Who is the origin of the Holy Spirit? The Father? The Son? Both?

How/Why do you believe this?

According to the Son (John 15:26), the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father, scil:

But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.

So I believe Jesus.




She is the Mother of God

yes, she is the mother of Jesus, who was fully God and fully man when she gave birth to Him.


Echoing Religio71’s comment, this is irrelevant.

The question is about the origin of the Holy Spirit.

The answer is… The Father.

These are the words of the Nicene Creed, a summary of our faith and used in liturgical denominations including the Catholic Church.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son.

Mary is the mother of the Word Incarnate. Mary is the Mother of Jesus who is God. She is not the mother of the Trinity. Mary is the spouse of the Holy Spirit. Mary is a creature chosen by God to bring forth the Savior of the World. Her fiat, her yes, makes our salvation possible.

Not all liturgical churches recite the Nicene Creed as saying “…Holy Spirit, Lord, Giver of Life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son”. Orthodox Christians, and many Eastern Catholics recite it as “Holy Spirit, Lord, Giver of Life, who proceeds from the Father”. They cite the Bible which states that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father. So I’m wondering, what is the logic behind saying that the Holy Spirit proceeds from both the Father and the Son, when the Bible says that the Spirit proceeds from the Father?

John 15:26

26But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me

This is the Orthodox view:

Scriptural Reasons
The Orthodox argue from Scripture that the Father sends the Holy Spirit in Jesus’ name (John 14:26). Jesus says that the Holy Spirit will come, not that He will send the Holy Spirit. Therefore, the Holy Spirit proceeds only from the Father. Saying “and the Son” adds to the Scriptural revelation. Catholics feel that Scriptural references to the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of Christ validate the filioque clause.
Theological Reasons
To the Orthodox, saying that the Spirit proceeds from both the Father and the Son has the effect of collapsing the Trinity in on itself. The relationship between the Father and the Son is begetting and the relationship between the Father and the Spirit is procession. Begetting is an eternal relationship, not an event in time; likewise, procession is an eternal relationship, not an event in time. Catholics feel the filioque clause strengthens the dogma of the Trinity. Both sides agree on the equality of the Persons of the Trinity.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified…
This true expression of our Faith, we recite every time at the Mass and it is the Filioque, which is the theological formula of great dogmatic and historical importance expressing the Holy Ghost proceeds from both Father and Son as one Principle. Sadly, this produced a schism among the Greek perhaps, based on John 15:26, that indicates the Spirit proceeds from the Father.
Inside the Church, the doctrine of the Filioque was declared to be a dogma of faith in the Fourth Lateran Council (1215), the Second council of Lyons (1274), and the Council of Florence (1438-1445) The Greek church’s principal errors: throwing off all dependence on Rome by denying the primacy of the Roman Pontiff and the breach of East and West continues to this day, unfortunately.
Our beloved JP II worked unceasingly in an attempt to reunite the two Lungs of the Church (East and West) and the Holy Father Benedict XVI, to this day continues the same mission.

The teaching of the Catholic Church is that the Father is the source of the Trinity. This whole topic is handily covered in this Vatican document:
The Father as the Source of the Whole Trinity: The Procession of the Holy Spirit in Greek and Latin Traditions

Isnt the Holy Spirit God?

so are the Father and the Son. What’s your point. Mary gave birth to Jesus, not the Holy Spirit.

Actually and regrettably, this new doctrine spreading in the west inspired a schism of the Latins from the Communion of churches.

This says it all:

Lateran Council: One Thousand Two Hundred Fifteen years after Christ!

The earliest official dogmatic pronouncement of the Latin church. No Pope ever dared to declare the new belief Ex Cathedra (a possibility that could not have occurred to any Pope then), and several past Popes tried to suppress the filioque, to no avail…

So then: First, the Latin church separates itself from the communion, later it invades and occupies the Roman Empire. I am sure this was not part of a preconceived plan, but once the Latin church felt it had the Christian East under control and in no position to protest (with Latin bishops sitting in the patriarchal cathedrals of the East), it formally adopted this new doctrine. The actual process from it’s first introduction at Toledo (589AD) until the Lateran Council was about Six Hundred and Twenty Six years. That is how long the west was playing around with the idea as it insinuated itself into the backwoods districts of the church.

Yet, the Council of Toledo itself was already Five Hundred Eighty Nine years after Christ, or about Twenty Two generations removed from the Age of the Apostles. By the time the Latin Catholic church was able to finally declare the filioque dogma (at the Lateran 1215AD) binding upon all Latin Catholic Christians **Forty Seven generations **had passed! :eek:

This clearly does not pass the smell test!

Nor does it satisfy the Vincentian Canon:
(3) Now in the Catholic Church itself we take the greatest care to hold that which has been believed everywhere, always and by all. That is truly and properly ‘Catholic,’

We shall follow universality if we acknowledge that one Faith to be true which the whole Church throughout the world confesses;

antiquity if we in no wise depart from those interpretations which it is clear that our ancestors and fathers proclaimed;

consent, if in antiquity itself we keep following the definitions and opinions of all, or certainly nearly all, bishops and doctors alike, as is shown by the very force and meaning of the word, which comprehends everything almost universally. We shall hold to this rule if we follow universality, antiquity, and consent.
Vincent of Lerins; Commonitorium 434AD; Chap 4

The filioque fails on all three counts.

The Latin church’s principle errors: Changing theology and ecclesiology of the Apostolic Church in the West, and then attempting to impose this same by force (sometimes succeeding) on the rest of the church.

There was no dependence upon Rome in the First Millenium, there was active cooperation. Rome was often invited to participate, and sometimes mediate, as the First Among Equals. This role is now held by the Ecumenical Patriarch who does this very same job to this very day. If the office of the EP were to somehow discontinue (as it might, due to the Turks), the next in line according to the Canons would be the Pope at Alexandria.

If the Latin Catholic church were to somehow find it’s way back to Holy orthodoxy, it is theoretically possible that the bishop of Rome could be restored to the position of First Among Equals (in the manner of the first millenium), but as for now, he is outside of the communion and essentially a non-entity. This need not be a permanent situation, we are always eager to see the bishop of Rome embrace Orthodoxy once again. :thumbsup:

We would love to heal this schism and see you come back as brothers and Sisters in Christ!

“What was possible in the church for a thousand years cannot be impossible today. In other words, Rome must not demand from the East more recognition of the doctrine of primacy than was known and practiced in the first millennium.”
Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger; Graz, Austria 1976

*]I believe everything which Eastern Orthodoxy teaches.
*]I am in communion with the Bishop of Rome as the first among the bishops, according to the limits recognized by the Holy Fathers of the East during the first millennium, before the separation
Archbishop Elias Zoghby of Baalbek 1995

Thank you for this article. It had been my understanding that the Holy Spirit comes from the Father through the Son.
This article helps make the connection regarding the Trinitarian relationships.
The Holy Spirit *proceeds from the Father (Jn 15:16) as the sole source of the Trinity and which has become the Spirit of our sonship (Rom. 8:15) since he is also the Spirit of the Son (Gal. 4:6), is communicated to us particularly in the Eucharist by this Son upon whom he reposes in time and eternity…
Through the Son, who is one, he is joined to the Father, who is one, and by himself completes the Trinity *

As I read this article, I thought about the Baptism of Jesus Christ in which the Holy Spirit appears above Him and the Transfiguration. In both cases the voice of the Father is heard saying “This is my beloved Son.”

As I looked through the on-line articles related to the Nicene Creed in trying to answer the OP, most mention the inclusion of the filoque as a response to the Arian heresy.

One of my favorite crucifixes is the Trinity Cross showing the Son on the cross with the Holy Spirit and the Father. While the Trinity cannot be explained completely, the image that I use is of a person. The Father is the creator, the brain. The son is the body,incarnate and the Holy Spirit is the nervous system which communicates in both directions between the brain and the body.

pssst… refer to post #12. :thumbsup:

This is interesting. So the Catholic teaching is that “Father and the Son” means 'Father through the Son"?..hmmm…I think I’ll read the article now. :smiley:

This is interesting. So the Catholic teaching is that “Father and the Son” means 'Father through the Son"?..hmmm…I think I’ll read the article now. :smiley:

I have mentioned a few times on CAF that if the Catholic church would change the translation to THROUGH instead of AND it would make the controversy seem a lot less of an obstacle.

But somehow, there is no interest in that. Roman Catholics just like saying AND.

I found this interesting…

In 1274, the second Council of Lyons confessed that “the Holy Spirit proceeds eternally from the Father and the Son, not as from two principles but as from one single principle (tamquam ex uno principio)” (DS 850). In the light of the Lateran Council, which preceded the second Council of Lyons, it is clear that it is not the divine essence that can be the “one principle” for the procession of the Holy Spirit. The Catechism of the Catholic Church interprets this formula in no.248 as follows: “The eternal order of the divine persons in their consubstantial communion implies that the Father, as the ‘principle without principle,’ 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 Spirit proceeds” (Council of Lyons II, DS 850).

At first glance it looks a bit like the Latin church has modified it’s position between 1274AD and the modern CCC (1983AD). But then it goes on to say: “he is, with the Son, the single principle from which the Spirit proceeds”. So it looks like the modern Catechism is no different after all.

The whole “single principle” concept is just not clear, taking us back to the Father AND the Son. It sounds a bit like lawyers talking.

Seriously, this whole line of thinking is confusing, and most Roman Catholics have a hard time grasping the concept. This can be verified by just asking them, go stand outside of a Roman Catholic parish between Masses and ask them what the term actually means! Sometimes you will get a blank stare and a shrug, and often the respondent will be wrong.

The Creed should clarify doctrine, that is it’s sole purpose, but this clause just confuses and confounds.

What is not discussed here is that a strong argument can be made that the Son is also begotten of the Father and the Holy Spirit. It is a scripturally sound argument, and parallel to the filioque.

Yet the Fathers carefully avoided going there, and also avoided the filioque. Why?

Probably because if the Son is begotten of the Father and the Holy Spirit, it makes it seem that the Son is subordinate to them, be He cannot be. Likewise, if the Holy Spirit is Proceeding from the Father and the Son, it makes it look like the Holy Spirit is subordinate. They cannot both be subordinate, and in fact neither actually is.

If the argument is taken to it’s logical next step, one could then propose that the Father also takes His origin from the Son AND the Holy Spirit! That would make them all equal in every way. But this is just madness, it becomes incomprehensible and destroys the Monarchy of the Father. So the Church Fathers point out that the Father is unbegotten and unproceeding (but go no further). Yet we know that the Holy Trinity is coeternal and undivided…

What does “Begotten” mean?

What does “Proceeding” mean?

No one knows.

What is clear is that once one goes down this path, one strikes up against logical paradox. Better to not go there, better to not say anything.

The church Fathers were wise to avoid this entire complex of ideas… it’s a mystery.

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