The word filioque in Latin means "and son."  Basically, it is the claim that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and Son. If I'm not mistaken, it was added to the Nicene Creed after Chalcedon, so when this doctrine was codified by the Western Church, the Oriental Orthodox Churches had already separated and were not involved in the resulting controversy. Defenders of the Filioque claim that the assertion that the Holy Spirit proceeds from both the Father and the Son is supported by the Bible (John 15:26) and Sts Athanasius and Cyril of Alexandria. Why does the Eastern Orthodox Church reject the Filioque? Does the Coptic Orthodox Church take the same position as the Eastern Orthodox?


  • edited November 2017
    We reject the Filioque because we believe the Father is the ultimate ETERNAL origin of both the Son and the Spirit. This is why He is called Father.

    Some Present-day Roman Catholics (RCs) have admitted that there might be some semantics in this issue, although the extent of semantics in history is yet to be debated. These RCs say that the word used in Latin “procedit” does not carry the same meaning as the Greek word “ekporenesthai”. The Greek is strictly “originating from”, whereas the Latin is much loosely defined as being “sent from” or “coming from”, but not NECESSARILY originating from. There is no indication from Cyril and Athanasius that they believed the Spirit originated from both the Father and the Son, but yes, many times they mentioned Christ having equal power in sending the Spirit. So our rejection of the Filioque does not disagree with the theology of Athanasius and Cyril.
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