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Featured Why Filioque is heretical and not Aeriel toll houses?

Discussion in 'Denomination Specific Theology' started by A sojourner in Christ, Jul 3, 2017.

  1. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Handmaid of God † CF Senior Ambassador Supporter

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    Indeed.

    It's like marriage. We don't want people coming in, then leaving at the first bump, or not knowing really what they're getting into. That would not be responsible care of the soul - if we believe ourselves to be the Church, then to leave can be a serious issue, and we don't wish to make anyone guilty of that.
     
  2. GingerBeer

    GingerBeer Cool and refreshing with a kick!

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    The filioque is not heretical. It's completely orthodox and completely catholic despite what some say.
     
  3. chevyontheriver

    chevyontheriver Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Right.

    About some other things you wrote in this thread recently: I had never heard of toll-houses before this thread. Seems odd but then almost everything new can seem odd. You mentioned some Orthodox that are quick to exclude everybody else. Before I started in with Christian Forums a bit over a year ago, I was of the opinion that the Orthodox were a lot like Catholics and that eventually we would get together again, maybe within my lifetime. I didn't know many Orthodox to get that opinion, but I have read a lot of the Fathers, plenty of them Eastern. Then I ran into them, living Orthodox in these fora. I gave up on my previous idea after the spiritual arrogance I saw. I'm willing to think, based on what you wrote, that maybe not all Orthodox are so nasty, and that we might, probably after I'm dead and gone, have a some sort of a future as one Church again.
     
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  4. raffadalbo

    raffadalbo New Member

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    I think theological issues are of different kinds:
    * with most protestants we (Catholics and Orthodox) have deep differences concerning, for instance, the Eucharist, the Virgin Mary, bishops as successors of the Apostles etc.
    * between Catholics and Orthodoxes, the theological issues are much smaller - e.g. the filioque, that maybe is not even a true difference, but only a different emphasis on agreed matters (of course, this point is to be checked, and discussions between theologians are going on, I agree)

    But there are traditional differences as well. Some people (not all) like to stress differences in rites, in customs, in words... they feel that a religion is a kind of "tribe belonging". This is dangerous, it is not what God wants from us (IMHO).
     
  5. Hamlet7768

    Hamlet7768 World's Second-Worst Polemicist

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    On the topic of the Filioque: I haven't seen the Catholic point-of-view put forward inasmuch as procession is concerned, so I'll have a go. Generally speaking, outside of the Fathers, one of the best sources of understanding the whys of the Catholic faith is the Angelic Doctor, St Thomas Aquinas. In his Summa Theologica, Part 1 Question 36 deals with the Holy Spirit. He asks and answers the following questions:

    1. Is the Holy Spirit the proper name of a Divine Person?

    2. Does the Holy Spirit proceed from the Father and the Son? (more specifically, does the Holy Spirit proceed from the Son?)

    3. Does the Holy Spirit proceed from the Father through the Son?

    4. Are the Father and the Son one principle of the Holy Spirit?

    The answer to all of these, according to Aquinas, is yes. The first topic isn't something anyone disagrees on (in this thread, anyway), so we'll leave it be, and I'll attempt to explain Aquinas's arguments for 2, 3, and 4.

    Earlier, Aquinas establishes that the persons of God, because they are one in essence, can only be distinguished from each other by their relations to each other; that is, the Son is distinguished from the Father because the Former is begotten eternally of the Latter. By this logic, if the Holy Sprit proceeds from the Father alone, then nothing distinguishes Him from the Son, since they are one in essence, as the Father and the Son are one in essence.

    Therefore, Aquinas argues, the Holy Spirit and the Son must have opposite relations to each other, which must be relations of origin (established in Question 28), that is, one must proceed from the other. Nobody (that Aquinas knew of, or that I know of) confesses that the Son processes from the Holy Spirit, so the Holy Spirit must proceed from the Son.

    Now, 3 and 4 address the question of the phrasing through the Son, which you have noted, Anastasia, would be acceptable to some Eastern Orthodox. As noted above, Aquinas also argues for this phrasing, what might be called "ex filio" as compared to "filioque" in the same part of the Creed.

    To grossly simplify Aquinas's argument for ex filio, he points out that the preposition "through" can refer to many different relations of things to an action. For example, we can say that an artisan works through love of gain (a final cause), or through love of art (a formal cause), or even through the command of another (a motive cause). All of these refer to why an artisan works. But we can also say the artisan works through his tools, which does not refer to why he works, but how he works. And it is in this sense that we say the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father through the Son.

    Finally, on the topic of one principle: Aquinas argues that the Father and Son are one principle of the Holy Spirit because they are one in all things except their relations to each other; that is that one is Begetter and one is Begotten.

    On a side note: Aquinas also asserts that the term "proceed" can refer to taking origin in any way, thus why he does not appear to have argued for "ex filio" to replace "filioque" in the Latin translation of the Creed. To draw on the artisan metaphor again, one can rightly say that a sculpture comes from the artisan and his tools, while understanding that really, the sculpture comes from the artisan's mind, through his tools.

    I hope all of this makes sense, but in short, I think there needs to be frank and open dialogue about what the Churches teach and do not teach. For example, some Catholics would argue that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the love between the Father and the Son, which is completely at odds with any patristic or Thomistic understanding of the Trinity, and not actually taught by the Church. But an Eastern Orthodox may hear this, and be hardened in heart because, well, what need do you have of other witnesses when you hear the error from their own mouths? So without realizing it, both of them have hindered hopes of reconciliation.

    All of this aside, whether the Roman Bishop had the authority to insert this into the Creed is another debate entirely.
     
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  6. buzuxi02

    buzuxi02 Veteran

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    In Orthodoxy the Father is the sole causality of the entire Godhead. From Him alone the Logos is eternally begotten and from the Father alone the Spirit proceeds out of.
    The Son sends the Spirit in time but in the hypostasis of the Father is the entire source of the Trinity.

    As far as toll houses, there is no defined explanation or doctrine about them. No council ever discussed them, they don't deal with Christology. There are some prayers asking God to spare us from demonic activity and accusations on our deathbeds. There is no declaration of heresy because there is no need to review, define or clarify anything.

    The fillioque deals with the nature of God. It was an addition to the Nicene Creed centuries later, which adds additional words to scripture (John 15:26), was further discussed in councils in the 9th century and condemned, which reiterated Chalcedon that nothing be added or taken away from this Confession.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2017
  7. GingerBeer

    GingerBeer Cool and refreshing with a kick!

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    Many USA protestants have converted to one form or another of Orthodoxy and I think some of them bring their Protestant baggage with them so some of them still see Catholicism as the enemy.
     
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  8. prodromos

    prodromos Senior Veteran Supporter

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    I have to ask what was deficient with the following clauses of the creed, both of which are incompatible with Arianism:
    "Of one being with the Father"
    "Light of light, True God of True God"​
     
  9. Hamlet7768

    Hamlet7768 World's Second-Worst Polemicist

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    I wouldn't call "filioque" necessary for dealing with Arianism, but either "filioque" or "ex filio" would emphasize the unity of essence between the Father and the Son, as Aquinas notes in describing them as "one principle".
     
  10. prodromos

    prodromos Senior Veteran Supporter

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    Which necessarily makes the Holy Spirit lesser, which is the whole problem with the filioque.
     
  11. Philip_B

    Philip_B all shall be well and all shall be well and ... Supporter

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    Embedded in the Filioque controversy are three key issues.
    1. Procession
    2. Procedure
    3. Primacy
    Procession is a theological issue and both Augustine and Aquinas make the point that where the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Son, the Holy Spirit has in the first instance proceeded from the Father.

    Procedure has to do with the matter of how the creed was formed a (a conciliar document) and affirmed at three of the Oecumenical Councils and at the Council of Ephesus anathemas were invoked on those who would change the Creed by adding to or taking away from the document of the Council.

    Primacy has to do with the manner in which the decision was taken, denying neither the office of the keys, nor the authority of the councils, asking the question is the Patriarch of the West has the authority to change the document of the Councils without a council.

    To argue for a theology of double procession is not the same as inserting the Filioque into the Nicene Creed. It is clear that many in the West prior to the Great Schism whilst embracing a theology of double procession were clear that they did not insert it in the creed.

    At the end of the 8th Century Charlemagne seems to have been keen on it, perhaps theologically to address the heresy of Spanish Adoptionism (a corruption of the Pauline kenotic christology) or politically to distinguish the western empire from the Byzantines. The insertion in Rome in 1014 seems to have been immersed in the politics of the day and not a theological decision. From there it went from bad to worse.
     
  12. beebert

    beebert Member

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    Toll houses isn't a dogma in the orthodox church. Some believe in it, just as some in orthodoxy believe in universal salvation.
     
  13. Constantine the Sinner

    Constantine the Sinner Well-Known Member

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    The Orthodox would probably object if you tried to cram Ariel Toll Houses into the Creed, actually. Whereas if the Latins never tried to stick the Filioque in the Creed, it most likely wouldn't have been controversial.

    The idea that the devil and demons render particular judgement (whereas Christ renders general judgement) has an old attestation, it's in Saint Athanasius's Life of Saint Anthony.

    As for the problems of the Filioque, I've already addressed that extensively here: The Trinity in Catholicism vs. Orthodoxy
     
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  14. A sojourner in Christ

    A sojourner in Christ Disciple of Lord Jesus Christ

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    My my, seems like I'm late..I will try to reply you all!
    Peace and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all~Amen.
    S.k
     
  15. A sojourner in Christ

    A sojourner in Christ Disciple of Lord Jesus Christ

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    Thank you! Yea..I shall wait and most probably discern God's will.

    Beautiful advice, friend. Yes! I'm certain that by theology or history alone we can't determine the true church but through Spirit intervention. It was my thirst for truth that landed me to Christianity, I can't extinguish it or else it will erase my personality. Thank you so much for your prayers, I know this prayers shall help me to find my path (yeah that ancient path which God Himself laid as foundation of truth upon Earth).
    S.k
     
  16. A sojourner in Christ

    A sojourner in Christ Disciple of Lord Jesus Christ

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    Constantine,
    Maybe, but they didn't tampered original creed as we know that in West they were many creeds in existence that were used for confession of faith other than Oecumenical defined creeds (like Apostle and Athanasius). Filioque too can be found in patristics, but the worst argument I ever heard-- latin fathers were inferior because they didn't know greek, St Ambrose may not be happy.

    Anastasia, I agree as both the churches were apart for thousands of year. They developed differently even without bridge of understanding. Unification either is improbable or impossible.
     
  17. A sojourner in Christ

    A sojourner in Christ Disciple of Lord Jesus Christ

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    Yes! Well holy fathers always tolerated small differences, if such was case then the schism due to quartodecimanism is justifiable?
    Then we have holy father St Gregory of Nazianzus teaching;

    Others, mutually divided, drive East and West
    into confusion, and God has abandoned them to their flesh, for which they make war, giving their name and their allegiance to others: my god’s Paul, yours is Peter, his is Apollos.
    But Christ is pierced with nails to no purpose.
    For it’s not from Christ that we’re called, but from men,
    we who possess his honor by hands and by blood.
    So much have our eyes been clouded over by a love
    of vain glory, or gain, or by bitter envy,
    pining away, rejoicing in evil: these have a well-earned misery.
    And the pretext is the Trinity, but the reality is faithless hate.
    Each is two-faced, a wolf concealed against the sheep,
    and a brass pot hiding a nasty food for the children.
    (St. Gregory of Nazianzus, poem 2.1.13, To the Bishops, vv. 151-163; PG 37, 1239-1240)
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2017
  18. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Handmaid of God † CF Senior Ambassador Supporter

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    I can't remember who said so, but I remember a quote that schism was a worse sin, even over something I'd consider pretty important in one Church, such as the date we celebrate the Resurrection. Even though the Orthodox operate on two calendars, we remain in communion.

    A nasty spirit against brothers over differences in general isn't good and usually smacks of pride on some level. But it must be balanced by steadfastly standing for truth. It's not an easy balance to find, but fortunately we have Saints who set very good examples. And I'm convinced that coming from a heart of truly loving others is the best guide.

    It can be difficult online though. I try to give others the benefit of the doubt, since many times short posts can be taken in different tones. And it worries me lately, since I can't type as much, and I worry about causing offense where none was intended.

    As for those who really are deliberately abrasive, perhaps they are new to certain truths and their zeal not yet tempered. Or they've fallen in with bad examples, and I pray God will guide them to better examples.

    I've found those who draw hard lines, including only a tiny minority on "the right side" (with themselves), ESPECIALLY if they presume to condemn everyone else (in God's place) are usually a spiritually damaging crowd, whether they claim Orthodoxy, Catholicism, or some kind of Protestantism. I've seen all these cases.

    But I really do try to give people the benefit of the doubt. I've watched some come around. :)
     
  19. Constantine the Sinner

    Constantine the Sinner Well-Known Member

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    The Filioque as intended in the Latin interpolation, to mean that the Son causes the Spirit, cannot be found in Patristics, no. The Spirit comes to us through the Son, yes, but that is a bit different.
     
  20. Hamlet7768

    Hamlet7768 World's Second-Worst Polemicist

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    As I already covered, Aquinas interprets "filioque" and "ex filio" as equivalent. Furthermore, the Catholic Church has dogmatically defined that either phrasing is acceptable, and moreover that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son as from one principle, because the Son is one with the Father in all things except His sonship and the Father's fathership.

    In addition, the Catholic Church has also acknowledged that you cannot rightfully add the Filioque in the Greek of the Creed, because of the unique connotations of "proceeds" in Greek and only Greek. And indeed, when the Pope has recited the Creed in Greek, he says it without the Filioque.

    So, the real issue is whether "and the Son" can be accepted as an alternative phrasing of "through the Son," and whether the Pope had authority to add the phrase. As far as the latter goes, my research into the history leads me closer to concluding that it was imprudent, though not necessarily heretical per se.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2017
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