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 Post subject: Status of the Filioque Clarification
PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2005 12:25 am 
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Hi all,

I'm wondering if somebody can tell me what exactly the "status" of the following document is: The Father as the Source of the Whole Trinity [Filioque Clarification]. To put it crudely, is it in any way authoritatively binding? It comes from the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, and it was approved by the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Furthermore, it also says within the body of the text that they are presenting the "authentic doctrinal meaning of the Filioque" and that they are giving an "authoritative interpretation." My worry, however, is that the document seems to be potentially incompatible with the teachings of the Council of Florence (namely, that the Son is a cause of the Holy Spirit's subsistence just like the Father; the present document seems to deny that). Does this just mean that my interpretation of Florence is wrong and that the interpretation provided by this document is really the correct and only authoritative one? I would accept that, but I'm just wondering if anyone knows if that must be the case, or if this document doesn't really carry any "binding" force after all and may potentially be disagreed with.

I hope I phrased that well enough to get across what I'm asking. Thanks in advance for your help!

Jason


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2005 3:54 am 
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i heard alil about this in an ecumenical discussion and i was told that the filoque was actually a result of a church in spain adding it in to help against a heresy(one of the common "christ is just a man" thingy) thus it was not in the original wording. Paul allowed minor doctrinal differences for the sake of unity and this issue has kept the east and west apart for a long time. I embrace it.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2005 10:02 am 
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Trinitarian theology is confusing, but I didn't see anything on that page which denies the Son's essential role in the spiration of the Spirit. Can you point out a specific phrase or paragraph that troubles you?

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2005 1:19 pm 
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Geoff,

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I didn't see anything on that page which denies the Son's essential role in the spiration of the Spirit. Can you point out a specific phrase or paragraph that troubles you?


Yes, I can. First, here is the statement from the Council of Florence which I believe sounds contradictory to what the Filioque Clarification is saying. I will italicize the portions that I believe are crucial:

Quote:
". . . 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."


So, Florence seems to make the following points: 1) the Spirit has not only his essence, but also his subsistent being (which apparently refers to His hypostatic existence) from the Father and the Son; 2) the Son is a cause of the Holy Spirit just like the Father.

Now, here are some statements from the Filioque Clarification that seem to contradict this part of Florence:

Quote:
a) "The Father is the sole Trinitarian Cause (Aitia) or Principle (Principium) of the Son and the Holy Spirit."

b) "The doctrine of the Filioque must be understood and presented by the Catholic Church in such a way that it cannot appear to contradict the Monarchy of the Father nor the fact that he is the sole origin (arche, aitia [i.e., cause]) of the ekporeusis [procession] of the Spirit."

c) "In the Latin tradition, it [the filioque] was expressed by the more common term of 'procession' (proienai) indicating the communication of the divinity to the Holy Spirit from the Father and the Son in their consubstantial communion: 'The Spirit proceeds (proeisi) from the Father and the Son; clearly, he is of the divine substance, proceeding (proion) substantially (ousiodos) in it and from it' (St. Cyril of Alexandria, Thesaurus, PG 75, 585 A).[4]" [In other words, this quote seems to imply that the Filioque really only says that the Spirit receives his essence (i.e., the divine substance) from the Father and the Son, though it doesn't mention his "subsistent being" (hypostatic existence). For an even clearer statement of this, see the next quote, with emphasis added.]

d) "The Father is the sole Principle without Principle (in Greek, aitia [cause]) of the Son and of the Spirit; the Father and the Son are consubstantial source of the procession (to proienai) of this same Spirit. [As St. Maximus the Confessor says:] 'For the procession they (the Romans) brought the witness of the Latin Fathers, as well, of course, as that of St. Cyril of Alexandria in his sacred study on the Gospel of St. John. On this basis they showed that they themselves do not make the Son cause (aitia) of the Spirit. They know, indeed, that the Father is the sole cause of the Son and of the Spirit, of one by generation and of the other by ekporeusis - but they explained that the latter comes (proienai) through the Son, and they showed in this way the unity and the immutability of the essence' (Letter to Marin of Cyprus, PG 91, 136 A-B)." [So again, this seems to imply that the Father and Son communicate the essence or substance to the Spirit, but that the Father alone is the sole cause of His existence or subsistent being.]

e) [Finally (emphasis added):] "Even if the Catholic doctrine affirms that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son in the communication of their consubstantial communion, it nonetheless recognises the reality of the original relationship of the Holy Spirit as person with the Father."


I hope this makes it clear why it seems to me that there may be a potential contradiction going on; the Clarification seems to say that the Filioque is only about communicating the divine essence to the Spirit from the Father and the Son while keeping the Father as the sole cause of the Spirit's existence, while Florence seems to say that the Filioque is about both the Spirit's essence and existence, both of which come from the Father and the Son.

That's why my bigger question is whether this Filioque Clarification is the authoritative interpretation of the Filioque (as it claims to be), and is therefore binding, in which case I must simply be misunderstanding Florence (something I would grudgingly accept). If it's not, then it may be incorrect about Florence and there may really be a contradiction.

Thanks again,
Jason [/quote]


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2005 1:24 pm 
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By the way, I should also point out that the Filioque Clarification happens to neglect any mention of the Council of Florence at all. It mentions the Fourth Latern Council and the Second Council of Lyons, but not Florence -- which, by the way, some have remarked is quite convenient (albeit strange).


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2005 2:22 pm 
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Ecce Jason wrote:
Geoff,

Quote:
I didn't see anything on that page which denies the Son's essential role in the spiration of the Spirit. Can you point out a specific phrase or paragraph that troubles you?


Yes, I can. First, here is the statement from the Council of Florence which I believe sounds contradictory to what the Filioque Clarification is saying. I will italicize the portions that I believe are crucial:

Quote:
". . . 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."


So, Florence seems to make the following points: 1) the Spirit has not only his essence, but also his subsistent being (which apparently refers to His hypostatic existence) from the Father and the Son; 2) the Son is a cause of the Holy Spirit just like the Father.

Now, here are some statements from the Filioque Clarification that seem to contradict this part of Florence:

Quote:
a) "The Father is the sole Trinitarian Cause (Aitia) or Principle (Principium) of the Son and the Holy Spirit."

b) "The doctrine of the Filioque must be understood and presented by the Catholic Church in such a way that it cannot appear to contradict the Monarchy of the Father nor the fact that he is the sole origin (arche, aitia [i.e., cause]) of the ekporeusis [procession] of the Spirit."

c) "In the Latin tradition, it [the filioque] was expressed by the more common term of 'procession' (proienai) indicating the communication of the divinity to the Holy Spirit from the Father and the Son in their consubstantial communion: 'The Spirit proceeds (proeisi) from the Father and the Son; clearly, he is of the divine substance, proceeding (proion) substantially (ousiodos) in it and from it' (St. Cyril of Alexandria, Thesaurus, PG 75, 585 A).[4]" [In other words, this quote seems to imply that the Filioque really only says that the Spirit receives his essence (i.e., the divine substance) from the Father and the Son, though it doesn't mention his "subsistent being" (hypostatic existence). For an even clearer statement of this, see the next quote, with emphasis added.]

d) "The Father is the sole Principle without Principle (in Greek, aitia [cause]) of the Son and of the Spirit; the Father and the Son are consubstantial source of the procession (to proienai) of this same Spirit. [As St. Maximus the Confessor says:] 'For the procession they (the Romans) brought the witness of the Latin Fathers, as well, of course, as that of St. Cyril of Alexandria in his sacred study on the Gospel of St. John. On this basis they showed that they themselves do not make the Son cause (aitia) of the Spirit. They know, indeed, that the Father is the sole cause of the Son and of the Spirit, of one by generation and of the other by ekporeusis - but they explained that the latter comes (proienai) through the Son, and they showed in this way the unity and the immutability of the essence' (Letter to Marin of Cyprus, PG 91, 136 A-B)." [So again, this seems to imply that the Father and Son communicate the essence or substance to the Spirit, but that the Father alone is the sole cause of His existence or subsistent being.]

e) [Finally (emphasis added):] "Even if the Catholic doctrine affirms that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son in the communication of their consubstantial communion, it nonetheless recognises the reality of the original relationship of the Holy Spirit as person with the Father."


I hope this makes it clear why it seems to me that there may be a potential contradiction going on; the Clarification seems to say that the Filioque is only about communicating the divine essence to the Spirit from the Father and the Son while keeping the Father as the sole cause of the Spirit's existence, while Florence seems to say that the Filioque is about both the Spirit's essence and existence, both of which come from the Father and the Son.

That's why my bigger question is whether this Filioque Clarification is the authoritative interpretation of the Filioque (as it claims to be), and is therefore binding, in which case I must simply be misunderstanding Florence (something I would grudgingly accept). If it's not, then it may be incorrect about Florence and there may really be a contradiction.

Thanks again,
Jason
[/quote]

Ontological differences in metaphysics can be very difficult to express in human languages... Being creatures of time and space, we tend to thing of ontological differences in terms of "older v younger", "authoritative v non-authoritative", "powerful v less powerful", "here v there" etc... With Trinitarian differences, all bets are off and we are left with analogical language... I am no expert myself on trinitarian theology, but as I read that portion you posted, this is what I read...

(keep in mind that all 3 persons are co-eternal, co-equal, and share a common will and mind)

From the person of the Father procedes the person of the Son, and through their eternal communion procedes the person of the Holy Spirit...

I am not sure if the above sentence is orthodox, but that is what I got from what you posted... If it is correct and orthodox, then I don't see how it contradicts Florence, nor the creed.

FJ

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2005 9:24 am 
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The filioque thing is being discussed in another catholic forum. You can try to search on that in Non Catholic area in http://forums.catholic.com but i guess the site is under maintenance at present.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2005 9:27 pm 
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Jason, you can safely disregard most any document or assertion that has ecumenism as its motive and object. The binding force of such statements is non-existent unless otherwise clearly and forcefully specified. It is truly a shame that we must view these endeavors with a critical eye, but such is the case today if one does not want to fall into some sort of Hegelian synthesis which is at the root of most ecumenical attempts to unite that which was originally viewed as a contradiction.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2005 4:38 pm 
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Matthew,

Quote:
You can safely disregard most any document or assertion that has ecumenism as its motive and object.


I believe I understand where you're coming from in saying this, but I'm not quite sure I follow your sentiment. Clearly the fact that a document happens to be "ecumenical" in character is not enough to prima facie guarantee that it is wrong or safely disregarded; if that were so, then it would make ecumenical documents a virtual impossibility, and I see no reason for granting either the assumption or the conclusion, or for thinking that the Church itself agrees with either of them. Surely caution is acceptable, and we would do well to be wary of ecumenical dialogue that is perhaps deceptive, misleading, or engaged needlessly in verbal gymnastics, but that doesn't warrant dismissing everything wholesale (although I'm not sure you intended to say that; perhaps this was hyperbole or I have just misinterpreted you).

In any case, the notion of "misinterpretation" brings me to the next point...

Quote:
The binding force of such statements is non-existent unless otherwise clearly and forcefully specified.


The document I cited was approved by the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and was called the "authoritative interpretation," giving the "authentic doctrinal meaning" of the Filioque. Those seem to me to be rather clear and forceful statements that need to be addressed.

Quote:
It is truly a shame that we must view these endeavors with a critical eye,


Yes, but a critical eye is not necessarily a "disregarding" eye. There may be some more charitable way of looking at this, which is why I asked my initial question.

Quote:
but such is the case today if one does not want to fall into some sort of Hegelian synthesis which is at the root of most ecumenical attempts to unite that which was originally viewed as a contradiction.


You say "most" ecumenical attempts, which implies that not all of them are subject to this failure. Perhaps the current document is one of the exceptions, then. You seem to not think so, but I'm not sure why, since it claims to offer an authoritative interpretation and to state the authentic meaning of the doctrine. The claim that this is an example of "Hegelian synthesis" is either ad hominem or a red herring (we're not discussing Hegel here, after all; it'd be better to deal with the specific document). If this document is in fact a synthesis of two apparently contradictory viewpoints, then you could say why you think so (or do you just agree with my earlier points?), and then I'd be interested to hear what you might do with the fact that the document is said to be authoritative and to offer the authentic interpretation of the doctrine. I'm still not sure what to do with that.

As it is, it comes down to this: who interprets the Filioque? Me (and you), or the Church? I'd like to go with the Church on this one; my claim wasn't that there necessarily is a contradiction here, but that it seemed that there may be, and so I sought clarification both as to the status of the document and as to the statements themselves. The document says that it's authoritative, and I think that the Church probably knows more about what it is saying and has said through history than I do. Now, larger questions can sometimes be acceptable: for example, if the Eastern theologians claim that the Spirit proceeds from the Father alone and the Western theologians claim that the Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son (filioque), one can ask who is right between the two. But if the Western theologians say, "Actually, we mean the same thing as the Easterners; we're just saying things slightly differently, but we agree with them on the larger questions," then the issue is one of interpretation and not necessarily of who is right and who is wrong (since they both claim to agree). I'd like to say that the Church can interpret what it means before I can, and so I'd like to go with them and believe that my interpretation of Florence on the filioque is missing something or needs to be adjusted slightly. If this is impossible -- which it may be, although I think there might be ways of avoiding this conclusion -- then bigger issues arise. Do you mean to say that it is impossible, and that we must thus either reject the Church's interpretation (which claims to be "authoritative" and "authentic" and has approval from two Church institutions) or reject Florence? That is perhaps the ultimate worry behind my questions.

Thanks,
Jason


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2005 4:57 pm 
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Pope John Paul II mentions "filioque" in his general audience on July 29, 1998:

July 29, 1998 Audience

Quote:
In particular, on the specific problem of the Filioque concerning the relationship between the Holy Spirit and the Word who proceed from the Father, it is possible to maintain that the difference between the Latin and Eastern traditions does not affect the identity of the faith “in the reality of the same mystery confessed” but its expression, constituting a “legitimate complementarity” which does not jeopardize but indeed can enrich communion in the one faith (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 248; Apostolic Letter Orientale lumen, 2 May 1995, n. 5; Note of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, 29 June 1995: The Greek and Latin Traditions Regarding the Procession of the Holy Spirit, L’Osservatore Romano English edition, 20 September 1995, p. 3).

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2005 5:39 am 
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Quote:
I believe I understand where you're coming from in saying this, but I'm not quite sure I follow your sentiment. Clearly the fact that a document happens to be "ecumenical" in character is not enough to prima facie guarantee that it is wrong or safely disregarded; if that were so, then it would make ecumenical documents a virtual impossibility, and I see no reason for granting either the assumption or the conclusion, or for thinking that the Church itself agrees with either of them.


When I say "ecumenical" I mean the new and false pastoral perspective (ultimately based upon a novel ecclesiology) taken towards heretical and schismatic sects, not "ecumenical" in the sense of universal as applying to the Catholic Church universally.

Quote:
Surely caution is acceptable, and we would do well to be wary of ecumenical dialogue that is perhaps deceptive, misleading, or engaged needlessly in verbal gymnastics, but that doesn't warrant dismissing everything wholesale (although I'm not sure you intended to say that; perhaps this was hyperbole or I have just misinterpreted you).


Six-of-one-half-a-dozen-of-the-other. Every "official" or "semi-official" document that had ecumenism as its formal motive has been highly suspect, doctrinally speaking. I do no tbelieve this is mere coincidence.



Quote:
Quote:
The binding force of such statements is non-existent unless otherwise clearly and forcefully specified.


The document I cited was approved by the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and was called the "authoritative interpretation," giving the "authentic doctrinal meaning" of the Filioque. Those seem to me to be rather clear and forceful statements that need to be addressed.


"Authentic" merely means somethings that proceeds from an organ of the magisterium. Categorically speaking, a merely authentic pronouncement is not endowed with any binding authority. Under normal circumstances, such engagements of the magisterium demand a docile religious submission of the intellect; a silent abstention from assent not morally acceptable. But when we see such flagrant omissions such as the one regarding the Filioque and the Council of Florence, suspicions are raised and a reasonable doubt is cast upon the entire endeavor. We have seen this time and time again from both the Vatican and Episcopal Conferences. Nothing says that one must suspend all rational thought when reading documents, but the safe assusmption has always been that when Rome speaks, even through a Congregation, the matter is at least morally resolved. When we are dealing with "authentic" statements, there is no intrinsic garuntee that an answer will be fully sufficient, let alone correct in every possible light. We are not dissenting, but stating that those men who are responsible for such things have left something out, thereby misrepresenting catholic doctrine. We demand integrity and precision, not malicious error or perversion.


Quote:
Yes, but a critical eye is not necessarily a "disregarding" eye. There may be some more charitable way of looking at this, which is why I asked my initial question.


Yes, but of course charity is of the will, we demand correspondence to the intellectual virtues of faith, knowledge and understanding, which admit of no mean.


Quote:
The claim that this is an example of "Hegelian synthesis" is either ad hominem or a red herring (we're not discussing Hegel here, after all; it'd be better to deal with the specific document).


Well, from my understanding it is neither, save maybe a slight ad hominem against Kasper. If you have read any of his ideas regarding Ecumenism and its philosophical underpinings, you would probably see its heritage linked with Hegelian categories as I and others have seen.

Quote:
If this document is in fact a synthesis of two apparently contradictory viewpoints, then you could say why you think so (or do you just agree with my earlier points?), and then I'd be interested to hear what you might do with the fact that the document is said to be authoritative and to offer the authentic interpretation of the doctrine. I'm still not sure what to do with that.


There are different degrees of authority; under no circumstances can a non-infallible moral authority bind under pain of serious sin, for it would be tyranny to command unconditional assent to something that could even theoretically be in error. We have a right to pose questions, which you have rightly done; now you will only have to wait 150 years to get an answer. :wink:

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Authoritative documents of the Holy See are put forth to the world with the name of the pope in a standard formula. The document in question appears to lack that at this time, and is not available from the Vatican web site. Speculation would appear to be just that.

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I'd like to say that the Church can interpret what it means before I can, and so I'd like to go with them and believe that my interpretation of Florence on the filioque is missing something or needs to be adjusted slightly. If this is impossible -- which it may be, although I think there might be ways of avoiding this conclusion -- then bigger issues arise.

I don't think that it's impossible. I think that Latin theology and language fails to distinguish between hypostatic and energetic procession, so that when Florence refers to "cause," it is equivocal. The clarification simply affirms that Florence intended to be within the patristic tradition, but lacked the analytical tools to specify its theology with specificity.

If that isn't the case, then I don't see any way to avoid the conclusion that Florence contradicts the Nicene dogma. I'll put it to you this way: either the clarification is true, or Catholicism is self-contradictory on its own terms. Not preferring the latter option, I choose to accept the former.


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Welcome to the board, CrimsonCatholic. :wave

We have an introductions forum if you'd like to introduce yourself.

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Oops. Yeah, guess I'd better do that. :D


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I don't think that it's impossible. I think that Latin theology and language fails to distinguish between hypostatic and energetic procession, so that when Florence refers to "cause," it is equivocal.


If you'll note, Florence indicated that it was the Greeks who refered to the Son as a true "cause" of the Holy Ghost, whereas the Latin Fathers used "principle". And what do you mean be "energetic procession" as opposed to "hypostatic procession"? I take it that "energetic" is your term.

Quote:
The clarification simply affirms that Florence intended to be within the patristic tradition, but lacked the analytical tools to specify its theology with specificity.


That is hardly the case. I hope you will be able to substantiate this rather wild accusation.

Quote:
If that isn't the case, then I don't see any way to avoid the conclusion that Florence contradicts the Nicene dogma.


What Nicean dogma? That nothing is to be added to the Creed? A Roman Catholic supposes before all else that it is one and the same faith, but merely made more explicit. It would be absurd to think that the Church could authoritatively bind herself to the profession of a simpler symbol of faith, if that is indeed what you are refering to.

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I'll put it to you this way: either the clarification is true, or Catholicism is self-contradictory on its own terms. Not preferring the latter option, I choose to accept the former.


I'm sure you realize that there is a third option that is very valid.

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If you'll note, Florence indicated that it was the Greeks who refered to the Son as a true "cause" of the Holy Ghost, whereas the Latin Fathers used "principle".

That only demonstrates their understanding of what the Greeks said, not necessarily what the Greeks actually said.
Quote:
And what do you mean be "energetic procession" as opposed to "hypostatic procession"? I take it that "energetic" is your term.

Actually, I believe it's Vladimir Lossky's, but it corresponds to the procession according to ousia, described in the ecumenical statement.
Quote:
That is hardly the case. I hope you will be able to substantiate this rather wild accusation.

I don't see antyhing particularly wild about it. It seems to be relatively well known that the Latin use of processio doesn't distinguish between the two.
Quote:
What Nicean dogma? That nothing is to be added to the Creed? A Roman Catholic supposes before all else that it is one and the same faith, but merely made more explicit. It would be absurd to think that the Church could authoritatively bind herself to the profession of a simpler symbol of faith, if that is indeed what you are refering to.

No, I mean the doctrine of the three persons itself. The Father as sole arche of the Trinity is essential to the Nicene definition.
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I'm sure you realize that there is a third option that is very valid.

I rather doubt it, actually, but I could be persuaded. I simply don't see another way around the difficulty.


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No, I mean the doctrine of the three persons itself. The Father as sole arche of the Trinity is essential to the Nicene definition.


The west doesn't deny this. The Son receives His power to spirate the Holy Spirit from the Father even though the Holy Spirit is spirated as from one principle.

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Uniformity with the Will of God by St. Alphonsus Liguori


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2005 2:26 am 
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CrimsonCatholic wrote:
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If you'll note, Florence indicated that it was the Greeks who refered to the Son as a true "cause" of the Holy Ghost, whereas the Latin Fathers used "principle".


That only demonstrates their understanding of what the Greeks said, not necessarily what the Greeks actually said.


Please share with us some valuable insight that the Fathers of Florence did not have regarding the terms "cause" and "principle" and their complimentarity. What did the Greeks really say?



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Actually, I believe it's Vladimir Lossky's, but it corresponds to the procession according to ousia, described in the ecumenical statement.


"Ousia" relates to personhood, procession relates to the opposition of relation. Why would you be taking your cue from a schismatic theologian rather than catholic sources? What is the real difference between "energetic" and "hypostatic" processions?


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I don't see antyhing particularly wild about it. It seems to be relatively well known that the Latin use of processio doesn't distinguish between the two.


Name one catholic theologian that distinguished between so-called "energetic" and "hypostatic" processions and then explain the absolute necessity of this knowledge in relation to the exposition of the dogma.


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No, I mean the doctrine of the three persons itself. The Father as sole arche of the Trinity is essential to the Nicene definition.


Please demonstrate how Florence contradicts the doctrine of the Father being the Primitive Principle or the first Cause of generation and spiration.


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I rather doubt it, actually, but I could be persuaded. I simply don't see another way around the difficulty.


The third option is that the modern ecumenical document with no binding authority, in contradistinction with Florence, is insufficient and even glosses over important points of catholic doctrine.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2005 11:56 am 
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The west doesn't deny this. The Son receives His power to spirate the Holy Spirit from the Father even though the Holy Spirit is spirated as from one principle.

Transfer of personal properties among the persons of the Trinity is incoherent. If the Father's personal distinction is that he is the arche of the Trinity, then that property logically can't be conferred on the Son or the Holy Spirit.
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Please share with us some valuable insight that the Fathers of Florence did not have regarding the terms "cause" and "principle" and their complimentarity. What did the Greeks really say?

The Greeks really said that the Father is the sole origin of the Trinity according to hypostasis. The Greeks also said that substance (ousia) proceeds from the Father through the Son, because they recognized a difference between hypostasis and being. Latin theology did not, which is most strongly evidenced by your statement...
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"Ousia" relates to personhood, procession relates to the opposition of relation.

You've simply confused being (ousia) and personhood (hypostasis).
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Why would you be taking your cue from a schismatic theologian rather than catholic sources?

I'm not; it's simply a more pleasant term for ousiodos, which is simply the doctrine of the Greek Fathers, themselves Saints and Doctors of the Catholic Church.
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What is the real difference between "energetic" and "hypostatic" processions?

Precisely the difference between being and personhood.
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Name one catholic theologian that distinguished between so-called "energetic" and "hypostatic" processions and then explain the absolute necessity of this knowledge in relation to the exposition of the dogma.

For starters, St. Basil, St. Gregory Theologian, St. Cyril, St. John Chrysostom, and St. John Damascene, every one a Doctor of the Catholic Church. All required the absolute unknowability of the divine essence and monarchy as the unique personal property of the Father, while still affirming that the being of the Holy Spirit came from the Father through the Son. Unless they were simply self-contradictory, the distinction is essential to understanding their teaching on the subject.
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Please demonstrate how Florence contradicts the doctrine of the Father being the Primitive Principle or the first Cause of generation and spiration.

It doesn't, if you interpret it in the way that I have suggested. I'm not the one suggesting that the Father conferred his property of hypostatic generation to the Son, and I don't think that Florence intended to do so either, even if that intent was not unambiguously expressed (owing mostly to the lack of good terminology in Latin theology to explain it).
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The third option is that the modern ecumenical document with no binding authority, in contradistinction with Florence, is insufficient and even glosses over important points of catholic doctrine.

No, I take that option as being a concession that Catholicism is self-contradictory. If the ecumenical document is wrong about Florence, then ISTM that the Orthodox charge of incoherence in Catholic theology is correct.


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