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Filioque, Latin for "and (from) the Son", was added in Western Christianity to the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed, commonly referred to as the Nicene Creed. This insertion emphasizes that Jesus, the Son, is of equal divinity with God, the Father, while the absence of it in Eastern Christianity concentrates on the Father.

Et in Spiritum Sanctum, Dominum, et vivificantem: qui ex Patre Filioque procedit.
(And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, and giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son.)

The word was first added at the Third Council of Toledo (589) and spread throughout Western Christianity. It has been an ongoing source of conflict between the East and West, contributing to the East-West Schism of 1054 and proving an obstacle to attempts to reunify the two sides.[1]

Contents

Present position of various churches

The doctrine expressed by this phrase, as inserted into the Creed, is accepted by the Roman Catholic Church,[2] by Anglicanism[3][4][5] and most other Protestant churches. Some recent "modern liturgy" Anglican service books such as the Canadian Book of Alternative Services, omit the Filioque out of respect for Eastern and Oriental Christianity; but the churches in question do not repudiate the doctrine.[6] Christians of these groups generally include it when reciting the Nicene Creed.

Nonetheless, these groups recognize that Filioque is not part of the original text established at the First Council of Constantinople in 381, which other groups use.

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Roman Catholicism

The Roman Catholic Church recognizes that the original text of the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed does not include the Filioque: when quoting that text, as it did in the 6 August 2000 document Dominus Iesus, on the unicity and salvific universality of Jesus Christ and the Church, it does so without that addition.[7] In the liturgy also, the Roman Catholic Church does not add the phrase corresponding to Filioque (καὶ τοῦ Υἱοῦ) to the Greek text of the Creed, even for Latin Rite Catholics.[8] Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI have recited the Nicene Creed jointly with Patriarchs Demetrius I and Bartholomew I in Greek without the Filioque clause.[9][10][11] In addition, Eastern Catholic Churches, even if not of Greek language or tradition, do not necessarily include "Filioque".[12]

Anglicanism

In 1978 the Anglican Communion's Lambeth Conference requested "that all member Churches of the Anglican Communion should consider omitting the Filioque from the Nicene Creed, and that the Anglican-Orthodox Joint Doctrinal Commission through the Anglican Consultative Council should assist them in presenting the theological issues to their appropriate synodical bodies and should be responsible for any necessary consultation with other Churches of the Western tradition."[13]

In 1988 the conference "ask(ed) that further thought be given to the Filioque clause, recognising it to be a major point of disagreement (with the Orthodox) ... recommending to the provinces of the Anglican Communion that in future liturgical revisions the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed be printed without the Filioque clause."[14]

This recommendation was not renewed in the 1998 and 2008 Lambeth Conferences and has not been implemented.[15]

In 1985 the General Convention of The Episcopal Church (USA) recommended that the Filoque clause should be removed from the Nicene Creed, if this were endorsed by the 1988 Lambeth Council, but this has not been implemented.[16]

Eastern Orthodoxy

At the 879-880 Council of Constantinople the Eastern Orthodox Church anathematized the "Filioque" phrase, "as a novelty and augmentation of the Creed", and in their 1848 encyclical the Eastern Patriarchs spoke of it as a heresy.[17]

It was qualified as such by some of the Eastern Orthodox Church's saints, including Photios I of Constantinople, Mark of Ephesus, Gregory Palamas, who have been called the Three Pillars of Orthodoxy. On the other hand Saint Maximus the Confessor wrote in defence of the Roman use of the Filioque,[18] maintaining that it was a legitimate variation of the doctrine that the Spirit proceeds from the Father through the Son;[19] and Metropolitan John Zizioulas has declared that a recent document of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity "constitutes an encouraging attempt to clarify the basic aspects of the Filioque problem and show that a rapprochement between West and East on this matter is eventually possible".[18]

Beginning of contention

The Filioque became a point of contention between the Eastern and Western Churches in 867, when Patriarch Photios I of Constantinople declared it heretical. The controversy over the phrase contributed to the East-West Schism of 1054 and, despite agreements among participants at the Second Council of Lyon (1274) and the Council of Florence (1439), reunion has not been achieved.[1]

A Greek Orthodox theologian[20] has pointed to the 1054 schism as the most striking example of how practice, rather than theological differences, causes schisms: "The local Churches coexisted for centuries with the 'Filioque' before Church events brought the problem to a head in the period of Photios the Great, but there was no schism, and in the 1054 period the 'Filioque' was dormant. It came back and was intensified after this to justify it and make it fixed."[21]

History of the insertion in the Nicene Creed

First Council of Constantinope, miniature in Homilies of Gregory Nazianzus (879-882), Biblothèque nationale de France

Origin of the Nicene Creed

The First Council of Nicaea of 325 ended its Creed with the words "And in the Holy Spirit." In 381, the First Council of Constantinople added to this the words, "the Lord, the Giver of life, who proceeds from the Father …" This last phrase comes from John 15:26.

"The acts of the Council of Constantinople were lost, but the text of its Creed was quoted and formally acknowledged as binding, along with the Creed of Nicaea, in the dogmatic statement of the Council of Chalcedon (451). Within less than a century, this Creed of 381 took on a normative role in the definition of the Christian faith, and by the early sixth century was even proclaimed in the Eucharist in Antioch, Constantinople, and other regions in the East. In regions of the Western churches, the Creed was also introduced into the Eucharist, perhaps beginning with the Third Council of Toledo in 589. It was not formally introduced into the Eucharistic liturgy at Rome, however, until the eleventh century."[11]

Insertion of the Filioque

Before the sixth-century insertion of Filioque into the Nicene Creed, theologians in the Christian West, of whom Jerome, Ambrose and Augustine are representatives, asserted that the Spirit comes from the Father and the Son,[22] while the expression “from the Father through the Son” is also found among them.[23][24]

Tertullian, writing at the beginning of the third century, emphasizes that Father, Son and Holy Spirit all share a single divine substance, quality and power,[25] which he conceives of as flowing forth from the Father and being transmitted by the Son to the Spirit.[26]

Hilary of Poitiers, in the mid-fourth century, speaks of the Spirit as 'coming forth from the Father' and being 'sent by the Son' (De Trinitate 12.55); as being 'from the Father through the Son' (ibid. 12.56); and as 'having the Father and the Son as his source' (ibid. 2.29); in another passage, Hilary points to John 16.15 (where Jesus says: 'All things that the Father has are mine; therefore I said that [the Spirit] shall take from what is mine and declare it to you'), and wonders aloud whether 'to receive from the Son is the same thing as to proceed from the Father' (ibid. 8.20).

Ambrose of Milan, writing in the 380s, openly asserts that the Spirit 'proceeds from (procedit a) the Father and the Son', without ever being separated from either (On the Holy Spirit 1.11.20).

None of these writers, however, makes the Spirit’s mode of origin the object of special reflection; all are concerned, rather, to emphasize the equality of status of all three divine persons as God, and all acknowledge that the Father alone is the source of God’s eternal being."[11]

The phrase Filioque first appears as an anti-Arian[27][28] interpolation in the Creed at the Third Council of Toledo (589), at which Visigothic Spain renounced Arianism, accepting Catholic Christianity. The practice later spread then to France, the territory of the Franks, who had adopted the Catholic faith in 496, in contrast to the other Germanic kingdoms, who followed Arianism.[29]

This led to controversy with envoys of the Byzantine Emperor Constantine V at a synod held at Gentilly in 767.[30][31] The use of Filioque was defended by Saint Paulinus II of Aquileia at the Synod of Friuli, Italy in 796, and it was endorsed in 809 at the Council of Aachen.[32]

Pope Leo III opposed adding "Filioque" to the Creed, while approving the doctrine,[32] and had two heavy silver shields made and displayed in St Peter's, containing the original text of the Creed of 381 in both Greek and Latin,[11] adding: "I, Leo, have placed these for love and protection of the orthodox faith".[33]

However, Filioque continued to be included in the Creed as sung generally throughout the West, though in Rome itself the Creed was only read, not sung, and did not include the interpolation. Later in the 9th century, Photius, Patriarch of Constantinople, used the Filioque phrase in his conflict with the Pope, accusing the West of having fallen into heresy. He thereby turned the phrase into a doctrinal issue of contention between East and West.

Over a century later, in 1014, at the request of the German King Henry II who had come to Rome to be crowned Emperor, and was surprised at the different custom in force there, Pope Benedict VIII, who owed to Henry his restoration to the papal throne after usurpation by Antipope Gregory VI, had the Creed, with the addition of Filioque, sung at Mass in Rome for the first time.

Since then the Filioque phrase is included in the Creed throughout the Latin Rite, except where Greek is used in the liturgy.[34] Eastern Catholic Churches such as the Maronites and those of Byzantine Rite, which are in full communion with the Holy See, have never used the Filioque.

"Filioque" is not the only phrase that Christian Churches have added to the text of the Nicene Creed as drawn up by the Council of Constantinople. The Western text also has "Deum de Deo" ("God from God").[35] The Armenian text has many more additions, specifying more precisely the belief of the Church.[36]

Conflict

According to John Meyendorff,[37] the Western efforts to get Pope Leo III to approve the addition of Filioque to the Creed were due to a desire of Charlemagne, who in 800 had been crowned in Rome as Emperor, to find grounds for accusations of heresy against the East. The Pope's refusal to approve the interpolation avoided arousing a conflict between East and West about this matter.

Patriarch Photius
of Constantinople

Photian controversy

However, controversy about the question broke out in the course of the disputes surrounding Photius of Constantinople. In 858, Patriarch Ignatius of Constantinople fell out of favour with Byzantine Emperor Michael III and was removed from his position. He was replaced by the layman Photius, a distinguished scholar, imperial secretary and ambassador to Baghdad.

Ignatius was exiled to Terebinthos and resigned his position under pressure. Photius later even had a synod declare Ignatius's patriarchate invalid.

Both Photius and Emperor Michael as well as the partisans of Ignatius appealed to Pope Nicholas I,[38] who eventually in 863 deposed and excommunicated Photius and recognized Ignatius as the legitimate patriarch.[38]

Photius, with the support of Emperor Michael, rejected the Pope's judgment. In 867, he issued an Encyclical to the Eastern Patriarchs in which he charged the whole Western Church with heresy and schism because of differences in practices, in particular for the Filioque.[39] This moved the issue from jurisdiction and custom to one of dogma. In the same year, he assembled a synod declaring Pope Nicholas anathema and excommunicated.[38]

Photius's importance endured in regard to relations between East and West. He is recognized as a Saint by the Eastern Orthodox Church and his line of criticism has often been echoed later, making reconciliation between East and West difficult.

Theology

New Testament

While the phrase "who proceeds from the Father" is found in John 15:26, no direct statement about the procession of the Holy Spirit from the Son is found in the New Testament, although perhaps indirectly discernible in John 20:22 and other passages. In John 16:13-15 Jesus says of the Holy Spirit "he will take what is mine and declare it to you", and it is argued that in the relations between the Persons of the Trinity one Person cannot "take" or "receive" (λήψεται) anything from either of the others except by way of procession.[22] Other texts that have been used include Galatians 4:6, Romans 8:9, Philippians 1:19, where the Holy Spirit is called "the Spirit of the Son", "the Spirit of Christ", "the Spirit of Jesus Christ", and texts in the Gospel of John on the sending of the Holy Spirit by Jesus (14:16, 15:26, 16:7).[22]

Titus 3:6 speaks of God pouring out the Holy Spirit "through Jesus Christ our Saviour", while Acts 2:33 speaks of Jesus himself pouring out the Holy Spirit, having received the promise of the Holy Spirit from the Father. The Eastern Orthodox interpretation is that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and is sent (on Pentecost day) from the Father through the Son (ex Patre per Filium procedit). The Latin West states that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son together (ex Patre Filioque procedit).[40]

Church Fathers

All the Fathers, of both East and West, agree that the relationships of the Father with the Son and the Holy Spirit are distinct: the Son is "begotten" of the Father; the Holy Spirit "proceeds" (verbs ἐκπορεύεσθαι, προϊέναι, procedere) from the Father.[41] Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one in essence but distinct in personhood.

Constantine Platis refers to three Greek Fathers as saying that the Holy Spirit proceeds (ἐκπορεύεσθαι) from the Father only: St. Dionysius the Areopagite, On the Divine Names 2:5: Blessed Theodoret, PG 76:432; St Gregory Palamas, A NT Decalogue 6.[42]

The Greek Father Saint Cyril of Alexandria spoke of the Holy Spirit proceeding (προϊέναι not ἐκπορεύεσθαι) from Father and Son.[22][43] In his struggle against Nestorianism, he spoke of the Holy Spirit as belonging to the Son (τὸ ἴδιον τοῦ Υἱοῦ) and several times spoke of the Holy Spirit proceeding (προϊέναι) from the Father "and the Son", alongside the phrase preferred in the East: "through the Son", the former indicating the equality of principle, the latter the order of origin.[22] On the other hand, his Nestorian opponents Theodore of Mopsuestia and Theodoret denied that the Holy Spirit derives his existence from or through the Son.[31]

The formula most used in the East in relation to the Son when speaking of the procession (ἐκπορεύεσθαι) of the Holy Spirit from (ἐκ) the Father is through (διά) the Son. Platis gives as sources: Dionysius the Great of Alexandria, Letter to Dionysius, Bishop of Rome 2:8-9; Hilary of Poitiers, De Trinitate 12:57, 8:19-20, 2:1; St John of Damascus, Orthodox Faith 1:12.; St Tarasius of Constantinople, [Mansi, Sacrorum conciliorum 12:1122.]; and St Gregory of Sinai, On Commandments and Doctrines 27.[42]

Already in the fourth century the distinction was made, in connection with the Trinity, between the two Greek verbs ἐκπορεύεσθαι (the verb used in the original Greek text of the 381 Nicene Creed) and προϊέναι. In his Oration on the Holy Lights (XXXIX), Saint Gregory of Nazianzus wrote: "The Holy Ghost is truly Spirit, coming forth (προϊέναι) from the Father indeed, but not after the manner of the Son, for it is not by Generation but by Procession (ἐκπορεύεσθαι)".[44] The original is "προϊὸν μὲν ἐκ τοῦ Πατρὸς, οὐχ ὑϊκῶς δὲ, οὐδὲ γὰρ γεννητῶς, ἀλλ' ἐκπορευτῶς".[45]

That the Holy Spirit "proceeds" from the Father and the Son in the sense of the Latin word procedere and the Greek προϊέναι (as opposed to the Greek ἐκπορεύεσθαι) was taught by the early fifth century by Saint Cyril of Alexandria in the East[22][43] and even earlier by the fourth-century Western Fathers Ambrose,[46] Augustine[47] and Jerome,[22] all of whom taught that the Spirit "proceeds" from the Father and the Son, though subordinate to neither. The Athanasian Creed, probably of the middle of the fifth century,[48] and a dogmatic epistle of Pope Leo I.[49] gives the same teaching,[50]

Constantine Platis argues: "When the early Christian writers are not unanimous, it is best to remember the words of St. Vincent of Lerins, a Church Father who says that in the universal Church we should be very careful to teach only what 'has been believed everywhere, always, and by all' or at least by 'almost all' our holy ancestors and Fathers (Commonitory 2 [6]). The filioque was not taught 'always' (it was not taught before the 5th century); nor has it been taught 'everywhere' (it has been believed only in the Latin Church)"[42]

On the other hand, the first extant record of denial of the teaching of Saint Cyril of Alexandria that the Holy Spirit "proceeds" (in the sense of the Greek προϊέναι or the Latin procedere, not in the sense of πορεύεσθαι) from the Father and the Son is of the start of the ninth century, when the dispute about the matter first arose: Easterners reacted against the use of the Latin form (with the verb procedere) by some Latin monks in Jerusalem who had visited the court of Charlemagne.[11][51][52]

East-West controversy

As indicated above, the doctrine did not become a matter of controversy until Photius made it such in 864,[22] affirming that it was contrary to the teaching of the Fathers and even suspecting that the relevant passages were interpolations.[22] The opposition strengthened with the East-West Schism of 1054.

Two councils held to heal the break discussed the question.

The Second Council of Lyon (1274) accepted the profession of faith of Emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos in the Holy Spirit, "proceeding from the Father and the Son"[53] and the Greek participants, including Patriarch Joseph I of Constantinople sang the Creed three times with the Filioque addition. Though Emperor Michael had in 1261 succeeded in deposing the Roman Catholic Emperor Baldwin II of Constantinople established by force over the Orthodox, and winning back the city of Constantinople, which had been in the made into the Crusader state called the Latin Empire of the East, since the sack of Constantinople in 1204. Most Byzantine Christians feeling disgust and recovering from the Latin Crusaders' conquest and betrayal,[54] refused to accept the agreement made at Lyon with the Latins. In 1282, Emperor Michael VIII died and Patriarch Joseph I's successor, John XI, who had become convinced that the teaching of the Greek Fathers was compatible with that of the Latins, was forced to resign, and was replaced by Gregory II, who was strongly of the opposite opinion.

John VIII Palaiologos
by Benozzo Gozzoli

Another attempt at reunion was made at the fifteenth-century Council of Florence, to which Emperor John VIII Palaiologos, Ecumenical Patriarch Joseph II of Constantinople, and other bishops from the East had gone in the hope of getting Western military aid against the looming Ottoman Empire. Thirteen public sessions held in Ferrara from 8 October to 13 December 1438 the Filioque question was debated without agreement. The Greeks held that any addition whatever, even if doctrinally correct, to the Creed had been forbidden by the Council of Ephesus, while the Latins claimed that this prohibition concerned meaning, not words.[55]

In fact, what this third Ecumenical Council prohibited was:

"It is unlawful for any man to bring forward, or to write, or to compose a different (ἑτέραν) Faith as a rival to that established by the holy Fathers assembled with the Holy Ghost in Nicæa. But those who shall dare to compose a different faith, or to introduce or offer it to persons desiring to turn to the acknowledgment of the truth, whether from Heathenism or from Judaism, or from any heresy whatsoever, shall be deposed, if they be bishops or clergymen; bishops from the episcopate and clergymen from the clergy; and if they be laymen, they shall be anathematized".[56]

The acts of the council of 431 contain the creed in its original 325 form, as adopted at Nicaea, without the additions made in 381 by the First Council of Constantinople, such as the clause "who proceeds from the Father",[57] additions to the text established by the Holy Fathers in Nicaea, but accepted without question by both East and West.

When the Council moved to Florence in 1439, accord continued to be elusive, until the argument prevailed among the Greeks themselves that, though the Greek and the Latin saints expressed their faith differently, they were in agreement substantially, since saints cannot err in faith; and by 8 June the Greeks accepted the Latin statement of doctrine. On 10 June Patriarch Joseph II died. A statement on the Filioque question was included in the Laetentur Caeli decree of union, which was signed on 5 July 1439 and promulgated the next day, with Mark of Ephesus being the only bishop to refuse his signature.[55]

The Eastern Church refused to consider the agreement reached at Florence binding, since the death of Joseph II had for the moment left it without a Patriarch of Constantinople. There was strong opposition to the agreement in the East, and when in 1453, 14 years after the agreement, the promised military aid from the West still had not arrived and Constantinople fell to the Turks, neither Eastern Christians nor their new rulers wished union between them and the West.

Differences in views

In the late sixth century, the Latin-speaking churches of Western Europe began to add the words "and the Son" (Filioque) to the description of the procession of the Holy Spirit.

Eastern theologians have argued that this is a violation of Canon VII of the Third Ecumenical Council, which, after quoting the Creed in the form given to it by the First Ecumenical Council, that of Nicaea,[58] "decreed that it is unlawful for any man to bring forward, or to write, or to compose a different (ἑτέραν) Faith as a rival to that established by the holy Fathers assembled with the Holy Ghost in Nicæa". The Council of Ephesus thus explicitly referred to and itself used the Creed established at Nicaea, which did not speak of the procession of the Holy Spirit. The differences between the original Nicene Creed, approved at Ephesus, and the now familiar Niceno-Constantinopolitan form (mostly additions, but with some omissions) include the addition of "who proceeds from the Father", and the omission of "God from God",[59] which was preserved in the Latin text of the Creed ("Deum de Deo").

In great part, the disagreement comes from the difference in meaning between the Greek verb "ἐκπορεύεσθαι" (ekporeuesthai), which has no exact equivalent in Latin, and the Latin verb "procedere", which has a broader meaning and corresponds rather to the Greek verb προϊέναι (proienai), which some of the Greek Fathers also used when speaking of the Holy Spirit's coming from the Son.[8] The first of the two Greek verbs denotes the Holy Spirit's "relationship of origin to the Father alone as the principle without principle of the Trinity", while the Latin "procedere" and the second Greek verb "is a more common term".[8] "Procedere" thus does not specify the Holy Spirit's coming from the Father and the Son in the precise way in which "ἐκπορεύεσθαι" denotes the Holy Spirit's coming from the Father. As the Greek Saint Maximus the Confessor declared, the Western theologians "do not make the Son Cause of the Spirit. They know, indeed, that the Father is the sole Cause of the Son and of the Spirit, of one by generation and of the other by "ἐκπόρευσις" - but they explained that the latter comes (προϊέναι) through the Son, and they showed in this way the unity and the immutability of the essence".[60]

It would be heretical to link "and the Son" with the Greek verb "ἐκπορεύεσθαι" of the Nicene Creed as revised later than the Council of Nicaea in a form that echoes the words of Jesus in John 15:26, "the Spirit of Truth, which proceeds (ἐκπορευὀμενον) from the Father”. And so the Roman Catholic Church does not permit the addition of these words to the Creed recited in Greek, in association with the word "ἐκπορευόμενον". But it is not heretical to link "and the Son" with the Latin verb "procedere", which corresponds instead to the Greek verb "προϊέναι", which some of the Greek Fathers also associated with the relationship between the Holy Spirit and the Son. Accordingly, the North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation issued in 2003 an agreed statement that recommended that both Catholics and Orthodox refrain from labeling as heretical the traditions of the other side, while also recommending that the Catholic Church use the Greek text of the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed (in which two phrases found in the Latin version, "Deum de Deo" and "Filioque", are absent) in making translations of that Creed for catechetical and liturgical use.[61]

Eastern theologians have objected to the teaching that the Holy Spirit proceeds ("procedere") from the Father and the Son, saying that it conflicts with biblical and accepted doctrine: John 15:26 speaks only of a proceeding ("ἐκπορεύεσθαι") from the Father, and no ecumenical approval had been granted to the teaching. Western theologians have stated that the teaching safeguards the vital Nicene truth that the Son is consubstantial with the Father; and since the Son as well as the Father sends the Spirit in John 15:26, analogy with this relationship to us justifies inferring that the Spirit proceeds from both Father and Son in the intratrinitarian relationship; to say anything different is to divorce the Spirit from the Son in contradiction of the passages that speak of him as the Spirit of Christ (cf. Rom. 8:9; Gal. 4:6).[62]

Eastern theologians have pointed out that the Latin church was at the Council of Nicaea 325, (and also the First Council of Constantinople 381 and the Council of Ephesus 431) and that the East and West both agreed on the original wording of Creed, against the Arians, at Nicaea. Eastern theologians contend that the Latin Church then later acted unilaterally, without council or consensus with the East and added the filioque. They contend further that this is an alteration of the faith in such a way as to show that the Eastern Churches are not equal with the West but are rather subordinate to the Western Church.[63] Subordinate to whatever alterations to the faith the Western Churches arrive upon and see as beneficial to its own opinion. This can be seen in the words of Archbishop Nicetas of Nicomedia of the Twelfth Century:

My dearest brother, we do not deny to the Roman Church the primacy among the five sister patriachates and we recognize her right to the most honorable seat at the Ecumenical Council. But she has separated herself from us by her own deeds when through pride she assumed a monarchy which does not belong to her office… How shall we accept decrees from her that have been issued without consulting us and even without our knowledge? If the Roman pontiff seated on the lofty throne of his glory wished to thunder at us and, so to speak, hurl his mandates at us from on high and if he wishes to judge us and even to rule us and our churches, not by taking counsel with us but at his own arbitrary pleasure what kind of brotherhood, or even what kind of parenthood can this be? We should be the slaves not the sons, of such a church and the Roman see would not be the pious mother of sons but a hard and imperious mistress of slaves.

[64]

Eastern theologians state for the Holy Spirit to proceed from the Father and the Son in the Creed, there would have to be two sources in the deity (double procession), whereas in the one God there can only be one source of divinity. Which in the case of the East, is the Father hypostasis of the Trinity, not God's essence per se. ("Oneness of Essence": it is absolutely essential to distinguish this from another dogma, the dogma of the begetting and the procession, in which, as the Holy Fathers express it, is shown the Cause of the existence of the Son and the Spirit. Like the cited document of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity,[8] all of the Eastern Fathers acknowledge that the Father is monos aitios, the "sole Cause" of the Son and the Spirit.)[65][66] This behaviour - groups defining doctrine and acting unilaterally within Christianity as a whole - was supposed to have been addressed, resolved and condemned by councils.

Eastern theologians have said that for the Holy Spirit to proceed from the Father and the Son, there would have to be two sources in the deity, whereas in the one God there can only be one source of divinity. Western theologians say that, since both Greeks and Latins agree in attributing everything as common to the Father and the Son except the relation of Fatherhood and Sonship, the Spiration (breathing forth) of the Holy Spirit, which does not involve this relation, must also be common to both Father and Son.

The Roman Catholic Church has expressed this by saying that the Spirit proceeds from the Father and Son as from a single principle or beginning: "We declare that the Holy Spirit proceeds eternally from the Father and the Son, not as from two beginnings, but from one beginning, not from two breathings but from one breathing."[67]

The Western tradition does not see itself as merging and confusing the persons of the Father and the Son, as it has been accused of doing: it has always held that the Holy Spirit proceeds, in a principal, proper and immediate manner, from the Father, not the Son.[68] Augustine of Hippo admits that the Holy Spirit takes his origin from the Father principaliter (as principle).[8][69]

Even if the Catholic doctrine affirms that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son in the communication of their consubstantial communion, it nonetheless recognizes the reality of the original relationship of the Holy Spirit as person with the Father, a relationship that the Greek Fathers express by the term ἐκπόρευσις."[8][70]

The West appears in the eyes of Eastern theologians as wrong in its clarification of the procession of the Holy Spirit.[71]

Although the Western teaching speaks of the procession of the Holy Spirit from the Persons of the Father and the Son, it has been accused of making the divine essence itself the source of deity in God,[72] thereby suggesting a form of Semi-Sabellian that the Holy Spirit proceeds from himself, since he is certainly not separate from the divine essence. The Western response is that the origin of the Holy Spirit is similar to that of the Son, whom the original text of the Nicene Creed (as established in the First Council of Nicaea) declares to be "begotten from the Father, only-begotten, that is, from the essence of the Father" (γεννηθέντα ἐκ τοῦ πατρὸς μονογενῆ, τουτέστιν ἐκ τῆς ουσίας τοῦ πατρός), without thereby implying that the Son is self-begotten.

In the East however the filioque has never been accepted or used. This also includes Eastern Christian churches that did not remain in communion with the Greeks or Rome, including the Oriental Orthodox and the Assyrian Church of the East, which broke from communion with the Byzantine and Roman Churches after the fourth and third ecumenical councils respectively.

The Armenian Apostolic Church, which is part of Oriental Orthodoxy and not the Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox communion, uses a version of the Nicene Creed that makes no mention of the procession of the Holy Spirit, either from the Father or from the Father and the Son.[73] The use and defense of the filioque has been condemned by Eastern Orthodox theologians.[66] Its text has many more additions, specifying more precisely the belief of the Church: examples are the phrase "By whom He took body, soul, and mind, and everything that is in man, truly and not in semblance", the specification that Jesus ascended into heaven and is to come again "with the same body", and the amplification of "who spoke by the prophets" into "Who spoke through the Law, prophets, and Gospels; Who came down upon the Jordan, preached through the apostles, and lived in the saints."

The heart of the conflict from the Eastern perspective is that the Eastern Orthodox detect modalism, specifically the Sabellian heresy of modalism (see Photius) in the West's over all approach and teaching of the Trinitarian God.[72] This, first, by the use of the word person by the Latin West in its translation of the Greek work hypostasis which is sometimes translated as existence or reality..[72] Then the Latin East unilaterally inserted the filioque into the Universal declaration of faith or Nicene Creed, causing open conflict when the Latin Church attacked the East's rejection of this as heretical and in its continued treatment of the issue, after being confronted for adding to the Nicene Creed the "filioque", which appears to the Eastern Orthodox as further solidifying a modalistic teaching of the Trinitarian God.[72][74] (The Filioque was the main subject discussed at the 62nd meeting of the North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation, which met at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology (Brookline, Massachusetts) from June 3 through June 5, 2002, for their spring session. In October 2003, the Consultation issued an agreed statement, The Filioque: A Church-Dividing Issue?, which provides an extensive review of Scripture, history, and theology. The recommendations include: 7.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.)

Saint Maximus the Confessor wrote in defense of the Roman use of the Filioque,[18] maintaining that it was a legitimate variation of the doctrine that the Spirit proceeds from the Father through the Son.[19] Orthodox theologians insist that Maximus' use and definition are different than what was established by the West.[75] What Maximus wrote was as follows:[76]

They [the Romans] have produced the unanimous evidence of the Latin Fathers, and also of Cyril of Alexandria, from the study he made of the gospel of St John. On the basis of these texts, they have shown that they have not made the Son the cause of the Spirit - they know in fact that the Father is the only cause of the Son and the Spirit, the one by begetting and the other by procession - but that they have manifested the procession through him and have thus shown the unity and identity of the essence.

They [the Romans] have therefore been accused of precisely those things of which it would be wrong the accuse them, whereas the former [the Byzantines] have been accused of those things it has been quite correct to accuse them [Monothelitism].

From Maximus and John Damascene[77] the East draws the conclusion that the Holy Spirit derives its existence and being from God the Father alone as it feels was originally expressed in the Final version of the Creed accepted by East and West.[78] However if the Roman Catholic Church changed its addition to say "through the Son" rather than "from the Son" then such a compromise by the West would then clarify inside the Creed the true nature and sovereignty of each hypostases of God.(As a result of the above mentioned 62nd meeting of the North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation and other similar discussions, it has been suggested that the Orthodox could accept an "economic" filioque that states that the Holy Spirit, who originates in the Father alone, was sent to the Church "through the Son" (as the Paraclete), but this is not official Orthodox doctrine. It is what the Fathers call a theologoumenon, a theological opinion. Similarly, the late Edward Kilmartin, S.J., proposed as a theologoumenon a "mission" of the Holy Spirit to the Church.)[79]

Recent discussion

In 1995 the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity published in various languages a study on The Greek and the Latin Traditions regarding the Procession of the Holy Spirit.[8]

It pointed out, in particular, that the Latin verb procedere (to proceed), used in the Latin version of the Nicene Creed, has a broader meaning than the verb ἐκπορεύεσθαι, which is used in the Greek text. It quoted Saint Gregory of Nazianzus, who used the Greek word to distinguish the Spirit's form of coming from the Father from that of the Son from the Father, for both forms of which he used the Greek verb προϊέναι,[80] Προϊέναι was the word used by Greek Fathers of Alexandria when saying, as Saint Cyril of Alexandria did: "Since the Holy Spirit makes us like God when he has come to be in us, and since he also proceeds (προεῖσι) from the Father and the Son, it is clear that he is of the divine substance, proceeding (προϊόν) substantially (οὐσιωδῶς) in it and from it"[81]

Latin does not have two words, one of which corresponds to the precise meaning of ἐκπόρευσθαι and the other to the broader meaning of προϊέναι. Procedere is used for both these Greek verbs.

In this view, to say that the Holy Spirit proceeds (in the sense of the Greek word "ἐκπορευόμενον") from the Father and the Son can be considered heretical; but to say the same, giving to the word "proceeds" the meaning of the Latin word "procedere" (or of the Greek "προϊέναι"), is not heretical.

Saint Maximus the Confessor

The difficulty or near impossibility of finding in another language words that will reproduce with complete accuracy certain words of another language was remarked on by Saint Maximus the Confessor in the seventh century precisely with regard to the Filioque expression. Of the Latins he wrote: "It is true, of course, that they cannot reproduce their idea in a language and in words that are foreign to them as they can in their mother-tongue, just as we too cannot do."[82]

Metropolitan John Zizioulas of Pergamon concluded his examination of the Pontifical Council's study by saying: "The Vatican document on the procession of the Holy Spirit constitutes an encouraging attempt to clarify the basic aspects of the Filioque problem and show that a rapprochement between West and East on this matter is eventually possible. An examination of this problem in depth within the framework of a constructive theological dialogue can be greatly helped by this document."[83]

Even before the publication of the Pontifical Council's study, several Orthodox theologians had considered the Filioque anew, with a view to reconciliation of East and West. Theodore Stylianopoulos provided in 1986 an extensive, scholarly overview of the contemporary discussion.[84] Twenty years after writing the first (1975) edition of his book, The Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Kallistos of Diokleia said that he had changed his mind and had concluded that "the problem is more in the area of semantics and different emphases than in any basic doctrinal differences": "the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father alone" and "the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son" may both have orthodox meanings if the words translated "proceeds" actually have different meanings.[85] For some Orthodox, then, the Filioque, while still a matter of conflict, would not impede full communion of the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches if other issues were resolved. But many Orthodox consider that the Filioque is in flagrant contravention of the words of Christ in the Gospel,.[66] has been specifically condemned by the Orthodox Church, and remains a fundamental heretical teaching which divides East and West.

Eastern Christians also object that, even if the teaching of the Filioque can be defended, its interpolation into the Creed is anti-canonical..[66] The Roman Catholic Church, which like the Eastern Orthodox Church considers the teaching of the Ecumenical Councils to be infallible, "acknowledges the conciliar, ecumenical, normative and irrevocable value, as expression of the one common faith of the Church and of all Christians, of the Symbol professed in Greek at Constantinople in 381 by the Second Ecumenical Council. No profession of faith peculiar to a particular liturgical tradition can contradict this expression of the faith taught and professed by the undivided Church",[8] but considers permissible additions that elucidate the teaching without in any way contradicting it,[86] and that do not claim to have, on the basis of their insertion, the same authority that belongs to the original. It allows liturgical use of the Apostles' Creed as well of the Nicene Creed, and sees no essential difference between the recitation in the liturgy of a creed with orthodox additions and a profession of faith outside the liturgy such that of the Patriarch of Constantinople Saint Tarasius, who developed the Nicene Creed as follows: "the Holy Spirit, the Lord and giver of life, who proceeds from the Father through the Son".[8]

The Roman Catholic view that the Greek and the Latin expressions of faith in this regard are not contradictory but complementary has been expressed as follows:

At the outset the Eastern tradition expresses the Father's character as first origin of the Spirit. By confessing the Spirit as he "who proceeds from the Father", it affirms that he comes from the Father through the Son. The Western tradition expresses first the consubstantial communion between Father and Son, by saying that the Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son (Filioque). … This legitimate complementarity, provided it does not become rigid, does not affect the identity of faith in the reality of the same mystery confessed.[87]

For this reason, the Roman Catholic Church has refused the addition of καὶ τοῦ Υἱοῦ to the formula ἐκ τοῦ Πατρὸς ἐκπορευόμενον of the Nicene Creed in the Churches, even of Latin rite, which use it in Greek with the Greek verb "έκπορεύεσθαι".[8]

At the same time, the Eastern Catholic Churches do accept the Filioque in association with the Latin verb "procedere".

Joint statement in the United States in 2003

The Filioque was the main subject discussed at the 62nd meeting of the North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation, in June 2002. In October 2003, the Consultation issued an agreed statement, The Filioque: A Church-Dividing Issue?, which provides an extensive review of Scripture, history, and theology. The recommendations include:

  1. That all involved in such dialogue expressly recognize the limitations of our ability to make definitive assertions about the inner life of God.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

In the judgment of the consultation, the question of the Filioque is no longer a "Church-dividing" issue, one which would impede full reconciliation and full communion. It is for the bishops of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches to review this work and to make whatever decisions would be appropriate.

Summary

The Filioque was originally proposed to stress more clearly the connection between the Son and the Spirit, amid a heresy in which the Son was taken as less than the Father because he does not serve as a source of the Holy Spirit. When the Filioque came into use in Spain and Gaul in the West, the local churches were not aware that their language of procession would not translate well back into the Greek. Conversely, from Photius to the Council of Florence, the Greek Fathers were also not acquainted with the linguistic issues.

The origins of the Filioque in the West are found in the writings of certain Church Fathers in the West and especially in the anti-Arian situation of seventh-century Spain. In this context, the Filioque was a means to affirm the full divinity of both the Spirit and the Son. It is not just a question of establishing a connection with the Father and his divinity; it is a question of reinforcing the profession of Catholic faith in the fact that both the Son and Spirit share the fullness of God's nature.

Ironically, a similar anti-Arian emphasis also strongly influenced the development of the liturgy in the East, for example, in promoting prayer to "Christ Our God", an expression which also came to find a place in the West. In this case, a common adversary, namely, Arianism, had profound, far-reaching effects, in the orthodox reaction in both East and West.

Church politics, authority conflicts, ethnic hostility, linguistic misunderstanding, personal rivalry, and secular motives all combined in various ways to divide East and West.

As regards the doctrine expressed by the phrase in Latin (in which the word "procedit" that is linked with "Filioque" does not have exactly the same meaning and overtones as the word used in Greek), any declaration by the West that it is heretical (something that not all Orthodox now insist on)[88] would conflict with the Western doctrine of the infallibility of the Church, since it has been upheld by Councils recognized by the Roman Catholic Church as ecumenical and by even those Popes who, like Leo III, opposed insertion of the word into the Creed.

References

  1. ^ a b Wetterau, Bruce. World history. New York: Henry Holt and company. 1994.
  2. ^ Catechism of the Catholic Church, 246-248
  3. ^ .1662 Book of Common Prayer
  4. ^ 1979 Book of Common Prayer, Episcopal Church
  5. ^ Common Worship, Church of England (2000)
  6. ^ Lutheranism (Book of Concord, The Nicene Creed and the Filioque: A Lutheran Approach), Presbyterianism (Union Presbyterian Church, Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand, Reformed Presbyterian Church); Methodism (United Methodist Hymnal)
  7. ^ Dominus Iesus
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity: The Greek and the Latin Traditions regarding the Procession of the Holy Spirit (scanned image of the English translation on L'Osservatore Romano of 20 September 1995); also text with Greek letters transliterated and text omitting two sentences at the start of the paragraph that it presents as beginning with "The Western tradition expresses first …"
  9. ^ programme of the celebration
  10. ^ Video recording of joint recitation
  11. ^ a b c d e Agreed Statement of the North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation, 25 October 2003
  12. ^ "Though it is quite true to say that the Spirit proceeds from both the 'Father and the Son', the Eastern Church, encouraged by the Holy See, has asked us to return to the original form of the Creed" (Q & A on the Reformed Chaldean Massl form of the Creed").
  13. ^ Resolutions from 1978: Resolution 35 (see item 3)
  14. ^ Resolutions from 1988: Resolution 6 (see item 5)
  15. ^ See, for instance, The Nicene Creed - texts
  16. ^ General Convention Sets Course For Church September 19, 1985
  17. ^ Encyclical of the Eastern Patriarchs, 1848 A Reply to the Epistle of Pope Pius IX, "to the Easterns"
  18. ^ a b c One Single Source: An Orthodox Response to the Clarification on the Filioque
  19. ^ a b Concordia Theological Quarterly, January-April 1995, pp. 32 and 40
  20. ^ Professor Apostolos Nikolaidis, Professor of the Sociology of Religion and Social Ethics at the University of Athens
  21. ^ Ἐκκλησία -Επίσημον Δελτἰον τῆς Ἐκκλησίας τῆς Ἑλλάδος (Ekklisia - Official Bulletin of the Church of Greece), June 2008, p. 432: "Εἶναι δυνατὴ ἡ ἑνότητα στὴν ἐκκλησιαστικὴ πράξη; Ἡ ἐμπειρία ἀπέδειξε ὅτι αὐτὴ εἶναι πολὺ πιὸ δύσκολη ἀπὸ ὅ,τι ἡ θεολογική. Καὶ αὐτὸ γιὰ δύο βασικοὺς λόγους: α) γιὰ χάρη της γἰνονται τὰ σχίσματα καὶ ὄχι γιὰ τὶς θεολογικὲς δογματικὲς διαφορές. Ἁπλῶς αὐτὲς ἐπιστρατεύονται γιὰ νὰ κατορθωθεῖ, νὰ ἐμπεδωθεῖ καὶ νὰ διατηρηθεῖ ἡ σχισματικὴ κατάσταση. Τὸ σχίσμα τοῦ 1054 εἶναι τὸ χαρακτηριστικότερο παράδειγμα. Προηγήθηκαν αἰῶνες συνύπαρξης τῶν κατὰ τόπους Ἐκκλησιῶν μὲ τὸ φιλιόκβε, τὸ πρόβλημα κορυφώθηκε τὴν ἐποχὴ τοῦ Μ. Φωτίου μὲ ἀφορμὴ καὶ πάλι ἐκκλησιαστικὰ γεγονότα, ἀλλὰ σχίσμα δὲν ἔγινε, τὴ δὲ ἐποχὴ τοῦ 1054 τὸ φιλιόκβε ἦταν σὲ νάρκη. Ἐπανῆλθε καὶ ἐντάθηκε μετὰ ἀπὸ αὐτὸ γιὰ νὰ δικαιολογήσει καὶ νὰ τὸ ὁριστικοποιήσει."
  22. ^ a b c d e f g h i Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (Oxford University Press 2005 ISBN 978-0-19-280290-3), article Double Procession of the Holy Spirit
  23. ^ Tertullian, Adversus Praxeas IV
  24. ^ Ad Praxeas V
  25. ^ Ad Praxaes II
  26. ^ Ad Praxeas, XIII
  27. ^ Dale T. Irvin, Scott Sunquist, History of the World Christian Movement (2001), Volume 1, p. 340}
  28. ^ Gregory Dix, The Shape of the Liturgy (2005), p, 487
  29. ^ The Conversion of Clovis
  30. ^ Hinson, E. Glenn, The Church Triumphant, Mercer University Press (1995), ISBN 0865544360, p.315
  31. ^ a b  "Filioque". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913. http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Catholic_Encyclopedia_(1913)/Filioque. 
  32. ^ a b Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (Oxford University Press 2005 ISBN 978-0-19-280290-3), article Filioque
  33. ^ "Haec Leo posui amore et cautela orthodoxae fidei" (Vita Leonis, Liber Pontificalis (ed. Duchêne, t. II, p. 26); cf. Treatise of Adam Zoernikaff, quoted in William Palmer: A Harmony of Anglican Doctrine with the doctrine of the catholic and apostolic church of the East (Aberdeen 1846)
  34. ^ Ρωμαϊκο Λειτουργικό (Roman Missal), Συνοδική Επιτροπή για τη θεία Λατρεία 2005, I, p. 347
  35. ^ Forma Recepta, Ecclesiae Occidentalis
  36. ^ Examples include the phrase "By whom He took body, soul, and mind, and everything that is in man, truly and not in semblance", the specification that Jesus ascended into heaven and is to come again "with the same body", and the amplification of "who spoke by the prophets" into "Who spoke through the Law, prophets, and Gospels; Who came down upon the Jordan, preached through the apostles, and lived in the saints." Text in Armenian, with transliteration and English translation
  37. ^ The Orthodox Church, Crestwood, NY, 1981 quoted in On the Question of the Filioque
  38. ^ a b c [Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (Oxford University Press 2005 ISBN 978-0-19-280290-3), article Photius
  39. ^ The Patriarch and the Pope. Photius and Nicolas
  40. ^ Barbero, Alessandro, 2004, Charlemagne: Father of a Continent. Allan Cameron, trans. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press
  41. ^ cf. John 15:26 and Nicene Creed
  42. ^ a b c Platis, Constantine. (2000). Dance, O Isaiah: Questions and Answers On Some of the Differences between Eastern Orthodox Christianity and Other Faiths (Boston, MA: Orthodox Metropolis of Boston).
  43. ^ a b Thesaurus, PG 75, 585
  44. ^ Translation in Christian Classics Ethereal Library
  45. ^ Oratio 39, 12
  46. ^ "The Holy Spirit also, when He proceeds from the Father and the Son, is not separated from the Father nor separated from the Son" - in the original Latin "Spiritus quoque sanctus cum procedit a Patre et Filio, non separatur a Patre, non separatur a Filio".(De Spiritu Sancto, 1.11.120; "As the Father is the Fount of Life, so, too, many have stated that the Son is signified as the Fount of Life; so that, he says, with Thee, Almighty God, Thy Son is the Fount of Life. That is the Fount of the Holy Spirit, for the Spirit is Life, as the Lord says: 'The words which I speak unto you are Spirit and Life', for where the Spirit is, there also is Life; and where Life is, is also the Holy Spirit" (De Spiritu Sancto, 1.15.172.
  47. ^ Augustinus, Contra Sermonem Arianorum Liber Unus, 4.4 "Whence it is clear that neither the Father without the Son, nor the Son without the Father sent the Holy Ghost, but Both sent Him equally". In the original Latin "Ubi ostenditur quod nec Pater sine Filio, nec Filius sine Patre misit Spiritum Sanctum, sed eum pariter ambo miserunt"
  48. ^ The Origin and Terminology of the Athanasian Creed by Robert H. Krueger
  49. ^ Ep. 15, c. 1
  50. ^ "The Holy Ghost is from the Father and the Son, neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding". In the original Latin:"Spiritus Sanctus a Patre et Filio: non factus, nec creatus, nec genitus, sed procedens".
  51. ^ Letter of the Latin Monks to Pope Leo III
  52. ^ The Filioque Clause
  53. ^ Denzinger, 853 (old numbering 463) Latin text English translation
  54. ^ John Paul II asked, "How can we not share, at a distance of eight centuries, the pain and disgust."Pope Expresses “Sorrow” Over Sacking of Constantinople This has been regarded as an apology to the Greek Orthodox Church for the terrible slaughter perpetrated by the warriors of the Fourth Crusade. Phillips, The Fourth Crusade and the Sack of Constantinople, intro., xiii).
  55. ^ a b Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (Oxford University Press 2005 ISBN 978-0-19-280290-3), article Florence, Council of
  56. ^  "Council of Ephesus". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913. http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Catholic_Encyclopedia_(1913)/Council_of_Ephesus. , 7th canon
  57. ^ Extracts from the Acts of the Council of Ephesus, The Epistle of Cyril to Nestorius]
  58. ^ "The Nicene Synod set forth this faith: We believe in one God, etc." (emphasis added) - Extracts from the Acts, Session I
  59. ^ See comparison between the two version
  60. ^ Letter to Marinus of Cyprus, PG 91:136, quoted in Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity: The Greek and the Latin Traditions regarding the Procession of the Holy Spirit
  61. ^ Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North America: Agreed Statement on Filioque
  62. ^ G W Bromiley (Elwell Evangelical Dictionary), quoted in Filioque Controversy
  63. ^ Aleksey Khomyakov History of Russian Philosophy by Nikolai Lossky ISBN 978-0823680740 p. 87: "The legal formalism and logical rationalism of the Roman Catholic Church have their roots in the Roman State: these features developed in it more strongly than ever when the Western Church without consent of the Eastern introduced into the Nicean Creed the filioque clause. Such arbitrary change of the creed is an expression of pride and lack of love for one's brethren in the faith. "In order not to be regarded as a schism by the Church, Romanism was forced to ascribe to the bishop of Rome absolute infallibility." In this way Catholicism broke away from the Church as a whole and became an organization based upon external authority. Its unity is similar to the unity of the state: it is not super-rational but rationalistic and legally formal. Rationalism has led to the doctrine of the works of superarogation, established a balance of duties and merits between God and man, weighing in the scales sins and prayers, trespasses and deeds of expiation; it adopted the idea of transferring one person's debts or credits to another and legalized the exchange of assumed merits; in short, it introduced into the sanctuary of faith the mechanism of a banking house."
  64. ^ The Orthodox Church London by Kallistos Ware St. Vladimir's Seminary Press 1995 ISBN 978-0913836583
  65. ^ Orthodox Dogmatic Theology Michael Pomazansky [1]
  66. ^ a b c d Quoting Aleksey Khomyakov pg 87 "The legal formalism and logical rationalism of the Roman Catholic Church have their roots in the Roman State. These features developed in it more strongly than ever when the Western Church without consent of the Eastern introduced into the Nicean Creed the filioque clause. Such arbitrary change of the creed is an expression of pride and lack of love for one's brethren in the faith. "In order not to be regarded as a schism by the Church, Romanism was forced to ascribe to the bishop of Rome absolute infallibility." In this way Catholicism broke away from the Church as a whole and became an organization based upon external authority. Its unity is similar to the unity of the state: it is not super-rational but rationalistic and legally formal. Rationalism has led to the doctrine of the works of superarogation, established a balance of duties and merits between God and man, weighing in the scales sins and prayers, trespasses and deeds of expiation; it adopted the idea of transferring one person's debts or credits to another and legalized the exchange of assumed merits; in short, it introduced into the sanctuary of faith the mechanism of a banking house." History of Russian Philosophy by Nikolai Lossky ISBN 978-0823680740 p. 87
  67. ^ Denzinger 850 (old numbering, 460): Latin text, English translation
  68. ^ This terminology is that of Thomas Aquinas in Summa Theologica, part I, q. 36, art. 3, responses to objections 1 and 2
  69. ^ De Trinitate, XV, 25, 47: PL 42, 1094-1095
  70. ^ "Corresponding to the two relations of the Son and of the Holy Ghost by which they are related to the Father, we must understand two relations in the Father, whereby He is related to the Son and to the Holy Ghost" (Summa Theologica, pars I, q. 32, art. 2).
  71. ^ Orthodox dogmatic theology by Michael Pomazansky Part I. God in Himself 2. The dogma of the Holy Trinity On the procession of the Holy Spirit: "All of the Eastern Fathers acknowledge that the Father is monos aitios, the sole Cause” of the Son and the Spirit. Therefore, when certain Church Fathers use the expression “through the Son,” they are, precisely by means of this expression, preserving the dogma of the procession from the Father and the inviolability of the dogmatic formula, “proceedeth from the Father.” The Fathers speak of the Son as “through” so as to defend the expression “from,” which refers only to the Father. To this one should add that the expression, “through the Son,” which is found in certain Holy Fathers, in the majority of cases refers definitely to the manifestations of the Holy Spirit in the world, that is, to the providential actions of the Holy Trinity, and not to the life of God in Himself. When the Eastern Church first noticed a distortion of the dogma of the Holy Spirit in the West and began to reproach the Western theologians for their innovations, St. Maximus the Confessor (in the 7th century), desiring to defend the Westerners, justified them precisely by saying that by the words “from the Son” they intended to indicate that the Holy Spirit is given to creatures through the Son, that He is manifested, that He is sent — but not that the Holy Spirit has His existence from Him. St. Maximus the Confessor himself held strictly to the teaching of the Eastern Church concerning the procession of the Holy Spirit from the Father and wrote a special treatise about this dogma."
  72. ^ a b c d pgs 50-53 The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church, by Vladimir Lossky SVS Press, 1997. (ISBN 0-913836-31-1) James Clarke & Co Ltd, 1991. (ISBN 0-227-67919-9)
  73. ^ Armenian Church Library
  74. ^ Orthodox Theological Dogma Michael Pomazansky: "However, in Latin dogmatic works, intended for internal use, we encounter a definite treatment of the Orthodox dogma of the procession of the Holy Spirit as a “heresy.” In the officially approved Latin dogmatic work of the doctor of theology, A. Sanda, we read: “Opponents (of the present Roman teaching) are the schismatic Greeks, who teach that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father alone. Already in the year 808 Greek monks protested against the introduction by the Latins of the word Filioque into the Creed . . . Who the originator of this heresy was, is unknown” (Sinopsis Theologiae Dogmaticae Specialis, by Dr. A. Sanda, vol. 1, p. 100; Herder edition, 1916). However, the Latin dogma agrees neither with Sacred Scripture nor with the universal Sacred Tradition of the Church; and it does not even agree with the most ancient tradition of the Local Church of Rome."
  75. ^ Orthodox dogmatic theology by Protopresbyter Michael Pomazansky [2]: "When the Eastern Church first noticed a distortion of the dogma of the Holy Spirit in the West and began to reproach the Western theologians for their innovations, St. Maximus the Confessor (in the 7th century), desiring to defend the Westerners, justified them precisely by saying that by the words “from the Son” they intended to indicate that the Holy Spirit is given to creatures through the Son, that He is manifested, that He is sent — but not that the Holy Spirit has His existence from Him. St. Maximus the Confessor himself held strictly to the teaching of the Eastern Church concerning the procession of the Holy Spirit from the Father and wrote a special treatise about this dogma."
  76. ^ Maximus the Confessor, Letter to Marinus - on the Filioque
  77. ^ "We do not speak of the Spirit as from the Son." St. John Damascene pg 61 The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church By Vladimir Lossky Published by St Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1976 ISBN 0913836311, 9780913836316 [3]
  78. ^ "The Orthodox Church" Sergey Bulgakov [4]: "However, the Latin dogma agrees neither with Sacred Scripture nor with the universal Sacred Tradition of the Church; and it does not even agree with the most ancient tradition of the Local Church of Rome. Creation God is the Creator of the World, which He created from the void. God does not seek to complete Himself by means of the world; but, in His goodness, He wishes non-being to share in being and to have His image reflected there. The creation of the world ex nihilo is the work of love, of almighty power and of divine wisdom. The creation is the work of the Holy Trinity. The Father creates by the Word in the Holy Spirit. The Holy Trinity is immediately directed towards the world by the Word, by means of which all things were made (John 1:3). The Son is the divine hypostasis who created, in announcing it, the ideal existence of the world. But the Holy Spirit finishes, vivifies, gives to the world reality."
  79. ^ Orthodox Wiki filioque article
  80. ^ "προϊὸν μὲν ἐκ τοῦ Πατρὸς, οὐχ ὑϊκῶς δὲ, οὐδὲ γὰρ γεννητῶς, ἀλλ' ἐκπορευτῶς" (Oration 39, 12, English translation).
  81. ^ Ὅτε τοίνυν τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον ἐν ἡμῖν γενόμενον, συμμόρφους ἀποδεικνύει Θεοῦ, πρόεισι δὲ καὶ ἐκ Πατρὸς καὶ Υἱοῦ, πρόδηλον ὅτι τῆς θείας ἐστὶν οὐσίας, οὐσιωδῶς ἐν αὐτῇ καὶ ἐξ αὐτῆς προϊόν. (Thesaurus de sancta consubstantiali trinitate 75.585)
  82. ^ St Maximos Confessor to Marinus on the Filioque
  83. ^ One Single Source
  84. ^ Theodore Stylianopoulos: The Filioque: Dogma, Theologoumenon or Error?
  85. ^ The Father as the Source of the Whole Trinity
  86. ^ The Armenian additions to the Nicene Creed are much more numerous.
  87. ^ Catechism of the Catholic Church, 248
  88. ^ Cf. "For (Saint Maximus the Confessor) the Filioque was not heretical because its intention was to denote not the εκπορεύεσθαι (ekporeuesthai) but the προείναι (proeinai) of the Spirit" (Orthodox Research Institute).

Bibliography

Much has been written on the Filioque; what follows is selective. As time goes on, this list will inevitably have to be updated.

  • This article incorporates text from the public domain 1907 edition of The Nuttall Encyclopædia.
  • "Filioque", article in the Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church Oxford University Press, 2005, p. 614.
  • David Bradshaw. Aristotle East and West: Metaphysics and the Division of Christendom. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004, pp. 214–220.
  • Laurent Cleenewerck. His Broken Body: Understanding and healing the schism between the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches. Washington, DC: Euclid University Press, 2008, pp. 321–347.
  • Joseph P. Farrell. God, History, & Dialectic: The Theological Foundations of the Two Europes and Their Cultural Consequences. Bound edition 1997. Electronic edition 2008.
  • John St. H. Gibaut, "The Cursus Honorum and the Western Case Against Photius", Logos 37 (1996), 35–73.
  • Elizabeth Teresa Groppe. Yves Congar's Theology of the Holy Spirit. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004. See esp. pp. 75–79, for a summary of Congar's work on the Filioque. Congar is widely considered the most important Roman Catholic ecclesiologist of the twentieth century. He was influential in the composition of several Vatican II documents. Most important of all, he was instrumental in the association in the West of pneumatology and ecclesiology, a new development.
  • Richard Haugh. Photius and the Carolingians: The Trinitarian Controversy. Belmont, MA: Nordland Publishing Company, 1975.
  • Joseph Jungmann, S.J. Pastoral Liturgy. London: Challoner, 1962. See "Christ our God", pp. 38–48.
  • James Likoudis. Ending the Byzantine Greek Schism. New Rochelle, New York: 1992. An apologetic response to polemical attacks. A useful book for its inclusion of important texts and documents; see especially citations and works by Thomas Aquinas, O.P., Demetrios Kydones, Nikos A. Nissiotis, and Alexis Stawrowsky. The select bibliography is excellent. The author demonstrates that the Filioque dispute is only understood as part of a dispute over papal primacy and cannot be dealt with apart from ecclesiology.
  • Bruce D. Marshall, "'Ex Occidente Lux?' Aquinas and Eastern Orthodox Theology", Modern Theology 20:1 (January, 2004), 23–50. Reconsideration of the views of Aquinas, especially on deification and grace, as well as his Orthodox critics. The author suggests that Aquinas may have a more accurate perspective than his critics, on the systematic questions of theology that relate to the Filioque dispute.
  • John Meyendorff. Byzantine Theology. New York: Fordham University Press, 1979, pp. 91–94.
  • Aristeides Papadakis. Crisis in Byzantium: The Filioque Controversy in the Patriarchate of Gregory II of Cyprus (1283–1289). New York: Fordham University Press, 1983.
  • Aristeides Papadakis. The Christian East and the Rise of the Papacy. Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1994, pp. 232–238 and 379-408.
  • Duncan Reid. Energies of the Spirit: Trinitarian Models in Eastern Orthodox and Western Theology. Atlanta, Georgia: Scholars Press, 1997.
  • A. Edward Siecienski. The Use of Maximus the Confessor's Writing on the Filioque at the Council of Ferrara-Florence (1438–1439). Ann Arbor, Michigan: UMI Dissertation Services, 2005.
  • Malon H. Smith, III. And Taking Bread: Cerularius and the Azyme Controversy of 1054. Paris: Beauschesne, 1978. This work is still valuable for understanding cultural and theological estrangement of East and West by the turn of the millennium. Now, it is evident that neither side understood the other; both Greek and Latin antagonists assumed their own practices were normative and authentic.
  • Timothy Kallistos Ware. The Orthodox Church. New edition. London: Penguin, 1993, pp. 52–61.
  • Timothy [Kallistos] Ware. The Orthodox Way. Revised edition. Crestwood, New York: 1995, pp. 89–104.
  • [World Council of Churches] /Conseil Oecuménique des Eglises. La théologie du Saint-Esprit dans le dialogue œcuménique Document # 103 [Faith and Order]/Foi et Constitution. Paris: Centurion, 1981.

External links


Simple English

The Filioque cause is a part of the Nicene Creed that not all Christians agree about. Filioque is Latin. In the context (of the Nicene Creed) it means and from the son. The main parties involved are the Roman Catholic church and the Eastern Orthodox Church. The Eastern Orthodox Church rejects these Changes, the Catholic Church[1], as well as most Protestant[2] and the Anglican Church[3] accept them

The Latin text is given below, the changes are highlighted. These were added to the Catholic version.

(Credo)… Et in Spiritum Sanctum, Dominum et vivificantem,
qui ex Patre Filioque procedit …

This is usually translated into English as:

(I believe) .. and in the Holy Ghost
which comes from the Father and from the Son...

Many Eastern Catholic Churches have the same version as the Eastern Orthodox Churches for day-to-day use. They do however have the official catholic version for special uses.

References


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