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Author Topic: The fathers of the church on the filioque clause  (Read 5177 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: December 23, 2005, 05:03:51 AM »

"I believe the Spirit to proceed from no other source than from the Father through the Son." Tertullian, Against Praxeas, 4:1 (A.D. 216).

"Therefore the Spirit is said to receive from Christ, and Christ Himself from the Father." Marius Victorinus, Against Arium, I:12 (c. A.D. 355).

"Concerning the Holy Spirit I ought not to be silent, and yet I have no need to speak; still, for the sake of those who are in ignorance, I cannot refrain. There is no need to speak, because we are bound to confess Him, proceeding, as He does, from Father and Son." Hilary of Poitiers, On the Trinity, 2:29 (A.D. 357).

"For the present I forbear to expose their license of speculation, some of them holding that the Paraclete Spirit comes from the Father or from the Son. For our Lord has not left this in uncertainty, for after these same words He spoke thus,-- 'I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. When He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He shall guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak from Himself: but what things soever He shall hear, these shall He speak; and He shall declare unto you the things that are to come. He shall glorify Me: for He shall receive of Mine and stroll declare it unto you. All things whatsoever the Father hath are Mine: therefore said I, He shall receive of Mine and shall declare it unto you' (John 16:12-15). Accordingly He receives from the Son, Who is both sent by Him, and proceeds from the Father. Now I ask whether to receive from the Son is the same thing as to proceed from the Father. But if one believes that there is a difference between receiving from the Son and proceeding from the Father, surely to receive from the Son and to receive from the Father will be regarded as one and the same thing." Hilary of Poitiers, On the Trinity, 8:20 (A.D. 357).

"For He, as as been said, gives to the Spirit, and whatever the Spirit hath, He hath from the Word." Athanasius, Against the Arians, III:24 (A.D. 362).

"The Holy Spirit ... is ever with the Father and the Son, and is from God, proceeding from the Father and receiving of the Son." Epiphanius, The Man Well-Anchore, 7 (A.D. 374).

"The Spirit is God, from the Father and the Son." Epiphanius, The Man Well-Anchored, 9 (A.D. 374).

"[N]either does any know the Spirit but the Father and the Son, the Persons from whom he proceeds and from whom He receives." Epiphanius, The Man Well-Anchored, 11 (A.D. 374).

"God ...is Life, the Son Life from Life, and the Holy Spirit flows from both; the Father is Light, the Son is Light, the Holy Spirit the third from Father and Son." Epiphanius, The Man Well-Anchored, 70 (A.D. 374).

"The Father always existed and the Son always existed, and the Spirit breathes forth from the Father and the Son..." Epiphanius, The Man Well-Anchored, 75 (A.D. 374).

"Thus the way of the knowledge of God lies from One Spirit through the One Son to the One Father, and conversely the natural Goodness and the inherent Holiness and the royal Dignity extend from the Father through the Only-begotten to the Spirit. Thus there is both acknowledgment of the hypostases and the true dogma of the Monarchy is not lost." Basil, On the Holy Spirit, 18:47 (A.D. 375).

"If ever there was a time when the Father was not, then there was a time when the Son was not. If ever there was a time when the Son was not, then there was a time when the Spirit was not." Gregory of Nazianen, 5th Oration (31), 3 (A.D. 380).

"Our Lord teaches that the being of the Spirit is derived not from the Spirit Himself, but from the Father and the Son; He goes forth from the Son, proceeding from the Truth; He has no subsistence but that which is given Him by the Son." Didymus the Blind of Alexandria, The Holy Spirit, 37 (ante A.D. 381).

"Our Lord teaches that the being of the Spirit is derived not from the Spirit Himself, but from the Father and the Son; He goes forth from the Son, proceeding from the Truth; He has no subsistence but that which is given Him by the Son." Didymus the Blind, The Holy Spirit, 37 (ante A.D. 381).

"The Holy Spirit also, when He proceeds from the Father and the Son, is not separated from the Father nor separated from the Son. For how could He be separated from the Father Who is the Spirit of His mouth? Which is certainly both a proof of His eternity, and expresses the Unity of this Godhead." Ambrose, The Holy Spirit, 1:11:120 (A.D. 381).

"The Holy Spirit is from the Father and the Son, not made nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding." Athanasian Creed (A.D. 400).

"And the Holy Spirit, according to the Holy Scriptures, is neither of the Father alone, nor of the Son alone, but of both." Augustine, On the Trinity, ,XV:17,27 (A.D. 408).

"Inasmuch as the Son is God and is by nature from God, the Spirit is His own, and is both in Him and from Him." Cyril of Alexandria, In Joel, 2:28 (A.D. 427).

"He is the Spirit both of the Father and of the Son, seeing that He is poured forth in a way of essence from Both or in other words, from the Father through the Son." Cyril of Alexandria, Worship and Adoration, 1 (A.D. 429).
http://www.scripturecatholic.com/the_holy_spirit.html

Does it really matter whether or not one acknowledges that the Holy Spirit proceeds from not only the Father but also the Son?

Peace.
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« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2005, 08:25:03 PM »

It seems that the Great Schism wasn't over the clause itself but the papal exercise of power in declaring it as dogma.

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« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2005, 09:06:40 PM »

Those quotes don't actually make your point.  If the western Church has added per Filium (which is what those quotes speak of) into the creed I don't think the East would have objected on theological grounds.  Per Filium is not Filioque. 
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« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2005, 09:14:57 PM »

There is a difference between denying a doctrine as dogma and declaring it as heretical. As far as I know, the filioque is a theologoumenon.

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« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2005, 09:39:06 PM »

the filioque is a theologoumenon.
A theologoumenon cannot contradict dogma. The filioque is not a theologoumenon, because it contradicts the dogma of the Monarchy of the Father.
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« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2005, 09:49:10 PM »

You are still missing my point, Matthew.  None of those quotes speak to the Filioque as espoused by the Latins - that the Father and the Son are the eternal source of the Holy Spirit.  They all speak of the Orthodox understanding of the Son's role in the temporal procession of the Holy Spirit. 
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« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2005, 10:12:43 PM »

the dogma of the Monarchy of the Father.

Does this imply that the Son is subordinate to the Father?
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« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2005, 10:13:47 PM »

Does this imply that the Son is subordinate to the Father?
Perhaps to you, but not to the Orthodox Wink
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« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2005, 10:16:17 PM »

They all speak of the Orthodox understanding of the Son's role in the temporal procession of the Holy Spirit.ÂÂ  

I am not really sure about that. Allow us to consider this one specifically:
"For the present I forbear to expose their license of speculation, some of them holding that the Paraclete Spirit comes from the Father or from the Son. For our Lord has not left this in uncertainty, for after these same words He spoke thus,-- 'I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. When He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He shall guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak from Himself: but what things soever He shall hear, these shall He speak; and He shall declare unto you the things that are to come. He shall glorify Me: for He shall receive of Mine and stroll declare it unto you. All things whatsoever the Father hath are Mine: therefore said I, He shall receive of Mine and shall declare it unto you' (John 16:12-15). Accordingly He receives from the Son, Who is both sent by Him, and proceeds from the Father. Now I ask whether to receive from the Son is the same thing as to proceed from the Father. But if one believes that there is a difference between receiving from the Son and proceeding from the Father, surely to receive from the Son and to receive from the Father will be regarded as one and the same thing." Hilary of Poitiers, On the Trinity, 8:20 (A.D. 357).

The Oriental Orthodox Church wasn't even involved in the Great Schism and therefore, we do not seem to have an opinion on the filioque clause either way.
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« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2005, 10:18:47 PM »

Perhaps to you, but not to the Orthodox Wink

You see, I am Orthodox but I also see why Roman Catholics hold to the filioque. If the Son is equal to the Father, then why wouldn't the Spirit of God proceed from Him also? In the eyes of the West, a rejection of the filioque implies that the Son is lesser than the Father.
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« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2005, 10:26:36 PM »

You see, I am Orthodox
What exactley does that mean? That you espouse Orthodox doctrine? Or simply that your name is in the register of a parish Church with "Orthodox" in it's name?
If the Son is equal to the Father, then why wouldn't the Spirit of God proceed from Him also?
How many times do we have to go through this matthew? Check the 1,965 other threads about this.....this is getting kinda like the "belief-o-matic" quiz that keeps appearing with tedious repetetiveness.
In the eyes of the West, a rejection of the filioque implies that the Son is lesser than the Father.
Fine. That's their problem.
Merry Christmas!!!
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« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2005, 10:29:57 PM »

What exactley does that mean? That you espouse Orthodox doctrine? Or simply that your name is in the register of a parish Church with "Orthodox" in it's name?

You must not forget that the Oriental Orthodox Churches were not even involved in the Great Schism. We neither accept the filioque as dogma nor condemn it as a heresy.
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« Reply #12 on: December 23, 2005, 10:33:24 PM »

You must not forget that the Oriental Orthodox Churches were not even involved in the Great Schism. We neither accept the filioque as dogma nor condemn it as a heresy.
Good for you, and again Merry Christmas!!!
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« Reply #13 on: December 23, 2005, 10:34:16 PM »

May you also have a Merry Christmas.

The Filioque: A Church-Dividing Issue?
An Agreed Statement of the
North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation
Saint Paul’s College, Washington, DC
October 25, 2003
http://www.usccb.org/seia/filioque.htm

The filioque bothers me simply because it was an unnecessary addition, not because there is anything inherently wrong with its theology.

Peace.
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« Reply #14 on: December 24, 2005, 12:38:50 AM »

The position of the Eastern Church is that the Spirit does not proceed ontologically from the Son... the difference in the understanding of proceeding is largely derived from the implications of Proceed in Latin versus in the Greek... in the Greek, there is an ontological, eternal undertone - the Spirit derives its being in the procession, in which case it can only be from the Father... but in the Latin procedere, there isn't this implication, which was a point of misunderstanding at the time.

The position of the Orthodox Church is not only that the addition was invalid on its face because it was a modification of a decision/text of an Ecumenical Synod (two, actually), but it is invalid in its theological implications in the Greek (which is the original text of the Creed).
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« Reply #15 on: December 24, 2005, 01:48:38 AM »

Matthew,

Please do The Orthodox Church a favour and never presume to speak on her behalf; it is your responsibility to get the facts right to prevent yourself from carelessly misrepresenting her position on certain issues or matters. I have already stopped taking you seriously since a while ago, for it seems that 90% of your threads have been attempts to deliberetly argue for or push forward heresies or controversial issues just for the sake of it. It seems like you just want to be the centre of attention or something - "the guy who sparks all the controversey"-kinda-thing. Its pathetic, really - please get over it.

The fact the OO Church was never involved in the 11th century schism between the East and West (by virtue of the obvious fact that such a schism had already taken place in the fifth century), does not mean it does not have a definite stance or position on the issues in question.

As stated earlier in a previous thread, Ecumenical Councils are not called upon to merely deal with theoretical heresies in the abstract, but rather they are called upon to deal with real and actual threats to the Church that require an immediate dogmatic ruling. The filioque never threatened the Oriental Orthodox Church — it never became an ecumenically relevant issue - and therefore there was never any purpose for dealing with it at an Ecumenical Council. Just because an issue is not discussed at an Ecumenical Council, it doesn’t mean it automatically becomes theologoumenon. The Oriental Orthodox Church in responding to the filioque, has explicitly rejected it as heresy — so again, please do not presume to speak on behalf of The Church before you even bother inquiring into the Church’s position on such things.

•   In session 1 of the Oriental Orthodox / Reformed Dialogue that took place in 1993, H.G. Mar Matta Roham, the Syrian Orthodox Metropolitan, presented a paper entitled ‘Introduction to the Oriental Orthodox Churches’, which made it very clear that the OO Church explicitly rejects the filioque. (Attia, M., The Coptic Church and the Ecumenical Movement, page 175)

•   In the book titled Differences Between Orthodox and Catholics, Fr. Markos Hanna compiles the answers of His Holiness Pope Shenouda III given during a 1991 lecture in response to inquiries regarding the Roman Catholic faith. His Holiness is quoted as saying with respect to the filioque: “this dogma creates two Fathers in the Holy Trinity.” (page 9)

•   His Eminence (Dr.) Paulos Mar Gregorios of the Malankara (Syrian) Orthodox Church states in relation to the filioque:ÂÂ  “We object to certain later additions made by the Roman Catholics, for example the addition of the word ‘filioque’ in the Latin creed. They, for example, teach that the Holy Spirit, one of the Three PersonsÂÂ  of the Trinity, proceeds from the Father and the Son (filioque means ‘and from the Son’). We do not teach so. The son is begotten by the father; the Spirit proceeds from the Father. The words “begotten’ and ‘proceeding’ delineate the difference between the Son and the Spirit in their relation to the Father. In later centuries, especially after the fifth century when the Western Church broke from the Asian - African moorings, it misunderstood the word ‘proceeding’ as related to the coming of the Spirit in the Church on Pentecost. This coming, of course, is from the Father and the Son, but that is not what is meant by ‘proceeding’. The latter word denotes the eternal relation between the Father and the Spirit, and not the relation in time and history. In the eternal dimension we cannot say that the Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son. Therefore ‘filioque’ is out of place, wrong and misleading.”

•   Coptic scholar Fr. Tadros Malaty has written a short 35 page book debunking the filioque, and refuting the typical RC arguments, including their attempted appeal to patristics. You can purchase this book online here: http://www.agape-bookstore.com/product_info.php?products_id=6010&language=en

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« Reply #16 on: December 24, 2005, 01:55:21 AM »

it is invalid in its theological implications in the Greek

In the Gospel of John, when Christ breathed the Holy Spirit into the Apostles, was that not the Spirit proceeding from Him?

Peace.
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« Reply #17 on: December 24, 2005, 02:03:18 AM »

Please do The Orthodox Church a favour and never presume to speak on her behalf

As always, opinions expressed are mine.

it seems that 90% of your threads have been attempts to deliberetly argue for or push forward heresies or controversial issues just for the sake of it.

I ask questions in the honest pursuit of truth, not to polemicize.

it doesn’t mean it automatically becomes theologoumenon.

The impression that I have received in discussing the matter with members of my parish is that the filioque is a theologoumenon. Then again, many of our members are converts from the Roman Church and therefore, it's understandable that they would be more tolerant of the filioque than others. It is definitely not something we would accept as an addition to the creed but we probably would not condemn the concept itself as inherently heretical.
I am sorry if I have offended you but if this really is a major stumbling block in preventing Christian unity, it definitely shouldn't be.
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« Reply #18 on: December 24, 2005, 02:14:47 AM »

As always, opinions expressed are mine.

No; you tried to express your own personal opinions as the opinions of the Church. You stated: The Oriental Orthodox Church wasn't even involved in the Great Schism and therefore, we do not seem to have an opinion on the filioque clause either way.

The OO Church does have an opinion on the filioque clause. Its opinion is unequivocal and explicit: the filioque is heresy (please see my above post). Again, I urge you to never presume to speak on the Church's behalf....EVER...

Quote
I ask questions in the honest pursuit of truth, not to polemicize.


I never said your intention was to polemicise. I just think you're bored, or something. Try sports.

Quote
The impression that I have received in discussing the matter with members of my parish is that the filioque is a theologoumenon. Then again, many of our members are converts from the Roman Church and therefore, it's understandable that they would be more tolerant of the filioque than others. It is definitely not something we would accept as an addition to the creed but we probably would not condemn the concept itself as inherently heretical.


I don't care what a few uneducated laymen at your local parish seem to think. I quoted and referred you to respected and well-educated scholars, bishops and patriarchs of the OO Church who explicitly condemn it as heresy. It is heretical. PERIOD. Accept it, and move on.

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« Reply #19 on: December 24, 2005, 02:38:49 AM »

You stated: The Oriental Orthodox Church wasn't even involved in the Great Schism and therefore, we do not seem to have an opinion on the filioque clause either way.

Again, that is how it would seem from discussing with members of my parish.

I don't care what a few uneducated laymen at your local parish seem to think.

Not only uneducated laymen but members of the clergy as well. At worst, the filioque is misguided. But heretical? That is a very grave term.

In this season, I hope for nothing less than the unity of all Christians.
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« Reply #20 on: December 24, 2005, 02:51:58 AM »

Matthew,

What is it that you don't understand about the fact respected scholars, bishops and patriarchs of the Church have condemned the filioque as HERESY....H....E...R...E...S...Y.

Quote
•In session 1 of the Oriental Orthodox / Reformed Dialogue that took place in 1993, H.G. Mar Matta Roham, the Syrian Orthodox Metropolitan, presented a paper entitled ‘Introduction to the Oriental Orthodox Churches’, which made it very clear that the OO Church explicitly rejects the filioque. (Attia, M., The Coptic Church and the Ecumenical Movement, page 175)

•In the book titled Differences Between Orthodox and Catholics, Fr. Markos Hanna compiles the answers of His Holiness Pope Shenouda III given during a 1991 lecture in response to inquiries regarding the Roman Catholic faith. His Holiness is quoted as saying with respect to the filioque: “this dogma creates two Fathers in the Holy Trinity.” (page 9)

•His Eminence (Dr.) Paulos Mar Gregorios of the Malankara (Syrian) Orthodox Church states in relation to the filioque:¦nbsp; “We object to certain later additions made by the Roman Catholics, for example the addition of the word ‘filioque’ in the Latin creed. They, for example, teach that the Holy Spirit, one of the Three Persons¦nbsp; of the Trinity, proceeds from the Father and the Son (filioque means ‘and from the Son’). We do not teach so. The son is begotten by the father; the Spirit proceeds from the Father. The words “begotten’ and ‘proceeding’ delineate the difference between the Son and the Spirit in their relation to the Father. In later centuries, especially after the fifth century when the Western Church broke from the Asian - African moorings, it misunderstood the word ‘proceeding’ as related to the coming of the Spirit in the Church on Pentecost. This coming, of course, is from the Father and the Son, but that is not what is meant by ‘proceeding’. The latter word denotes the eternal relation between the Father and the Spirit, and not the relation in time and history. In the eternal dimension we cannot say that the Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son. Therefore ‘filioque’ is out of place, wrong and misleading.”

•Coptic scholar Fr. Tadros Malaty has written a short 35 page book debunking the filioque, and refuting the typical RC arguments, including their attempted appeal to patristics. You can purchase this book online here: http://www.agape-bookstore.com/product_info.php?products_id=6010&language=en

If clergy at your local parish are esposuing a view that the filioque is not heresy, then you have a problem at your local parish that needs to be addressed. I have referred you to well-known Bishops of the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church above, in addition to scholars and a Patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church. What are you not comprehending here?

Would you like another reference? Here is an article by His Eminence Metropiltan Bishoy of the Coptic Orthodox Church, in which he rejects the filioque on doctrinal grounds:

http://www.metroplit-bishoy.org/files/Dialogues/Catholics/catholics2.doc

Read it, and learn, and stop arrogantly presuming that you know better than our well-educated and divinely inspired and guided Church heirarchs.
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« Reply #21 on: December 24, 2005, 04:42:53 AM »

What is it that you don't understand about the fact respected scholars, bishops and patriarchs of the Church have condemned the filioque as HERESY....H....E...R...E...S...Y.

Given that we are unable to fully comprehend the nature of God, how would we be able to know for certain that the filioque is inherently erroneous? I find it to be unimportant either way. My only point is that this isn't enough to prevent unity with our fellow Christians.

Peace.
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« Reply #22 on: December 24, 2005, 05:02:19 AM »

Quote
Given that we are unable to fully comprehend the nature of God, how would we be able to know for certain that the filioque is inherently erroneous?

Because it has been given to the Church to understand and know certain aspects of God’s being to a certain extent, and the filioque contradicts this revealed Tradition of the Church. How do we know it contradicts the revealed Tradition of the Church? See my previous post, and the post before that, and the post before that and the post before that.

Quote
I find it to be unimportant either way.

The only thing that is unimportant and worthless, to say the least, is what you find or think. You evidently don’t have any idea what you’re talking about; your opinions are neither informed, nor logical, nor reasonable, nor Orthodox.

Quote
My only point is that this isn't enough to prevent unity with our fellow Christians.

Discard of your personal opinion, as one would discard of worthless trash. The Church has found that it is sufficient enough to prevent re-intercommunion with the Latins; the Church has found that the filioque is a heresy amongst many that needs to be rejected by the Latins before re-intercommunion could ever possibly be re-established. Read the articles and books that I have referred you to; listen to the Church, and stop being so ignorant.
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« Reply #23 on: December 24, 2005, 05:23:10 AM »

The position of the Eastern Church is that the Spirit does not proceed ontologically from the Son... the difference in the understanding of proceeding is largely derived from the implications of Proceed in Latin versus in the Greek... in the Greek, there is an ontological, eternal undertone - the Spirit derives its being in the procession, in which case it can only be from the Father... but in the Latin procedere, there isn't this implication, which was a point of misunderstanding at the time.

The position of the Orthodox Church is not only that the addition was invalid on its face because it was a modification of a decision/text of an Ecumenical Synod (two, actually), but it is invalid in its theological implications in the Greek (which is the original text of the Creed).
Just to confirm my understanding of your post:
Are you implying that the difference between the EO and RC has been lately reduced to semantics,linguistics but there the dogmatic position and doctrinal understanding of both groups is essentially the same, i.e. the Orthodox understanding ? Is there any official declaration that states this development, if true ?
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« Reply #24 on: December 24, 2005, 05:28:21 AM »

Discard of your personal opinion, as one would discard of worthless trash.

If I did that, I wouldn't have a career. Smiley

"Aware of its limitations, our Consultation nonetheless makes the following theological and practical recommendations to the members and the bishops of our own Churches:

- that our Churches commit themselves to a new and earnest dialogue concerning the origin and person of the Holy Spirit, drawing on the Holy Scriptures and on the full riches of the theological traditions of both our Churches, and to looking for constructive ways of expressing what is central to our faith on this difficult issue;

that all involved in such dialogue expressly recognize the limitations of our ability to make definitive assertions about the inner life of God;
that in the future, because of the progress in mutual understanding that has come about in recent decades, Orthodox and Catholics refrain from labeling as heretical the traditions of the other side on the subject of the procession of the Holy Spirit;
that Orthodox and Catholic theologians distinguish more clearly between the divinity and hypostatic identity of the Holy Spirit, which is a received dogma of our Churches, and the manner of the Spirit’s origin, which still awaits full and final ecumenical resolution;
that those engaged in dialogue on this issue distinguish, as far as possible, the theological issues of the origin of the Holy Spirit from the ecclesiological issues of primacy and doctrinal authority in the Church, even as we pursue both questions seriously together;
that the theological dialogue between our Churches also give careful consideration to the status of later councils held in both our Churches after those seven generally received as ecumenical.
that the Catholic Church, as a consequence of the normative and irrevocable dogmatic value of the Creed of 381, use the original Greek text alone in making translations of that Creed for catechetical and liturgical use.
that the Catholic Church, following a growing theological consensus, and in particular the statements made by Pope Paul VI, declare that the condemnation made at the Second Council of Lyons (1274) of those “who presume to deny that the Holy Spirit proceeds eternally from the Father and the Son” is no longer applicable.

We offer these recommendations to our Churches in the conviction, based on our own intense study and discussion, that our traditions’ different ways of understanding the procession of the Holy Spirit need no longer divide us. "
http://www.usccb.org/seia/filioque.htm
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« Reply #25 on: December 24, 2005, 10:53:44 AM »

Just to confirm my understanding of your post:
Are you implying that the difference between the EO and RC has been lately reduced to semantics,linguistics but there the dogmatic position and doctrinal understanding of both groups is essentially the same, i.e. the Orthodox understanding ? Is there any official declaration that states this development, if true ?

Um, no, that's not what I was attempting to get across... over time, EC theologians have at times said that the Spirit proceeds ontologically from the Father and Son both, and since there has been no correction of the understanding from the EC side yet, there is still a dogmatic barrier between them and us (EO and OO both).  It has been purported by members of the EC-EO dialogue (from the EC side) that their understanding of the procession of the spirit is the same as ours, just worded poorly in the creed (info courtesy of Fr. Thomas FitzGerald, who is part of the aforementioned dialogues).

In the Gospel of John, when Christ breathed the Holy Spirit into the Apostles, was that not the Spirit proceeding from Him?   

The passage you mention is not referring to the eternal generation/procession of the Spirit, which is what the addition of the filioque implies to the EO and OO.  The Spirit does not eternally generate/proceed from the Son as It does from the Father... the Father is the source of eternal Procession, just as He is the source of eternal Begottenness for the Son.
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« Reply #26 on: December 24, 2005, 10:59:48 AM »

Given that we are unable to fully comprehend the nature of God, how would we be able to know for certain that the filioque is inherently erroneous?   

The position of the EO and OO is that, while we cannot fully understand the nature of the One God in Three Persons, the doctrine and dogma of the filioque does not fit into what has been revealed to us by God - since God's self-revalation is the only source of our knowledge of Him, and since the dogmatic implications of the filioque are not ones that have been revealed to us, therefore it is (to the best of our limited knowledge) outside of the definition of God - which is why it is called a heresy by our churches.

I find it to be unimportant either way. My only point is that this isn't enough to prevent unity with our fellow Christians.     

The reason why it is and will be a stumbling block is that in order for Christians to be united, we must be positive that we worship the same God. If the idea of eternal double-procession is what the Catholics believe in, then we do not worship the same God, for our God has One Father, One Son, and One Spirit, while their God has Two Fathers (two progenitors) and One Spirit.
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« Reply #27 on: December 24, 2005, 11:12:23 AM »

I remember having a debate with a Catholic on the Filioque controversy, and we ended up pretty much agreeing with each other.  Supposedly, they interpret it as the Holy Spirit being sent from the Father and the Son, with the Father as the "primary" sender.  Basically, they seem to define "proceed" differently than we do.

An EO also sent me a quote from St. Maximus the Confessor that talks about this.  Apparently the "Latins," as he calls them, did believe in the Filioque much earlier than the schism, and St. Maximus seems to justify it as I explained above.  But I have no final say on this anway.  I don't know enough of RC/EO schism history to make a final assessment, but these two things I saw are pretty interesting.

The main reason seems to me is that the RC had no right to add the Filioque without the Church Ecumenical agreeing to it.  The RC seemed to use her "papal powers" to add it without caring about the rest of the Church.  It's interesting to note that Pope Leo III objected to the addition as well.

God bless.

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« Reply #28 on: December 24, 2005, 11:20:01 AM »

Mina,

Part of the debate is the method of addition, as you correctly point out in your third paragraph.  But part of it is that while they might understand "proceed" as sending (which I have heard before), when they use the word proceed, the parallel word for proceed in the Greek that was used has the understanding of "eternal procession," not just sending, which is why the word was so unacceptable.
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« Reply #29 on: December 24, 2005, 12:10:09 PM »

So might it be that this was a theological misunderstanding, considering that the Greeks understood it differently from the Latins, as what St. Maximus seems to confirm?  (that obviously doesn't excuse the RC's to change if of course)

God bless.
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« Reply #30 on: December 24, 2005, 01:51:17 PM »

It is possible that at times there was a misunderstanding, but when the fathers condemned the addition of the filioque on theological grounds, they did so with the knowledge of the western apologetics regarding the term.  This doesn't mean that the misunderstanding wasn't perpetuated, since not all of the Fathers were understanding both Latin and Greek.  When it all boils down, the term and usage in the Creed is unacceptable to the East for both the process and the content.  But if the understandings of how the word is used are different, and if in fact there is no real theological difference, then there might be something to build off of.  That is the major thrust of the Catholic-Orthodox consultation in this country - to figure out what really is different (beyond baseless and prejudiced polemics) and see what we can do about it.
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« Reply #31 on: December 25, 2005, 06:58:16 AM »

The reason why it is and will be a stumbling block is that in order for Christians to be united, we must be positive that we worship the same God. If the idea of eternal double-procession is what the Catholics believe in, then we do not worship the same God, for our God has One Father, One Son, and One Spirit, while their God has Two Fathers (two progenitors) and One Spirit.

What about this consultation between Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic Christians? -

"Aware of its limitations, our Consultation nonetheless makes the following theological and practical recommendations to the members and the bishops of our own Churches:

- that our Churches commit themselves to a new and earnest dialogue concerning the origin and person of the Holy Spirit, drawing on the Holy Scriptures and on the full riches of the theological traditions of both our Churches, and to looking for constructive ways of expressing what is central to our faith on this difficult issue;

that all involved in such dialogue expressly recognize the limitations of our ability to make definitive assertions about the inner life of God;
that in the future, because of the progress in mutual understanding that has come about in recent decades, Orthodox and Catholics refrain from labeling as heretical the traditions of the other side on the subject of the procession of the Holy Spirit;
that Orthodox and Catholic theologians distinguish more clearly between the divinity and hypostatic identity of the Holy Spirit, which is a received dogma of our Churches, and the manner of the Spirit’s origin, which still awaits full and final ecumenical resolution;
that those engaged in dialogue on this issue distinguish, as far as possible, the theological issues of the origin of the Holy Spirit from the ecclesiological issues of primacy and doctrinal authority in the Church, even as we pursue both questions seriously together;
that the theological dialogue between our Churches also give careful consideration to the status of later councils held in both our Churches after those seven generally received as ecumenical.
that the Catholic Church, as a consequence of the normative and irrevocable dogmatic value of the Creed of 381, use the original Greek text alone in making translations of that Creed for catechetical and liturgical use.
that the Catholic Church, following a growing theological consensus, and in particular the statements made by Pope Paul VI, declare that the condemnation made at the Second Council of Lyons (1274) of those “who presume to deny that the Holy Spirit proceeds eternally from the Father and the Son” is no longer applicable.

We offer these recommendations to our Churches in the conviction, based on our own intense study and discussion, that our traditions’ different ways of understanding the procession of the Holy Spirit need no longer divide us. "
http://www.usccb.org/seia/filioque.htm
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« Reply #32 on: December 25, 2005, 01:00:13 PM »

Once the bishops decide to let us know that the difference in terminology won't divide us, then it does - there needs to be an overturning of the decisions of the Endemousa Synods in order to let them keep the filioque but have them in communion with us.  This isn't a position of misunderstanding or hatred, but one of a real understanding of the positions on both sides, as well as the consciousness of the Church and its ecclesiological tradition.

Merry Christmas!
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« Reply #33 on: December 27, 2005, 12:09:39 AM »

I see that there is a great deal of complexity in this, which is one reason why neither side should condemn the other as heretical.

Peace.
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« Reply #34 on: December 27, 2005, 01:01:23 PM »

*sigh* - as long as we're not convinced that the filioque is okay, then it is heresy.  Now, labeling all Catholics as heretics would be out of spirit with the word; it implies that they willingly chose heresy over Orthodoxy, while most didn't have the choice (yet)... so you're right - calling them heretics is a bit out of line.
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« Reply #35 on: December 28, 2005, 01:57:29 AM »

Didn't Augustine teach that the Holy Spirit is generated by the love shared between the Father and the Son?

Peace.
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