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Filioque and Canon 7 of the Council of Ephesus
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Author:  Will Storm [ Wed Jul 01, 2020 12:10 am ]
Post subject:  Filioque and Canon 7 of the Council of Ephesus

Finally wading into Apologetics geared toward our Eastern brothers and sisters. Here is Canon 7:

Quote:
It is not permitted to produce or write or compose any other creed except the one which was defined by the holy Fathers who were gathered together in the Holy Spirit at Nicaea. Any who dare to compose or bring forth or produce another creed for the benefit of those who wish to turn from Hellenism or Judaism or some other heresy to the knowledge of the truth, if they are bishops or clerics they should be deprived of their respective charges, and if they are laymen they are to be anathematized.


The Catholic Answers article on this subject seems incomplete. It makes the following point:

Quote:
Edicts of an ecumenical council are binding on Christians, but they are not binding on another ecumenical council unless they are pronouncing a matter of faith or morals. Later ecumenical councils can revise or modify disciplinary policies of their predecessors. Since the prohibition on making a new creed was a disciplinary matter, it could be changed by later ecumenical councils. At the ecumenical Council of Florence (1438-45), it was changed, and the council ruled that the words “and the Son” had been validly added to the Creed. The Eastern Orthodox originally accepted the authority of the Council of Florence, but later rejected it.


But, the Orthodox issue is with Pope Benedict VIII adding it, not with a council adding it, right? Can someone help me understand a little more?

Author:  anawim [ Thu Jul 02, 2020 5:39 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Filioque and Canon 7 of the Council of Ephesus

Since the Apostles Creed has existed as part of the baptismal liturgy as early as the second century, I have never grasped the problem with having more than one in use at a time.
If there were ever a unification of east and west, the east (like Eastern Rite Catholics) would retain their various liturgies. Nothing would change in that regard.

Author:  Closet Catholic [ Sun Jul 05, 2020 7:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Filioque and Canon 7 of the Council of Ephesus

Would the same people reject the Chalcedonian definition? That was written in 451. The council of Ephesus was held in 431.

Author:  Will Storm [ Thu Jul 09, 2020 7:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Filioque and Canon 7 of the Council of Ephesus

Quote:
Since the Apostles Creed has existed as part of the baptismal liturgy as early as the second century, I have never grasped the problem with having more than one in use at a time.
If there were ever a unification of east and west, the east (like Eastern Rite Catholics) would retain their various liturgies. Nothing would change in that regard.



It seems that multiple Creeds might be ok, but having any Creed that added something in a way that is contrary to Canon 7 would be difficult to accept, wouldn't it?

Author:  Obi-Wan Kenobi [ Thu Jul 09, 2020 7:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Filioque and Canon 7 of the Council of Ephesus

Hal Jordan is our expert in questions like this, but he comes around on an irregular basis.

Author:  Closet Catholic [ Thu Jul 09, 2020 8:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Filioque and Canon 7 of the Council of Ephesus

This is my take on this issue. I have search around online and all translations I have found say that “it is unlawful for any man to bring forward, or to write, or to compose a different (ἑτέραν) Faith as a rival to that established by the holy Fathers assembled with the Holy Ghost in Nicæa” and that “those who shall dare to compose a different faith, or to introduce or offer it to persons desiring to turn to the acknowledgment of the truth, whether from Heathenism or from Judaism, or from any heresy whatsoever, shall be deposed, if they be bishops or clergymen; bishops from the episcopate and clergymen from the clergy; and if they be laymen, they shall be anathematized” (link at ccel).

I am not sure what word is translated by the word ‘faith’ here, but it seems obvious to me that what is meant is that no definition can be produced as an alternative to the Nicene Creed (with a competing theology). It does not say that no new definition, compatible with the Nicene Creed, can ever be produced (which would logically entail the condemnation of the Chalcedonian definition). Some would probably make the argument that this actually condemns the Chalcedonian definition, but I suspect that most of the Eastern Orthodox theologians who argue against Filioque on the basis of this canon wouldn’t want to make that argument.

Furthermore, this canon cannot mean that the creed made at Nicea cannot be revised in any way, as that would mean that Ephesus (the third ecumenical council in 431) condemned as heretical Constantinople I (the second ecumenical council in 381). At Nicea, the third article said “and [we believe] in the Holy Ghost.” In 381, as we can read at Wikipedia, this was changed to “and [we believe] in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of life, who proceedeth from the Father, who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified, who spake by the prophets.” So unless one wants to make the argument that the Fathers of Constantinople I are anathema - which I doubt is an argument embraced by any of the aformentioned Eastern Orthodox theologians - this canon cannot be used to condemn revisions of the Creed.

Edit: I hadn’t read the Catholic Answers article before writing my reply, and I see that they make the same argument as I did.

Author:  Will Storm [ Thu Jul 09, 2020 9:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Filioque and Canon 7 of the Council of Ephesus

Quote:
Hal Jordan is our expert in questions like this, but he comes around on an irregular basis.


Well I'm glad to know there's a local expert in this town anyway. Thank you!


Quote:
Edit: I hadn’t read the Catholic Answers article before writing my reply, and I see that they make the same argument as I did.


No problem, my friend! It is a rather particular question that I have.

Author:  Peregrinator [ Fri Jul 10, 2020 8:13 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Filioque and Canon 7 of the Council of Ephesus

No the revision of the Creed at Constantinople I was OK because that was done by Eastern bishops with no Latin bishops or Papal legates present. The East (by which, of course, I mean the Greeks) is allowed to revise the Creed.

Author:  Closet Catholic [ Fri Jul 10, 2020 12:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Filioque and Canon 7 of the Council of Ephesus

Peregrinator wrote:
No the revision of the Creed at Constantinople I was OK because that was done by Eastern bishops with no Latin bishops or Papal legates present. The East (by which, of course, I mean the Greeks) is allowed to revise the Creed.
Yes, that is usually what the argument turns out to be.

Author:  HalJordan [ Sat Jul 11, 2020 8:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Filioque and Canon 7 of the Council of Ephesus

The above answers are correct and basically show the Eastern argument on this front to be fallacious. I’d also add that, since Canon 7 obviously doesn’t preclude future councils from altering the statement of Faith, then it can’t be directed towards the Pope since the pope is above any council.

In addition, the Easterners has agreed to the Filioque at Second Lyons, so the Florentine addition shouldn’t even be considered a matter of dispute (except to an unhinged person like Mark of Ephesus).

Author:  Will Storm [ Tue Jul 14, 2020 1:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Filioque and Canon 7 of the Council of Ephesus

Thank you so much for all the great info everyone! I'm still a little confused, so please bear with me.

Quote:
I’d also add that, since Canon 7 obviously doesn’t preclude future councils from altering the statement of Faith, then it can’t be directed towards the Pope since the pope is above any council.


Two questions: 1) Do the Orthodox take issue with the pope being above any council? 2) What did Canon 7 preclude if not future councils altering it?

Author:  beng [ Mon Aug 03, 2020 4:34 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Filioque and Canon 7 of the Council of Ephesus

Will Storm wrote:

Two questions: 1) Do the Orthodox take issue with the pope being above any council? 2) What did Canon 7 preclude if not future councils altering it?


1. Yes.

2. As explain by Cardinal Cesarini during the Council of Florence, the meaning of the canon is no individual could make a different faith that is in contradiction to the substance of the Nicene-Constantinople creed (ok, I'm way paraphrasing it since I'm going by memory here). It prohibits individual but the the Church as a whole because it would put limitation on the Church where she shouldn't have such.

This prohibition, that it's forbidden to make another faith as those compose by NICENE fathers, is also found in Chalcedon and some other councils/fathers. This is the strongest argument for refuting Orthodox contention that Catholic violate this canon.

I don't know why the Latins didn't press on this at Florence, such that the discussion about the addition to the creed (at Ferrera, before the council was transferred to Florence) took quite a long time.

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