Trouble understanding Filioque and the Father's "monarchy"
#21
The Tridentine Creed, issued by Pope Pius IV in 1563. (Red added by Blessed Pope Pius IX)

I likewise undoubtedly receive and profess all other things delivered, defined, and declared by the sacred Canons, and general Councils, and particularly by the holy Council of Trent, and by the ecumenical Council of the Vatican, particularly concerning the primacy of the Roman Pontiff and his infallible teaching.
Jovan-Marya of the Immaculate Conception Weismiller, T.O.Carm.

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#22
(05-20-2018, 01:35 AM)jovan66102 Wrote: The Tridentine Creed, issued by Pope Pius IV in 1563. (Red added by Blessed Pope Pius IX)

I likewise undoubtedly receive and profess all other things delivered, defined, and declared by the sacred Canons, and general Councils, and particularly by the holy Council of Trent, and by the ecumenical Council of the Vatican, particularly concerning the primacy of the Roman Pontiff and his infallible teaching.

What does this have to do with the current discussion? Don't get me wrong, I didn't start this to try and refute the filioque. On the contrary, I started it because I'm having difficulty understanding it. Some seem to have a better understanding of the filioque than others. For someone like me, who is not educated in philosophy or theology, it is difficult to understand. I want to gain a thorough understanding of the filioque so I feel more clarity with it and have a stronger belief in it. Right now it is "splinter" in my mind. It's bothering me because there are so many unanswered questions I have about it and I can't seem to find an answer that makes sense to me.

I hope my posts in this thread haven't made me sound combative or polemical. I apologize if they do, but that isn't my intention.

Right now what's bothering me is this: The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are all supposed to be one principal, correct? How does the Father and Son being one principal in spirating the Holy Spirit not break apart the one principal of the Trinity? Because when we say that the Father and Son are one principal, it seems as if it is morphing the Father and Son into one being. This would seem to lead to "binitarian" view of God. It also seems to imply when the Father and Son act as a "joint" or single principle, they are both the one source of divinity, when it is supposed to be the father who is the "fountainhead" of divinity.

I know in the Ukrainian Catholic catechism, it says the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father through the Son (Per Filium). At the present moment, Per Filium seems to make more sense to me. I know the Church says Filiqoue and Per Filium are equivalent, but it doesn't feel that way to me. How are they both essentially the same thing?

This website says the following (https://icucourses.com/pages/025-08-spir...oly-spirit):


Quote:Everything the Father has he communicates to the Son, except being Father (paternity). But it belongs to the Father that the Holy Spirit proceeds from him. Ergo, he also communicates that to the Son. Ergo, the Holy Spirit also proceeds from the Son.

This sounds more like Per Filium to me than it does Filioque.
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#23
(05-20-2018, 02:04 AM)Echo Wrote:
(05-20-2018, 01:35 AM)jovan66102 Wrote: The Tridentine Creed, issued by Pope Pius IV in 1563. (Red added by Blessed Pope Pius IX)

I likewise undoubtedly receive and profess all other things delivered, defined, and declared by the sacred Canons, and general Councils, and particularly by the holy Council of Trent, and by the ecumenical Council of the Vatican, particularly concerning the primacy of the Roman Pontiff and his infallible teaching.

What does this have to do with the current discussion?

It's another example of a Pope adding to a creed established by a Council.
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#24
Exactly!
Jovan-Marya of the Immaculate Conception Weismiller, T.O.Carm.

Vive le Christ-roi! Vive le roi, Louis XX!
Deum timete, regem honorificate.
Kansan by birth! Albertan by choice! Jayhawk by the Grace of God!
  “Qui me amat, amet et canem meum. (Who loves me will love my dog also.)” 
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My Blog 'Musings of an Old Curmudgeon'


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#25
(05-19-2018, 04:01 PM)Echo Wrote: [Image: Filioque.jpg]

The model on the left is what I was thinking of with that analogy.

That is the Thomistic analogy. The Father and Son coming together and acting with regard to the Holy Ghost as a single principle, Spirate the Holy Ghost.

Another analog which may help here is that the Filiation-Generation opposition of relation is one of a reflectivity. Like generates like. The Son is begotten by the Father intellectually reflecting upon Himself, which knowledge being a perfect knowledge and expression of Himself (Mental Word), it is a perfect reflection and thus a Person, like Himself. The only difference between the two Persons being that opposition of relation.

Now if the Holy Ghost were another "mental reflection" there would be no difference in relation between the Son and Holy Ghost. In the intellectual order there is no other possible relation which adequately distinguishes another person. But we have the order of the Will. In this order the Will seeks the Good and loves it as the Good, but this requires two things: The Lover and the Beloved. This is the Father and Son (but it is a mutual love), however, that mutual love is so perfect that it is a third Person, which is why the Holy Ghost is often spoken in terms of Charity and Love.

That is why it is from the Father and Son coming together in perfect Love that the Holy Ghost proceeds.

Yet it would not be inaccurate, as the Nicene Creed states, to say that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father. He does. Yet, it's important to understand that the articles of the Creed are starting points and not exhaustive statements.

While "through the son" is not incorrect, it can lead to a false understanding. Take the fountain analogy. If it is the second tier from which the third is filled, then is the third not really proceeding from the second as the active principle (thus one would say that the HG proceeds from the Son, which while not incorrect—but possibly heretical if misunderstood—is just as incomplete)? Or is the second just a mere passive instrument for the first (which means the Son is no different than a pencil is to a writer, but since we never say "the pencil wrote this" then we're still stuck with an incomplete understanding that does adequately distinguish the Second and Third Persons)?
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#26
(05-17-2018, 10:35 PM)MagisterMusicae Wrote: There is a serious issue here which begins not as much over theology, but over terminology.

Firstly, to say that the Father is the "cause" of the Son, Holy Ghost or the Trinity is dangerous, if not heretical.

That's part of the problem with language, however, and it gets especially dicey around mysteries.

What is meant by "cause"? If we mean in a very limited sense "a principle from which a thing flows", then this is a safe statement. Generally, however, cause means efficient cause, not just a principle. The efficient cause is that which brings a thing out of potency to to be actual. That is impossible within the Trinity, since it presumes God is not pure act. If we accept that there is causality in this sense, then we logically end in Arianism. 

The Catholic notion is that while God the Father is not cause, he is the principle from which the Son proceeds. That procession is generation-filiation. It is the opposed relations which make the persons distinct.

The problem with the Holy Ghost is that if He is God, since relation is the only possible way to distinguish the persons, there must be a unique way how He proceeds, otherwise there relation is the same, and there would be no distinction between the Son and Holy Ghost. If both processions are a generation-filiation, then there are simply two sons, and no Holy Ghost, but then the Sons would not be in any way distinct, meaning we could only have two persons.

The Procession of the Holy Ghost (often called Spiration) is not an opposition of relation to Paternity, or Filiation.

Thus the third Person must proceed in a different way, and this procession must distinguish the Third Person in some way from both the First and Second. The only way of relating to both is if the procession involves both. The Catholic theology therefore says that the Holy Ghost proceeds from God the Father and God the Son together as a single principle. This procession brings about a different relation between all three Persons.

Thus :

Paternity is opposed to Filiation
Spiration is neither opposed to Paternity, nor Filiation.
Spiration is opposed to Procession.

or

Father --> Son  (Generation)
Son --> Father (Filiation)
Father & Son --> Holy Ghost (Spiration)
Holy Ghost --> Father & Son (Procession)

The "Monarchy" of the Father is, like every other analogy we give, precisely that, an analogy. As the axiom has it "Omnis comparatio claudicat nisi in punctum comparationis." (Every comparison limp, save in the point of comparison).

That "monarchy" as to be understood to be limited to the point of comparison for which the analogy was intended. Like the "Lion of Judah" we are saying that Our Lord is royal, ferocious and awe-inspiring. We're not saying he had a blond mane, nor that he has a tail, large teeth, etc.

Similarly when we speak of the "Monarchy of the Father" we are referring to him as the Principle of Principles, First Cause, and Creator. We cannot over-extend the analogy to the point where we put it at war with other revealed truth (such as the equality of Persons in the Trinity).

Further, we cannot really speak of a "source" of divinity other than the Divine Nature itself. Each of the Persons shares this Nature equally and completely. None "receive" it. If we assert they did, we would fall into the Adoptionist heresy.

I've been doing more research and I think I'm getting a better understanding. I looked up Duns Scotus' approach to the Filioque. Scotus says that the Father could still spirate the Holy Spirit without the Son. However, as you, Aquinas, and the Rev. Joseph Pohle argued, processing from the Father alone is not really good enough to distinguish between the Son and Holy Spirit. Basically, when the Father processes the Son, that procession is called generation, and such a procession is only for one person. So to distinguish procession, the Father acts as a principal source of the essence and the Son acts as a derivative source. Now being a principal source doesn't mean the Father is the cause of the essence/divinity of the Trinity. It just essentially means that it first starts with the Father, who is unbegotten (https://books.google.com/books?id=C7U1DwAAQBAJ&pg=PA70&dq=proceeding+from+father+alone+son+and+spirit+indistinguishable&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiUh_3Ao5bbAhWKh1QKHZ4hCqAQ6AEINTAD#v=onepage&q=proceeding%20from%20father%20alone%20son%20and%20spirit%20indistinguishable&f=false).

If you were to have another procession of one person in the Trinity by the Father alone, how would you distinguish the Son and Spirit? This book from Rev. Pohle goes into it
https://books.google.com/books?id=iN4OAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA190&dq=one+procession+from+the+father+indistinguish+son+and+spirit&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiQr4znrJbbAhWJiFQKHQtPDLcQ6AEIQjAF#v=onepage&q=one%20procession%20from%20the%20father%20indistinguish%20son%20and%20spirit&f=false
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#27
EO polemics against the Filioque generally give it an understanding that we don't give it.  Like I've come to understand of the EO position on the primacy, their dogma is more "Rome must be wrong no matter what." 

In an EO polemic against the Council of Florence I came across recently, and in particular its resolution of the Filioque controversy, Georgios Scholarios (who was otherwise generally open to western thought) is quoted (favorably) as saying: "for as long as they profess the Filioque in the Creed, even though they deny ten thousand times the Dyarchy and Sabellian-like teaching, and other such things, or even should they renounce or state their intent of renouncing their teachings at some point, but still retain the Filioque, they still remain what they are." 

There is no reasoning with that.
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#28
(05-20-2018, 12:30 AM)The UPaul Wrote:
(05-19-2018, 06:30 PM)Klemens Wrote: That’s the big question. I myself believe the latter option (error of Vatican I, etc.). Changing the Symbol of Faith should never take place. Even the Bishops of Rome (Leo III, John VIII) forbade changing the words of the Symbol of Faith (the Filioque). Assuming that the change isn’t heretical, what is the point anyway, especially given that previous Bishops of Rome forbade their successors’ actions (change of the Symbol)?
Here is my thought. If the Symbol of Faith can be changed by one man, then what can’t be changed?

No Pope can bind his successor, since all have the same power given to St Peter by our Lord. That's why Quo primum and Quod a nobis aren't binding on future popes, and why Clement VIII and Urban VIII made changes to the Missal and Breviary despite what Pius V said.

The point of the Filioque was anti-Arian, since Arius denied that the Son was God. Clarifying that the Holy Ghost proceeds from both Father and Son means that the Son is God.

What can't be changed is the teaching of the Church. The Pope couldn't change the Creed to say that Christ isn't God, or that Mary is part of the Trinity, or that you can be re-baptised. But if the Pope wanted to add the Assumption and Immaculate Conception to the Creed, he could. The content of the Creed is doctrine, the exact wording isn't, necessarily - after all, English-speaking Catholics began the Creed with 'We believe' for several decades - and the Pope has jurisdiction over the liturgy.

Previous Popes said the same thing about adding St Joseph to the Canon; St John XXIII went ahead and did it, and most Latin Catholics use the revised Canon, even traditional Catholics.
The underlined statement can lead to many possible contradictions (which change represents right belief?). Not to mention that nobody can judge the pope. We're seeing this problem unfold before our very eyes with the current Bishop of Rome. I say better to keep the Symbol of Faith intact, while preaching around it. Change isn't good (and I outright reject the notion of "development of doctrine"). The standard of right belief in the Apostolic faith should be the Early Church Fathers and the Eight Ecumenical Councils (last one in 880). Any new teachings should be weighed against this standard. Anyway, I'm not going to derail this thread with Orthodox-Catholic debate about the papacy. I can only speak for myself and how my faith influences my worldview.

As for my status, I'm Orthodox in everything but name. I haven't formally converted only because it would cause big problems for my family (entirely Catholic). I don't even know how/if I would tell my family of my conversion if it took place (I'm sure they would eventually find out). Internally, I completely accept the Orthodox faith as my own. I hope to be able to freely convert, but right now, I cannot be a source of division within my own family.
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#29
(05-21-2018, 12:33 PM)Klemens Wrote:
(05-20-2018, 12:30 AM)The UPaul Wrote: No Pope can bind his successor, since all have the same power given to St Peter by our Lord. That's why Quo primum and Quod a nobis aren't binding on future popes, and why Clement VIII and Urban VIII made changes to the Missal and Breviary despite what Pius V said.

The underlined statement can lead to many possible contradictions (which change represents right belief?). Not to mention that nobody can judge the pope. We're seeing this problem unfold before our very eyes with the current Bishop of Rome.

Yet it is only logic ... to bind someone a person must have greater power than the one he is binding. If a simple judge could bind the Supreme Court, then that would lead to not only contradictions but anarchy.

Pope St. Pius V is as much the successor of St. Peter and Vicar of Christ as Pope Francis. When it comes to human law and discipline, they have equal power. When what they do is a reflection of divine law, both are bound by it, since Divine Law is superior to their power, and is something neither could change.

(05-21-2018, 12:33 PM)Klemens Wrote: I say better to keep the Symbol of Faith intact, while preaching around it.

The Symbol is intact. No one has changed what Nicaea and Constantinople proclaimed.

It is only liturgically and practically that the West has clarified one phrase by using "Filioque" to explain precisely how the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father, and thus quell any Sabellian or Pneutomachian tendencies to diminish the divinity of the Holy Ghost and also to prevent the confusion of two processions form one Person and the resultant relations (which if misunderstood could undermine orthodoxy).

The Catholic Church does not say one errs if using the original Nicaea-Constantantinopolean Symbol. We just add a word to clarify the theology and prevent error.

It would be the equivalent of an Orthodox saying, "I believe in one Holy, catholic, orthodox and Apostolic Church." He's not changing the belief but clarifying that he believes the Church is that Society that is not only one, universal and flows from the Apostles, but also has the "right belief".

It would be different if someone then said that the original were wrong, but using extra words to clarify does not change the original, nor make it not "intact". Were that the case future errors not addressed in Nicaea could never be corrected without harming the Symbol's "integrity".

(05-21-2018, 12:33 PM)Klemens Wrote: Change isn't good (and I outright reject the notion of "development of doctrine").

Why? Does the Holy Ghost not operate any longer? What passage of Scripture or Apostolic tradition tells us that the Holy Ghost will cease helping men to understand the Faith at some point in time.

Was not Nicaea a "development of doctrine" in order to more plainly explain the divinity of the Son better than what Scripture does?

The Catholic does not think "development of doctrine" means any more than just this, the Church is clarifying and explaining the Faith which is already existing by correcting errors and sorting out debated questions.

(05-21-2018, 12:33 PM)Klemens Wrote: The standard of right belief in the Apostolic faith should be the Early Church Fathers and the Eight Ecumenical Councils (last one in 880). Any new teachings should be weighed against this standard. Anyway, I'm not going to derail this thread with Orthodox-Catholic debate about the papacy. I can only speak for myself and how my faith influences my worldview.

Well you then accept one more than many Orthodox, but then why limit it to eight? Why do we need any such Councils? Are we not meant to have the same Faith as the Apostles? Isn't the very fact of having any council a "development of doctrine"?

We can completely leave aside the Papal issue, in fact. What about councils in general.

Either you accept the principle that the Church can set discipline and clarify doctrine via councils, or you do not.

If you do, then setting a numerical limit no matter where is wholly arbitrary. If not, then allowing any, including Nicaea, is verboten.
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#30
(05-21-2018, 03:27 PM)MagisterMusicae Wrote: Well you then accept one more than many Orthodox, but then why limit it to eight? Why do we need any such Councils? Are we not meant to have the same Faith as the Apostles? Isn't the very fact of having any council a "development of doctrine"?

We can completely leave aside the Papal issue, in fact. What about councils in general.

Either you accept the principle that the Church can set discipline and clarify doctrine via councils, or you do not.

If you do, then setting a numerical limit no matter where is wholly arbitrary. If not, then allowing any, including Nicaea, is verboten.
I acknowledge that there is no potential numerical limit to Ecumenical Councils. But there are such things as Robber Councils. I myself subscribe to the Orthodox definition of ecumenicity. Ecumenicity is based on a Council’s agreement (absence of contradictions) with that which Christ taught to the Apostles. The entire Church must accept that this continuity exists for a council to be ecumenical. Usually this acceptance was relayed by the Patriarchs/bishops (when the need was pressing, this was often relayed immediately). Perhaps the best evidence for a Council’s ecumenicity is its affirmation at all subsequent councils. 
 
The first Seven Councils are acknowledged as ecumenical by the entire Church (as represented by the bishops) and their ecumenicity was likewise confirmed at each subsequent Council. Moreover, the lens of scrutiny for these Seven Councils would have been far closer chronologically to the days/teaching of the Apostles/Fathers than a present-day council. Its hard to imagine today being in much closer chronological proximity to Christ, the Apostles, and the Fathers. But this is a reality that must be acknowledged. As such, I trust that the canons of these Councils are in agreement with (and don’t simply co-exist with) Christ’s teachings. Adding and subtracting nothing.
The first Seven Councils defined the Trinity, Christ’s Nature, the Bogarodica, things that required urgent attention because all sorts of heterodoxy would prevail if these things weren’t defined. But once they were defined they were defined. 
Finally, an Ecumenical Council is called on the basis of unresolved controversy, not on a whim. But such unresolvable controversies have not come into existence since the Canons of the Ecumenical Councils basically resolve any "primal” heresies/heterodoxy.   

While the entire Church has not yet acknowledged the ecumenicity of the 879-880 Council, individual Churches (Constantinople, Antioch, and Jerusalem) have acknowledged the Sofian (Fourth Constantinopolitan) Council as ecumenical. As an Orthodox Christian, I too acknowledge the Sofian Council as ecumenical. As such I reject the Robber Council of 869-870 because of its errors. I acknowledge the Sofian Council precisely because it repudiates the Robber Council (the change to the Symbol of Faith). This is why I limit myself to only Eight Ecumenical Councils. 

In short, the standard of reflecting without contradiction the Teachings of Christ and Apostles (and previous councils deemed to do so) offers a far better standard than one of authority (ratification by one bishop/patriarch). Whats more, even if the participants of a council were to all agree on heresy, they can be countered by those members of the Church who did not participate. 

I cannot say that the Orthodox Church is visually identical to the Apostolic time. But any additions were/are weighed against the standard of conformity to the Apostolic teachings (and that which contains Apostolic teachings). And certainly no one man/bishop can come in and adopt a contradictory doctrine/practise claiming that such a thing had always existed in "seed form”, etc. 
  
All that I write is simply a reflection of the Faith that I now live in. I believe it to be true and came to it by my own road (not an easy road). I’m no longer in conflict regarding my place (Catholic or Orthodox). I am definitely Orthodox, but I do maintain a Catholic presence (Mass, etc.) for purely external reasons.
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