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Dicerning the Filioque Anonymous 05/04/2022 (Wed) 11:17:18 No.10061
I am trying to discern the truth of the filioque. But before I can discern whether it's doctrinally acceptable, I need to figure out what it actually means. It seems to me there are three different ways to understand the Filioque, as I have diagrammed. Which one is correct? All the apologists seem to take the "through the son" position, but that's not what the Catechism says. Am I reading the Catechism wrong? Also, I am not convinced the filioque can be waved away as a language issue. If it were a language issue, why is the filioque said in the Roman Rite in English but omitted in the Byzantine Rite in English (https://youtu.be/wmW2I-UN_Ak?t=3079)? Why does the Roman Rite include the filioque in all languages except Greek? Greek can't be the one unique language with the problem, because it is both included and omitted in other languages depending on rite. Either the filioque itself is heresy or rejecting it is heresy; as at the Second Council of Lyons (1274) Pope Paul VI condemned those “who presume to deny that the Holy Spirit proceeds eternally from the Father and the Son.” But even then, Pope Paul VI's condemnation came in 1274, almost 200 years before Florence defined it. So if he understood the filioque the way Aquinas understood it (Option 2), is his condemnation even applicable? What is even going on here?
The Filioque is not a heresy since the Holy Ghost comes from the Father and the Son, as numerous times stated in the New Testament. As my priest explained to me in the Catechumen lessons: "The Holy Ghost is the love bond between the Father and the Son, it is the love they share and the love that holds everything together" - paraphrased by me. It is not hard to understand, and with the first Nicene Creed it sould've been understood that the Holy Ghost proceeds from both - the Latin Church made the addition because of the Arian heresy, so it won't find ground again. Dogmas never change, but sometimes you add a more detailed formulation because the more you move from the past. the more the understanding of eternal truths becomes blurry.
>>10066 >"The Holy Ghost is the love bond between the Father and the Son, it is the love they share and the love that holds everything together Yeah your priest was probably refering to St. Augustine. But I don't think Augustine had it right. First, that implies the Spirit is not an individual person of the trinity, consubstantial with the Father and Son, but rather a generated energy. Second, Does not the Father love the Spirit? Would not the Father's love of the Spirit then produce a fourth person of the Trinity? And would not the Son's love of the Spirit produce a fifth? Ad infinitum?
>>10061 Why did you remove the quotes from the Catechism? >246 The Latin tradition of the Creed confesses that the Spirit "proceeds from the Father and the Son (filioque)". The Council of Florence in 1438 explains: "The Holy Spirit is eternally from Father and Son; He has his nature and subsistence at once (simul) from the Father and the Son. He proceeds eternally from both as from one principle and through one spiration. . . . And, since the Father has through generation given to the only-begotten Son everything that belongs to the Father, except being Father, the Son has also eternally from the Father, from whom he is eternally born, that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Son."75 >248 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.77 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). It says this, "legitimately and with good reason",78 for the eternal order of the divine persons in their consubstantial communion implies that the Father, as "the principle without principle",79 is the first origin of the Spirit, but also that as Father of the only Son, he is, with the Son, the single principle from which the Holy Spirit proceeds.80 This legitimate complementarity, provided it does not become rigid, does not affect the identity of faith in the reality of the same mystery confessed. The Spirit originates from the Father, who sends it through the Son. The Son, having inherited all things from the Father, inherits the property of the Spirit's procession. The Son serves as Father to Christians, as per the Lord's Prayer, bestowing upon them the Spirit, which establishes a relationship that parallels His own with deity.
>>10086 >Why did you remove the quotes from the Catechism? Because I added the relevant bits to the diagram.
>>10061 The 'through the Son' position is entirely Orthodox and even as an Orthodox Christian I have no problem accepting it, since it is amply well-attested prior to the Schism and is in line with what Jesus Himself says in Scripture about the Spirit proceeding from the Father, and that Jesus will send Him. Where it gets heretical is where it undermines the monarchy of the Father, who is the sole source of the other two hypostases. We can see this in the later councils that try to say that the Spirit comes from the Father and the Son as from a single cause or similar things like this. This creates a dyad in the Trinity, and is not Scriptural in the slightest. The degeneration of Trinitarian theology in the Catholic Church has become very obvious in the following centuries since they have emphasized the singular divine essence above the persons, and have begin to claim things such as that Muslims worship the same God as Christians do, which is simply nonsense. The filioque itself originated at a local council and then the Latins attempted to accuse the Orthodox that they had removed it from the creed!
>>10086 >The Spirit originates from the Father, who sends it through the Son. That's not what Florence said. The Spirit "proceeds eternally from both as from one principle and through one spiration. >The Son, having inherited all things from the Father, inherits the property of the Spirit's procession. What does that even mean? How does one "inherit the property of procession?" Pretend I am a dummy (which I am). If none of my diagrams are correct, draw it out for me.
>>10072 Aeons?
>>10112 The mohamadeans can't debate, so they resort to shilling gnosticism.
>>10072 >But I don't think Augustine had it right. But are you a Church Father? Did you dedicate your life to God entirely to think about these matters and get inspired? >First, that implies the Spirit is not an individual person of the trinity, consubstantial with the Father and Son, but rather a generated energy. None are individuals but a triune union that is and will never cease to be. Imagine the three points of a triangle: if you take one point away, it ceases to be a triangle. Each point is an infinite source. This is why the triangle is a common symbol for God and the Trinity. Imagine the love you have for a woman. You do not create that love, the love is already there. The love is there by first sight, or is fostered over time, but the very existence of love does not come from you nor her. Love is in the air, so to speak, and need to be fostered since we are imperfect. You can say the Holy Ghost is the only manifestation that generates love in the material world ad infinitum. Love holds everything together, the very goodness and force of God Himself.
>>10092 >Where it gets heretical is where it undermines the monarchy of the Father, who is the sole source of the other two hypostases. Would you oppose then, Option 1, what I call "strict" Filioque? The ultimate source for both is still the Father, and it allows for the Holy Spirit to process "through the son." >We can see this in the later councils that try to say that the Spirit comes from the Father and the Son as from a single cause or similar things like this. This creates a dyad in the Trinity, and is not Scriptural in the slightest. What do you make of John 7 and Rev 22 as quoted in the option 3 diagram as a scripture source for the dyad model? I'm not saying I buy it either. I don't know what to make of it. The John 7 quote seems to be about an individual receiving the HS, not about the HS coming from Jesus. But even if you don't accept John 7's metaphor for the Spirit and Water analogy as relating to Rev 22:1, the verse seems to comment of the relationships within the trinity. At this point, I'm not sure think the filioque is sound or heretical. But the omitting it is definitely not wrong. The filioque may be accurate, and it may be truer. But I'm inclined to err on the side of caution. I'm definitely leaning more towards the Orthodox perspective than I have in the past. Apologists can quote Aquinas' works from the 1200s all they want, but the Council of Florence in the 1400s says something different. And the definition from Florence is at best a convoluted mess.
>>10141 I think any view which undermines the monarchia of the Father as the sole cause in the Trinity is probably heretical based off of the Scirptures. So I think that Option #3 can basically be rejected outright. When it comes to the other others, I'm less sure. The Father is still distinct as a person in His role in the Trinity, which is good. It seems certain that the Son is in some sense involved with the Spirit, whether it is on the level of the temporal mission of the Spirit or in the eternal relations, but not on the level of being a cause of the Spirit. I know people like Augustine have taught that there is procession through the Father and the Son, but with the claim that the procession is different, from the Father the Spirit proceeds principaliter, 'principally', and from the Son per donum Patris, 'through the gift of the Father'. This has some issues, potentially, but it's still not as bad as what we see later at Florence, which seems to create a sort of Father-Son. The Cappadocian view of the Trinity seems to have more behind it. St. John of Damascus also used language like "The Holy Spirit is a substantial power contemplated in his own distinct hypostasis, who proceeds from the Father and reposes in the Word", which is again different from the Western / Latin view. Ultimately it comes down to the fact that the canons of the Council of Ephesus (canon 7) absolutely forbid, except through an ecumenical council, further changes to the creed, which it describes as the composition of a "different faith".
>>10093 Well, you have to take it up with the Catechism seemingly contradicting itself, because first it states that the Spirit proceeds from the Father and Son as one principle and one spiration, arguing that the Son being consubstantial with Father is also therefore a source of the procession of the Spirit, which would end up as something like your Option 3 diagram; then it goes on to explain that the East confesses that the Spirit proceeds from the Father through the Son (Option 2), and advises in the last sentence that it is a legitimate complementarity with Option 3 when held loosely and doesn't affect the identity of faith in the reality of the mystery confessed. I'm not sure of the exact difference you were trying to capture between Option 1 and 3 by the way, since the change in the type of arrow used was not explained. Were you suggesting in Option 1 that the Father and the Son are two independent sources of procession?
>>10196 >you have to take it up with the Catechism seemingly contradicting itself, That's exactly my frustration. It seems like the Vatican is trying to talk out both sides of her mouth. Just the other day I watched a video of a guy reading through Aquinas' commentary on the filioque from the Summa. Only to follow it by reading verbatim from the Catechism, without acknowledging the 200 year gap between Aquinas and Florence; and, more importantly, not acknowledging the two are different This confusion by apologists and theologians alike lends support to Orthodox position, in my estimation. >the change in the type of arrow used was not explained. There is no significance in changing the arrows. I just used a different image program that couldn't produce the same arrow. >Were you suggesting in Option 1 that the Father and the Son are two independent sources of procession? Yes. Option 1 does not, in my estimation, acknowledge the "from both as one principle". In option 1, the Spirit processes directly from the Father without confluence with the Son; in Option 3, the Spirit processes from the Father only after mingling with the Son's procession. It's pretty difficult to draw that in a clear way.
>>10196 Does this make it clearer? I intend to print these out and contact a priest to make sure I'm understanding this correctly. Before I can believe something, I have to know I understand it. So I want to make sure I understand the possible positions before I make further study into its accuracy or (small-o) orthodoxy.
Based solely on aesthetics: I like the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed because it's a simple pyramid both in shape and hierarchy
>>10214 Yeah that's the original formula and is uncontroversial. Frankly, the Church should've just left it at that, with legitimate variation of opinion thereafter. But the Pope decided to unilaterally add the "filioque" and over 1000 years later, here we are.
>>10066 >The Filioque is not a heresy since the Holy Ghost comes from the Father and the Son, as numerous times stated in the New Testament. >what is economic procession >what is energetic procession This is an at best reductivist answer. Nobody says the Spirit does not proceed through the Son at all so "filioque right because NT says Spirit comes from the Son" is not a satisfactory defense of filioque. >>10072 No, St. Augustine is actually completely correct. However when one reads him at his own words rather than through the lens of medieval Latins one finds his pneumatology to be far more Orthodox than what was dogmatized at Florence. In fact St. Gregory Palamas used the exact same description of the Spirit's relation to the love between the Father and the Son himself and clearly heavily utilized St. Augustine in writing his 150 chapters. https://orthodoxchristiantheology.com/category/augustines-pneumatology/ I suggest both you and >>10061 read this series here, which is an in-depth commentary on St. Augustine's De Trinitate, you will find it insightful.
>>10310 >>what is economic procession >what is energetic procession These distinctions are largely unknown in the West; this is where the filioque starts to turn into a battle between Palamas' Energy/Essence and Aquinas' Divine Simplicity theologies.
>>10316 >These distinctions are largely unknown in the West Not true, St. Maximus the Confessor defended Westerners against accusations of dual procession by explaining filioque in an Orthodox manner, invoking these very doctrines. Pre-schism, it is precisely in these terms that Filioque was understood by most in the West, barring a few Frankish theologians. This can also be seen in the staunch resistance of Rome to saying filioque in her own Creed, even while nearly all her subjects did so, until as late as 1014 (which is to say, at time of schism there were probably many people alive in Rome who remembered saying the Creed without filiqoue). At Florence, St. Maximus' letter to Marinus was presented at council by the Latins--not by the Orthodox--as a sort of gotcha argument, to prove that even Orthodox saints defended saying filioque. In response, St. Mark of Ephesus and the rest of the eastern delegation essentially YESposted: St. Mark used the letter to offer a compromise, saying that they'd accept the Latins saying filioque in the creed, so long as the Latins affirmed, at council, that what they meant when they said the Creed was what St. Maximus outlined in his letter. It was only after this offer that the Latins began to backtrack, and started saying the letter was a forgery, despite their being the ones to introduce it in the first place. St. Mark offered the letter three separate times as an acceptable compromise position under which union could be held, and the Latins rejected it every time. At Florence the Latins ended up dogmatizing a reading of filioque that explicitly rejected St. Maximus' teaching. In short, the West absolutely was aware of what the correct theology was, and from the confessions of the Saints we may conclude that they even practiced the correct theology. It was only after the schism, and after Frankish theologians totally dominated Western theology, that the West fell into heterodox pneumatology and ended up dogmatizing heresy.
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>>10310 >Augustine is actually completely correct. Okay, which is it Orthobros? Is Augustine "entirely orthodox" or a contemptible man who helped inspire heresy in the church? >For the last several decades, not just his theology but Augustine himself has been regarded as heretical by some theologians in the Orthodox Church. An attack on his person has been made by several theologians, excluding him from the list of saints.  >The most important doctrinal controversy surrounding his name is the filioque. Other doctrines that were unacceptable to the Church are his view of original sin, the doctrine of grace, and predestination. https://web.archive.org/web/20101105045903/http://goarch.org/ourfaith/ourfaith8153 >15. In this regard Augustine’s teaching on original sin, i.e. his understanding of Rom. 5;12, and therefore related questions like mysticism, were first condemned by the Council of Orange in 529 and also by the Ninth Roman Ecumenical Council of 1341 in the person of Barlaam the Calabrian. The Fathers of this latter Council were not aware that the heresies of Barlaam they were condemning stemmed from Augustine. Also in 1957 the faculty of the University of Athens approved the doctoral thesis on "Ancestral Sin" of John S. Romanides which had proven that the very presuppositions of Augustine’s theology based on analogia entis and analogia fidei has nothing in common with the Fathers of the Roman Ecumenical Councils. Augustine had not been in the Calendar of the Church of Greece. He was added during the period of the dictatorship of the colonels who uncanonicaly appointed Father Jerome Kotsonis as Archbishop of Athens (1968-1974) who was known for his non patristic orientation. It was he who added Augustine to the Church Calendar of the Church of Greece. >17. Gennadius Scholarius, the first Patriarch of Constantinople New Rome after the Turkish takeover in 1453, had been at the Council of Ferrara/Florence (1438-1442) as a layman. He had brought back to Constantinople manuscripts of Augustine and concluded the following about his positions on the doctrine of the Holy Trinity which are clearly not due to tampering. He takes Augustine to task as follows: "To say that the Hypostasis of the Spirit comes or proceeds from the Son, that is to say that It holds its existence from him, not only as cause of the love for us, or of love in itself, but also as the love of the Father and the Son for each other, emerging from one to go to the other, the Father being the first giver and receiving in turn the Son, all this is insupportable grossness…Where does one find clearly exposed, in the sacred books, that the Holy Spirit is the reciprocal love of the Father and the Son, Who love each other, and Who derives his existence from the Two. In which sacred treasure has this sacred dogma been hidden? And how did it escape the notice of the other Fathers who, nevertheless have examined all with great care?" >In any case no Orthodox can accept positions of Augustine on which the Father’s of Ecumenical Councils are in agreement "against" him. http://www.romanity.org/htm/rom.00.en.some_underlying_positions_of_this_website.htm >1341 Council of Constantinople: >Condemned Augustinianism as presented by Barlaam the Calabrian and Acindynus. >Rejected Augustinian view of revelation by created symbols and illumined vision. http://www.oodegr.com/english/dogma/synodoi/all_synods_chart.htm
>>10334 >Okay, which is it Orthobros? The Saints harmonize. This has always been our teaching, despite a smattering of modernists trying to shy away from it. St. Augustine has always been a most holy saint in our church and his teaching has always been honored. As I said before, even St. Gregory Palamas sourced the blessed St. Augustine heavily for his own writings. >>For the last several decades, not just his theology but Augustine himself has been regarded as heretical by some theologians in the Orthodox Church. Alright anon, let's look at what you quoted a little more closely. >for the past several decades Do you measure your church history in decades, anon? Would you take me seriously if I said "in the past several decades, some theologians in the Catholic Church have adopted pro-abortionist positions, citing the Seamless Garment of Life?" Would you not laugh in my face if I presented this as traditional Catholic teaching? >by some theologians in the Orthodox Church "Some" should really say "one." This anti-Augustine rhetoric is the brainchild of a single man of dubious repute named Fr. Romanides, who has made multiple errors regarding theology and church history, not just limited to the subject of St. Augustine. Fr. Romanides enjoys some level of popularity with Greek boomers who think everything West of them is bad but is otherwise an unremarkable theologian, he does not represent church teaching. >excluding him from the list of saints. This has literally never happened, I challenge you to find a single parish that does not celebrate St. Augustine's feast day. The rest of your blockquote is directly from a website dedicated to Fr. Romanides and his Oriental boomerposting, and are not worth discussing in detail, but I'll hit the highlights. --the idea of "Ancestral Sin" as being something uniquely Orthodox and opposed to "Original Sin" is a Romanides invention. The Fathers used the terms interchangeably and calling them different is stupid. --the idea that St. Augustine's manuscripts were unknown in Constantinople until Gennadios Scholarios is likewise stupid and ahistorical. St. Gregory Palamas had access to St. Augustine's writings despite living a century earlier, this is an absurd claim with no basis in reality. Scholarios was a translator of Aquinas, not St. Augustine, whoever wrote this is deliberately lying. The 1341 Synod had nothing to do with condemning "Augustinianism" and Barlaam did not in any way, shape, or form represent "Augustinianism." Barlaam was a heretic who was condemned because he tried to argue contemplative prayer was a stupid, time-wasting endeavor and that you should instead try to know God through bookcel intellectualism. St. Augustine far from preaching such a view would have condemned it no slower than St. Gregory Palamas did. Anon, I apologize on behalf of my church that you stumbled upon the writings of a pop-theology Greek boomer and were wrongly convinced that aforementioned Greek boomer was a faithful preserver of church teaching. However, I must also chastize you for not being a little more skeptical of someone who bad-mouths the Fathers so shamelessly, and not taking any effort to find an alternate perspective. I am praying that you did this out of genuine ignorance and did not because you were cherry-picking sources. In any event, I encourage you to read the following blogpost regarding St. Augustine's pneumatology. I understand if you do not have the time or inclination to read the entire 10-part series, but the preface alone has good content. https://orthodoxchristiantheology.com/2020/03/04/augustine-the-filioquist-a-preface/
>>10335 >However, I must also chastize you for not being a little more skeptical of someone who bad-mouths the Fathers so shamelessly, and not taking any effort to find an alternate perspective. I am praying that you did this out of genuine ignorance and did not because you were cherry-picking sources. Well that's pretty much it. The Western Church celebrates Augustine along with Gregory the Great, Ambrose and Jerome as the four classic Doctors of the Church, while I was aware that the East celebrates John Chrysostom, Basil the Great, and Gregory of Nazianzus as the three Hierarchs. So I wasn't aware of a distinct Orthodox opinion on Augustine that wasn't following after the Western opinion of him and took it for granted that Romanides was preaching some Orthodox dogma, which seemed to correspond between those three articles that I came across. Reinforcing this notion is the Western condemnation of Semi-Pelaganism in 529 on Augustinian precepts, which other articles cite as creating a tension with the theology of John Cassian who is another celebrated figure in the East. So the general attitude I assumed of the Eastern church towards Augustine with these items in mind was one of antipathy if not hostility (as in the case of Romanides). If there are friends of Augustine in the Eastern church, my present perception that they do not make themselves as widely known as their adversarial brethren; and there are those in both the Western church and the Eastern church that would prefer to fan the flames of discord to ensure the perpetuation of a gulf in relations.
>>10338 >If there are friends of Augustine in the Eastern church, my present perception that they do not make themselves as widely known as their adversarial brethren; and there are those in both the Western church and the Eastern church that would prefer to fan the flames of discord to ensure the perpetuation of a gulf in relations. I'm sure you know the old saying about not being able to prove a negative. It's rather difficult to loudly and aggressively not call St. Augustine a heretic--except when done as a defensive reaction to those who would slander him. The slanderers did not exist until Romanides, so quiet, unassuming affirmation would have been all that was present until him. As for your conjecture that the defenders don't make themselves widely known, there is perhaps some level of truth to this. However I think a better answer would be that many do step up and vigorously defend St. Augustine, but this happens mostly within Orthodox circles and as such is seen and heard primarily by other Orthodox. It's still a viewpoint that has its adherents, particularly among Hellenic Orientalists, but from what I've observed this shameful trend is falling out of favor. God-willing, the next generation will not be subjected to it at all.
>>10340 >I'm sure you know the old saying about not being able to prove a negative. It's rather difficult to loudly and aggressively not call St. Augustine a heretic--except when done as a defensive reaction to those who would slander him. The slanderers did not exist until Romanides, so quiet, unassuming affirmation would have been all that was present until him. Essentially my point was that it sounds like Romanides' position is that of a vocal minority, which I wasn't aware of because the voices of dissent against it as you outline in the second part of your post are largely intra-denominational.
While OP is waiting for clarification from a priest, I have two questions about pneumatology: 1. What is the difference between God the Father as maker of heaven and earth and the Holy Spirit as the agent of creation? I was wondering if the Orthodox have a more nuanced position on it as the one poster points out that Western theology (construed under the filioque) goes at length about the relation of the Father and Son, including at creation, almost reducing the Trinity to a dyad. 2. Did the Holy Spirit sent upon the incarnation return to the Father at Jesus' death on the cross or did it continue with Him in the grave?
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Check out these diagrams
>>10891 Both "the Latins" and "the Franks" are accurate.
>>10891 >when Catholic apologists advocate the Latin interpretation but the Second Council of Lyons, the Council of Florence, and the Catechism outline the Frankish view Teaching theology to Germans was a mistake.
>>10905 There is no difference between these "views"
>>10907 Tell OP.
>>10891 >>10892 >>10915 >Both "the Latins" and "the Franks" are accurate. That appears to be the "through the Son" position taken by Aquinas. However, the priest I spoke with said Aquinas is wrong. Frankly, the priest was very dismissive of the Angelic Doctor, rejecting Thomas' use of "philosophy." However, he did say the understanding of Council of Florence is "as close as any human can get" to understanding the Trinity. So I guess that's that. When I asked the priest after mass to explain it to me, he immediately rolled his eyes. He didn't really seem interested in talking or explaining the discrepancy between Aquinas and Florence. It was a pretty bad experience tbh. I mean, as representative of the Church, an ordain priest, I kinda feel like he should not be so quick to dismiss a question about what Catholic doctrine is. I guess as my next step I'll start reading the minutes of Florence to see the discussion there.
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>>11117 Is it dissatisfactory to you for an answer to be that the Nicene Creed, Apostle's Creed, and Athanasian Creed confess the same truth even though subsequent theological elaborations disagreed? The Athanasian Creed was in use in the West even prior to the addition of the filioque to the Nicene, in fact, the addition of the filioque in light of it seems redundant. The Eastern Orthodox Fourth Council of Constantinople banned edits to the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed of 381, but permitted the usage of local creeds, thus the confession of the Athanasian Creed would not be anathemized and being that it was only ever in Latin, is free from accusations of tampering. And of course, Vatican II dropped it from regular liturgical use like so many other ancient traditions of the church.

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