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Author Topic: Worshiping a different Christ/different Trinity (EO vs. RC)?  (Read 7661 times) Average Rating: 0
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Wyatt
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« on: May 30, 2011, 05:05:17 PM »

I have been told at various times on this forum that, since I am a Roman Catholic and presumably outside of the Body of Christ (since the consensus on here is, obviously, that the Orthodox Church is the True Church), that I worship a different Christ and/or a different Holy Trinity than what Orthodox Christians worship. I have several questions regarding this topic:

  • Is this actually the consensus amongst Orthodox Christians that all the non-Orthodox (heterodox) Christians are actually worshiping a false god rather than the One True God simply by having some doctrinal misunderstandings, or is this only the view of the minority that wish to be polemical?
  • If this is the Orthodox view, what is the fate of most of the heterodox if they remain heterodox? Are they more than likely going to hell or is it more likely that God will extend His mercy to them despite their flawed belief?
  • Does the Roman Catholic Church believe that all heterodox Christians are worshiping a different God simply by being outside the True Church?




« Last Edit: May 30, 2011, 05:05:55 PM by Wyatt » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2011, 06:35:32 PM »

Like most things, I doubt that there is a consensus.  I was taught that those who worship Christ incorrectly out of ignorance will be dealt with in God's mercy.  However, those that were exposed to the Truth of Orthodoxy and rejected it will be judged based on their rejection of the Truth.  My own beliefs are similar to the above.
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I would be happy to agree with you, but then both of us would be wrong.
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« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2011, 06:50:52 PM »

Like most things, I doubt that there is a consensus.  I was taught that those who worship Christ incorrectly out of ignorance will be dealt with in God's mercy.  However, those that were exposed to the Truth of Orthodoxy and rejected it will be judged based on their rejection of the Truth.  My own beliefs are similar to the above.

The only truths of Orthodoxy that I reject are those which falsely call the Catholic Church heretical, but I am not sure those accusations even fall under the heading of Truths of Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2011, 07:07:16 PM »

I would have to consider such a "Truth of Orthodoxy" or we would be in communion with the RC (and the Byzantine Catholics by extension).  But I stated that my personal beliefs are "similar" to what I was taught.  The big difference is that I do not believe that heretics, even those that reject Orthodoxy, are always damned.  I believe that God takes into consideration the reason for their rejection as well.  A person who rejects Orthodoxy because of the horrible withness he has seen would be judged far less harshly than one who simply rejects what was given him.  I know that this puts me in opposition to many conservatives, and not a few Church Fathers, but I am prepared to be judged based on that belief.

Like most things, I doubt that there is a consensus.  I was taught that those who worship Christ incorrectly out of ignorance will be dealt with in God's mercy.  However, those that were exposed to the Truth of Orthodoxy and rejected it will be judged based on their rejection of the Truth.  My own beliefs are similar to the above.

The only truths of Orthodoxy that I reject are those which falsely call the Catholic Church heretical, but I am not sure those accusations even fall under the heading of Truths of Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2011, 07:16:45 PM »

I would have to consider such a "Truth of Orthodoxy" or we would be in communion with the RC (and the Byzantine Catholics by extension). 

I am no longer convinced that is true actually.  I expect that is where we differ in the main.
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« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2011, 07:24:38 PM »

Like most things, I doubt that there is a consensus.  I was taught that those who worship Christ incorrectly out of ignorance will be dealt with in God's mercy.  However, those that were exposed to the Truth of Orthodoxy and rejected it will be judged based on their rejection of the Truth.  My own beliefs are similar to the above.
Define "exposed." Does that mean anyone who has heard about Orthodoxy in any capacity, or only those who have been catechized in Orthodoxy or even only those who have been received into the Orthodox Church and then later abandon it?
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« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2011, 09:12:10 PM »

This probably includes those who have heard about Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2011, 09:41:38 PM »

I think it would require not just knowing of the existence of Orthodoxy but actually having a firm grasp on what Orthodoxy is about. Let me give you an example. For years I was a Protestant Christian, and for years I knew of the existence of the Roman Catholic Church. Obviously, as a Roman Catholic, I believe that the RCC is the true Church. However, I do not believe that all Protestants who reject it are automatically going to hell. As Punch pointed out, you have to take into consideration the reason why one rejects a certain faith. Obviously when it comes to the Catholic Church, many Protestants will never join it because they have been fed so much misinformation about it and never bother to actually study what the Catholic Church really teaches (rather than what their denomination alleges it teaches). I'm sure the same could be said of the Orthodox Church. There are many who never embrace Orthodoxy because of their misconceptions of the Eastern Orthodox faith. Surely, assuming that the Eastern Orthodox faith is the one true faith, God would be compassionate and merciful to those who do not join it and look at their reasoning behind not joining rather than just judging the action alone.
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« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2011, 09:52:16 PM »

I would say that I agree with Orthodox teaching, except for where they differ from what the Catholic Church teaches.
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« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2011, 09:53:41 PM »

I have been told at various times on this forum that, since I am a Roman Catholic and presumably outside of the Body of Christ (since the consensus on here is, obviously, that the Orthodox Church is the True Church), that I worship a different Christ and/or a different Holy Trinity than what Orthodox Christians worship.

This was a big topic on this forum back a few years ago.
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« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2011, 09:58:06 PM »

I would say that I agree with Orthodox teaching, except for where they differ from what the Catholic Church teaches.
I agree. I feel like, for the most part, my faith and that of the Orthodox are pretty close. The only thing is that those teachings which I would have to reject in order to become an Eastern Orthodox Christian I don't feel like I can give up. I can't make myself renounce something that I feel so strongly about. I do find it fascinating to hear about those people who moved from Catholicism to Orthodoxy, or from Orthodoxy to Catholicism, or even some that moved back and forth a few times.

I have been told at various times on this forum that, since I am a Roman Catholic and presumably outside of the Body of Christ (since the consensus on here is, obviously, that the Orthodox Church is the True Church), that I worship a different Christ and/or a different Holy Trinity than what Orthodox Christians worship.

This was a big topic on this forum back a few years ago.
Maybe that's where I heard it. I knew I thought I remembered someone or perhaps multiple people saying this before on this forum. Perhaps I was perusing old threads one day and saw it there as well.
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« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2011, 10:43:09 PM »

the One True God simply by having some doctrinal misunderstandings

This is how I see it.

Quote
If this is the Orthodox view, what is the fate of most of the heterodox if they remain heterodox? Are they more than likely going to hell or is it more likely that God will extend His mercy to them despite their flawed belief?

Does the Roman Catholic Church believe that all heterodox Christians are worshiping a different God simply by being outside the True Church?

It's like the parable of the talents. We're not judged on what we're given, but what we do with it.





[/quote]
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« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2011, 11:15:23 PM »

How does this thread keep getting a different subject heading?
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« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2011, 11:54:24 PM »

The (Roman) Catholic Church as explicitly affirmed that Protestants are Christians. As regards the Orthodox, it regards their sacraments as valid and allows the Orthodox to participate in them (encouraging them to take the proper cautions as regards the authority of their own communion), so the (Roman) Catholic Church definitely doesn't believe you're worshiping a different God just by being outside of it.

As regards the Orthodox, it would probably depend on how strident the particular Orthodox Christian feels about the Filioque. Many Orthodox are willing to concede that the Spirit proceeds through the Son, and in Aquinas' theology of the Trinity, which is often considered normative for Catholicism, and & through are held to be identical statements of the Catholic view, the first on the grounds that the Spirit can only be distinguished by opposite relation from the Father & Son collectively, the second on the grounds that it is through knowledge that the knower desires what is known. Of course, many Orthodox may simply disagree with Aquinas that and & through represent the same meaning.
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« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2011, 12:09:04 AM »

I would say that even Muslims, Jews, and Oneness Pentecostals all worship the same God as the Orthodox, however, they fundamentally fail to understand who God is.  Similarly, I would say that the Roman church and the Nestorians also worship the same God, but to one extent or another fail to understand exactly who He is (with your church of course being FAR closer than the Nestorians to getting it right).  However, I would say that groups like Hindus and Buddhists (at least the Buddhists who have any conception of a god) worship gods other than God (though I suppose some of them may be worshipping God in addition to their other gods, just misunderstanding Him in an extreme way).

As for the fate of the heterodox, I will just say that the closer you got to Orthodoxy (knowing that you were getting there, not just happening to decide that x position of the Orthodox Church is true without ever having heard of the Orthodox Church) before rejecting it, the less likely it is that you are going to be saved.  As such, someone who never hears of the Orthdoox Church is more likely to be saved that the one who hears about it and looks into it a little, but then decides it's not for them, is more likely to be saved than the one who becomes a regular attender, is more likely to be saved than the one who becomes a Catechuman, is more likely to be saved than the one who becomes Orthodox and leaves.  Of course, this in no way would ever give me justified reason to believe that anyone on the planet who dies is condemned to eternal suffering, even if they became a Patriarch and then leave even to santanism (though, I think I would be justified in saying that the chances of their salvation are very slim indeed).
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« Reply #15 on: May 31, 2011, 01:01:21 AM »


If this is the Orthodox view, what is the fate of most of the heterodox if they remain heterodox? Are they more than likely going to hell or is it more likely that God will extend His mercy to them despite their flawed belief?

Sometimes I have to wonder if I myself worship a different Christ!   You see, I believe in a Christ who actively desires the salvation of every person, a Christ who looks for every possible way to save a person.   Sometimes though we hear from the people in the Orthodox Church and in the Catholic Church who focus on "...narrow is the way and few are those who find it."    When such a focus makes me sad I re-read what was written by Saint Philaret of Moscow, by Khomiakov, and by our own sainted Philaret Metropolitan of New York and there is joy again in their optimistic view of the matter.
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« Reply #16 on: May 31, 2011, 03:02:00 AM »


If this is the Orthodox view, what is the fate of most of the heterodox if they remain heterodox? Are they more than likely going to hell or is it more likely that God will extend His mercy to them despite their flawed belief?

Sometimes I have to wonder if I myself worship a different Christ!   You see, I believe in a Christ who actively desires the salvation of every person, a Christ who looks for every possible way to save a person.   Sometimes though we hear from the people in the Orthodox Church and in the Catholic Church who focus on "...narrow is the way and few are those who find it."    When such a focus makes me sad I re-read what was written by Saint Philaret of Moscow, by Khomiakov, and by our own sainted Philaret Metropolitan of New York and there is joy again in their optimistic view of the matter.

Dear Father,

Please share the links to Saint Philaret, Khomiakov and St. Philaret of New York so that we may also experience joy.

Respectfully yours in Christ,
Maria
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« Reply #17 on: May 31, 2011, 03:23:36 AM »


If this is the Orthodox view, what is the fate of most of the heterodox if they remain heterodox? Are they more than likely going to hell or is it more likely that God will extend His mercy to them despite their flawed belief?

Sometimes I have to wonder if I myself worship a different Christ!   You see, I believe in a Christ who actively desires the salvation of every person, a Christ who looks for every possible way to save a person.   Sometimes though we hear from the people in the Orthodox Church and in the Catholic Church who focus on "...narrow is the way and few are those who find it."    When such a focus makes me sad I re-read what was written by Saint Philaret of Moscow, by Khomiakov, and by our own sainted Philaret Metropolitan of New York and there is joy again in their optimistic view of the matter.

Please share the links to Saint Philaret, Khomiakov and St. Philaret of New York so that we may also experience joy.


I think that Khomiakov says it nicely, without blurring the boundaries of the Church:

'Inasmuch as the earthly and visible Church is not the fullness and completeness of the whole Church which the Lord has appointed to appear at the final judgment of all creation, she acts and knows only within her own limits; and ... does not judge the rest of mankind, and only looks upon those as excluded, that is to say, not belonging to her, who exclude themselves. The rest of mankind, whether alien from the Church, or united to her by ties which God has not willed to reveal to her, she leaves to the judgment of the great day' ("The Church is One")

In the words of the holy Metropolitan Philaret who was the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad when I was a young man:

"It is self evident, however, that sincere Christians who are Roman Catholics, or Lutherans, or members, of other non-Orthodox confessions, cannot be termed renegades or heretics—i.e. those who knowingly pervert the truth... They have been born and raised and are living according to the creed which they have inherited, just as do the majority of you who are Orthodox; in their lives there has not been a moment of personal and conscious renunciation of Orthodoxy. The Lord, "Who will have all men to be saved" (I Tim. 2:4) and "Who enlightens every man born into the world" (Jn. 1.43), undoubtedly is leading them also towards salvation In His own way."

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/metphil_heterodox.aspx
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« Reply #18 on: May 31, 2011, 09:20:29 AM »

  • Is this actually the consensus amongst Orthodox Christians that all the non-Orthodox (heterodox) Christians are actually worshiping a false god rather than the One True God simply by having some doctrinal misunderstandings, or is this only the view of the minority that wish to be polemical?
I have no authority to speak for the Church, and no one person does. I can speak only what I believe.
The only way in which we can know anything about the Trinity is what the Trinity has revealed to us. We can't deduce anything about God, we can't conceptualize God, and we can't simply decide for ourselves what the nature, attributes, relationships etc of God is. Each Person of the Trinity has a unique relationship to each other Person of the Trinity, and God has a unique relation to each created thing, and the only way we can possibly know any of this is if God reveals it to us. God is Absolute, and therefore, the truth about God and His internal and external relationships is also Absolute- this truth cannot be relative. God is one, and the truth about Him and His relationships is also One, and what we know of these has been delivered once and for all through the Apostles and cannot be added to or subtracted from, and the Apostles declare that there is only "one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism". The little we know about the Transcendent Trinity we all once agreed upon. This includes the Truth that the Father is the Eternal Begettor of the Son, as well as the Eternal Source from which the Spirit proceeds. When the Latin Church added the Filioque to the Creed, the relationship between the Persons of the Holy Trinity came to be understood differently. This became even more compounded until Roman Catholics came to believe that the Holy Spirit was "the love between the Father and the Son". This is a different understanding of the Trinity to what Orthodox Christians hold. Now remember, the only way we can know anything about God is if He reveals it to us. So now we have two diverse opinions about the Trinity: one says that the Father is the Source and Begetter of the other two Persons, and the other opinion says that while the Father is the Begettor of the Son, the Spirit is the mutual Love between the Son and the Father and therefore is sourced from both of them. So which one is the revelation of God to humanity? They can't both be, since they disagree with each other. So one of them is the revelation of God, and the other is a creation of human thought and imagination. So one group of believers is worshipping God as He revealed Himself, and the other group of believers is worshipping a God which is a combination of God's revelation mixed with the projection of human imagination. The question "Are they different Gods?" is a tricky one, not for reasons of political correctness, but because we need to understand the implications of this difference. Let's say you invite me to your house for dinner, and I bring along a female companion. I introduce her to you by name and tell you that she and I live together. At some point we ring home to check on the baby sitter. You ask us how long we've been married and we tell you that we are not married. The following Sunday you see us both Communing in Church, and after Services, people ask you about us. What do you say to them if you must tell the truth? You say that we are not married but live together and have a child, and this spreads through the congregation and reaches the Priest. The following Sunday we arrive at Church and are refused Communion, and the Priest asks us to see him after Church. At the meeting we explain that she is my recently widowed sister and nephew who have moved in with me because she could not afford her rent. My sister, myself and my nephew were understood aa one thing and then understood as another. We as persons have not changed, but your understanding and of our personhood and relationship to us have changed- or as we say in common parlance: we are different people to what you thought we were.
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« Reply #19 on: May 31, 2011, 09:28:18 AM »

Now remember, the only way we can know anything about God is if He reveals it to us. So now we have two diverse opinions about the Trinity: one says that the Father is the Source and Begetter of the other two Persons, and the other opinion says that while the Father is the Begettor of the Son, the Spirit is the mutual Love between the Son and the Father and therefore is sourced from both of them.

Are you saying that source and cause are the same thing?  Because the Catholic Church explicitly says they are not.   The Catholic Church explicitly teaches as the Holy Fathers taught that the Father is the CAUSE of all divinity.

So the assertion that we are receiving two different revelations or understanding them in two vastly different ways is simply not settled yet.

It may be in your mind but in reality it is not.
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« Reply #20 on: May 31, 2011, 09:54:47 AM »

Are you saying that source and cause are the same thing? 
If I didn't say it why are you asking me whether I did?


Because the Catholic Church explicitly says
Let me get this straight, you are asking me whether I said something that I clearly didn't say so that you can tell me what your belief system is..... Roll Eyes
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« Reply #21 on: May 31, 2011, 10:34:30 AM »

Umm...Ozgeorge, doesn't your view conflict with the Creed's statement that the Spirit proceeds from the Father?
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« Reply #22 on: May 31, 2011, 10:37:01 AM »

Umm...Ozgeorge, doesn't your view conflict with the Creed's statement that the Spirit proceeds from the Father?
Why? I just read it again and that's what I said. Where's the conflict? Could you quote it please? Perhaps I made a typo, but I don't think I have.
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« Reply #23 on: May 31, 2011, 10:47:33 AM »

So which one is the revelation of God to humanity? They can't both be, since they disagree with each other.

Two statements that contradict each other cannot both be true, BUT that doesn't necessarily mean that one of them has to be a heresy.

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« Reply #24 on: May 31, 2011, 10:49:06 AM »

Umm...Ozgeorge, doesn't your view conflict with the Creed's statement that the Spirit proceeds from the Father?
Why? I just read it again and that's what I said. Where's the conflict? Could you quote it please? Perhaps I made a typo, but I don't think I have.

I'm also unclear on what JamesRottnek is referring to.
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« Reply #25 on: May 31, 2011, 10:50:55 AM »

Umm...Ozgeorge, doesn't your view conflict with the Creed's statement that the Spirit proceeds from the Father?
Why? I just read it again and that's what I said. Where's the conflict? Could you quote it please? Perhaps I made a typo, but I don't think I have.

I'm also unclear on what JamesRottnek is referring to.

Here is my answer... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-78WOi1LL8E&feature=related
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« Reply #26 on: May 31, 2011, 10:51:46 AM »

So which one is the revelation of God to humanity? They can't both be, since they disagree with each other.

Two statements that contradict each other cannot both be true, BUT that doesn't necessarily mean that one of them has to be a heresy.


Well, by definition, the untrue statement is a heresy. Heresy simply means "error". It is erroneous.
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« Reply #27 on: May 31, 2011, 10:58:33 AM »

So which one is the revelation of God to humanity? They can't both be, since they disagree with each other.

Two statements that contradict each other cannot both be true, BUT that doesn't necessarily mean that one of them has to be a heresy.


Well, by definition, the untrue statement is a heresy. Heresy simply means "error". It is erroneous.

I think there's a strong position to be made that the eastern and western teachings concerning filioque are not at all contradictory: I would say they are not even paradoxical.
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« Reply #28 on: May 31, 2011, 11:01:46 AM »

So which one is the revelation of God to humanity? They can't both be, since they disagree with each other.

Two statements that contradict each other cannot both be true, BUT that doesn't necessarily mean that one of them has to be a heresy.


Well, by definition, the untrue statement is a heresy. Heresy simply means "error". It is erroneous.

I think there's a strong position to be made that the eastern and western teachings concerning filioque are not at all contradictory: I would say they are not even paradoxical.

Yes, but the insertion of the clause into the Nicene Creed remains the problem. The Greek Catholics have pretty much removed it. If the Romans were to do so, that would go a long way. However, I suspect that many in the west would be scandalized and not accept this.
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« Reply #29 on: May 31, 2011, 11:04:24 AM »

So which one is the revelation of God to humanity? They can't both be, since they disagree with each other.

Two statements that contradict each other cannot both be true, BUT that doesn't necessarily mean that one of them has to be a heresy.


Well, by definition, the untrue statement is a heresy. Heresy simply means "error". It is erroneous.

I think there's a strong position to be made that the eastern and western teachings concerning filioque are not at all contradictory: I would say they are not even paradoxical.
As I pointed out in my post, there us no avoiding the contradiction now since you profess that the Spirit is the "love between the Father and the Son". The line has definitely been crossed and you can't go back without retracting that.
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« Reply #30 on: May 31, 2011, 11:08:56 AM »

So which one is the revelation of God to humanity? They can't both be, since they disagree with each other.

Two statements that contradict each other cannot both be true, BUT that doesn't necessarily mean that one of them has to be a heresy.
Well, by definition, the untrue statement is a heresy. Heresy simply means "error". It is erroneous.

Alright, so let's suppose that I said that St. Joseph died at the age of 50, and suppose Irish Hermit said that he died at age 52. Then one of those 2 statements would have to be heretical, right?
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« Reply #31 on: May 31, 2011, 11:15:03 AM »

So which one is the revelation of God to humanity? They can't both be, since they disagree with each other.

Two statements that contradict each other cannot both be true, BUT that doesn't necessarily mean that one of them has to be a heresy.


Well, by definition, the untrue statement is a heresy. Heresy simply means "error". It is erroneous.

I think there's a strong position to be made that the eastern and western teachings concerning filioque are not at all contradictory: I would say they are not even paradoxical.

Yes, but the insertion of the clause into the Nicene Creed remains the problem. The Greek Catholics have pretty much removed it. If the Romans were to do so, that would go a long way. However, I suspect that many in the west would be scandalized and not accept this.

I argue that it does not need to be removed from the western tradition at this late date:

1. Because of the truths contained in it.

2. Because it is now the longstanding tradition of the Roman rite.

++++++++++++

How can I argue for Orthodox and eastern Catholic traditions on one hand and deny the west her own?

Someone would be bound to notice!!

M.
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« Reply #32 on: May 31, 2011, 11:27:18 AM »

I was referring to this:

"Now remember, the only way we can know anything about God is if He reveals it to us. So now we have two diverse opinions about the Trinity: one says that the Father is the Source and Begetter of the other two Persons, and the other opinion says that while the Father is the Begettor of the Son, the Spirit is the mutual Love between the Son and the Father and therefore is sourced from both of them."

Which clearly says taht the Spirit is the mutual love of the Father and Son and therefore has its source in both of them.  There is also the possibility it means that the Spirit is not really a person as the Spirit is the love of the Father and Son for each other (but I'm not sure that is what is meant by it).

Compare this to the Creed:

"And I believe in the Holy Spirit...Who proceeds from the Father"

It makes NO mention of the Son.  I don't understand how you can say that the Spirit proceeds from the Father, but also has its source in the mutual love of the Father and Son.  As well, I recall, when reading Orthodox Dogmatic Theology by Protopresbyter Michael Pomazansky, that what can be applied to two members of the Holy Trinity is applied to all three, which would mean that the Holy Spirit would have its source in the mutual love of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, which makes no sense because it can't have its source in itself if it proceeds from the Father.


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« Reply #33 on: May 31, 2011, 11:38:42 AM »

I was referring to this:

"Now remember, the only way we can know anything about God is if He reveals it to us. So now we have two diverse opinions about the Trinity: one says that the Father is the Source and Begetter of the other two Persons, and the other opinion says that while the Father is the Begettor of the Son, the Spirit is the mutual Love between the Son and the Father and therefore is sourced from both of them."

Which clearly says taht the Spirit is the mutual love of the Father and Son and therefore has its source in both of them.  There is also the possibility it means that the Spirit is not really a person as the Spirit is the love of the Father and Son for each other (but I'm not sure that is what is meant by it).

Compare this to the Creed:

"And I believe in the Holy Spirit...Who proceeds from the Father"

It makes NO mention of the Son.  I don't understand how you can say that the Spirit proceeds from the Father, but also has its source in the mutual love of the Father and Son.  As well, I recall, when reading Orthodox Dogmatic Theology by Protopresbyter Michael Pomazansky, that what can be applied to two members of the Holy Trinity is applied to all three, which would mean that the Holy Spirit would have its source in the mutual love of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, which makes no sense because it can't have its source in itself if it proceeds from the Father.




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« Reply #34 on: May 31, 2011, 11:48:18 AM »

I was referring to this:

"Now remember, the only way we can know anything about God is if He reveals it to us. So now we have two diverse opinions about the Trinity: one says that the Father is the Source and Begetter of the other two Persons, and the other opinion says that while the Father is the Begettor of the Son, the Spirit is the mutual Love between the Son and the Father and therefore is sourced from both of them."

Which clearly says taht the Spirit is the mutual love of the Father and Son and therefore has its source in both of them.  There is also the possibility it means that the Spirit is not really a person as the Spirit is the love of the Father and Son for each other (but I'm not sure that is what is meant by it).

Compare this to the Creed:

"And I believe in the Holy Spirit...Who proceeds from the Father"

It makes NO mention of the Son.  I don't understand how you can say that the Spirit proceeds from the Father, but also has its source in the mutual love of the Father and Son.  As well, I recall, when reading Orthodox Dogmatic Theology by Protopresbyter Michael Pomazansky, that what can be applied to two members of the Holy Trinity is applied to all three, which would mean that the Holy Spirit would have its source in the mutual love of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, which makes no sense because it can't have its source in itself if it proceeds from the Father.



I am actually comparing RC & Orthodox Christian teachings and  saying the RC teaching that the Spirit is "the love between the Father and the Son" is heresy. You obviously didn't read the earlier part where I say:
When the Latin Church added the Filioque to the Creed, the relationship between the Persons of the Holy Trinity came to be understood differently. This became even more compounded until Roman Catholics came to believe that the Holy Spirit was "the love between the Father and the Son". This is a different understanding of the Trinity to what Orthodox Christians hold.
What I don't understand is how you managed to miss this part which immediately precedes the part you quoted!
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« Reply #35 on: May 31, 2011, 11:48:54 AM »


Too... much... logic!

Must... look... at picture...of Pope!


Sorry! Froggy this morning...

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« Reply #36 on: May 31, 2011, 11:54:53 AM »

I was referring to this:

"Now remember, the only way we can know anything about God is if He reveals it to us. So now we have two diverse opinions about the Trinity: one says that the Father is the Source and Begetter of the other two Persons, and the other opinion says that while the Father is the Begettor of the Son, the Spirit is the mutual Love between the Son and the Father and therefore is sourced from both of them."

Which clearly says taht the Spirit is the mutual love of the Father and Son and therefore has its source in both of them.  There is also the possibility it means that the Spirit is not really a person as the Spirit is the love of the Father and Son for each other (but I'm not sure that is what is meant by it).

Compare this to the Creed:

"And I believe in the Holy Spirit...Who proceeds from the Father"

It makes NO mention of the Son.  I don't understand how you can say that the Spirit proceeds from the Father, but also has its source in the mutual love of the Father and Son.  As well, I recall, when reading Orthodox Dogmatic Theology by Protopresbyter Michael Pomazansky, that what can be applied to two members of the Holy Trinity is applied to all three, which would mean that the Holy Spirit would have its source in the mutual love of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, which makes no sense because it can't have its source in itself if it proceeds from the Father.




Too... much... logic!

Must... look... at picture...of Pope!

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Was that supposed to be funny? Because it isn't.
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« Reply #37 on: May 31, 2011, 11:58:51 AM »

  • Is this actually the consensus amongst Orthodox Christians that all the non-Orthodox (heterodox) Christians are actually worshiping a false god rather than the One True God simply by having some doctrinal misunderstandings, or is this only the view of the minority that wish to be polemical?
I have no authority to speak for the Church, and no one person does. I can speak only what I believe.
The only way in which we can know anything about the Trinity is what the Trinity has revealed to us. We can't deduce anything about God, we can't conceptualize God, and we can't simply decide for ourselves what the nature, attributes, relationships etc of God is. Each Person of the Trinity has a unique relationship to each other Person of the Trinity, and God has a unique relation to each created thing, and the only way we can possibly know any of this is if God reveals it to us. God is Absolute, and therefore, the truth about God and His internal and external relationships is also Absolute- this truth cannot be relative. God is one, and the truth about Him and His relationships is also One, and what we know of these has been delivered once and for all through the Apostles and cannot be added to or subtracted from, and the Apostles declare that there is only "one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism". The little we know about the Transcendent Trinity we all once agreed upon. This includes the Truth that the Father is the Eternal Begettor of the Son, as well as the Eternal Source from which the Spirit proceeds. When the Latin Church added the Filioque to the Creed, the relationship between the Persons of the Holy Trinity came to be understood differently. This became even more compounded until Roman Catholics came to believe that the Holy Spirit was "the love between the Father and the Son". This is a different understanding of the Trinity to what Orthodox Christians hold. Now remember, the only way we can know anything about God is if He reveals it to us. So now we have two diverse opinions about the Trinity: one says that the Father is the Source and Begetter of the other two Persons, and the other opinion says that while the Father is the Begettor of the Son, the Spirit is the mutual Love between the Son and the Father and therefore is sourced from both of them. So which one is the revelation of God to humanity? They can't both be, since they disagree with each other. So one of them is the revelation of God, and the other is a creation of human thought and imagination. So one group of believers is worshipping God as He revealed Himself, and the other group of believers is worshipping a God which is a combination of God's revelation mixed with the projection of human imagination. The question "Are they different Gods?" is a tricky one, not for reasons of political correctness, but because we need to understand the implications of this difference. Let's say you invite me to your house for dinner, and I bring along a female companion. I introduce her to you by name and tell you that she and I live together. At some point we ring home to check on the baby sitter. You ask us how long we've been married and we tell you that we are not married. The following Sunday you see us both Communing in Church, and after Services, people ask you about us. What do you say to them if you must tell the truth? You say that we are not married but live together and have a child, and this spreads through the congregation and reaches the Priest. The following Sunday we arrive at Church and are refused Communion, and the Priest asks us to see him after Church. At the meeting we explain that she is my recently widowed sister and nephew who have moved in with me because she could not afford her rent. My sister, myself and my nephew were understood aa one thing and then understood as another. We as persons have not changed, but your understanding and of our personhood and relationship to us have changed- or as we say in common parlance: we are different people to what you thought we were.
Thank you for the response. That makes a lot of sense to me and I tend to agree with you that a different understanding does not mean that you know an entirely different person.

I have a question about the differences between Catholic and Orthodox views on the Trinity which you brought up. Is the teaching that the Holy Spirit is the love between Father and Son an official doctrine or dogma of the Catholic Church? The reason I ask is I think, in both of our Churches, theologians sometimes use metaphors and formulate opinions in an attempt to explain mystery, yet it does not mean we are obliged to believe it. I admit that I have heard that explanation of the Trinity in my own parish before, but is it necessarily a stumbling block for unity? I mean, I didn't think theological opinions were barriers. As far as I am aware that's not a doctrine or dogma of my Church, but rather just the latest popular way theologians explain the Trinity.
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« Reply #38 on: May 31, 2011, 12:36:33 PM »



It makes NO mention of the Son.  I don't understand how you can say that the Spirit proceeds from the Father, but also has its source in the mutual love of the Father and Son.  As well, I recall, when reading Orthodox Dogmatic Theology by Protopresbyter Michael Pomazansky, that what can be applied to two members of the Holy Trinity is applied to all three, which would mean that the Holy Spirit would have its source in the mutual love of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, which makes no sense because it can't have its source in itself if it proceeds from the Father.


That phrasing of Father Michael is not fully comprehensible without knowing "what is WHAT"...If the "what" is essential in the divinity, then what Father says is absolutely accurate without qualification.

If the "what" is relational and hypostatic then Father Michael's phrasing cannot be accurate because it is clear that the Father and the Son have a very unique relationship that is highlighted throughout Scripture and Tradition.  Neither the Father and the Holy Spirit, nor the Son and the Holy Spirit have that kind of relationship...and it is the uniqueness of the relationship of the two hypostases, Father and Son, that is highlighted in the filioque.  By highlighting that relationship, it also indicates that the Holy Spirit stands on his own hypostatic merits as a person of the Trinity and not just some sub-set of the Son.  It also indicates that the Holy Spirit is caused from the Father by procession and not begetting because we know that the relationship of the Father and Son forms a spiration, one causal [the Father] and the other mediated [the Son].
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« Reply #39 on: May 31, 2011, 12:45:54 PM »

Quote from: JamesRottnek
It makes NO mention of the Son.  I don't understand how you can say that the Spirit proceeds from the Father, but also has its source in the mutual love of the Father and Son.  As well, I recall, when reading Orthodox Dogmatic Theology by Protopresbyter Michael Pomazansky, that what can be applied to two members of the Holy Trinity is applied to all three, which would mean that the Holy Spirit would have its source in the mutual love of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, which makes no sense because it can't have its source in itself if it proceeds from the Father.

We had a pretty good discussion about this recently in the thread 'Why Filioque is a Christological Error'. Aquinas presents the argument that since God is one Divine Essence, He can only be distinguished by opposite relation. He locates the Father-Son relation in the opposite principles of the rational principle (Paternity-Filiation), and the Spirit-Father-Son relation in the opposite relations of the appetitive principles (Spiration-Procession). He concludes (because it is necessary to know a thing in order to desire it) that the Spirit can only be distinguished by opposite relation from the Father and Son collectively, not the Father or Son individually, and therefore it is correct to say that the Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son. Or, since it is through knowledge that the knower desires what is known, it is equally correct to say that the Spirit proceeds from the Father through the Son. Thirdly, since it is through the Father that the Son possesses the power by which the Spirit proceeds from Him (both knowledge and desire are rooted in being), Aquinas says it can also be correct to simply say that the Spirit proceeds from the Father. Essentially Aquinas comes up seeing no necessary contradiction between the three formulations, and I more or less agree with him.

http://jtpaasch.blogspot.com/2008/12/aquinas-on-filioque.html

This author provides a helpful partial summary.
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« Reply #40 on: May 31, 2011, 12:50:17 PM »


Was that supposed to be funny? Because it isn't.

Well sor-ry!

I thought it was... but I guess if you say it wasn't - then it must not have been (not even a little).

Wait a minute... didn't I already pre-apologize for this?

Whatever... Thank you sir, may I have another?
 




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I'm pretty sure a good-natured little funny at the expense of the Catholics is not quite delving into playing with evil!

I was baptized RC, so I'm allowed.

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« Last Edit: May 31, 2011, 12:52:14 PM by Saint Iaint » Logged

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« Reply #41 on: May 31, 2011, 12:52:53 PM »

Just to put a bit of a finer point on this comment, why Aquinas does what Alcuin says that he does below is precisely because of what we know of the relationship of the Father and the Son which has no parallel elsewhere in the Persons of the Trinity.

Quote from: JamesRottnek
It makes NO mention of the Son.  I don't understand how you can say that the Spirit proceeds from the Father, but also has its source in the mutual love of the Father and Son.  As well, I recall, when reading Orthodox Dogmatic Theology by Protopresbyter Michael Pomazansky, that what can be applied to two members of the Holy Trinity is applied to all three, which would mean that the Holy Spirit would have its source in the mutual love of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, which makes no sense because it can't have its source in itself if it proceeds from the Father.

We had a pretty good discussion about this recently in the thread 'Why Filioque is a Christological Error'. Aquinas presents the argument that since God is one Divine Essence, He can only be distinguished by opposite relation. He locates the Father-Son relation in the opposite principles of the rational principle (Paternity-Filiation), and the Spirit-Father-Son relation in the opposite relations of the appetitive principles (Spiration-Procession). He concludes (because it is necessary to know a thing in order to desire it) that the Spirit can only be distinguished by opposite relation from the Father and Son collectively, not the Father or Son individually, and therefore it is correct to say that the Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son. Or, since it is through knowledge that the knower desires what is known, it is equally correct to say that the Spirit proceeds from the Father through the Son. Thirdly, since it is through the Father that the Son possesses the power by which the Spirit proceeds from Him (both knowledge and desire are rooted in being), Aquinas says it can also be correct to simply say that the Spirit proceeds from the Father. Essentially Aquinas comes up seeing no necessary contradiction between the three formulations, and I more or less agree with him.

http://jtpaasch.blogspot.com/2008/12/aquinas-on-filioque.html

This author provides a helpful partial summary.
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« Reply #42 on: May 31, 2011, 12:55:52 PM »


I was baptized RC, so I'm allowed.

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« Reply #43 on: May 31, 2011, 12:57:10 PM »

Ah yes, it does come from Father-Son. Aquinas lists three possible modes of relation for a being: Sensible (whereby things act upon it), appetitive (whereby it is drawn towards its good), and rational (Whereby it produces a similitude in the mind of being, and this similitude is knowledge). Aquinas argues that God has no sensible principle because nothing can act on Him, and He puts the Father-Son relation in the realm of the rational principle, keeping with tradition. Opposite relation leaves the appetitive principle for the Spirit.
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« Reply #44 on: May 31, 2011, 01:44:04 PM »

Ozgeorge, I am deeply sorry.  I should have went back and re-read your post, because I almost always agree with you, and have never disagreed with your posts as much as I thought I did.  I suppose I was tired or distracted, and I apologize.
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« Reply #45 on: May 31, 2011, 03:19:40 PM »

Ozgeorge, I am deeply sorry.  I should have went back and re-read your post, because I almost always agree with you, and have never disagreed with your posts as much as I thought I did.  I suppose I was tired or distracted, and I apologize.

Ah yes, I thought it must have been a misunderstanding.
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« Reply #46 on: May 31, 2011, 03:25:21 PM »

  • Is this actually the consensus amongst Orthodox Christians that all the non-Orthodox (heterodox) Christians are actually worshiping a false god rather than the One True God simply by having some doctrinal misunderstandings, or is this only the view of the minority that wish to be polemical?
I have no authority to speak for the Church, and no one person does. I can speak only what I believe.
The only way in which we can know anything about the Trinity is what the Trinity has revealed to us. We can't deduce anything about God, we can't conceptualize God, and we can't simply decide for ourselves what the nature, attributes, relationships etc of God is. Each Person of the Trinity has a unique relationship to each other Person of the Trinity, and God has a unique relation to each created thing, and the only way we can possibly know any of this is if God reveals it to us. God is Absolute, and therefore, the truth about God and His internal and external relationships is also Absolute- this truth cannot be relative. God is one, and the truth about Him and His relationships is also One, and what we know of these has been delivered once and for all through the Apostles and cannot be added to or subtracted from, and the Apostles declare that there is only "one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism". The little we know about the Transcendent Trinity we all once agreed upon. This includes the Truth that the Father is the Eternal Begettor of the Son, as well as the Eternal Source from which the Spirit proceeds. When the Latin Church added the Filioque to the Creed, the relationship between the Persons of the Holy Trinity came to be understood differently. This became even more compounded until Roman Catholics came to believe that the Holy Spirit was "the love between the Father and the Son". This is a different understanding of the Trinity to what Orthodox Christians hold. Now remember, the only way we can know anything about God is if He reveals it to us. So now we have two diverse opinions about the Trinity: one says that the Father is the Source and Begetter of the other two Persons, and the other opinion says that while the Father is the Begettor of the Son, the Spirit is the mutual Love between the Son and the Father and therefore is sourced from both of them. So which one is the revelation of God to humanity? They can't both be, since they disagree with each other. So one of them is the revelation of God, and the other is a creation of human thought and imagination. So one group of believers is worshipping God as He revealed Himself, and the other group of believers is worshipping a God which is a combination of God's revelation mixed with the projection of human imagination. The question "Are they different Gods?" is a tricky one, not for reasons of political correctness, but because we need to understand the implications of this difference. Let's say you invite me to your house for dinner, and I bring along a female companion. I introduce her to you by name and tell you that she and I live together. At some point we ring home to check on the baby sitter. You ask us how long we've been married and we tell you that we are not married. The following Sunday you see us both Communing in Church, and after Services, people ask you about us. What do you say to them if you must tell the truth? You say that we are not married but live together and have a child, and this spreads through the congregation and reaches the Priest. The following Sunday we arrive at Church and are refused Communion, and the Priest asks us to see him after Church. At the meeting we explain that she is my recently widowed sister and nephew who have moved in with me because she could not afford her rent. My sister, myself and my nephew were understood aa one thing and then understood as another. We as persons have not changed, but your understanding and of our personhood and relationship to us have changed- or as we say in common parlance: we are different people to what you thought we were.
Thank you for the response. That makes a lot of sense to me and I tend to agree with you that a different understanding does not mean that you know an entirely different person.

I have a question about the differences between Catholic and Orthodox views on the Trinity which you brought up. Is the teaching that the Holy Spirit is the love between Father and Son an official doctrine or dogma of the Catholic Church? The reason I ask is I think, in both of our Churches, theologians sometimes use metaphors and formulate opinions in an attempt to explain mystery, yet it does not mean we are obliged to believe it. I admit that I have heard that explanation of the Trinity in my own parish before, but is it necessarily a stumbling block for unity? I mean, I didn't think theological opinions were barriers. As far as I am aware that's not a doctrine or dogma of my Church, but rather just the latest popular way theologians explain the Trinity.

I'm afraid I'm having a dickens of a time trying to understand what you mean by "I didn't think theological opinions were barriers". I think I know you well enough to say that you don't mean that literally, but that's about as far as I can get. Help!
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« Reply #47 on: May 31, 2011, 03:28:17 PM »

  • Is this actually the consensus amongst Orthodox Christians that all the non-Orthodox (heterodox) Christians are actually worshiping a false god rather than the One True God simply by having some doctrinal misunderstandings, or is this only the view of the minority that wish to be polemical?
I have no authority to speak for the Church, and no one person does. I can speak only what I believe.
The only way in which we can know anything about the Trinity is what the Trinity has revealed to us. We can't deduce anything about God, we can't conceptualize God, and we can't simply decide for ourselves what the nature, attributes, relationships etc of God is. Each Person of the Trinity has a unique relationship to each other Person of the Trinity, and God has a unique relation to each created thing, and the only way we can possibly know any of this is if God reveals it to us. God is Absolute, and therefore, the truth about God and His internal and external relationships is also Absolute- this truth cannot be relative. God is one, and the truth about Him and His relationships is also One, and what we know of these has been delivered once and for all through the Apostles and cannot be added to or subtracted from, and the Apostles declare that there is only "one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism". The little we know about the Transcendent Trinity we all once agreed upon. This includes the Truth that the Father is the Eternal Begettor of the Son, as well as the Eternal Source from which the Spirit proceeds. When the Latin Church added the Filioque to the Creed, the relationship between the Persons of the Holy Trinity came to be understood differently. This became even more compounded until Roman Catholics came to believe that the Holy Spirit was "the love between the Father and the Son". This is a different understanding of the Trinity to what Orthodox Christians hold. Now remember, the only way we can know anything about God is if He reveals it to us. So now we have two diverse opinions about the Trinity: one says that the Father is the Source and Begetter of the other two Persons, and the other opinion says that while the Father is the Begettor of the Son, the Spirit is the mutual Love between the Son and the Father and therefore is sourced from both of them. So which one is the revelation of God to humanity? They can't both be, since they disagree with each other. So one of them is the revelation of God, and the other is a creation of human thought and imagination. So one group of believers is worshipping God as He revealed Himself, and the other group of believers is worshipping a God which is a combination of God's revelation mixed with the projection of human imagination. The question "Are they different Gods?" is a tricky one, not for reasons of political correctness, but because we need to understand the implications of this difference. Let's say you invite me to your house for dinner, and I bring along a female companion. I introduce her to you by name and tell you that she and I live together. At some point we ring home to check on the baby sitter. You ask us how long we've been married and we tell you that we are not married. The following Sunday you see us both Communing in Church, and after Services, people ask you about us. What do you say to them if you must tell the truth? You say that we are not married but live together and have a child, and this spreads through the congregation and reaches the Priest. The following Sunday we arrive at Church and are refused Communion, and the Priest asks us to see him after Church. At the meeting we explain that she is my recently widowed sister and nephew who have moved in with me because she could not afford her rent. My sister, myself and my nephew were understood aa one thing and then understood as another. We as persons have not changed, but your understanding and of our personhood and relationship to us have changed- or as we say in common parlance: we are different people to what you thought we were.
Thank you for the response. That makes a lot of sense to me and I tend to agree with you that a different understanding does not mean that you know an entirely different person.

I have a question about the differences between Catholic and Orthodox views on the Trinity which you brought up. Is the teaching that the Holy Spirit is the love between Father and Son an official doctrine or dogma of the Catholic Church? The reason I ask is I think, in both of our Churches, theologians sometimes use metaphors and formulate opinions in an attempt to explain mystery, yet it does not mean we are obliged to believe it. I admit that I have heard that explanation of the Trinity in my own parish before, but is it necessarily a stumbling block for unity? I mean, I didn't think theological opinions were barriers. As far as I am aware that's not a doctrine or dogma of my Church, but rather just the latest popular way theologians explain the Trinity.

I'm afraid I'm having a dickens of a time trying to understand what you mean by "I didn't think theological opinions were barriers". I think I know you well enough to say that you don't mean that literally, but that's about as far as I can get. Help!
What I mean is, the explanation that the Holy Spirit is "the love shared by Father and Son" is not, to my knowledge, a dogma of the Church. It would fall under theological opinion just like limbo of the infants. Because of that, I don't think that teaching would be a barrier to Catholic-Orthodox unity. That is not to say that there are not many other real barriers, because there are. I just don't think this is one of them.
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« Reply #48 on: May 31, 2011, 05:00:58 PM »

Hi again. My last post was a little rushed. Maybe I can explain my question a little better.

I have a question about the differences between Catholic and Orthodox views on the Trinity which you brought up. Is the teaching that the Holy Spirit is the love between Father and Son an official doctrine or dogma of the Catholic Church? The reason I ask is I think, in both of our Churches, theologians sometimes use metaphors and formulate opinions in an attempt to explain mystery, yet it does not mean we are obliged to believe it. I admit that I have heard that explanation of the Trinity in my own parish before, but is it necessarily a stumbling block for unity? I mean, I didn't think theological opinions were barriers. As far as I am aware that's not a doctrine or dogma of my Church, but rather just the latest popular way theologians explain the Trinity.

Taken one way, your statement is saying that theological opinions are never barriers, which is clearly not true.

But the only other way I can think of to interpret your statement is as an obvious statement that no one would disagree with -- something along the lines of "Legitimate theological opinions are legitimate."
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« Reply #49 on: May 31, 2011, 05:20:23 PM »

Basically, what I'm saying is that the notion that the Holy Spirit is the love between Father and Son should not be a barrier. It's not a doctrine or a dogma of the Catholic Church as far as I know. Only doctrines and dogmas are binding.
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« Reply #50 on: May 31, 2011, 05:21:09 PM »

P.S. There was a rather, shall we say, "peculiar" claim made some time ago. It was that Ineffabilis Deus did not require anyone to believe in the Immaculate Conception, but rather only prohibited people from calling it a heresy.

Quote
The proscription contained in the Decree Ineffabilis Deus is not a proscription against denial of the IC. Rather, it is a proscription against obstinately opposing the teaching authority of the Church on the matter. So if you believe it is a theologoumenon (an acceptable teaching, though not a dogma), you would not be under the proscription of the Decree. The Decree on the IC accommodates the notion, “well I believe it, but I don’t believe it should be imposed on others,” for you would not be obstinately opposing the Church’s teaching. The Decree on the IC even accommodates the notion, “I’m not sure if it is true, I need to study it more and let the Holy Spirit guide me,” for you would not be obstinately opposing the Church’s teaching. The only thing that the Decree prohibits is the notion, “This is a heresy. There is absolutely no way it can be true.”

Quote taken from http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,30219.msg477626.html#msg477626
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« Reply #51 on: May 31, 2011, 05:22:24 PM »

Basically, what I'm saying is that the notion that the Holy Spirit is the love between Father and Son should not be a barrier. It's not a doctrine or a dogma of the Catholic Church as far as I know. Only doctrines and dogmas are binding.

Please re-read my question.
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« Reply #52 on: May 31, 2011, 05:44:47 PM »

As regards the Orthodox, it would probably depend on how strident the particular Orthodox Christian feels about the filioque

Christ is Risen!

Dear Alcuin,

The last official statement from the Orthodox Church on the filioque was the Encyclical of the Four Eastern Patriarchs, 1848   

~ "A Reply to the Epistle of Pope Pius IX, "to the Easterns"

You can read what they write about the filioque in message 212
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http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,27651.msg438126.html#msg438126
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« Reply #53 on: May 31, 2011, 05:54:15 PM »

P.S. There was a rather, shall we say, "peculiar" claim made some time ago. It was that Ineffabilis Deus did not require anyone to believe in the Immaculate Conception, but rather only prohibited people from calling it a heresy.

The proscription contained in the Decree Ineffabilis Deus is not a proscription against denial of the IC.[/b] Rather, it is a proscription against obstinately opposing the teaching authority of the Church on the matter. So if you believe it is a theologoumenon (an acceptable teaching, though not a dogma), you would not be under the proscription of the Decree. The Decree on the IC accommodates the notion, “well I believe it, but I don’t believe it should be imposed on others,” for you would not be obstinately opposing the Church’s teaching. The Decree on the IC even accommodates the notion, “I’m not sure if it is true, I need to study it more and let the Holy Spirit guide me,” for you would not be obstinately opposing the Church’s teaching. The only thing that the Decree prohibits is the notion, “This is a heresy. There is absolutely no way it can be true.”

/\

That is really scary.  Lord, deliver us from 'theologians' with such minds. 
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« Reply #54 on: May 31, 2011, 05:58:03 PM »

As regards the Orthodox, it would probably depend on how strident the particular Orthodox Christian feels about the filioque

Christ is Risen!

Dear Alcuin,

The last official statement from the Orthodox Church on the filioque was the Encyclical of the Four Eastern Patriarchs, 1848   

~ "A Reply to the Epistle of Pope Pius IX, "to the Easterns"

You can read what they write about the filioque in message 212
at
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,27651.msg438126.html#msg438126

Ah, I get what you're saying: Orthodoxy was just as bad in the 19th century as it is today.

Wink

But seriously...

P.S. There was a rather, shall we say, "peculiar" claim made some time ago. It was that Ineffabilis Deus did not require anyone to believe in the Immaculate Conception, but rather only prohibited people from calling it a heresy.

The proscription contained in the Decree Ineffabilis Deus is not a proscription against denial of the IC.[/b] Rather, it is a proscription against obstinately opposing the teaching authority of the Church on the matter. So if you believe it is a theologoumenon (an acceptable teaching, though not a dogma), you would not be under the proscription of the Decree. The Decree on the IC accommodates the notion, “well I believe it, but I don’t believe it should be imposed on others,” for you would not be obstinately opposing the Church’s teaching. The Decree on the IC even accommodates the notion, “I’m not sure if it is true, I need to study it more and let the Holy Spirit guide me,” for you would not be obstinately opposing the Church’s teaching. The only thing that the Decree prohibits is the notion, “This is a heresy. There is absolutely no way it can be true.”

/\

That is really scary.  Lord, deliver us from 'theologians' with such minds. 

I agree.
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« Reply #55 on: May 31, 2011, 06:03:16 PM »

Hi again. My last post was a little rushed. Maybe I can explain my question a little better.

I have a question about the differences between Catholic and Orthodox views on the Trinity which you brought up. Is the teaching that the Holy Spirit is the love between Father and Son an official doctrine or dogma of the Catholic Church? The reason I ask is I think, in both of our Churches, theologians sometimes use metaphors and formulate opinions in an attempt to explain mystery, yet it does not mean we are obliged to believe it. I admit that I have heard that explanation of the Trinity in my own parish before, but is it necessarily a stumbling block for unity? I mean, I didn't think theological opinions were barriers. As far as I am aware that's not a doctrine or dogma of my Church, but rather just the latest popular way theologians explain the Trinity.

Taken one way, your statement is saying that theological opinions are never barriers, which is clearly not true.

But the only other way I can think of to interpret your statement is as an obvious statement that no one would disagree with -- something along the lines of "Legitimate theological opinions are legitimate."

Theological opinions shouldn't be barriers since they are opinions. Opinion indicates that one is free to reject it if they have a differing opinion. I'm not sure what you're having trouble understanding about that. Taking issue with the opinion that the Holy Spirit is the love between Father and Son is as absurd as one taking issue with Catholicism over limbo. Of course it happens occasionally but it shouldn't. Neither idea is dogmatic and binding.
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« Reply #56 on: May 31, 2011, 06:10:49 PM »


Quote
P.S. There was a rather, shall we say, "peculiar" claim made some time ago. It was that Ineffabilis Deus did not require anyone to believe in the Immaculate Conception, but rather only prohibited people from calling it a heresy.

The proscription contained in the Decree Ineffabilis Deus is not a proscription against denial of the IC.[/b] Rather, it is a proscription against obstinately opposing the teaching authority of the Church on the matter. So if you believe it is a theologoumenon (an acceptable teaching, though not a dogma), you would not be under the proscription of the Decree. The Decree on the IC accommodates the notion, “well I believe it, but I don’t believe it should be imposed on others,” for you would not be obstinately opposing the Church’s teaching. The Decree on the IC even accommodates the notion, “I’m not sure if it is true, I need to study it more and let the Holy Spirit guide me,” for you would not be obstinately opposing the Church’s teaching. The only thing that the Decree prohibits is the notion, “This is a heresy. There is absolutely no way it can be true.”

/\

That is really scary.  Lord, deliver us from 'theologians' with such minds. 

I agree.


Well some people do need a more legalistic approach to the truths of revelation than others.
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« Reply #57 on: May 31, 2011, 06:18:32 PM »

Hi again. My last post was a little rushed. Maybe I can explain my question a little better.

I have a question about the differences between Catholic and Orthodox views on the Trinity which you brought up. Is the teaching that the Holy Spirit is the love between Father and Son an official doctrine or dogma of the Catholic Church? The reason I ask is I think, in both of our Churches, theologians sometimes use metaphors and formulate opinions in an attempt to explain mystery, yet it does not mean we are obliged to believe it. I admit that I have heard that explanation of the Trinity in my own parish before, but is it necessarily a stumbling block for unity? I mean, I didn't think theological opinions were barriers. As far as I am aware that's not a doctrine or dogma of my Church, but rather just the latest popular way theologians explain the Trinity.

Taken one way, your statement is saying that theological opinions are never barriers, which is clearly not true.

But the only other way I can think of to interpret your statement is as an obvious statement that no one would disagree with -- something along the lines of "Legitimate theological opinions are legitimate."

Theological opinions shouldn't be barriers since they are opinions. Opinion indicates that one is free to reject it if they have a differing opinion. I'm not sure what you're having trouble understanding about that.

Thank you for clarifying. I see now that you and I aren't as similar as I thought we were.
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« Reply #58 on: May 31, 2011, 06:20:13 PM »

Hi again. My last post was a little rushed. Maybe I can explain my question a little better.

I have a question about the differences between Catholic and Orthodox views on the Trinity which you brought up. Is the teaching that the Holy Spirit is the love between Father and Son an official doctrine or dogma of the Catholic Church? The reason I ask is I think, in both of our Churches, theologians sometimes use metaphors and formulate opinions in an attempt to explain mystery, yet it does not mean we are obliged to believe it. I admit that I have heard that explanation of the Trinity in my own parish before, but is it necessarily a stumbling block for unity? I mean, I didn't think theological opinions were barriers. As far as I am aware that's not a doctrine or dogma of my Church, but rather just the latest popular way theologians explain the Trinity.

Taken one way, your statement is saying that theological opinions are never barriers, which is clearly not true.

But the only other way I can think of to interpret your statement is as an obvious statement that no one would disagree with -- something along the lines of "Legitimate theological opinions are legitimate."

Theological opinions shouldn't be barriers since they are opinions. Opinion indicates that one is free to reject it if they have a differing opinion. I'm not sure what you're having trouble understanding about that.

Thank you for clarifying. I see now that you and I aren't as similar as I thought we were.
What did I say that you find so wrong?
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« Reply #59 on: May 31, 2011, 06:22:37 PM »

Taking issue with the opinion that the Holy Spirit is the love between Father and Son is as absurd as one taking issue with Catholicism over limbo. Of course it happens occasionally but it shouldn't. Neither idea is dogmatic and binding.

I would never claim that there is no such thing as a legitimate opinion. Some opinions are legitimate and some aren't.

The historical case of the immaculate conception illustrates both: at one point in time (e.g. Aquinas' day) it was legitimate to believe in it or to not believe in it. But it is also clear that nowadays the IC is not a matter of opinion; that is to say, believing that Mary was not immaculately conceived is not an acceptable opinion nowadays.
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« Reply #60 on: May 31, 2011, 06:24:14 PM »

Taking issue with the opinion that the Holy Spirit is the love between Father and Son is as absurd as one taking issue with Catholicism over limbo. Of course it happens occasionally but it shouldn't. Neither idea is dogmatic and binding.

I would never claim that there is no such thing as a legitimate opinion. Some opinions are legitimate and some aren't.

The historical case of the immaculate conception illustrates both: at one point in time (e.g. Aquinas' day) it was legitimate to believe in it or to not believe in it. But it is also clear that nowadays the IC is not a matter of opinion; that is to say, believing that Mary was not immaculately conceived is not an acceptable opinion nowadays.
That's not what I was claiming. I was claiming that as long as it still retains the status of "opinion" and not "dogma" it is not binding upon the entire Church. Your failure to recognize this indicates ignorance of Catholic teaching.
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« Reply #61 on: May 31, 2011, 06:25:20 PM »

Hi again. My last post was a little rushed. Maybe I can explain my question a little better.

I have a question about the differences between Catholic and Orthodox views on the Trinity which you brought up. Is the teaching that the Holy Spirit is the love between Father and Son an official doctrine or dogma of the Catholic Church? The reason I ask is I think, in both of our Churches, theologians sometimes use metaphors and formulate opinions in an attempt to explain mystery, yet it does not mean we are obliged to believe it. I admit that I have heard that explanation of the Trinity in my own parish before, but is it necessarily a stumbling block for unity? I mean, I didn't think theological opinions were barriers. As far as I am aware that's not a doctrine or dogma of my Church, but rather just the latest popular way theologians explain the Trinity.

Taken one way, your statement is saying that theological opinions are never barriers, which is clearly not true.

But the only other way I can think of to interpret your statement is as an obvious statement that no one would disagree with -- something along the lines of "Legitimate theological opinions are legitimate."

Theological opinions shouldn't be barriers since they are opinions. Opinion indicates that one is free to reject it if they have a differing opinion. I'm not sure what you're having trouble understanding about that.

Thank you for clarifying. I see now that you and I aren't as similar as I thought we were.
What did I say that you find so wrong?

When I said "I see now that you and I aren't as similar as I thought we were" I meant that you believe that theological opinions shouldn't be barriers, whereas I believe they should be in some cases.
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« Reply #62 on: May 31, 2011, 06:32:50 PM »

Hi again. My last post was a little rushed. Maybe I can explain my question a little better.

I have a question about the differences between Catholic and Orthodox views on the Trinity which you brought up. Is the teaching that the Holy Spirit is the love between Father and Son an official doctrine or dogma of the Catholic Church? The reason I ask is I think, in both of our Churches, theologians sometimes use metaphors and formulate opinions in an attempt to explain mystery, yet it does not mean we are obliged to believe it. I admit that I have heard that explanation of the Trinity in my own parish before, but is it necessarily a stumbling block for unity? I mean, I didn't think theological opinions were barriers. As far as I am aware that's not a doctrine or dogma of my Church, but rather just the latest popular way theologians explain the Trinity.

Taken one way, your statement is saying that theological opinions are never barriers, which is clearly not true.

But the only other way I can think of to interpret your statement is as an obvious statement that no one would disagree with -- something along the lines of "Legitimate theological opinions are legitimate."

Theological opinions shouldn't be barriers since they are opinions. Opinion indicates that one is free to reject it if they have a differing opinion. I'm not sure what you're having trouble understanding about that.

Thank you for clarifying. I see now that you and I aren't as similar as I thought we were.
What did I say that you find so wrong?

When I said "I see now that you and I aren't as similar as I thought we were" I meant that you believe that theological opinions shouldn't be barriers, whereas I believe they should be in some cases.
But who is to decide which theological opinions should be barriers and which should not be? The Church? If the Church decided then they would no longer be just "opinions."
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« Reply #63 on: May 31, 2011, 06:35:41 PM »

As regards the Orthodox, it would probably depend on how strident the particular Orthodox Christian feels about the filioque

Christ is Risen!

Dear Alcuin,

The last official statement from the Orthodox Church on the filioque was the Encyclical of the Four Eastern Patriarchs, 1848  

~ "A Reply to the Epistle of Pope Pius IX, "to the Easterns"

You can read what they write about the filioque in message 212
at
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,27651.msg438126.html#msg438126

Well, I respectfully disagree with the Four Eastern Patriarchs. I don't think there is anything in Aquinas' exposition of the Trinity, to which I subscribe, which fits any of the charges they lay out.
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« Reply #64 on: May 31, 2011, 06:38:34 PM »

As regards the Orthodox, it would probably depend on how strident the particular Orthodox Christian feels about the filioque

Christ is Risen!

Dear Alcuin,

The last official statement from the Orthodox Church on the filioque was the Encyclical of the Four Eastern Patriarchs, 1848  

~ "A Reply to the Epistle of Pope Pius IX, "to the Easterns"

You can read what they write about the filioque in message 212
at
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,27651.msg438126.html#msg438126

Well, I respectfully disagree with the Four Eastern Patriarchs. I don't think there is anything in Aquinas' exposition of the Trinity, to which I subscribe, which fits any of the charges they lay out.

There isn't and it has become more apparent over the ensuing century and a half or more that the east has badly misunderstood and misrepresented 'filioque' over the centuries.

It has yet to be admitted fully and the fall-back position is that it should no longer be in the Creed...at least.

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« Reply #65 on: May 31, 2011, 07:39:36 PM »

Taking issue with the opinion that the Holy Spirit is the love between Father and Son is as absurd as one taking issue with Catholicism over limbo. Of course it happens occasionally but it shouldn't. Neither idea is dogmatic and binding.

I would never claim that there is no such thing as a legitimate opinion. Some opinions are legitimate and some aren't.

The historical case of the immaculate conception illustrates both: at one point in time (e.g. Aquinas' day) it was legitimate to believe in it or to not believe in it. But it is also clear that nowadays the IC is not a matter of opinion; that is to say, believing that Mary was not immaculately conceived is not an acceptable opinion nowadays.

That's not what I was claiming. I was claiming that as long as it still retains the status of "opinion" and not "dogma" it is not binding upon the entire Church. Your failure to recognize this indicates ignorance of Catholic teaching.


Yes, Wyatt, you have a point, and one we as Orthodox often forget.

1.  The Orthodox receive their faith through the transmission of the sacred Tradition which takes a variety of forms.   Bishops, priests and laity alike are all guardians of the Traditon and must be obedient to it.

2.  Catholics on the other hand are expected to be submissive to the Magisterium and to its official Magisterial teachings.  Whatever of their traditon has not been codified into a Magisterial teaching is really nothing more than what the Orthodox might call theologoumena-opinion.  Up until the Bull Munificentissimus Deus Catholics were quite entitled to deny that Mary the Mother of God was assumed into heaven, just as they had been able to deny she was immaculately conceived.  Ditto for the Pope's infallibility - until 1870 nobody really knew if he were infallible or not.

I have learnt this major difference between our Churches in the way we approach the faith the hard way.   I instinctively fall into the error of thinking that Catholics are subject to Tradition and I have often written of their traditional beliefs as if they are a certain part of their faith.  In the absence of a magisterial teaching they are not.  They are only an interim belief/opinion on which you cannot place much reliance.

I think I have written about this here previously?  Teachings which have been taught and believed for centuries as part of Tradition within Catholicism may be annulled and superseded by subsequent teachings and definitions.

There actually is a great gulf between our Churches on this matter.  The certainty of our faith is grounded in our Tradition,.  The certainty of the Roman Catholic faith is grounded in magisterial statements.  In other words, the faith is effectively taken out of the hands of the Church as a whole.  The faithful are disenfranchised and the faith is posited in the hands of a small elite group known as the "Magisterium."  I frankly would not wish to be in communion with a Church which has this disjunct between its upper echelon and the great majority of its members.
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« Reply #66 on: May 31, 2011, 07:57:21 PM »

Don't pay any attention to this.  It is sheer and utter nonsense.

Father plays the legalist when it suits him and the non-legalist when it suits him.

It is a lose-lose proposition for Catholics to even talk to him when he's like this. 

Best to just leave it alone...she said talking to the wall.

Taking issue with the opinion that the Holy Spirit is the love between Father and Son is as absurd as one taking issue with Catholicism over limbo. Of course it happens occasionally but it shouldn't. Neither idea is dogmatic and binding.

I would never claim that there is no such thing as a legitimate opinion. Some opinions are legitimate and some aren't.

The historical case of the immaculate conception illustrates both: at one point in time (e.g. Aquinas' day) it was legitimate to believe in it or to not believe in it. But it is also clear that nowadays the IC is not a matter of opinion; that is to say, believing that Mary was not immaculately conceived is not an acceptable opinion nowadays.

That's not what I was claiming. I was claiming that as long as it still retains the status of "opinion" and not "dogma" it is not binding upon the entire Church. Your failure to recognize this indicates ignorance of Catholic teaching.


Yes, Wyatt, you have a point, and one we as Orthodox often forget.

1.  The Orthodox receive their faith through the transmission of the sacred Tradition which takes a variety of forms.   Bishops, priests and laity alike are all guardians of the Traditon and must be obedient to it.

2.  Catholics on the other hand are expected to be submissive to the Magisterium and to its official Magisterial teachings.  Whatever of their traditon has not been codified into a Magisterial teaching is really nothing more than what the Orthodox might call theologoumena-opinion.  Up until the Bull Munificentissimus Deus Catholics were quite entitled to deny that Mary the Mother of God was assumed into heaven, just as they had been able to deny she was immaculately conceived.  Ditto for the Pope's infallibility - until 1870 nobody really knew if he were infallible or not.

I have learnt this major difference between our Churches in the way we approach the faith the hard way.   I instinctively fall into the error of thinking that Catholics are subject to Tradition and I have often written of their traditional beliefs as if they are a certain part of their faith.  In the absence of a magisterial teaching they are not.  They are only an interim belief/opinion on which you cannot place much reliance.

I think I have written about this here previously?  Teachings which have been taught and believed for centuries as part of Tradition within Catholicism may be annulled and superseded by subsequent teachings and definitions.

There actually is a great gulf between our Churches on this matter.  The certainty of our faith is grounded in our Tradition,.  The certainty of the Roman Catholic faith is grounded in magisterial statements.  In other words, the faith is effectively taken out of the hands of the Church as a whole.  The faithful are disenfranchised and the faith is posited in the hands of a small elite group known as the "Magisterium."  I frankly would not wish to be in communion with a Church which has this disjunct between its upper echelon and the great majority of its members.
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« Reply #67 on: May 31, 2011, 07:57:58 PM »

Since there is no mechanism by which the Orthodox can affirm that say, the Fifth Council of Constantinople, was 'officially' ecumenical, do you believe that Orthodox are 'quite free' to be Barlaamists and regard Palamas as a heretic? Probably not.

So why would you assume the same about Catholics for doctrines that haven't as yet been officially denied? The document is not, in itself, the teaching.
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« Reply #68 on: May 31, 2011, 09:11:13 PM »

Taking issue with the opinion that the Holy Spirit is the love between Father and Son is as absurd as one taking issue with Catholicism over limbo. Of course it happens occasionally but it shouldn't. Neither idea is dogmatic and binding.

I would never claim that there is no such thing as a legitimate opinion. Some opinions are legitimate and some aren't.

The historical case of the immaculate conception illustrates both: at one point in time (e.g. Aquinas' day) it was legitimate to believe in it or to not believe in it. But it is also clear that nowadays the IC is not a matter of opinion; that is to say, believing that Mary was not immaculately conceived is not an acceptable opinion nowadays.

That's not what I was claiming. I was claiming that as long as it still retains the status of "opinion" and not "dogma" it is not binding upon the entire Church. Your failure to recognize this indicates ignorance of Catholic teaching.


Yes, Wyatt, you have a point, and one we as Orthodox often forget.

1.  The Orthodox receive their faith through the transmission of the sacred Tradition which takes a variety of forms.   Bishops, priests and laity alike are all guardians of the Traditon and must be obedient to it.

2.  Catholics on the other hand are expected to be submissive to the Magisterium and to its official Magisterial teachings.  Whatever of their traditon has not been codified into a Magisterial teaching is really nothing more than what the Orthodox might call theologoumena-opinion.  Up until the Bull Munificentissimus Deus Catholics were quite entitled to deny that Mary the Mother of God was assumed into heaven, just as they had been able to deny she was immaculately conceived.  Ditto for the Pope's infallibility - until 1870 nobody really knew if he were infallible or not.

I have learnt this major difference between our Churches in the way we approach the faith the hard way.   I instinctively fall into the error of thinking that Catholics are subject to Tradition and I have often written of their traditional beliefs as if they are a certain part of their faith.  In the absence of a magisterial teaching they are not.  They are only an interim belief/opinion on which you cannot place much reliance.

I think I have written about this here previously?  Teachings which have been taught and believed for centuries as part of Tradition within Catholicism may be annulled and superseded by subsequent teachings and definitions.

There actually is a great gulf between our Churches on this matter.  The certainty of our faith is grounded in our Tradition,.  The certainty of the Roman Catholic faith is grounded in magisterial statements.  In other words, the faith is effectively taken out of the hands of the Church as a whole.  The faithful are disenfranchised and the faith is posited in the hands of a small elite group known as the "Magisterium."  I frankly would not wish to be in communion with a Church which has this disjunct between its upper echelon and the great majority of its members.

While I can appreciate the thought that you put into this post, it seems to me that its connection to this thread is extremely tenuous. For starters, the statement you're responding to, to wit 'as long as it still retains the status of "opinion" and not "dogma" it is not binding upon the entire Church', was something I never disagreed with.
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« Reply #69 on: May 31, 2011, 09:19:37 PM »

To me, the issue is the statement that "theological opinions shouldn't be barriers". To my mind, the only way for that to make sense is if one understands "opinions" to mean "legitimate opinions" (or "allowable opinions" the something along those lines). But then the statement "[legitimate] theological opinions shouldn't be barriers" becomes a completely obvious statement with which no reasonable person would disagree.
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« Reply #70 on: May 31, 2011, 09:25:21 PM »

To me, the issue is the statement that "theological opinions shouldn't be barriers". To my mind, the only way for that to make sense is if one understands "opinions" to mean "legitimate opinions" (or "allowable opinions" the something along those lines). But then the statement "[legitimate] theological opinions shouldn't be barriers" becomes a completely obvious statement with which no reasonable person would disagree.


Well I am particularly dim witted, and so happy you've finally explained yourself.  Trying to understand your objection was driving me crazy...short putt.   Smiley
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« Reply #71 on: May 31, 2011, 10:00:59 PM »

To me, the issue is the statement that "theological opinions shouldn't be barriers". To my mind, the only way for that to make sense is if one understands "opinions" to mean "legitimate opinions" (or "allowable opinions" the something along those lines). But then the statement "[legitimate] theological opinions shouldn't be barriers" becomes a completely obvious statement with which no reasonable person would disagree.
Well a theological opinion probably wouldn't gain popularity and thus become well-known enough to be known as a "theological opinion" if it didn't at least have legitimacy in the eyes of some. My whole point was that if we have a theological opinion that is quite popular and widely accepted within the Catholic Church (but is not a doctrine or a dogma), but many if not all in the Orthodox Church reject it, that should not be a barrier to unity because the simple fact that it is only an opinion means it is not required to be believed.
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« Reply #72 on: May 31, 2011, 10:06:11 PM »

To me, the issue is the statement that "theological opinions shouldn't be barriers". To my mind, the only way for that to make sense is if one understands "opinions" to mean "legitimate opinions" (or "allowable opinions" the something along those lines). But then the statement "[legitimate] theological opinions shouldn't be barriers" becomes a completely obvious statement with which no reasonable person would disagree.
Well a theological opinion probably wouldn't gain popularity and thus become well-known enough to be known as a "theological opinion" if it didn't at least have legitimacy in the eyes of some. My whole point was that if we have a theological opinion that is quite popular and widely accepted within the Catholic Church (but is not a doctrine or a dogma), but many if not all in the Orthodox Church reject it, that should not be a barrier to unity because the simple fact that it is only an opinion means it is not required to be believed.

And how do we tell the difference between a doctrinal truth that remains undefined that has every bit as much weight as something that has been defined, therefore requiring assent, and these pious beliefs?
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« Reply #73 on: May 31, 2011, 10:09:19 PM »

To me, the issue is the statement that "theological opinions shouldn't be barriers". To my mind, the only way for that to make sense is if one understands "opinions" to mean "legitimate opinions" (or "allowable opinions" the something along those lines). But then the statement "[legitimate] theological opinions shouldn't be barriers" becomes a completely obvious statement with which no reasonable person would disagree.
Well a theological opinion probably wouldn't gain popularity and thus become well-known enough to be known as a "theological opinion" if it didn't at least have legitimacy in the eyes of some. My whole point was that if we have a theological opinion that is quite popular and widely accepted within the Catholic Church (but is not a doctrine or a dogma), but many if not all in the Orthodox Church reject it, that should not be a barrier to unity because the simple fact that it is only an opinion means it is not required to be believed.

And how do we tell the difference between a doctrinal truth that remains undefined that has every bit as much weight as something that has been defined, therefore requiring assent, and these pious beliefs?
I don't know. Do you think limbo of the infants is a doctrine? Do you believe the Holy Spirit being the love between Father and Son is a doctrine? I would say things that are born out of theologians using their imaginations to describe something that will always be a mystery is probably safe to be called an opinion.
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« Reply #74 on: May 31, 2011, 10:17:48 PM »

To me, the issue is the statement that "theological opinions shouldn't be barriers". To my mind, the only way for that to make sense is if one understands "opinions" to mean "legitimate opinions" (or "allowable opinions" the something along those lines). But then the statement "[legitimate] theological opinions shouldn't be barriers" becomes a completely obvious statement with which no reasonable person would disagree.
Well a theological opinion probably wouldn't gain popularity and thus become well-known enough to be known as a "theological opinion" if it didn't at least have legitimacy in the eyes of some. My whole point was that if we have a theological opinion that is quite popular and widely accepted within the Catholic Church (but is not a doctrine or a dogma), but many if not all in the Orthodox Church reject it, that should not be a barrier to unity because the simple fact that it is only an opinion means it is not required to be believed.

And how do we tell the difference between a doctrinal truth that remains undefined that has every bit as much weight as something that has been defined, therefore requiring assent, and these pious beliefs?
I don't know. Do you think limbo of the infants is a doctrine? Do you believe the Holy Spirit being the love between Father and Son is a doctrine? I would say things that are born out of theologians using their imaginations to describe something that will always be a mystery is probably safe to be called an opinion.

Well...is there an underlying truth concerning Limbo?  Are there things we should not let go of or forget it we are told that we don't need to believe or teach something called Limbo?  I would think those truths that Limbo was proposed to illuminate and protect and teach are rather important and need to be believed in any event.

What are some other things that have not been defined but are true nonetheless and supportive of all of the dogmatic Christological truths. 

I think you are right about the imagery of the love between the Father and the Son:  Maybe.  But it is a venerable imagery and tells a powerful truth.  So maybe we don't need the imagery, but we surely need to look for the truth that rests beneath the specific image or impress of the act of divine caritas called Trinity, on our intellects.
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« Reply #75 on: May 31, 2011, 10:35:15 PM »

Well...is there an underlying truth concerning Limbo?  Are there things we should not let go of or forget it we are told that we don't need to believe or teach something called Limbo?  I would think those truths that Limbo was proposed to illuminate and protect and teach are rather important and need to be believed in any event.
Perhaps. What truths do you think are illuminated, protected, and taught by Limbo that cannot stand on their own? The necessity of Baptism? I don't need to believe in Limbo to believe that Baptism is necessary. For one thing, Christ was Baptized and Christ is our perfect example. Secondly, we receive a life-giving outpouring of the Holy Spirit at the moment of our Baptism. It is an absolutely crucial Sacrament. I don't need the threat of Limbo to understand the importance of the Sacrament of Baptism. I also don't need Limbo to explain the fate of unbaptized infants. One can simply trust in the mercy of God as far as that goes.

What are some other things that have not been defined but are true nonetheless and supportive of all of the dogmatic Christological truths.
I don't know. Do you have some examples?

I think you are right about the imagery of the love between the Father and the Son:  Maybe.  But it is a venerable imagery and tells a powerful truth.  So maybe we don't need the imagery, but we surely need to look for the truth that rests beneath the specific image or impress of the act of divine caritas called Trinity, on our intellects.
For what it's worth, I really like that imagery as well. I just think we should be mindful to not get so infatuated with certain imagery that we let it drive yet another wedge between us and our Eastern Orthodox brethren. If an Orthodox Christian told me that they rejected this and thought it sounded heretical, I certainly would not tell him/her that they must believe it. We, as Catholics, aren't even required to believe it.
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« Reply #76 on: May 31, 2011, 10:39:05 PM »

To me, the issue is the statement that "theological opinions shouldn't be barriers". To my mind, the only way for that to make sense is if one understands "opinions" to mean "legitimate opinions" (or "allowable opinions" the something along those lines). But then the statement "[legitimate] theological opinions shouldn't be barriers" becomes a completely obvious statement with which no reasonable person would disagree.
Well a theological opinion probably wouldn't gain popularity and thus become well-known enough to be known as a "theological opinion" if it didn't at least have legitimacy in the eyes of some. My whole point was that if we have a theological opinion that is quite popular and widely accepted within the Catholic Church (but is not a doctrine or a dogma), but many if not all in the Orthodox Church reject it, that should not be a barrier to unity because the simple fact that it is only an opinion means it is not required to be believed.

I believe I understand what you're saying, but I have a question. What if it's (if you will) the other way around? That is to say, what if a theological opinion is held by many in the Orthodox Church without being a doctrine or a dogma, but Catholics reject it? Could that be a barrier to unity?
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« Reply #77 on: May 31, 2011, 10:44:01 PM »

Or, if I might pile on another question, what if it weren't the Orthodox but (say) the Anglicans? If a theological opinion is held by many Anglicans without being a doctrine or a dogma, but Catholics reject it, could that be a barrier to unity?

Sometimes there can be a fine line between ecumenism and ecumania.
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« Reply #78 on: May 31, 2011, 10:47:38 PM »

To me, the issue is the statement that "theological opinions shouldn't be barriers". To my mind, the only way for that to make sense is if one understands "opinions" to mean "legitimate opinions" (or "allowable opinions" the something along those lines). But then the statement "[legitimate] theological opinions shouldn't be barriers" becomes a completely obvious statement with which no reasonable person would disagree.
Well a theological opinion probably wouldn't gain popularity and thus become well-known enough to be known as a "theological opinion" if it didn't at least have legitimacy in the eyes of some. My whole point was that if we have a theological opinion that is quite popular and widely accepted within the Catholic Church (but is not a doctrine or a dogma), but many if not all in the Orthodox Church reject it, that should not be a barrier to unity because the simple fact that it is only an opinion means it is not required to be believed.

I believe I understand what you're saying, but I have a question. What if it's (if you will) the other way around? That is to say, what if a theological opinion is held by many in the Orthodox Church without being a doctrine or a dogma, but Catholics reject it? Could that be a barrier to unity?
I don't think it would be a barrier to unity. I believe a good example of this is toll houses. As far as I know that is not a doctrine or dogma of the Orthodox Church, but rather a theological opinion. It shouldn't clash with our doctrine of Purgatory because, while we are required to believe in Purgatory, we are not required to believe in any specifics concerning the nature of Purgatory (e.g. whether it is a place or just a state, what it is like to go through purgation, etc.). So, it seems that the two would be compatible. However, I don't think Catholics rejecting toll houses would be bad either because of the fact that belief in them is not required.

Or, if I might pile on another question, what if it weren't the Orthodox but (say) the Anglicans? If a theological opinion is held by many Anglicans without being a doctrine or a dogma, but Catholics reject it, could that be a barrier to unity?
It shouldn't be. The fact that it is opinion means it is not binding, so our acceptance or rejection of it should not be a stumbling block to unity. Do you have any in mind or are you just speculating?
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« Reply #79 on: May 31, 2011, 11:22:01 PM »

To me, the issue is the statement that "theological opinions shouldn't be barriers". To my mind, the only way for that to make sense is if one understands "opinions" to mean "legitimate opinions" (or "allowable opinions" the something along those lines). But then the statement "[legitimate] theological opinions shouldn't be barriers" becomes a completely obvious statement with which no reasonable person would disagree.
Well a theological opinion probably wouldn't gain popularity and thus become well-known enough to be known as a "theological opinion" if it didn't at least have legitimacy in the eyes of some. My whole point was that if we have a theological opinion that is quite popular and widely accepted within the Catholic Church (but is not a doctrine or a dogma), but many if not all in the Orthodox Church reject it, that should not be a barrier to unity because the simple fact that it is only an opinion means it is not required to be believed.

I believe I understand what you're saying, but I have a question. What if it's (if you will) the other way around? That is to say, what if a theological opinion is held by many in the Orthodox Church without being a doctrine or a dogma, but Catholics reject it? Could that be a barrier to unity?
I don't think it would be a barrier to unity. I believe a good example of this is toll houses. As far as I know that is not a doctrine or dogma of the Orthodox Church, but rather a theological opinion. It shouldn't clash with our doctrine of Purgatory because, while we are required to believe in Purgatory, we are not required to believe in any specifics concerning the nature of Purgatory (e.g. whether it is a place or just a state, what it is like to go through purgation, etc.). So, it seems that the two would be compatible. However, I don't think Catholics rejecting toll houses would be bad either because of the fact that belief in them is not required.

Or, if I might pile on another question, what if it weren't the Orthodox but (say) the Anglicans? If a theological opinion is held by many Anglicans without being a doctrine or a dogma, but Catholics reject it, could that be a barrier to unity?
It shouldn't be. The fact that it is opinion means it is not binding, so our acceptance or rejection of it should not be a stumbling block to unity.

Alright.

On a side note, I recall someone a few years ago posting something very similar to what you said in #71 -- or perhaps I should it sounds very similar initially, because I'm pretty sure that for him it only goes in one direction.

Do you have any in mind or are you just speculating?

That's a good question, but I think I'd best wait till tomorrow morning to answer it.
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« Reply #80 on: May 31, 2011, 11:33:58 PM »

I think you are right about the imagery of the love between the Father and the Son:  Maybe.  But it is a venerable imagery and tells a powerful truth.  So maybe we don't need the imagery, but we surely need to look for the truth that rests beneath the specific image or impress of the act of divine caritas called Trinity, on our intellects.
If the image that the Spirit is the love between the Father and the Son "tells a powerful truth" for Catholics, then this is completely irreconcilable with Orthodox Christianity. If God is Love, then Love is Uncreated, so if you say that the Spirit is the mutual Love between the Father and the Son, then you are saying that the Spirit eternally proceeds from both the Father and the Son.
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« Reply #81 on: May 31, 2011, 11:37:23 PM »

I think you are right about the imagery of the love between the Father and the Son:  Maybe.  But it is a venerable imagery and tells a powerful truth.  So maybe we don't need the imagery, but we surely need to look for the truth that rests beneath the specific image or impress of the act of divine caritas called Trinity, on our intellects.
If the image that the Spirit is the love between the Father and the Son "tells a powerful truth" for Catholics, then this is completely irreconcilable with Orthodox Christianity. If God is Love, then Love is Uncreated, so if you say that the Spirit is the mutual Love between the Father and the Son, then you are saying that the Spirit eternally proceeds from both the Father and the Son.
Does the notion that the Spirit either is the love between Father and Son or transmits love between the Father and Son necessarily have to be synonymous with the Spirit proceeding from Father and Son? I'm honestly asking because I don't know.

I think the imagery of the Holy Spirit being the love between Father and Son is beautiful because, the way I heard it explained, it is the Spirit's descent upon the Church at Pentecost that allowed us to receive the love of God and quite literally become connected to the love of God as it exists amongst the Three Persons of the Trinity.
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« Reply #82 on: May 31, 2011, 11:55:17 PM »

I think you are right about the imagery of the love between the Father and the Son:  Maybe.  But it is a venerable imagery and tells a powerful truth.  So maybe we don't need the imagery, but we surely need to look for the truth that rests beneath the specific image or impress of the act of divine caritas called Trinity, on our intellects.
If the image that the Spirit is the love between the Father and the Son "tells a powerful truth" for Catholics, then this is completely irreconcilable with Orthodox Christianity. If God is Love, then Love is Uncreated, so if you say that the Spirit is the mutual Love between the Father and the Son, then you are saying that the Spirit eternally proceeds from both the Father and the Son.
Does the notion that the Spirit either is the love between Father and Son or transmits love between the Father and Son necessarily have to be synonymous with the Spirit proceeding from Father and Son? I'm honestly asking because I don't know.

I think the imagery of the Holy Spirit being the love between Father and Son is beautiful because, the way I heard it explained, it is the Spirit's descent upon the Church at Pentecost that allowed us to receive the love of God and quite literally become connected to the love of God as it exists amongst the Three Persons of the Trinity.
God is Love, so God's Love is an Uncreated Energy. If you want to believe that the Spirit "transmits Uncreated Energy between the Father and the Son", your belief again is irreconcilable with Orthodox Christianity. In this "beautiful image" as you call it of the Spirit being God's Love descending at Pentecost you have been taught, you are equating the Uncreated Energies with the Spirit (which is exactly what St. Gregory Palamas said was an error). This is completely irreconcilable to Orthodox Christianity. Your understanding of who the Person's of the the Trinity are and how they relate to one another and to us are completely different to Orthodox Christianity.
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« Reply #83 on: June 01, 2011, 12:00:05 AM »

I think you are right about the imagery of the love between the Father and the Son:  Maybe.  But it is a venerable imagery and tells a powerful truth.  So maybe we don't need the imagery, but we surely need to look for the truth that rests beneath the specific image or impress of the act of divine caritas called Trinity, on our intellects.
If the image that the Spirit is the love between the Father and the Son "tells a powerful truth" for Catholics, then this is completely irreconcilable with Orthodox Christianity. If God is Love, then Love is Uncreated, so if you say that the Spirit is the mutual Love between the Father and the Son, then you are saying that the Spirit eternally proceeds from both the Father and the Son.
Does the notion that the Spirit either is the love between Father and Son or transmits love between the Father and Son necessarily have to be synonymous with the Spirit proceeding from Father and Son? I'm honestly asking because I don't know.

I think the imagery of the Holy Spirit being the love between Father and Son is beautiful because, the way I heard it explained, it is the Spirit's descent upon the Church at Pentecost that allowed us to receive the love of God and quite literally become connected to the love of God as it exists amongst the Three Persons of the Trinity.
God is Love, so God's Love is an Uncreated Energy. If you want to believe that the Spirit "transmits Uncreated Energy between the Father and the Son", your belief again is irreconcilable with Orthodox Christianity. In this "beautiful image" as you call it of the Spirit being God's Love descending at Pentecost you have been taught, you are equating the Uncreated Energies with the Spirit (which is exactly what St. Gregory Palamas said was an error). This is completely irreconcilable to Orthodox Christianity. Your understanding of who the Person's of the the Trinity are and how they relate to one another and to us are completely different to Orthodox Christianity.
So would this not even be allowed to exist as a theological opinion within the Eastern Orthodox Church?
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« Reply #84 on: June 01, 2011, 12:07:41 AM »

I think you are right about the imagery of the love between the Father and the Son:  Maybe.  But it is a venerable imagery and tells a powerful truth.  So maybe we don't need the imagery, but we surely need to look for the truth that rests beneath the specific image or impress of the act of divine caritas called Trinity, on our intellects.
If the image that the Spirit is the love between the Father and the Son "tells a powerful truth" for Catholics, then this is completely irreconcilable with Orthodox Christianity. If God is Love, then Love is Uncreated, so if you say that the Spirit is the mutual Love between the Father and the Son, then you are saying that the Spirit eternally proceeds from both the Father and the Son.
Does the notion that the Spirit either is the love between Father and Son or transmits love between the Father and Son necessarily have to be synonymous with the Spirit proceeding from Father and Son? I'm honestly asking because I don't know.

I think the imagery of the Holy Spirit being the love between Father and Son is beautiful because, the way I heard it explained, it is the Spirit's descent upon the Church at Pentecost that allowed us to receive the love of God and quite literally become connected to the love of God as it exists amongst the Three Persons of the Trinity.
God is Love, so God's Love is an Uncreated Energy. If you want to believe that the Spirit "transmits Uncreated Energy between the Father and the Son", your belief again is irreconcilable with Orthodox Christianity. In this "beautiful image" as you call it of the Spirit being God's Love descending at Pentecost you have been taught, you are equating the Uncreated Energies with the Spirit (which is exactly what St. Gregory Palamas said was an error). This is completely irreconcilable to Orthodox Christianity. Your understanding of who the Person's of the the Trinity are and how they relate to one another and to us are completely different to Orthodox Christianity.
So would this not even be allowed to exist as a theological opinion within the Eastern Orthodox Church?
No it would not be permitted in Orthodox Christianity even as a theological opinion. And sadly, it seems to be more than simply a theological opinion in Catholicism.
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« Reply #85 on: June 01, 2011, 12:11:07 AM »

I think you are right about the imagery of the love between the Father and the Son:  Maybe.  But it is a venerable imagery and tells a powerful truth.  So maybe we don't need the imagery, but we surely need to look for the truth that rests beneath the specific image or impress of the act of divine caritas called Trinity, on our intellects.
If the image that the Spirit is the love between the Father and the Son "tells a powerful truth" for Catholics, then this is completely irreconcilable with Orthodox Christianity. If God is Love, then Love is Uncreated, so if you say that the Spirit is the mutual Love between the Father and the Son, then you are saying that the Spirit eternally proceeds from both the Father and the Son.
Does the notion that the Spirit either is the love between Father and Son or transmits love between the Father and Son necessarily have to be synonymous with the Spirit proceeding from Father and Son? I'm honestly asking because I don't know.

I think the imagery of the Holy Spirit being the love between Father and Son is beautiful because, the way I heard it explained, it is the Spirit's descent upon the Church at Pentecost that allowed us to receive the love of God and quite literally become connected to the love of God as it exists amongst the Three Persons of the Trinity.
God is Love, so God's Love is an Uncreated Energy. If you want to believe that the Spirit "transmits Uncreated Energy between the Father and the Son", your belief again is irreconcilable with Orthodox Christianity. In this "beautiful image" as you call it of the Spirit being God's Love descending at Pentecost you have been taught, you are equating the Uncreated Energies with the Spirit (which is exactly what St. Gregory Palamas said was an error). This is completely irreconcilable to Orthodox Christianity. Your understanding of who the Person's of the the Trinity are and how they relate to one another and to us are completely different to Orthodox Christianity.
So would this not even be allowed to exist as a theological opinion within the Eastern Orthodox Church?
No it would not be permitted in Orthodox Christianity even as a theological opinion. And sadly, it seems to be more than simply a theological opinion in Catholicism.
How so?
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« Reply #86 on: June 01, 2011, 12:21:16 AM »

I took a course at a Catholic university on Grace.

Catholics believe that Sanctifying Grace is created.
Orthodox believe that Grace is uncreated and is part of the Divine Energies of God.

If Grace is a participation in the Divine Life of God, then it must be uncreated and part of God's Divine Energies.
Through theosis, we are transformed through Grace and become like God, not in God's Essence, but through His Divine Energies.

This is a profound difference.
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« Reply #87 on: June 01, 2011, 12:26:04 AM »

Catholics believe that Sanctifying Grace is created.
This part I doubt because of the way I heard Grace explained by my priest. A friend of mine recently joined the Catholic Church, and during his journey into the Catholic faith I attended quite a few RCIA classes, and I remember my priest defining Grace as "the life of Jesus Christ" within us. The life of Jesus Christ cannot be created because we know Christ (God the Son) is eternal, so I would say that we do not accept the idea of created Grace.
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« Reply #88 on: June 01, 2011, 12:33:24 AM »

Catholics believe that Sanctifying Grace is created.
This part I doubt because of the way I heard Grace explained by my priest. A friend of mine recently joined the Catholic Church, and during his journey into the Catholic faith I attended quite a few RCIA classes, and I remember my priest defining Grace as "the life of Jesus Christ" within us. The life of Jesus Christ cannot be created because we know Christ (God the Son) is eternal, so I would say that we do not accept the idea of created Grace.

Unfortunately, my Orthodox Priest asked me to donate my Roman Catholic theology book where it was mentioned that the Catholic Church teaches that Sanctified Grace is created. This college text predated the CCC and was written while Vatican II was still in session. So, yes it is outdated. Perhaps now this teaching has been changed under the influence of the Melkites who had a large part to play in writing the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Note that the Melkite Eastern Catholics hold to Orthodoxy in this area and believe what St. Palamas taught.
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« Reply #89 on: June 01, 2011, 09:11:02 AM »

I took a course at a Catholic university on Grace.

Catholics believe that Sanctifying Grace is created.
Orthodox believe that Grace is uncreated and is part of the Divine Energies of God.

If Grace is a participation in the Divine Life of God, then it must be uncreated and part of God's Divine Energies.
Through theosis, we are transformed through Grace and become like God, not in God's Essence, but through His Divine Energies.

This is a profound difference.

I am so surprised that you were not taught better than this Maria.  It is no wonder you left the Church.  You never even got a good chance to know it in reality.

What you have said here is nothing but superficial inaccuracies.  It is very unfortunate and a scandal within the Catholic Church that ANYONE would be so poorly taught.
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« Reply #90 on: June 01, 2011, 09:13:13 AM »

Catholics believe that Sanctifying Grace is created.
This part I doubt because of the way I heard Grace explained by my priest. A friend of mine recently joined the Catholic Church, and during his journey into the Catholic faith I attended quite a few RCIA classes, and I remember my priest defining Grace as "the life of Jesus Christ" within us. The life of Jesus Christ cannot be created because we know Christ (God the Son) is eternal, so I would say that we do not accept the idea of created Grace.

Unfortunately, my Orthodox Priest asked me to donate my Roman Catholic theology book where it was mentioned that the Catholic Church teaches that Sanctified Grace is created. This college text predated the CCC and was written while Vatican II was still in session. So, yes it is outdated. Perhaps now this teaching has been changed under the influence of the Melkites who had a large part to play in writing the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Note that the Melkite Eastern Catholics hold to Orthodoxy in this area and believe what St. Palamas taught.

The real teaching Maria comes from St. Thomas Aquinas.  He predates the Second Vatican Council by a few years.  There is no grace that is "created"...Either you were very badly taught or did not quite grasp what you had been taught, but you have now locked in a very bad habit and inaccurate way of understanding...or not...the Catholic teaching on what is called by some "created" grace.

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« Reply #91 on: June 01, 2011, 09:15:44 AM »

I think you are right about the imagery of the love between the Father and the Son:  Maybe.  But it is a venerable imagery and tells a powerful truth.  So maybe we don't need the imagery, but we surely need to look for the truth that rests beneath the specific image or impress of the act of divine caritas called Trinity, on our intellects.
If the image that the Spirit is the love between the Father and the Son "tells a powerful truth" for Catholics, then this is completely irreconcilable with Orthodox Christianity. If God is Love, then Love is Uncreated, so if you say that the Spirit is the mutual Love between the Father and the Son, then you are saying that the Spirit eternally proceeds from both the Father and the Son.
Does the notion that the Spirit either is the love between Father and Son or transmits love between the Father and Son necessarily have to be synonymous with the Spirit proceeding from Father and Son? I'm honestly asking because I don't know.

I think the imagery of the Holy Spirit being the love between Father and Son is beautiful because, the way I heard it explained, it is the Spirit's descent upon the Church at Pentecost that allowed us to receive the love of God and quite literally become connected to the love of God as it exists amongst the Three Persons of the Trinity.
God is Love, so God's Love is an Uncreated Energy. If you want to believe that the Spirit "transmits Uncreated Energy between the Father and the Son", your belief again is irreconcilable with Orthodox Christianity. In this "beautiful image" as you call it of the Spirit being God's Love descending at Pentecost you have been taught, you are equating the Uncreated Energies with the Spirit (which is exactly what St. Gregory Palamas said was an error). This is completely irreconcilable to Orthodox Christianity. Your understanding of who the Person's of the the Trinity are and how they relate to one another and to us are completely different to Orthodox Christianity.

This is not the teaching of filioque BTW.  It isn't even a close approximation.
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« Reply #92 on: June 01, 2011, 09:56:41 AM »

Catholics believe that Sanctifying Grace is created.
This part I doubt because of the way I heard Grace explained by my priest. A friend of mine recently joined the Catholic Church, and during his journey into the Catholic faith I attended quite a few RCIA classes, and I remember my priest defining Grace as "the life of Jesus Christ" within us. The life of Jesus Christ cannot be created because we know Christ (God the Son) is eternal, so I would say that we do not accept the idea of created Grace.

Several years ago there was a meeting of Catholics, Orthodox, Anglicans, and Protestants, titled “Christian Unity and the Divisions We Must Sustain”. The issue of "created grace" was addressed by Addison H. Hart (Catholic) in Turning Our Hearts to the Cross, A Response to Metropolitan Maximos (Orthodox).


Quote
The Understanding of Grace

My first disagreement has to do with the persistent Eastern Orthodox misunderstanding of what the Western Church means by “Created Grace.” Admittedly, this is an ambiguous term, open to misunderstanding, so I cannot fault Metropolitan Maximos for unintentionally misrepresenting the concept when he stated the following:

Quote
    Unfortunately, there is a great difference in the understanding of this mystery of grace between the Eastern and Western Churches. In the Eastern Church, in following the Fathers, theologians understand “grace” as “relation”. . . .

    In contrast, the West speaks of grace in “essentialistic” terms, that is, a “created reality,” when it speaks of “created grace” (gratia creata), a reality allegedly created by God to connect human and divine reality. The Christian East finds it impossible to understand grace in any way other than relational; it is a “relational entity” which enables humans to participate in the life of God. The image used by the Greek Fathers (such as St. Basil) is that of iron in the fire: in the same way in which iron gains the properties of the fire while in it, man, in the life of grace, acquires the spiritual qualities of God’s Holy Spirit in whom he lives.

Now, the irony is that what Metropolitan Maximos here contends to be the uniquely Eastern understanding of grace, “greatly different” from and “in contrast” to the Western teaching, is exactly the meaning of the Western doctrine of “Created Grace” (gratia creata). There is no great difference or contrast on this point, only a difference of language (Latin) and theological terminology (what we would call “Thomistic” or “Scholastic”). When it comes to the understanding of grace itself, Western theologians are in virtual agreement with their Eastern counterparts—employing, in fact, the same analogies from the Fathers (e.g., that of the iron in the fire). In addition, no Western theologian worth his salt would ever regard Created Grace as anything other than essentially “relational.”

The term, though, requires some explaining. “Created Grace” is also called “Habitual Grace” (from habitus—an endowment) and “Sanctifying Grace.” The central theological issue is one with which we are all familiar: How do we, who are creatures, become (as 2 Pet. 1:4 puts it) “partakers of the divine nature”? When King Charles I proclaimed from the scaffold that “a subject and a sovereign are clean different things,” he was tragically mistaken. But when we finite mortals speak of God—infinite, immortal, invisible, incomprehensible, uncreated—we are speaking of One clean different from us. Yet, we are told, it is his intention that we human creatures, through Christ, are meant to participate in the inner life of the Holy Trinity. How can such a deification of human nature be accomplished? In what terms can our human minds even grasp it? Obviously, this is a mystery to human thought. Still, some definitions and distinctions must be made, precisely to protect the mystery and revelation from real error.

The Western Church has used the phrase “Beatific Vision” to express the ultimate joy of heaven and deification, based on the apostolic witness of 1 John 3:2—“Beloved, we are God’s children now; it does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” In this foundational testimony, we should note three important truths.

First, by grace we creatures are made “God’s children”—in other words, this grace is unquestionably relational.

Second, this relational grace is “the seed of glory”: “We shall see [God] as he is,” and thus discover in that Beatific Vision that we have been transformed, glorified, deified, made “like him.” As the great Sulpician theologian Fr. Adolphe Tanquerey (1854–1932) put it: “Habitual [created] grace and the Beatific Vision are . . . one in kind and one in nature.”1 If these are indeed “one in nature,” then it should go without saying that grace cannot be a created substance—cannot be (in Metropolitan Maximos’s phrase) “essentialistic.”

Third, put in the vitally important terms of dogmatic theology, ours is not a “hypostatic union,” as is the uniting of human nature to the Divine Person of the Son. Our creaturely partaking of the divine nature can only, ever be a relation of likeness, and thus it must be acknowledged that infinite grace can only be operative in us as befits finite creatures. Unlike Christ, we have no substantial union with the divine nature—we are human persons, not divine persons. We need to be made capable of the Beatific Vision—we cannot possess it by nature. On the other hand, deification is not assimilation into the Godhead (a creature can never become uncreated in substance!). “God-likeness” is the most we can hope for—but that’s quite a hope! Our union with God is therefore what is called, in Latin theology, accidental.

St. Thomas Aquinas gets to the heart of what this means when he quotes the words of an unknown ancient Christian writer (he ascribes the words—wrongly—to Boethius): “Accidentis esse est inesse”—“The being of an accident is to be-in.”2 To be-in what, exactly? To be in a substance, obviously. And the substance in which grace ultimately is is the uncreated essence of God himself.

The Eastern Church, whether speaking of the original creation or the work of regeneration and deification in Christ, uses the time-honored language of “essence” and “energies” to make the necessary distinction between God in himself and God in his operations in the created order. Western, Latin-language theology has used the term gratia creata in its own attempt to make the same necessary distinction. The word “created” refers not to the substance of grace (which is God himself), but to that same grace as it is infused and at work in our created natures accidentally. The Thomist scholar, Timothy McDermott, is therefore surely correct in rendering, if a bit loosely, the words of the Angelic Doctor on this matter in the following way: “Strictly speaking, a supervening quality is not so much in existence itself, as a way in which something else exists; and so grace is not created, but men are created in it, established in a new existence out of nothing, without earning it.”3

Far from this constituting some great divergence of West from East, I think it is safe to say that here we have—potentially, at least—a real point of doctrinal convergence, despite our differing terminologies.

http://www.touchstonemag.com/archives/issue.php?id=58

(Come to think of it, I might try to re-read all of those articles one of these days.)
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« Reply #93 on: June 01, 2011, 10:22:01 AM »

Thank you, Peter!!  This is quite good and perhaps has more gravitas than if you, or I or Alcuin, for example, were to wade into these waters one more time.  In fact Alcuin and I just addressed this issue in the thread on deification in the west.

We participate in a creature's share of the divine life.  "Created" in this case is a translation of Habitas...a direct reference to the Indwelling Trinity.

Well...at any rate...thank you!

M.

Catholics believe that Sanctifying Grace is created.
This part I doubt because of the way I heard Grace explained by my priest. A friend of mine recently joined the Catholic Church, and during his journey into the Catholic faith I attended quite a few RCIA classes, and I remember my priest defining Grace as "the life of Jesus Christ" within us. The life of Jesus Christ cannot be created because we know Christ (God the Son) is eternal, so I would say that we do not accept the idea of created Grace.

Several years ago there was a meeting of Catholics, Orthodox, Anglicans, and Protestants, titled “Christian Unity and the Divisions We Must Sustain”. The issue of "created grace" was addressed by Addison H. Hart (Catholic) in Turning Our Hearts to the Cross, A Response to Metropolitan Maximos (Orthodox).


Quote
The Understanding of Grace

My first disagreement has to do with the persistent Eastern Orthodox misunderstanding of what the Western Church means by “Created Grace.” Admittedly, this is an ambiguous term, open to misunderstanding, so I cannot fault Metropolitan Maximos for unintentionally misrepresenting the concept when he stated the following:

Quote
    Unfortunately, there is a great difference in the understanding of this mystery of grace between the Eastern and Western Churches. In the Eastern Church, in following the Fathers, theologians understand “grace” as “relation”. . . .

    In contrast, the West speaks of grace in “essentialistic” terms, that is, a “created reality,” when it speaks of “created grace” (gratia creata), a reality allegedly created by God to connect human and divine reality. The Christian East finds it impossible to understand grace in any way other than relational; it is a “relational entity” which enables humans to participate in the life of God. The image used by the Greek Fathers (such as St. Basil) is that of iron in the fire: in the same way in which iron gains the properties of the fire while in it, man, in the life of grace, acquires the spiritual qualities of God’s Holy Spirit in whom he lives.

Now, the irony is that what Metropolitan Maximos here contends to be the uniquely Eastern understanding of grace, “greatly different” from and “in contrast” to the Western teaching, is exactly the meaning of the Western doctrine of “Created Grace” (gratia creata). There is no great difference or contrast on this point, only a difference of language (Latin) and theological terminology (what we would call “Thomistic” or “Scholastic”). When it comes to the understanding of grace itself, Western theologians are in virtual agreement with their Eastern counterparts—employing, in fact, the same analogies from the Fathers (e.g., that of the iron in the fire). In addition, no Western theologian worth his salt would ever regard Created Grace as anything other than essentially “relational.”

The term, though, requires some explaining. “Created Grace” is also called “Habitual Grace” (from habitus—an endowment) and “Sanctifying Grace.” The central theological issue is one with which we are all familiar: How do we, who are creatures, become (as 2 Pet. 1:4 puts it) “partakers of the divine nature”? When King Charles I proclaimed from the scaffold that “a subject and a sovereign are clean different things,” he was tragically mistaken. But when we finite mortals speak of God—infinite, immortal, invisible, incomprehensible, uncreated—we are speaking of One clean different from us. Yet, we are told, it is his intention that we human creatures, through Christ, are meant to participate in the inner life of the Holy Trinity. How can such a deification of human nature be accomplished? In what terms can our human minds even grasp it? Obviously, this is a mystery to human thought. Still, some definitions and distinctions must be made, precisely to protect the mystery and revelation from real error.

The Western Church has used the phrase “Beatific Vision” to express the ultimate joy of heaven and deification, based on the apostolic witness of 1 John 3:2—“Beloved, we are God’s children now; it does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” In this foundational testimony, we should note three important truths.

First, by grace we creatures are made “God’s children”—in other words, this grace is unquestionably relational.

Second, this relational grace is “the seed of glory”: “We shall see [God] as he is,” and thus discover in that Beatific Vision that we have been transformed, glorified, deified, made “like him.” As the great Sulpician theologian Fr. Adolphe Tanquerey (1854–1932) put it: “Habitual [created] grace and the Beatific Vision are . . . one in kind and one in nature.”1 If these are indeed “one in nature,” then it should go without saying that grace cannot be a created substance—cannot be (in Metropolitan Maximos’s phrase) “essentialistic.”

Third, put in the vitally important terms of dogmatic theology, ours is not a “hypostatic union,” as is the uniting of human nature to the Divine Person of the Son. Our creaturely partaking of the divine nature can only, ever be a relation of likeness, and thus it must be acknowledged that infinite grace can only be operative in us as befits finite creatures. Unlike Christ, we have no substantial union with the divine nature—we are human persons, not divine persons. We need to be made capable of the Beatific Vision—we cannot possess it by nature. On the other hand, deification is not assimilation into the Godhead (a creature can never become uncreated in substance!). “God-likeness” is the most we can hope for—but that’s quite a hope! Our union with God is therefore what is called, in Latin theology, accidental.

St. Thomas Aquinas gets to the heart of what this means when he quotes the words of an unknown ancient Christian writer (he ascribes the words—wrongly—to Boethius): “Accidentis esse est inesse”—“The being of an accident is to be-in.”2 To be-in what, exactly? To be in a substance, obviously. And the substance in which grace ultimately is is the uncreated essence of God himself.

The Eastern Church, whether speaking of the original creation or the work of regeneration and deification in Christ, uses the time-honored language of “essence” and “energies” to make the necessary distinction between God in himself and God in his operations in the created order. Western, Latin-language theology has used the term gratia creata in its own attempt to make the same necessary distinction. The word “created” refers not to the substance of grace (which is God himself), but to that same grace as it is infused and at work in our created natures accidentally. The Thomist scholar, Timothy McDermott, is therefore surely correct in rendering, if a bit loosely, the words of the Angelic Doctor on this matter in the following way: “Strictly speaking, a supervening quality is not so much in existence itself, as a way in which something else exists; and so grace is not created, but men are created in it, established in a new existence out of nothing, without earning it.”3

Far from this constituting some great divergence of West from East, I think it is safe to say that here we have—potentially, at least—a real point of doctrinal convergence, despite our differing terminologies.

http://www.touchstonemag.com/archives/issue.php?id=58

(Come to think of it, I might try to re-read all of those articles one of these days.)
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« Reply #94 on: June 01, 2011, 10:52:24 AM »

Catholics don't believe grace is created, as in grace is a creature. This is a distortion that Barlaam communicated to the Orthodox through his own poor understanding of theology, and which they rightly rejected, but it isn't the authentic Catholic teaching. 'Created grace' merely signifies that grace exists in humans as accident rather than as essence; i.e that it has to be freely given.

The Holy Spirit is not the love between the Father and the Son, it is God's love for Himself simply, since He is one essence. The Son and the Spirit are simply modes of relation, and the Spirit can be said to be proceed from both Father and Son because it can only be distinguished by opposite relation from Father and Son collectively (One must have knowledge of a thing in order to love it), and the only way to distinguish within a single Essence is by opposite relation. It can also be said to proceed from the Father through the Son (It is through knowledge that the knower desires what is known), or to proceed from the Father simply (knowledge and desire are both rooted in inaccessible being). None of the three formulations are incorrect. Or at least that's Aquinas' position, and I share it.
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« Reply #95 on: June 01, 2011, 10:59:35 AM »

I think you are right about the imagery of the love between the Father and the Son:  Maybe.  But it is a venerable imagery and tells a powerful truth.  So maybe we don't need the imagery, but we surely need to look for the truth that rests beneath the specific image or impress of the act of divine caritas called Trinity, on our intellects.
If the image that the Spirit is the love between the Father and the Son "tells a powerful truth" for Catholics, then this is completely irreconcilable with Orthodox Christianity. If God is Love, then Love is Uncreated, so if you say that the Spirit is the mutual Love between the Father and the Son, then you are saying that the Spirit eternally proceeds from both the Father and the Son.
Does the notion that the Spirit either is the love between Father and Son or transmits love between the Father and Son necessarily have to be synonymous with the Spirit proceeding from Father and Son? I'm honestly asking because I don't know.

I think the imagery of the Holy Spirit being the love between Father and Son is beautiful because, the way I heard it explained, it is the Spirit's descent upon the Church at Pentecost that allowed us to receive the love of God and quite literally become connected to the love of God as it exists amongst the Three Persons of the Trinity.
God is Love, so God's Love is an Uncreated Energy. If you want to believe that the Spirit "transmits Uncreated Energy between the Father and the Son", your belief again is irreconcilable with Orthodox Christianity. In this "beautiful image" as you call it of the Spirit being God's Love descending at Pentecost you have been taught, you are equating the Uncreated Energies with the Spirit (which is exactly what St. Gregory Palamas said was an error). This is completely irreconcilable to Orthodox Christianity. Your understanding of who the Person's of the the Trinity are and how they relate to one another and to us are completely different to Orthodox Christianity.

This is not the teaching of filioque BTW.  It isn't even a close approximation.
No one said it was, however the belief that the Holy Spirit is the "love between the Father and the Son" is a heresy which Catholicism has adopted as doctrine as a result of the heresy of the filioque. It is only recently that they realized the error and are dropping it from Catechisms, however, no one has told the RC Bishop William E. Lori- Supreme Chaplain of the Knights of Columbus who has this to say:
Quote
"Reflecting on this, the Church definitively teaches that the Father eternally generates the Son and that the Son is eternally generated by the Father. The living, eternal bond of love between the Father and Son is the Person of the Holy Spirit (Compendium, 48)." [emphasis mine]
Source: http://stage.kofc.org/un/eb/en/publications/columbia/detail/547594.html
Oh, and I took a screenshot of the webpage because it undoubtedly will be removed soon. Smiley
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« Reply #96 on: June 01, 2011, 11:18:55 AM »

I disagree with His Excellency Bishop Lori that the Church definitively teaches that. I think Aquinas would parse it a bit more carefully, and I'll take Aquinas over His Excellency Bishop Lori as an expositor of the theology of the Trinity.
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« Reply #97 on: June 01, 2011, 11:46:04 AM »

I disagree with His Excellency Bishop Lori that the Church definitively teaches that. I think Aquinas would parse it a bit more carefully, and I'll take Aquinas over His Excellency Bishop Lori as an expositor of the theology of the Trinity.

Then you disagree with the generally accepted teaching of Catholicism:

http://www.saintaquinas.com/catholic_beliefs.html
"The Holy Spirit is the third member of the divine Godhead (Trinity) and is the essence of divine love between the Father and the Son."

http://www.cuf.org/faithfacts/details_view.asp?ffID=136
"Finally, the fundamental identity of the Third Person of the Trinity consists in His eternally being the Spirit of Love between the Father and the Son, a Love so real He is Himself a Person."

http://www.columbia.edu/cu/augustine/a/unique2.html
"The love between the Father and the Son is so perfect that it too is another person: the Holy Spirit"

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« Reply #98 on: June 01, 2011, 11:49:17 AM »


No one said it was, however the belief that the Holy Spirit is the "love between the Father and the Son" is a heresy which Catholicism has adopted as doctrine as a result of the heresy of the filioque.

Dear George,

The KofC is hardly the source for formal Catholic teaching.  Again you mistake the anthropology of the theology for the theology itself.  

The fact of the matter is that there is a special relationship between the Father and the Son that is so prevalent in Scripture and Tradition that the Holy Spirit, very early on, ran the extreme risk of not being recognized at all.  But that relationship between the Father and the Son is real and it is unique for it is not shared between or among the Persons of the Trinity in anything approaching the same magnitude.

So...in our small words for ordinary minds that relationship is called "Love".

In the words of GOARCH's Metropolitan Maximos:

http://www.touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=16-06-038-f

"The Holy Trinity is a “relational Entity.” It is a society of three hypostases who live in one another, and relate to each other in love, being a communion and community of love. The Church of God is the reflection of this communion of love that is the Holy Trinity."

So it is not strange at all to speak of the relations of the persons, nor is it strange to speak of those relationships as "Love"...

You are grasping at straws here...and not fresh clean ones either but old dirty rotted ones that do not have a place in either Orthodoxy or the Catholic Church.

In brief you are talking non-sense.  But I don't expect you to take my word for it.  Smiley


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« Reply #99 on: June 01, 2011, 12:02:37 PM »

I disagree with His Excellency Bishop Lori that the Church definitively teaches that. I think Aquinas would parse it a bit more carefully, and I'll take Aquinas over His Excellency Bishop Lori as an expositor of the theology of the Trinity.

Then you disagree with the generally accepted teaching of Catholicism:

http://www.saintaquinas.com/catholic_beliefs.html
"The Holy Spirit is the third member of the divine Godhead (Trinity) and is the essence of divine love between the Father and the Son."

http://www.cuf.org/faithfacts/details_view.asp?ffID=136
"Finally, the fundamental identity of the Third Person of the Trinity consists in His eternally being the Spirit of Love between the Father and the Son, a Love so real He is Himself a Person."

http://www.columbia.edu/cu/augustine/a/unique2.html
"The love between the Father and the Son is so perfect that it too is another person: the Holy Spirit"

Well no, since what I suggested doesn't deny the truth of the claim, it just parses it out more carefully than the text there does by focusing on the fact that the persons are modes of relation. My issue was with the use of the word 'definitively', since it suggests that what the Bishop was offering was the definitive teaching in itself, whereas in reality the definitive teaching is more detailed and subtle than that.
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« Reply #100 on: June 01, 2011, 12:07:45 PM »


No one said it was, however the belief that the Holy Spirit is the "love between the Father and the Son" is a heresy which Catholicism has adopted as doctrine as a result of the heresy of the filioque.

So it is not strange at all to speak of the relations of the persons, nor is it strange to speak of those relationships as "Love"...


Dear Mary,

The problem, as I see it, is that the relationship is often taught as being a person.  Cf. the quotes George provided.  And these are not isolated.  I've heard this trope my entire Catholic life.  The Trinity was explained as such by Sr. Katherine in my first grade Religion class, by the two pastors I grew up around, by each of the parochial vicars that were in residence at the same (eight by my count), by a number of priests at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in DC where I used to serve Mass, by the two traditionalist priests at the "indult" parish in Baltimore, by the pastor of my parents' parish (who is now a bishop), from the pastor of the parish I was married in (my in-law's parish) and in countless...COUNTLESS...expositions of the Trinity written by Catholic authors.

You simply cannot bury your head in the sand and say, "This is not what the Roman Catholic Church teaches because I say so."  Both on the ground and at the highest levels, it has been taught that the personhood of the Holy Spirit is the relationship between the Father and Son.  You can say that it's not the case, but I have heard it with my own ears and read it with my own eyes in so many places and from so many disparate people within the RCC that it cannot be ignored.
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« Reply #101 on: June 01, 2011, 12:08:55 PM »


No one said it was, however the belief that the Holy Spirit is the "love between the Father and the Son" is a heresy which Catholicism has adopted as doctrine as a result of the heresy of the filioque.

Dear George,

The KofC is hardly the source for formal Catholic teaching.  Again you mistake the anthropology of the theology for the theology itself.
Again you seem to miss things you don't want to see. It's not just the Knights of Columbus who hold this heresy in Catholicism:
http://www.saintaquinas.com/catholic_beliefs.html
"The Holy Spirit is the third member of the divine Godhead (Trinity) and is the essence of divine love between the Father and the Son."

http://www.cuf.org/faithfacts/details_view.asp?ffID=136
"Finally, the fundamental identity of the Third Person of the Trinity consists in His eternally being the Spirit of Love between the Father and the Son, a Love so real He is Himself a Person."

http://www.columbia.edu/cu/augustine/a/unique2.html
"The love between the Father and the Son is so perfect that it too is another person: the Holy Spirit"
It is the teaching of Catholicism, and you cannot deny it.

The fact of the matter is that there is a special relationship between the Father and the Son that is so prevalent in Scripture and Tradition that the Holy Spirit, very early on, ran the extreme risk of not being recognized at all.  But that relationship between the Father and the Son is real and it is unique for it is not shared between or among the Persons of the Trinity in anything approaching the same magnitude.
So...in our small words for ordinary minds that relationship is called "Love".
All the relationships in the Trinity are unique, and I can't see how you can claim that the relationship between the Father and the Son is somehow of greater "magnitude" than say, the Son and the Spirit or the Father and the Spirit. What on Earth (or in Heaven) do you mean by this? Orthodox Christianity teaches that all Three Hypostases of the Trinity are Co-equal, Consubstantial and Undivided. How can the relationship between the Father and the Son is of greater magnitude than the Father and the Spirit? I'll tell you how you can say it- because whether you recite the filioque or not, it's heresy has infiltrated your doctrines about the Trinity.


In the words of GOARCH's Metropolitan Maximos:

http://www.touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=16-06-038-f

"The Holy Trinity is a “relational Entity.” It is a society of three hypostases who live in one another, and relate to each other in love, being a communion and community of love. The Church of God is the reflection of this communion of love that is the Holy Trinity."
I see nothing in this which personifies the Love of the Persons of the Trinity, and I see nothing which, like you claim, says that the relationship between the Father and the Son is somehow of greater "magnitude" than the Father and the Spirit, or the Son and the Spirit. It seems from this that the Orthodox Christian view is that all Three Persons mutually love Each Other.

So it is not strange at all to speak of the relations of the persons, nor is it strange to speak of those relationships as "Love"...
No one said it was strange to speak of the relationships and love of the Trinity. What I said was that you have distorted them by personifying the Love between the Father and the Son and considering this relationship to be of "greater magnitude".

You are grasping at straws here...
No. You keep handing them to me. Smiley
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« Reply #102 on: June 01, 2011, 12:27:22 PM »


No one said it was, however the belief that the Holy Spirit is the "love between the Father and the Son" is a heresy which Catholicism has adopted as doctrine as a result of the heresy of the filioque.

So it is not strange at all to speak of the relations of the persons, nor is it strange to speak of those relationships as "Love"...


Dear Mary,

The problem, as I see it, is that the relationship is often taught as being a person.  Cf. the quotes George provided.  And these are not isolated.  I've heard this trope my entire Catholic life.  The Trinity was explained as such by Sr. Katherine in my first grade Religion class, by the two pastors I grew up around, by each of the parochial vicars that were in residence at the same (eight by my count), by a number of priests at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in DC where I used to serve Mass, by the two traditionalist priests at the "indult" parish in Baltimore, by the pastor of my parents' parish (who is now a bishop), from the pastor of the parish I was married in (my in-law's parish) and in countless...COUNTLESS...expositions of the Trinity written by Catholic authors.

You simply cannot bury your head in the sand and say, "This is not what the Roman Catholic Church teaches because I say so."  Both on the ground and at the highest levels, it has been taught that the personhood of the Holy Spirit is the relationship between the Father and Son.  You can say that it's not the case, but I have heard it with my own ears and read it with my own eyes in so many places and from so many disparate people within the RCC that it cannot be ignored.

Since God is one Divine Essence, what could the persons be, other than modes relations within the one Essence? In saying that the Son is the Logos, or reason, of God, one is certainly elevating a mode of relation to Personhood.
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« Reply #103 on: June 01, 2011, 12:34:37 PM »


No one said it was, however the belief that the Holy Spirit is the "love between the Father and the Son" is a heresy which Catholicism has adopted as doctrine as a result of the heresy of the filioque.

So it is not strange at all to speak of the relations of the persons, nor is it strange to speak of those relationships as "Love"...


Dear Mary,

The problem, as I see it, is that the relationship is often taught as being a person.  Cf. the quotes George provided.  And these are not isolated.  I've heard this trope my entire Catholic life.  The Trinity was explained as such by Sr. Katherine in my first grade Religion class, by the two pastors I grew up around, by each of the parochial vicars that were in residence at the same (eight by my count), by a number of priests at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in DC where I used to serve Mass, by the two traditionalist priests at the "indult" parish in Baltimore, by the pastor of my parents' parish (who is now a bishop), from the pastor of the parish I was married in (my in-law's parish) and in countless...COUNTLESS...expositions of the Trinity written by Catholic authors.

You simply cannot bury your head in the sand and say, "This is not what the Roman Catholic Church teaches because I say so."  Both on the ground and at the highest levels, it has been taught that the personhood of the Holy Spirit is the relationship between the Father and Son.  You can say that it's not the case, but I have heard it with my own ears and read it with my own eyes in so many places and from so many disparate people within the RCC that it cannot be ignored.

Without prejudice, Schultz, it should have been ignored because it is a pedestrian manner of speaking that does not convey the actual truth of the teaching. 

It has not gone unnoticed by the teachers of the Church [bishops and our current and past pope] and there are good efforts being made to clarify and explain for everyone.

But I will say this...If a knucklehead like me can come to understand the teaching as it ought to be in spite of running into a few of my own bad teachers, then all could not be wrong with the Catholic world.  But I had to go and probe and ask and look and go again through the same process several times till I found the teachers who could unlock the texts.  I did that because I wanted to understand what it was that my Church teaches.

With respect, I do not expect that from everyone.  But I don't expect either to be put in my place because I did go and do the work.  If my head were truly buried I would not have bothered.
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« Reply #104 on: June 01, 2011, 12:37:09 PM »


No one said it was, however the belief that the Holy Spirit is the "love between the Father and the Son" is a heresy which Catholicism has adopted as doctrine as a result of the heresy of the filioque.

So it is not strange at all to speak of the relations of the persons, nor is it strange to speak of those relationships as "Love"...


Dear Mary,

The problem, as I see it, is that the relationship is often taught as being a person.  Cf. the quotes George provided.  And these are not isolated.  I've heard this trope my entire Catholic life.  The Trinity was explained as such by Sr. Katherine in my first grade Religion class, by the two pastors I grew up around, by each of the parochial vicars that were in residence at the same (eight by my count), by a number of priests at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in DC where I used to serve Mass, by the two traditionalist priests at the "indult" parish in Baltimore, by the pastor of my parents' parish (who is now a bishop), from the pastor of the parish I was married in (my in-law's parish) and in countless...COUNTLESS...expositions of the Trinity written by Catholic authors.

You simply cannot bury your head in the sand and say, "This is not what the Roman Catholic Church teaches because I say so."  Both on the ground and at the highest levels, it has been taught that the personhood of the Holy Spirit is the relationship between the Father and Son.  You can say that it's not the case, but I have heard it with my own ears and read it with my own eyes in so many places and from so many disparate people within the RCC that it cannot be ignored.

Since God is one Divine Essence, what could the persons be, other than modes relations within the one Essence? In saying that the Son is the Logos, or reason, of God, one is certainly elevating a mode of relation to Personhood.

Alcuin, could you provide a link or quotation regarding what you're saying about modes? I'd like to read up on this.
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« Reply #105 on: June 01, 2011, 12:37:41 PM »


No one said it was, however the belief that the Holy Spirit is the "love between the Father and the Son" is a heresy which Catholicism has adopted as doctrine as a result of the heresy of the filioque.

So it is not strange at all to speak of the relations of the persons, nor is it strange to speak of those relationships as "Love"...


Dear Mary,

The problem, as I see it, is that the relationship is often taught as being a person.  Cf. the quotes George provided.  And these are not isolated.  I've heard this trope my entire Catholic life.  The Trinity was explained as such by Sr. Katherine in my first grade Religion class, by the two pastors I grew up around, by each of the parochial vicars that were in residence at the same (eight by my count), by a number of priests at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in DC where I used to serve Mass, by the two traditionalist priests at the "indult" parish in Baltimore, by the pastor of my parents' parish (who is now a bishop), from the pastor of the parish I was married in (my in-law's parish) and in countless...COUNTLESS...expositions of the Trinity written by Catholic authors.

You simply cannot bury your head in the sand and say, "This is not what the Roman Catholic Church teaches because I say so."  Both on the ground and at the highest levels, it has been taught that the personhood of the Holy Spirit is the relationship between the Father and Son.  You can say that it's not the case, but I have heard it with my own ears and read it with my own eyes in so many places and from so many disparate people within the RCC that it cannot be ignored.

Without prejudice, Schultz, it should have been ignored because it is a pedestrian manner of speaking that does not convey the actual truth of the teaching. 

It has not gone unnoticed by the teachers of the Church [bishops and our current and past pope] and there are good efforts being made to clarify and explain for everyone.

But I will say this...If a knucklehead like me can come to understand the teaching as it ought to be in spite of running into a few of my own bad teachers, then all could not be wrong with the Catholic world.  But I had to go and probe and ask and look and go again through the same process several times till I found the teachers who could unlock the texts.  I did that because I wanted to understand what it was that my Church teaches.

With respect, I do not expect that from everyone.  But I don't expect either to be put in my place because I did go and do the work.  If my head were truly buried I would not have bothered.

With the same respect, this is what people like Elaine Pagels say, as well.

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« Reply #106 on: June 01, 2011, 12:38:27 PM »

Thank you, Peter!!

You're welcome.
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« Reply #107 on: June 01, 2011, 12:39:05 PM »


No one said it was, however the belief that the Holy Spirit is the "love between the Father and the Son" is a heresy which Catholicism has adopted as doctrine as a result of the heresy of the filioque.

So it is not strange at all to speak of the relations of the persons, nor is it strange to speak of those relationships as "Love"...


Dear Mary,

The problem, as I see it, is that the relationship is often taught as being a person.  Cf. the quotes George provided.  And these are not isolated.  I've heard this trope my entire Catholic life.  The Trinity was explained as such by Sr. Katherine in my first grade Religion class, by the two pastors I grew up around, by each of the parochial vicars that were in residence at the same (eight by my count), by a number of priests at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in DC where I used to serve Mass, by the two traditionalist priests at the "indult" parish in Baltimore, by the pastor of my parents' parish (who is now a bishop), from the pastor of the parish I was married in (my in-law's parish) and in countless...COUNTLESS...expositions of the Trinity written by Catholic authors.

You simply cannot bury your head in the sand and say, "This is not what the Roman Catholic Church teaches because I say so."  Both on the ground and at the highest levels, it has been taught that the personhood of the Holy Spirit is the relationship between the Father and Son.  You can say that it's not the case, but I have heard it with my own ears and read it with my own eyes in so many places and from so many disparate people within the RCC that it cannot be ignored.

Since God is one Divine Essence, what could the persons be, other than modes relations within the one Essence? In saying that the Son is the Logos, or reason, of God, one is certainly elevating a mode of relation to Personhood.

This is true.  This is also the analogous equivalent of saying The Son of God is The Son of God.

That would not be quite the same thing as saying The Holy Spirit is Love of Son and Father.
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« Reply #108 on: June 01, 2011, 12:39:30 PM »

is the Logos, or reason, of God, one is certainly elevating a mode of relation to Personhood.
How is The Logos "a mode of relation"?
Logos does not mean "reason of God". And even if it did, wouldn't it be an attribute rather than a personified "mode of relation"?
The well known Theologian who introduced us to the Logos wrote:
"In the beginning was the Logos, and the Logos was with God and the Logos was God....." (John 1:1)
How is he describing "a mode of relation"? He is actually describing the relationship between the Logos and God (which he certainly does not personify).
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« Reply #109 on: June 01, 2011, 12:40:21 PM »


No one said it was, however the belief that the Holy Spirit is the "love between the Father and the Son" is a heresy which Catholicism has adopted as doctrine as a result of the heresy of the filioque.

So it is not strange at all to speak of the relations of the persons, nor is it strange to speak of those relationships as "Love"...


Dear Mary,

The problem, as I see it, is that the relationship is often taught as being a person.  Cf. the quotes George provided.  And these are not isolated.  I've heard this trope my entire Catholic life.  The Trinity was explained as such by Sr. Katherine in my first grade Religion class, by the two pastors I grew up around, by each of the parochial vicars that were in residence at the same (eight by my count), by a number of priests at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in DC where I used to serve Mass, by the two traditionalist priests at the "indult" parish in Baltimore, by the pastor of my parents' parish (who is now a bishop), from the pastor of the parish I was married in (my in-law's parish) and in countless...COUNTLESS...expositions of the Trinity written by Catholic authors.

You simply cannot bury your head in the sand and say, "This is not what the Roman Catholic Church teaches because I say so."  Both on the ground and at the highest levels, it has been taught that the personhood of the Holy Spirit is the relationship between the Father and Son.  You can say that it's not the case, but I have heard it with my own ears and read it with my own eyes in so many places and from so many disparate people within the RCC that it cannot be ignored.

Without prejudice, Schultz, it should have been ignored because it is a pedestrian manner of speaking that does not convey the actual truth of the teaching. 

It has not gone unnoticed by the teachers of the Church [bishops and our current and past pope] and there are good efforts being made to clarify and explain for everyone.

But I will say this...If a knucklehead like me can come to understand the teaching as it ought to be in spite of running into a few of my own bad teachers, then all could not be wrong with the Catholic world.  But I had to go and probe and ask and look and go again through the same process several times till I found the teachers who could unlock the texts.  I did that because I wanted to understand what it was that my Church teaches.

With respect, I do not expect that from everyone.  But I don't expect either to be put in my place because I did go and do the work.  If my head were truly buried I would not have bothered.

With the same respect, this is what people like Elaine Pagels say, as well.



Well Elaine Pagels cannot go back to the formal teachings and find herself in line with them.

I can.
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« Reply #110 on: June 01, 2011, 12:43:26 PM »


No one said it was, however the belief that the Holy Spirit is the "love between the Father and the Son" is a heresy which Catholicism has adopted as doctrine as a result of the heresy of the filioque.

So it is not strange at all to speak of the relations of the persons, nor is it strange to speak of those relationships as "Love"...


Dear Mary,

The problem, as I see it, is that the relationship is often taught as being a person.  Cf. the quotes George provided.  And these are not isolated.  I've heard this trope my entire Catholic life.  The Trinity was explained as such by Sr. Katherine in my first grade Religion class, by the two pastors I grew up around, by each of the parochial vicars that were in residence at the same (eight by my count), by a number of priests at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in DC where I used to serve Mass, by the two traditionalist priests at the "indult" parish in Baltimore, by the pastor of my parents' parish (who is now a bishop), from the pastor of the parish I was married in (my in-law's parish) and in countless...COUNTLESS...expositions of the Trinity written by Catholic authors.

You simply cannot bury your head in the sand and say, "This is not what the Roman Catholic Church teaches because I say so."  Both on the ground and at the highest levels, it has been taught that the personhood of the Holy Spirit is the relationship between the Father and Son.  You can say that it's not the case, but I have heard it with my own ears and read it with my own eyes in so many places and from so many disparate people within the RCC that it cannot be ignored.
I had the same experience at the University level 2 years ago. Three RC professors, one was a benedictine nun, with doctorates in the theology taught this as did a visiting Ukrainian Catholic priest (with Masters in theology). I also heard it in homilies from priests of the Hogar de la Madre order. This was all at Ave Maria University.

In Christ,
Andrew
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« Reply #111 on: June 01, 2011, 12:47:50 PM »


No one said it was, however the belief that the Holy Spirit is the "love between the Father and the Son" is a heresy which Catholicism has adopted as doctrine as a result of the heresy of the filioque.

So it is not strange at all to speak of the relations of the persons, nor is it strange to speak of those relationships as "Love"...


Dear Mary,

The problem, as I see it, is that the relationship is often taught as being a person.  Cf. the quotes George provided.  And these are not isolated.  I've heard this trope my entire Catholic life.  The Trinity was explained as such by Sr. Katherine in my first grade Religion class, by the two pastors I grew up around, by each of the parochial vicars that were in residence at the same (eight by my count), by a number of priests at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in DC where I used to serve Mass, by the two traditionalist priests at the "indult" parish in Baltimore, by the pastor of my parents' parish (who is now a bishop), from the pastor of the parish I was married in (my in-law's parish) and in countless...COUNTLESS...expositions of the Trinity written by Catholic authors.

You simply cannot bury your head in the sand and say, "This is not what the Roman Catholic Church teaches because I say so."  Both on the ground and at the highest levels, it has been taught that the personhood of the Holy Spirit is the relationship between the Father and Son.  You can say that it's not the case, but I have heard it with my own ears and read it with my own eyes in so many places and from so many disparate people within the RCC that it cannot be ignored.
I had the same experience at the University level 2 years ago. Three RC professors, one was a benedictine nun, with doctorates in the theology taught this as did a visiting Ukrainian Catholic priest (with Masters in theology). I also heard it in homilies from priests of the Hogar de la Madre order. This was all at Ave Maria University.

In Christ,
Andrew

You hear it because it is a simple way of expressing a more clear theological truth that does not lend itself to one sentence explanations. 

There is a way that it can be seen to be true but not without further discussion, and for that, I fear, there are many who are not prepared to do so clearly.  I don't care how many degrees they have.
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« Reply #112 on: June 01, 2011, 02:05:25 PM »

Another angle on analog and allegory.  My question posted below:

http://ethiopiantewahedo.com/13.html
Quote

Mystery of the Holy Trinity

"In this section the mystery of Unity and Trinity of the Triune God is described.
The Holy Trinity is three in name, in person (Akal), in deed and one in essence, in divinity, in existence, in will.
Three in name: - Father, Son, Holy Spirit

Three in deed:-
a) the Father is the begetter
b) the Son is begotten
c) the Holy Spirit is the one who proceeds

Three in person:-
a) the Father has a perfect person
b) the Son has a perfect person
c) the Holy Spirit has a perfect person

The Father is the heart, the Son is the word, the Holy Spirit is the life (breath)

The Father is the heart for himself, and He is the heart for the Son and for the Holy Spirit.

The Son is the word for Himself, and He is the word for the Father, and for the Holy Spirit.

And the Holy Spirit is the life (breath) for Himself, and He is the life (breath) for the Father and the Son.

Should we Catholics, not of the tradition, understand the highlighted text above to mean that without the Holy Spirit there would be no life in the Trinity?  That the Father has no life of his own.  That the Son has no life of his own?
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« Reply #113 on: June 01, 2011, 02:56:44 PM »

Another angle on analog and allegory.  My question posted below:

http://ethiopiantewahedo.com/13.html
Quote

Mystery of the Holy Trinity

"In this section the mystery of Unity and Trinity of the Triune God is described.
The Holy Trinity is three in name, in person (Akal), in deed and one in essence, in divinity, in existence, in will.
Three in name: - Father, Son, Holy Spirit

Three in deed:-
a) the Father is the begetter
b) the Son is begotten
c) the Holy Spirit is the one who proceeds

Three in person:-
a) the Father has a perfect person
b) the Son has a perfect person
c) the Holy Spirit has a perfect person

The Father is the heart, the Son is the word, the Holy Spirit is the life (breath)

The Father is the heart for himself, and He is the heart for the Son and for the Holy Spirit.

The Son is the word for Himself, and He is the word for the Father, and for the Holy Spirit.

And the Holy Spirit is the life (breath) for Himself, and He is the life (breath) for the Father and the Son.

Should we Catholics, not of the tradition, understand the highlighted text above to mean that without the Holy Spirit there would be no life in the Trinity?  That the Father has no life of his own.  That the Son has no life of his own?
You raise a very important point. People who are not a part of a faith tradition need to stop arrogantly thinking they can interpret the teachings of a given faith from the outside. This is hard for many of the Eastern Orthodox because they seem to be so bent on the notion that they understand Catholic teachings better than Catholics do, but we know that they do not. Of course, they can keep crying 'heretic' if they want to feel more secure in their own beliefs. I'm just thankful that my beliefs can stand on their own and I don't have to put down everyone else to know the path I'm on is the truth.
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« Reply #114 on: June 01, 2011, 03:10:10 PM »

You raise a very important point. People who are not a part of a faith tradition need to stop arrogantly thinking they can interpret the teachings of a given faith from the outside. This is hard for many of the Eastern Orthodox because they seem to be so bent on the notion that they understand Catholic teachings better than Catholics do, but we know that they do not. Of course, they can keep crying 'heretic' if they want to feel more secure in their own beliefs. I'm just thankful that my beliefs can stand on their own and I don't have to put down everyone else to know the path I'm on is the truth.

If you read back through the thread Wyatt, you'll see that I am not talking to people from outside the Catholic tradition exclusively.  In fact, I am speaking to all those who are either Orthodox by birth, from the protestant confessions, and from the Catholic Church.  I was actually addressing the questions and comments raised by Schultz and Maria and ozgeorge and one other regarding a habit of speech that names the Holy Spirit as the Love of the Father and the Son.

My question in the note above is how is it different if the Holy Spirit is called the Love of the Father and the Son, or the Life of the Father and the Son, or the Breath of the Father and the Son.

They are all analogous metaphors for describing relationships....relationships that have been called heresy by ozgeorge at least, with Maria and Schultz providing Catholic support to the assertions.

So why is it heresy when Catholics use this kind of ordinary analogous language, but orthodox if it happens on the eastern side of the fence.
 
That was my real point.
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« Reply #115 on: June 01, 2011, 03:20:47 PM »

Another angle on analog and allegory.  My question posted below:

http://ethiopiantewahedo.com/13.html
Quote

Mystery of the Holy Trinity

"In this section the mystery of Unity and Trinity of the Triune God is described.
The Holy Trinity is three in name, in person (Akal), in deed and one in essence, in divinity, in existence, in will.
Three in name: - Father, Son, Holy Spirit

Three in deed:-
a) the Father is the begetter
b) the Son is begotten
c) the Holy Spirit is the one who proceeds

Three in person:-
a) the Father has a perfect person
b) the Son has a perfect person
c) the Holy Spirit has a perfect person

The Father is the heart, the Son is the word, the Holy Spirit is the life (breath)

The Father is the heart for himself, and He is the heart for the Son and for the Holy Spirit.

The Son is the word for Himself, and He is the word for the Father, and for the Holy Spirit.

And the Holy Spirit is the life (breath) for Himself, and He is the life (breath) for the Father and the Son.

Should we Catholics, not of the tradition, understand the highlighted text above to mean that without the Holy Spirit there would be no life in the Trinity?  That the Father has no life of his own.  That the Son has no life of his own?
You raise a very important point. People who are not a part of a faith tradition need to stop arrogantly thinking they can interpret the teachings of a given faith from the outside. This is hard for many of the Eastern Orthodox because they seem to be so bent on the notion that they understand Catholic teachings better than Catholics do, but we know that they do not. Of course, they can keep crying 'heretic' if they want to feel more secure in their own beliefs. I'm just thankful that my beliefs can stand on their own and I don't have to put down everyone else to know the path I'm on is the truth.
Could we make the same charge to RCs as well? Let's be honest, no one likes being told what they believe. Wink As for my testimonial above, that was from my experience just 2 years ago at an accredited RC university. I realize, it might not be official magisterial teaching, but it is being taught and not accurately explained.

In Christ,
Andrew
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« Reply #116 on: June 01, 2011, 03:24:11 PM »

You raise a very important point. People who are not a part of a faith tradition need to stop arrogantly thinking they can interpret the teachings of a given faith from the outside. This is hard for many of the Eastern Orthodox because they seem to be so bent on the notion that they understand Catholic teachings better than Catholics do, but we know that they do not. Of course, they can keep crying 'heretic' if they want to feel more secure in their own beliefs. I'm just thankful that my beliefs can stand on their own and I don't have to put down everyone else to know the path I'm on is the truth.

1)  It is quite an interesting skill to put down people in another faith tradition ("...if they want to feel more secure in their own beliefs....") while claiming that people shouldn't put down people in other faith traditions; and

2)  That train runs both directions.  On our side, we get a bit tired of being told our differences with Catholics are just a matter of us being childish and nit-picky and not wanting to let go of our petty differences that aren't really doctrinal at all but are really us just having our feelings hurt and we should probably just get over it and submit to Rome.

Apart from those two criticisms, I generally agree with the point you are making.
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« Reply #117 on: June 01, 2011, 03:27:58 PM »

You raise a very important point. People who are not a part of a faith tradition need to stop arrogantly thinking they can interpret the teachings of a given faith from the outside. This is hard for many of the Eastern Orthodox because they seem to be so bent on the notion that they understand Catholic teachings better than Catholics do, but we know that they do not. Of course, they can keep crying 'heretic' if they want to feel more secure in their own beliefs. I'm just thankful that my beliefs can stand on their own and I don't have to put down everyone else to know the path I'm on is the truth.

If you read back through the thread Wyatt, you'll see that I am not talking to people from outside the Catholic tradition exclusively.  In fact, I am speaking to all those who are either Orthodox by birth, from the protestant confessions, and from the Catholic Church.  I was actually addressing the questions and comments raised by Schultz and Maria and ozgeorge and one other regarding a habit of speech that names the Holy Spirit as the Love of the Father and the Son.

My question in the note above is how is it different if the Holy Spirit is called the Love of the Father and the Son, or the Life of the Father and the Son, or the Breath of the Father and the Son.

They are all analogous metaphors for describing relationships....relationships that have been called heresy by ozgeorge at least, with Maria and Schultz providing Catholic support to the assertions.

So why is it heresy when Catholics use this kind of ordinary analogous language, but orthodox if it happens on the eastern side of the fence.
 
That was my real point.

Because, once again, the language used by Catholic theologians time and time again, in my experience and the experience of countless Roman Catholics worldwide who are not on the internet and do not have the time, energy, nor the gumption to "find teachers who unlock the real teaching," explicitly states that the personhood of the Holy Spirit is derived from being a relationship.  

Quote
http://www.cuf.org/faithfacts/details_view.asp?ffID=136
"Finally, the fundamental identity of the Third Person of the Trinity consists in His eternally being the Spirit of Love between the Father and the Son, a Love so real He is Himself a Person."

http://www.columbia.edu/cu/augustine/a/unique2.html
"The love between the Father and the Son is so perfect that it too is another person: the Holy Spirit"

The quotes you provided from from GOARCH and the EOTC do not teach such a thing explicitly and, were one to ask those quoted, they would no doubt explicitly deny such a thing.  

And Wyatt, I've spent more of my life as a Roman Catholic than you have been alive.  I know what the RCC has taught me, my father, my mother, my siblings, my schoolmates, my friends, and my co-workers.  There is nothing arrogant about me telling you what I was explicitly taught for 33 years by scores of nuns, priests, and theologians.  You, Mary, and the other armchair internet theologians can wax poetic on how this was wrong and how I shouldn't take it into account, but, honestly, they have more authority than all of you combined.  I know what I was taught and what is continuing to be taught in RC schools, colleges and parishes. 
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« Reply #118 on: June 01, 2011, 03:41:04 PM »


And Wyatt, I've spent more of my life as a Roman Catholic than you have been alive.  I know what the RCC has taught me, my father, my mother, my siblings, my schoolmates, my friends, and my co-workers.  There is nothing arrogant about me telling you what I was explicitly taught for 33 years by scores of nuns, priests, and theologians.  You, Mary, and the other armchair internet theologians can wax poetic on how this was wrong and how I shouldn't take it into account, but, honestly, they have more authority than all of you combined.  I know what I was taught and what is continuing to be taught in RC schools, colleges and parishes. 

Apparently it is also being taught here but it is not called heresy and I am curious about that...Also I fail to see how the language below is NOT relational.   That it is not fully fleshed out here is clear.   Just as it was not for you and countless others.  All I said to you was that was not enough for me so I looked more deeply.  That is not something for which I should be criticized...do you think?

http://ethiopiantewahedo.com/13.html

Mystery of the Holy Trinity

"In this section the mystery of Unity and Trinity of the Triune God is described.
The Holy Trinity is three in name, in person (Akal), in deed and one in essence, in divinity, in existence, in will.
Three in name: - Father, Son, Holy Spirit

Three in deed:-
a) the Father is the begetter
b) the Son is begotten
c) the Holy Spirit is the one who proceeds

Three in person:-
a) the Father has a perfect person
b) the Son has a perfect person
c) the Holy Spirit has a perfect person

The Father is the heart, the Son is the word, the Holy Spirit is the life (breath)

The Father is the heart for himself, and He is the heart for the Son and for the Holy Spirit.

The Son is the word for Himself, and He is the word for the Father, and for the Holy Spirit.

And the Holy Spirit is the life (breath) for Himself, and He is the life (breath) for the Father and the Son.
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« Reply #119 on: June 01, 2011, 03:46:30 PM »

Nowhere in this exposition of the EOTC is the idea that the relationship (eg "the life") is the cause of the personhood.

I cannot understand how that has not been made clear.
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« Reply #120 on: June 01, 2011, 03:47:22 PM »

Another angle on analog and allegory.  My question posted below:

http://ethiopiantewahedo.com/13.html
Quote

Mystery of the Holy Trinity

"In this section the mystery of Unity and Trinity of the Triune God is described.
The Holy Trinity is three in name, in person (Akal), in deed and one in essence, in divinity, in existence, in will.
Three in name: - Father, Son, Holy Spirit

Three in deed:-
a) the Father is the begetter
b) the Son is begotten
c) the Holy Spirit is the one who proceeds

Three in person:-
a) the Father has a perfect person
b) the Son has a perfect person
c) the Holy Spirit has a perfect person

The Father is the heart, the Son is the word, the Holy Spirit is the life (breath)

The Father is the heart for himself, and He is the heart for the Son and for the Holy Spirit.

The Son is the word for Himself, and He is the word for the Father, and for the Holy Spirit.

And the Holy Spirit is the life (breath) for Himself, and He is the life (breath) for the Father and the Son.

Should we Catholics, not of the tradition, understand the highlighted text above to mean that without the Holy Spirit there would be no life in the Trinity?  That the Father has no life of his own.  That the Son has no life of his own?
You raise a very important point. People who are not a part of a faith tradition need to stop arrogantly thinking they can interpret the teachings of a given faith from the outside. This is hard for many of the Eastern Orthodox because they seem to be so bent on the notion that they understand Catholic teachings better than Catholics do, but we know that they do not. Of course, they can keep crying 'heretic' if they want to feel more secure in their own beliefs. I'm just thankful that my beliefs can stand on their own and I don't have to put down everyone else to know the path I'm on is the truth.
Could we make the same charge to RCs as well? Let's be honest, no one likes being told what they believe. Wink

I agree.
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« Reply #121 on: June 01, 2011, 03:52:10 PM »

Nowhere in this exposition of the EOTC is the idea that the relationship (eg "the life") is the cause of the personhood.

I cannot understand how that has not been made clear.

Best I can tell you is that anyone who says verbatim that the Love of the Father and the Son CAUSES the Holy Spirit is wrong.  Simply, plainly and irrevocably wrong.

I would have to see direct quotes to assess them beyond this but the statement as you've presented it, if that is precisely how it has been presented to you, is wrong and not at all the formal teaching of the Catholic Church.

The Catholic Church explicitly teaches that the Father is the only CAUSE of the divinity.

You will see reference to "source" with the Father and the Son...but that does not include the meaning or implication of "cause"...

So just as the Holy Spirit is the source of life for the Father and the Son, so too the Father and the Son are the source of that reciprocity with the Father as anarch or causal source and the Son as mediate source.

M.
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« Reply #122 on: June 01, 2011, 03:53:06 PM »

I am not sure which iteration of this thread I have responded in, but here is my "pedestrian" take:

I have no reason to doubt EM's position and that it probably is closer to the teaching of the RCC than the slings and arrows of posts here saying otherwise. Why?

Cause I've asked a few RC Priests who are "smart" and one once seminarian who now is an Orthodox inquirer. They agree with EM's characterization as I understand it. It really doesn't seem like that big of a deal to get your head around within the all the ink spilled over attempting to understand the Trinity.

I agree with everyone who says much the RCC, teachers, priests, laity, do not hold EM's position. Why? Because those same people I asked agreed. They hate the fact it is misunderstood. The former RC seminarian said in light of his studies of EO understanding of the Trinity and the RC understanding, there is really not much disagreement and had nothing to do with his decision to begin his inquiry. He gave the whole linguistic ambiguity in Latin apology and thought it was unfortunate that that ambiguity did over time distort the understanding of the Trinity within the RCC, but that it needn't necessarily have done so.

But pretty much de facto the RCs have it wrong, with exceptions, like EM (and maybe others here, sorry I can't keep track).

Then again I wonder how sophisticated "on the ground" Orthodox over the world are in the EO understanding of the Trinity? When the Parish size tripled for Pascha and then two thirds split before the DL that night / morning / whatever, I wonder how many would stand up to such a thorough discussion on the points of Trinitarian theology?
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« Reply #123 on: June 01, 2011, 03:55:48 PM »

Nowhere in this exposition of the EOTC is the idea that the relationship (eg "the life") is the cause of the personhood.

I cannot understand how that has not been made clear.

Best I can tell you is that anyone who says verbatim that the Love of the Father and the Son CAUSES the Holy Spirit is wrong.  Simply, plainly and irrevocably wrong.

M.

My sampling of "educated" RCs says exactly the same per my post above.
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« Reply #124 on: June 01, 2011, 04:01:35 PM »

But pretty much de facto the RCs have it wrong, with exceptions, like EM (and maybe others here, sorry I can't keep track).


This is exactly what I have been trying to say. 

I apologize for being obtuse about it.
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« Reply #125 on: June 01, 2011, 04:17:09 PM »

But pretty much de facto the RCs have it wrong, with exceptions, like EM (and maybe others here, sorry I can't keep track).


This is exactly what I have been trying to say. 

I apologize for being obtuse about it.

I don't think you have been obtuse at all. I didn't mean to characterize anyone for being so. In fact, I think you especially have been emphatic about this point.

I was just giving a summary to see if I was following along correctly (actually I know that I have been), but what I wonder what is the upshot? If everyone can agree more or less (I know some EOs think flioque is absolutely wrong) with this summary what is there left to discuss?

How EM can reach the rest of the world? I dunno.
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« Reply #126 on: June 01, 2011, 04:24:33 PM »

How EM can reach the rest of the world? I dunno.

That is way above my pay-grade.   laugh

First thing is to find bishops and priests in dioceses who can get over the idea that the average Catholic can't cope or ain't interested. 

I nearly strangled a priest, to whose vocation and ministry I was pretty deeply devoted at the time since he was responsible for shepherding me back to Church, when a woman asked him a question after mass about grace and with a dismissive wave of his hand he said "Oh!  Don't worry about that!!  We don't teach about that any more!"...verbatim from memory....Changed my whole approach to being Catholic that day.  I got down to business after that.

There's the rub.
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« Reply #127 on: June 01, 2011, 04:29:48 PM »

But pretty much de facto the RCs have it wrong, with exceptions, like EM (and maybe others here, sorry I can't keep track).


This is exactly what I have been trying to say. 

I apologize for being obtuse about it.

I think we could say pretty much the same about you guys: i.e. that de facto the Orthodox have it wrong, excepting the occasional EO who accept the filioque, the Immaculate Conception, papal primacy, etc.
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« Reply #128 on: June 01, 2011, 04:44:37 PM »

But pretty much de facto the RCs have it wrong, with exceptions, like EM (and maybe others here, sorry I can't keep track).


This is exactly what I have been trying to say. 

I apologize for being obtuse about it.

I think we could say pretty much the same about you guys: i.e. that de facto the Orthodox have it wrong, excepting the occasional EO who accept the filioque, the Immaculate Conception, papal primacy, etc.

No...Peter...no...That's not what they meant...Not wholesale but that catechesis in the Catholic Church has failed for many...That was the point.  I think...

Anyway...doesn't everybody get tired of being confrontational.  I thought I had more starch than most but I am plumb washed out...
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« Reply #129 on: June 01, 2011, 11:53:56 PM »

No...Peter...no...That's not what they meant...Not wholesale but that catechesis in the Catholic Church has failed for many...That was the point.  I think...
I don't think its a failure of catechesis in Catholicism. I think it is the successful catechesis of erroneous doctrine.
So successful in fact, that even you, an Eastern Catholic, attempts to justify this error by stating that there is a difference in magnitude between the relationship of the First and Second Persons of the Trinity as compared to the other relationships:
But that relationship between the Father and the Son is real and it is unique for it is not shared between or among the Persons of the Trinity in anything approaching the same magnitude.
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« Reply #130 on: June 01, 2011, 11:57:46 PM »

But pretty much de facto the RCs have it wrong, with exceptions, like EM (and maybe others here, sorry I can't keep track).


This is exactly what I have been trying to say. 

I apologize for being obtuse about it.

I think we could say pretty much the same about you guys: i.e. that de facto the Orthodox have it wrong, excepting the occasional EO who accept the filioque, the Immaculate Conception, papal primacy, etc.

No...Peter...no...That's not what they meant...Not wholesale but that catechesis in the Catholic Church has failed for many...That was the point.  I think...

Anyway...doesn't everybody get tired of being confrontational.  I thought I had more starch than most but I am plumb washed out...

I'm just saying let's all get drink together or something. Maybe a laugh or two. Then get EM an hour daily on EWTN to lecture on the filioque.

We can do it.

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« Reply #131 on: June 02, 2011, 12:04:39 AM »

is the Logos, or reason, of God, one is certainly elevating a mode of relation to Personhood.
How is The Logos "a mode of relation"?
Logos does not mean "reason of God". And even if it did, wouldn't it be an attribute rather than a personified "mode of relation"?
The well known Theologian who introduced us to the Logos wrote:
"In the beginning was the Logos, and the Logos was with God and the Logos was God....." (John 1:1)
How is he describing "a mode of relation"? He is actually describing the relationship between the Logos and God (which he certainly does not personify).

The word 'logos' means 'Principle of order and knowledge' in the Greek of the day.

Since God is one simple divine essence, distinguishing marks within Him are only by opposite modes of relation. For example, the Father has a relation to the Son, and He has a relation to the Spirit. However, He does not have opposite relations to these. If He did, the Father would be two persons, whereas He is one person. He has the same mode of relation to the Son as He has to the Spirit: That both the Son and the Spirit are related to Him as being produced by Him.

Three distinguishing marks characterize any act of production: Efficient cause (that which produces), material cause (the matter out of which the product is produced), and formal term (the form it takes upon production).

The Son and the Spirit are not distinguished from one another by material cause, because they have no matter. Nor are they distinguished from one another by formal term, because they have the same form: The Divine Essence. Therefore, they are distinguished by efficient cause. Both are produced by the Father, so in order to be distinguished by efficient cause one of them must be produced by both the Father and another person of the Trinity.

There are three modes of relation within a living being: The sensible principle, by which matter act upon it, The appetitive principle, by which it is drawn towards its natural good, and the rational principle, by which it produces a similitude in the mind of being (this similitude being knowledge).

God has no sensible principle, because matter cannot act on Him.

The opposite mode of relation which distinguishes Father from Son is that of the rational principle: Paternity-Filiation.

This leaves the appetitive principle as the remaining opposite mode of relation to distinguish Spirit from Father and Son. The opposite relations here are Spiration-Procession.

Both knowledge and appetite are rooted in being, and it is therefore correct to say that the Spirit proceeds From the Father.

It is through knowledge that the knower desires what is known, and it is therefore also correct to say that the Spirit proceeds From the Father through the Son.

One must have knowledge of a thing in order to desire it (Bill cannot spirate a desire for Hamburgers, and a desire for Hamburgers cannot proceed from him, if Bill has no conception of what a Hamburger is). For this reason the Spirit cannot be distinguished from the Father and the Son simply, but only from the Father and the Son collectively, and it is therefore also correct to say that the Spirit proceeds From the Father and the Son.

Re Peter J: Aquinas' 'Treatise on the Most Holy Trinity' in the Summa Theologiae: http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/aquinas/summa/index.htm
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« Reply #132 on: June 02, 2011, 12:09:55 AM »

is the Logos, or reason, of God, one is certainly elevating a mode of relation to Personhood.
How is The Logos "a mode of relation"?
Logos does not mean "reason of God". And even if it did, wouldn't it be an attribute rather than a personified "mode of relation"?
The well known Theologian who introduced us to the Logos wrote:
"In the beginning was the Logos, and the Logos was with God and the Logos was God....." (John 1:1)
How is he describing "a mode of relation"? He is actually describing the relationship between the Logos and God (which he certainly does not personify).

Since God is one simple divine essence, distinguishing marks within Him are only by opposite modes of relation. For example, the Father has a relation to the Son, and He has a relation to the Spirit. However, He does not have opposite relations to these. If He did, the Father would be two persons, whereas He is one person. He has the same mode of relation to the Son as He has to the Spirit: That both the Son and the Spirit are related to Him as being produced by Him.

Three distinguishing marks characterize any act of production: Efficient cause (that which produces), material cause (the matter out of which the product is produced), and formal term (the form it takes upon production).

The Son and the Spirit are not distinguished from one another by material cause, because they have no matter. Nor are they distinguished from one another by formal term, because they have the same form: The Divine Essence. Therefore, they are distinguished by efficient cause. Both are produced by the Father, so in order to be distinguished by efficient cause one of them must be produced by both the Father and another person of the Trinity.

There are three modes of relation within a living being: The sensible principle, by which things act upon it, The appetitive principle, by which it is drawn towards its natural good, and the rational principle, by which it produces a similitude in the mind of being (this similitude being knowledge).

God has no sensible principle, because nothing can act on Him.

The opposite mode of relation which distinguishes Father from Son is that of the rational principle: Paternity-Filiation.

This leaves the appetitive principle as the remaining opposite mode of relation to distinguish Spirit from Father and Son. The opposite relations here are Spiration-Procession.

Both knowledge and appetite are rooted in being, and it is therefore correct to say that the Spirit proceeds From the Father.

It is through knowledge that the knower desires what is known, and it is therefore also correct to say that the Spirit proceeds From the Father through the Son.

One must have knowledge of a thing in order to desire it (Bill cannot spirate a desire for Hamburgers, and a desire for Hamburgers cannot proceed from him, if Bill has no conception of what a Margarita is). For this reason the Spirit cannot be distinguished from the Father and the Son simply, but only from the Father and the Son collectively, and it is therefore also correct to say that the Spirit proceeds From the Father and the Son.

Re Peter J: Aquinas' 'Treatise on the Most Holy Trinity' in the Summa Theologiae: http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/aquinas/summa/index.htm

lulz. Sounds just like the Gospel.

For this alone, St. Thomas Aquinas is a Saint for the miracle of writing this with a straight face.

You do know this is the second time you've quoted this here?
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« Reply #133 on: June 02, 2011, 12:30:05 AM »

I wrote that, I didn't quote it. It is, doubtlessly, a woefully inadequate summary of Aquinas' argument.

And the Gospels were written by divine inspiration, so obviously neither what I wrote nor what Aquinas wrote is on par with the gospels. But I'll take the calm and level headed reason of Aquinas as a better tool for understanding them than Catholics and Orthodox needlessly shouting 'heretic!' at one another. There is no necessary contradiction between the two creeds, and Aquinas' parsing of the Trinity demonstrates that beautifully.
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« Reply #134 on: June 02, 2011, 01:20:29 AM »

I wrote that, I didn't quote it. It is, doubtlessly, a woefully inadequate summary of Aquinas' argument.

And the Gospels were written by divine inspiration, so obviously neither what I wrote nor what Aquinas wrote is on par with the gospels. But I'll take the calm and level headed reason of Aquinas as a better tool for understanding them than Catholics and Orthodox needlessly shouting 'heretic!' at one another. There is no necessary contradiction between the two creeds, and Aquinas' parsing of the Trinity demonstrates that beautifully.

Bolded: ppl rly do run low on irony around here.
Italicized: Don't worry, it was already woefully inadequate in its original.
Underline: Agreed.
Magenta?: Doesn't demonstrate anything really and if that is your idea of beauty, then the dating world is your oyster.



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« Reply #135 on: June 02, 2011, 01:48:30 AM »

I don't think the word 'irony' means what you think it means.
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« Reply #136 on: June 02, 2011, 04:20:33 AM »

that I worship a different Christ and/or a different Holy Trinity than what Orthodox Christians worship.

This isn't really accurate. There is no other Christ or Holy Trinity to worship. You are directing your worship towards the Holy Trinity that you see in the Bible. But because you do not properly understand the Holy Trinity and are not mystically initiated in Orthodox Christianity you are not worshiping "in Spirit and Truth".

Is this actually the consensus amongst Orthodox Christians that all the non-Orthodox (heterodox) Christians are actually worshiping a false god rather than the One True God simply by having some doctrinal misunderstandings, or is this only the view of the minority that wish to be polemical?

I doubt there is a consensus. There are many teachings which exist in the Orthodox Church which lack consensus. Often they are regarded as the majority teaching of the Fathers without, often without contradiction. Often they are regarded as the logical implication of the explicit Tradition. So just because there is not a complete and explicit consensus does not mean that the teaching is not the Orthodox teaching.

Again, I'd like to clarify that speaking of you worshiping a false god needs some major clarifications. Like I said, there really is no such thing as a false god, in the sense that no other deity actually exists other than God. Also, like I said, unlike heathens your worship is actually directed toward the personality in the Bible that we understand to be the Holy Trinity. So in this sense you are directing your worship towards the True God. The only issue is that you have perverted the teaching of the nature of God so that you conceive of a mutation of the True God.

Also, like I said before, it's not just an issue of the doctrinal misunderstandings, but also that you are not mystically initiated into the Church. Worshiping "in Spirit and Truth" appears in the Bible to be a Pentecostal charism of the Church.

If this is the Orthodox view, what is the fate of most of the heterodox if they remain heterodox? Are they more than likely going to hell or is it more likely that God will extend His mercy to them despite their flawed belief?

I don't think we can speculate whether the heterodox are more or less likely to go to Gehenna. How one will be judged is really about whether one loves God and His Creation. It is possible for a condition towards loving God to be indicated by love for His Creation. Of course being judged on love for God logically indicates that a heathen must accept Him when they finally realize Him for who He is. But I have a strong belief that there are many heathens who are disposed towards love for God and that that love will not be realized until they convert at the very last moment at the Second Coming.

Does the Roman Catholic Church believe that all heterodox Christians are worshiping a different God simply by being outside the True Church?

No, but you have a rather different conception of Baptism/Chrismation, so I don't think it's a fair comparison.
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« Reply #137 on: June 02, 2011, 04:29:46 AM »

(with your church of course being FAR closer than the Nestorians to getting it right)

I don't know where you get that idea. Classical Nestorianism only really has one dogmatic error, in regarding Christ as two subsistences, whereas Romanism contains many. On top of that, Romanism contains a Triadological error, whereas Nestorianism does not (only a Christological error), which would seem to pervert their conception of God more.
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« Reply #138 on: June 02, 2011, 04:47:13 AM »

The Son and the Spirit are simply modes of relation

No. Modes of relation is why they exist. They are not themselves modes of relation.
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« Reply #139 on: June 02, 2011, 04:50:27 AM »


No one said it was, however the belief that the Holy Spirit is the "love between the Father and the Son" is a heresy which Catholicism has adopted as doctrine as a result of the heresy of the filioque.

So it is not strange at all to speak of the relations of the persons, nor is it strange to speak of those relationships as "Love"...


Dear Mary,

The problem, as I see it, is that the relationship is often taught as being a person.  Cf. the quotes George provided.  And these are not isolated.  I've heard this trope my entire Catholic life.  The Trinity was explained as such by Sr. Katherine in my first grade Religion class, by the two pastors I grew up around, by each of the parochial vicars that were in residence at the same (eight by my count), by a number of priests at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in DC where I used to serve Mass, by the two traditionalist priests at the "indult" parish in Baltimore, by the pastor of my parents' parish (who is now a bishop), from the pastor of the parish I was married in (my in-law's parish) and in countless...COUNTLESS...expositions of the Trinity written by Catholic authors.

You simply cannot bury your head in the sand and say, "This is not what the Roman Catholic Church teaches because I say so."  Both on the ground and at the highest levels, it has been taught that the personhood of the Holy Spirit is the relationship between the Father and Son.  You can say that it's not the case, but I have heard it with my own ears and read it with my own eyes in so many places and from so many disparate people within the RCC that it cannot be ignored.

Since God is one Divine Essence, what could the persons be, other than modes relations within the one Essence? In saying that the Son is the Logos, or reason, of God, one is certainly elevating a mode of relation to Personhood.

They are hypostases who differ in nothing from each other regarding their nature.
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« Reply #140 on: June 02, 2011, 04:54:35 AM »

is the Logos, or reason, of God, one is certainly elevating a mode of relation to Personhood.
How is The Logos "a mode of relation"?
Logos does not mean "reason of God". And even if it did, wouldn't it be an attribute rather than a personified "mode of relation"?
The well known Theologian who introduced us to the Logos wrote:
"In the beginning was the Logos, and the Logos was with God and the Logos was God....." (John 1:1)
How is he describing "a mode of relation"? He is actually describing the relationship between the Logos and God (which he certainly does not personify).

Good post. I'd like to see a response to it.
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« Reply #141 on: June 02, 2011, 06:40:52 AM »

No...Peter...no...That's not what they meant...Not wholesale but that catechesis in the Catholic Church has failed for many...That was the point.  I think...
I don't think its a failure of catechesis in Catholicism. I think it is the successful catechesis of erroneous doctrine.
So successful in fact, that even you, an Eastern Catholic, attempts to justify this error by stating that there is a difference in magnitude between the relationship of the First and Second Persons of the Trinity as compared to the other relationships:
But that relationship between the Father and the Son is real and it is unique for it is not shared between or among the Persons of the Trinity in anything approaching the same magnitude.


The difference, though we cannot know how so magnitude has little meaning here, is Scriptural.  There is a relationship between the Father and the Son that has been revealed to us and that relationship is unique.  It is not in evidence between the Father and the Holy Spirit, nor is it in evidence between the Son and the Holy Spirit.

It is in evidence in the Holy Fathers and in Orthodox iconography. 

So your protestations here are against your own tradition.

And yes.  Catechesis is often poor.  Even in Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #142 on: June 02, 2011, 06:44:09 AM »

The Son and the Spirit are simply modes of relation

No. Modes of relation is why they exist. They are not themselves modes of relation.

No.  Modes of relation are our pitifully inadequate borrowings from philosophy which we use to attempt to explain to one another what the Trinity has revealed to us about Himself in Scripture and Tradition...so that WE do not get confused.

Not workin' so well, so far...ya think?
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« Reply #143 on: June 02, 2011, 06:52:25 AM »

I wrote that, I didn't quote it. It is, doubtlessly, a woefully inadequate summary of Aquinas' argument.

And the Gospels were written by divine inspiration, so obviously neither what I wrote nor what Aquinas wrote is on par with the gospels. But I'll take the calm and level headed reason of Aquinas as a better tool for understanding them than Catholics and Orthodox needlessly shouting 'heretic!' at one another. There is no necessary contradiction between the two creeds, and Aquinas' parsing of the Trinity demonstrates that beautifully.


Agreed.  And you did a very nice job BTW.  I've been thinking about it trying to see if it can be made even more accessible by further explaining modes of relation but I've not had time to work something out clearly that does not simply repeat what I have been saying in less elegant form.

M.
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« Reply #144 on: June 02, 2011, 07:40:07 AM »


The Son and the Spirit are simply modes of relation, and the Spirit can be said to be proceed from both Father and Son because it can only be distinguished by opposite relation from Father and Son collectively (One must have knowledge of a thing in order to love it), and the only way to distinguish within a single Essence is by opposite relation. It can also be said to proceed from the Father through the Son (It is through knowledge that the knower desires what is known), or to proceed from the Father simply (knowledge and desire are both rooted in inaccessible being). None of the three formulations are incorrect. Or at least that's Aquinas' position, and I share it.

Saint Gregory the Theologian who died about 388 AD is an erudite representative of the holy Catholic Church Fathers on the subject of the origins of the three Persons of the Trinity. 
 
You hear that there is generation? Do not waste your time in seeking after the how. You hear that the Spirit proceeds from the Father? Do not busy yourself about the how" [Orat XX, 2]  "You ask what is the procession of the Holy Spirit? Do tell me first what is the unbegottenness of the Father, then I will explain to you the physiology of the Son's generation and the Spirit's procession and both of us shall be stricken with madness for prying into the mystery of God" [Orat XXXI, 8]
 
The Fifth Theological Oration.On the Holy Spirit by St Gregory Nazianzen

In my opinion the Western world has been long stricken with the madness against which Saint Gregory cautions.
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« Reply #145 on: June 02, 2011, 07:47:59 AM »


I took a course at a Catholic university on Grace.

Catholics believe that Sanctifying Grace is created.
Orthodox believe that Grace is uncreated and is part of the Divine Energies of God.

If Grace is a participation in the Divine Life of God, then it must be uncreated and part of God's Divine Energies.
Through theosis, we are transformed through Grace and become like God, not in God's Essence, but through His Divine Energies.

This is a profound difference.


I am so surprised that you were not taught better than this Maria.  It is no wonder you left the Church.  You never even got a good chance to know it in reality.

What you have said here is nothing but superficial inaccuracies.  It is very unfortunate and a scandal within the Catholic Church that ANYONE would be so poorly taught.

In Maria's defence I have to say that what she describes is what we were taught in the 1960s.  When I converted to Orthodoxy and learnt of theosis and uncreated grace it was poles away from what I had been taught, out of Tanquery, etc.

Were Maria and I both taught by heretical Catholics? <gulp>
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« Reply #146 on: June 02, 2011, 07:48:40 AM »


The Son and the Spirit are simply modes of relation, and the Spirit can be said to be proceed from both Father and Son because it can only be distinguished by opposite relation from Father and Son collectively (One must have knowledge of a thing in order to love it), and the only way to distinguish within a single Essence is by opposite relation. It can also be said to proceed from the Father through the Son (It is through knowledge that the knower desires what is known), or to proceed from the Father simply (knowledge and desire are both rooted in inaccessible being). None of the three formulations are incorrect. Or at least that's Aquinas' position, and I share it.

Saint Gregory the Theologian who died about 388 AD is an erudite representative of the holy Catholic Church Fathers on the subject of the origins of the three Persons of the Trinity. 
 
You hear that there is generation? Do not waste your time in seeking after the how. You hear that the Spirit proceeds from the Father? Do not busy yourself about the how" [Orat XX, 2]  "You ask what is the procession of the Holy Spirit? Do tell me first what is the unbegottenness of the Father, then I will explain to you the physiology of the Son's generation and the Spirit's procession and both of us shall be stricken with madness for prying into the mystery of God" [Orat XXXI, 8]
 
The Fifth Theological Oration.On the Holy Spirit by St Gregory Nazianzen

In my opinion the Western world has been long stricken with the madness against which Saint Gregory cautions.

Again this warning is for those obsessed with knowing and arguing and paying little heed to being and becoming holy as the Father is holy.  Idle chatter is not the same as prayerful discourse.  Some of my deepest contemplative moments have come in opening up my heart to the Trinity...meditating on the Scriptures that teach us and enliven our faith.  If one cannot explain and defend the faith then one is open, wide open, to the demonic.    There is an example to be made in the process of learning the faith.  That is why St. Paul warned against the desire to teach for teaching bears not only a great responsibility but there is also exacted a great price for the claim alone.   I have never found it difficult to determine those who are teaching the faith as a pupil of the Holy Spirit and those who teach the faith as a matter of pride and gnosis.
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« Reply #147 on: June 02, 2011, 07:50:27 AM »

/\   /\  Doesn't seem to be any mention of uncreated grace in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  Is the teaching only for initiates?

http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc.htm

As far as I am aware ideas on uncreated grace remain a matter of opinion within RC theological circles and have not been proclaimed as official Roman Catholic doctrine.

For more details please see message 916 at
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,23379.msg436474.html#msg436474

It speaks of the "rediscovery" of uncreated grace in the West commencing in the late 1930s and the 1940s with the writings of the eminent Catholic theologian Karl Rahner, a Jesuit theologian who died about 20 years ago.
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« Reply #148 on: June 02, 2011, 07:58:57 AM »


The Son and the Spirit are simply modes of relation, and the Spirit can be said to be proceed from both Father and Son because it can only be distinguished by opposite relation from Father and Son collectively (One must have knowledge of a thing in order to love it), and the only way to distinguish within a single Essence is by opposite relation. It can also be said to proceed from the Father through the Son (It is through knowledge that the knower desires what is known), or to proceed from the Father simply (knowledge and desire are both rooted in inaccessible being). None of the three formulations are incorrect. Or at least that's Aquinas' position, and I share it.

Saint Gregory the Theologian who died about 388 AD is an erudite representative of the holy Catholic Church Fathers on the subject of the origins of the three Persons of the Trinity. 
 
You hear that there is generation? Do not waste your time in seeking after the how. You hear that the Spirit proceeds from the Father? Do not busy yourself about the how" [Orat XX, 2]  "You ask what is the procession of the Holy Spirit? Do tell me first what is the unbegottenness of the Father, then I will explain to you the physiology of the Son's generation and the Spirit's procession and both of us shall be stricken with madness for prying into the mystery of God" [Orat XXXI, 8]
 
The Fifth Theological Oration.On the Holy Spirit by St Gregory Nazianzen

In my opinion the Western world has been long stricken with the madness against which Saint Gregory cautions.

Again this warning is for those obsessed with knowing and arguing and paying little heed to being and becoming holy as the Father is holy.  Idle chatter is not the same as prayerful discourse.  Some of my deepest contemplative moments have come in opening up my heart to the Trinity...meditating on the Scriptures that teach us and enliven our faith.  If one cannot explain and defend the faith then one is open, wide open, to the demonic.    There is an example to be made in the process of learning the faith.  That is why St. Paul warned against the desire to teach for teaching bears not only a great responsibility but there is also exacted a great price for the claim alone.   I have never found it difficult to determine those who are teaching the faith as a pupil of the Holy Spirit and those who teach the faith as a matter of pride and gnosis.


Wow!   A few insults in there.  Sorry to offend you!  I am sorry if I have offended your holiness and your own personal experiences of the Trinity, but I will take Saint Gregory and the ancient teaching of my Church any day as far more reliable than the musings of a Roman Catholic lady in America.   
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« Reply #149 on: June 02, 2011, 08:11:49 AM »

Re Peter J: Aquinas' 'Treatise on the Most Holy Trinity' in the Summa Theologiae: http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/aquinas/summa/index.htm

Thanks. However, I don't believe Aquinas calls them "modes of relation" ... granted I'm not an expert on his thinking.
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« Reply #150 on: June 02, 2011, 08:16:39 AM »


The Son and the Spirit are simply modes of relation, and the Spirit can be said to be proceed from both Father and Son because it can only be distinguished by opposite relation from Father and Son collectively (One must have knowledge of a thing in order to love it), and the only way to distinguish within a single Essence is by opposite relation. It can also be said to proceed from the Father through the Son (It is through knowledge that the knower desires what is known), or to proceed from the Father simply (knowledge and desire are both rooted in inaccessible being). None of the three formulations are incorrect. Or at least that's Aquinas' position, and I share it.

Saint Gregory the Theologian who died about 388 AD is an erudite representative of the holy Catholic Church Fathers on the subject of the origins of the three Persons of the Trinity. 
 
You hear that there is generation? Do not waste your time in seeking after the how. You hear that the Spirit proceeds from the Father? Do not busy yourself about the how" [Orat XX, 2]  "You ask what is the procession of the Holy Spirit? Do tell me first what is the unbegottenness of the Father, then I will explain to you the physiology of the Son's generation and the Spirit's procession and both of us shall be stricken with madness for prying into the mystery of God" [Orat XXXI, 8]
 
The Fifth Theological Oration.On the Holy Spirit by St Gregory Nazianzen

In my opinion the Western world has been long stricken with the madness against which Saint Gregory cautions.

Again this warning is for those obsessed with knowing and arguing and paying little heed to being and becoming holy as the Father is holy.  Idle chatter is not the same as prayerful discourse.  Some of my deepest contemplative moments have come in opening up my heart to the Trinity...meditating on the Scriptures that teach us and enliven our faith.  If one cannot explain and defend the faith then one is open, wide open, to the demonic.    There is an example to be made in the process of learning the faith.  That is why St. Paul warned against the desire to teach for teaching bears not only a great responsibility but there is also exacted a great price for the claim alone.   I have never found it difficult to determine those who are teaching the faith as a pupil of the Holy Spirit and those who teach the faith as a matter of pride and gnosis.


Wow!   A few insults in there.  Sorry to offend you!  I am sorry if I have offended your holiness and your own personal experiences of the Trinity, but I will take Saint Gregory and the ancient teaching of my Church any day as far more reliable than the musings of a Roman Catholic lady in America.   

Wow!!  Guess I won't open up to you again.  Thought you might understand.  Should have known you would take offense at anything I said contrary to your teaching.

You know it is your teaching.  There are other texts that you could have included in your teaching, including taste and see in St. Paul, that suggest that we should prayerfully explore the Glories of the Lord.

But hey!!...I won't bother sharing that part of my life with you again.   It is obviously not your cuppa tea.
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« Reply #151 on: June 02, 2011, 08:19:55 AM »

/\   /\  Doesn't seem to be any mention of uncreated grace in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  Is the teaching only for initiates?

http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc.htm

As far as I am aware ideas on uncreated grace remain a matter of opinion within RC theological circles and have not been proclaimed as official Roman Catholic doctrine.

For more details please see message 916 at
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,23379.msg436474.html#msg436474

It speaks of the "rediscovery" of uncreated grace in the West commencing in the late 1930s and the 1940s with the writings of the eminent Catholic theologian Karl Rahner, a Jesuit theologian who died about 20 years ago.


 laugh laugh laugh laugh laugh

Yea!  They "rediscovered" it after about 200 years of Irish Jansenism.

And as I have noted before there were others in the Catholic Church who never "lost" it...reformed Carmel never lost it...and the Dominicans never lost it...

Oh well...I'll stop here before you start to feel insulted... Smiley
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« Reply #152 on: June 02, 2011, 08:23:00 AM »

is the Logos, or reason, of God, one is certainly elevating a mode of relation to Personhood.
How is The Logos "a mode of relation"?
Logos does not mean "reason of God". And even if it did, wouldn't it be an attribute rather than a personified "mode of relation"?
The well known Theologian who introduced us to the Logos wrote:
"In the beginning was the Logos, and the Logos was with God and the Logos was God....." (John 1:1)
How is he describing "a mode of relation"? He is actually describing the relationship between the Logos and God (which he certainly does not personify).

The word 'logos' means 'Principle of order and knowledge' in the Greek of the day.

Since God is one simple divine essence, distinguishing marks within Him are only by opposite modes of relation. For example, the Father has a relation to the Son, and He has a relation to the Spirit. However, He does not have opposite relations to these. If He did, the Father would be two persons, whereas He is one person. He has the same mode of relation to the Son as He has to the Spirit: That both the Son and the Spirit are related to Him as being produced by Him.

Three distinguishing marks characterize any act of production: Efficient cause (that which produces), material cause (the matter out of which the product is produced), and formal term (the form it takes upon production).

The Son and the Spirit are not distinguished from one another by material cause, because they have no matter. Nor are they distinguished from one another by formal term, because they have the same form: The Divine Essence. Therefore, they are distinguished by efficient cause. Both are produced by the Father, so in order to be distinguished by efficient cause one of them must be produced by both the Father and another person of the Trinity.

There are three modes of relation within a living being: The sensible principle, by which matter act upon it, The appetitive principle, by which it is drawn towards its natural good, and the rational principle, by which it produces a similitude in the mind of being (this similitude being knowledge).

God has no sensible principle, because matter cannot act on Him.

The opposite mode of relation which distinguishes Father from Son is that of the rational principle: Paternity-Filiation.

This leaves the appetitive principle as the remaining opposite mode of relation to distinguish Spirit from Father and Son. The opposite relations here are Spiration-Procession.

Both knowledge and appetite are rooted in being, and it is therefore correct to say that the Spirit proceeds From the Father.

It is through knowledge that the knower desires what is known, and it is therefore also correct to say that the Spirit proceeds From the Father through the Son.

One must have knowledge of a thing in order to desire it (Bill cannot spirate a desire for Hamburgers, and a desire for Hamburgers cannot proceed from him, if Bill has no conception of what a Hamburger is). For this reason the Spirit cannot be distinguished from the Father and the Son simply, but only from the Father and the Son collectively, and it is therefore also correct to say that the Spirit proceeds From the Father and the Son.

Re Peter J: Aquinas' 'Treatise on the Most Holy Trinity' in the Summa Theologiae: http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/aquinas/summa/index.htm
Can you explain how any of that gobbledegook answers my question? How is The Logos a "mode of relation" as you claim? The "Begotteness" of the Logos is a "mode of relation", but this has not been personified into the Logos. If you recall, you attempted to justify Catholicism's personification of the Love between the Father and the Son into the "Holy Spirit" by paralleling it with an alleged personification of a "mode of relation" into the Logos. You still have failed to do so. Here is what you said:
Since God is one Divine Essence, what could the persons be, other than modes relations within the one Essence? In saying that the Son is the Logos, or reason, of God, one is certainly elevating a mode of relation to Personhood.
Please prove it.
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« Reply #153 on: June 02, 2011, 08:23:41 AM »


I took a course at a Catholic university on Grace.

Catholics believe that Sanctifying Grace is created.
Orthodox believe that Grace is uncreated and is part of the Divine Energies of God.

If Grace is a participation in the Divine Life of God, then it must be uncreated and part of God's Divine Energies.
Through theosis, we are transformed through Grace and become like God, not in God's Essence, but through His Divine Energies.

This is a profound difference.


I am so surprised that you were not taught better than this Maria.  It is no wonder you left the Church.  You never even got a good chance to know it in reality.

What you have said here is nothing but superficial inaccuracies.  It is very unfortunate and a scandal within the Catholic Church that ANYONE would be so poorly taught.

In Maria's defence I have to say that what she describes is what we were taught in the 1960s.  When I converted to Orthodoxy and learnt of theosis and uncreated grace it was poles away from what I had been taught, out of Tanquery, etc.

Were Maria and I both taught by heretical Catholics? <gulp>

Who knows and I am not sure why you care since you don't need to bothered with it any longer.

BTW  I was taught to look beneath the surface of things like the first, second and third Baltimore by an Irishman from Cork...Tom O'Shea...He seemed to know a great deal more about Trinity and grace than I was learning in my classrooms.  Maybe it was because he was from the south.  Don't know.  But I will admit that without his early direction, and Father Hal of course, I'd not be here doing this.  
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« Reply #154 on: June 02, 2011, 08:25:52 AM »

is the Logos, or reason, of God, one is certainly elevating a mode of relation to Personhood.
How is The Logos "a mode of relation"?
Logos does not mean "reason of God". And even if it did, wouldn't it be an attribute rather than a personified "mode of relation"?
The well known Theologian who introduced us to the Logos wrote:
"In the beginning was the Logos, and the Logos was with God and the Logos was God....." (John 1:1)
How is he describing "a mode of relation"? He is actually describing the relationship between the Logos and God (which he certainly does not personify).

The word 'logos' means 'Principle of order and knowledge' in the Greek of the day.

Since God is one simple divine essence, distinguishing marks within Him are only by opposite modes of relation. For example, the Father has a relation to the Son, and He has a relation to the Spirit. However, He does not have opposite relations to these. If He did, the Father would be two persons, whereas He is one person. He has the same mode of relation to the Son as He has to the Spirit: That both the Son and the Spirit are related to Him as being produced by Him.

Three distinguishing marks characterize any act of production: Efficient cause (that which produces), material cause (the matter out of which the product is produced), and formal term (the form it takes upon production).

The Son and the Spirit are not distinguished from one another by material cause, because they have no matter. Nor are they distinguished from one another by formal term, because they have the same form: The Divine Essence. Therefore, they are distinguished by efficient cause. Both are produced by the Father, so in order to be distinguished by efficient cause one of them must be produced by both the Father and another person of the Trinity.

There are three modes of relation within a living being: The sensible principle, by which matter act upon it, The appetitive principle, by which it is drawn towards its natural good, and the rational principle, by which it produces a similitude in the mind of being (this similitude being knowledge).

God has no sensible principle, because matter cannot act on Him.

The opposite mode of relation which distinguishes Father from Son is that of the rational principle: Paternity-Filiation.

This leaves the appetitive principle as the remaining opposite mode of relation to distinguish Spirit from Father and Son. The opposite relations here are Spiration-Procession.

Both knowledge and appetite are rooted in being, and it is therefore correct to say that the Spirit proceeds From the Father.

It is through knowledge that the knower desires what is known, and it is therefore also correct to say that the Spirit proceeds From the Father through the Son.

One must have knowledge of a thing in order to desire it (Bill cannot spirate a desire for Hamburgers, and a desire for Hamburgers cannot proceed from him, if Bill has no conception of what a Hamburger is). For this reason the Spirit cannot be distinguished from the Father and the Son simply, but only from the Father and the Son collectively, and it is therefore also correct to say that the Spirit proceeds From the Father and the Son.

Re Peter J: Aquinas' 'Treatise on the Most Holy Trinity' in the Summa Theologiae: http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/aquinas/summa/index.htm
Can you explain how any of that gobbledegook answers my question? How is The Logos a "mode of relation" as you claim? The "Begotteness" of the Logos is a "mode of relation", but this has not been personified into the Logos. If you recall, you attempted to justify Catholicism's personification of the Love between the Father and the Son into the "Holy Spirit" by paralleling it with an alleged personification of a "mode of relation" into the Logos. You still have failed to do so. Here is what you said:
Since God is one Divine Essence, what could the persons be, other than modes relations within the one Essence? In saying that the Son is the Logos, or reason, of God, one is certainly elevating a mode of relation to Personhood.
Please prove it.

Are you human?  Is that part of your personhood?  Does that define your relationship with others of your kind?  Or is that something off to the side?

What kind of dualist are you?  There's more than one variety.
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« Reply #155 on: June 02, 2011, 08:30:43 AM »

is the Logos, or reason, of God, one is certainly elevating a mode of relation to Personhood.
How is The Logos "a mode of relation"?
Logos does not mean "reason of God". And even if it did, wouldn't it be an attribute rather than a personified "mode of relation"?
The well known Theologian who introduced us to the Logos wrote:
"In the beginning was the Logos, and the Logos was with God and the Logos was God....." (John 1:1)
How is he describing "a mode of relation"? He is actually describing the relationship between the Logos and God (which he certainly does not personify).

The word 'logos' means 'Principle of order and knowledge' in the Greek of the day.

Since God is one simple divine essence, distinguishing marks within Him are only by opposite modes of relation. For example, the Father has a relation to the Son, and He has a relation to the Spirit. However, He does not have opposite relations to these. If He did, the Father would be two persons, whereas He is one person. He has the same mode of relation to the Son as He has to the Spirit: That both the Son and the Spirit are related to Him as being produced by Him.

Three distinguishing marks characterize any act of production: Efficient cause (that which produces), material cause (the matter out of which the product is produced), and formal term (the form it takes upon production).

The Son and the Spirit are not distinguished from one another by material cause, because they have no matter. Nor are they distinguished from one another by formal term, because they have the same form: The Divine Essence. Therefore, they are distinguished by efficient cause. Both are produced by the Father, so in order to be distinguished by efficient cause one of them must be produced by both the Father and another person of the Trinity.

There are three modes of relation within a living being: The sensible principle, by which matter act upon it, The appetitive principle, by which it is drawn towards its natural good, and the rational principle, by which it produces a similitude in the mind of being (this similitude being knowledge).

God has no sensible principle, because matter cannot act on Him.

The opposite mode of relation which distinguishes Father from Son is that of the rational principle: Paternity-Filiation.

This leaves the appetitive principle as the remaining opposite mode of relation to distinguish Spirit from Father and Son. The opposite relations here are Spiration-Procession.

Both knowledge and appetite are rooted in being, and it is therefore correct to say that the Spirit proceeds From the Father.

It is through knowledge that the knower desires what is known, and it is therefore also correct to say that the Spirit proceeds From the Father through the Son.

One must have knowledge of a thing in order to desire it (Bill cannot spirate a desire for Hamburgers, and a desire for Hamburgers cannot proceed from him, if Bill has no conception of what a Hamburger is). For this reason the Spirit cannot be distinguished from the Father and the Son simply, but only from the Father and the Son collectively, and it is therefore also correct to say that the Spirit proceeds From the Father and the Son.

Re Peter J: Aquinas' 'Treatise on the Most Holy Trinity' in the Summa Theologiae: http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/aquinas/summa/index.htm
Can you explain how any of that gobbledegook answers my question? How is The Logos a "mode of relation" as you claim? The "Begotteness" of the Logos is a "mode of relation", but this has not been personified into the Logos. If you recall, you attempted to justify Catholicism's personification of the Love between the Father and the Son into the "Holy Spirit" by paralleling it with an alleged personification of a "mode of relation" into the Logos. You still have failed to do so. Here is what you said:
Since God is one Divine Essence, what could the persons be, other than modes relations within the one Essence? In saying that the Son is the Logos, or reason, of God, one is certainly elevating a mode of relation to Personhood.
Please prove it.

Are you human?  Is that part of your personhood?  Does that define your relationship with others of your kind?  Or is that something off to the side?

What kind of dualist are you?  There's more than one variety.
So now you are reversing it. Rather than a relationship or "mode of relation" being elevated to Personhood, you are elevating Personhood to a mode of relation......You guys do get yourselves into some twists don't you? Smiley
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« Reply #156 on: June 02, 2011, 08:32:33 AM »

is the Logos, or reason, of God, one is certainly elevating a mode of relation to Personhood.
How is The Logos "a mode of relation"?
Logos does not mean "reason of God". And even if it did, wouldn't it be an attribute rather than a personified "mode of relation"?
The well known Theologian who introduced us to the Logos wrote:
"In the beginning was the Logos, and the Logos was with God and the Logos was God....." (John 1:1)
How is he describing "a mode of relation"? He is actually describing the relationship between the Logos and God (which he certainly does not personify).

The word 'logos' means 'Principle of order and knowledge' in the Greek of the day.

Since God is one simple divine essence, distinguishing marks within Him are only by opposite modes of relation. For example, the Father has a relation to the Son, and He has a relation to the Spirit. However, He does not have opposite relations to these. If He did, the Father would be two persons, whereas He is one person. He has the same mode of relation to the Son as He has to the Spirit: That both the Son and the Spirit are related to Him as being produced by Him.

Three distinguishing marks characterize any act of production: Efficient cause (that which produces), material cause (the matter out of which the product is produced), and formal term (the form it takes upon production).

The Son and the Spirit are not distinguished from one another by material cause, because they have no matter. Nor are they distinguished from one another by formal term, because they have the same form: The Divine Essence. Therefore, they are distinguished by efficient cause. Both are produced by the Father, so in order to be distinguished by efficient cause one of them must be produced by both the Father and another person of the Trinity.

There are three modes of relation within a living being: The sensible principle, by which matter act upon it, The appetitive principle, by which it is drawn towards its natural good, and the rational principle, by which it produces a similitude in the mind of being (this similitude being knowledge).

God has no sensible principle, because matter cannot act on Him.

The opposite mode of relation which distinguishes Father from Son is that of the rational principle: Paternity-Filiation.

This leaves the appetitive principle as the remaining opposite mode of relation to distinguish Spirit from Father and Son. The opposite relations here are Spiration-Procession.

Both knowledge and appetite are rooted in being, and it is therefore correct to say that the Spirit proceeds From the Father.

It is through knowledge that the knower desires what is known, and it is therefore also correct to say that the Spirit proceeds From the Father through the Son.

One must have knowledge of a thing in order to desire it (Bill cannot spirate a desire for Hamburgers, and a desire for Hamburgers cannot proceed from him, if Bill has no conception of what a Hamburger is). For this reason the Spirit cannot be distinguished from the Father and the Son simply, but only from the Father and the Son collectively, and it is therefore also correct to say that the Spirit proceeds From the Father and the Son.

Re Peter J: Aquinas' 'Treatise on the Most Holy Trinity' in the Summa Theologiae: http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/aquinas/summa/index.htm
Can you explain how any of that gobbledegook answers my question? How is The Logos a "mode of relation" as you claim? The "Begotteness" of the Logos is a "mode of relation", but this has not been personified into the Logos. If you recall, you attempted to justify Catholicism's personification of the Love between the Father and the Son into the "Holy Spirit" by paralleling it with an alleged personification of a "mode of relation" into the Logos. You still have failed to do so. Here is what you said:
Since God is one Divine Essence, what could the persons be, other than modes relations within the one Essence? In saying that the Son is the Logos, or reason, of God, one is certainly elevating a mode of relation to Personhood.
Please prove it.

Are you human?  Is that part of your personhood?  Does that define your relationship with others of your kind?  Or is that something off to the side?

What kind of dualist are you?  There's more than one variety.

Huh?
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« Reply #157 on: June 02, 2011, 08:37:47 AM »

is the Logos, or reason, of God, one is certainly elevating a mode of relation to Personhood.
How is The Logos "a mode of relation"?
Logos does not mean "reason of God". And even if it did, wouldn't it be an attribute rather than a personified "mode of relation"?
The well known Theologian who introduced us to the Logos wrote:
"In the beginning was the Logos, and the Logos was with God and the Logos was God....." (John 1:1)
How is he describing "a mode of relation"? He is actually describing the relationship between the Logos and God (which he certainly does not personify).

The word 'logos' means 'Principle of order and knowledge' in the Greek of the day.

Since God is one simple divine essence, distinguishing marks within Him are only by opposite modes of relation. For example, the Father has a relation to the Son, and He has a relation to the Spirit. However, He does not have opposite relations to these. If He did, the Father would be two persons, whereas He is one person. He has the same mode of relation to the Son as He has to the Spirit: That both the Son and the Spirit are related to Him as being produced by Him.

Three distinguishing marks characterize any act of production: Efficient cause (that which produces), material cause (the matter out of which the product is produced), and formal term (the form it takes upon production).

The Son and the Spirit are not distinguished from one another by material cause, because they have no matter. Nor are they distinguished from one another by formal term, because they have the same form: The Divine Essence. Therefore, they are distinguished by efficient cause. Both are produced by the Father, so in order to be distinguished by efficient cause one of them must be produced by both the Father and another person of the Trinity.

There are three modes of relation within a living being: The sensible principle, by which matter act upon it, The appetitive principle, by which it is drawn towards its natural good, and the rational principle, by which it produces a similitude in the mind of being (this similitude being knowledge).

God has no sensible principle, because matter cannot act on Him.

The opposite mode of relation which distinguishes Father from Son is that of the rational principle: Paternity-Filiation.

This leaves the appetitive principle as the remaining opposite mode of relation to distinguish Spirit from Father and Son. The opposite relations here are Spiration-Procession.

Both knowledge and appetite are rooted in being, and it is therefore correct to say that the Spirit proceeds From the Father.

It is through knowledge that the knower desires what is known, and it is therefore also correct to say that the Spirit proceeds From the Father through the Son.

One must have knowledge of a thing in order to desire it (Bill cannot spirate a desire for Hamburgers, and a desire for Hamburgers cannot proceed from him, if Bill has no conception of what a Hamburger is). For this reason the Spirit cannot be distinguished from the Father and the Son simply, but only from the Father and the Son collectively, and it is therefore also correct to say that the Spirit proceeds From the Father and the Son.

Re Peter J: Aquinas' 'Treatise on the Most Holy Trinity' in the Summa Theologiae: http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/aquinas/summa/index.htm
Can you explain how any of that gobbledegook answers my question? How is The Logos a "mode of relation" as you claim? The "Begotteness" of the Logos is a "mode of relation", but this has not been personified into the Logos. If you recall, you attempted to justify Catholicism's personification of the Love between the Father and the Son into the "Holy Spirit" by paralleling it with an alleged personification of a "mode of relation" into the Logos. You still have failed to do so. Here is what you said:
Since God is one Divine Essence, what could the persons be, other than modes relations within the one Essence? In saying that the Son is the Logos, or reason, of God, one is certainly elevating a mode of relation to Personhood.
Please prove it.

Are you human?  Is that part of your personhood?  Does that define your relationship with others of your kind?  Or is that something off to the side?

What kind of dualist are you?  There's more than one variety.
So now you are reversing it. Rather than a relationship or "mode of relation" being elevated to Personhood, you are elevating Personhood to a mode of relation......You guys do get yourselves into some twists don't you? Smiley


That would work IF I had said that your personhood consisted ONLY of your humanity.
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« Reply #158 on: June 02, 2011, 08:38:32 AM »

is the Logos, or reason, of God, one is certainly elevating a mode of relation to Personhood.
How is The Logos "a mode of relation"?
Logos does not mean "reason of God". And even if it did, wouldn't it be an attribute rather than a personified "mode of relation"?
The well known Theologian who introduced us to the Logos wrote:
"In the beginning was the Logos, and the Logos was with God and the Logos was God....." (John 1:1)
How is he describing "a mode of relation"? He is actually describing the relationship between the Logos and God (which he certainly does not personify).

The word 'logos' means 'Principle of order and knowledge' in the Greek of the day.

Since God is one simple divine essence, distinguishing marks within Him are only by opposite modes of relation. For example, the Father has a relation to the Son, and He has a relation to the Spirit. However, He does not have opposite relations to these. If He did, the Father would be two persons, whereas He is one person. He has the same mode of relation to the Son as He has to the Spirit: That both the Son and the Spirit are related to Him as being produced by Him.

Three distinguishing marks characterize any act of production: Efficient cause (that which produces), material cause (the matter out of which the product is produced), and formal term (the form it takes upon production).

The Son and the Spirit are not distinguished from one another by material cause, because they have no matter. Nor are they distinguished from one another by formal term, because they have the same form: The Divine Essence. Therefore, they are distinguished by efficient cause. Both are produced by the Father, so in order to be distinguished by efficient cause one of them must be produced by both the Father and another person of the Trinity.

There are three modes of relation within a living being: The sensible principle, by which matter act upon it, The appetitive principle, by which it is drawn towards its natural good, and the rational principle, by which it produces a similitude in the mind of being (this similitude being knowledge).

God has no sensible principle, because matter cannot act on Him.

The opposite mode of relation which distinguishes Father from Son is that of the rational principle: Paternity-Filiation.

This leaves the appetitive principle as the remaining opposite mode of relation to distinguish Spirit from Father and Son. The opposite relations here are Spiration-Procession.

Both knowledge and appetite are rooted in being, and it is therefore correct to say that the Spirit proceeds From the Father.

It is through knowledge that the knower desires what is known, and it is therefore also correct to say that the Spirit proceeds From the Father through the Son.

One must have knowledge of a thing in order to desire it (Bill cannot spirate a desire for Hamburgers, and a desire for Hamburgers cannot proceed from him, if Bill has no conception of what a Hamburger is). For this reason the Spirit cannot be distinguished from the Father and the Son simply, but only from the Father and the Son collectively, and it is therefore also correct to say that the Spirit proceeds From the Father and the Son.

Re Peter J: Aquinas' 'Treatise on the Most Holy Trinity' in the Summa Theologiae: http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/aquinas/summa/index.htm
Can you explain how any of that gobbledegook answers my question? How is The Logos a "mode of relation" as you claim? The "Begotteness" of the Logos is a "mode of relation", but this has not been personified into the Logos. If you recall, you attempted to justify Catholicism's personification of the Love between the Father and the Son into the "Holy Spirit" by paralleling it with an alleged personification of a "mode of relation" into the Logos. You still have failed to do so. Here is what you said:
Since God is one Divine Essence, what could the persons be, other than modes relations within the one Essence? In saying that the Son is the Logos, or reason, of God, one is certainly elevating a mode of relation to Personhood.
Please prove it.

Are you human?  Is that part of your personhood?  Does that define your relationship with others of your kind?  Or is that something off to the side?

What kind of dualist are you?  There's more than one variety.

Huh?

I have escaped serious mode  Cheesy
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« Reply #159 on: June 02, 2011, 08:40:06 AM »

If anyone is interested in a long read, this rather lengthy paper is interesting and lays out the history of the filioque dispute impartially, sets forth the Greek and Latin theological perspectives on the issue, addresses issues of common understanding, and most importantly, draws out the still real distinctions and divisions between the positions of the Orthodox and the Latin Churches on this matter. "The Filioque: a Church-Dividing Issue? An Agreed statement of the North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation Saint Paul's College, Washington, d.c. October, 2003" http://www.scoba.us/resources/orthodox-catholic/2003filioque.html

I won't quote mine or extract any portions of this as the entire paper needs to be read and digested. On the whole, I read it as being more accepting of the Eastern position but... While it certainly isn't as much 'fun' as a polemic-filled back and forth online, the conclusions are interesting, but remain unaddressed nearly ten years later by any in authority, particularly from the Roman side.

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« Reply #160 on: June 02, 2011, 08:49:49 AM »

If anyone is interested in a long read, this rather lengthy paper is interesting and lays out the history of the filioque dispute impartially, sets forth the Greek and Latin theological perspectives on the issue, addresses issues of common understanding, and most importantly, draws out the still real distinctions and divisions between the positions of the Orthodox and the Latin Churches on this matter. "The Filioque: a Church-Dividing Issue? An Agreed statement of the North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation Saint Paul's College, Washington, d.c. October, 2003" http://www.scoba.us/resources/orthodox-catholic/2003filioque.html

That's an excellent paper.
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« Reply #161 on: June 02, 2011, 08:54:41 AM »


Another Church Father shared by us both. Saint John of Damascus:

'The mode of generation and the mode of procession are incomprehensible. We have learned that there is a difference between generation and procession, but the nature of the difference we in no wise understand.'

and also from Saint John of Damascus:

"We do not speak of the Spirit as from the Son."


The Orthodox know only within the limits of Scripture and Tradition. Both of these affirm that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father only. This is what we know with crystal clear clarity.
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« Reply #162 on: June 02, 2011, 09:03:22 AM »


Another Church Father shared by us both. Saint John of Damascus:

'The mode of generation and the mode of procession are incomprehensible. We have learned that there is a difference between generation and procession, but the nature of the difference we in no wise understand.'

and also from Saint John of Damascus:

"We do not speak of the Spirit as from the Son."

I seriously doubt that either of those quotes can be reconciled with Aquinas' thought. (Not that I in any way want to discount the fact that we share many saints, but I think we need to be careful to avoid syncretism.)
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« Reply #163 on: June 02, 2011, 09:07:06 AM »

"The Filioque: a Church-Dividing Issue?" has a short, but to-the-point, description of Aquinas' thinking on the filioque:

Quote
The Greek and Latin theological traditions clearly remain in some tension with each other on the fundamental issue of the Spirit’s eternal origin as a distinct divine person. By the Middle Ages, as a result of the influence of Anselm and Thomas Aquinas, Western theology almost universally conceives of the identity of each divine person as defined by its “relations of opposition” – in other words, its mutually defining relations of origin - to the other two, and concludes that the Holy Spirit would not be hypostatically distinguishable from the Son if the Spirit “proceeded” from the Father alone. In the Latin understanding of processio as a general term for “origin,” after all, it can also be said that the Son “proceeds from the Father” by being generated from him. Eastern theology, drawing on the language of John 15.26 and the Creed of 381, continues to understand the language of “procession” (ekporeusis) as de-not-ing a unique, exclusive, and distinc-tive causal relationship between the Spirit and the Father, and generally confines the Son’s role to the “manifestation” and “mission” of the Spirit in the divine activities of crea-tion and redemption. These differences, though subtle, are substantial, and the very weight of theological tradition behind both of them makes them all the more difficult to reconcile theologically with each other.
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« Reply #164 on: June 02, 2011, 09:10:17 AM »

I don't think the word 'irony' means what you think it means.

You ain't been around long have you?

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« Reply #165 on: June 02, 2011, 09:11:04 AM »


Another Church Father shared by us both. Saint John of Damascus:

'The mode of generation and the mode of procession are incomprehensible. We have learned that there is a difference between generation and procession, but the nature of the difference we in no wise understand.'

and also from Saint John of Damascus:

"We do not speak of the Spirit as from the Son."

I seriously doubt that either of those quotes can be reconciled with Aquinas' thought. (Not that I in any way want to discount the fact that we share many saints, but I think we need to be careful to avoid syncretism.)


If we have a Saint-theologian shared by both our Churches and then we have a Saint venerated only in one of them  --- my country-boy wisdom says we should pay more attention to the Saint we share.  He points to our true unity.
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« Reply #166 on: June 02, 2011, 09:53:44 AM »


Another Church Father shared by us both. Saint John of Damascus:

'The mode of generation and the mode of procession are incomprehensible. We have learned that there is a difference between generation and procession, but the nature of the difference we in no wise understand.'

and also from Saint John of Damascus:

"We do not speak of the Spirit as from the Son."

I seriously doubt that either of those quotes can be reconciled with Aquinas' thought. (Not that I in any way want to discount the fact that we share many saints, but I think we need to be careful to avoid syncretism.)


If we have a Saint-theologian shared by both our Churches and then we have a Saint venerated only in one of them  --- my country-boy wisdom says we should pay more attention to the Saint we share.  He points to our true unity.

To be honest, the more I study the issues, the less I'm inclined to think that our churches are close to re-union.

But yes, I agree that we should pay attention to the saints we share.
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Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


« Reply #167 on: June 02, 2011, 10:14:47 AM »


Another Church Father shared by us both. Saint John of Damascus:

'The mode of generation and the mode of procession are incomprehensible. We have learned that there is a difference between generation and procession, but the nature of the difference we in no wise understand.'

and also from Saint John of Damascus:

"We do not speak of the Spirit as from the Son."

I seriously doubt that either of those quotes can be reconciled with Aquinas' thought. (Not that I in any way want to discount the fact that we share many saints, but I think we need to be careful to avoid syncretism.)


If we have a Saint-theologian shared by both our Churches and then we have a Saint venerated only in one of them  --- my country-boy wisdom says we should pay more attention to the Saint we share.  He points to our true unity.

To be honest, the more I study the issues, the less I'm inclined to think that our churches are close to re-union.



My uneducated opinion is that if we ever agree on the theological disputes it will be two rather pragmatic things which will prevent union.   The Orthodox will never give up their traditional right to divorce and a sacramental second marriage nor will they accept that non-abortive contraception is among the grievous sins which can send a man and woman to hell.
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