Author Topic: Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father & the Son according to...  (Read 1835 times)

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Offline Shamati

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Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father & the Son according to...
« on: September 12, 2015, 03:37:16 AM »
Then he showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. Revelation 22:1

Let's read what a western churchfather has said about this passage's interpretation:
153. And this, again, is not a trivial matter that we read that a river goes forth from the throne of God. For you read the words of the Evangelist John to this purport: And He showed me a river of living water, bright as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street thereof, and on either side, was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruits, yielding its fruit every month, and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of all nations. Revelation 22:1-2

154. This is certainly the River proceeding from the throne of God, that is, the Holy Spirit, Whom he drinks who believes in Christ, as He Himself says: If any man thirst, let him come to Me and drink. He that believes in Me, as says the Scripture, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. But this spoke He of the Spirit. John 7:37-38 Therefore the river is the Spirit.

155. This, then, is in the throne of God, for the water washes not the throne of God. Then, whatever you may understand by that water, David said not that it was above the throne of God, but above the heavens, for it is written: Let the waters which are above the heavens praise the Name of the Lord. Let them praise, he says, not let it praise. For if he had intended us to understand the element of water, he would certainly have said, Let it praise, but by using the plural he intended the Powers to be understood. On the Holy Spirit, Book III, ch 20 - Saint Ambrose of Milan

He who believes in me, as the scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water.’” Now this he said about the Spirit, which those who believed in him were to receive; for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. John 7:38-39

The western Church has always believed that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son. From the first time the nicene-constantinopolitan creed was being recited in Spain it included the Filioque. The popes used to say it's good & orthodox to say the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son, but that the creed was made under the direction of the Holy Spirit and that therefore it should not be modified. But since very early, the liturgical recitation of the Creed has included the Filioque & the fact is that Charlemagne & the monks of the western church truly believed that the Creed actually included this phrase in the original.

St Thomas Aquinas says that the Father "is the Principle without Principle", the latin fathers usually doesnt speak of the Father as Cause or Uncaused, they use the word Principle instead because it's wider. The Son is the Principle whose Principle is the Father & the Holy Spirit is the Principle whose Principle is the Father, And the Son. But because only the Father is the Principle without Principle, the Son is mediating the Manifestation of the Spirit.

The Filioque became a church-dividing problem for the greeks only when Charlemagne was crowned Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire - It's politics, stupid! & because of the influence of the theology of Photius, who claims the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father ALONE.

The reason it was such a problem for Constantinople that the Pope chose to crown Charlemagne is because it meant that Charlemagne would now be responsible for the protection of the Pope & this had traditionally been provided by Constantinople.

Personally, I feel the filioque should be removed or modified in an ecumenical council of orthodox & catholic bishops. For example, St John Damascene says the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father, through the Son.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2015, 03:42:29 AM by Shamati »

Offline hecma925

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Re: Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father & the Son according to...
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2015, 04:15:46 AM »
Why would there be an ecumenical council between the Orthodox and the others?
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Offline Shamati

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Re: Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father & the Son according to...
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2015, 05:10:37 AM »
Why would there be an ecumenical council between the Orthodox and the others?
I say that IF the Orthodox & Catholic Churches was ever to commit to resolve the schism, a catholic-orthodox council could be a mechanism through which all the dividing issues could be brought up, debated & once & for all resolved.

That's how the schism has been resolved in the past at the council of Florence, Lyon etc. But in those days, the Catholic side didnt compromise on anything at all which made the Orthodox side seem as the only cause of the schism & perhaps that's why the council of Florence was never possible to implement as there were influential bishops against union.

These days, I think both sides have a much wider understanding of contributing factors behind schism; language, spirituality, monastic & scholastic theological tradition, nationalism, ceasaro-papism vs papism etc.

In my opinion, this should be possible to be resolved & the fact that the Filioque was in the western version of the creed everywhere except in St Peter's in Rome shows that it was possible back in those days.

Except for the filioque, there's also the intermediate state between death & Heaven or Hell called Purgatorium in Latin & sometimes called Toll-Houses in the orthodox church.

There's also a wide difference between the Doctrine of Marriage where the Orthodox accepts divorce & remarriage whereas the Catholic Church considers itself bound by law by the words of Jesus & can therefore not bless 2nd marriages in any other case than when the 1st marriage was invalid & annulled.

Offline Cyrillic

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Re: Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father & the Son according to...
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2015, 06:19:25 AM »
Your interpretation would be heretical even according to the RCC. This is what the Council of Florence said:

The Holy Spirit is eternally from Father and Son; He has his nature and subsistence at once (simul) from the Father and the Son. He proceeds eternally from both as from one principle and through one spiration

Your interpretation introduces two principles and two spirations.

The Filioque became a church-dividing problem for the greeks only when Charlemagne was crowned Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire - It's politics, stupid!

The Greeks objected to the filioque as early as the 7th century. Long before Charlemagne was even born.

Except for the filioque, there's also the intermediate state between death & Heaven or Hell called Purgatorium in Latin & sometimes called Toll-Houses in the orthodox church.

Lets not open that can of worms.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2015, 06:25:29 AM by Cyrillic »

Offline Vanhyo

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Re: Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father & the Son according to...
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2015, 01:41:21 PM »
With the current apostasy of Rome, i feel like whether to say or not filique in the creed is the least concerns.

Inter religious ecumenism, secularism, modernism, outright heretical statements and the lists go on..

« Last Edit: September 12, 2015, 02:03:50 PM by Vanhyo »

Offline Shamati

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Re: Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father & the Son according to...
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2015, 05:14:05 PM »
“Those of the Queen of cities have attacked the synodal letter of the present very holy Pope (Martin I), not in the case of all the chapters that he has written in it, but only in the case of two of them. One relates to theology, because it says he says that ‘the Holy Spirit proceeds (ἐκπορεύεσθαι) also from the Son.’

“The other has to do with the divine incarnation, because he has written, ‘The Lord, as man, is without original sin.’

“With regard to the first matter, they (the Romans) have produced the unanimous documentary evidence of the Latin fathers, and also of Cyril of Alexandria, from the sacred commentary he composed on the gospel of St. John. On the basis of these texts, they have shown that they have not made the Son the cause of the Spirit — they know in fact that the Father is the only cause of the Son and the Spirit, the one by begetting and the other by procession; but [they use this expression] in order to manifest the Spirit’s coming-forth (προϊέναι) through him and, in this way, to make clear the unity and identity of the essence….

“The Romans have therefore been accused of things of which it is wrong to accuse them, whereas of the things of which the Byzantines have quite rightly been accused (viz., Monothelitism), they have, to date, made no self-defense, because neither have they gotten rid of the things introduced by them.

“But, in accordance with your request, I have asked the Romans to translate what is peculiar to them in such a way that any obscurities that may result from it will be avoided. But since the practice of writing and sending (the synodal letters) has been observed, I wonder whether they will possibly agree to doing this. One should also keep in mind that they cannot express their meaning in a language and idiom that are foreign to them as precisely as they can in their own mother-tongue, any more than we can do.”

St. Maximus the Confessor, Ad Domnum Marinum Cypri presbyterum (Letter to the priest Marinus of Cyprus), PG 91, 134D-136C.

If St Maximus the Confessor can accept it - I'm compelled by my own conscience to at least investigate so as to set forth what is the claimed heresy & what side is right.

It was St. Thomas Aquinas who said the Father is the Principle without Principle in his work Summa Theologiae "Objections" dealing with the greek accusations of heresy.

If the Latin Church is in "heresy" - you should try to read the early latin fathers, like Hieronymous or Augustine & you will see that same terminology & theology even from the earliest days. Many pre-schism latin saints canonized by the eastern orthodox church clearly taught the filioque - because that was just the Orthodox teaching in the west. Hilary of Poitiers is one example, Isidore of Seville another.

245. The apostolic faith concerning the Spirit was confessed by the second ecumenical council at Constantinople (381): "We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and giver of life, who proceeds from the Father."(71) By this confession, the Church recognizes the Father as "the source and origin of the whole divinity".(72) But the eternal origin of the Spirit is not unconnected with the Son's origin: "The Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, is God, one and equal with the Father and the Son, of the same substance and also of the same nature. . . Yet he is not called the Spirit of the Father alone,. . . but the Spirit of both the Father and the Son."(73: 73 Council of Toledo XI (675): DS 527.) The Creed of the Church from the Council of Constantinople confesses: "With the Father and the Son, he is worshipped and glorified."(74)

Catechism of the Catholic Church

The Latin Church recognizes that the Father is the Unbegotten "uncaused source" of the Trinity from which the Son is begotten & the Holy Spirit is proceeding, pre-eternally. But the Latin Church says that the Son is not "excluded" from the procession of the Holy Spirit; it originates ultimately from the Father but is always manifested through the Son.

That's clearly not the same as saying that the Father is 1 Cause & the Son is 1 Cause & that the Spirit proceeds from them because it's clear that the monarchy of the Trinity is still taught in the Latin theology if one just delves into it a bit.

For me, the controversy of the filioque ends up in a question of whether or not the Pope of Rome has the authority to unilaterally ratify an insertion into a creed defined in an ecumenical council? The Filioque was adopted by many local councils of the western Church - but the original creed itself was outlined by local councils of the eastern church & only later adopted by the latin Church - In my opinion, this issue shouldnt be church-dividing & it clearly wasnt for nearly 1000 years. Although there were greeks who did object to the Filioque, that's true, & the pope's never inserted the Filioque eventhough Charlemagne & his successors pressured him to do so. It only became a problem that divided the Church when the Holy Roman Empire became the pre-eminent power of Europe & simultanously there was a reform of the papacy wherein the Pope went from being a Patriarch of the Latin Church that was recognized as "1st among equals" to having universal jurisdiction. At least that's what seems to me to be the source of the problem.

Besides, in those days, when the papacy was pressured to insert the filioque by the Holy Roman Emperors, Constantinople was iconoclastic & taught that it was heresy to venerate sacred art - the boundaries of what constituted Orthodoxy was radically different from today & the Pope of Rome was very much the Pillar of Orthodoxy

Let's say the papacy wasnt reformed - he was still a patriarch, first among equals, the arbiter of issues impossible to resolve at local levels, & the byzantines was still the "protector of the papacy from the barbarians" instead of the carolingians - in that situation, there wouldve been no schism IMHO
« Last Edit: October 01, 2015, 05:18:22 PM by Shamati »

Offline Rohzek

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Re: Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father & the Son according to...
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2015, 09:15:14 PM »
St. Maximus' acceptance of it was qualified. He chocked it up to a grammar issue, which at the time may have very well been the case. He said that the Latins did not think of the Holy Spirit as having two processions, but only one.

As for Hillary of Poitiers, I think the emphasis on him advocating the Filioque as later formulated is misplaced. He clearly distinguished between Christ's act of sending the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit proceeding from the Father.

The same cannot be said for Augustine, Cassiodorus, or Pope Vigilius. At best, their use of procedere is very broad. Unlike the Greek, procedere has multiple usages which can speak of things other than eternal origin, unlike the Greek word in the Nicene Creed.

Historically, the Latin West has never been consistent with the Filioque. Let's begin with Maximus' defense of the Latins. At the time, the Latin's accepted and appreciated Maximus' defense of them. In other words, they found his formulation and acceptance to be in full accord with their own beliefs. At the Council of Florence, when the Eastern bishops proposed using Maximus' formulation as a means for unity, the Latins rejected it. So the Latins flip-flopped on this portion over the course of the centuries. Personally, I find Maximus' formulation to be best chance for us to agree upon this issue.

Additionally, it is quite telling that the Latins had a very large difficulty making sense of Augustine, Cassiodorus, and Pope Vigilius on this point. The reason being is because the first mounted Latin defense of the Filioque occurred in the aftermath of II Nicaea. Patriarch Tarasius of Constantinople proclaimed at the council that the Holy Spirit "Patre per Filium procedentem" (proceeds from the Father through the Son). Theodulf of Orleans, the chief architect of the Frankish Church's rejection of II Nicaea, said that Tarasius was mistaken. He said that the Holy Spirit "procedere ex Patre et Filio" (proceeds from the Father and the Son). If you look at his arguments, it's pretty clear why Theodulf has a very big problem with Tarasius' formulation. Theodulf comes out and says quite forwardly that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the divine essence, not the divine persons. This is why he also claims to have only one principle for the Holy Spirit as well. This position is hardly surprising. It is the exact same position that his elder and contemporary, Alcuin of York, asserted in his own theological works. By the time of Florence, let alone the lifetime of Photius, the Frankish Church abandoned their theory that the Holy Spirit proceeded from the divine essence. However, they still kept the Filioque. They just went back to the drawing board to justify it. I don't think they've really reconciled it logically to this day precisely because they boxed themselves into a corner with their rejection of Maximus' formulation and Theodulf/Alcuin's. They proclaim one source, but the way they have it formulated runs completely contrary to that understanding.

A really good book on this matter is the following:

Siecienski, A. Edward. The Filioque: History of a Doctrinal Debate. New York: Oxford University Press, 2010.

It covers the times from the writings of the Gospels up to the present. It maintains a good measure of neutrality on the subject.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2015, 09:31:33 PM by Rohzek »
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