We object for several reasons
a) the change was made unilaterally; the Pope has no right to tamper with a statement of faith made originally from an accord,
b) stated it should never be changed,
but more importantly,
c) it changes the nature of the Trinity by subverting the Holy Spirit to being an emination of the other two; a double procession.*
While the wording of the Latin Creed is different from the Orthodox Creed, in that the Latin has added filioque
(or "and the Son" in English), the Roman Catholic Church does indeed believe the same thing as us Orthodox about the procession.
The difficulty doesn't lie in the words "and the Son" but rather in the meaning of the word "proceeds".
The Greek verb used in the original version of the Creed is ekporeuesthai
. This means proceeds from
in the sense of "finding its source and ultimate origin in". When this was translated into Latin, the word procedere
was used. This is an accurate translation, because the Latin procedere
also means "inding its source and ultimate origin in". Therefore, it is right and proper to say that the Spirit proceeds (ekporeuesthai) from the Father. Both Orthodox and Roman Catholics agree that the Spirit proceeds from the Father alone and both Orthodox and Roman Catholics agree that there is only one generative and ultimate eternal source in the Trinity - the Father.However...
The problem with translating the Creed into Latin is the same problem with any translation: not all words in one language have a direct equivalent in another language.
The Latin word procedere
is indeed an accurate translation of the Greek ekporeuesthai
it also has a secondary meaning - a meaning which does not exist in the original Greek. The Latin procedere
also means "proceeds" in the sense of "goes". i.e. Let us proceed to the concert
. It refers to a temporal action of motion. In this secondary sense, it is indeed correct to say that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son
, and both Orthodox and Roman Catholics agree on this. We have the temporal sendings of the Spirit by the Son in the Gospels, especially when he breathed on the Apostles and told them to receive the Holy Spirit.
The problem is that this secondary sense of the Latin procedere
(which also exists in the English "to proceed") is a completely different verb in Greek - proeinai
. This verb does not
appear in the original Greek version of the Creed which was affirmed by the Second Oecumenical Council. The Creed speaks of the eternal
procession of the Spirit, which is from the Father alone, and Rome has no authority, on its own, to introduce this second sense of the word into the Creed.
To further highlight the fact that Rome believes the same thing as the Orthodox, in Byzantine Catholic churches in communion with Rome, when they serve the Liturgy in Greek, they do not have the filioque
, because, in Greek, adding the words and the Son
with the verb ekporeuesthai
would be heresy, and so they don't do it. They only add it in Latin and English, and other languages with their roots in Latin, where the second sense of "proceed" exists.
Therefore, I agree that Rome changed the Creed. I agree that this causes unnecessary confusion. I agree that Rome has no authority to change the Creed alone. However, we do believe the same things with respect to the Trinity, our differing versions of the Creed (in English, but not in greek), notwithstanding.