Author Topic: Trinity Relations and Filoque Clause  (Read 669 times)

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Offline wainscottbl

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Trinity Relations and Filoque Clause
« on: August 05, 2013, 08:39:48 PM »
Bringing up one of those hot topics between East and West to see how each side hands it. Not looking for the meaning, but see what each side things of the use of the Filoque in the Creed as follows:

1. First of all at all. Is the adding of it bad and was it simply one of the causes of schism something that could have been prevented perhaps had not the Filioque not been added at all by the West. Indeed, I know it was a slow thing and not the sole cause of the schism, but it is a big issue. Should it have been just avoided? Would Western Christians agree to that or would they say it was a healthy way to fight Arianism and so forth?

2. Can it be understood as the Spirit proceeding temporally at Pentecost. For the sake of union would Eastern Christians be willing to allow the West to use it in their Creed if it was agreed that the procession is something in time and that the Father is the origin of the Father and the Son eternally?

3. Or for Westerners is the Filioque an absolute must? How do you then understand the monarchia of the Father if you say "the Spirit is begotten of the Father and the Son" eternally? Is that what you would maintain? If not why not just be willing to take it out?


I would love to see every numbered point answered respective to your Christian confession, except the third point which is a question for Westerns, though Eastern Christians may address it. I want to have a dialogue. I will answer, too below.
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Offline JamesR

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Re: Trinity Relations and Filoque Clause
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2013, 08:42:41 PM »
These debates about whether or not the Filioque could be understood in an Orthodox way are pointless because it ignores the greater part. The fact of the matter is that Canons from the 3rd and 5th Ecumenical Councils prohibited the alteration of the Creed by anything short of another Ecumenical Council, declaring anathema to anyone who does. Rome broke it and were (and are) thus anathema.
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Offline wainscottbl

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Re: Trinity Relations and Filoque Clause
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2013, 08:46:06 PM »
I consider myself more an Eastern now, even though I am not a catechumen and not make the conversion yet so I will answer from my limited Eastern view or understanding. I am only a child of the Faith, so forgive any errors.

1. I tend to think it would have been better had it not been added. It is true it slowly was added to the Creed in the West, but when it was finally a universal thing in the West it became a big issue that has kept a division between East and West. It still is, though the papal issue is perhaps bigger. But that is a whole other duck.

2. Yes, it can be understood in that way, even in the Creed, and so if that is what the West is willing to say, strictly speaking it would be fine, but it would be better to not have it for the sake of unity. But if the West was absolutely insistent on it fine as long as they did not make a big deal of the Eastern view on it. Rome could not infringe on the East's hesitance of using it at all.

3. I do not think it should be for Westerns because it was not in the original Creed, but added, though some Westerns would say it is because they would say, according to their Council of Florence, I think, it is a dogma. I am not sure how one can understand the monarchia of the Father with the Western idea of the Filoque from what I understand of it. I think it creates problems and I think even having it just a huge problem. Why add something to the Creed, even to fight against Arians or other heretics? The original Creed without the Filoque makes the doctrine of the Trinity pretty clear.
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Offline wainscottbl

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Re: Trinity Relations and Filoque Clause
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2013, 08:48:15 PM »
These debates about whether or not the Filioque could be understood in an Orthodox way are pointless because it ignores the greater part. The fact of the matter is that Canons from the 3rd and 5th Ecumenical Councils prohibited the alteration of the Creed by anything short of another Ecumenical Council, declaring anathema to anyone who does. Rome broke it and were (and are) thus anathema.

Yes, I agree that the changing was forbidden, something Catholics have to defend with their argument of authority. I will have to find the ridiculous Old Catholic Encylopedia justification. Typical smugness of its writers. I can hardly stand it. I could hardly stand it as a Catholic, a traditional Catholic.
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Offline WPM

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Re: Trinity Relations and Filoque Clause
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2013, 10:48:29 PM »
3 persons Father,Son,and Holy Spirit One God

Offline Papist

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Re: Trinity Relations and Filoque Clause
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2013, 11:34:42 PM »

3. Or for Westerners is the Filioque an absolute must? How do you then understand the monarchia of the Father if you say "the Spirit is begotten of the Father and the Son" eternally? Is that what you would maintain? If not why not just be willing to take it out?


Since the Son's Spiration of the Third Person of the Holy Spirit is derived from the Father, the monarchy of the Father is preserved. I would have no problem clarifying the Latin Creed to read, "We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father, through the Son."

But neither would I have a problem of returning to the older recitation of the Creed: "We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father." Since I attend a Byzantine Parish, that is how we recite the creed anyway. :)
« Last Edit: August 05, 2013, 11:37:00 PM by Papist »
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Offline Papist

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Re: Trinity Relations and Filoque Clause
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2013, 11:41:19 PM »
^ BTW, the reason that I would have no problem returning to the older recitation of the Creed is that what was valid then is still valid today. While I see no reason to believe that the filioque is erroneous, it is not necessary to insert it in the Creed.
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Offline Gunnarr

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Re: Trinity Relations and Filoque Clause
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2013, 03:35:19 AM »
These debates about whether or not the Filioque could be understood in an Orthodox way are pointless because it ignores the greater part. The fact of the matter is that Canons from the 3rd and 5th Ecumenical Councils prohibited the alteration of the Creed by anything short of another Ecumenical Council, declaring anathema to anyone who does. Rome broke it and were (and are) thus anathema.

I never thought of it that way

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Re: Trinity Relations and Filoque Clause
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2013, 07:10:47 AM »
Since the Son's Spiration of the Third Person of the Holy Spirit is derived from the Father, the monarchy of the Father is preserved.

To quote Thomas Aquinas: "Further, the Holy Ghost proceeds perfectly from the Father. Therefore it is superfluous to say that He proceeds from the Son."
« Last Edit: August 06, 2013, 07:11:03 AM by Cyrillic »
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