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Author Topic: St. Photios the Great on filioque  (Read 1511 times) Average Rating: 0
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nonchal
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« on: November 27, 2006, 12:24:39 AM »

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Bottom line, the west got themselves into a mess by becomming dogmatically ditheists (even if their practice never evolved to match their theology), now we're trying to help them fix the mess without losing too much face.

The East got themselves in quite a mess too. Mr Photius, and the entire EO tradition for several hundred years, would not admit that the Son mediates in the eternal procession of the Spirit. The exceptions to this are not substantial enough to mention. The Fathers taught a procession on the level of essence. This includes GregNssa. It also includes MOST Latin Fathers.

Granted "through" is a more accurate word. But "and" is also acceptable. Its sad that the EO has not recognized this, but chooses rather to hang on to two passages of Maximus and JohnDam that read "not from the Son" wherein the context is ekporeousis (the Latins teach that ekporeousis is NOT "from" the Son -- indeed that this is even heretical!), despite the fact that these Fathers admitted to not understanding what the Latins meant. The bottom line: the Latin Fathers taught that the Spirit IS "from" the Son. So then the EO and the RC are in serious trouble!

NONCHAL
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Apotheoun
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« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2006, 03:43:46 AM »

I know of no text where St. Photios denies the economic sending of the Spirit as energy (i.e., uncreated grace) from the Father through the Son; instead, all that he denies is the false idea that the Son is a cause (aitia) of the hypostasis of the Holy Spirit, which -- sadly -- is precisely what the West asserts with the filioque addition to the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed.  The Eastern Church has always taught that the Holy Spirit proceeds (ekporeusis) as hypostasis from the Father alone, but that as energy the Spirit is manifested -- as St. John Damascene says -- from the Father through the Son (cf., St. John Damascene, Sabbat. 4:21-23).  In other words, the error of the Western theologians of the Scholastic period was that they confused theologia with oikonomia.

God bless,
Todd

P.S. - For more information on this topic I recommend Duncan Reid's book entitled, "Energies of the Spirit: Trinitarian Models in Eastern Orthodox and Western Theology."
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nonchal
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« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2006, 12:36:49 AM »

I know of no text where St. Photios denies the economic sending of the Spirit as energy (i.e., uncreated grace) from the Father through the Son; instead, all that he denies is the false idea that the Son is a cause (aitia) of the hypostasis of the Holy Spirit, which -- sadly -- is precisely what the West asserts with the filioque addition to the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed.  The Eastern Church has always taught that the Holy Spirit proceeds (ekporeusis) as hypostasis from the Father alone, but that as energy the Spirit is manifested -- as St. John Damascene says -- from the Father through the Son (cf., St. John Damascene, Sabbat. 4:21-23).  In other words, the error of the Western theologians of the Scholastic period was that they confused theologia with oikonomia.

Mr Photius, and several "authoritative" texts after him, state over and over again that the Son was in no way an intermediary for the Spirit. Granted these did not have energies in mind. But energies, or the actions of grace, is not what is under discussion. The Latin Fathers said that the Spirit proceeds from the Son while explaining the inner Trinitarian relationships, ie what makes each person a person, who proceeds from who, etcetera. Evaluate their quotes. This is SO obvious.
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Apotheoun
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« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2006, 01:45:27 AM »

St. Photios is correct, because the Son has no role in the hypostatic procession of the Spirit; instead, the Son's role in giving the Spirit is restricted to the oikonomia.  In other words, the Son manifests the Spirit as energy, but not as person, in the divine oikonomia.  The error of the Scholastics is that they assert the false idea that the Son "causes" (aitia) the hypostasis of the Holy Spirit, which leads to either ditheism or modalism depending upon the arguments employed in support of this heresy.

May God bless you,
Todd

P.S. - Please supply the evidence for St. Photios' denial of the manifestation of the Spirit as energy, but not as person, in the oikonomia from the Father through the Son.  I just re-read St. Photios' Mystogogy of the Holy Spirit and can emphatically say that he nowhere denies the Son's role in mediating the Spirit to man in the oikonomia, he only denies the Son a role in the procession (ekporeusis) of origin of the Holy Spirit as hypostasis.
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"We should believe that divine grace is present in the icon of Christ and that it communicates sanctification to those who draw near with faith."
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« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2006, 02:00:32 AM »

[. . .] The Latin Fathers said that the Spirit proceeds from the Son while explaining the inner Trinitarian relationships, ie what makes each person a person, who proceeds from who, etcetera. Evaluate their quotes.
I have evaluated the quotations of the Western Fathers, and they do not support the idea that the Son is a "cause" (aitia) of the Spirit's hypostasis.  Certainly there are Western Fathers who confuse the theologia with the oikonomia at times, but the quotations from scripture used by them in their writings show quite clearly that they are speaking about the sending of the Spirit by the Son in the order of the economy of salvation history, i.e., God's activity (energeia) in the world, and not the inner life of the Tri-hypostatic God.

This is SO obvious.
What is obvious to me is that you do not know what you are talking about.

May God bless you,
Todd
« Last Edit: November 29, 2006, 02:03:42 AM by Apotheoun » Logged

"All that the Father has belongs likewise to the Son, except Causality."
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« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2006, 02:23:57 AM »

I dont think I said that Photius denied that energies or actions come from the Son. Perhaps I was not clear on this. The point I was making was that this is irrelevant to our discussion. What matters is that Photius said that the Son is not an intermediary in the procession. These are his exact words. This is problematic.

Here is a quote wherein the context is the inner Trinitarian life:

Quote
"Pope"LeotheGreat: "And while in the property of each Person the Father is one, the Son is another, and the Holy Ghost is another, yet the Godhead is not distinct and different; for whilst the Son is the Only begotten of the Father, the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of the Father and the Son, not in the way that every creature is the creature of the Father and the Son, but as living and having power with Both, and eternally subsisting of That Which is the Father and the Son." (Sermon 75)

There are numerous others. http://www.cin.org/users/jgallegos/filio.htm

PS - I am repeating what Fr Romanides and other EO theologians have written. If I dont know what I am talking about then it is their fault.

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« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2006, 02:30:05 AM »

If I dont know what I am talking about then it is their fault.
ROFL!!! Cheesy
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Apotheoun
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« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2006, 04:00:14 AM »

[. . .]  If I dont know what I am talking about then it is their fault.
Actually, there is a far simpler answer and it is connected to the fact that you do not know what you are talking about, because your ignorance of Orthodox theology has caused you to misinterpret the statements of respected Orthodox theologians.

God bless,
Todd
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"We should believe that divine grace is present in the icon of Christ and that it communicates sanctification to those who draw near with faith."
St. Theodore Studite
Apotheoun
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« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2006, 04:07:19 AM »

nonchal,

I have told you this several times: quotations -- in English translation -- ripped from their proper context are not a theological argument.  It is important to know exactly which Latin or Greek words were used in the original text in order to understand the statement properly, and in the process determine whether or not it conforms to the common doctrine of the Church.  Moreover, individual quotations from Church Fathers are not a regula fidei, because individual Fathers can err, since none of them -- not even Popes -- are infallible taken in isolation.

May God bless you,
Todd
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"All that the Father has belongs likewise to the Son, except Causality."
St. Gregory Nazianzen

"We should believe that divine grace is present in the icon of Christ and that it communicates sanctification to those who draw near with faith."
St. Theodore Studite
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« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2006, 01:40:50 PM »

nonchal,

I have told you this several times: quotations -- in English translation -- ripped from their proper context are not a theological argument.  It is important to know exactly which Latin or Greek words were used in the original text in order to understand the statement properly, and in the process determine whether or not it conforms to the common doctrine of the Church.  Moreover, individual quotations from Church Fathers are not a regula fidei, because individual Fathers can err, since none of them -- not even Popes -- are infallible taken in isolation.

May God bless you,
Todd

In nomine Iesu I offer you Apotheoun peace,

Not that I am eager to join this very tense discussion but I would ask that those who are knowledgeable and in the posession of greek sources of the early Church Fathers to offer, with charity, they're understanding of these works. It would be helpful for all, instead of a blanket denial of the validity of the english translations offered.

Would that be too difficult to do?

Regardless Pax
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« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2006, 09:53:07 PM »

Francis,

I do not have copies of all of the Fathers in the original languages either, but I do have a copy of St. Photios' Mystogogy in Greek, and in that text he nowhere denies the manifestation of the Spirit through the Son in the oikonomia.  Thus, I think that nonchal is, intentionally or otherwise, misrepresenting the teaching of that great saint.

As far as the excerpted texts provided by nonchal are concerned, he is getting them off of apologetic websites, and those types of sites are not valid scholarly sources of information.  If he has access to the original texts, than I will be happy to examine those materials in order to see if the "apologetic" translations are accurate or not, but I will not simply accept a translation where there is no evidence to prove its accuracy.

May God bless you,
Todd

P.S. - Sadly Pope Leo wrote in Latin, not Greek, and that itself has caused some of the difficulties between East and West, because the Latin Church used terms for the hypostateis of the Trinity that -- when translated back into Greek -- involved the heresy of modalism (e.g., persona).
« Last Edit: November 29, 2006, 09:55:45 PM by Apotheoun » Logged

"All that the Father has belongs likewise to the Son, except Causality."
St. Gregory Nazianzen

"We should believe that divine grace is present in the icon of Christ and that it communicates sanctification to those who draw near with faith."
St. Theodore Studite
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