[Orthodoxy] Filioque

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  • #1035

    Andres Ortiz
    Keymaster

    [quote:2fjh18h7] The filioque is an innovation that only further alienated the East from the West. Despite the fact that all Ecumenical Councils had canons forbidding the adding and subtracting to the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed, the West went ahead and added the word “filioque”, or “and the Son”. Not only was this a canonical violation, not only had the Church in the West completely disregarded the collegiality spoken of earlier, the teaching that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son is theologically INCORRECT. Concerning the Holy Spirit, the Lord Jesus Christ says that He proceeds from the Father (John 15:26). By suggesting that the Son also sends the Holy Spirit disrupts the monarchy of the Godhead–Orthodox have always confessed that the Father eternally begets the Son and eternally breathes out His Spirit before all time. Catholics call this “the doctrine of the double procession”. Orthodox call this heresy. The Creed was come to COLLEGIALLY–neither the See at Rome, nor ANY OTHER SEE, has any business changing it UNILATERALLY. This undermines the precedent of the Apostolic Council. Canon VII of the Third Ecumenical Council forbids the use of any other Creed than the Symbol of Faith. To be sure, all Seven Ecumenical Councils re-affirmed the teaching that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father. Pope Leo III (795-816), at the Council of Aix-la Chapelle (Aachen), heard the teaching of filioque and censured it. The same Pope Leo had the Creed inscribed in silver plaques in Greek and Latin, and they were hung outside the doors of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, with the inscription “Haec Leo posui amore et cautela fidei orthodoxae”, translated “These words, I, Leo, have set down for th elove and as a safeguard of the Orthodox Faith”. The Franks, at the Council of Frankfurt (793), approve “filioque”, but this council, which the Orthodox saw as heretical, also condemned the Seventh Ecumenical Council’s defense of the holy images. The Franks, seeing all the Fathers of the Church subordinate to the Blessed Augustine, accepted the false personal teaching in his ON THE TRINITY, that says that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Son also. Charlemagne tries to get Pope Hadrian I (772-795), to accept the filioque, and Pope Hadrian refuses. Once the Germans took the papal throne, filioque was imported–the rest is history. According to Kelly, author of the Oxford Dictionary of Popes, it was Benedict VIII who accepted the demand of Henry IV to add filioque to the Creed. Patriarch Sergios of Constantinople removed Benedict’s name from the diptychs at Constantinople. In accepting the filioque, Rome had changed the beliefs that she once held. This is the Orthodox view to this day.[/quote:2fjh18h7]

    #4978

    I quite agree, that is the Orthodox view of the filioque to this day. We consider it to be heretical, but I’m disappointed to see that no RCs have responded to the post. Maybe if I come back later?

    James

    #4990

    For some reason, not many people post in these threads. I think it is because most of us are rather ignorant on the subject? Maybe not.

    I am very good at using the Bible to prove RC beliefs, but not too great at using history. I am not exactly a history maniac. Even then, I can knock protestants over the head with Church Fatehr quotations, but I have never really researched Othodoxy, so, yeah.

    #5006

    Victor
    Member

    I will come back and respond.

    ~Victor

    #5016

    [quote:3lqxyw9k]For some reason, not many people post in these threads. I think it is because most of us are rather ignorant on the subject? Maybe not.

    I am very good at using the Bible to prove RC beliefs, but not too great at using history. I am not exactly a history maniac. Even then, I can knock protestants over the head with Church Fatehr quotations, but I have never really researched Othodoxy, so, yeah.[/quote:3lqxyw9k]

    Well try using the Bible to prove the filioque then. One word of caution, though, bear in mind that the Creed speaks of the origins and not the temporal mission of the Holy Spirit. It is impossible to read the Greek in any other way.

    Oh, and could someone please explain to me why you recite the Creed without the filioque when speaking Greek? This is probably just me being cynical, but it looks like an attempt (like the Unia) to convince us that you really are Orthodox.

    James

    #5136

    Augustine
    Member

    The subject of the [i:2cdc0s47]filioque[/i:2cdc0s47] is both simple, and complicated. In both cases, I honestly believe the Orthodox Church is correct in this matter, and it is one of the reasons why I eventually decided to enter the catechumate.

    First, the simple part.

    The simple part is, whether or not one believes that the [i:2cdc0s47]theology[/i:2cdc0s47] behind the “filioque” clause (and there are a couple of different versions of this btw.) is [i:2cdc0s47]true[/i:2cdc0s47], the way the westerners began to stick it into the Creed was incorrect, and the way it was finally imposed by the Popes in the 11th century (previous Popes being quite conservative in this matter, and not wanting to disrupt the unity of the Church, did not allow it to be officially inserted into the Creed in Rome), was entirely illegitimate and sinful. The Creed is the fruit of pan-Orthodox Christian witness, and it’s choice of terminology was not accidental and undebated [i:2cdc0s47]within[/i:2cdc0s47] the Councils of Nicea and Constantinople I. To just willy-nilly alter this, is of itself a schismatic act.

    Thus as a start, the Latin Church needs to remove this clause from any of it’s official [i:2cdc0s47]readings[/i:2cdc0s47] of the Nicene-Constantinoplean Creed. This is because [i:2cdc0s47]this[/i:2cdc0s47] Creed is not a local or provinicial witness, but speaks for the entire Church.

    As for the [b:2cdc0s47]theology of the filioque[/b:2cdc0s47], like I said previously, this is a bit more complicated…

    St.Gregory Palamas, engaging a now separated Latin Church, speaks well in the [i:2cdc0s47]consensus[/i:2cdc0s47] of the pre-schism “undivided church” on this matter. In fact, His very clear teaching on the “energies/essence distinction” goes some way in articulating the form of the “filioque” teaching which Orthodox Christians could accept.

    Many have heard Orthodox say that we could accept “proceeds from the Father, [i:2cdc0s47]through[/i:2cdc0s47] the Son”. [b:2cdc0s47]Basically[/b:2cdc0s47], that is correct. However, even more ought to be said than this, and St.Gregory actually does say more than this.

    Basically, “according to essence” the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father [b:2cdc0s47]alone[/b:2cdc0s47] (as St.Photios rightly taught, and which unfortunately some of his contemporary Latin Christian neighbours sincerely disagreed with; and in that, they were wrong). However, “energetically”, He does proceed “from” the Son – in the sense that He rests upon the Son (even in eternity), is manifested with the Son, and is sent into the world [i:2cdc0s47]by[/i:2cdc0s47] the Son.

    The Orthodox cannot agree with anything beyond this, and that includes the principle that somehow the [i:2cdc0s47]essential[/i:2cdc0s47] procession of the Holy Spirit (which in Greek, is what the Council of Constantinople was talking about) is from the Son, or that [i:2cdc0s47]this[/i:2cdc0s47] can be “given” to the Son. This confuses hypostatic qualities (qualities unique to the particular Persons of the Trinity), and also undermines an important teaching found in the Fathers regarding the “monarchy” and “firstness” of God the Father – that He is the “arch” and “source of the Trinity”. All three Persons are equal in essence and glory, nor was there ever a point in time that any of them “was not”, but still the Father is “first”. He is neither begotten nor proceeds. To say the Holy Spirit then “proceeds” from the Son in that sense, partially undoes that primacy.

    It also plays into a tendency which the Church had to fight called [i:2cdc0s47]Sabellianism[/i:2cdc0s47]. This was a pre-Nicean heresy (though which lived on after Nicea) which basically taught that the Three Persons of the Trinity were simply [i:2cdc0s47]modes[/i:2cdc0s47], understood in the pagan, un-Christianized sense of the Latin term “persona” of a singular, [b:2cdc0s47]unitarian[/b:2cdc0s47] “God”. Indeed, in some respects, many ended up (wrongly) ascribing to Arianism, or some form of semi-Arianism, precisely because they knew this Sabellian teaching was a blasphemy – thus for these people, Arianism/Semi-Arianism was a kind of “over reaction” to Sabellianism, facilitated by the real ambiguity that existed around a lot of the Christological/Triadological terminology during that time.

    Where as the original Greek language theology of the Ecumenical Councils and of the early Roman Church itself (which probably was still liturgizing in Greek toward the end of the fourth century) spoke of “Three Hypostases” (of which our English word “person” is only an aproximation, and if you really look carefully, not really a great translation at all as it implies things which are not correct) which had a singular essence, the Latins began to emphasize a common “substance” (which they more or less used, in their Latin tongue, as the equivelent of “essence”, though in reality it was actually a more literal translation of [i:2cdc0s47]hypostasis[/i:2cdc0s47]…I bet you can already see the trouble brewing), with three “personae” (which they used as a translation of hypostasis).

    Rightly understood, in context, this was all fine. But with an increasing emphasis upon the “substanital unity”, the distinctness of the Three Persons eventually got reduced (and you see this in scholasticism) solely to “relations in an essence”. Thus, there was felt some need to say how “procession” and “begotteness” were different, where as according to other Fathers (like St.Gregory of Nyssa) these were unfathomable mysteries – what mattered was, they weren’t the same.

    While this is certainly not Sabellianism, it’s coming pretty darned close. And this understandably made Eastern Christians extremely nervous, and is why when they finally admonished their western brethren over this (after it had ceased being a regional oddity in Spain, and began to chracterize most of western Christendom, thanks to Germanic filioquist propaganda – the Franks seemened attached to this teaching, in particular the Imperial court in Aachen) – and when the admonishment failed, you saw the first Rome – Orthodox schism. Unfortunately, eventually the estrangement became permanent. <img src=” title=”Sad” />

    #5142

    Victor
    Member

    Here are some Eastern Fathers that clearly show that the Son has some role in the eternal state of the Spirit. He is not the principle, but He has some role.

    [quote:xxqq0tvc][b:xxqq0tvc]St. Athanasius[/b:xxqq0tvc] (d. 373), in at least three places, refers to the “dependence in origination of the Spirit in the Son.” He uses the expression para tou Logou in:

    –Contra Arian. III, 24 (PG 26, 376A) –Ad Ser. I, 20 (PG 26, 580A) –Id., III, 5 (PG 26, 632C).

    [b:xxqq0tvc]St. Epiphanius[/b:xxqq0tvc] (367-403) refers to the Spirit as proceeding from the Father and receiving from the Son:

    –Ancoratus, 6 (PG 43, 25C) –Id., 7 (PG 43, 28A) –Id., 11 (PG 43, 36C) –Id., 67 (PG 43, 137B) –Id., 73 (PG 43, 153A) –Id., 120 (PG 43, 236 B) –Panarion, Haer. LXII (PG 41, 1056)

    He also said that the Spirit is (“has his consubstantial being”) from the Father and the Son:

    –Ancoratus, 8 (PG 43, 29C) –Id., 9 (PG 43, 32C) –Id., 67 (PG 43, 137B) –Id., 70 (PG 43, 148A) –Id., 71 (PG 43, 148B) –Id., 72 (PG 43, 152B) –Id., 75 (PG 43, 157A) –Panarion, Haer. LXIX, 54 (PG 42, 285D).

    [b:xxqq0tvc]St. Cyril of Alexandria[/b:xxqq0tvc] (d. 444) used a great variety of formulae to express the relationship between the Spirit and the Son:

    The Spirit is proper to the Son

    –Comm. in Ioel XXXV (PG 71, 377D) –De recta fide ad Theod. XXXVII (PG 76, 1189A) –De SS. Trin. Dial. VII (PG 75, 1093A) –Comm. in Ioan. II (PG 71, 212B)[/quote:xxqq0tvc]

    It is to be noted that these are pre-Nicene and that you begin to see a development begin to unfold. Would you care to see some Western Fathers as well?

    ~Victor

    #5201

    Victor
    Member

    If I remember correctly, today we are quite content to allow the Orthodox to omit the filioque. We don’t make it a dividing point. But many Orthodox will not budge, and insist on severely criticizing those Christians who do incorporate the filioque into the Creed.

    Dogmas do develop, while maintaining their essence; so do creeds. St. Gregory Palamas (Orthodox) developed the notion of the energies of God in the 14th century. Why is that development of theology properly allowable and perfectly acceptable, while the filioque is not? One might submit that this is a double standard. Not intended as an attack but an honest observation of a discussion I had with one of the local priests.

    Let me know your thoughts.

    ~Victor

    #5202

    [quote:3lox1bba]If I remember correctly, today we are quite content to allow the Orthodox to omit the filioque. We don’t make it a dividing point. But many Orthodox will not budge, and insist on severely criticizing those Christians who do incorporate the filioque into the Creed.

    Dogmas do develop, while maintaining their essence; so do creeds. St. Gregory Palamas (Orthodox) developed the notion of the energies of God in the 14th century. Why is that development of theology properly allowable and perfectly acceptable, while the filioque is not? One might submit that this is a double standard. Not intended as an attack but an honest observation of a discussion I had with one of the local priests.

    Let me know your thoughts.

    ~Victor[/quote:3lox1bba]

    Putting aside the fact that we believe the filioque distorts theology (you must understand that the Creed talks of eternal procession, i.e. the origin of the Holy Spirit, not His temporal mission, which is why you appear to be misunderstanding the eastern Fathers who you quote) the main issue we have is one of authority. I guess this might all boild down to papal supremacy again, though you’d have a hard time defending the [i:3lox1bba]filioque[/i:3lox1bba] based on that alone given the number of Popes vehemently opposed to it.

    The fact is that it was the authority of two Ecumenical Councils that not only set the contents of the Creed but forbade anyone to alter it. Nobody Orthodox would ever say that the Creed could never be changed or added to, but we would say that nobody but a new Ecumenical Council could ever have the authority to do this. There is no double standard here whatsoever, surely you can see that? The standard is that a canon set by a Church body can only be altered by another Church body of equal or greater authority. As Ecumenical Councils are the highest authority we have in the Church, nobody but an Ecumenical Council can alter the Creed, particularly when such alterations were specifically banned.

    You, presumably, would argue that the Popes are above the Ecumenical Councils and therefore could alter the Creed (which makes no sense to me or how could a Pope be anathematised by an Ecumenical Council?), which is, of course, where we disagree. Then, of course, I’d have to ask you which Pope’s opinion you think is weightiest given the fact that you had Popes who specifically forbade the filioque in the Creed and who accepted what many Orthodox (myself included) call the Eighth Ecumenical Council, recognising it at the time as Ecumenical, including its condemnation of the filioque. Of course, you later had Popes who reversed both these positions, adding the filioque and rejecting the Ecumenical Council (otherwise there’d probably be no Schism).

    We simply cannot accept the filoque in the Creed ever, then. Not only do we have Ecumenical Councils condemning further changes, we have an Ecumenical Council condemning this change in particular (whether you recognise it or not). On your side, you have a local council in Toledo that is responsible for the filioque in the first place, followed by a unilateral decision of the Pope at a later date. We clearly must put the authority of the Ecumenical Councils above any other body in the Church and you prefer the opinion of the Pope. The simple fact is that no reunified Church would ever have the filioque in the Creed – if that is a condition of reunion there will be none. I would certainly never place myself voluntarily under the anathema of an Ecumenical Council by using it and nor would any other Orthodox I know, and I fail to see how reunion could be anything more than political opportunism if we can’t even confess the same Creed (which, of course, means faith). I, and the vast majority of Orthodox, would never accept such a false union either. It is a mistake to underestimate the importance of the two issues that caused the Schism in the first place as they are still the two major points on which we are divided.

    James

    P.S.

    Oh, and St Gregory Palamas didn’t ‘develop’ the idea of the energies/essence dichotomy if by that you mean he came up with something new, you can find all of his ideas in Church Fathers well before his time. He did develop the language and better define the theology (and in doing so fought off the rationalism that led, ultimately, to the Reformation), but he most certainly did not come up with new dogma. That is quite different from the filioque issue. St. Gregory Palamas was defending the faith against an external heresy brought into the Church from the west by better defining existing Orthodox spirituality – he was not adding new and previously forbidden teachings into the body of the Church.

    #5203

    Andres Ortiz
    Keymaster

    From what I know the pope is not over ecumenical councils. That’s my understanding.

    #5204

    [quote:pjhcivln]From what I know the pope is not over ecumenical councils. That’s my understanding.[/quote:pjhcivln]

    It’s not what I’ve heard from some other RCs, but you may be right. I have been told before that the Pope is above Ecumenical Councils and that no council can be Ecumenical unless the Pope says so. I, clearly, would disagree.

    If your understanding is correct, however, how do you account for the fact that the Pope added the flioque to the Creed unilaterally in opposition to the Second Ecumenical Council’s general ban on additions and the specific ban on the filioque addition made by a council accepted as Ecumenical by one of his predecessors? Surely his actions claim, practically, an authority over the Ecumenical Councils (and his predecessors in the Papacy) even if he had no rightful claim to such authority (as we would contend)?

    For us to accept the filioque two things would have to happen. First the RCC would need to reunify with us (which would at least require a rejection of papal supremacy and the filioque) and then another Ecumenical Council would have to be called at which the Creed was altered to incorporate (or at least allow) the filioque. I can’t see this happening, myself, but there will certainly be no reunion while the RCC insists that the filioque insertion is legitimate and justified in the [i:pjhcivln]current [/i:pjhcivln]Creed.

    By the way (and this is to anyone here), why is it that when RCs recite the Creed in Greek they do so without the filioque? It’s always seemed to me that if you are genuine in your wish for reconciliation it would be a simple matter for you to drop the insistance on the filioque. If you don’t always use it, you don’t seem (to me) to care too much about it, whereas for us it’s a major issue.

    James

    #5205

    Andres Ortiz
    Keymaster

    James,
    It looks like I have a bit of research to do regarding Catholic/Orthodox affairs.

    As far as RC’s reciting the creed in Greek, I’m not sure why they would in the first place. Must not be a Latin rite Catholic church. It’s probably one of the Eastern rites.

    #5206

    Victor
    Member

    [quote:1n2y1dnt]It’s not what I’ve heard from some other RCs, but you may be right. I have been told before that the Pope is above Ecumenical Councils and that no council can be Ecumenical unless the Pope says so. I, clearly, would disagree.[/quote:1n2y1dnt]

    James, it seems to me like the East (Anglicans included) have a tendency to make a pope vs. councils type of comparison. As if they were in competition with each other. This is not my understanding of it. The Catholic position is that they work together, in conjunction; not papal power and no conciliar input, or councils with no pope (Orthodoxy and Anglicanism), or neither councils nor popes (Protestantism).

    [quote:1n2y1dnt]If your understanding is correct, however, how do you account for the fact that the Pope added the flioque to the Creed unilaterally in opposition to the Second Ecumenical Council’s general ban on additions and the specific ban on the filioque addition made by a council accepted as Ecumenical by one of his predecessors? Surely his actions claim, practically, an authority over the Ecumenical Councils (and his predecessors in the Papacy) even if he had no rightful claim to such authority (as we would contend)? [/quote:1n2y1dnt]

    I am by no means an expert on that controversy of the why the Pope added the filoque, but I would say that matters of highly abstract, difficult philosophical theology concerning the Trinity should not be made into criteria for dividing the Church. Many preeminent Eastern Fathers viewed the manner in much the same way that Rome did as I quoted some earlier.

    [quote:1n2y1dnt]By the way (and this is to anyone here), why is it that when RCs recite the Creed in Greek they do so without the filioque? It’s always seemed to me that if you are genuine in your wish for reconciliation it would be a simple matter for you to drop the insistance on the filioque. If you don’t always use it, you don’t seem (to me) to care too much about it, whereas for us it’s a major issue.[/quote:1n2y1dnt]

    Couldn’t we say the same James. I mean, I tried to show in many topics relating to our differences that we really don’t diagree and it seemed that you guys were less hesitant to give in. So who’s not interested in reconciliation? It is rather convenient for you to practically say “well you guys need to drop all your beliefs like papal supremacy and the filoque for us to unite. But we don’t have to drop anything”. This is hardly a way to resolve and promote unity James. I mean it’s not like we can’t pull church father quotes like:

    [quote:1n2y1dnt][b:1n2y1dnt]St Maximus the Confessor[A.D. 650]:[/b:1n2y1dnt]

    … do not become for us an obstacle unexpectedly, nor use force so as to drive us away or detain us here… the Church and clergy of Rome… the eldest of all the churches under the sun, [b:1n2y1dnt]has the pre-eminence over all. Having undoubtedly obtained this canonically, both from the councils and from the apostles as well as from their supreme principality, because of the eminence of her pontificate she is not bound to produce any writings or synodical letters, just as in these matters all are subject to her, in accordance with priestly law.”[/b:1n2y1dnt] Having thus by these words shown no fear, but having disputed with the clergy of the imperial city with all holy and becoming assurance, as firm ministers of the truly solid and immovable rock, that is, the greatest apostolic Church, they seemed to calm them down, and preserving humility and simplicity, they acted with prudence, making known to them at the beginning the firmness and orthodoxy of their faith. [Mansi X, 677-8][/quote:1n2y1dnt]

    This just turns into a quote war. But this doesn’t seem to get me no where with you guys. Because you guys also have some that you can quote as well. Anyways, I don’t want to go off on a tangent.

    ~Victor

    #5211

    [quote:83jpd5t7][quote:83jpd5t7]It’s not what I’ve heard from some other RCs, but you may be right. I have been told before that the Pope is above Ecumenical Councils and that no council can be Ecumenical unless the Pope says so. I, clearly, would disagree.[/quote:83jpd5t7]

    James, it seems to me like the East (Anglicans included) have a tendency to make a pope vs. councils type of comparison. As if they were in competition with each other. This is not my understanding of it. The Catholic position is that they work together, in conjunction; not papal power and no conciliar input, or councils with no pope (Orthodoxy and Anglicanism), or neither councils nor popes (Protestantism).

    [quote:83jpd5t7]If your understanding is correct, however, how do you account for the fact that the Pope added the flioque to the Creed unilaterally in opposition to the Second Ecumenical Council’s general ban on additions and the specific ban on the filioque addition made by a council accepted as Ecumenical by one of his predecessors? Surely his actions claim, practically, an authority over the Ecumenical Councils (and his predecessors in the Papacy) even if he had no rightful claim to such authority (as we would contend)? [/quote:83jpd5t7]

    I am by no means an expert on that controversy of the why the Pope added the filoque, but I would say that matters of highly abstract, difficult philosophical theology concerning the Trinity should not be made into criteria for dividing the Church. Many preeminent Eastern Fathers viewed the manner in much the same way that Rome did as I quoted some earlier.

    [quote:83jpd5t7]By the way (and this is to anyone here), why is it that when RCs recite the Creed in Greek they do so without the filioque? It’s always seemed to me that if you are genuine in your wish for reconciliation it would be a simple matter for you to drop the insistance on the filioque. If you don’t always use it, you don’t seem (to me) to care too much about it, whereas for us it’s a major issue.[/quote:83jpd5t7]

    Couldn’t we say the same James. I mean, I tried to show in many topics relating to our differences that we really don’t diagree and it seemed that you guys were less hesitant to give in. So who’s not interested in reconciliation? It is rather convenient for you to practically say “well you guys need to drop all your beliefs like papal supremacy and the filoque for us to unite. But we don’t have to drop anything”. This is hardly a way to resolve and promote unity James. I mean it’s not like we can’t pull church father quotes like:

    [quote:83jpd5t7][b:83jpd5t7]St Maximus the Confessor[A.D. 650]:[/b:83jpd5t7]

    … do not become for us an obstacle unexpectedly, nor use force so as to drive us away or detain us here… the Church and clergy of Rome… the eldest of all the churches under the sun, [b:83jpd5t7]has the pre-eminence over all. Having undoubtedly obtained this canonically, both from the councils and from the apostles as well as from their supreme principality, because of the eminence of her pontificate she is not bound to produce any writings or synodical letters, just as in these matters all are subject to her, in accordance with priestly law.”[/b:83jpd5t7] Having thus by these words shown no fear, but having disputed with the clergy of the imperial city with all holy and becoming assurance, as firm ministers of the truly solid and immovable rock, that is, the greatest apostolic Church, they seemed to calm them down, and preserving humility and simplicity, they acted with prudence, making known to them at the beginning the firmness and orthodoxy of their faith. [Mansi X, 677-8][/quote:83jpd5t7]

    This just turns into a quote war. But this doesn’t seem to get me no where with you guys. Because you guys also have some that you can quote as well. Anyways, I don’t want to go off on a tangent.

    ~Victor[/quote:83jpd5t7]

    Victor,

    As you know, I agree with you on the Patristic proof-texting approach and so I try not to get into such arguments. I would argue that RCs often misunderstand the Eastern Fathers by reading them through the lens of post-19th century RC theology and ecclesiology, which they clearly could not have shared. I’m sure you would say that our readings are similarly skewed, but the point is that, like with any text, we cannot read them without some tradition of interepretation.

    I didn’t actually say you would have to drop everything before we could be reunified. Personally, I think that the process could be, you drop divisive positions like the filioque that you don’t seem to care much about but we think are major. We do the equivalent for you (if there are any. I’m not aware of any at the moment). You drop the insistence on Papal Supremacy (I’d say that this would be the one absolutely non-negotiable issue, otherwise the next step wouldn’t work). Finally, the whole Church (both sides) meet for a council of reunification which would hash out all the other details. This suggestion (more or less) actually came from an RC acquaintance. He basically said that if the RCC were serious about reunification he couldn’t see why you couldn’t go back to how you were just prior to the Schism and then work all the developments since out with us in council. I agreed with him, but as such a council would be entirely dependent on the Papacy being utterly reformed, I can’t see it happening any time soon unless God grants us a miracle. I’m afraid that, at the moment, the words of reconciliation from the current and last Pope look more like empty gestures than serious attempts at a reunion.

    James

    #5220

    Benedict
    Member

    I am no master of the Filioque situation but reading the Catholic Encyclopedia brought up this point:

    [quote:2e651xka]Even the Greek Orthodox grant that the Latin Fathers maintain the Procession of the Holy Ghost from the son. . . . since the Greek and Latin Fathers before the nineth century were the members of the same Church, it is antecedently improbable that the Eastern Fathers should have denied a dogma firmly maintained by the Western.[/quote:2e651xka]

    [url:2e651xka]http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06073a.htm[/url:2e651xka]

    #5231

    [quote:242o8hxq]I am no master of the Filioque situation but reading the Catholic Encyclopedia brought up this point:

    [quote:242o8hxq]Even the Greek Orthodox grant that the Latin Fathers maintain the Procession of the Holy Ghost from the son. . . . since the Greek and Latin Fathers before the nineth century were the members of the same Church, it is antecedently improbable that the Eastern Fathers should have denied a dogma firmly maintained by the Western.[/quote:242o8hxq]

    [url:242o8hxq]http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06073a.htm[/url:242o8hxq][/quote:242o8hxq]

    Sounds like one of those famously skewed Catholic Encyclopedia articles to me. (Surely, everyone’s aware that it has a rather pro-RC bias?)

    I don’t think that any honest Church historian, east or west, would agree that this quote is even vaguely true. The filioque was invented in the west, inserted into the Creed in the west (at Toledo), and was condemned in the east (and west) at our Eighth Ecumenical Council. It was also opposed vehemently by various Popes between the time of its first insertion into the Creed and it’s final acceptance in Rome – for several hundred years!

    No Eastern Father that I’m aware of [i:242o8hxq]ever[/i:242o8hxq] taught that the Holy Spirit proceeds eternally from the Son. To do so would be to directly contradict Scripture. The aspect of the problem that always seems to go over the heads of the RCs is that in the Creed, the ‘proceed’ is referring to eternal origins, not temporal mission. Eastern Fathers have, indeed, taught that the Holy Spirit was sent into the world, in time, by the Son. This is sometimes expressed by the phrase ‘through the Son’. This however, cannot ever be accepted as an addition to the Creed, because it talks of temporal rather than eternal processionl. Now, I can’t tell if your Chuch still teaches a double eternal procession of the Holy Spirit as I get contradictory answers whenever I ask people about this, but it certainly did once. Reading an older catechism, I found it explicitly stated that the Spirit proceeds eternally from the Father and Son as of one principle. It is that doctrine that we oppose as heretical and that no Eastern Father has ever come close to supporting and it is that doctrine that was presupposed (and is the only way to read it) when the filioque was inserted into the Creed. If the RCC no longer teaches this then someone needs to come out publicly and say so, because an awful lot of RCs say this is still current teaching, and if you don’t believe in dual procession any more then there is really no reason to have the filioque in the Creed at all. This is why I say that it appears the RCC doesn’t really care about the filioque any more and, if you were serious about reunification with the Orthodox you ought to be willing to return to the original wording of the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed.

    James

    #5232

    Victor
    Member

    [quote:1raclirn]Sounds like one of those famously skewed Catholic Encyclopedia articles to me. (Surely, everyone’s aware that it has a rather pro-RC bias?) [/quote:1raclirn]

    You find an unbias source and I’ll give you a dollar. James it is beginning to irk me that we are getting responses like it’s bias, he’s not authoritative (Kalistos), your not understanding (Orthodox Official website), that isn’t a proper source, etc. I asked Augustine early on to give us links to proper sources so we can understand.

    [quote:1raclirn]I don’t think that any honest Church historian, east or west, would agree that this quote is even vaguely true. The filioque was invented in the west, inserted into the Creed in the west (at Toledo), and was condemned in the east (and west) at our Eighth Ecumenical Council. It was also opposed vehemently by various Popes between the time of its first insertion into the Creed and it’s final acceptance in Rome – for several hundred years! [/quote:1raclirn]

    You must have skipped over the eastern fathers I quoted. Do you not recognize these fathers? BTW, I could have easily quoted the new wave of Protestant scholars that clearly see Peter as the Rock. Would this have weighed heavy on you James? You probably wouldn’t have cared because proper sources can only be found in the Orthodox Church, right? Seriously James, why am I having such difficulty in finding a unified stance on things with you guys? I am not denying that you can’t find it in the OC, I’m simply saying that it’s difficult to find. Even among the 3 of you guys when things like abortion and contraceptives comes up it tends to get fuzzy and I went to men like Kalistos and the Russian Orthodox Church to view the stance on those things. It seems like it’s still in the development phase.

    [quote:1raclirn]No Eastern Father that I’m aware of ever taught that the Holy Spirit proceeds eternally from the Son. [/quote:1raclirn]

    Did you ever get an opportunity to look into the fathers I quoted?

    [quote:1raclirn]To do so would be to directly contradict Scripture. The aspect of the problem that always seems to go over the heads of the RCs is that in the Creed, the ‘proceed’ is referring to eternal origins, not temporal mission. Eastern Fathers have, indeed, taught that the Holy Spirit was sent into the world, in time, by the Son. This is sometimes expressed by the phrase ‘through the Son’. This however, cannot ever be accepted as an addition to the Creed, because it talks of temporal rather than eternal processionl. Now, I can’t tell if your Chuch still teaches a double eternal procession of the Holy Spirit as I get contradictory answers whenever I ask people about this, but it certainly did once. Reading an older catechism, I found it explicitly stated that the Spirit proceeds eternally from the Father and Son as of one principle. It is that doctrine that we oppose as heretical and that no Eastern Father has ever come close to supporting and it is that doctrine that was presupposed (and is the only way to read it) when the filioque was inserted into the Creed. If the RCC no longer teaches this then someone needs to come out publicly and say so, because an awful lot of RCs say this is still current teaching, and if you don’t believe in dual procession any more then there is really no reason to have the filioque in the Creed at all. This is why I say that it appears the RCC doesn’t really care about the filioque any more and, if you were serious about reunification with the Orthodox you ought to be willing to return to the original wording of the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed.[/quote:1raclirn]

    Can you give me an example of how our understanding of the Trinity has distorted our theology? I am still baffled at to why you guys make this a dividing issue.

    ~Victor

    #5271

    Benedict
    Member

    Besides anything Victor brings up, you never actually dealt with anything mentioned in the quote.

    [quote:2dlkl423]Now, I can’t tell if your Chuch still teaches a double eternal procession of the Holy Spirit [/quote:2dlkl423]
    Did it not occur to you to look in the current Catechism of the Catholic Church?

    246 The Latin tradition of the Creed confesses that the Spirit “proceeds from the Father and the Son (filioque)”. The Council of Florence in 1438 explains: “The Holy Spirit is eternally from Father and Son; He has his nature and subsistence at once (simul) from the Father and the Son. He proceeds eternally from both as from one principle and through one spiration. . . . And, since the Father has through generation given to the only-begotten Son everything that belongs to the Father, except being Father, the Son has also eternally from the Father, from whom he is eternally born, that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Son.”

    #5276

    I did answer the quote and I responded to Victor’s patristic quotes in doing so (and quit the glib replies, I know that all sources are biased). The fact that neither of you recognised that is an indication of how badly you misunderstand Orthodox theology.

    The Eastern Fathers (including those you quoted Victor), never said that the Holy Spirit proceeds [i:8ifoyyyu]eternally[/i:8ifoyyyu] from – in other words has His origin in – the Son. Read in context and [i:8ifoyyyu]in Greek[/i:8ifoyyyu], they clearly say that His eternal procession is from the Father alone but He proceeds [i:8ifoyyyu]in time[/i:8ifoyyyu] through the Son. I said this in the last post and have no idea at all how either of you missed it. This is why at the 8th Ecumenical Council, which Rome accepted as such for about 200 years, the filioque insertion was condemned and is why the only form of filioque that would be accepted by the Orthodox would speak of procession through the Son and could not be inserted into the Greek of the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed as that would imply eternal procession, which is contra-Scriptural and distorts the Trinity. And before I get my head bitten off I’m merely describing our position ([i:8ifoyyyu]again[/i:8ifoyyyu]) so that you can understand why it is a major issue for us. Take it or leave it, but you’ll have to accept that if you want reunification the filioque must go. I don’t know one Orthodox Christian, lay or clergy who would say otherwise.

    Now, I still don’t know if you teach double procession because whilst I have read that catechism I’ve also been shown documents to the effect that the modern RC teaching is equivalent to the Eastern Fathers’ ‘through the Son’ formula. I’ve seen RCs argue with one another on this and both sides seem to have had equally compelling arguments. You can talk ofa lack of unity on our side (much of which, I contend, is in the eye of the beholder) on matters of reasonably small import i.e. there is some disagreement on contraception, which is hardly an issue central to salvation, but there is no disagreement on abortion, which we all condemn as murder. This lack of unity is nothing compared to the direct contradictions I see on your side on central doctrines such as the filioque. Often I have said to reasonable RCs that you seem to be approaching us with your more modern teachings on things like the filioque or purgatory only to be told by others that they don’t accept what the first group said and to be shown the same medieval doctrines we’ve rejected all along. Say what you like of our disagreements amongst ourselves, I know of none so central to our faith as I see amongst you lot, but then that doesn’t matter does it? All you have to do is submit to the Pope and, like the Uniates you can keep whatever doctrines and practices (even contrary to Roman doctrine and practice) you had before and still be a good Catholic. That might be the sort of union looked for by your side but it is precisely the sort of politically motivated false union that we rejected before and will reject again.

    James

    #5281

    Victor
    Member

    [quote:1v7yy74x]I did answer the quote and I responded to Victor’s patristic quotes in doing so (and quit the glib replies, I know that all sources are biased). The fact that neither of you recognised that is an indication of how badly you misunderstand Orthodox theology. [/quote:1v7yy74x]

    You have said this before and we openly admitted that we do not understand Orthodox theology fully.

    [quote:1v7yy74x]The Eastern Fathers (including those you quoted Victor), never said that the Holy Spirit proceeds eternally from – in other words has His origin in – the Son. Read in context and in Greek, they clearly say that His eternal procession is from the Father alone but He proceeds in time through the Son. I said this in the last post and have no idea at all how either of you missed it. This is why at the 8th Ecumenical Council, which Rome accepted as such for about 200 years, the filioque insertion was condemned and is why the only form of filioque that would be accepted by the Orthodox would speak of procession through the Son and could not be inserted into the Greek of the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed as that would imply eternal procession, which is contra-Scriptural and distorts the Trinity. And before I get my head bitten off I’m merely describing our position (again) so that you can understand why it is a major issue for us. Take it or leave it, but you’ll have to accept that if you want reunification the filioque must go. I don’t know one Orthodox Christian, lay or clergy who would say otherwise.

    Now, I still don’t know if you teach double procession because whilst I have read that catechism I’ve also been shown documents to the effect that the modern RC teaching is equivalent to the Eastern Fathers’ ‘through the Son’ formula. I’ve seen RCs argue with one another on this and both sides seem to have had equally compelling arguments. You can talk ofa lack of unity on our side (much of which, I contend, is in the eye of the beholder) on matters of reasonably small import i.e. there is some disagreement on contraception, which is hardly an issue central to salvation, but there is no disagreement on abortion, which we all condemn as murder. This lack of unity is nothing compared to the direct contradictions I see on your side on central doctrines such as the filioque. Often I have said to reasonable RCs that you seem to be approaching us with your more modern teachings on things like the filioque or purgatory only to be told by others that they don’t accept what the first group said and to be shown the same medieval doctrines we’ve rejected all along. Say what you like of our disagreements amongst ourselves, I know of none so central to our faith as I see amongst you lot, but then that doesn’t matter does it? All you have to do is submit to the Pope and, like the Uniates you can keep whatever doctrines and practices (even contrary to Roman doctrine and practice) you had before and still be a good Catholic. That might be the sort of union looked for by your side but it is precisely the sort of politically motivated false union that we rejected before and will reject again.

    James[/quote:1v7yy74x]

    James hopefully the last Council held on this issue will clarify things:

    [b:1v7yy74x]Council of Florence (1439). [/b:1v7yy74x]
    [i:1v7yy74x]”The Latins state that by saying that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and from the Son they do not mean to exclude that the Father is the source and the principle of all divinity, that is, of the Son and the Holy Spirit. Nor do they wish to deny that the Son learned from the Father that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Son; nor do they hold that there are two principles or two spirations. Rather they assert that one only is the principle and one only the spiration of the Holy Spirit, as they have asserted up to now” (cf. Conciliorum Oecumenicorum Decreta, Bologna 1973, p. 526).[/i:1v7yy74x]

    Let me know if this helps.

    ~Victor

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