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Author Topic: FUNDAMENTAL DOGMATIC DIFFERENCES BETWEEN CATHOLICISM AND ORTHODOXY  (Read 28658 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #180 on: April 29, 2004, 09:48:38 PM »

Well on our side of the ledger, it will be hard unless the hierarchs believe that sufficicent progress has been made in the dialogue for a council to be held ... which is why the dialogue going on now is important.

On the Catholic side, I think the concept of another council would be met with quite a bit of trepidation from many in the current hierarchy, given what happened in the wake of the last council ... I think there is a fear there that a council might prove to be "ungovernable", in some ways from the perspective of the current hierarchy.

Brendan

Yes, it would be difficult to convince them to do it.  And those of us who are laypeople, like myself, would have to show proper deference.  But we shouldn't think that we have nothing to say to the bishops.  After all, the women who first went to the tomb were able to proclaim the resurrection to the Apostles.
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« Reply #181 on: April 29, 2004, 10:05:25 PM »

Jack.....

I see a difference between your stance on the Filioque and what the Roman Catholic Church has declared again and again at Church Councils and in Papal Bulls.

The dogma of the Filioque itself states that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son, as one source. I think that this is not that same thing as from the Father, but through the Son, hence from the Father and the Son. I am sorry but you can't redefine dogmas or change them to suit the times, or the ecumenist movement. The Catholic Church has dogmaticaly declared that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son, as one source, period.

Your quote from the catechism shows how much the Catholic Church has changed over the past 40 years. But these changes and refroms both in the litrugy and Church teaching can never change what has already been declared a dogma by the Catholic Church.

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Well, now, Ben, I think the Catholic Church is the most authoritative source for what her doctrines mean.  I quoted the Catechism to you, and showed you that my position was not different from the Catholic Church.  For you to say that the Catechism is wrong about what the Catholic Church says because it disagrees with your understanding of what earlier councils said is really to insist on a strawman to argue against.

As to an Ecumenical Council.....remember in Catholicism the Pope has the same power as an Ecumenical council, so in reality all Catholics would need is to hear from the Pope that we are united in faith, and what exactly that faith is.

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If that was really what the Catholic Church taught, then why would Councils be held at all?  It is a doctrine of the Catholic Church that the Pope must act in collegiality with all the bishops.

But, as it has already been mentioned in this thread, I don't think an Ecumenical Council is in the near future for the Catholic Church. Vatican II was a mess, and to this day it's reforms, and those that followed the council, are still being worked out and argued over. It will be a long time before a Vatican III.

The opposition, within the Catholic Church, to Vatican II is slight.  The Council was not a disaster, but clarified a great deal, and served as the impetus of many needed reforms.  It's true that many take this "spirit of Vatican II" thing a little far, but the Council was far from a disaster in my view.  An Ecumenical Council may be nearer than you think.  Pope John Paul II would probably be very eager for one.
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Ben
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« Reply #182 on: April 29, 2004, 10:20:23 PM »

The Catechism is not infallible, or is not considered to be so by the Catholic Church. However, the dogma of the Filioque, Church Councils, and papal bulls on the Filioque are. And they cleary state the Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son, as one source.

The modern Catechism, I believe it was first published in 1994, presents a watered down version of the Filioque. But you have to look beyond the modern Catechism, at the Church councils and Popes that dealt with this issue.

I do not see how there is room for interpretation, the dogma of the Filioque states simply and clearly: The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son, as ONE source. Thats the end of it. This is Roman Catholic dogma, therefore official Church teaching, and is regarded as nessicary for slavation, as all dogmas are. To reject any of this is to simply reject the Catholic Church's claim to be the true Church.

I don't want East and West to be divided, but the fact remains that there are fudamental dogmatic difference between east and west, and the Filioque is one of these many. It can't be watered down, it can't be shoved off to the side for the sake of unity. The Catholic Church has always taught, and it is a fundamental article of the Catholic faith, that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son, as one source.

It is interesting that Catholics are so willing to water down the Filioque or even shove it off to the side, yet the Orthodox have remained firm in their position on the issue for hundreds of years.

In regards to an Ecumenical Council, it is a basic fact that in Catholicism, the Pope does not need to call a Council to declare a dogma. Yes, the Pope must act in collegiality with the Church's bishops, but doesn't have to. For example Pope Pius XII delcared the Assumption of Mary a dogma of the Catholic faith with no council, no bishops, just him speaking ex cathedra.

As far as Vatican II, I think it was a disaster. So few are truly aware of how many Traditional Catholics are out there these days. SSPX, FSSP, CMRI, SSPV, etc. have grown rapidly over the past years, with a large youth movement. The majority of Traditional Catholic parishes I have been to were filled with people in their 20's and 30's, with a few older ones in their 60's and 70's. The reforms of Vatican II and the Post-Vatican II era have rocked the Church, I have never met anyone who denies this.
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« Reply #183 on: April 29, 2004, 10:25:13 PM »

:Yes, the Pope must act in collegiality with the Church's bishops, but doesn't have to.:

That seems to be a self-contradictory statement. If he "must" do something then surely he "has to." How are you distinguishing between the two?

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« Reply #184 on: April 29, 2004, 10:34:19 PM »

Well what I meant is that is should be that way, and is that way for the most part. But because of the Roman Catholic dogma of Papal Infallibilty the Pope can declare dogmas without a Church Council. The Pope can speak ex cathedra, and needs no help from the bishops in declaring the dogma.
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« Reply #185 on: April 30, 2004, 02:39:54 PM »

Well what I meant is that is should be that way, and is that way for the most part. But because of the Roman Catholic dogma of Papal Infallibilty the Pope can declare dogmas without a Church Council. The Pope can speak ex cathedra, and needs no help from the bishops in declaring the dogma.

Actually, Ben, it is not necessarily the case that the Pope can speak ex cathedra needing no help from the bishops.  In fact, there is good reason to doubt that it is the case.  When the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption were declared dogmas of the Church, the bishops were indeed consulted.  True, there was no ecumenical council as such, but the question is the need for collegiality.  An ecumenical council is one way of expressing that collegiality, but it need not always take that form.

With respect I submit that you are confusing the consent and collegiality issues.  The infallibility that inheres in the Chair of Peter is a gift from God, and does not require the consent of the rest of the bishops to exist.  The circumstances under which that infallibility is present is an entirely different question.
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« Reply #186 on: April 30, 2004, 03:41:51 PM »

The Catechism is not infallible, or is not considered to be so by the Catholic Church. However, the dogma of the Filioque, Church Councils, and papal bulls on the Filioque are. And they cleary state the Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son, as one source.

The modern Catechism, I believe it was first published in 1994, presents a watered down version of the Filioque. But you have to look beyond the modern Catechism, at the Church councils and Popes that dealt with this issue.

I do not see how there is room for interpretation, the dogma of the Filioque states simply and clearly: The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son, as ONE source. Thats the end of it. This is Roman Catholic dogma, therefore official Church teaching, and is regarded as nessicary for slavation, as all dogmas are. To reject any of this is to simply reject the Catholic Church's claim to be the true Church.

I don't want East and West to be divided, but the fact remains that there are fudamental dogmatic difference between east and west, and the Filioque is one of these many. It can't be watered down, it can't be shoved off to the side for the sake of unity. The Catholic Church has always taught, and it is a fundamental article of the Catholic faith, that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son, as one source.

It is interesting that Catholics are so willing to water down the Filioque or even shove it off to the side, yet the Orthodox have remained firm in their position on the issue for hundreds of years.

In regards to an Ecumenical Council, it is a basic fact that in Catholicism, the Pope does not need to call a Council to declare a dogma. Yes, the Pope must act in collegiality with the Church's bishops, but doesn't have to. For example Pope Pius XII delcared the Assumption of Mary a dogma of the Catholic faith with no council, no bishops, just him speaking ex cathedra.

As far as Vatican II, I think it was a disaster. So few are truly aware of how many Traditional Catholics are out there these days. SSPX, FSSP, CMRI, SSPV, etc. have grown rapidly over the past years, with a large youth movement. The majority of Traditional Catholic parishes I have been to were filled with people in their 20's and 30's, with a few older ones in their 60's and 70's. The reforms of Vatican II and the Post-Vatican II era have rocked the Church, I have never met anyone who denies this.

The Catechism has been endorsed by Pope John Paul II as "a sure norm" for teaching the faith.  He, at least, does not think that the Catechism waters down the doctrines of the Catholic Church.

To say that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son as from one source simply means that there are not two processions.  There is nothing about that doctrine that, in logic, forecloses a procession from the Son in a derivative sense, i.e., whatever the Son sees the Father doing, he does likewise.  The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Son because he proceeds from the Father, and not the other way around; but it is one procession, not two, because the Holy Spirit is one Person of the Trinity.  

As for Vatican II, it's hard for me to consider a valid Church council as a disaster.  There are those, to be sure, who disagree with it, or what they think it says (e.g. there's not a peep about mass in the vernacular in the documents), but that in itself doesn't make it a disaster.  There continued to be Arians after the Council of Nicea.

Ben, I don't advocate watering down anything for the sake of mere organizational unity.  What I do advocate is a little less "my way or the highway," and a lot more love and acceptance of our brothers and sisters in Christ.  Even St. Paul, who forcefully advocated the freedom of Gentile Christians from the ritual requirements of the Law tolerated those Jewish Christians who wanted to continue following those requirements. (Romans 14:1--15:13)  But "while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving like ordinary men?  For when one says, 'I belong to Paul,' and another, 'I belong to Apollos,' are you not merely men?" (I Corinthians 3:3-4)  So rather than everyone insisting on their own way, "let us no more pass judgment on one another, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother." (Romans 14:13)  I would rather omit the filioque from the Creed than put a stumbling block in front of an Orthodox brother.  Yes, that looks like compromise to the world, and people might even conclude that I had lost the argument.  But that is worldly thinking rather than the way of the Gospel.  I propose that we try to outdo each other in accommodating our brothers.  We have not been called to win arguments, but to service.
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« Reply #187 on: April 30, 2004, 10:32:38 PM »


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The Catechism has been endorsed by Pope John Paul II as "a sure norm" for teaching the faith.  He, at least, does not think that the Catechism waters down the doctrines of the Catholic Church.

I do not know for certain if the Holy Father thinks the modern catechism waters down the faith or not, he probably doesn't. However, the Pope didn't see a problem in kissing the Qu'ran, having the the sacred Tilac put on his forehead by a priestess of Shiva in Bombay, or taking part in Animist rites in the “Sacred Forest” in Togo.

I am not saying that John Paul II is a heretic or that he is a bad Pope, but one can not ignore is bad judgement at times.

Look I don't think the new Catechism isn't Catholic but no one can deny that it wates down Catholic dogma. Compare the new Catechism with the Baltimore Catechism or the Catechism of Trent, and you will see how differently the Filioque, Papal Infallibilty, and the Immaculate Conception are presented. If you believe this is so because each age is taught the truth in a different way, then I guess this age/generation likes the lite version of the truth, which doesn't surprise me.  

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As for Vatican II, it's hard for me to consider a valid Church council as a disaster.  There are those, to be sure, who disagree with it, or what they think it says (e.g. there's not a peep about mass in the vernacular in the documents), but that in itself doesn't make it a disaster.  There continued to be Arians after the Council of Nicea.

Vatican II in itself was not a very liberal council, its the way the reforms were put into place, and those reforms that were carried out "in the spirit of Vatican II", such as the invention of a new liturgy, that were very liberal and, in many ways, a departure from Catholic teaching.

As to reference to Arians after the Council of Nicea...I have no idea what you are talking about. Vatican II was a pastoral council, it dealt with no heresy.

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Ben, I don't advocate watering down anything for the sake of mere organizational unity.


Then what do you call "I  would rather omit the filioque from the Creed than put a stumbling block" ?!

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"my way or the highway,"


This is Catholic teachings! Read the infallible Papal Bulls Unam Sanctam and Cantante Domino. The Catholic Church has always taught it is the true Church and all else is schism and heresy, period. A Church that claims to be, beyond a doubt, the true Church of Jesus Christ can not compromise, for to do so would be compromising the true faith.

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I would rather omit the filioque from the Creed than put a stumbling block in front of an Orthodox brother.
 

So, for the sake of unity you are willing to deny Catholic dogmas, or would accept the Catholic Church shoving to the side what has been declared a dogma of the Catholic Church? And may I ask how would this happen, without the Catholic Church admitting it is not the true Church?

This is what angers me, Catholics so willing to give up fundamental dogmas and Church teaching for the sake of unity. It is truly sad.

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But that is worldly thinking rather than the way of the Gospel.


The way of the Gospel is not to turn your back on Christ and deny the truth for the sake of unity. And since you are a Catholic you must believe the Filioque to be the truth, or you are a heretic, according to the definition of a heretic in the new Catechism.
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« Reply #188 on: May 01, 2004, 02:25:21 PM »

I do not know for certain if the Holy Father thinks the modern catechism waters down the faith or not, he probably doesn't. However, the Pope didn't see a problem in kissing the Qu'ran, having the the sacred Tilac put on his forehead by a priestess of Shiva in Bombay, or taking part in Animist rites in the “Sacred Forest” in Togo.

I am not saying that John Paul II is a heretic or that he is a bad Pope, but one can not ignore is bad judgement at times.

Look I don't think the new Catechism isn't Catholic but no one can deny that it wates down Catholic dogma. Compare the new Catechism with the Baltimore Catechism or the Catechism of Trent, and you will see how differently the Filioque, Papal Infallibilty, and the Immaculate Conception are presented. If you believe this is so because each age is taught the truth in a different way, then I guess this age/generation likes the lite version of the truth, which doesn't surprise me.  Vatican II in itself was not a very liberal council, its the way the reforms were put into place, and those reforms that were carried out "in the spirit of Vatican II", such as the invention of a new liturgy, that were very liberal and, in many ways, a departure from Catholic teaching.

As to reference to Arians after the Council of Nicea...I have no idea what you are talking about. Vatican II was a pastoral council, it dealt with no heresy.

Then what do you call "I  would rather omit the filioque from the Creed than put a stumbling block" ?!

This is Catholic teachings! Read the infallible Papal Bulls Unam Sanctam and Cantante Domino. The Catholic Church has always taught it is the true Church and all else is schism and heresy, period. A Church that claims to be, beyond a doubt, the true Church of Jesus Christ can not compromise, for to do so would be compromising the true faith.  

So, for the sake of unity you are willing to deny Catholic dogmas, or would accept the Catholic Church shoving to the side what has been declared a dogma of the Catholic Church? And may I ask how would this happen, without the Catholic Church admitting it is not the true Church?

This is what angers me, Catholics so willing to give up fundamental dogmas and Church teaching for the sake of unity. It is truly sad.

The way of the Gospel is not to turn your back on Christ and deny the truth for the sake of unity. And since you are a Catholic you must believe the Filioque to be the truth, or you are a heretic, according to the definition of a heretic in the new Catechism.

I wish I could figure out how to separate the quotes like you do.  It would probably be easier to follow my points.  Maybe Anastasios will give me a lesson.  Anyway...

Stipulated that the Pope probably shouldn't kiss the Koran or engage in like activity.  He shouldn't counsel the burning of heretics either, but an earlier Pope did that.  As you know, Popes are human.  Of course, I'm human too, and could be wrong.  I don't know how old you are.  From their pictures the moderators look pretty young, and I think most people who engage in online forums are younger than me (that doesn't make me smarter, just slower to respond).  As for me, I'm pushing fifty, and have had multiple experiences of changing my mind after being convinced that I am right.  As I add to my treasury of galactically stupid acts, I become more and more diffident about criticizing others.  In any event, I'm sure the Pope does better at his job than I would.  Indeed, I wouldn't want the job.  Just being responsible for how I impart religion to my family is plenty for me.  I also teach for the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults, and that's scarier than skydiving when I think about it, and I've done both.  All I can do is ask God to take over, and keep me from teaching any error.

I do deny that the Catechism waters down the faith.  In it there are extensive quotes from and cites to scripture, councils, and Church Fathers.  There is a companion volume to the Catechism put out by Ignatius Press that contains the relevant portions of the works cited and quoted.  I don't know how useful it would be to a theology student, but for those of us who are laypeople in secular jobs it is a real handy volume.

I'm not a proponent of Christianity Lite, but I do not equate the strictest interpretation of something with the truth of the matter.  In the early Church those who taught that converts should be circumcised could certainly claim to be stricter than St. Paul.  Indeed, they could point to historical practice to support their view.  But that didn't make them right.

My comment about the Arians was to make the point that simply because there are those who disagree with Vatican II doesn't mean that the council was wrong, or a disaster.  It just means that it was a disappointment to those who would have voted the other way on the issues that came before the council.

I agree with the filioque.  I don't understand how someone can read the Bible and not acknowledge its truth.  As I have pointed out, it does not mean that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Son in an ultimate sense, but the Orthodox seem to think that it sounds that way.  And, actually, to be honest, it does sound that way.  And if anybody thinks that because of the Creed, then they are wrong, I think.  To say that the Church holds the truth doesn't mean that she always expresses it in the clearest manner possible.  So I have no objection to rephrasing it, or even omitting it entirely until the differences can be sorted out.  The Creed doesn't have to enunciate all truth.  It says nothing about the Assumption of Mary, for example.  And yes, if it offends my Orthodox brothers, I'm willing to take it out.  That is because the Orthodox Churches are apostolic, true Churches.  I wouldn't be willing to do something like that for the Peace and Freedom Party.  

Yes, Brother Ben, unity is that important to me.  I'm willing to look weak and foolish in order to make it happen.  I don't see this as turning my back on the Gospel, because the unity of all Apostolic Churches is part of the Gospel.  The western, eastern, and oriental Churches all need each other to fully accomplish their mission.  Unity will be best achieved when we stop thinking how the other side can come up to our standards, and start thinking about how we can serve the other side.

It's just like marriage.  Anyone who thinks of marriage as a contract where they have the right to expect something from the other is doomed to disappointment.  The happy marriages are those where each partner thinks about how he or she can serve the other, and leaves the service of self to the other.  Of course, there's risk involved; it takes faith.  That's why marriage is a sacrament.  

Now we Catholics say that we have maintained unity with the Apostolic See, the Chair of Peter, the rock on which the Church is built.  Now if this is true, and I am convinced that it is, then the cause of unity is especially the mission of the Pope.  It follows that in this matter he, as in other things, must fulfill the role of Servant of the Servants of God.  Therefore, Christians in communion with him must share in that ministry, and also be servants for the cause of unity.
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« Reply #189 on: May 01, 2004, 02:47:03 PM »

I am not saying that John Paul II is a heretic or that he is a bad Pope, but one can not ignore is bad judgement at times.

Well, he cetainly IS a schismatic.  Wink
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« Reply #190 on: May 01, 2004, 04:39:22 PM »

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I agree with the filioque.  I don't understand how someone can read the Bible and not acknowledge its truth.


Then why are you so willing to omitt it for the sake of unity? If you believe it to be biblical truth then I am shocked that you would so willing give it up. One should never compormise the truth, and yet you believe compormising the truth is fine and dandy. I am sorry, but it would only make sense that a Christian would do everythng in their power to defend the truth, yet you are willing to omitt the truth, so that the truth will no longer be a stumbling block for unity. I am sorry, but this amazes me. How far will you go? How many Catholic dogmas will you omitt for the sake of unity?

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As I have pointed out, it does not mean that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Son in an ultimate sense, but the Orthodox seem to think that it sounds that way.


The dogma of the Filioque and numerous Council declarations and Papal Bulls state that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son, as one source. I do not see how you can get "the Spirit proceeds from the Father ultimately, and from the Son, but only as if through the Son" out of the dogma of the Filioque.

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That is because the Orthodox Churches are apostolic, true Churches.
 

The Catholic Church teaches that the Orthodox Church to be apostolic and have valid orders, however in schism from the true Church. Therefore the Catholic Church teaches that the Orthodox Church is not the true Church, rather in schism from the true Church. So I have no idea what you mean by "true Churches"

Honestly, we are getting no where, you don't believe the Filioque means that the Sprit proceeds from the Father and the Son, as on source, I do. You believe it can be omitted for unity's sake, I don't. You believe truth can be shoved off to the side, so it won't get in the way of unity, I don't.

We aren't going to get anywhere, so I will pray for you, and wish the best for you, and your family!
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« Reply #191 on: May 02, 2004, 06:44:00 PM »



Then why are you so willing to omitt it for the sake of unity? If you believe it to be biblical truth then I am shocked that you would so willing give it up. One should never compormise the truth, and yet you believe compormising the truth is fine and dandy. I am sorry, but it would only make sense that a Christian would do everythng in their power to defend the truth, yet you are willing to omitt the truth, so that the truth will no longer be a stumbling block for unity. I am sorry, but this amazes me. How far will you go? How many Catholic dogmas will you omitt for the sake of unity?

The dogma of the Filioque and numerous Council declarations and Papal Bulls state that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son, as one source. I do not see how you can get "the Spirit proceeds from the Father ultimately, and from the Son, but only as if through the Son" out of the dogma of the Filioque.  

The Catholic Church teaches that the Orthodox Church to be apostolic and have valid orders, however in schism from the true Church. Therefore the Catholic Church teaches that the Orthodox Church is not the true Church, rather in schism from the true Church. So I have no idea what you mean by "true Churches"

Honestly, we are getting no where, you don't believe the Filioque means that the Sprit proceeds from the Father and the Son, as on source, I do. You believe it can be omitted for unity's sake, I don't. You believe truth can be shoved off to the side, so it won't get in the way of unity, I don't.

We aren't going to get anywhere, so I will pray for you, and wish the best for you, and your family!

That's okay, Ben.  

I do believe that the Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son as one source.  As I've said, that doesn't mean that the Spirit proceeds from the Son in an ultimate rather than a derivative sense.  The Spirit proceeds from the Son because he proceeds from the Father, not the other way around.

I have obviously failed to get my views across, and I'm sorry about that.  I'll summarize, then break off the discussion as you wish.  I'm of the firm belief that if the eastern, western, and oriental churches worked at it hard enough, they would find that they really disagree very little.  So I don't think that there would be any compromise of truth necessary.  And I certainly wouldn't propose that any side simply stay quiet about what it believes in.  

The problem is mistaking the symbol for the reality behind the symbol.  Words are symbols that point beyond themselves.  Often, as was apparently the case in this conversation, a person will say something and someone else will understand him in a way entirely different than what he meant.  This can happen very easily across language and cultural barriers.

That is why the scripture says that knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.  If I have the best formulation of true doctrine that human language can devise, but have not love, I am nothing.  Love seeks unity more than agreement.  And on the last day we're going to be judged on the basis of our works.  The Samaritan who stops and helps the robbery victim is more of a neighbor than the priest and Levite who pass by on the other side of the road, in spite of the fact that the priest and the Levite have the truer doctrine.

Ben, I enjoy talking with you and other people who post on this site.  I always learn something.  And conversing with those who are more educated than I am theologically is always thought provoking and challenging.
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« Reply #192 on: May 13, 2004, 05:31:56 PM »

This argument assumes, but does not prove, that if something pertains to a Person of the Trinity (as opposed to the Essence), it cannot pertain to one or both of the other Persons.  From your post, I see nothing that compels me to adopt that assumption.

I'm not sure how the Fathers responded, or would have responded, to this.  But, I'll play the fool and venture a guess.

I suspect they might have pointed out that the relations among the Persons are not merely external attributes that "pertain" to the Persons (like two people might both happen to have the same barber, etc.), but are, in fact, constitutive of each Person.

The Personhood is defined by virtue of the Person's unique relations with another member of the Trinity.  The Father is uniquely the begetter of the Son (not of the Son and the Spirit); the Son is uniquely begotten of the Father (not of the Father and the Spirit); the Spirit is uniquely He who proceeds from the Father (not from the Father and the Son).

If the Father were begetter of both other Persons, then each separate relation of begetting would be, precisely, merely an attribute of the Persons to Whom it happened to pertain, and these Persons would be conceivable apart from that particular relation.  But, that is not so.

If the Spirit proceeded from both the Father and the Son, then each separate relation of procession would be merely an attribute of the Persons to Whom it happened to pertain, those Persons being conceivable apart from that particular relation.  But, that is not so, either.

We should not allow ourselves to be confused by the analogy between human relations, and the relations within the Trinity.  Clarence is the father of Marvin and Michael.  But, those relations, dear as they are to him, are not constitutive of his very Personhood.  There was a time when Clarence was, but was not a father.  But 'tis not so with the First Person of the Trinity.

To put it another way, it is of the Father's very Personhood (not of the Triune God's Essence, as we showed earlier) that He is the One from Whom the Spirit Proceeds.  If the Son is also such a One, then the Procession of the Spirit is not of the very Personhood of either Father or Son.
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« Reply #193 on: May 13, 2004, 05:38:52 PM »

The Catholic Church has always taught, and it is a fundamental article of the Catholic faith, that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son, as one source.

But Ben surely you do not believe that since there was a time when the filioque was not and indeed Roman Popes taught that it should not be used - witness the Creed minus the filioque written on tablets of silver.

The filioque can be understood and explained if its context is taken into account. And with a particular interpretation can find patristic support. But it is not the case that the filioque, especially as positing the ontological source of the Spirit in the Father and the Son, was always the teaching of the Church. if it were so then it would have been in the Creed at the beginning and would not have needed adding.

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« Reply #194 on: May 15, 2004, 06:13:21 AM »


Quote
But Ben surely you do not believe that since there was a time when the filioque was not and indeed Roman Popes taught that it should not be used - witness the Creed minus the filioque written on tablets of silver.

The Filioque showed up in Spain in the 6th century, and was used in many areas with Romes's permission. However, it was not until the 11th century that Rome itself began to use the Filioque. But this does not mean Rome believed the Filioque should not be used. I challenge you to find a Papal Bull or encyclical from before Rome began to use the Filioque that states the Filioque shouldn't be used.

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« Reply #195 on: May 15, 2004, 08:21:46 AM »

What about the Pontifical document published in 1995 which says:

"The Father alone is the principle without principle (ß+Ç-ü-çß+¦ ß+¦+++¦-ü-ç++-é) of the two other persons of the Trinity, the sole source (-Ç+++¦+«) of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit, therefore, takes his origin from the Father alone (ß+É+¦ ++-î++++-Ã  -ä++ß+ª +á+¦-ä-ü-î-é) in a principal, proper, and immediate manner."

"The doctrine of the Filioque must be understood and presented by the Catholic Church in such a way that it cannot appear to contradict the Monarchy of the Father nor the fact that he is the sole origin (ß+Ç-ü-çß+¦, +¦ß+¦-ä+»+¦) of the ß+É+¦-Ç-î-ü+¦-à -â+¦-é of the Spirit."

and would you provide a comment on this passage from a site:

" At first, the Roman popes refused to recognized the Filioque. Thus, in the ninth century, Pope Leo III rejected the request of the Emperor Charlemagne to insert this addition into the Symbol of Faith. Moreover, the Bishop of Rome even ordered that the text of the Nicaeo-¡Constantinopolitan Symbol of Faith be engraved on two silver tablets and that these tablets be set up at the tomb of the Apostles Peter and Paul with the inscription: "I, Leo, placed these tablets out of love for the Orthodox faith and to safeguard it".
 
Of course the filioque has not been rejected by present Popes, I am not suggesting that, but there seems to be a recognition that it is problematic and needs to be interpreted in the right way, NOT that the Son is the ontological origin of the Spirit at all.

YOU say:

"you don't believe the Filioque means that the Sprit proceeds from the Father and the Son, as one source"

But the document I have in front of me from the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity in 1995 says:

"The Father alone is the principle without principle (ß+Ç-ü-çß+¦ ß+¦+++¦-ü-ç++-é) of the two other persons of the Trinity, the sole source (-Ç+++¦+«) of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."

So I am confused why you have understood differently to the Pontifical Council?

Help?Huh

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« Reply #196 on: May 15, 2004, 12:49:32 PM »

Ben,

Quote
The Filioque showed up in Spain in the 6th century, and was used in many areas with Romes's permission. However, it was not until the 11th century that Rome itself began to use the Filioque. But this does not mean Rome believed the Filioque should not be used. I challenge you to find a Papal Bull or encyclical from before Rome began to use the Filioque that states the Filioque shouldn't be used.

The 8th Ecumenical Council (879-880) would be a good start.  It was regarded as Ecumenical by the Latins until the 11th century, when instead they chose (for obvious reasons) to regard the anti-Photian council (never accepted by the Christian east) of 869 as "ecumenical" instead (which is odd, since it is precisely this anti-council which the Synod of 879-880 was overturning, with Papal consent!).  Among the issues dealt with at the Synod of 879 were...

- affirmation of the Seventh Ecumenical Council, and it's condemnation of iconoclasm

- agreement by the various local Churches to not interefere in each others affairs (Rome forgot about this big time, and to lesser degrees, so have other local Churches, on and off...)

- most significantly, a declaration that the Nicean-Constantinopolean Symbol of Faith ("Nicene Creed") was never to be altered, added to, etc.

Though the RCC has long since backed away from this Synod, it's documents were agreed to and signed by the Roman Church.

Even earlier than all of this, Pope Leo III had unequivocally rejected the filioque heresy.  In a gesture pregnant with meaning in a climate where the Latin Church was increasingly at the mercy of it's pro-filioquist, Frankish lords (for them the filioque clause was a means of undermining the eastern Church, and more important for them, the East Roman Empire which was an obstical to Charlemagne's delusions of grandure - the Franks went to the point of accusing the East Romans of having removed the filoque clause from the Creed!), this Pope had two silve plates engraved.  One in Greek, the other in Latin, both containing the original creed, and posted prominantly on a wall in St.Peter's Basillica in Rome.

One reason why the Orthodox Latin Popes were perhaps not more vocal in their protest, and more strident in hurling anathemas and condemnations against those who were using or promoting the false version of the Creed, is because they did not enjoy the freedom that the East Romans had to do such.  The west was under the rule of Charlemange and his successors - men committed (for the above mentioned reasons, as well as their affectation for all things Augustinian...pretty much to the exclusion of anything else) to this innovation, and who had proven dangerous when crossed.

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« Reply #197 on: May 15, 2004, 03:13:09 PM »

Well what I meant is that is should be that way, and is that way for the most part. But because of the Roman Catholic dogma of Papal Infallibilty the Pope can declare dogmas without a Church Council. The Pope can speak ex cathedra, and needs no help from the bishops in declaring the dogma.

So Ben,

This begs the question... How did this dogma of Papal Infallibility came to be?

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« Reply #198 on: May 15, 2004, 03:30:43 PM »


Quote
What about the Pontifical document published in 1995 which says:

Firstly, a Pontifical document is not considered to be infallible by the Catholic Church. However, and Ecumenical Council is, and at times, as are Papal Bull. And numerous Catholic Ecumenical Councils and Papal Bulls have delcared the that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and the Son, as on source.

Quote
"The Father alone is the principle without principle (ß+Ç-ü-çß+¦ ß+¦+++¦-ü-ç++-é) of the two other persons of the Trinity, the sole source (-Ç+++¦+«) of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit, therefore, takes his origin from the Father alone (ß+É+¦ ++-î++++-Ã  -ä++ß+ª +á+¦-ä-ü-î-é) in a principal, proper, and immediate manner."

This is interesting, and many would consider this orthodox Catholic teaching. Many would say that the Filioque states that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the the Father and Son as one source, but this doesn't mean the Spirit doesn't have its origin in the Father.

Quote
"The doctrine of the Filioque must be understood and presented by the Catholic Church in such a way that it cannot appear to contradict the Monarchy of the Father nor the fact that he is the sole origin (ß+Ç-ü-çß+¦, +¦ß+¦-ä+»+¦) of the ß+É+¦-Ç-î-ü+¦-à -â+¦-é of the Spirit."

The Catholic Church does not deny the Monarchy of the Father, and as I said many would argue that the dogma of the Filioque doesn't mean that the Father isn't the sole origin of the Spirit.

Quote
" At first, the Roman popes refused to recognized the Filioque. Thus, in the ninth century, Pope Leo III rejected the request of the Emperor Charlemagne to insert this addition into the Symbol of Faith. Moreover, the Bishop of Rome even ordered that the text of the Nicaeo-¡Constantinopolitan Symbol of Faith be engraved on two silver tablets and that these tablets be set up at the tomb of the Apostles Peter and Paul with the inscription: "I, Leo, placed these tablets out of love for the Orthodox faith and to safeguard it".


I do not believe that the Roman pope refused to recognize the Filioque. If this was true they would have condmened the Synod of Toledo (447), which added the filioque to oppose the Arian of Heresy.  Pope Leo I even used the formula to the members of that synod, responding to heresies they were confronting.

At the third synod of Toledo in 589, the ruling Visigoths, who had been Arian Christians, submitted to the Catholic Church and were obliged to accept the Nicene Creed with the filioque, and Rome did not obejct to this. If Rome has thought the filioque was a heresy and refused to accept the filioque, Rome would have condemned the third synod of Toledo.

As for Pope Leo III, he agreed to the filioque clause theologically, but was opposed to adopting it in worship in Rome, and insisted on using the Nicene Creed in Mass in Rome as it was expressed at the Council of Ephesus and all the Ecumenical Councils up until that time.
 
Quote
But the document I have in front of me from the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity in 1995 says:

A document that is nothing compared to the declartions of Catholic Ecumenical Councils and Papal Bulls.

I myself, as I explore Orthodox Christianity, have a lot questions regarding the Filioque. I am actually going to speak with my priest about it soon. I have much to learn, but I can tell you that Catholic Ecumenical Councils and Papal Bulls, have declared over and over again that the Holy Spirit porceeds from the Father and the Son, as one source.

In Christ,
Ben
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« Reply #199 on: May 15, 2004, 03:33:20 PM »

So Ben,

This begs the question... How did this dogma of Papal Infallibility came to be?

icxn

That would take years to study and come to understand. It is a process that started the day Christ walked the earth all the way up to the first Vatican Council.
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« Reply #200 on: May 15, 2004, 03:36:56 PM »

Ben

How can the Pontifical Council issue documents that are contrary to Roman Catholic doctrine? Why has no-one been excommunicated?

Peter
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« Reply #201 on: May 15, 2004, 03:40:11 PM »

Ben

How can the Pontifical Council issue documents that are contrary to Roman Catholic doctrine? Why has no-one been excommunicated?

Peter

The Holy Father and the majority of the Church's bishops and cardinals do not feel it is contrary to the Roman Catholic doctrine of the filioque. As I have already said many will argue that the filioque doesn't mean that the Father isn't the origin of the Holy Ghost.
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« Reply #202 on: May 15, 2004, 03:53:32 PM »

But what is the teaching of your church?

If it is that the Father and the Son are the source of the Spirit then surely it is deeply disturbing if the Pontifical Council issues an unrebuked statement saying that the Father alone is the source of the Spirit?

How can these two statements be reconciled in your view?

I would wish to have RC understanding of the matter rather than think I know what RC's mean.
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« Reply #203 on: May 15, 2004, 04:14:30 PM »

Quote
But what is the teaching of your church?

The 2nd Council of Lyons in 1274 makes it clear: "..we confess that the Holy Spirit proceeds eternally from the Father and the Son, not as from two principles, but as from one; not by two spirations but by one."

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."

First Vatican Council, 1869-1870 Dogmatic Constitution on the Principal Mysteries of the Faith" states: "For from all eternity the Father generates the Son, not in producing by emanation another essence equal to his own, but in communicating his own simple essence. And in like manner, the Holy Spirit proceeds, not by a multiplication of the essence, but he proceeds by a communication of the same singular essence by one eternal spiration from the Father and the Son as from one principle."

The Roman Catechism (The offical Roman Catholic catechism, 1566-1994) I.8.6. states: With regard to the words immediately succeeding: "who proceeds from the Father and the Son," the faithful are to be taught that the Holy Spirit proceeds, by eternal procession, from the Father and the Son as from one principle. This is a truth taught to us by the rule of the Church from which the least departure is unwarrantable on the part of Christians.

 
Quote
it is deeply disturbing if the Pontifical Council issues an unrebuked statement saying that the Father alone is the source of the Spirit?

In the Post Vat-II era Rome has isued many things that seem to be contrary to Catholic teaching, this is part of the reason that I am a traidtional Catholic. At a Traditional Catholic parish I am sure to get pure Catholic teaching, uncoulded by false ecumenism and modernism.
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« Reply #204 on: May 15, 2004, 04:31:28 PM »

Hiya Ben

Thanks for that. How would RC's handle scripture such as:

"But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me."

By what impetus does the RC support an addition to an unusually clear theological statement of our Lord Himself?

Honestly wondering.
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« Reply #205 on: May 15, 2004, 04:45:39 PM »

Hiya Ben

Thanks for that. How would RC's handle scripture such as:

"But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me."

By what impetus does the RC support an addition to an unusually clear theological statement of our Lord Himself?

Honestly wondering.


Considering the fact that I myself do not understand the filioque as well as I would like to, and the fact that I am struggling with the dogma of the filioque, I do not think that I am qualified to give you a correct answer, that represents the Catholic teaching 100%.

However, I will say that scripture calsl the Holy Spirit the Spirit of the Son (Gal., iv, 6), the spirit of Christ (Rom., viii, 9), the Spirit of Jesus Christ (Phil., i, 19), just as they call Him the Spirit of the Father (Matt., x, 20) and the Spirit of God (I Cor., ii, ll). They attribute to the Holy Ghost the same relation to the Son as to the Father. Again, according to Sacred Scripture, the Son sends the Holy Ghost (Luke, xxiv, 49; John, xv, 26; xvi, 7; xx, 22; Acts, ii, 33,; Tit., iii.6), just as the Father sends the Son (Rom., iii. 3; etc.), and as the Father sends the Holy Ghost (John, xiv, 26).

For more information on the Filioque, I refer you to the Catholic Encyclopedia -
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06073a.htm
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« Reply #206 on: May 15, 2004, 05:02:24 PM »

Hiya Ben

But I guess that relations is not the same as origin, is it? And the Son sending the Spirit has always been understood, I also guess, as not being the same as saying that the Son is the origin of the Spirit.

Thanks for clarifying the different point of view. I must admit that it does seem one of those issues where you are actually insisting that you DO have a different view.

Peter
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« Reply #207 on: May 15, 2004, 05:06:33 PM »

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For more information on the Filioque

I'm no expert but again for your perusal, here's this, a basic overview.
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« Reply #208 on: May 15, 2004, 05:10:11 PM »

That was a little too basic for me Serge Smiley
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« Reply #209 on: May 15, 2004, 05:10:40 PM »

Srege...I think Peter wanted to better understand the Catholic dogma of the Filioque, this is why I gave him a link to the Catholic Encylopedia, which represents the Catholic dogma clearly.
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« Reply #210 on: May 15, 2004, 05:13:54 PM »

Peter....if you wish I can provide you with some more links regarding the filioque...from a Catholic point I view. I realize that the Catholic Encylopedia is quite simplistic, perhaps a little to simple or basic for you.
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« Reply #211 on: May 15, 2004, 05:17:46 PM »

I don't mind that. Thanks.

It seems to me that it would be good to know the RC position as RC's present it, rather than only as those of us who reject the filioque present it. But it does seem to me that you are not resisting an interpretation of your position which makes the Father and the Son the ontological origin of the Spirit as well as the Son the economical origin of the Spirit in His ministry in the world.

If you do not reject that interpretation then I think I understand it but cannot accept it.

But I will read more and from your own community.

Peter
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« Reply #212 on: May 18, 2004, 05:38:48 PM »

I'm not sure how the Fathers responded, or would have responded, to this.  But, I'll play the fool and venture a guess.

I suspect they might have pointed out that the relations among the Persons are not merely external attributes that "pertain" to the Persons (like two people might both happen to have the same barber, etc.), but are, in fact, constitutive of each Person.

The Personhood is defined by virtue of the Person's unique relations with another member of the Trinity.  The Father is uniquely the begetter of the Son (not of the Son and the Spirit); the Son is uniquely begotten of the Father (not of the Father and the Spirit); the Spirit is uniquely He who proceeds from the Father (not from the Father and the Son).

If the Father were begetter of both other Persons, then each separate relation of begetting would be, precisely, merely an attribute of the Persons to Whom it happened to pertain, and these Persons would be conceivable apart from that particular relation.  But, that is not so.

If the Spirit proceeded from both the Father and the Son, then each separate relation of procession would be merely an attribute of the Persons to Whom it happened to pertain, those Persons being conceivable apart from that particular relation.  But, that is not so, either.

We should not allow ourselves to be confused by the analogy between human relations, and the relations within the Trinity.  Clarence is the father of Marvin and Michael.  But, those relations, dear as they are to him, are not constitutive of his very Personhood.  There was a time when Clarence was, but was not a father.  But 'tis not so with the First Person of the Trinity.

To put it another way, it is of the Father's very Personhood (not of the Triune God's Essence, as we showed earlier) that He is the One from Whom the Spirit Proceeds.  If the Son is also such a One, then the Procession of the Spirit is not of the very Personhood of either Father or Son.

But this argument seems to be no more than an elaborate statement of the assumption.  What does it mean to say that an attribute is "constitutive" of the Person, rather than something that pertains to him?  If it means that the attribute can only be true of the Person in question, then it is merely an expression of the assumption.  If it does not mean that, then it is difficult to see how it follows that what is constitutive of one Person cannot be constitutive of another.  Are you saying that everything that is true of one Person cannot be true of the others?  That can't be right, because they share deity as an attribute.

This is the problem with trying to philosophize about the Trinity.  We only know about the Trinity because it has been revealed to the Church.  Nobody could have reasoned their way to the Trinity, as opposed to, say, the existence of God.  So when we try to logically deduce propositions from the Trinity, we are trying to use our reason for something that it was not meant to do.
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« Reply #213 on: May 18, 2004, 07:59:50 PM »

But this argument seems to be no more than an elaborate statement of the assumption.  What does it mean to say that an attribute is "constitutive" of the Person, rather than something that pertains to him?

(Not accepting the term "attribute"):  I think I meant the same thing as "definitive of."  "Proceeding from the Father" is hypostatic; it defines the Son; it's part of His very definition as Son.

Quote
If it means that the attribute can only be true of the Person in question, then it is merely an expression of the assumption.

The "assumption" to which you refer is that the quality of "proceeding from the Father" is a quality of the Person of the Son, and not a quality of God's Essence.  That assumption is of the Fathers, and stems from the very definition of hypostasis as the Fathers use the term.  The Western Church, as far as I know, has never questioned that definition.  The point is:  Haven't they failed to understand its ramifications?

Quote
If it does not mean that, then it is difficult to see how it follows that what is constitutive of one Person cannot be constitutive of another.  Are you saying that everything that is true of one Person cannot be true of the others?  That can't be right, because they share deity as an attribute.

No, I'm saying that that which defines a person as a separate, concrete individual, cannot simultaneously define others; that which defines me as a hypostasis (my soul) cannot simultaneously define you.  

The position I'm outlining rests on the notion that that which does not define a Person in contradistinction to other Persons, must either stem from the Essence, or be accidental.

Can you think of anything which is neither definitive of the Person (as distinct from all others), nor of the Essence (and so shared by all individual participants in that essence), nor accidental?  Let's take the quality of "not being the Father."  That's not a quality, but the absence of a quality.  I can't think of anything else.

What stems from the Essence may be true of the Persons (taking up your counter-example: divinity, which stems from God's Essence, is nevertheless true of each Person), but not of just one or two of the three.

Proceeding from the Father cannot be accidental.  By definition, an hypostasis can be conceived of apart from its accidents.  If the Son can be conceived of apart from His procession from the Father, and the Father apart from His "role" as origin of the Son, and . . .  that's just polytheism.

If "proceeds from the Father" is not an accidental quality of the Son, and is not hypostatic (not definitive of a Person in contradistinction to the Others), then the only possibility is that it stems from the Divine Essence.  In which case, it can be said as well to pertain to one Person as any other, including the Son Himself.  In which case, the Son proceeds from the Son, which is silly.

This notion of hypostasis as that which defines a concrete, separate individual (call it "an assumption" if you will) is, I believe, the way the Fathers of the First Nicene and Constantinopolitan Councils used the term hypostasis.  It is an essential part of their Trinitarian doctrine.  If St. Gregory of Nazianzen was right that the doctrine of filioque, as purporting a dual origination of the Holy Spirit, can be shown to inconsistent with that doctrine, then surely it is wrong for those who claim to belong to the Church of the Councils to hold to that understanding of the filioque.


Quote
This is the problem with trying to philosophize about the Trinity.  We only know about the Trinity because it has been revealed to the Church.  Nobody could have reasoned their way to the Trinity, as opposed to, say, the existence of God.  So when we try to logically deduce propositions from the Trinity, we are trying to use our reason for something that it was not meant to do.

This would rule out almost all of theology.  Its all based on Revelation, most of which could not be "arrived" at through unaided human reason.  I don't think 2000 years of theology, much of it from the Fathers, is all bunk.  Interesting, though, to note when people choose to invoke this line of argument.
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« Reply #214 on: May 18, 2004, 10:20:02 PM »

Can you think of anything which is neither definitive of the Person (as distinct from all others), nor of the Essence (and so shared by all individual participants in that essence), nor accidental?  Let's take the quality of "not being the Father."  That's not a quality, but the absence of a quality.  I can't think of anything else.
Woops!  I may have just thought of one:  "Obedience to the Father."  I'm gong to have to go home and puzzle that one out.
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« Reply #215 on: May 28, 2004, 09:37:57 PM »

(Not accepting the term "attribute"):  I think I meant the same thing as "definitive of."  "Proceeding from the Father" is hypostatic; it defines the Son; it's part of His very definition as Son.The "assumption" to which you refer is that the quality of "proceeding from the Father" is a quality of the Person of the Son, and not a quality of God's Essence.  That assumption is of the Fathers, and stems from the very definition of hypostasis as the Fathers use the term.  The Western Church, as far as I know, has never questioned that definition.  The point is:  Haven't they failed to understand its ramifications?No, I'm saying that that which defines a person as a separate, concrete individual, cannot simultaneously define others; that which defines me as a hypostasis (my soul) cannot simultaneously define you.

I'm going to try to do the same thing other people here do, and respond to parts of quotes.  If I fail at this, I apologize for any confusion.  Now to your point.  If you're saying that what is true of one person and only true of that Person is only true of that Person, well, that's a tautology, and it doesn't follow that what is true of one Person cannot be true of another.  If you're saying that what is true of one Person, apart from the essence, cannot be true of another Person, than you've merely restated the assertion.

The position I'm outlining rests on the notion that that which does not define a Person in contradistinction to other Persons, must either stem from the Essence, or be accidental.

And here I thought that it was the Western Church that baptized Aristotle.   Smiley

Can you think of anything which is neither definitive of the Person (as distinct from all others), nor of the Essence (and so shared by all individual participants in that essence), nor accidental?  Let's take the quality of "not being the Father."  That's not a quality, but the absence of a quality.  I can't think of anything else.

From your later post it looks like you did a better job than I did coming up with something.  I don't actually feel a compulsion to do so, since I don't think the Spirit proceeds from the Son in the same way he proceeds from the Father.  The Spirit proceeds from the Father in an ultimate sense and from the Son in a derivative sense.

What stems from the Essence may be true of the Persons (taking up your counter-example: divinity, which stems from God's Essence, is nevertheless true of each Person), but not of just one or two of the three.

Proceeding from the Father cannot be accidental.  By definition, an hypostasis can be conceived of apart from its accidents.  If the Son can be conceived of apart from His procession from the Father, and the Father apart from His "role" as origin of the Son, and . . .  that's just polytheism.

I don't think so.  Three Persons, one God.  Sometimes God looks like one Person, sometimes he looks like three.  Some subatomic particles rotate twice before you can see the same side again.  Things are stranger than we can imagine, and that is all there is to it.

If "proceeds from the Father" is not an accidental quality of the Son, and is not hypostatic (not definitive of a Person in contradistinction to the Others), then the only possibility is that it stems from the Divine Essence.  In which case, it can be said as well to pertain to one Person as any other, including the Son Himself.  In which case, the Son proceeds from the Son, which is silly.

I'm not trying to play a word game here, but this business about the Son proceeding from the Father is confusing me.  I thought the Spirit proceeds from the Father, and the Son is begotten by the Father.

This notion of hypostasis as that which defines a concrete, separate individual (call it "an assumption" if you will) is, I believe, the way the Fathers of the First Nicene and Constantinopolitan Councils used the term hypostasis.  It is an essential part of their Trinitarian doctrine.  If St. Gregory of Nazianzen was right that the doctrine of filioque, as purporting a dual origination of the Holy Spirit, can be shown to inconsistent with that doctrine, then surely it is wrong for those who claim to belong to the Church of the Councils to hold to that understanding of the filioque.This would rule out almost all of theology.  Its all based on Revelation, most of which could not be "arrived" at through unaided human reason.  I don't think 2000 years of theology, much of it from the Fathers, is all bunk.  Interesting, though, to note when people choose to invoke this line of argument.

I'm not saying that reason is useless.  I use it every day.  But trying to reason between the lines of things that can only be known by revelation can lead one to make assumptions about noumenal reality that might only be applicable to phenomenal reality.  We know the Trinity is a fact, because it has been revealed to the Church.  Nobody reasoned their way to it.  The Fathers at Nicea were giving expression to what had been revealed, not what they thought up.  This doesn't rule out theology, but it does set limits on what it can do.
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« Reply #216 on: June 03, 2004, 03:58:35 PM »


Papal Supremacy, Papal Infallibilty, the Filioque, the Agustian view of Original Sin, the Immaculate Conception, Purgatory....all articles of the Catholic faith.

As a convert to Orthodox Christianity from Roman Catholicism. I view the issue of papal suprmecy as a political one. Can the ROman Church unite with the Orthodox Chruches without renouncing this idea? Will ROme ever be satisgied as merely "First among equals" again after reigning supreme and claiming to hold the keys to heaven as it has for almost 1,000 years?

As for all the others, I find them to be ideas that began as oversimplifications of beliefs that were held in common -- sort of how one might explain religious ideas to a child. Over time these oversimplified ideas have by necessity to remian consistant become complex and superfulous to Orthdox who just seem to scratch their heads thinking "Where did they get that from?"

I sometimes listen to Coast to COast late at night when I can't sleep and need a good laugh. One night they had on this guy who supposedly had a great record of foretelling the future. He said there only be 3 more popes after John Paul II. This causes me to wonder....if the Churches ever do heal the schism...the Pope will cease to have the very significant role he now has .
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« Reply #217 on: June 03, 2004, 08:16:54 PM »

As a convert to Orthodox Christianity from Roman Catholicism. I view the issue of papal suprmecy as a political one. Can the ROman Church unite with the Orthodox Chruches without renouncing this idea? Will ROme ever be satisgied as merely "First among equals" again after reigning supreme and claiming to hold the keys to heaven as it has for almost 1,000 years?

Pope John Paul II himself has said that it is possible to approach the papacy in a new way as long as nothing essential to the office is dispensed with.  The Catholic Church will not acquiesce in the notion of the Pope being a mere ceremonial head, but the model that can look dictatorial at times doesn't arise from the nature of the office itself, but arose out of medevial political exigencies.  It probably wouldn't be unfair to say that the western Church had to hold its own against a far fiercer breed of monarch than did the eastern Church.

Christ gave Peter the keys to the kingdom of heaven, according to the Gospel of Matthew, not the keys to heaven.  It was a sign of authority in the Church, not a set of keys to open the door to heaven.  It is not the doctrine of the Catholic Church that the Pope has the keys to heaven.

As for all the others, I find them to be ideas that began as oversimplifications of beliefs that were held in common -- sort of how one might explain religious ideas to a child. Over time these oversimplified ideas have by necessity to remian consistant become complex and superfulous to Orthdox who just seem to scratch their heads thinking "Where did they get that from?"

I think its fair to say that both east and west followed different paths of extrapolation.  I cannot agree that the Orthodox Church engaged in no such extrapolation.  The Palamite distinction between the essence and energies of God come to mind.

I sometimes listen to Coast to COast late at night when I can't sleep and need a good laugh. One night they had on this guy who supposedly had a great record of foretelling the future. He said there only be 3 more popes after John Paul II. This causes me to wonder....if the Churches ever do heal the schism...the Pope will cease to have the very significant role he now has .

Well...I don't know how to respond to this.
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« Reply #218 on: June 04, 2004, 07:49:04 AM »

"As a convert to Orthodox Christianity from Roman Catholicism. I view the issue of papal suprmecy as a political one."

Well, if it were only a political issue, we would have an easier time with it I think.  I mean, if it were simply a matter of agreeing on a certain form of church administration that matches the needs of the church in the 21st century, I think we would have an easier time agreeing.  The problem, as I see it, is that the Catholics dogmatized the idea of papal supremacy of jurisdiction at Vatican I, in essence making a certain form of church organization a matter of dogma.  That's a problem because it narrows the discussion from (1) what kind of structure should the church have now generally to (2) given that supremacy of jurisdiction is required, how can that supremacy be exercised in a way that is beneficial to the church today.  I think that discussion (2) is really where the Catholics are coming from now, but Orthodox are not there because they do not agree with the presupposition that papal supremacy of jurisdiction is required.  And therein lies the impasse.

I think that there is at least *some* hope, because Catholicism has the idea of the development of doctrine, so it's at least possible that the dogma of papal supremacy of jurisdiction, and the related dogma of papal infallibility, could be redefined in a way that they do not mean what they mean now, and not just in terms of exercise but in terms of the suibstance of the dogmas.  But I think that progress can only be made here on the basis of a broader discussion beyond "how may supremacy be exercised" to "is supremacy a dogmatic requirement of the church", because Orthodox really don't subscribe to that.

"if the Churches ever do heal the schism...the Pope will cease to have the very significant role he now has"

I surely hope NOT.  The Pope always played a central role in the life of the Church, that is a key element that the papacy brings to the table in the Church as a whole.  The question is not so much the importance of the Pope, that is clear, it is in the actual details of what that means ... that's really where we disagree.  It comes down, in some ways, to a distinction between "authority", on the one hand, and "power", on the other.  I think Orthodox view the papal office more in the sense of "authority and less in the sense of power, while in Catholicism these have been merged to a large degree, and that is where we get the problems in terms of the different ways we view that office.

Brendan
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« Reply #219 on: June 05, 2004, 05:31:36 PM »


I sometimes listen to Coast to COast late at night when I can't sleep and need a good laugh. One night they had on this guy who supposedly had a great record of foretelling the future. He said there only be 3 more popes after John Paul II. This causes me to wonder....if the Churches ever do heal the schism...the Pope will cease to have the very significant role he now has .

It is interesting that you get a good laugh out of this.

Only 3?

Perhaps you heard wrong, the consensus is that there will only be two more popes.

This is according to the prophecies of Saint Malachy (12th century). According to the prophecy, the next Pope will be the second last Pope,Gloria Olivae ("Glory of the Olives"). Many think this to mean the next Pope will be an Italian or perhaps a Cardinal from the new world - South America or Mexico.

For example for the 266th Pope, Saint Malachy recorded De labore Solis (of the eclipse of the sun, or from the labour of the sun). Karol Wojtyla was born on May 18, 1920 during a solar eclipse. He also comes from behind the former Iron Curtain. He might also be seen to be the fruit of the intercession of the Woman Clothed with the Sun labouring in Revelation 12 (because of his devotion to the Virgin Mary).

If you are interested I suggest you buy the book TAN has, which includes the names of each Pope that Saint Malachy recorded and their real name, and how the two are connected as shown above with John Paul II. Another exmaple would be what Saint Malachy recorded for 240th Pope - Sydus Olorum (constellation of swans). Well Clement IX (1667-1669), upon his election, was the occupant of the Chamber of Swans in the Vatican. One more exmaple would be Pope John XXIII. Saint Malachy recorded Pastor et Nauta (pastor of the marine) for the 263rd Pope. John XXIII (1958-1963), prior to his election he was patriarch of Venice, a marine city.

It's very interesting stuff.

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« Reply #220 on: June 05, 2004, 08:37:12 PM »

Ben,

I have to agree that it is very interesting indeed. I really do not know too much about St. Malachy or his prophesies, but I've always been curious and wanted to learn more about them after noticing the book that you mentioned in the TAN catalog.

I hadn't purchased it because I have been (and still am) wary of the many visions, prophesies and apparitions that are prevalent in the Catholic Church.

This is not necessarily because I would believe them to be false, but because it is the teaching of the Catholic Church that individual Catholics are not bound to believe in visions or apparitions (even if approved by the Church) because they are not a part of the Sacred Deposit of Faith.

I think that some people may find them edifying and that they nourish their faith and spiritual life, but I honestly do not know what to make of them, so I leave such things in the hands of God and do not pay them too much attention.

That being said, have you read this book and if so, what do you make of it?

In Christ,
Aaron
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« Reply #221 on: June 06, 2004, 11:14:39 PM »

Aaron,

First off, Catholics are not required to believe in the apparitions that are approved by the Church. You can be a devout Catholic, in good standing with the Church, and reject Fatima, or Lourdes. The Church has simply endorsed and approved these apparitions, but hasn't made them an article of the Catholic faith. I know Catholics who don't believe in Fatima, that doesn't mean they are heretics or excommunicated, many of them are wonderful Catholics. The only thing you wouldn't be able to do, as a Catholic, is reject such apparitions as demonic, that is where you'd find yourself in difficult situation.

Perhaps I read your post wrong, but it just seemed as if you are under the impression that Catholics must believe in those visions or prophesies approved by the Church.

Now...the book that TAN has is very informative. The introduction and commentary is by Peter Bander. It only cost me 7 bucks and I think it's worth it. As I said the names of all the Popes, as recorded by St. Malachy, are translated from the Latin and the real name of that Pope and his background is given by Mr. Bander. It is truly amazing how right St. Malachy was in each cases.

Personally, I don't know enough about St. Malachy to endorse or reject his prophesies, but it sure is interesting and I am in the process of learning more.
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« Reply #222 on: June 06, 2004, 11:58:20 PM »

Quote
First off, Catholics are not required to believe in the apparitions that are approved by the Church. You can be a devout Catholic, in good standing with the Church, and reject Fatima, or Lourdes. The Church has simply endorsed and approved these apparitions, but hasn't made them an article of the Catholic faith. I know Catholics who don't believe in Fatima, that doesn't mean they are heretics or excommunicated, many of them are wonderful Catholics. The only thing you wouldn't be able to do, as a Catholic, is reject such apparitions as demonic, that is where you'd find yourself in difficult situation.

I agree with that 100%, and my first post states as much - see below.

Quote
Perhaps I read your post wrong, but it just seemed as if you are under the impression that Catholics must believe in those visions or prophesies approved by the Church.

Yup, ya surely did!  Grin

You and I are on the same page, have a gander at what I said:

Quote
This is not necessarily because I would believe them to be false, but because it is the teaching of the Catholic Church that individual Catholics are not bound to believe in visions or apparitions (even if approved by the Church) because they are not a part of the Sacred Deposit of Faith.

See?  Cheesy

Quote
Now...the book that TAN has is very informative. The introduction and commentary is by Peter Bander. It only cost me 7 bucks and I think it's worth it. As I said the names of all the Popes, as recorded by St. Malachy, are translated from the Latin and the real name of that Pope and his background is given by Mr. Bander. It is truly amazing how right St. Malachy was in each cases.


Wow, so his prophesies about all the popes have all been on the money so far?

Quote
Personally, I don't know enough about St. Malachy to endorse or reject his prophesies, but it sure is interesting and I am in the process of learning more.

Me neither - I may have to do some research about him and see if my library might be able to get a hold of the book by TAN. I will add it to my list of things to investiage!  Cool

In Christ,
Aaron
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« Reply #223 on: June 07, 2004, 12:13:46 AM »

Aaron,

Sorry I misunderstood your post. My bad, I just got back from visiting family, and I am still a little worn out, I forgot how weird they got! So I'm a little spacy.

Anyway, so far the prophesies of St. Malachy have been on the money, its amazing.
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« Reply #224 on: June 07, 2004, 12:32:14 AM »

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Aaron,

Sorry I misunderstood your post. My bad, I just got back from visiting family, and I am still a little worn out, I forgot how weird they got! So I'm a little spacy.

S'ok Ben, I can forgive ya - but only this one time. Next time you just may end up on some thin ice - so watch yerself buddy!

 :cwm25:   Wink   :smiley1:

I hope that your visit with the family was pleasant, depsite their wearin' ya out.  Smiley

In Christ,
Aaron

PS- Didja see my post to you in the Non-Chalcedonian forum, under the thread titled "John Paul II and the Assryian Church of the East"? I was wondering what transpired with your contacting the Assyrian bishop - any updates?
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