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Author Topic: One more question about the filioque.  (Read 2106 times) Average Rating: 0
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Basil 320
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« Reply #45 on: June 05, 2012, 01:42:03 AM »

Many, if not most in Eastern Orthodoxy consider him the Blessed Augustine.  The Orthodox Church recognizes saints for particular specified reasons.  Saints were people in this life and are not necessarily considered to have lived in total perfection.
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« Reply #46 on: June 05, 2012, 02:30:18 AM »

St. Augustine of Hippo taught that the Spirit came from the Father and the Son. And yet, he was declared a Father of the Church at the Fifth Ecumenical Council, held in Constantinople in A.D. 553. In the Sixth Ecumenical Council, he is called the "most excellent and blessed Augustine" and is referred to as "the most wise teacher." In the Comnenian Council of Constantinople in 1166 he is referred to as "Saint Augustine."
If St. Augustine was a heretic, then why do many in  the Orthodox Church revere him as a saint and celebrate his feast day on June 15 ?

As most theologians of the church, they are mostly correct, ie to say that no one is perfect.
So a heretic can be a saint?

Why, sure, Stanley.  Let's see....if, say, you're one of those Orthodox who believe that Catholics are heretics, and Jose Maria Escriva (a Catholic) is a Saint as the Catholic Church declares, then.....bingo!  You've got a saint who's a heretic.  Or, is it a heretic who's a saint  Huh  Think I need another beer  Grin.
So it is not a mortal sin to teach heresy? You can teach heresy and be a saint at the same time?

"Knowingly* teaching heresy would be a sin.
I suspect that St. Augustine knew exactly what was stated in the Nicene Creed.

And I'm fairly certain that St. Augustine never claimed that the Creed said 'from the Son'
So is it true that by affirming the filioque, he knowingly went against the creed, but is nevertheless  declared to be a saint in heaven by the Holy Orthodox Church?

I'm not sure why this is so difficult for you, but I'll try to lay it out.

The Creed is less than a page long. St. Augustine wrote thousands of pages on Christian doctrine. In those thousands of pages, he wrote many, many things which were not in the Creed. Some of those things he was correct about, some not so much. Whatever he wrote, even the stuff he later came back and corrected himself, I am sure that at the time he wrote it, he sincerely believe it was consistent with the creed.

One of the things St. Augustine was not correct about was the relationship of the Spirit and the Son. Orthodox do not take this as 'knowingly going against the Creed' because
1) St. Augustine did not 'affirm the filioque' because the filioque had not been inserted into the Creed during his lifetime. It's likely that his writings on the topic were part of the reason that happened, but the earliest known examples of it being inserted in the Creed (or in creedal-type statements) occur well after his repose.
1b) even if St. Augustine had inserted it into the Creed, he lived before the Councils of Ephesus and Chalcedon ruled that no changes to the Creed were to be allowed. So if he had written a personal variation of the creed which included the filioque, he would have been wrong on the topic--but not wrong in placing himself above an Ecumenical Council as those Westerners who insisted on the actual filioque at later dates were.
2) There is no evidence that St. Augustine held to his opinion on the relationship of the Spirit and Son in the face of correction. If, one of his contemporaries, like, for example the Cappadocian Fathers, had gotten hold of his writings on the Spirit and sent him a correction which he rejected; or if there was any evidence that he had read their works and written against them, then 'stubborn perseverance in error' might be an issue, but there is no evidence of any thing like that occurring.
2a) St. Augustine never condemned anyone or broke communion with them over their differing with him on this topic (again, there's little evidence he even realized that his contemporaries in the East were writing much more accurate explanations).

As I already did in the other thread, I point you to the parallel of saints who lived well before the iconoclast controversy who had negative things to say about images. They had a personal opinion--that opinion was wrong, but since they never got into an argument with those whose opinion was Orthodox and supported error in the face of correction we simply acknowledge that no one but God is actually perfect.
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« Reply #47 on: June 05, 2012, 07:17:48 AM »

I was listening to a Catholic apologetic on EWTN today, and to surmise his lengthy explanation, he said that the Spirit proceeds from the love of the Father and the Son.

Interesting. I used to be big on EWTN, yet I heard anyone on EWTN talk about the procession of the Holy Spirit. Any idea what the show was called?
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« Reply #48 on: June 05, 2012, 07:30:26 AM »

Does anyone know of any writings of St. Augustine in which he specifically mentions the creed? A few years ago I read a commentary he wrote about John 15:26, but as best as I can recall he doesn't mention the fact that said verse was incorporated into the creed. (It might have been something he wrote before 381, I don't recall. Edit: On second thought, probably not, b/c he only converted in 387.)
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« Reply #49 on: June 05, 2012, 07:48:33 AM »

I think A Sermon to Catechumens on the Creed is sort of a short explanation, but I'm not very familiar with St. Augustine and am not aware of anything more detailed.
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« Reply #50 on: June 05, 2012, 08:13:26 AM »

I think A Sermon to Catechumens on the Creed is sort of a short explanation, but I'm not very familiar with St. Augustine and am not aware of anything more detailed.

Interesting. I don't think he's commenting on either the Creed of 325 or the Creed of 381, but perhaps something closer to the Apostles' Creed.
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« Reply #51 on: June 05, 2012, 08:17:24 AM »

I think A Sermon to Catechumens on the Creed is sort of a short explanation, but I'm not very familiar with St. Augustine and am not aware of anything more detailed.

Interesting. I don't think he's commenting on either the Creed of 325 or the Creed of 381, but perhaps something closer to the Apostles' Creed.

Huh, that's possible. I should have read back through it before posting it. I remember in another place he mentioned specifically that creed and went over it a bit (Rather than the Nicene/Constantinopolitan one), so perhaps he was doing the same here.
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« Reply #52 on: June 05, 2012, 04:50:30 PM »

I was listening to a Catholic apologetic on EWTN today, and to surmise his lengthy explanation, he said that the Spirit proceeds from the love of the Father and the Son.

Interesting. I used to be big on EWTN, yet I heard anyone on EWTN talk about the procession of the Holy Spirit. Any idea what the show was called?

It was Open Line yesterday afternoon (Monday) with John Martignoni.
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« Reply #53 on: June 05, 2012, 07:10:26 PM »

I was listening to a Catholic apologetic on EWTN today, and to surmise his lengthy explanation, he said that the Spirit proceeds from the love of the Father and the Son.

Interesting. I used to be big on EWTN, yet I heard anyone on EWTN talk about the procession of the Holy Spirit. Any idea what the show was called?

It was Open Line yesterday afternoon (Monday) with John Martignoni.

Thanks, arnI.  Smiley I'm not familiar with that show -- although that's really not saying very much, since I'm probably unfamiliar with the majority of the shows they've created in the last 10 years.
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« Reply #54 on: June 30, 2012, 09:25:49 PM »

If the Holy Spirit proceeds only from the Father, doesn't this leave Christ out of the picture? How is He connected to this procession?
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« Reply #55 on: June 30, 2012, 10:15:39 PM »

If the Holy Spirit proceeds only from the Father, doesn't this leave Christ out of the picture? How is He connected to this procession?
He is begotten of the One from Whom the Spirit processes.
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« Reply #56 on: June 30, 2012, 11:11:42 PM »

If the Holy Spirit proceeds only from the Father, doesn't this leave Christ out of the picture? How is He connected to this procession?

If the Son is begotten only of the Father, doesn't this leave the Holy Spirit of out the picture? How is He connected to this begetting?
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« Reply #57 on: June 30, 2012, 11:28:59 PM »

If the Holy Spirit proceeds only from the Father, doesn't this leave Christ out of the picture? How is He connected to this procession?

If the Son is begotten only of the Father, doesn't this leave the Holy Spirit of out the picture? How is He connected to this begetting?
I don't know. I am new to this stuff.
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« Reply #58 on: July 01, 2012, 12:19:57 AM »

If the Holy Spirit proceeds only from the Father, doesn't this leave Christ out of the picture? How is He connected to this procession?

If the Son is begotten only of the Father, doesn't this leave the Holy Spirit of out the picture? How is He connected to this begetting?
I don't know. I am new to this stuff.

You are getting the gist of my point, but it has nothing to do with how 'new' you are to the question. You don't know. I don't know. Nobody knows. Because the Trinity, the existence of God as Three Persons but One Essence is not something that man figured out on his own or ever could have figure out. The existence of God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is know to us through, and only through Revelation. That God came and showed it to us. We know that the Son is 'begotten' but we don't know the mechanics of that process, how He can be begotten 'before all ages', how He can be a distinct Person, the Son, yet one and the same God as the Father. In the case of the Spirit, the Son told us, "The Spirit proceeds from the Father." That's what has been revealed. Anything else is vain speculation, an attempt to bring God's transcendent existence down into terms that make sense to us--a process that is inherently false because a God that makes sense to us is a God of our own minds and not the God who transcends everything He has created.
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« Reply #59 on: July 01, 2012, 01:12:54 AM »

If the Holy Spirit proceeds only from the Father, doesn't this leave Christ out of the picture? How is He connected to this procession?

"And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father..."  Article 2, Symbol of the Faith

"...of one essence with the Father..."  Article 3, Symbol of Faith
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« Reply #60 on: July 01, 2012, 01:16:39 AM »

If the Holy Spirit proceeds only from the Father, doesn't this leave Christ out of the picture? How is He connected to this procession?

If the Son is begotten only of the Father, doesn't this leave the Holy Spirit of out the picture? How is He connected to this begetting?

"And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Creator of Life, Who proceeds from the Father, Who together with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified..."  Article 9, Symbol of Faith
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