I’ve been reading on the theological issues behind Divine Simplicity. From what I understand from my books: EOs hold God is simple, and is at once his essence and energies. They hold there’s a distinction, but that distinction doesn’t preclude unity. It’s a paradox of faith, like how the persons of the Trinity are distinct from one another, but there is one God. The western/neothomist understanding is absolute divine simplicity.
Forgive me if this question sounds silly or whatever, but is ADS dogmatic in the Roman Catholic Church? I did some research on it, since the book didn’t say anything about whether Catholics hold this as an absolute, and the closest I could find is two solemn pronouncements (if that’s the correct term) from different councils.
The first one I found is from the Fourth Council of the Lateran:
428 Firmly we believe and we confess simply that the true God is one alone, eternal, immense, and unchangeable, incomprehensible, omnipotent and ineffable, Father and Son and Holy Spirit: indeed three Persons but one essence, substance, or nature entirely simple. The Father from no one, the Son from the Father only, and the Holy Spirit equally from both; without beginning, always, and without end; the Father generating, the Son being born, and the Holy Spirit proceeding; consubstantial and coequal and omnipotent and coeternal; one beginning of all, creator of all visible and invisible things, of the spiritual and of the corporal; who by His own omnipotent power at once from the beginning of time created each creature from nothing, spiritual, and corporal, namely, angelic and mundane, and finally the human, constituted as it were, alike of the spirit and the body. For the devil and other demons were created by God good in nature, but they themselves through themselves have become wicked. But man sinned at the suggestion of the devil. This Holy Trinity according to common essence undivided, and according to personal properties distinct, granted the doctrine of salvation to the human race, first through Moses and the holy prophets and his other servants according to the most methodical disposition of the time.
The second is from the First Vatican Council, can. 1-4
None of this contains the word ‘absolute’, but when reading it, I don’t see any room to be made for a kind of composite simplicity to be held. For the sake of my own curiosity, would any of you mind shedding some light on this?
BTW, I don’t have an opinion on this, I’m not religious, so please don’t comment on how reasonable any of the views are. I’m just curious to know if ADS is held as dogma.