Wednesday, January 23, 2013


I haven't had any inspiration to write for some time. I apologize to those faithful few who still read my humble blog.
Now, for those who don't know "Filioque" means "and the Son" in English. The Nicene Creed originally stated a belief in the Holy Spirit who "proceeds from the Father, together with the Father and Son is worshiped and glorified". Filioque was added first at the Council of Toledo (589) to further assert the divinity of the Son against the Arian heresy.
The added word spread throughout the West and eventually caused much division between the Pope and the Ecumenical Patriarch. It was one the two main causes of the split between the Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Churches.
Just as with the controversy of circumcision in the Acts of the Apostles, an Ecumenical Council was called and bishops from both East and West came together to resolve the dispute. In 1439 the Council of Florence declared :
For when Latins and Greeks came together in this holy synod, they all strove that, among other things, the article about the procession of the holy Spirit should be discussed with the utmost care and assiduous investigation. Texts were produced from divine scriptures and many authorities of eastern and western holy doctors, some saying the holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son, others saying the procession is from the Father through the Son. All were aiming at the same meaning in different words. The Greeks asserted that when they claim that the holy Spirit proceeds from the Father, they do not intend to exclude the Son; but because it seemed to them that the Latins assert that the holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son as from two principles and two spirations, they refrained from saying that the holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son. The Latins asserted that they say the holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son not with the intention of excluding the Father from being the source and principle of all deity, that is of the Son and of the holy Spirit, nor to imply that the Son does not receive from the Father, because the holy Spirit proceeds from the Son, nor that they posit two principles or two spirations; but they assert that there is only one principle and a single spiration of the holy Spirit, as they have asserted hitherto. Since, then, one and the same meaning resulted from all this, they unanimously agreed and consented to the following holy and God-pleasing union, in the same sense and with one mind.
In the name of the holy Trinity, Father, Son and holy Spirit, we define, with the approval of this holy universal council of Florence, that the following truth of faith shall be believed and accepted by all Christians and thus shall all profess it: that the holy Spirit is eternally from the Father and the Son, and has his essence and his subsistent being from the Father together with the Son, and proceeds from both eternally as from one principle and a single spiration. We declare that when holy doctors and fathers say that the holy Spirit proceeds from the Father through the Son, this bears the sense that thereby also the Son should be signified, according to the Greeks indeed as cause, and according to the Latins as principle of the subsistence of the holy Spirit, just like the Father.
And since the Father gave to his only-begotten Son in begetting him everything the Father has, except to be the Father, so the Son has eternally from the Father, by whom he was eternally begotten, this also, namely that the holy Spirit proceeds from the Son.
We define also that the explanation of those words "and from the Son" was licitly and reasonably added to the creed for the sake of declaring the truth and from imminent need.
Of course we know that the schism still continues and that the Eastern Orthodox still assert that the Filioque amounts to heresy. I don't know what happened after the Council of Florence, but apparently the declarations of the councils didn't stick.

“I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me." John 17:20-21

May God bless all who read my ramblings,

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