The Filoque


#1

How would you respond to these?

Fillioque.

1. Did not exist prior to Ambrose - teaching invented by him - not an apostolic teaching.
**2. **Contradicts the Bible.
**3. **Leads to the subordination of the Holy Spirit, which RCC does not teach, but artificially maintains equality of the hypostases of the Godhead.
4. It surfaced as response to heresy in Spain, but… can we fight heresies by inventing heresies?


#2

[quote=CatholicBerean]How would you respond to these?

Fillioque.

**2. **Contradicts the Bible.

[/quote]

“But when the Counselor comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father…” John 15:26

“Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.” John 16:7

James


#3

[quote=CatholicBerean]How would you respond to these?

Fillioque.

1. Did not exist prior to Ambrose - teaching invented by him - not an apostolic teaching.

[/quote]

The Church has clarified that in saying that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son (filioque) it essentially means that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father through the Son.

This is entirely consistent w/ the verses in my last post. it seems that it was an Apostolic teaching.

James


#4

I was preparing to type in several quotes from Church Fathers on this topic but then I remembered this:

catholic.com/library/Filioque.asp

James


#5

[quote=CatholicBerean]How would you respond to these?

Fillioque.

1. Did not exist prior to Ambrose - teaching invented by him - not an apostolic teaching.
**2. **Contradicts the Bible.
**3. **Leads to the subordination of the Holy Spirit, which RCC does not teach, but artificially maintains equality of the hypostases of the Godhead.
4. It surfaced as response to heresy in Spain, but… can we fight heresies by inventing heresies?
[/quote]

Scripture and the Church Fathers prove point 1 and 2 wrong.

I really don’t see how the Catholic (and Apostolic) Doctrine leads to a subordination of the Holy Spirit. So, I’ll just have to leave that to someone more knowlegeable than I.

And 4 is proven wrong in that the filioque is not a heresy but a Doctrine taught by the Fathers of the Church themselves. Therefore no heresy was invented to combat a heresy. But a change was made in the cree to combat a heresy. And this change was approved by at least one Pope and 2 Ecumenical Councils. And the Greeks signed off on it at at least one of those Councils.

James


#6

[quote=James0235]I really don’t see how the Catholic (and Apostolic) Doctrine leads to a subordination of the Holy Spirit. So, I’ll just have to leave that to someone more knowlegeable than I.
[/quote]

i also don’t personally see it as demeaning, but within my eastern tradition there is a significant problem in perception. it is understood to reduce the paternal, creator, nature of the Father by giving creator status to Jesus. all i can say is, 'it’s an eastern thing.'
it need not be an ‘issue’ tho. the phrasing can differ, the doctrine does not. it does make clear that we can’t understand the east from a western mind any better than we can understand the west with an eastern mind. i am convinced that is why Daddy gave both minds a home within his church; so that we could better understand just how poorly we can understand Him.
i also hope that by allowing the eastern churches to recite the creed according to our understanding may help in continuing to open the door to reunification with our Orthodox brethren.
thanks for listening, love and peace, terry


#7

[quote=CatholicBerean]How would you respond to these?

Fillioque.

1. Did not exist prior to Ambrose - teaching invented by him - not an apostolic teaching.
**2. **Contradicts the Bible.
**3. **Leads to the subordination of the Holy Spirit, which RCC does not teach, but artificially maintains equality of the hypostases of the Godhead.
4. It surfaced as response to heresy in Spain, but… can we fight heresies by inventing heresies?
[/quote]

Answers:

  1. This is true. It was not in the original Creed.

  2. The “Procedes from the Father” line is a direct quote from scripture and the filioque addition removes the intended bibilcal meaning by undoing a direct quote of Christ.

  3. It obscues the role of the Holy Spirit a bit since it undoes the careful distinctions in the original Creed. But this is much less pronounced in Latin than in Greek.

  4. It is only heresy if it changes the meaning of the original creed. Since it was only meant as a clarification to combad heresy. The chanrge of heresy is way overstated. In it means that the Holy Spirit eternally procedes from the Son then it changes the origninal meaning and it is a problem. But that is only a charge the Orthodox make that the western churches deny. So the burden of proof is on them.

At most it was an overreaction to add the filioque. It was uneccesary. The original Creed was very clear and it should be the standard since the Pope has no problem with it and it was the Creed of the undivided Church. Nicea/Constantinople was very deliberate and very clear when they wrote the Creed. It would go a long way toward unity.

Mel


#8

It should be pointed out that the Filioque was accepted by 2 Ecumenical Councils in which the Eastern Churches took part:

We confess faithfully and devoutly that the Holy Spirit proceeds eternally from Father and Son, not as from two pronciples but from one, not by two spirations but by one only. This the holy roman Church, the mother and teacher of all the faithful, has so far professed, preached, and taught; this she continues to hold, to preach, to profess and to teach. This is the unchangeable and true doctrine of the orthodox Fathers and Doctors, both Latin and Greek. However, some have fallen into various errors out of ignorance of the above indisputable truth. Therefore in order to forestall such errors, with the approval of the holy Council, we condemn and disapprove those who presume to deny that the Holy Spirit proceeds eternally from Father and Son, or who rashly dare to assert that the Holy Spirit proceeds from Father and Son as from two principles, not from one.

The Second General Council of Lyons
Constitution on the Blessed Trinity and on the Catholic Faith (1274)

In the name of the Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, with the approval of this sacred universal Council of Florence, we define that this truth of faith must be believed and received by all and that all must profess; the Holy Spirit is eternally from Father and Son, he has his nature and subsistence at once from Father and Son; he proceeds eternally from both as from one principle and through one spiration…

…Moreover, we define that the explanatory words ‘Filioque’ have been added in the Symbol legitimately and wityh good reason for the sake of clarifying the truth and under the impact of a real need at that time.

Reunion Council of Florence
Decree for the Greeks (1439)

James


#9

If you believe that we should use the Creed ommitting the filioque because it is the original then why not go a step further? As you pointed out it is not so much the Creed of Nicea but also the Creed of Constantinople. Why not use the original Creed of Nicea - without the modifications made at the Council of Constantinople?

Is it ok to use the Nicean-Constonipolitan Creed because it was approved by an Ecumenical Council? So was the Creed with the filioque. It was approved as a legitimate addition to the Creed by the 2nd Council of Lyons and the Council of Florence with the participation and approval of the Eastern Churches.

It became the Creed of the Undivided Church.

James


#10

Mel,

This is true. It was not in the original Creed.

As early as Tertullian and Origen, the Holy Spirit is believed to have proceeded from the Father through the Son. I don’t see that it could have been invented by St. Ambrose.

What “original” Creed do you speak of?

Tertullian, as far as I can tell, is the first extant Father to expound upon the doctrine of the Trinity. It seems clear that he learned this “credo” from others. Even if we do not have extant writings to prove it, the context of Tertullian’s writings indicate it was something that was passed on through tradition to him. He states: “we do indeed believe … He [Jesus] sent down from the Father, in accord with His own promise, the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete … that this rule of faith has been current since the beginning of the Gospel” (Against Praxeas 2,1).


#11

[quote=James0235]Is it ok to use the Nicean-Constonipolitan Creed because it was approved by an Ecumenical Council? So was the Creed with the filioque. It was approved as a legitimate addition to the Creed by the 2nd Council of Lyons and the Council of Florence with the participation and approval of the Eastern Churches.

It became the Creed of the Undivided Church.
James
[/quote]

Neither of the above were “Ecumenical” Councils in the sense that the 1st 7 were. These are after 1054, and not “as” ecumenical as the ones that fixed the form of the creed. Eastern Churches, in the sense of those who maintain communion with Rome, may have been there. The other Eastern Churches - the Orthodox - were not.

I know the arguments that will ensue about that issue, but the fact is that the councils mentioned were truly not nearly as inclusive as the first seven were that included ALL of East and West.


#12

[quote=Servant1]Neither of the above were “Ecumenical” Councils in the sense that the 1st 7 were. These are after 1054, and not “as” ecumenical as the ones that fixed the form of the creed. Eastern Churches, in the sense of those who maintain communion with Rome, may have been there. The other Eastern Churches - the Orthodox - were not.

I know the arguments that will ensue about that issue, but the fact is that the councils mentioned were truly not nearly as inclusive as the first seven were that included ALL of East and West.
[/quote]

First off, the Orthodox were there. That’s why they are know as Reunion Councils.

And second, if we are going to claim that the first 7 Councils were Ecumenical because of the participation of East and West (although as I pointed out the East DID participate in later Councils) then why not only consider the 1st 2 or 3 Councils to be Ecumenical. The Oriental Churches were not present for the rest. Therefore, following your logic, only the first couple of Councils were Ecumenical because the later ones were not nearly as inclusive.

James


#13

[quote=James0235]I was preparing to type in several quotes from Church Fathers on this topic but then I remembered this:

catholic.com/library/Filioque.asp

James
[/quote]

This article says it all. Once again, Thank God for Catholic Answers. Thanks to you for referencing it.


#14

[quote=James0235]It should be pointed out that the Filioque was accepted by 2 Ecumenical Councils in which the Eastern Churches took part.
[/quote]

As I’m sure you’re aware, the Councils of Lyons and Florence were never accepted by the Eastern Church as a whole. for this reason, they are not truly ecumenical councils, and citing their decrees as a “gotcha” to the Orthodox is a foolish waste of time. Joe


#15

[quote=James0235]And second, if we are going to claim that the first 7 Councils were Ecumenical because of the participation of East and West (although as I pointed out the East DID participate in later Councils) then why not only consider the 1st 2 or 3 Councils to be Ecumenical. The Oriental Churches were not present for the rest. Therefore, following your logic, only the first couple of Councils were Ecumenical because the later ones were not nearly as inclusive.
James
[/quote]

This is, in fact, I think, a very good point you bring up. It is quite true. And there are a number of churches who do NOT see councils past Ephesus or so as truly ecumenical. “Oikoumene” does mean the ENTIRE household in Greek. Those churches have a point. Thanks for bringing that up.


#16

The Filioque adition is not a problem, it is based on the Fathers techings.
It was added to explain what was accepted until that times.

Some orthodox explain that if it is not in the original Creed is not good is heresy, but the Fathest are infalibile, they give us the Tradition which cannot be abandoned.
Manny of the beliefs are not in the Creed, like the liturgy, the preys for the dead, so can this beliefs considered to be heretic? Of course not, they have deep roots in the Tradition even they are not mentioned in the Creed, if something which is in the thechings of the Fathers cannot be considered heresy.

In the original Creed, Filioque was not inserted because during that times was the heresy of macedonians (Heretc Patriarch Macedonius of Consantinople) so they might use that formulation for their heresy, so the fathers of the Council omited Filioque, after the disapearing of the problem (the heresy) in the Western Church was added because it was based on the Church Fathers.


#17

We need to remember that in the Orthodox Church the Father is the main cause of the Trinity, the Son is Beogtten of the Father and the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father.

If we are to acccept the Filoque then the Spirit is the only person of the Trinity who does not beget another person of the Trinity


#18

[quote=OrthodoxXtian]We need to remember that in the Orthodox Church the Father is the main cause of the Trinity, the Son is Beogtten of the Father and the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father.

If we are to acccept the Filoque then the Spirit is the only person of the Trinity who does not beget another person of the Trinity
[/quote]

I am always a bit lost as to how to explain this sort of thing to Orthodox Christians, because many of them have been so thoroughly misinformed about Catholic beliefs that one cannot even begin explaining what we Catholics do believe until one has first cleared away a veritable mountain of misnomers. Suffice it to say, no Catholic holds that the Son begets the Spirit. The Father is the only person who “begets” anyone.

The Council of Florence makes clear that the Latin fathers mean nothing more by the word “filioque” than the Cappadocians meant by their phrase “kai dia tou huiou.” In other words, the claim is that the Spirit proceeds from the Father through the Son. If I drive from Chicago to Memphis by way of St. Louis, I can say when I arrive that I just drove from Chicago, or I can say that I just drove from St. Louis. In other words, I have just arrived from Chicago and St. Louis, but only one of those two cities was my origin (viz. Chicago). In the same way, the Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son, but only the Father is the “arche” of the Spirit. Nothing about this western formulation of the Trinitarian relationship diminishes in any way the “monarcheia” of the Father, nor does it belittle the Spirit (for what that is worth; for my part, it has never been obvious to me why this objection that the Spirit does not get as big a bag of jelly beans should really count for much anyway).

Likewise, the fact that the formula’s significance is found in the writings of the Cappadocians gives the lie to the idea that St. Ambrose invented it. It was around well before Ambrose.


#19

Likewise, the fact that the formula’s significance is found in the writings of the Cappadocians gives the lie to the idea that St. Ambrose invented it. It was around well before Ambrose.

I think the point is that the creed of Second Council made no mention of the fact that the Spirit proceeds from the Father AND THE SON, might show that there was no need for the statement. As regards Ambroses teaching on the matter I turn to Saint Photius the GreatThe Epitomes of the Mystagogy of the Holy Spirit

10 So Ambrose, Augustine, and Jerome, said what the Latins claim; but the hierarchs of the Seven Synods did not. All the synods in succession confirmed the definition of our faith. The leaders and lights of the Church of Old Rome agreed with them without any contradiction and decreed that it was not permitted to add or subtract anything from the aforesaid definition of the faith, and that he who dared to do so should absolutely be cast out of the Church.


#20

The addition of the Filioque is from the Arian influence still prevalent in some of the Church in the West which Charlemagne insisted on including from the power base of the Frank’s takeover of the Church in Rome, eventually replacing the Church’s bishops with his own.

Charlemagne’s reading of the theology of the creed was through the understanding of Augustine and he used this subsequently as a weapon to separate the Church in his control in the West from the influence of the Church still remaining in the East which continued under the New Rome, Constantinople.

John Romanides on:

  1. Franks, Romans, Feudalism and Doctrine.

romanity.org/htm/rom.03.en.franks_romans_feudalism_and_doctrine.03.htm

Romanides thinks the differences in theology of the filioque as shown between Ambrose and Augustine is really the difference between Roman and Frankish theological method and doctrine, from his exploration of the history he suggests that Augustine probably didn’t take much notice of Ambrose’s sermons or his writings.


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