Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Filioque
Cathol;ic Answers ^

Posted on 04/05/2005 9:11:13 PM PDT by annalex

Filioque



The Western Church commonly uses a version of the Nicene creed which has the Latin word filioque ("and the Son") added after the declaration that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father. Scripture reveals that the Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son. The external relationships of the persons of the Trinity mirror their internal relationships. 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 (Matt. 10:20).

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, 5:972–3).

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 Zoghby’s A Voice from the Byzantine East, 43).

Tertullian

"I believe that the Spirit proceeds not otherwise than from the Father through the Son" (Against Praxeas 4:1 [A.D. 216]).

Origen

"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 Father’s] 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]).

Augustine

"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).

John Damascene

"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]).

NIHIL OBSTAT: I have concluded that the materials
presented in this work are free of doctrinal or moral errors.
Bernadeane Carr, STL, Censor Librorum, August 10, 2004

IMPRIMATUR: In accord with 1983 CIC 827
permission to publish this work is hereby granted.
+Robert H. Brom, Bishop of San Diego, August 10, 2004


TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; Ecumenism; Orthodox Christian; Theology
KEYWORDS: begotten; father; holyghost; holyspirit; proceeds; son; trinity
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-139 next last
Is Filioque a substantial theological controversy between the Catholic and the Orthodox?

What is the Catholic dogma on the relation between the persons of the Holy Trinity?

1 posted on 04/05/2005 9:11:13 PM PDT by annalex
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: annalex
III. THE HOLY TRINITY IN THE TEACHING OF THE FAITH

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:

Above all guard for me this great deposit of faith for which I live and fight, which I want to take with me as a companion, and which makes me bear all evils and despise all pleasures: I mean the profession of faith in the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. I entrust it to you today. By it I am soon going to plunge you into water and raise you up from it. I give it to you as the companion and patron of your whole life. I give you but one divinity and power, existing one in three, and containing the three in a distinct way. Divinity without disparity of substance or nature, without superior degree that raises up or inferior degree that casts down. . . the infinite co-naturality of three infinites. Each person considered in himself is entirely God. . . the three considered together. . . I have not even begun to think of unity when the Trinity bathes me in its splendor. I have not even begun to think of the Trinity when unity grasps me. . .92

Catechism of the Catholic Church)

2 posted on 04/05/2005 9:15:15 PM PDT by annalex
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: annalex
THE PROFESSION OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH

CHAPTER THREE
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.

Baptism gives us the grace of new birth in God the Father, through his Son, in the Holy Spirit. For those who bear God's Spirit are led to the Word, that is, to the Son, and the Son presents them to the Father, and the Father confers incorruptibility on them. And it is impossible to see God's Son without the Spirit, and no one can approach the Father without the Son, for the knowledge of the Father is the Son, and the knowledge of God's Son is obtained through the Holy Spirit.3

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":

The Old Testament proclaimed the Father clearly, but the Son more obscurely. The New Testament revealed the Son and gave us a glimpse of the divinity of the Spirit. Now the Spirit dwells among us and grants us a clearer vision of himself. It was not prudent, when the divinity of the Father had not yet been confessed, to proclaim the Son openly and, when the divinity of the Son was not yet admitted, to add the Holy Spirit as an extra burden, to speak somewhat daringly.... By advancing and progressing "from glory to glory," the light of the Trinity will shine in ever more brilliant rays.5

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.

(Catechism of the Catholic Church)

3 posted on 04/05/2005 9:17:27 PM PDT by annalex
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: annalex
reply
4 posted on 04/05/2005 9:22:34 PM PDT by MarMema
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Salvation; Romulus; Askel5; NYer; donbosco74; Vicomte13; fortunecookie; dangus; wideawake

Apologetics bump


5 posted on 04/05/2005 9:23:20 PM PDT by annalex
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Agrarian; Kolokotronis; kosta50; don-o; MarMema; jb6; bobjam; FormerLib

The Catholic Church teaching.


6 posted on 04/05/2005 9:26:36 PM PDT by annalex
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: All
This thread:

POPE'S DEATH AND CATHOLICISM'S PROSPECTS IN RUSSIA

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.

7 posted on 04/05/2005 9:33:17 PM PDT by annalex
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: annalex

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".


8 posted on 04/05/2005 9:47:47 PM PDT by gbcdoj (In the world you shall have distress. But have confidence. I have overcome the world. ~ John 16:33)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: annalex

Bump!


9 posted on 04/05/2005 11:04:55 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: annalex; Agrarian; FormerLib; Kolokotronis; monkfan
It might be better to plan a discussion like this for sometime in May, perhaps, though I do appreciate your interest and open mind.

Most of us will not be interested in much further discussion on this right now. We're in the midst of Great Lent.

10 posted on 04/05/2005 11:25:54 PM PDT by MarMema
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: annalex; american colleen; Lady In Blue; Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; ...
John
Chapter 12

44
Jesus cried out and said, "Whoever believes in me believes not only in me but also in the one who sent me,
45
and whoever sees me sees the one who sent me.


11 posted on 04/05/2005 11:52:02 PM PDT by NYer ("America needs much prayer, lest it lose its soul." John Paul II)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MarMema

I agree -- let's park this aside until later.


12 posted on 04/06/2005 1:39:07 AM PDT by Cronos (Never forget 9/11)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: annalex

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.


13 posted on 04/06/2005 4:49:01 AM PDT by bobjam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: annalex

Whether the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Son?

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.
APPROBATIO ORDINIS
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-)

14 posted on 04/06/2005 5:06:44 AM PDT by Aquinasfan (Isaiah 22:22, Rev 3:7, Mat 16:19)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: annalex

"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.


15 posted on 04/06/2005 6:36:58 AM PDT by FatherofFive (Choose life!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: bobjam
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.

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.

16 posted on 04/06/2005 7:17:03 AM PDT by MarMema
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: annalex

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?


17 posted on 04/06/2005 7:55:18 AM PDT by AlbionGirl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: AlbionGirl; Agrarian; Kolokotronis
Th answer I received from the Orthodox on the thread I mention in 7 was that it is given by Christ to the Apostles in the temporal or external sense, but it proceeds from the Father only in the eternal or internal, Trinitarian sense.

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.

18 posted on 04/06/2005 8:08:57 AM PDT by annalex
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: MarMema
Most of us will not be interested in much further discussion on this right now. We're in the midst of Great Lent.

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?

19 posted on 04/06/2005 8:11:23 AM PDT by annalex
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: bobjam; Kolokotronis
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).

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.

20 posted on 04/06/2005 8:15:59 AM PDT by annalex
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: gbcdoj; Aquinasfan
This is, effectively, the procession "filioque", even though the great Damascene said that the Spirit was not "from the Son".

Yeah, but Aquinas lists that as an objection. See Aquinasfan post below yours.

21 posted on 04/06/2005 8:18:16 AM PDT by annalex
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Aquinasfan

That's perfect. Thank you.


22 posted on 04/06/2005 8:18:52 AM PDT by annalex
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: annalex
Th answer I received from the Orthodox on the thread I mention in 7 was that it is given by Christ to the Apostles in the temporal or external sense, but it proceeds from the Father only in the eternal or internal, Trinitarian sense.

That's what Aquinas understood, at least from my reading of him in the Summa. The generation of the Son and the procession of the Spirit are necessarily immanent in God.

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.

My understanding is that all Three Persons are present and cooperate in every act of God attributed to a single Person in Scripture, since they all possess the same nature. According to Aquinas, the Persons differ in origin (in a similitude to natural generation, as like being generated from like) and relation.

23 posted on 04/06/2005 8:50:10 AM PDT by Aquinasfan (Isaiah 22:22, Rev 3:7, Mat 16:19)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: annalex

The Eastern Theology is that "God" means God the Father. This is apparent in the first line "I believe in one God, the Father Almighty". The Creed then defines the other two Persons of the Trinity ion terms of their point of origin with God. Therefore, the Son is "eternally begotten" and the Ghost is "proceeding".

For Catholics and Protestants, "God" means the God the Trinity.


24 posted on 04/06/2005 8:58:03 AM PDT by bobjam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: annalex

Interesting.


25 posted on 04/06/2005 9:03:29 AM PDT by FourtySeven (47)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Aquinasfan

Right. So how can one relation, -- of giving -- that exists between the Son and the Holy Ghost in the temporal sense (John 20:22) be not matched by the similar relation, of proceeding, in the eternal sense?


26 posted on 04/06/2005 9:43:56 AM PDT by annalex
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: bobjam
They see Rome as having unilaterally amending the Nicene Creed by fiat.

And would not the West be perfectly justified, under the same doctrine, in viewing the 381 Creed as "unilaterally amending the Nicene Creed by fiat"? Ephesus made no mention of the 381 Creed in its prohibition against creating a creed other than that set forth at Nicaea (not Constantinople), and there are compelling arguments that the council of the 150 Fathers (which didn't even bother trying to invite Westerners) was not recognized as Oecumenical until after Chalcedon. What's worse, there's also a real possibility that the 381 Creed was never approved by the Council at all, which would place its first approval at Chalcedon - after Ephesus laid down its canon against change to the Nicene Creed. When the Creed was read at Ephesus, it was the real Nicene Creed, not the 381 Creed which is improperly called the "Nicene Creed". The case against the 381 Creed is far more powerful then the case which the Greeks made against the Latin Creed - it's no surprise that at Florence the Greeks were forced to admit defeat.

27 posted on 04/06/2005 9:59:24 AM PDT by gbcdoj (In the world you shall have distress. But have confidence. I have overcome the world. ~ John 16:33)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: annalex
Yes, St. Thomas actually accuses him of holding a Nestorian error! But he had not read the apologies against the Iconoclasts - my understanding is the De Fide Orthodoxa is all that had been translated at the time into Latin. The problem is solved when you realize that for Damascene, like the other Greek Fathers, procession, or "from the Son", is almost always used of procession from a first source or origin, whereas Latin theology uses the terms in a much looser sense. Properly the Spirit proceeds principally from the Father and consubstantially from the Son, as was explained to St. Maximos when he inquired:
With regard to the first matter, they (the Romans) have produced the unanimous evidence of the Latin Fathers, and also of Cyril of Alexandria, from the study he made of the gospel of St. John. On the basis of these texts, they have shown that they have not made the Son the cause of the Spirit--they know in fact that the Father is the only cause of the Son and the Spirit, the one by begetting and the other by procession--but that they have manifested the procession through him and have thus shown the unity and identity of the essence. (Letter to Marinus)

28 posted on 04/06/2005 10:09:29 AM PDT by gbcdoj (In the world you shall have distress. But have confidence. I have overcome the world. ~ John 16:33)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: annalex; NYer
A bunch of old guys with vows to Christ arguing over the Divine Dynamics of the Holy Trinity is like two groups of kids in a playground. One says, "The sky is Teal!" and the other, "The sky is Turquoise!" Dudes, It's all shades of blue to me.

Perhaps I'm too insignificant to understand the science of Heaven. If we are truly created in God's image, then I think that the Holy Trinity is best reflected in the Holy Family. Since we must try to live in the Imitation of Christ, then in trying to pursue holiness in familiar vocations, the natural family should mimic the Holy Family. If that's the case, does mom drive the mini-van, should dad drive us, are the kids old enough to drive? Whatever, just make like Fair Lady and "get me to the Church on time."
29 posted on 04/06/2005 10:21:27 AM PDT by SaltyJoe (stay in a State of Grace)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: annalex; Kolokotronis; MarMema; kosta50; bobjam
"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."

We only know the Trinity based on what is revealed to us about the Trinity, and many things have been revealed. By this same argument, since the Holy Spirit was involved in the economy of our salvation -- i.e. Christ was sent to us by means of the Holy Spirit -- then this must be true in the eternal sense, and the Son must be begotten of the Father and the Spirit both.

The phrase "proceeds from the Father" as Kolokotronis points out, is a direct quotation from Scripture. As bobjam pointed out on this thread and as I pointed out on the other thread, when Orthodox simply use the word "God," we are generally talking about the Father, who is the personal point of unity of the Trinity. There is also unity of essence, nature, and energies. But for the Orthodox, these impersonal things are not what we talk about when we speak of "God." The chief prayer that Christ taught us to pray to God begins "Our Father."

I would also mention that a post on the earlier thread stated that the Spirit must proceed from the Father and the Son because the Spirit was not present at the beginning. This seems to me to be applying concepts such as time to the Trinity, and this is highly problematic. Time itself is a created thing. Even what we will experience in the next life (commonly described as eternity) is taught by the Fathers to be a created thing, and God is still outside and beyond even this.

Anyway, I pretty much exhausted myself yesterday, and like the others, don't have a whole lot more in me on this subject. I think that your posting has shown what Catholics believe, and I hope we have done an adequate job of sharing what the Orthodox believe, teach, and live.

Great Lent is indeed a rough time to get into these things. Most of us are very aware of the fact that the temptations to say things we would regret are higher now than at any other time of the year. We are also in church a lot. I will be standing through, making prostrations, and chanting in about 9 hours worth of services yet this week. Most of us have added things to our prayer rule. We're on our 5th week without meat and our 4th without any egg or dairy products, and have several weeks to go on both. I'm not by any means complaining -- it is a joyous time for us, affectionately known by some as the "Lenten Spring."

The only reason that I'm spelling this out is to make sure that you understand that for me anyway, my FR activity (as you can see by examining my track record over the past 5 weeks) comes in spurts as energy and time allow, and only for as long as I'm able to maintain a good attitude. When I can't, then it's back to prayer. Lack of engagement should not be taken either as an indication that we have nothing to say in response to a given argument, nor as an indication that we are upset or uninterested.

30 posted on 04/06/2005 10:38:02 AM PDT by Agrarian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: gbcdoj; Agrarian
I had this exchange with Agrarian (LINK)

[Agrarian quoting me:] "If the Orthodox understanding is that the Son and the Holy Ghost proceed symmetrically from the Father, and not sequentially, first the Son and then the Holy Ghost, then indeed that is not compatible."

[Agrarian responding:] I don't recall the Fathers using words like symmetrical, but if I am understanding you correctly, then you are on the right track to understanding what Orthodoxy teaches.

One father wrote (can't remember which) that each person has a characteristic unique to Him: The Father is the source, the Son is begotten, and the Spirit proceeds. Orthodox arguments regarding the filioque are ultimately patristic, scriptural, spiritual, and practical, and not based on theoretical or metaphysical arguments of symmetry or asymmetry, but the observation was made by a father, and I thought I'd pass it on.

[...]

Note that Agrarian repeats what is also the Catholic dogma, misstated by me with the loose usage of "proceed": that the Son is begotten and the Spirit proceeds, but the implication is that there is no co-procession from the Son. I wish he could respond to your post here.

I am a visual person, so let me make this picture:

Catholic Trinity

Father -- > eternally begets -- > Son

|
V
proceeds
|
V
Holy Ghost



Orthodox Trinity

Father

|
|
V
V
eternally begets
proceeds
|
|
V
V
Son
Holy Ghost

31 posted on 04/06/2005 10:42:09 AM PDT by annalex
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: Agrarian

Great. We cross-posted. Please see the pictures I made, and have a productive Lent.


32 posted on 04/06/2005 10:45:13 AM PDT by annalex
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: annalex
Icons are considered by the Orthodox to be a part of Holy Tradition. We view them as authoritative when they are done in the traditional way. We study them, learn all of the thing that have been taught to us that the icons depict -- sometimes we are even able to draw new insights into a given feast or saint based on the traditional icon.

The reason I give this preamble is that diagrams are always problematic, because they are not a part of Holy Tradition, and yet one can look at a diagram and draw inferences and make deductions -- inferences and deductions that are not true or are not entirely true.

That said, your diagram is correct with regard both to how I understand Catholic teachings on the Trinity and how I understand Orthodox teachings on the Trinity. It is also correct in that it depicts a number of characteristics of the Trinity as we have come to understand them through Holy Tradition. First, it depicts the principle of "monarchia," which is the property of the Father within the Trinity. The Son always speaks with deference regarding the Father, even though he is equal in glory and honor. The Father is the source within the Trinity, even though the Son is "co-eternal with the Father and the Spirit," as the line from the Liturgy says. Also, this diagram of the Orthodox understanding depicts the equality of the Son and the Spirit. What it does not depict is the equality of glory and honor of the threee persons. I have seen diagrams that place

Spirit----Father----Son

all on one line, which accomplishes this, but then that diagram misses the "monarchia" and it implies a distance between Son and Spirit that does not exist.

Still, the drawing of diagrams is interesting, as long as the severe limitations are understood. Now, I've really got to go. Maybe more tonight.

33 posted on 04/06/2005 10:55:26 AM PDT by Agrarian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: annalex
Right. So how can one relation, -- of giving -- that exists between the Son and the Holy Ghost in the temporal sense (John 20:22) be not matched by the similar relation, of proceeding, in the eternal sense?

I don't think it necessarily follows, since the generation of the Son and the procession of the Spirit from Father and Son are immanent to God and eternal, while the passage from John seems to indicate a special, temporal outpouring of the Spirit.

That's the best I can do right now. (I just happened to be studying the section of the Summa regarding the Trinity this week.)

34 posted on 04/06/2005 11:00:19 AM PDT by Aquinasfan (Isaiah 22:22, Rev 3:7, Mat 16:19)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: Aquinasfan

But John 20:22 is not like any other New Testament story (there are many in the Acts that involve the Holy Ghost). This is the Pentacost, which completes the mysteries of Christmas and Easter. This is the scriptural building block with which we build our concept of the eternal Holy Trinity


35 posted on 04/06/2005 11:23:10 AM PDT by annalex
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: annalex
This is the scriptural building block with which we build our concept of the eternal Holy Trinity

I'm not sure what you're getting at.

36 posted on 04/06/2005 11:36:30 AM PDT by Aquinasfan (Isaiah 22:22, Rev 3:7, Mat 16:19)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: Aquinasfan

The Trinity is not explicitly stated in the Scripture. It is something the Church constructed as an intellectual effort, from the revealed truths. The revealed truths are mostly in the temporal domain. For example, the begetting of the Son is not described in the scripture as a primordeal event, Rather, it is postulated "I was there in the beginning" and then the Christmas incarnation, which is a temporal event, explains the relation between the Father and the Son. Similarly, the Holy Ghost is postulated as a primordeal person in the Genesis, and then a temporal event, the Pentacost, explains the relation between the Son (with the Father implied) and the Holy Ghost.


37 posted on 04/06/2005 12:02:30 PM PDT by annalex
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: annalex
Similarly, the Holy Ghost is postulated as a primordeal person in the Genesis, and then a temporal event, the Pentacost, explains the relation between the Son (with the Father implied) and the Holy Ghost.

The event establishes the Holy Ghost as a distinct Person of the Trinity, but it can't establish the eternal relationship of the Holy Ghost to the other Persons of the Trinity, since it is a temporal event.

My two cents, anyway.

38 posted on 04/06/2005 12:13:27 PM PDT by Aquinasfan (Isaiah 22:22, Rev 3:7, Mat 16:19)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: Aquinasfan

I am out on a limb here, since I did not read this anywhere. But this is my speculative thinking.

I see a danger in drawing a bright line between temporal events and eternal relations. We don't have a mythical god who first defeated Gilgamesh, then married Brahmaputra, then created mankind, etc. True, we have the Creation, but our eternal God permeates it, so temporal events are visions of His divine eternal essence. Such bending and collapsing the sequence of time is, for example, necessary to explain the prefigurement of later temporal events in the earlier ones, and of course, the Real Presence of the Eucharist.

In other words, when we separate the temporal from the eternal, we rob ourselves of a deeper understanding. Christ breathing the Holy Ghost is an event that happened in time, but it is also a timeless image of the Triune Eternal God in operation.


39 posted on 04/06/2005 12:42:17 PM PDT by annalex
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: annalex
The Trinity is not explicitly stated in the Scripture. It is something the Church constructed as an intellectual effort, from the revealed truths.

The Church fathers were influenced in their trinitarianism by the neo-Platonists (including Plotinus, Proclus and the Pseudo-Dionysius). These guys characterized the fundamental triplicity at the root of things as follows:

mone   (remaining, abiding);
proodos   (going forth);
epistrophe   (returning, turning back).

mone became "God, the Father" (Who abides in Himself); proodos became "Jesus, the Son of God" (Who goes forth into the world); and epistrophe became "The Holy Spirit" (Who mediates the return to the Father).

Of course, the neo-Platonists weren't called neo-Platonists for nothing; they owed most of the deepest aspects of their thinking to (their interpretations of) Plato's writings, and this includes their trinitarianism. But that's a matter for another post at another time.

40 posted on 04/06/2005 2:09:32 PM PDT by snarks_when_bored
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: annalex; Kolokotronis; Agrarian; FormerLib; MarMema

Good graphic. It was always the position of the Orthodox Church that Catholic teaching on Trinity made the Holy Ghost "lesser" or "secondary" which your graphic aptly reveals. The orthodox graphic shows that the Father is the first cause and source without confusion or any need to explain further. The Catholic graphic shows what most Catholics believe but deny -- that the Father begts the Son and the Two then begt the Ghost.


41 posted on 04/06/2005 3:27:43 PM PDT by kosta50 (Eastern Orthodox is pure Christianity)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: kosta50
And my love to you as well, my brother in Christ. I meant to reply to your other post, so here is a reply instead.

Off to presanctified this evening..you are in my prayers.

42 posted on 04/06/2005 3:47:23 PM PDT by MarMema
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 41 | View Replies]

To: kosta50
the Two then begt the Ghost.

Why "beget"? The Catholics do not insist on blurring the distinction between proceeding and begetting and my graphic says "proceeds". So does the Latin Creed.

The graphic says nothing about persons being secondary. You wish to see it as dropping the Holy Ghost down. I see it as elevating the Son, in comparison with the Orthodox. Either view is incorrect because it sees the "up" and the "down" of the picture are meaningful. In fact only the relations are meaningful.

The Catholic dogma is that all three persons are consubstantial. There are no lesser persons.

43 posted on 04/06/2005 5:26:43 PM PDT by annalex
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 41 | View Replies]

To: annalex
The Catholic dogma is that all three persons are consubstantial. There are no lesser persons

Then stop drawing horizontal and vertical lines for that which cannot be portrayed.

"Elevating" the Son implies that somehow the Creed diminishes Him! So, the true reasons come out of you little by little: first you blurt out that the Vatican doors are 'wide open' so we can come to you, then you say that we somehow diminish the Son.

Obviously, given the Uniates, it doesn't matter to the Catholics because they will take anyone and everyone, regardless of theology or rite, who will recognize the Pope as the absolute ruler of the Church, which is the only condition for "Catholicism" it appears.

You have closed this thread as you have closed the last: the Church teaches that Wisdom (the Father) is the only source and cause; that Word (Son) is eternally begotten by the Father and that the Spirit eternally wells up and proceeds from the Father.

There is nothing to add or subtract from that. The Cause is the Father. The Source is the Father. The Wisdom has never been without the Word or without the Spirit. The Word reflects the Spirit of the Father and in that the Spirit is an "image" of the Son. The Divine Economy is not a two or a three way street -- the Father begets (generates) the Son, the Wisdom begets the Word, the "Sonship" is eternally inherent in that immutable one-way relationship. The Spirit wells up and proceeds from the Wisdom, not the other way around. The procession is unidirectional, from the Source outward.

Your mind generates words. Your words reflect the spirit of your mind, but not the origin of it. It's a one-way relationship. Whatever character you have is in your mind, the way you think, understand and express yourself. Together, the Wisdom, the Word and the Spirit make up what we call God, just as the mind, words and our own spirit make us because we are, made that way, in His image. Without those Three there is no God just as without those three there is neither annalex nor Kosta.

44 posted on 04/06/2005 8:35:12 PM PDT by kosta50 (Eastern Orthodox is pure Christianity)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]

To: kosta50
stop drawing horizontal and vertical lines

The portrayal of the Trinity in HTML is just as good as portrayal of the Trinity in words. Both methods have limitations.

"Elevating" the Son implies that somehow the Creed diminishes Him!

It doesn't. You interpreted the Catholic graphic as diminishing in #41, and I point out that the Orthodox graphic does the same thing to different persons.

You have closed this thread as you have closed the last: the Church teaches that Wisdom (the Father) is the only source and cause; that Word (Son) is eternally begotten by the Father and that the Spirit eternally wells up and proceeds from the Father.

The Father is the cause, the Son is begotten and the Spirit proceeds from both. That is why the Son is begotten and the spirit is not. Case closed, door open.

May I ignore the rest? It's late and you are agitated, and I was reminded that I must not occasion that.

45 posted on 04/07/2005 12:47:59 AM PDT by annalex
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 44 | View Replies]

To: snarks_when_bored
neo-Platonists

The overall position of the Church is that even cultures ignorant of Christ have a correct religious instinct written in their heart. We should not be surprised if we find elements of revealed wisdom discovered independently by cultures otherwise unenlightened.

46 posted on 04/07/2005 1:12:24 AM PDT by annalex
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: annalex
The overall position of the Church is that even cultures ignorant of Christ have a correct religious instinct written in their heart. We should not be surprised if we find elements of revealed wisdom discovered independently by cultures otherwise unenlightened.

The pagan neo-Platonists, through their study of the pagan Plato, arrived at some very high-level abstractions; the Church fathers took those abstractions and personalized them (using the context of the Bible). I'm not sure who's enlightened there and who's not.

47 posted on 04/07/2005 3:10:06 AM PDT by snarks_when_bored
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 46 | View Replies]

To: snarks_when_bored

The light is that of Christ. High-level abstractions are an impressive thing but light it ain't.


48 posted on 04/07/2005 9:32:11 AM PDT by annalex
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 47 | View Replies]

To: TotusTuus
The short answer is that there is no real conflict between East and West on this issue, other than apparent ones due to misunderstandings in the meaning of words coming from two different languages (Latin and Greek). I say this as a Ruthenian Byzantine Catholic.

I saw this comment of yours on this thread, and was wondering if you can elaborate. I think, the dual procession of the Holy Ghost is a real difference, as much as I would like this not to be the case.

49 posted on 04/11/2005 2:22:39 PM PDT by annalex
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Aquinasfan
all Three Persons are present and cooperate in every act of God attributed to a single Person in Scripture

Would it not be correct to say that The Father and the Holy Ghost co-beget the Son? This is what the Creed seems to say in "by the power of the Holy Spirit He was born of the Virgin Mary".

Or am I confusing the incarnation and the trinitarian generation to an intolerable level again?

50 posted on 04/11/2005 9:05:24 PM PDT by annalex
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-139 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson