Debating the filioque

I do not understand the issue at all. I simply have decided to recite the Creed as we received it from the fathers of Nicaea and not worry anymore about what I believe. Whatever the Holy Catholic Church teaches, I believe.

Two processions in one spiration from the Father through the Son or something.

It just makes my head hurt.

The original unedited Creed as handed down would make things a whole lot simpler.

Hate to tell you this but what the Nicene fathers wrote had neither the Filioque nor the phrase “God from God.”

There are two issues involved in the filioque. The first is that the East rejects the authority of anyone to change the Creed as written and affirmed by the Ecumenical Councils which are to us the highest authority in the Church.
The second is the theology involved. If the filioque is understood as equivalent to saying that the Son sends the Holy Spirit or even that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father through the Son it is acceptable to Orthodoxy. If, however, the monarchy of the Father as the eternal origin of the Son and the Holy Spirit is compromised, it is not acceptable to Orthodoxy. There are two definitions of the Trinity in Orthodox theology. The first, sent by the Son, or through the Son, is the economic Trinity, that is how the Trinity saves us in time. The second is the ontological Trinity, that is the eternal existence of the Trinity in which the Son is begotten of the Father and the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father.

Archpriest John Morris

When I recite the Creed every Sunday, I do not recite “God from God”. My parish uses an English translation of the Creed from Slavonic, which was translated from the original Greek. The Latin additions are absent.

Thank you Archpriest Morris!

I do not think the West believe we have the right to change the Creed since we already bound ourselves to it by the penalty of anathema. The main argument is that nothing changed with the Filioque, it just became more clear and precise. This is one of the things that I am struggling with…

^What MisplacedBook said. The trivializing of previous long spanning debates just shows people have lost the context of the issue, not that it’s not longer irrelevant. Plus if the Latin Church has superlative access to the “deposit of faith” that clearly means even if it was a semantics difference, their diction was clearly more superior (:rolleyes:).

I stand corrected :).

Unless y’all are still using the Msgr. Levkulic editions, the Ruthenian current text is translated directly (but by dynamic equivalence) from the Greek.

O RLY? I was under the impression that our liturgy was translated from Slavonic. I stand corrected.

The problem though is we have been trying to solve this for the past 1000 years without any success. If we are willing to unite with the Catholics there has to be something from us (the Orthodox) if this is to be resolved. The point I was making was instead of looking at words which the Orthodox have done this past 1000 years why don’t we use another approach. If we are going to wait until Rome obeys to the letter these Ecumenical council decisions we may have another 1000 years of waiting. When we put words ahead of flesh and blood then may be God is looking more at us rather than to Rome. Since Rome has a great deal of Saints since this unfortunate split this tells us that God is with her and it would be better if we talk to Rome without these disagreements on the table at least in our first encounters with Catholics. If the Orthodox are right about this then it must be our action to at least forget for awhile what happened in the past so we can make contacts with our brothers and sisters who have the same apostolic faith as ours. It is useless to argue about things until it matters to them. So the next best solution is for us Orthodox to lower our guard so that we would be able to talk to them on their level. This is how friendships and mutual understandings will eventually lead to other discussions. You have the right to disagree with me but I don’t want to wait another 1000 years until something is done. I think it is partly our fault for believing in too much the legal requirements of those Ecumenical Councils when Catholics today hardly know about them. So let us bend a bit to give these brothers and sisters of Rome our willingness to share something that would transmit into more mutual understanding and fellowship. That is how we can heal this.

To my knowledge the Eastern Orthodox Church has never objected to the addition of the phrase “God from God…” in the Western version of the Creed.
Significantly the new translation of the Mass returns the Creed to its original wording in most places. The new version begins with the words, “I believe…” instead of “We believe…” I think that “I believe…” requires a personal profession of the contents of the Creed, while some liberal Protestants have taken “We believe…” as a kind of historical statement rather than a personal statement of commitment to the contents of the Creed.
I also think that the return to the phrase, “was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary…” is a stronger and more sound statement of proper Christology than the “was incarnate by the power of the Holy Spirit…”
Interestingly enough I have read some objection to the term “consubstantial” by some Catholics as too difficult to understand. We say “of one essence” instead, which I believe is easier to understand by English speakers than “consubstantial,” although “consubstantial” is theologically sound.
Finally, I have read some Catholics object to the usage of the word Chalice during the Canon of the Mass instead of cup. Our translation of the Canon (Anaphora) we say cup.
However, the new English translation of the Catholic Mass is much closer to the Eastern Orthodox usage of English than the older English translation.

Archriest John Morris

I think that in the end our Lord will show less mercy to those whether from East or West who used some doctrine, dogma, or tradition as a bar to unity. Than he will to those who for the sake of unity erred along the way. I say this because for 1000 years we have both said that only when we have common understanding can we have unity. I think this is backwards. We have failed to have a common understanding because we are not united. That we will continue to fail until we are unified. As St Paul has taught us in 1 Corinthians;

Because the loaf of bread is one, we, though many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf.

May the Lord Jesus bless us all.

“Lower our guard” ??

The Ecumenical Councils matter. Doctrine matters. We are talking now, and we have very cordial relations…but there are significant differences between us that cannot be glossed over. How exactly should we “bend” ??

You speak as if these things don’t matter. What form would this unity take? Inter-communion is the end result of unity, not the beginning.

I think that the Roman Catholic Church would agree with the Eastern Orthodox position that agreement on doctrine and dogma is a precondition to Communion. Otherwise, such a union means that doctrine does not matter. Both Orthodoxy and Catholicism believe that doctrine does matter.

Archpriest John W. Morris

I agree wholeheartedly with you, Father. Doctrine cast aside in order to attain unity would be a grave error.

AndyP2010, tradition with a little “t” is different. The Church of Rome and the Armenian Apostolic Church use unleavened bread for the Eucharist. All of the other Churches use leavened bread. This is one of many traditional differences and each is a valid tradition. And it is such as these that we must not use as an excuse to bar unity. :slight_smile:

There is one verse from Revelation which may have implications for this discussion.

“And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding (ἐκπορευόμενον) out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.”
(Revelation 22:1)

Now it is worth noting a few things. First, the verb used is the same as in the Creed. Second, is the way St. John speaks of the Divine Persons. God refers to the Father, as is the usual case for the New Testament, the Lamb is Christ the Son, and the River of Water of Life refers to the Holy Spirit as in John’s Gospel (cf. Jn 7:38-39). John speaks of one river proceeds from one source, the throne of God and of the Lamb. This seems to reflect the definition of Florence that the Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son as from one principle through one spiration. I would be hesitant to say that this definitively proves the Latin doctrine, but I would hope this would give Orthodox polemicists pause before insisting that St. John affirms that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father alone when the verse from his Gospel does not use the word alone and he speaks of procession of the Holy Spirit in reference to the Father and the Son in his Apocalypse.

I’ll refrain from commenting on the other Orthodox objections. I don’t want to misrepresent the Orthodox views, which I’m not sure that I fully understand.

Of course these things matter, they matter greatly, I didn’t say that they don’t. I am asking is it possible that in this these cases, unity matters more? Is unity itself not a doctrine? Do we both not say I believe In one holy catholic and apostolic Church?

Well yeah! What’d you think we are, Anglicans or something??

:wink: :smiley:

You still don’t understand. Jesus bends when He comes to us. He is ever so Perfect and without sin yet He still communicates to us at our level so that hopefully you will get to His level. If the Orthodox are correct and I know they are than it is more right for us to imitate our Lord Jesus when dealing with people who have not a clue what those decisions from the past Ecumenical decisions had meant for the Orthodox Church. What I was trying to say is make friends with them first and once mutual friendship and fellowship exists than other important issues just as you mentioned can be easily discussed.

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