate understanding of the above, the passage should be rejected as heretical.

Saint Athanasius, To Serapion of Thmius

Insofar as we understand the special relationship of the Son to the Father, we also understand that the Spirit has this same relationship to the Son. And since the Son says, "everything that the Father has is mine" [John 16:15], we will discover all these things also in the Spirit. through the Son. And just as the Son was announced by the Father, who said, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" [Matt 3:17], so also is the Spirit of the Son; for, as the Apostle says, "He has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!"" [Gal 4:6]

We have previously addressed the passage of John 16:15. "Announcing" obviously is not the equivalent of existential origin. We have also previously addressed the passage of Gal 4:6 and similar passages that speak of the 'Spirit of the Son'.

Saint Epiphanius of Salamis, The Well-Anchored Man, 8, 75

For the Only-Begotten Himself calls Him 'the Spirit of the Father', and says of Him that 'He proceeds from the Father', and 'will receive of mine', so that He is reckoned as not being foreign to the Father nor to the Son, but is of their same substance, of the same Godhead; He is Spirit divine,... of God, and He is God. For he is Spirit of God, Spirit of the Father and Spirit of the Son, not by some kind of synthesis, like soul and body in us, but in the midst of Father and Son, of the Father and of the Son, a third by appellation. ... The Father always existed and the Son always existed, and the Spirit breathes from the Father and the Son; and neither is the Son created nor is the Spirit created.

Epiphanius of Salamis is regarded as an Orthodox saint primarily for his work as a pastor of his flock. He is not a "Father" of the Church. Most of the above passage addresses the consubstantiality of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The only phrase that may bear on the Filioque is 'the Spirit breathes from the Father and the Son'. It would be helpful to study the original language. However, since εκορευσις is conventionally translated as 'proceeds' whereas this passage employs 'breathes', it seems unlikely that εκορευσις is used. That the Holy Spirit is 'breathed' forth from the Son (see John 20:22) refers to the Holy Spirit's temporal mission into the world, not His eternal origin.

Saint Epiphanius of Salamis, Panarion (Breadbox), 62:4

The Spirit is always with the Father and the Son, ... proceeding from the Father and receiving of the Son, not foreign to the Father and the Son, but of the same substance, of the same Godhead, of the Father and the Son, He is with the Father and the Son, Holy Spirit ever subsisting, Spirit divine, Spirit of glory, Spirit of Christ, Spirit of the Father. ... He is third in appellation, equal in divinity, not different as compared to Father and Son, connecting Bond of the Trinity, Ratifying Seal of the Creed.

Like the previous passage from the same saint, the thrust of this passage is the consubstantiality of the Holy Trinity. Saint Epiphanius does not assert that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Son — only the Father is presented as the source of the Holy Spirit's procession, i.e. the eternal and existential source of the Holy Spirit. Rather, Saint Epiphanius states that the Holy Spirit "receives" from the Son. Though this passage does not explain what it is that the Holy Spirit receives from the Son, Orthodox teaching is that the Holy Spirit is eternally manifested by the Son. Since it would be proper, therefore, to state that the Holy Spirit receives His eternal manifestation from the Son, there is nothing in this passage to which Orthodox Christians would object.

Saint Basil the Great, On the Holy Spirit, 18:45

Through the Son, who is one, he [the Holy Spirit] is joined to the Father, one is one, and by Himself completes the Blessed Trinity.

This is the typical Eastern formula, 'through the Son'. It ought to be noted that the purpose of Saint Basil the Great's On the Holy Spirit was to demonstrate against the Pneumatomachoi (literally 'Spirit fighters') that the Holy Spirit was a Divine Person within the Holy Trinity. The Pneumatomachoi were anathematised at the Second Ecumenical Synod in 381.

Saint Basil the Great, On the Holy Spirit, 18:47

The goodness of [the divine] nature, the holiness of [that] nature, and the royal dignity reach from the Father through the only-begotten [Son] to the Holy Spirit. Since we confess the persons in this manner, there is no infringing upon the holy dogma of the monarchy.

Again, this is the typical Eastern formula, 'through the Son'.

Saint Gregory of Nyssa, Against Eunomius, 1

The Father conveys the notion of unoriginate, unbegotten, and Father always; the only-begotten Son is understood along with the Father, coming from Him but inseparably joined to Him. Through the Son and with the Father, immediately and before any vague and unfounded concept interposes between them, the Holy Spirit is also perceived conjointly.

Again, this is the typical Eastern formula, 'through the Son'.

Saint Gregory of Nyssa, Letter to Ablabius

While we confess the invariableness of the [Divine] Nature we do not deny the distinction of cause and of caused, by which alone we perceive that one Person is distinguished from another, in our belief that it is one thing to be the cause and another to be from the cause; and in that which is from the cause, we recognize yet another distinction. It is one thing to be directly from the First Cause, and another to be through Him who is directly from the First, so the distinction of being Only-begotten abides undoubtedly in the Son, nor is it doubted that the Spirit is from the Father; for the middle position of the Son is protective of His distinction as Only-begotten, but does not exclude the Spirit from His natural relation to the Father.

Again, this is the typical Eastern formula, 'through the Son', albeit much more wordy.

Saint Cyril of Alexandria, Treasury of the Holy and Consubstantial Trinity, thesis 34

Since the Holy Spirit when He is in us effects our being conformed to God, and He actually proceeds from the Father and Son, it is abundantly clear that He is of the Divine Essence, in it in essence and proceeding from it.

At first appearance this passage seems to support the Filioque. However, Saint Cyril also taught that the Holy Spirit had His 'perfect procession' from the Father. The writings of Saint Cyril were thoroughly discussed during the Filioque controversy that erupted during the patriarchate of Gregory II of Cyrus (1283-1289). The Synod of Blachernae (1285) concluded that Saint Cyril was addressing the consubstantiality of the Holy Trinity rather than the eternal and existential origin of the Holy Spirit.

Interestingly, this same Saint Cyril of Alexandria's interpretation of John 21 is often used against Roman Catholic claims that Saint Peter was made leader over the Apostles. The usual response by Roman Catholics is that the 'solitary phrase of Saint Cyril is of no weight against the overwhelming patristic authority' which stands against him. Of course, the same could be said if indeed this solitary phrase of Saint Cyril supports the Filioque. It would be necessary to examine the original language to be certain.

Saint Cyril of Alexandria, Letters, 3:4:33

Just as the Son says 'All that the Father has is mine' [John 16:15], so shall we find that through the Son it is all also in the Spirit.

Again, this is the typical Eastern formula, 'through the Son'.

Saint Cyril of Alexandria, The Twelve Anathemas, Error 9

We must not say that the one Lord Jesus Christ has been glorified by the Spirit, in such a way as to suggest that through the Spirit He made use of a power foreign to Himself, and from the Spirit received the ability to work against unclean spirits, and to perform divine signs among men; but must rather say that the Spirit, through whom He did indeed work His divine signs, is his own.

This passage addresses the consubstantiality of the Three Divine Persons.

Saint John of Damascus, Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, 8

Likewise we believe also in one Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life . . . God existing and addressed along with Father and Son; uncreated, full, creative, all-ruling, all-effecting, all-powerful, of infinite power, Lord of all creation and not under any lord; deifying, not deified; filling, not filled; shared in, not sharing in; sanctifying, not sanctified; the intercessor, receiving the supplications of all; in all things like to the Father and Son; proceeding from the Father and communicated through the Son.

Again, this is the typical Eastern formula, 'through the Son'.

Saint John of Damascus, Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, 12

And the Holy Spirit is the power of the Father revealing the hidden mysteries of His Divinity, proceeding from the Father through the Son in a manner known to Himself, but different from that of generation.

Again, this is the typical Eastern formula, 'through the Son'.

Saint John of Damascus, Dialogue Against the Manicheans, 5

I say that God is always Father since he has always his Word [the Son] coming from Himself and, through his Word, the Spirit issuing from Him.

Again, this is the typical Eastern formula, 'through the Son'.

Thus, once the the "preponderance" of Patristic support fot the Filioque is examined, the claims of supporters of the Filioque are shown to be non-existent. Granted, many Latin writers endorsed the Filioque, but they were caught in the wake of Augustine's disproportionate influence on the West.

To conclude this section and the essay, let us look at this explanation by Saint Gregory Palamas (from his Confession). It is one of the most succinct and precise expressions of the Holy Spirit's relation to the Father and Son in all of Patristic writings.

On the one hand, the Holy Spirit is, together with the Father and the Son, without beginning, since He is eternal; yet, on the other, He is not without beginning, since He also — by way of procession, not by way of generation — has the Father as foundation, source, and cause. He also [like the Son] came forth from the Father before all ages, without change, impassibly, not by generation, but by procession; He is inseparable from the Father and the Son, since He proceeds from the Father, and reposes in the Son; He possesses union without losing His identity, and division without involving separation. He, also, is God from God; He is not different since He is God, yet He is different since He is the Comforter; as Spirit, He possesses hypostatic existence, proceeds from the Father, and is sent — that is, manifested — through the Son; He also is the cause of all created things, since it is in the Spirit that they are perfected. He is identical and equal with the Father and the Son, with the exception of unbegottenness and generation. He was sent — that is, made known — from the Son to His own disciples. By what other means — the Spirit which is inseparable from the Son — could He have been sent? By what other means could He — Who is everywhere — come to me? Wherefore, He is sent not only from the Son, but from the Father and through the Son, and is manifested through Himself.


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If the filioque means the Father and the Son both send the Holy Spirit into creation, then it is acceptable. However, if it means that the Son also is a cause of the Holy Spirit's existence, then it is an error arising from a mistranslation of the Greek
1 posted on 10/15/2005 5:23:19 PM PDT by JohnRoss
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To: JohnRoss

It means the first. Though I find the whole idea of precedence in eternity kind of mind boggling.

Doesn't the filioque also prevent heresy, though? I mean what's to stop a Holy Spirit cult branching off from Christianity and saying Christ is unimportant without the filioque? Kind of like the Jehovah's Witnesses saying Christ and the Holy Spirit are unimportant... just a thought.


2 posted on 10/15/2005 6:35:58 PM PDT by WriteOn (Truth)
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To: WriteOn

Doesn't the filioque also prevent heresy, though? I mean what's to stop a Holy Spirit cult branching off from Christianity and saying Christ is unimportant without the filioque?

No, the Filioque does not prevent any heresy because, flat out it seems to denigrate the Father's role as the sole source of the Holy Trinity's existence.

Saying the Holy Spirit proceeds from the father through the Son is far more accurate, or that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the father and abides in the Son.

I think the Latins need to recognize the meaning of the Greek creed and the St. John's gospel is to come out from.

A far more literal rendering would be "And I will send you the Holy Spirit who comes out of/from the Father."

Read Mr. Valentine's linguistic commentary. I would have posted it, but FR doesn't support Greek HTML letters.

Here is what John 15:26 says:
"When the Counselor has come, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, Okay.

Here is the Greek taken from the Liddell Scott Greek Lexicon, which is used by most scholars of Greek:
me dôrean. Hotan elthêi ho paraklêtos hon egô pempsô humin para tou patros, to pneuma tês alêtheias ho para tou patros ekporeuetai (the Last word here is the Key)

Here is how the LSJ defines ekporeutai:
A. make to go out, fetch out, E.Ph.1068, HF723 :--Med., with fut. Med. (X. An.5.1.8) and aor. Pass., go out or forth, march out, X.l.c., etc. ; epi leian Aen.Tact.24.4 ; eis strateian e. to march out to a place.., Plb. 11.9.4 : c. acc. loci, e. to bouieutêrion ib.8 ; but ek tou charakos Id.6.58.4 ; ek tou stomatos LXX Pr.3.16 , al.: more generally, ho th' hugros eis gên ombros ekporeuetai Critias 25.36 .
Here is the Web link so you can investigate for yourself.
http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?layout.refembed=2&layout.refdoc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0155&layout.refcit=book%3DJohn%3Achapter%3D15%3Averse%3D26&doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0057%3Aentry%3D%2332726&layout.reflookup=e%29kporeu%2Fetai&layout.reflang=greek&layout.refwordcount=1&layout.refabo=Perseus%3Aabo%3Atlg%2C0031%2C004

But the Greek word pempso, describing Christ's action is more generic:
meaning, just to send.
http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?layout.reflang=greek;layout.refembed=2;layout.refwordcount=1;layout.refdoc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0155;layout.reflookup=pe%2Fmyw;layout.refcit=book%3DJohn%3Achapter%3D15%3Averse%3D26;doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0057%3Aentry%3D%2380558;layout.refabo=Perseus%3Aabo%3Atlg%2C0031%2C004

The Latin verb procedere is a better fit for pempso than for
ekporeuetai. Thus adding the cognate filioque to the Credo
changes the meaning of the original.

The Byzantine Catholic Churches has removed the Filioque from their renderings of the creed, so should the Latin Church.


3 posted on 10/15/2005 7:24:26 PM PDT by JohnRoss (We need a real conservative in 2008)
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To: JohnRoss
The Metropolitan of Ephesus himself in his Account of His Actions at the Council states that the reason was ill health. So in the absence of his chief opponent and also of Antony of Heraclea Montenero started his discourse. He regretted, he said, that Eugenicus would not hear the confutation of his arguments: however, he proposed to treat the subject under four heads -- the Scriptures, Latin doctors held in respect by the early Councils, Greek doctors of the greatest repute, reply to the Greek objections.

The Scriptures call the Spirit the Spirit of the Son (Gal. 4. 6; Rom. 8. 9; Acts 16. 7). That usage implies a relation or respect of the Spirit to the Son -- not merely to his manhood, but to the Person -- which is either of origin or of dominance. But in the Blessed Trinity no Person is the servant of or is owned by another, so it must be of a relation of origin.

Again St John records Our Lord's words: '...the Paraclete, the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name' (Jn 14, 26) ; 'But when the Paraclete cometh, whom I will send you from the Father ' (Jn 15, 26). No one is sent except as by a master, a counsellor or a source. But of these three only the last can apply in the Blessed Trinity, so that this temporal mission of the Holy Spirit necessarily presupposes his origin from that Person by whom he is sent, as all the Fathers agree.

By the gift of the Spirit we are made conformable to the image of the Son and receive the adoption of sons. But that by which a thing is conformed to another must have being from that to which it is conformed -- somewhat in the same way as in physical generation the seed is determined by the producer to produce what is like the producer. But we are made conformable to the Son by the Spirit and so the Spirit must have received from the Son. This is a favorite argument of the Greek doctors, especially Athanasius and Basil, who are fond of saying that as the Son is the image of the Father, so is the Spirit said to be the image of the Son.

'He shall glorify me, because he shall receive of mine' (Jn 16,14) but if the Spirit receives from the Son, he must proceed from him. He cannot receive what he had not before, so he receives from eternity, that is he proceeds from the Son from eternity. Christ himself gives us the reason: 'All things whatsoever the Father hath, are mine.' (Jn 16, 15) So that whatsoever the Son has, he has received eternally from the Father, that is the divine nature and the productive power by which he produces the Spirit, which in no way militates with the sonship as the nature of the Father and of the Son is one and the same.

So the first source of this procession is the Father, since the Son has that power not from himself but from the Father, and this the doctors, like St Augustine, express by saying that the Spirit proceeds principally from the Father in that the Father is the first principle and source of all divinity, a quality not possessed by the Son, yet as the divine nature in both Father and Son is one and the same and equal in both, the Father is not a fuller and more perfect cause of the Spirit than the Son. These two are one and the same principle of the Spirit -- these are not two principles or causes, even though St Basil says that the Son is second to the Father and the Spirit second to the Son.

In the New Testament the Son is said to operate through the Spirit and the Spirit through the Son. One, therefore, is giving operative power to the other, which in the divinity is nothing else than the divine essence. Now, no one at all ever suggests that the Son receives his essence from the Spirit, so it must be that the Spirit receives from the Son, which means that he proceeds from him. But because the Son receives from the Father that he is the principle of the Spirit, while the Father has that from no other source than himself, that is no reason for saying that the Son is not also the source of the Spirit. If a man moves a stone with a stick, both the stick and the man move the stone. The same reasoning is valid in things divine, but with greater force since everything there is substantial and common. So to accept that the Spirit is from the Father through the Son and to deny that he is from the Father and the Son is to be self-contradictory.

Montenero's second line of proof was the testimony of the ancient Latin Fathers. First Leo the Great, whom both the fourth and the sixth Councils extolled. Writing to Turribius of Spain he spoke of the Spirit as 'other, he who proceeds from both', and in a sermon delivered on Whitsunday: 'Seeing then that the only-begotten Son is from the Father and the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Father and Son, not like a creature which also belongs to Father and Son, but as one living with each and powerful and eternally subsisting from that which is Father and Son' (P.L. 54, 402A) This last passage is noteworthy because Leo gives a reason, namely, that the Spirit is not a creature, because he is from the Father and the Son as subsisting, that is from the divine nature common to both.

John's next document was a work of Pope Damasus which he persisted in producing though the Greeks averred that they accepted it. It was, he said, Damasus' profession of faith as contained in the original text: 'We believe ... in the existence of the Spirit the Paraclete, who is neither Father nor Son, but proceeds from Father and Son'

And so Montenero continued with passages from Hilary, the contemporary of Athanasius (P.L. 10, 250C-251B; 69A-70A; 471A-472A) ; Jerome, who, he said, was the disciple of the Greek Gregory of Nazianzus; Ambrose, the contemporary of Basil the Great, who founding himself on the Gospel of St John asserts that '"since all things whatsoever the Father hath are mine", what he [i.e. the Son] receives through the unity of nature, that through the same unity of nature the Spirit received from the Son himself'' (P.L. 16, 771B) and declares the Son, like the Father, to be a source of life to the Spirit (ibid. 739AB).

Next came Ambrose's spiritual son Augustine, and from him Montenero read a multitude of texts all asserting plainly, on the basis of Scr.1-tLre, that the Spirit proceeds from Fither and Son. Here John was content to quote the words of his authority without adding any comment or argument. These were clear enough and abundant enough to impress by themselves (e.g. ps. Augustine (=Fulgentius) P.L. 65, 674A; 42, 770-1; 35, 1888-9; 42, 908, 921, 1092).

After Augustine came Pope Hormisdas, who reigned in the days of the Emperor Justin, when John, Patriarch of Constantinople, was trying to bring peace again to the Church after the aberrations of his predecessor Acacius. Both Emperor and Patriarch accepted the profession of faith of Hormisdas to make it the norm of orthodoxy. Yet that profession contained the following:

'Great and incomprehensible is the mystery of the Trinity. God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Ghost, an undivided Trinity, and yet it is known because it is characteristic of the Father to generate the Son, characteristic of the Son of God to be born of the Father equal to the Father, characteristic of the Spirit to proceed from Father and Son in one substance of deity' (P.L. 63, 514B).

When Maurice was Emperor after the fifth Council, Gregory the Great flourished, who in many writings affirmed the same truth (e.g. P.L. 75, 87B-88A; 66, 204B; 758, 541B, 598B; 76, 533D-534A.). Boethius the philosopher says the same (P.L. 64, 1249C, I254C) and Isidore of Spain, who wrote many works on the Holy Scripture, declares no less (P.L. 82, 268C).

In Spain, too, not long after the time of Isidore, the Arian king Recared was converted with his subjects, in consequence of which many local councils had to be held to establish orthodoxy. The first of them indeed took place in the time of Leo I and with his approval sent the rule of faith drawn up there by the bishops of Tarragona, Cartagena, Lusitania and Baetica (Andalusia) to Balconius, bishop of Galicia. (The council was held in A.D. 400 and the profession of faith was sent by Leo in 447.)

It reads like this:

'We believe in God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, maker of things visible and invisible, by whom all things in heaven and on earth were made, that this one God and this one Trinity is of the divine substance: that however the Father is not the Son but has the Son, who is not the Father; the Son is not the Father but is the Son of God from the nature of the Father; that there is the Spirit, the Paraclete, who is neither Father nor Son, but proceeds from Father and the Son.'

That doctrine of the Procession of the Holy Spirit was repeated in many other councils of Toledo after the first -- the third (589), the fourth (633), the sixth (638), the twelfth (681) and the thirteenth (1062). All these took place before the sixth general Council and were held in high esteem. Now if the Church reverences the authority of individual Fathers, how much more that of such synods, convened and confirmed by the authority of the Holy See, wherein doctors of great name played their part.

There then, said Montenero, are some of the authorities I could quote of Saints and teachers who lived before the seventh Council, teachers recognized as such both in West and East. Next I must marshal the array of venerable Greek teachers who declare this truth like flashes of lightning.

But there was no time for him to begin the third part of his discourse because the day was already drawing on towards evening, so the session closed and he finished his exposition on 24 March.

On the following Tuesday, then, in the eighth session, the Dominican Provincial went through a long catena of passages from the eastern Fathers, and because these were more likely to impress the Greeks than his western authorities he let few pass without adding his commentary and drawing his conclusions.

As he ended his quotation and explanation the Greek text was on each occasion read out by Ambrogio Traversari. He began with two texts from St Basil, other than those already quoted in the earlier sessions, where Basil calls the Spirit the image and the word of the Son as the Son is image and word of the Father, (Ps. Basil, P.G. 29, 724C) which, he argued, implies a like relationship of nature and existence of the Spirit to the Son as the Son bears to the Father, and this with no suggestion of ambiguity.

Epiphanius, too, had been twice quoted earlier, so now Montenero brought forward two other passages. In the one Epiphanius described the Spirit as 'breathed from Father and Son' (P.G. 43, 153B) which, said Montenero, was our way of expressing the act of Procession: the other declared: 'If however Christ is believed to be from the Father, God from God; and the Spirit from Christ, in other words from both, as Christ said: "Who proceeds from the Father" and this "He will receive fiom mine"' (P.G. 42, 493B) Epiphanius, said John, founds his statement on the Scripture and on that basis asserts -- and without any hesitation, so Basil too cannot have doubted -- that the Spirit is God from God and from both.

Didymus, the master of St Jerome, who translated his book on the Holy Spirit into Latin, comes next in order of time. 'The Spirit', he wrote, 'when the Son speaks cannot hear what he does not know, since this is what is uttered by the Son' (P.G. 39, 1064C), where (concluded Montenero) the knowledge he received must be the divine essence, which in God is one and the same. A little later in the same work are these words: 'The Son is nothing else than what is given him by the Father, and the Holy Spirit is no other substance than what is given by the Son' (ibid. 1065D-1066A) -- a clear and unconditional declaration, and as Basil must have seen this work he cannot be thought to have expressed any doubt on this truth.

From Athanasius the Lombard Provincial quoted many passages (P.G.26, 376A, 118AB, 625AB, 640A, 580B), mostly comments on St John's 'He will receive from mine', designed in his arguments to prove that the Spirit receives from the Son as the Son from the Father, which in respect of the divine means an order of origin that, as the Son receives the divine nature from the Father, so the Spirit receives the divine nature from the Son. St Basil, as Montenero notes, in his books against Eunomius follows the same line of argument as Athanasius, establishing first a relation between Son and Father and then a parallel one between Spirit and Son.

So Athanasius wrote: 'For since the Son is one, the living Word, so the perfect, full, sanctifying and illuminating life should be one which is the operation and gift, which too is said to proceed from the Father, since he shines forth and is sent and given by the Word Whom we confess to be from the Father' (P.G. 26, 580A); and elsewhere he compares the Son as the source of the Spirit to a river flowing from its source. In the Dialogue against Arius that took place at Nicaea Athanasius objected: 'If the Spirit is not from the substance of the Father and the Son, why did the Son name him in the tradition of sanctification [i.e. the institution of baptism] where he says: "Going therefore teach ye all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost" ?' (Ps. Athansasius, P.G. 28, 489B).

Here (proceeded Montenero) he clearly states that the Spirit is of the substance of the Son. Eugenicus explained it thus -- of the substance in so far as it is common to both, thereby making the order between them merely one of words. But that explanation cannot stand, for in the same way we could say that the Father is of the substance of the Holy Spirit, or the Son of the substance of the Spirit, phrases which no theologian can view without horror. The preposition 'from' implies origin and consubstantiality, and to say that the Spirit is from the substance of the Son is tantamount to saying that he is from the Son substantially or that the Son produces him.

Cyril of Alexandria had been used at length by Eugenicus. Montenero quoted him even more, with a little introduction to prove that the Nestorians were heretical not only with regard to the Incarnation but also (pace Eugenicus) as regards the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, for, denying the divinity of Christ, they had to assert that he performed his miracles not in his own power, but by the power of another, in other words that the Spirit did not receive his essence from the Son, otherwise Christ, operating by the Spirit, would have been exercising his own power.

That was the theme of much of Cyril's letter Salvatore nostro which was approved by the Council of Chalcedon (P.G. 77, 105C f) The phrase 'He is not alien to the Son in respect of the one essence' (ibid. 181A) of his letter to John of Antioch is explained by Cyril himself, and not in the way in which the Metropolitan of Ephesus explained it as simply being of the same nature. For he calls him the Spirit of truth, which implies an origin, for Christ is the Truth; and goes on to say 'and flows forth from him as from God and Father' (ibid. 117C). This is clear enough, but just in case some should say that 'to flow forth' is not the same as 'proceed', listen to Cyril: 'He is consubstantial and flows forth indeed, that is proceeds as from a source from God and Father' (ibid.316D) where the Doctor of Chalcedon equates those two words.

That Council approved Cyril's letter and approved also that 'pillar of the faith' Leo, who wrote: 'One Who generated, another Who was generated, another Who proceeded from both' (P.L. 54, 680C, 681A), so that two Councils can be said to hold that the Spirit has his essence from the Son and proceeds from both.

In his book addressed to Hermias Cyril declares that the Son is in everything equal to the Father except in generation, and so therefore in spiration, which is not generation. He goes on to say: 'You shall call him the Holy Spirit Who naturally flows forth from the Father through the Son' (P.G. 75, 721D). But Procession through the Son implies Procession from the Son, for these two phrases though different as regards the formula of words yet mean the same thing. Theologians, however, are chary of using 'through' for fear of seeming to give grounds for the Arian explanation of the Son's being only a kind of conduit of the Spirit. Again his word 'naturally' -- indicates a flowing forth according to a likeness of nature, that is a receiving of a nature. So it follows that when Cyril used the words 'flow forth' he meant an eternal Procession by which the Spirit receives his nature from Father and Son.

Several more passages were quoted by Montenero out of the many that he said he could have produced had there been time, where Cyril speaks of the Son as 'producing from his plenitude his own, immovably residing, Spirit (P.G. 75, 844A); of the Spirit as teaching that he is 'not alien in substance from the Son, but in him and from him there comes a certain natural operation able to fill everything that he wishes' (ibid. 581C); 'We must confess him to be from the substance of the Son and possessing all the power and operation of God himself just as steam rises from water' (ibid. 573A); he calls him the 'Spirit of life', which even more than 'the Spirit of truth' indicates a relationship of origin (ibid. 600D); he declares that 'He comes forth from Father and Son' (ibid. 585A); that we must 'confess that he is from the substance of the Son. For as existing naturally from him and from him being sent to creatures he effects a renovation, he who is the completion of the Blessed Trinity' (ibid. 608AB).

With these quotations Montenero finished his exposition of his third part and then went on to criticize the arguments of Eugenicus. Mark had quoted Gregory of Nazianzus to show that the Spirit is from the Father only. Gregory certainly said that he proceeded from the Father, but that does not exclude the Son, just as Christ said; 'No one knows the Father but the Son' (Mt 11, 27), though obviously the Spirit knows him too. It is Eugenicus who always adds to 'proceeds from the Father' the word 'alone', a thing no doctor of the Church whether Greek or Latin did or dared to do, for they knew that every, thing is common to the three Persons except solely when relationship prevents it.

The only thing in the strictest sense proper to the Father is the generative power; just as the only thing in the strictest sense proper to the Son is to be generated. The spirative power of producing the Spirit is proper only in a wider sense and then to both, though the resultant Procession is in the strictest sense proper to the Spirit. The Son, however, has that spirative power (which does not militate with his property of sonship) from the Father, so that the Father is the first source and principle. This explanation solves not only Eugenicus' difficulty from Gregory but also invalidates the conclusions he drew from the words of Denis the Areopagite and of Athanasius, who call the Father the 'sole source of divinity'.

On the other hand, his argument from the words of Basil, who says: 'I understand the special relationship of the Holy Spirit to the Father when it is said: "He proceeds from the Father", and the special relationship of the Spirit to the Son when I hear: "Now if any man have not the spirit of Christ, he is none of his" (cf. P.G. 31, 609AB), needs no answer: it clearly indicates origin and proves my thesis, not Mark's.

There remain only the question of Charisius and the correspondence of Cyril with Theodoretus. Mark's statements on the former I have already refuted by explaining the scope of Cyril's letter Salvatore nostro. Cyril himself rejects the conclusions Mark would draw from the second, for Eugenicus implied that Cyril had made a retractation of what he had upheld at Ephesus, whereas that Saint had warned his friends 'even if a signed letter should be produced that we have done penance for what we did at Ephesus, let this be examined -- for we are by God's grace in our right minds and not out of our minds' (P.G. 77, 201A) -- that is, should he do such a thing, he would be mad: Theodoretus on the other hand was condemned by the fifth Council.

The Metropolitan of Ephesus has produced no other arguments, so I have nothing more to answer. The sacred Scriptures, then, the testimony of Greek Fathers and Latins alike, show that the Spirit is from Father and Son and that these are one principle, and that it cannot be denied that they are one principle unless a distinction is made after the fashion of the Arians between the natures of Father and Son. Their witness proves it clear as daylight. So I have performed my office. If anyone of you remains in doubt, I offer myself and these Fathers here as ready to defend the truth we profess.

More here.

4 posted on 10/16/2005 9:27:49 AM PDT by gbcdoj (Let us ask the Lord with tears, that according to his will so he would shew his mercy to us Jud 8:17)
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To: gbcdoj
Note why St. Athanasius says the Spirit is said to proceed from the Father.
For since one is the Son who also is the living Word: it is necessary that there also be one perfect and full, sanctifying and illuminating, his living power and gift that is said to proceed from the Father, since from the Word, which is conceded to be from the Father, he shines forth, and is sent from the same (Word), and given. Indeed it is most true that the Son is sent from the Father, for he says: "So God loved the world, that he sent his only-begotten Son." (John 3:16) So also the Son sends the Spirit: For "If," he says, "I go, I will send the Paraclete." (John 16:7) The Son likewise honors the Father, as he himself says: "I have glorified Thee." (John 17:4) Likewise the Spirit honors the Son, as the same Son says: "He will glorify me." (John 16:14) The Son moreover says: "What I have heard from the Father, these things I speak in the world." (John 8:26) The Spirit, however, also receives from the Son. "Of mine," he says, "he will receive and he will announce to you." (John 16:14) Likewise, the Son comes in the name of the Father. So also "the Holy Spirit," the Son says, "whom the Father will send in my name." (John 14:26)

When therefore the Spirit has the same order and the same nature with respect to the Son, as the Son has to the Father, by what reason, I ask, does he who contends that the holy Spirit is a created thing, not likewise necessarily think the same of the Son? (St. Athanasius, First Letter to Serapion: Against those who blaspheme and say that the holy Spirit is a created thing, P.G. 26:579A-B, my translation)


5 posted on 10/16/2005 10:16:46 AM PDT by gbcdoj (Let us ask the Lord with tears, that according to his will so he would shew his mercy to us Jud 8:17)
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To: JohnRoss
Those who use this argument must admit that this cannot mean all things since the Father cannot give His Fatherhood to the Son (which would be an absurdity!), but because they make a Divine substance the source of the Holy Trinity, they fail to understand the nature of the Fatherhood — that which makes the Father the source of the Son and Holy Spirit

I think this summs it all up. If the Father gave everything to the Son, then the Son would be the beginning of the Father and the Spirit...indeed absurdity.

The problem is pride. Admitting error would send the Latin Church into an unimaginable crisis of credibility. So, a linguistic formula is being sought that would claim Filioque to be inerrant, yet unnecessary, but not wrong. Unfortunately, that is never going to be enough. I simply don't see the Latin side ever admitting the heresy they embrased one thousand years ago, and a heresy they practiced in some parts of the Patriarchate of the West for 1,500 years.

Filioque is not what we believed "everywhere, always, and by all," and is not Scriptural, but a man-made tradition (Protestants should take note of that!).

6 posted on 10/16/2005 5:14:27 PM PDT by kosta50 (Eastern Orthodoxy is pure Christianity)
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To: Kolokotronis; MarMema; FormerLib; katnip; monkfan; jb6; The_Reader_David

Orthodox ping!


7 posted on 10/16/2005 5:17:36 PM PDT by kosta50 (Eastern Orthodoxy is pure Christianity)
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To: kosta50
I understand the filioque is officially optional in the Eastern Rite Latin Church now. Can truth be optional?
8 posted on 10/16/2005 6:04:29 PM PDT by FormerLib (Kosova: "land stolen from Serbs and given to terrorist killers in a futile attempt to appease them.")
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To: gbcdoj; JohnRoss; kosta50

Far greater minds, Latin Catholic and Orthodox, than ours, friend, dealt with this issue for 4 years and just two years ago in DC, wrote quite a statement on the matter. Here's a link. Its four pages long but worth the read. The bottome line is, the Latin Rite Catholic theologians agreed with the Orthodox that the Creed without the filioque is normative. Here's a link: http://www.scoba.us/resources/filioque-p01.asp


9 posted on 10/16/2005 6:10:57 PM PDT by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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To: FormerLib; JohnRoss; Kolokotronis; MarMema
Can truth be optional?

Of course not, but most of the Eastern Catholic Churches are returning to their Orthodox theology. In fact, the largest of them, the Ukrainian GCC has dropped Filioque, and I believe the Melkites have done so as well.

10 posted on 10/17/2005 12:23:03 AM PDT by kosta50 (Eastern Orthodoxy is pure Christianity)
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To: FormerLib

The filioque was never required in the Eastern Churches, but only agreement to its truth. See the discussions at the Councils of Lyons II and Florence.


11 posted on 10/17/2005 10:35:14 AM PDT by gbcdoj (Let us ask the Lord with tears, that according to his will so he would shew his mercy to us Jud 8:17)
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To: kosta50; gbcdoj

" In fact, the largest of them, the Ukrainian GCC has dropped Filioque, and I believe the Melkites have done so as well."

Re the foregoing, I found this:

"The explanation below was written by Rev. Fr. James Graham, Pastor of Saint Elias the Prophet Melkite Greek Catholic Mission, San Jose, CA.

Why We Don't Say "and the Son" in the Creed
In every Divine Liturgy, we profess the true Christian faith according to the formula developed at the First and Second Ecumenical Councils, in Nicea in 325 and in Constantinople in 381. We call this profession of faith the Creed, because in Latin it starts with the word "Credo," which means "I believe." When speaking of the Holy Spirit, we say, "And [I believe] in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of Life, who proceeds from the Father." This is what the Holy Fathers of the Councils wrote, based on the Gospel, in which Jesus says He will ask the Father to send the Spirit. This is the true faith of the entire Catholic Church. But in our Liturgy books, the Arabic text says, "who proceeds from the Father (and the Son)." And many people learned to say the Creed that way. This is because the Church in the West, starting in Spain in the 8th century, added "and the Son" to the Creed to combat heresy. The Western Church did this because the word for "proceeds" has a different meaning in Latin from in Greek. In Latin it emphasizes communion, but in Greek it emphasizes origin. Both the Byzantine East and the Latin West agree that the only origin of the Spirit is the Father, and that the Spirit is in communion with the Father and the Son. So we do not need to add anything to the Creed, and we now omit what was added under the influence of the Latins."

Seems like a pretty good, brief explaination of why we needn't use the filioque. I must say I just love watching the Latins tie themselves in knots over this issue which was born of a misltranslation of the original Greek, rejected by pope after pope and eventually rammed down their throat by the Franks. As for saying it was never "required" by Rome for the Eastern Churches, well, maybe the anathemas were just a joke!


12 posted on 10/17/2005 3:56:48 PM PDT by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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To: JohnRoss

Bump for later


13 posted on 10/17/2005 4:02:40 PM PDT by annalex
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To: Kolokotronis
Kolokotronis,

As for saying it was never "required" by Rome for the Eastern Churches, well, maybe the anathemas were just a joke!

There were no anathemas requiring the use of the filioque. When the Emperor spoke at the Council of Florence, he said "it being understood that the Latins do not compel us to make any addition to the holy Creed, or to change any of the customs of our Church," a condition agreed on by the Latins.

14 posted on 10/17/2005 4:23:02 PM PDT by gbcdoj (Let us ask the Lord with tears, that according to his will so he would shew his mercy to us Jud 8:17)
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To: gbcdoj; kosta50

"There were no anathemas requiring the use of the filioque."

That's just sophistry. Here's what Lyons II said:

" 1. On the supreme Trinity and the catholic faith

1. We profess faithfully and devotedly that the holy Spirit proceeds eternally from the Father and the Son, not as from two principles, but as from one principle; not by two spirations, but by one single spiration. This the holy Roman church, mother and mistress of all the faithful, has till now professed, preached and taught; this she firmly holds, preaches, professes and teaches; this is the unchangeable and true belief of the orthodox fathers and doctors, Latin and Greek alike. But because some, on account of ignorance of the said indisputable truth, have fallen into various errors, we, wishing to close the way to such errors, with the approval of the sacred council, condemn and reprove all who presume to deny that the holy Spirit proceeds eternally from the Father and the Son, or rashly to assert that the holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son as from two principles and not as from one. "

If this is not a condemnation of the words of the Creed of 381, why do you suppose the Roman Catholic theologians in DC in 2003 felt compelled to write this recommendation:

"...that the Catholic Church, following a growing theological consensus, and in particular the statements made by Pope Paul VI, declare that the condemnation made at the Second Council of Lyons (1274) of those “who presume to deny that the Holy Spirit proceeds eternally from the Father and the Son” is no longer applicable."

Maybe they were kidding?


15 posted on 10/17/2005 4:31:36 PM PDT by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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To: Kolokotronis; gbcdoj

The Filioque is a 1,400 year-old rationalization.


16 posted on 10/17/2005 4:50:12 PM PDT by kosta50 (Eastern Orthodoxy is pure Christianity)
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To: Kolokotronis
If this is not a condemnation of the words of the Creed of 381, why do you suppose the Roman Catholic theologians in DC in 2003 felt compelled to write this recommendation

Kolo: the Uniates were never required to add the filioque under pain of anathema. That is just a historical fact. Lyons II condemns those who deny that the Spirit proceeds ab utroque. Where does the 381 Creed do that? Nowhere. Lack of affirmation is not a denial. The Commission recommended that - wrongly, in my opinion - in order to further relations with the Orthodox, who do deny the procession ab utroque.

Pope Benedict XIV says in his 1755 Encyclical Allatae Sunt:

On the assumption that the first two answers are accepted, the third and final question is whether Orientals and Greeks can be allowed to say the Creed in the way they used to before the Schism, that is to say, without the phrase "and from the Son." On this final point, the practice of the Apostolic See has varied. Sometimes it allowed the Orientals and Greeks to say the Creed without this addition. This allowance was made when it was certain that they accepted the first two points, and it realized that insistence on the addition would block the way to union. At other times this See has insisted on Greeks and Orientals using the addition. It has done this when it had grounds to suspect that they were unwilling to include the addition in the Creed because they shared the false view that the Holy Spirit does not proceed from the Father and the Son or that the Church had no power to add the phrase "and from the Son."

The former approach was used by two popes - Blessed Gregory X at the Council of Lyons and Eugenius IV at the Council of Florence - for the reasons already mentioned (Harduin, Collectionis Conciliorum, vol. 7, p. 698D, and vol. 9, p. 305D). The latter position was taken by Pope Nicholas III when he realized that Emperor Michael was not acting in good faith and was not abiding by the promises he had made in establishing union with his predecessor Pope Gregory X. The evidence for this comes from the Vatican Archives and is printed in Raynaldus, 1278, sect. 7. Martin IV and Nicholas IV acted in the same manner. Although the sources are contradictory about the attitude of these popes to this affair, Pachymeres, who was then writing the history of Constantinople, openly declares that they did not imitate the fair judgment of their predecessors. Rather they required that Orientals and Greeks add "and from the Son" to the Creed, in order to remove doubts about their orthodoxy, "to make a definite trial of the faith and opinion of the Greeks; the suitable pledge of this would be for them to say the same Creed as the Latins."

Pope Eugenius IV at the Council of Florence allowed the Orientals to say the Creed without the addition. But when he later received the Armenians into union he obliged them to include it (Harduin, vol. 9, p. 435B) perhaps because he had learned that the Armenians were less averse to the addition then were the Greeks.

Similarly, Pope Callistus III, when he sent Brother Simon of the Order of Preachers to Crete in the capacity of Inquisitor, commanded him to watch carefully that the Greeks said "and from the Son" in the Creed, since in Crete there were many Greek refugees from Constantinople which had fallen to the Turks two years earlier (Gregory of Trebizond, epistola ad Cretans, in his Graeciae Orthodoxae, quoted by Allatius, p. 537, and confirmed by Echardus, Scriptorum Ordinis Sanai Dominici, vol. 1, p. 762). It may be that the Pope suspected that the Greeks from Constantinople were weak in this dogma of the faith.

There is nothing at variance with the decrees of the Council of Florence in either of the two forms of the Profession of Faith which, as We have mentioned, were required of the Greeks by Gregory XIII and of the Orientals by Urban VIII. Constitution 34, sect. 6, of Clement VIII (veteris Romani Bullarii, vol. 3) and Our constitution Etsi Pastoralis, sect. 1, are both addressed to Latin bishops with Greeks and Albanians who observe the Greek rite living in their dioceses. These people should not be ordered to say the Creed with the addition of the phrase "and from the Son," provided that they confess that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son and that they recognize the Church's power of making this addition. They should be obliged to say the additional phrase, however, it its ommission would cause scandal, if this particular custom of reciting the Creed with its addition prevailed in their locality, or it were thought necessary to obtain unambiguous proof of the correctness of their faith. However, both the fathers of the synod of Zamoscia (heading 1, de Fide Catholica and the fathers of the synod of Lebanon (pt. 1, no. 12) were right to prudently decree, in order to remove every doubt, that all priests subject to them should use the Creed with its additional phrase in accordance with the custom of the Roman Church.


17 posted on 10/17/2005 5:23:59 PM PDT by gbcdoj (Let us ask the Lord with tears, that according to his will so he would shew his mercy to us Jud 8:17)
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To: gbcdoj
The filioque was never required in the Eastern Churches, but only agreement to its truth.

That's rather odd as I've met some Byzantine Rite Catholics who deny it is true at all.

18 posted on 10/17/2005 5:26:01 PM PDT by FormerLib (Kosova: "land stolen from Serbs and given to terrorist killers in a futile attempt to appease them.")
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To: gbcdoj; FormerLib; kosta50

Gee, I hate to sound like a broken record, but everything you've written doesn't explain why Roman Catholic theologians, in discussions with Orthodox theologians, which had the authorization to carry on those discussions from the Pope, felt compelled to recommend lifting the condemnation of Lyons II just two years ago.

By the way, unlike FormerLib who only knows "some" Byzantine Rite Catholics who deny the filioque, every single one I know denies it.


19 posted on 10/17/2005 6:01:15 PM PDT by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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To: Kolokotronis; kosta50
link here
20 posted on 10/17/2005 6:20:03 PM PDT by MarMema
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To: FormerLib
That's rather odd as I've met some Byzantine Rite Catholics who deny it is true at all.

That doesn't mean that profession of it isn't required of them. There are many Latin Rite Catholics who support the ordination of women as priests - does this mean that rejection of the possibility of priestesses isn't required of them under our laws?

21 posted on 10/17/2005 6:52:41 PM PDT by gbcdoj (Let us ask the Lord with tears, that according to his will so he would shew his mercy to us Jud 8:17)
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To: gbcdoj
That doesn't mean that profession of it isn't required of them.

What it does mean is that they publicly refute it and still receive the Eucharist in a Roman Catholic Church.

22 posted on 10/17/2005 7:07:39 PM PDT by FormerLib (Kosova: "land stolen from Serbs and given to terrorist killers in a futile attempt to appease them.")
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To: MarMema; kosta50; gbcdoj

Quite an encyclical, Marmema. Seems +BXIV disagrees with gbcdoj.


23 posted on 10/17/2005 7:46:25 PM PDT by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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To: FormerLib

The ab utroque procession of the Holy Spirit confuses the origin of that person of the Holy Trinity. Saying the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son as from one principle, essentially says the Father and the Son are the same person.

Greek Catholics per the Union decrees are only required to believe the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father through the Son. We only can accept the filioque if it is understood to mean that.

In any case the Latin Councils only became ecumenical as a Counter-Reformation argument between the Latins and the Protestants. If Lyons II was ecumenical, then why did Florence claim to be the 8th ecumenical council?


24 posted on 10/17/2005 8:29:24 PM PDT by JohnRoss (We need a real conservative in 2008)
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To: Kolokotronis

Kolo,
Don't forget that my former Melkite pastor delivered a sermon on the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul denying the pope has universal jurisdiction by divine right.

Pope Benedict XVI would be doing a great service if he suppressed the filioque and declared Lyons II and Florence to have merely been general councils of the Western Church. BTW, Dominus Iesus includes the Creed without the Filioque.
,John


25 posted on 10/17/2005 8:34:58 PM PDT by JohnRoss (We need a real conservative in 2008)
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To: gbcdoj

The pseudo-Synod of Zamost was an orchestration of the Poles, and it was annulled by Pius XI, as it destroyed the Byzantine rite in Ukraine among the Catholics.

Here is what the Union of Brest had to say:

1. Since there is a quarrel between the Romans and Greeks about the procession of the Holy Spirit, which greatly impede unity really for no other reason than that we do not wish to understand one another - we ask that we should not be compelled to any other creed but that we should remain with that which was handed down to us in the Holy Scriptures, in the Gospel, and in the writings of the holy Greek Doctors, that is, that the Holy Spirit proceeds, not from two sources and not by a double procession, but from one origin, from the Father through the Son.


26 posted on 10/17/2005 8:46:47 PM PDT by JohnRoss (We need a real conservative in 2008)
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To: Kolokotronis
Gee, I hate to sound like a broken record, but everything you've written doesn't explain why Roman Catholic theologians, in discussions with Orthodox theologians, which had the authorization to carry on those discussions from the Pope, felt compelled to recommend lifting the condemnation of Lyons II just two years ago.

Since I was talking about the creed, and the theologians you cite were talking about Lyons II, I don't see how it's relevant. Lyons II was talking about beliefs, not the creed. The creed is an expression of some of our beliefs, but not of all of them.

The articles of the Union of Brest were all approved by Pope Clement VIII in 1595, including art. 1:

Since there is a quarrel between the Romans and Greeks about the procession of the Holy Spirit, which greatly impede unity really for no other reason than that we do not wish to understand one another—we ask that we should not be compelled to any other creed but that we should remain with that which was handed down to us in the Holy Scriptures, in the Gospel, and in the writings of the holy Greek Doctors, that is, that the Holy Spirit proceeds, not from two sources and not by a double procession, but from one origin, from the Father through the Son.

Seems +BXIV disagrees with gbcdoj.

How does he disagree with me? Please see post #17.

I don't see how it's relevant that all the Byzantine Rite Catholics you know happen to reject this Catholic dogma. Where does the Church approve this? The Solemn Profession of Paul VI, given on June 30, 1968 as "a firm witness to the divine Truth entrusted to the Church to be announced to all nations", states:

We believe then in the Father who eternally begets the Son, in the Son, the Word of God, who is eternally begotten; in the Holy Spirit, the uncreated Person who proceeds from the Father and the Son as their eternal love.

27 posted on 10/17/2005 8:48:49 PM PDT by gbcdoj (Let us ask the Lord with tears, that according to his will so he would shew his mercy to us Jud 8:17)
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To: FormerLib

Your point? Fr. Hans Küng publicly rejects papal infallibility and remains a Catholic priest. Does that mean that the Catholic Church doesn't dogmatically profess belief in this teaching? Of course not.


28 posted on 10/17/2005 8:50:36 PM PDT by gbcdoj (Let us ask the Lord with tears, that according to his will so he would shew his mercy to us Jud 8:17)
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To: gbcdoj

My point is it appears that a substantial portion of the Uniate church rejects the filioque and that's acceptable to the Roman Church.


30 posted on 10/17/2005 8:54:53 PM PDT by FormerLib (Kosova: "land stolen from Serbs and given to terrorist killers in a futile attempt to appease them.")
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To: All

And a tip of the hat to the moderator who Zotted with almost divine speed on post number 29! That was so fast, I didn't even see the inappropriate post despite being online.


31 posted on 10/17/2005 8:57:13 PM PDT by FormerLib (Kosova: "land stolen from Serbs and given to terrorist killers in a futile attempt to appease them.")
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To: JohnRoss
Don't forget that my former Melkite pastor delivered a sermon on the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul denying the pope has universal jurisdiction by divine right.

Are you endorsing this?

So, then, if anyone says that the Roman Pontiff has merely an office of supervision and guidance, and not the full and supreme power of jurisdiction over the whole Church, and this not only in matters of faith and morals, but also in those which concern the discipline and government of the Church dispersed throughout the whole world; or that he has only the principal part, but not the absolute fullness, of this supreme power; or that this power of his is not ordinary and immediate both over all and each of the Churches and over all and each of the pastors and faithful: let him be anathema. (First Vatican Council, First Dogmatic Constitution on the Church of Christ, III, 9)

Pope Benedict XVI would be doing a great service if he suppressed the filioque and declared Lyons II and Florence to have merely been general councils of the Western Church.

Dream on. How was Florence only a council of the "Western Church" when the Greeks were there and assented?

PS: Do we Latins get to demote the first seven councils to "general councils of the Eastern Church"?

32 posted on 10/17/2005 9:00:45 PM PDT by gbcdoj (Let us ask the Lord with tears, that according to his will so he would shew his mercy to us Jud 8:17)
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To: FormerLib

28 and 29 were the same, by accident: I asked the mod to remove 29.


33 posted on 10/17/2005 9:01:29 PM PDT by gbcdoj (Let us ask the Lord with tears, that according to his will so he would shew his mercy to us Jud 8:17)
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To: FormerLib
By remaining in communion with the Roman Church, the Eastern Catholics profess their belief in the filioque. If they did not share faith with us Latins, then honesty would compel them to leave the Catholics and join the Orthodox.

I, for one, do not believe that a substantial portion of the Eastern Catholics are dishonest liars.

http://www.melkite.org/Questions/T-2.htm

View of the Post-Schism Councils: Must we Eastern Catholics consider the post-schism General Councils of the Roman Church Ecumenical like the Seven of the First Millennium?

Bishop John's Answer: Patriarch Gregory II Youssef-Sayour occupied the Melkite throne of Antioch for thirty-three years (1864-1897). At Vatican I, the Patriarch gave an impassioned plea to the assembled bishops in defense of the prerogatives of the ancient patriarchs. He said: "The Eastern Church attributes the highest and most complete power to the Pope, but in such a way that the fullness of his power is in harmony with the rights of the other Patriarchal Sees. (Mansi 52,cols. 133-137). Patriarch Gregory finally signed the document Pastor aeternus but only after adding the phrase made famous at the earlier Council of Florence that expressed his reservations. He added: "salvis omnibus iuribus et privilegiis patriarcharum". {saving all of the rights and privileges of the patriarchs}.

While the first seven ecumenical councils enjoy a place of prominence, especially in the East, both the Churches of the East and West have experienced local councils and synods throughout their rich histories. The early ecumenical councils met to resolve and articulate important Christological doctrines. The Melkite Church participated fully in Vatican I and Patriarch Gregory spoke clearly to his affirmation of the fullness of power enjoyed by the Petrine Office. The Patriarch was very concerned that the exercise of papal powers be "in harmony with the rights of the other Patriarchal Sees." The second Vatican Council is seen to have completed the unfinished business of Vatican I with its special emphasis on ecclesiology, specifically on the nature of the Church.

Recent theological speculation has developed the concept of "communion of churches" with promising results for ecumenism and rapprochement with the Orthodox. It would be a simple rekindling of the old controversy of conciliarism to suggest that some councils are less ecumenical than others. With the promulgation of the Holy Father, the doctrinal content of the various councils is a part of the sacred magisterial teaching of the Church to which Melkites in full communion with the See of Rome give wholehearted assent.


34 posted on 10/17/2005 9:06:36 PM PDT by gbcdoj (Let us ask the Lord with tears, that according to his will so he would shew his mercy to us Jud 8:17)
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To: gbcdoj

"Since I was talking about the creed, and the theologians you cite were talking about Lyons II, I don't see how it's relevant. Lyons II was talking about beliefs, not the creed. The creed is an expression of some of our beliefs, but not of all of them."

Oh, please! The entire theological discussion was about the Creed. The condemnation your theologians refered to in 2003 are of those Christians who do not accept the innovative position of the Latin Church on the procession of the Holy Spirit as expressed in the the filioque addition to the 381 Creed. What they were doing becomes even more clear when they state that the 381 Creed without the filioque is normative and should be the one used in catechesis.

As for +BXIV, his encyclical clearly states that a number of times Rome required that Eastern Christians recite the filioque, apparently at the Pope's whim. It is therefore incorrect for you to assert that the Uniates were never required to recite the filioque. Apparently they can be so required whenever the master in Rome feels like telling them to.

"We believe then in the Father who eternally begets the Son, in the Son, the Word of God, who is eternally begotten; in the Holy Spirit, the uncreated Person who proceeds from the Father and the Son as their eternal love."

Is this some new form of the Creed or another attempt to save face and preserve some modicum of the Frankish formulation?


35 posted on 10/18/2005 3:36:22 AM PDT by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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To: Kolokotronis
As for +BXIV, his encyclical clearly states that

His encyclical clearly states that the Greeks were permitted by Lyons II to recite the Creed without the addition. All this (including times when some of the Eastern Christians were so required) is covered in my post #17 which you apparently didn't read(?). I admit that my original formulation on this point was incorrect because I was thinking only of Lyons II and Florence - sorry on that point.

Is this some new form of the Creed

Solemn Profession of Paul VI.

PS: Toledo was a "Frankish" council? Perhaps Seleucia 410 was as well - those evil Franks were everywhere! In any case, the Catholic Church has no need to save face - at least we haven't screwed up the Patristic doctrine of the Holy Spirit, as explicitly approved by the Council of Chalcedon!

36 posted on 10/18/2005 7:20:04 AM PDT by gbcdoj (Let us ask the Lord with tears, that according to his will so he would shew his mercy to us Jud 8:17)
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To: gbcdoj

Florence was agreed upon under duress and later was repudiated as a false council by the Eastern Churches.


37 posted on 10/18/2005 4:25:54 PM PDT by JohnRoss (We need a real conservative in 2008)
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To: gbcdoj

Saying the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son as their eternal love, is NOT the same as saying the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father through the Son.

You don't seem to understand. Saying what you just said depersonalizes the Holy Spirit and reduces him to being a non-person. Plus, it establishes a semi-Sabellianism with the Holy Spirit.

The Melkite Church believes there were only Seven Ecumenical Councils, and those convened since 1054 are not validly ecumenical because it takes the assent of all of the patriarchates to make a council ecumenical, not just the Pope of Rome alone.

St. Gennadius of Constantinople who is considered a saint by both Rome and Orthodoxy held this to be true.

If tagging a council with the term ecumenical makes it so, how do you deal with the fact the so-called Fourth Council of Constantinople, held in 869, was annulled by John VIII, and the council of 879 declared itself ecumenical. cf. Francis Dvornik.


38 posted on 10/18/2005 4:32:30 PM PDT by JohnRoss (We need a real conservative in 2008)
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To: gbcdoj

To add Patriarch Gregory II's reservation: "Without prejudice to the rights, privileges and honor of the Eastern patriarchs."


39 posted on 10/18/2005 4:35:12 PM PDT by JohnRoss (We need a real conservative in 2008)
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To: JohnRoss
How is the universal jurisdiction of the Pope contrary "to the rights, privileges and honor of the Eastern patriarchs"? Certainly, no such rights or privileges of the Patriarchs were known to the Fathers of the Church. Nor does the Code of Canons for the Eastern Churches see any such contradiction:
Can. 43 The bishop of the Church of Rome, in whom resides the office given in special way by the Lord to Peter, first of the Apostles and to be transmitted to his successors, is head of the college of bishops, the Vicar of Christ and Pastor of the entire Church on earth; therefore, in virtue of his office he enjoys supreme, full, immediate and universal ordinary power in the Church which he can always freely exercise.

Can. 55 According to the most ancient tradition of the Church, already recognized by the first ecumenical councils, the patriarchal institution has existed in the Church; for this reason a special honor is to be accorded to the patriarchs of the Eastern Churches, each of whom presides over his patriarchal Church as father and head.

Can. 56 A patriarch is a bishop who enjoys power over all bishops including metropolitans and other Christian faithful of the Church over which he presides according to the norm of law approved by the supreme authority of the Church.

Can. 58 Patriarchs of Eastern Churches precede all bishops of any degree everywhere in the world, with due regard for special norms of precedence established by the Roman Pontiff.


40 posted on 10/18/2005 4:46:09 PM PDT by gbcdoj (Let us ask the Lord with tears, that according to his will so he would shew his mercy to us Jud 8:17)
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To: JohnRoss
Florence was agreed upon under duress

No, it wasn't. I recommend Fr. J. Gill's The Council of Florence.

later was repudiated as a false council by the Eastern Churches.

Ephesus was repudiated as a false Council by the Nestorians and Chalcedon as a false Council by the non-Chalcedonian Orthodox. Does that make them non-ecumenical?

Your own Church accepts Florence as Ecumenical.

41 posted on 10/18/2005 4:49:45 PM PDT by gbcdoj (Let us ask the Lord with tears, that according to his will so he would shew his mercy to us Jud 8:17)
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To: JohnRoss; Hermann the Cherusker
Saying what you just said [the Creed of Pope Paul VI] depersonalizes the Holy Spirit and reduces him to being a non-person. Plus, it establishes a semi-Sabellianism with the Holy Spirit.

So, according to you, the Roman Church believes that the Holy Spirit is a "non-person" and establishes "semi-Sabellianism" in our Symbols of Faith (NB: the filioque is also contained in the 1998 Profession of Faith required of all Latin-rite bishops and many others under Can. 833 of the Code of Canon Law)! Why in the world do you remain in communion with us heretics?

"From the Father through the Son" means that the Son is principle of the Spirit together with the Father, as St. Thomas says: "Therefore, because the Son receives from the Father that the Holy Ghost proceeds from Him, it can be said that the Father spirates the Holy Ghost through the Son, or that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father through the Son, which has the same meaning ... if we consider the persons themselves spirating, then, as the Holy Ghost proceeds both from the Father and from the Son, the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father immediately, as from Him, and mediately, as from the Son; and thus He is said to proceed from the Father through the Son." (I q. 36 a. 3)

This was discussed and agreed upon at the Ecumenical Council of Florence, which decreed in Laetentur coeli: "we declare that what the holy Doctors and Fathers say, namely, that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father through the Son, tends to this meaning, that by this it is signified that the Son also is the cause, according to the Greeks, and according to the Latins, the principle of the subsistence of the Holy Spirit, as is the Father also."

The Melkite Church believes there were only Seven Ecumenical Councils

Bishop Elya disagrees with you. Why should I take your word about the Melkites over that of a Bishop of your Church?

If tagging a council with the term ecumenical makes it so, how do you deal with the fact ... [that] the council of 879 declared itself ecumenical.

The Council of 879 was not a valid Council - Pope John VIII rejected it and apparently St. Photius was again excommunicated. The acts as they've come down seem to be partially forged (e.g., a fake letter from John VIII rejecting the filioque as heretical) - check the article on this Council in the New Catholic Encyclopedia and this article by Philip Blosser on the Council of 879-880.

42 posted on 10/18/2005 5:10:38 PM PDT by gbcdoj (Let us ask the Lord with tears, that according to his will so he would shew his mercy to us Jud 8:17)
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To: gbcdoj; Kolokotronis

One thing is quite certain, the Orthodox will continue to reject the filioque until the end of days.


43 posted on 10/18/2005 7:34:38 PM PDT by FormerLib (Kosova: "land stolen from Serbs and given to terrorist killers in a futile attempt to appease them.")
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To: FormerLib

"One thing is quite certain, the Orthodox will continue to reject the filioque until the end of days."

That's right. So the trick for Rome is to find a way out of the filioque, which its theologians went a long way to accomplish in DC 2 years ago, or forget any reunion with us and, incidently, probably lose some of their Eastern Rite Churches (they've pretty much lost any semblance of control over the Melkites already and the Ukrainians will be next). Hard as it sounds, when comes to issues like this, only an ecumenical council can resolve them and there will be no such council until some pope agrees to preside at one in the manner of the pre-Schism popes, and even then the lower clergy and laity will have to receive and accept any decision...or leave.


44 posted on 10/18/2005 7:51:08 PM PDT by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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To: gbcdoj

Rome wrote the Code of Canon Law, and many Eastern Catholic hierarchs aren't the bit pleased with it.

First of all, no pre-1054 Eastern Christian recognized that the pope had the right to intervene in the internal affairs of the Eastern churches unilaterally. Pope Nicholas' uncanonical, unilateral, intervention in the case of St. Photios is a prime example because there was no appeal, and Fr. Dvornik has proven this was the case.

The patriarchs and their Holy Synods should have the right to elect and appoint their own bishops without papal approval based upon custom. No pre-schism pope appointed any Eastern patriarchs or bishops.

The papal claims to direct jurisdiction in the East were never recognized in the East.


45 posted on 10/20/2005 8:45:33 PM PDT by JohnRoss (We need a real conservative in 2008)
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To: gbcdoj

So, according to you, the Roman Church believes that the Holy Spirit is a "non-person" and establishes "semi-Sabellianism" in our Symbols of Faith (NB: the filioque is also contained in the 1998 Profession of Faith required of all Latin-rite bishops and many others under Can. 833 of the Code of Canon Law)! Why in the world do you remain in communion with us heretics?

"From the Father through the Son" means that the Son is principle of the Spirit together with the Father, as St. Thomas says: "Therefore, because the Son receives from the Father that the Holy Ghost proceeds from Him, it can be said that the Father spirates the Holy Ghost through the Son, or that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father through the Son, which has the same meaning ... if we consider the persons themselves spirating, then, as the Holy Ghost proceeds both from the Father and from the Son, the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father immediately, as from Him, and mediately, as from the Son; and thus He is said to proceed from the Father through the Son." (I q. 36 a. 3)

This was discussed and agreed upon at the Ecumenical Council of Florence, which decreed in Laetentur coeli: "we declare that what the holy Doctors and Fathers say, namely, that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father through the Son, tends to this meaning, that by this it is signified that the Son also is the cause, according to the Greeks, and according to the Latins, the principle of the subsistence of the Holy Spirit, as is the Father also."

The Melkite Church believes there were only Seven Ecumenical Councils

Bishop Elya disagrees with you. Why should I take your word about the Melkites over that of a Bishop of your Church?

Bishop Elya was but one member of the Melkite Holy Synod. He was one of two bishops of the 24 member of the Holy Synod who agreed to Abp. Zoghby's initiative to reunite with Orthodoxy. If you read We Are All Schismatic, Zoghby says as much.


If tagging a council with the term ecumenical makes it so, how do you deal with the fact ... [that] the council of 879 declared itself ecumenical.

The Council of 879 was not a valid Council - Pope John VIII rejected it and apparently St. Photius was again excommunicated. The acts as they've come down seem to be partially forged (e.g., a fake letter from John VIII rejecting the filioque as heretical) - check the article on this Council in the New Catholic Encyclopedia and this article by Philip Blosser on the Council of 879-880

You probably have never read Fr. Francis Dvornik's "The Photian Schism" because he completely debunks this myth. The Council of 869 was annulled by John VIII.


46 posted on 10/20/2005 8:50:19 PM PDT by JohnRoss (We need a real conservative in 2008)
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To: JohnRoss
No pre-schism pope appointed any Eastern patriarchs or bishops. The papal claims to direct jurisdiction in the East were never recognized in the East.

False. For instance, see Pope St. Boniface I's letter "Manet beatum" of 422 AD to the Bishops of Macedonia. This decision appointing a new bishop for Corinth (with the claim being based on universal jurisdiction through Mt. 16:18-19) was recognized and submitted to. Likewise, Pope St. Agapetus I (535-6) deposed Anthimus, the Patriarch of Constantinople, against the will of the Emperor. This decision was recognized as correct by a later synod in Constantinople under Patriarch Mennas.

47 posted on 10/21/2005 5:21:13 AM PDT by gbcdoj (Let us ask the Lord with tears, that according to his will so he would shew his mercy to us Jud 8:17)
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To: JohnRoss
You probably have never read Fr. Francis Dvornik's "The Photian Schism" because he completely debunks this myth

One author's work is not definitive. The link I gave you discusses Fr. Dvornik's work. St. Photios' story is not as clear-cut as you want to make it out to be. (I have not yet obtained Fr. Dvornik's book on this although I do intend to do it at some point).

Of course, Fr. Dvornik also says that the East did accept Roman primacy as based on Mt. 16:18. Funny that you don't mention that. Or is his work only okay when it agrees with how you want things to be?

You didn't reply before: why are you in communion with semi-Sabellian heretics like me and Pope Benedict XVI who "depersonalize" the Holy Spirit?

48 posted on 10/21/2005 1:01:27 PM PDT by gbcdoj (Let us ask the Lord with tears, that according to his will so he would shew his mercy to us Jud 8:17)
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