Article posted on another site -
Re: Augustine split the church
Date: 13 February 2003
Sir - In your interview of Dr Rowan Williams and your leading article (
Leader, Feb 12 ), you show an enthusiasm for Augustine of Hippo that is not
shared by the Eastern Orthodox Church.
It was Augustine who first argued for the inclusion of the filioque clause
in the Nicene Creed - "the Holy Spirit who proceedeth from the Father and
the Son" - which was a major cause of the split between the Western and
Eastern churches. Almost as bad has been Augustine's influence on our
understanding of humanity, believing as he did in original guilt and,
therefore, the tacit denial of human freedom.
This teaching led ultimately to Calvinism and its pessimistic view of our
humanity, and other Protestant aberrations. The logic of Augustine's
position led him to the view that unbaptised babies, because they are
tainted with original guilt, are consigned to hell. These views of human
nature have always been rejected by the Orthodox Church.
Rev Michael Harper Dean, British Antiochian, Orthodox Church, Cambridge