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Pope John Paul II Again Reaches Out to Orthodox Church

Discussion in 'The Ancient Way - Eastern Orthodox' started by JeffreyLloyd, Jul 1, 2003.

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  1. isshinwhat

    isshinwhat Pro Deo et Patria

    +605
    Eastern Orthodox
    The normative form of the Nicene Creed for the entire Church is and always has been sans filioque. It is only in the Latin Church, even amongst those Eastern Churches in Communion with Rome, that the filioque is said. The theology is identical, as dialouge has proven. There is no "false teaching on the procession of the Holy Spirit also from the Son..." The Catholic Church fully believes that the Father is the sole source of the entire Trinity, and professes that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Son only in such a way as it is through Him.

    It was said:

    But this cannot be seen as contradicting the statement that:

    For as Sts. Basil and Cyril, and the Holy Defender of Orthodoxy, St. Athanasius, explain:

    God Bless,

    Neal
     
  2. Maximus

    Maximus Orthodox Christian

    +365
    Eastern Orthodox
    Married
    As I understand it, dialogue between the RCC and the Orthodox has revealed that the main difficulty in the understanding of the filioque was linguistic: there is a difference in it between the Latin and the Greek.

    As I understand it, in Greek the filioque would say that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father through the Son, rather than "and the Son." The procession of the Holy Spirit from the Father speaks of the essential nature of the Godhead and the relationships of the Divine Persons within it. The procession of the Holy Spirit through the Son speaks of the Son's sending of the Holy Spirit into the world to enlighten, comfort, and guide His followers in His Holy Church.

    I could be wrong, but I have heard it said that Orthodox theologians find the "through the Son" language acceptable.

    I think the main problem we have had with the filioque was the unilateral way in which it was inserted into the Creed in the West. Changes to the Symbol of Faith are not permissible, particularly without benefit of an ecumenical council.
     
  3. isshinwhat

    isshinwhat Pro Deo et Patria

    +605
    Eastern Orthodox
    I believe so as well.

    I agree here as well, though I also feel that as the Patriarch of the West, and given the proliferation of heresy, it was within the rights of the Bishop of Rome to make such an insertion.

    Exult, all creation around God's throne! Jesus Christ, our King, is risen!

    Neal
     
  4. Photini

    Photini Gone.

    +522
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  5. MariaRegina

    MariaRegina Well-Known Member

    +12,119
    Eastern Orthodox
    Married
    My Dearest Maximus in Christ:

    Christ is in our midst!

    I think you and our Catholic brethren may be confusing two separate events.

    The Holy Spirit proceeds eternally from the Father.

    But God the Father sent us His Holy Spirit at Pentecost THROUGH the Son.

    Therefore there are two proceedings: one eternally and one temporally at Pentecost and Chrismation.

    DISCLAIMER:
    I only hope I am using the right words as I have not studied that much theology, just enough to get me into trouble at times.

    Your Sister in Christ,

    Elizabeth
     
  6. isshinwhat

    isshinwhat Pro Deo et Patria

    +605
    Eastern Orthodox
    Are you certain that is orthodox??? I do not believe it is...

    God Bless,

    Neal
     
  7. isshinwhat

    isshinwhat Pro Deo et Patria

    +605
    Eastern Orthodox
    The Latin insertion of the filioque is no different than that of the Athanasian Creed, though it doesn't go into the detail of that Creed, choosing to assume what the Athanasian Creed states. I believe, as Maximus has stated, that the beef lied mainly with the way it was inserted, not the theology. The problems with the "assumed" Latin theology were just that, "assumed," they were not actual.

    God Bless,

    Neal

     
  8. MariaRegina

    MariaRegina Well-Known Member

    +12,119
    Eastern Orthodox
    Married
    My dearest Neal in Christ: Christ is Risen.

    Yes, Neal, This is the Faith of the Fathers! This is the Orthodox Faith!

    This is precisely why some students of theology are confused.

    In the Scriptures, Christ said that He would ask His Father to send the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, upon His Church. Therefore we can say that the Holy Spirit came upon the Apostles and the Theotokos at Pentecost from the Father through the Son. Note: This is different from the eternal procession of the Holy Spirit.

    However, the Bible also says that the Holy Spirit proceeds eternally from the Father. (Note: the Bible does not use the filioque; therefore, the filioque is unscriptural, and contrary to the First and Second Ecumenical Councils.) So the Holy Spirit proceeds eternally from the Father.

    Hope this helps.

    This I did indeed study in college theology (at a Catholic College).

    Also I cut and past this from the website which Photini gave previously, regarding the eternal procession of the Holy Spirit:

    "Everyone at the Second Ecumenical Council knew well that this question was settled once and for all by the use in the Creed of the word "procession" as meaning the manner of existence of the Holy Spirit from the Father which constitutes His special individuality. Thus, the Father is unbegotten, i.e. derives His existence from no one. The Son is from the Father by generation. The Holy Spirit is from the Father, not by generation, but by procession. The Father is cause, the son and the Spirit are caused. The difference between the ones caused is the one is caused by generation, and the other by procession, and not by generation."

    Hope this helps,

    Elizabeth
     
  9. MariaRegina

    MariaRegina Well-Known Member

    +12,119
    Eastern Orthodox
    Married
    Dear Neal: My joy in Christ:

    Nice try!

    Thanks for your attempt to single handedly solve the schism: it won't work. I tried that 10 years ago and ended up in the Orthodox Church. In fact, several of my dearly beloved friends in the Roman Catholic Church who were within Catholic Answers also left. So, you are taking a chance here.

    The Athanasius Creed is only attributed to St. Athanasius. It was not his work but was actually done about 100 years after St. Athanasius.

    Yours in Christ,

    Elizabeth
     
  10. isshinwhat

    isshinwhat Pro Deo et Patria

    +605
    Eastern Orthodox
    And the Catholic Church teaches the exact same thing. Down to the last detail. St. Cyril says the same thing.

    If you want to think that "...the filioque is unscriptural, and contrary to the First and Second Ecumenical Councils...," then so-be-it, but you are misunderstanding Catholic thought.

    Please see:

    http://praiseofglory.com/Stmaximus.htm/filioque.htm/

    http://www.orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/index.htm

    God Bless,

    Neal
     
  11. MariaRegina

    MariaRegina Well-Known Member

    +12,119
    Eastern Orthodox
    Married
    Quote:"Since the Holy Spirit when he is in us effects our being conformed to God, and He actually proceeds from Father and Son, it is abundantly clear that He is of the divine essence, in it in essence and proceeding from it."
    Cyril of Alexandria,Treasury of the Holy Trinity,Thesis 34(A.D. 425),in JUR,212

    Dearest Neal:

    Christ is in our midst!

    Please stop trying to evangelize us and taking things out of context.

    Look at the above quote. SINCE THE HOLY SPIRIT WHEN HE IS IN US...
    What does this talk about: THE INDWELLING of the Holy Spirit. Not the eternal procession of the Holy Spirit.

    Do you see what you are doing? You are confusing the INDWELLING of the Holy Spirit in us with the ETERNAL PROCESSION of the Holy Spirit.

    TWO DIFFERENT EVENTS - SORRY!

    YSIC

    Elizabeth (P.S. I had a minor in Theology.)
     
  12. isshinwhat

    isshinwhat Pro Deo et Patria

    +605
    Eastern Orthodox
    I really am not trying to evangelize. You must understand that these are things that have been on my mind, and I have not had anyone to discuss them with until you came. :D I apologize for any ill-feelings I have caused and will rest from such discussions for a while.

    God Bless,

    Neal
     
  13. MariaRegina

    MariaRegina Well-Known Member

    +12,119
    Eastern Orthodox
    Married
    God bless you too, I understand your frustration. If you go to St. Vladimirs Seminary Press in Crestwood, NY and look at their website, they have some great ecumenical books for sale. I've bought a lot of their books on the Filioque debate, Trinity, Incarnation, Marriage, etc.

    They go into great depth and have competent theologians from the Roman Catholic Church debating the Orthodox. You'd probably like to subscribe to their new book service and get the latest dialogues.

    Hope this helps.

    Elizabeth

    P.S. The Roman Catholics do not recite the filioque whenever they are together with the Greek Patriarch or the Orthodox representative.
     
  14. isshinwhat

    isshinwhat Pro Deo et Patria

    +605
    Eastern Orthodox
    Thank you, sister, for the website reference. I will visit it.

    Goodnight, and may the Lord keep you in your rest.

    Neal
     
  15. Bastoune

    Bastoune Well-Known Member

    +47
    Catholic
    Grace and peace to all!

    I truly, first of all, want to express my love for the Eastern Orthodox brethern in Christ! It is my frequent prayer that we WILL reunite because the separation is what pains the Lord greatly.

    Now in regards to the Immaculate Conception, I had learned Mary was conceived without sin stems from the idea that Mary who carried in her womb the Savior of humanity for 9 months, in Spirit and in Body was the perfect Ark of the New Covenant. Now, the womb of the woman who carried the Incarnate Lord, could not have been tainted with sin, lest the Devil have a foothold on the Lord.

    God says "I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your seed and her seed." (Gen. 3:15)

    The New Testament records that she first received the Holy Spirit when she conceived Jesus, thus making her the first recipient of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament. Gabriel announced that "the Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; hence the holy offspring to be born will be called the Son of God" (Luke 1:35). The language of this announcement is very similar to the image of "power of the Most High" overshadowing the Ark of the Covenant in Exodus 40:34-35, or the Temple in 1 Kings 8:10. Through the power of the Spirit, Mary became the new Ark of the Covenant and the new Temple because God dwelt fully within her in Jesus.

    The Gospel according to Luke alludes to several Old Testament passages in regards to the Ark of the Covenant:

    Luke 1:39 / 2 Sam. 6:2 - Luke's conspicuous comparison's between Mary and the Ark described by Samuel underscores the reality of Mary as the undefiled and immaculate Ark of the New Covenant. In these verses, Mary (the Ark) arose and went / David arose and went to the Ark. There is a clear parallel between the Ark of the Old and the Ark of the New Covenant.

    Luke 1:41 / 2 Sam. 6:16 - John the Baptist / King David leap for joy before Mary / Ark.

    Luke 1:43 / 2 Sam. 6:9 - How can the Mother / Ark of the Lord come to me?

    Luke 1:56 / 2 Sam. 6:11 and 1 Chron. 13:14 - Mary / the Ark remained in the house for about three months.

    Rev 11:19 - at this point in history, the Ark of the Old Covenant was not seen for six centuries (see 2 Macc. 2:7), and now it is finally seen in heaven. The Jewish people would have been absolutely amazed at this. However, John immediately passes over this fact and describes the "woman" clothed with the sun in Rev. 12:1. John is emphasizing that Mary is the Ark of the New Covenant and who, like the Old ark, is now worthy of veneration and praise. Also remember that Rev. 11:19 and Rev. 12:1 are tied together because there was no chapter and verse at the time these texts were written.

    Many early Christian writers (such as Justin Martyr and Irenaeus) noted that God allowed this whole plan of salvation to hinge on Mary's free response to Gabriel's message. Because of her "yes" to God, Mary is the New Eve, reversing the first Eve's "no." By the disobedience of Eve, all mankind became immersed in the bondage of sin. Mary's obedience to God opened the way for the saving work of Jesus. As St Irenaeus explained late in the second century in his famous work "Against the Heresies": "The knot of Eve's disobedience was loosed by the obedience of Mary. What the virgin Eve had bound in unbelief, the virgin Mary loosed through faith."

    Indeed, the Virgin Mary is a great example of Faith. It should be noted that titles and and honors bestowed upon her (like "the Mother of God") all stemmed from the Church's valiant efforts to preserve sound doctrine against heresies in regards to Christ's dual nature, being both human and divine. Mary always comes up since it is uniquely from Mary that Jesus took His human flesh (Mary's "seed": cf. Genesis 3:15; Rev 12:17; Romans 16:20). So indirectly BECAUSE of her close association with our Savior and our salvation, she is indirectly given great honor through the merits of her Son Jesus Christ, and by her unshaken faith.

    In this way, the Church has fulfilled Mary's spirit-filled prophecy: "From now on all generations will call me blessed" (Luke 1:48).

    In Exodus 25:11-21, the ark of the Old Covenant was made of the purest gold for God's Word. If Mary is the ark of the New Covenant, carrying the true Word of God (John 1:3) it can be reasoned she would be the purest vessel for the Word of God made flesh.

    In 2 Sam. 6:7 we see that the Ark is so holy and pure that when Uzzah touched it, the Lord slew him. 1 Chron. 13:9-10 shows another account of Uzzah and the Ark.

    These verses show that the Ark is undefiled. Mary the Ark of the New Covenant is even more immaculate and undefiled, spared by God from original sin so that she could bear His eternal Word in her womb. For God to dwell within Mary the Ark, Mary had to be conceived without sin. For Catholics, to argue otherwise would be to say that God would let the finger of Satan touch His Son made flesh. This is incomprehensible.

    In Luke 1:28, Gabriel greets Mary not with her name, but with the word/title "kecharitomene," or "full of grace." It is the past participle of "charitoo" and translates best as "made full of grace."

    In Semitic usage, a name expresses the reality of the person/thing to which it refers.

    This is a unique title given to Mary, and suggests a perfection of grace from a past event. Mary is not just "highly favored." She has been perfected in grace by God. "Full of grace" is only used to describe one other person - Jesus Christ in John 1:14. Paul also uses it to describe believers in Ephesians (I forget the verse :cry: ) to describe those who have been regenerated. But the fact that Gabriel addresses Mary as already "made full of grace" even before the conception of the Savior Jesus Christ, suggests she was redeemed beforehand through a special grace from God.

    Now remember that grace is a gift from God (cf. Ephesians 2:8, 3:7), therefore it is not earned. Mary did not earn her honor, she was preserved solely by the "grace" of God, as we can see in the title "kecharitomene." Her redemption came in a different way than did ours, yet she herself was saved by grace.

    But I also heard that many Orthodox believe Mary was cleansed from all sin at the Annunciation, when she gave her fiat to Gabriel. Is that accurate?
     
  16. MariaRegina

    MariaRegina Well-Known Member

    +12,119
    Eastern Orthodox
    Married
    My dearest Tim:

    Christ is in our midst!

    In Father Coniaris's book INTRODUCTION TO THE ORTHODOX CHURCH, he makes that very claim.

    However, this claim was never defined by an Ecumenical Council. Therefore, we do not have to believe it.

    Definitely, the Theotokos received a tremendous blessing when Our Lord, Savior and God came to dwell within her womb. She is the Holiest of Holies and the Ark who bore Christ our God.

    Hope this helps!

    Elizabeth
     
  17. Bastoune

    Bastoune Well-Known Member

    +47
    Catholic
    Thanks! Sorry my previous post was so long, but the "New Ark of the Covenant" angle in Catholic theology had never been touched on so I thought it important to bring up.
     
  18. MariaRegina

    MariaRegina Well-Known Member

    +12,119
    Eastern Orthodox
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    My dearest Tim:

    Christ is in our midst! He is and always shall be!

    Benedicamus Domine! Deo Gracias!

    You may find it interesting that St. Silouan of Mt. Athos, one of the most recent Orthodox Saints, stated that he previously had doubted that Mary was perfectly sinless. Then Our Lady spoke to him and confirmed that she was ever sinless and the Most Pure Mother of God.

    St. Vladimir's Seminary Press in Crestwood, New York, has several books on St. Silouan.

    Your sister in Christ,
    Elizabeth
     
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