Skip to comments.Filioque
Posted on 04/05/2005 9:11:13 PM PDT by annalex
The quotations below show that the early Church Fathers, both Latin and Greek, recognized the same thing, saying that the Spirit proceeds "from the Father and the Son" or "from the Father through the Son."
These expressions mean the same thing because everything the Son has is from the Father. The proceeding of the Spirit from the Son is something the Son himself received from the Father. The procession of the Spirit is therefore ultimately rooted in the Father but goes through the Son. However, some Eastern Orthodox insist that to equate "through the Son" with "from the Son" is a departure from the true faith.
The expression "from the Father through the Son" is accepted by many Eastern Orthodox. This, in fact, led to a reunion of the Eastern Orthodox with the Catholic Church in 1439 at the Council of Florence: "The Greek prelates believed that every saint, precisely as a saint, was inspired by the Holy Spirit and therefore could not err in faith. If they expressed themselves differently, their meanings must substantially agree. . . . Once the Greeks accepted that the Latin Fathers had really written Filioque (they could not understand Latin), the issue was settled (May 29). The Greek Fathers necessarily meant the same; the faiths of the two churches were identical; union was not only possible but obligatory (June 3); and on June 8 the Latin cedula [statements of belief] on the procession [of the Spirit] was accepted by the Greek synod" (New Catholic Encyclopedia, 5:9723).
Unfortunately, the union did not last. In the 1450s (just decades before the Protestant Reformation), the Eastern Orthodox left the Church again under pressure from the Muslims, who had just conquered them and who insisted they renounce their union with the Western Church (lest Western Christians come to their aid militarily).
However, union is still possible on the filioque issue through the recognition that the formulas "and the Son" and "through the Son" mean the same thing. Thus the Catechism of the Catholic Church states that "This legitimate complementarity [of expressions], provided it does not become rigid, does not affect the identity of faith in the reality of the same mystery confessed" (CCC 248).
Today many Eastern Orthodox bishops are putting aside old prejudices and again acknowledging that there need be no separation between the two communions on this issue. Eastern Orthodox Bishop Kallistos Ware (formerly Timothy Ware), who once adamantly opposed the filioque doctrine, states: "The filioque controversy which has separated us for so many centuries is more than a mere technicality, but it is not insoluble. Qualifying the firm position taken when I wrote [my book] The Orthodox Church twenty years ago, I now believe, after further study, that the problem is more in the area of semantics and different emphases than in any basic doctrinal differences" (Diakonia, quoted from Elias Zoghbys A Voice from the Byzantine East, 43).
"I believe that the Spirit proceeds not otherwise than from the Father through the Son" (Against Praxeas 4:1 [A.D. 216]).
"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" (Commentaries on John 2:6 [A.D. 229]).
Maximus the Confessor
"By nature the Holy Spirit in his being takes substantially his origin from the Father through the Son who is begotten (Questions to Thalassium 63 [A.D. 254]).
Gregory the Wonderworker
"[There is] one Holy Spirit, having substance from God, and who is manifested 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" (Confession of Faith [A.D. 265]).
Hilary of Poitiers
"Concerning the Holy Spirit . . . it is not necessary to speak of him who must be acknowledged, who is from the Father and the Son, his sources" (The Trinity 2:29 [A.D. 357]).
"In the fact that before times eternal your [the Fathers] only-begotten [Son] was born of you, when we put an end to every ambiguity of words and difficulty of understanding, there remains only this: he was born. So too, even if I do not grasp it in my understanding, I hold fast in my consciousness to the fact that your Holy Spirit is from you through him" (ibid., 12:56).
Didymus the Blind
"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" (The Holy Spirit 37 [A.D. 362]).
Epiphanius of Salamis
"The Father always existed and the Son always existed, and the Spirit breathes from the Father and the Son" (The Man Well-Anchored 75 [A.D. 374]).
Basil The Great
"Through the Son, who is one, he [the Holy Spirit] is joined to the Father, one who is one, and by himself completes the Blessed Trinity" (The Holy Spirit 18:45 [A.D. 375]).
"[T]he 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" (ibid., 18:47).
Ambrose of Milan
"Just as the Father is the fount of life, so too, there are many who have stated that the Son is designated as the fount of life. It is said, for example that with you, Almighty God, your Son is the fount of life, that is, the fount of the Holy Spirit. For the Spirit is life, just as the Lord says: The words which I have spoken to you are Spirit and life [John 6:63]" (The Holy Spirit 1:15:152 [A.D. 381]).
"The Holy Spirit, when he proceeds from the Father and the Son, does not separate himself from the Father and does not separate himself from the Son" (ibid., 1:2:120).
Gregory of Nyssa
"[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" (Against Eunomius 1 [A.D. 382]).
The Athanasian Creed
"[W]e venerate one God in the Trinity, and the Trinity in oneness. . . . The Father was not made nor created nor begotten by anyone. The Son is from the Father alone, not made nor created, but begotten. The Holy Spirit is from the Father and the Son, not made nor created nor begotten, but proceeding" (Athanasian Creed [A.D. 400]).
"If that which is given has for its principle the one by whom it is given, because it did not receive from anywhere else that which proceeds from the giver, then it must be confessed that the Father and the Son are the principle of the Holy Spirit, not two principles, but just as the Father and the Son are one God . . . relative to the Holy Spirit, they are one principle" (The Trinity 5:14:15 [A.D. 408]).
"[The one] from whom principally the Holy Spirit proceeds is called God the Father. I have added the term principally because the Holy Spirit is found to proceed also from the Son" (ibid., 15:17:29).
"Why, then, should we not believe that the Holy Spirit proceeds also from the Son, when he is the Spirit also of the Son? For if the Holy Spirit did not proceed from him, when he showed himself to his disciples after his resurrection he would not have breathed upon them, saying, Receive the Holy Spirit [John 20:22]. For what else did he signify by that breathing upon them except that the Holy Spirit proceeds also from him" (Homilies on John 99:8 [A.D. 416]).
Cyril of Alexandria
"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" (Treasury of the Holy Trinity, thesis 34 [A.D. 424]).
"[T]he Holy Spirit flows from the Father in the Son" (ibid.).
"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" (Letters 3:4:33 [A.D. 433]).
Council of Toledo
"We believe in one true God, Father and Son and Holy Spirit, maker of the visible and the invisible.
. . . The Spirit is also the Paraclete, who is himself neither the Father nor the Son, but proceeding from the Father and the Son. Therefore the Father is unbegotten, the Son is begotten, the Paraclete is not begotten but proceeding from the Father and the Son" (Council of Toledo [A.D. 447]).
Fulgence of Ruspe
"Hold most firmly and never doubt in the least that the only God the Son, who is one person of the Trinity, is the Son of the only God the Father; but the Holy Spirit himself also one person of the Trinity, is Spirit not of the Father only, but of Father and of Son together" (The Rule of Faith 53 [A.D. 524]).
"Hold most firmly and never doubt in the least that the same Holy Spirit who is Spirit of the Father and of the Son, proceeds from the Father and the Son" (ibid., 54).
"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; sharing in, not shared 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" (Exposition of the Orthodox Faith 8 [A.D. 712]).
"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" (ibid., 12).
"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" (Dialogue Against the Manicheans 5 [A.D. 728]).
Council of Nicaea II
"We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and giver of life, proceeding from the Father through the Son" (Profession of Faith [A.D. 787]).
What is the Catholic dogma on the relation between the persons of the Holy Trinity?
The formation of the Trinitarian dogma
249 From the beginning, the revealed truth of the Holy Trinity has been at the very root of the Church's living faith, principally by means of Baptism. It finds its expression in the rule of baptismal faith, formulated in the preaching, catechesis and prayer of the Church. Such formulations are already found in the apostolic writings, such as this salutation taken up in the Eucharistic liturgy: "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all."81
250 During the first centuries the Church sought to clarify her Trinitarian faith, both to deepen her own understanding of the faith and to defend it against the errors that were deforming it. This clarification was the work of the early councils, aided by the theological work of the Church Fathers and sustained by the Christian people's sense of the faith.
251 In order to articulate the dogma of the Trinity, the Church had to develop her own terminology with the help of certain notions of philosophical origin: "substance", "person" or "hypostasis", "relation" and so on. In doing this, she did not submit the faith to human wisdom, but gave a new and unprecedented meaning to these terms, which from then on would be used to signify an ineffable mystery, "infinitely beyond all that we can humanly understand".82
252 The Church uses (I) the term "substance" (rendered also at times by "essence" or "nature") to designate the divine being in its unity, (II) the term "person" or "hypostasis" to designate the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in the real distinction among them, and (III) the term "relation" to designate the fact that their distinction lies in the relationship of each to the others.
The dogma of the Holy Trinity
253 The Trinity is One. We do not confess three Gods, but one God in three persons, the "consubstantial Trinity".83 The divine persons do not share the one divinity among themselves but each of them is God whole and entire: "The Father is that which the Son is, the Son that which the Father is, the Father and the Son that which the Holy Spirit is, i.e. by nature one God."84 In the words of the Fourth Lateran Council (1215), "Each of the persons is that supreme reality, viz., the divine substance, essence or nature."85
254 The divine persons are really distinct from one another. "God is one but not solitary."86 "Father", "Son", "Holy Spirit" are not simply names designating modalities of the divine being, for they are really distinct from one another: "He is not the Father who is the Son, nor is the Son he who is the Father, nor is the Holy Spirit he who is the Father or the Son."87 They are distinct from one another in their relations of origin: "It is the Father who generates, the Son who is begotten, and the Holy Spirit who proceeds."88 The divine Unity is Triune.
255 The divine persons are relative to one another. Because it does not divide the divine unity, the real distinction of the persons from one another resides solely in the relationships which relate them to one another: "In the relational names of the persons the Father is related to the Son, the Son to the Father, and the Holy Spirit to both. While they are called three persons in view of their relations, we believe in one nature or substance."89 Indeed "everything (in them) is one where there is no opposition of relationship."90 "Because of that unity the Father is wholly in the Son and wholly in the Holy Spirit; the Son is wholly in the Father and wholly in the Holy Spirit; the Holy Spirit is wholly in the Father and wholly in the Son."91
256 St. Gregory of Nazianzus, also called "the Theologian", entrusts this summary of Trinitarian faith to the catechumens of Constantinople:
I BELIEVE IN THE HOLY SPIRIT
683 "No one can say 'Jesus is Lord' except by the Holy Spirit."1 "God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, 'Abba! Father!"'2 This knowledge of faith is possible only in the Holy Spirit: to be in touch with Christ, we must first have been touched by the Holy Spirit. He comes to meet us and kindles faith in us. By virtue of our Baptism, the first sacrament of the faith, the Holy Spirit in the Church communicates to us, intimately and personally, the life that originates in the Father and is offered to us in the Son.
684 Through his grace, the Holy Spirit is the first to awaken faith in us and to communicate to us the new life, which is to "know the Father and the one whom he has sent, Jesus Christ."4 But the Spirit is the last of the persons of the Holy Trinity to be revealed. St. Gregory of Nazianzus, the Theologian, explains this progression in terms of the pedagogy of divine "condescension":
685 To believe in the Holy Spirit is to profess that the Holy Spirit is one of the persons of the Holy Trinity, consubstantial with the Father and the Son: "with the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified."6 For this reason, the divine mystery of the Holy Spirit was already treated in the context of Trinitarian "theology." Here, however, we have to do with the Holy Spirit only in the divine "economy."
686 The Holy Spirit is at work with the Father and the Son from the beginning to the completion of the plan for our salvation. But in these "end times," ushered in by the Son's redeeming Incarnation, the Spirit is revealed and given, recognized and welcomed as a person. Now can this divine plan, accomplished in Christ, the firstborn and head of the new creation, be embodied in mankind by the outpouring of the Spirit: as the Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.
1 1 Cor 12:3.
2 Gal 4:6.
3 St. Irenaeus, Dem. ap. 7: SCh 62, 41-42.
4 In 17:3.
5 St. Gregory of Nazianzus, Oratio theol., 5, 26 (= Oratio 31, 26): PG 36, 161-163.
6 Nicene Creed; see above, par. 465.
The Catholic Church teaching.
morphed into a heavy-duty discussion on the Holy Trinity. I learned something I did not know about the Orthodox teaching and want to return the favor.
Let me anticipate one particular objection. I don't think intellectual discussions of the dogma help any conversions, particularly where greater minds than ours plowed the field for two thousands years. I am posting this in the spirit of discovery of our friends' beliefs.
I will not be able to respond to anyone till tomorrow.
My fellow Freepers, God bless you and good night.
Here is an interesting article/blogpost presenting the Orthodox point of view: http://www.energeticprocession.com/archives/2005/03/st_gregory_pala.html#comments
St. John Damascene says, in his writing against the Iconoclasts, that the Spirit is the natural image of the Son and the Son is the natural image of the Father. This is, effectively, the procession "filioque", even though the great Damascene said that the Spirit was not "from the Son".
Most of us will not be interested in much further discussion on this right now. We're in the midst of Great Lent.
I agree -- let's park this aside until later.
Much of the East's issue with the filioque has to do with proceedure. They see Rome as having unilaterally amending the Nicene Creed by fiat.
Secondly, the Nicene Creed defines God as God the Father: "I believe in one God, the Father Almighty..." The Creed then goes on to define the Son as "eternally begotten of the Father" and the Holy Ghost as "proceeding from the Father". In Eastern theology, "God" means "God the Father". From God is begotten the Son and from God proceeds the Holy Ghost. With that line of reasoning, the Holy Ghost cannot proceed from the Son for the same reason the Son is not eternally begotten of the Holy Ghost. Western theology defines God as God the Trinity. With the implications thereof, the double procession of the Ghost is a must. Eastern Orthodox theologians consider this valid line of reasoning (Augustine of Hippo is considered an Orthodox saint), however it would require a complete rewriting of the Nicene Creed (which was writen in accordance with Eastern theological methods). Given that that great creed came about only after the Emperor locked the bishops in a palace and wouldn't let them out until they solved their differences, I don't see a complete rewrite of the Creed as happening before pigs learn to fly.
It may be best for Western theologians to accept that the Nicene Creed is an inappropriate place to express Augustinian Trinitarianism. Eastern theologians could then compromise by accepting that the Julian Calendar is in error at a rate of 3 days every 400 years and start applying the Nicene formula for setting Pascha to the Gregorian Calendar.
Objection 1. It would seem that the Holy Ghost does not proceed from the Son. For as Dionysius says (Div. Nom. i): "We must not dare to say anything concerning the substantial Divinity except what has been divinely expressed to us by the sacred oracles." But in the Sacred Scripture we are not told that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Son; but only that He proceeds from the Father, as appears from Jn. 15:26: "The Spirit of truth, Who proceeds from the Father." Therefore the Holy Ghost does not proceed from the Son.
Objection 2. Further, In the creed of the council of Constantinople (Can. vii) we read: "We believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Life-giver, who proceeds from the Father; with the Father and the Son to be adored and glorified." Therefore it should not be added in our Creed that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Son; and those who added such a thing appear to be worthy of anathema.
Objection 3. Further, Damascene says (De Fide Orth. i): "We say that the Holy Ghost is from the Father, and we name Him the spirit of the Father; but we do not say that the Holy Ghost is from the Son, yet we name Him the Spirit of the Son." Therefore the Holy Ghost does not proceed from the Son.
Objection 4. Further, Nothing proceeds from that wherein it rests. But the Holy Ghost rests in the Son; for it is said in the legend of St. Andrew: "Peace be to you and to all who believe in the one God the Father, and in His only Son our Lord Jesus Christ, and in the one Holy Ghost proceeding from the Father, and abiding in the Son." Therefore the Holy Ghost does not proceed from the Son.
Objection 5. Further, the Son proceeds as the Word. But our breath [spiritus] does not seem to proceed in ourselves from our word. Therefore the Holy Ghost does not proceed from the Son.
Objection 6. Further, the Holy Ghost proceeds perfectly from the Father. Therefore it is superfluous to say that He proceeds from the Son.
Objection 7. Further "the actual and the possible do not differ in things perpetual" (Phys. iii, text 32), and much less so in God. But it is possible for the Holy Ghost to be distinguished from the Son, even if He did not proceed from Him. For Anselm says (De Process. Spir. Sancti, ii): "The Son and the Holy Ghost have their Being from the Father; but each in a different way; one by Birth, the other by Procession, so that they are thus distinct from one another." And further on he says: "For even if for no other reason were the Son and the Holy Ghost distinct, this alone would suffice." Therefore the Holy Spirit is distinct from the Son, without proceeding from Him.
On the contrary, Athanasius says: "The Holy Ghost is from the Father and the Son; not made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding."
I answer that, It must be said that the Holy Ghost is from the Son. For if He were not from Him, He could in no wise be personally distinguished from Him; as appears from what has been said above (28, 3; 30, 2). For it cannot be said that the divine Persons are distinguished from each other in any absolute sense; for it would follow that there would not be one essence of the three persons: since everything that is spoken of God in an absolute sense, belongs to the unity of essence. Therefore it must be said that the divine persons are distinguished from each other only by the relations. Now the relations cannot distinguish the persons except forasmuch as they are opposite relations; which appears from the fact that the Father has two relations, by one of which He is related to the Son, and by the other to the Holy Ghost; but these are not opposite relations, and therefore they do not make two persons, but belong only to the one person of the Father. If therefore in the Son and the Holy Ghost there were two relations only, whereby each of them were related to the Father, these relations would not be opposite to each other, as neither would be the two relations whereby the Father is related to them. Hence, as the person of the Father is one, it would follow that the person of the Son and of the Holy Ghost would be one, having two relations opposed to the two relations of the Father. But this is heretical since it destroys the Faith in the Trinity. Therefore the Son and the Holy Ghost must be related to each other by opposite relations. Now there cannot be in God any relations opposed to each other, except relations of origin, as proved above (28, 44). And opposite relations of origin are to be understood as of a "principle," and of what is "from the principle." Therefore we must conclude that it is necessary to say that either the Son is from the Holy Ghost; which no one says; or that the Holy Ghost is from the Son, as we confess.
Furthermore, the order of the procession of each one agrees with this conclusion. For it was said above (27, 2,4; 28, 4), that the Son proceeds by the way of the intellect as Word, and the Holy Ghost by way of the will as Love. Now love must proceed from a word. For we do not love anything unless we apprehend it by a mental conception. Hence also in this way it is manifest that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Son.
We derive a knowledge of the same truth from the very order of nature itself. For we nowhere find that several things proceed from one without order except in those which differ only by their matter; as for instance one smith produces many knives distinct from each other materially, with no order to each other; whereas in things in which there is not only a material distinction we always find that some order exists in the multitude produced. Hence also in the order of creatures produced, the beauty of the divine wisdom is displayed. So if from the one Person of the Father, two persons proceed, the Son and the Holy Ghost, there must be some order between them. Nor can any other be assigned except the order of their nature, whereby one is from the other. Therefore it cannot be said that the Son and the Holy Ghost proceed from the Father in such a way as that neither of them proceeds from the other, unless we admit in them a material distinction; which is impossible.
Hence also the Greeks themselves recognize that the procession of the Holy Ghost has some order to the Son. For they grant that the Holy Ghost is the Spirit "of the Son"; and that He is from the Father "through the Son." Some of them are said also to concede that "He is from the Son"; or that "He flows from the Son," but not that He proceeds; which seems to come from ignorance or obstinacy. For a just consideration of the truth will convince anyone that the word procession is the one most commonly applied to all that denotes origin of any kind. For we use the term to describe any kind of origin; as when we say that a line proceeds from a point, a ray from the sun, a stream from a source, and likewise in everything else. Hence, granted that the Holy Ghost originates in any way from the Son, we can conclude that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Son.
Reply to Objection 1. We ought not to say about God anything which is not found in Holy Scripture either explicitly or implicitly. But although we do not find it verbally expressed in Holy Scripture that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Son, still we do find it in the sense of Scripture, especially where the Son says, speaking of the Holy Ghost, "He will glorify Me, because He shall receive of Mine" (Jn. 16:14). It is also a rule of Holy Scripture that whatever is said of the Father, applies to the Son, although there be added an exclusive term; except only as regards what belongs to the opposite relations, whereby the Father and the Son are distinguished from each other. For when the Lord says, "No one knoweth the Son, but the Father," the idea of the Son knowing Himself is not excluded. So therefore when we say that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father, even though it be added that He proceeds from the Father alone, the Son would not thereby be at all excluded; because as regards being the principle of the Holy Ghost, the Father and the Son are not opposed to each other, but only as regards the fact that one is the Father, and the other is the Son.
Reply to Objection 2. In every council of the Church a symbol of faith has been drawn up to meet some prevalent error condemned in the council at that time. Hence subsequent councils are not to be described as making a new symbol of faith; but what was implicitly contained in the first symbol was explained by some addition directed against rising heresies. Hence in the decision of the council of Chalcedon it is declared that those who were congregated together in the council of Constantinople, handed down the doctrine about the Holy Ghost, not implying that there was anything wanting in the doctrine of their predecessors who had gathered together at Nicaea, but explaining what those fathers had understood of the matter. Therefore, because at the time of the ancient councils the error of those who said that the Holy Ghost did not proceed from the Son had not arisen, it was not necessary to make any explicit declaration on that point; whereas, later on, when certain errors rose up, another council [Council of Rome, under Pope Damasus] assembled in the west, the matter was explicitly defined by the authority of the Roman Pontiff, by whose authority also the ancient councils were summoned and confirmed. Nevertheless the truth was contained implicitly in the belief that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father.
Reply to Objection 3. The Nestorians were the first to introduce the error that the Holy Ghost did not proceed from the Son, as appears in a Nestorian creed condemned in the council of Ephesus. This error was embraced by Theodoric the Nestorian, and several others after him, among whom was also Damascene. Hence, in that point his opinion is not to be held. Although, too, it has been asserted by some that while Damascene did not confess that the Holy Ghost was from the Son, neither do those words of his express a denial thereof.
Reply to Objection 4. When the Holy Ghost is said to rest or abide in the Son, it does not mean that He does not proceed from Him; for the Son also is said to abide in the Father, although He proceeds from the Father. Also the Holy Ghost is said to rest in the Son as the love of the lover abides in the beloved; or in reference to the human nature of Christ, by reason of what is written: "On whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, He it is who baptizes" (Jn. 1:33).
Reply to Objection 5. The Word in God is not taken after the similitude of the vocal word, whence the breath [spiritus] does not proceed; for it would then be only metaphorical; but after the similitude of the mental word, whence proceeds love.
Reply to Objection 6. For the reason that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father perfectly, not only is it not superfluous to say He proceeds from the Son, but rather it is absolutely necessary. Forasmuch as one power belongs to the Father and the Son; and because whatever is from the Father, must be from the Son unless it be opposed to the property of filiation; for the Son is not from Himself, although He is from the Father.
Reply to Objection 7. The Holy Ghost is distinguished from the Son, inasmuch as the origin of one is distinguished from the origin of the other; but the difference itself of origin comes from the fact that the Son is only from the Father, whereas the Holy Ghost is from the Father and the Son; for otherwise the processions would not be distinguished from each other, as explained above, and in 27.
The Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas
Second and Revised Edition, 1920
Literally translated by Fathers of the English Dominican Province
Online Edition Copyright © 2003 by Kevin Knight
Nihil Obstat. F. Innocentius Apap, O.P., S.T.M., Censor. Theol.
Imprimatur. Edus. Canonicus Surmont, Vicarius Generalis. Westmonasterii.
Nihil Obstat. F. Raphael Moss, O.P., S.T.L. and F. Leo Moore, O.P., S.T.L.
Imprimatur. F. Beda Jarrett, O.P., S.T.L., A.M., Prior Provincialis Angliæ
MARIÆ IMMACULATÆ - SEDI SAPIENTIÆ
The entire section on The Blessed Trinity is worth studying, and will put this question in better context. I usually read two or three sections per day, or at one sitting. Reading the Summa can be exhausting, but is worth the effort 8-)
"What is the Catholic dogma on the relation between the persons of the Holy Trinity?"
Read Frank Sheed's "Theology and Sanity" for one of the best discussions of the Trinity ever written.
Sigh. Actually this is untrue.
It is our belief that the filioque is "theologically inexact and spiritually harmful", to quote Ware.
All things come from the Father.
This confuses me.
In last week's Gospel, when Our Lord appeared to the Apostles, he breathes on them, filling them with the Holy Spirit.
If the Holy Spirit proceeded directly and only from the Father, why would the Gospel record Christ's ability to transmit the power of the Holy Spirit to the Apostles, in such a manner?
To which I replied: we only know the Trinity from its manifestation in the economy of salvation. That which is true in the temporal sense must be true in the eternal sense.
To that I got no answer.
There was a lively discussion yesterday: POPE'S DEATH AND CATHOLICISM'S PROSPECTS IN RUSSIA
Why not do the same thing systematically? Does Lent prevent one from witnessing his faith?
I was told by Kolokotronis that Augustine did not understand Trinity because he did not know Greek. He did not provide any criticism of Augustine's reasoning beyond that he did not refer to any Greek words. I am hoping to get more from Kolokotronis today.
Where are the Eastern theological methods apparent in the Greed? I ask because I don't know.