Filioque

edited December 1969 in Non-Orthodox Inquiries
In the hopes of fostering understanding between the Catholic and Coptic Orthodox Churches, what is the Coptic Orthodox understanding of the Catholic teaching on filioque?

Blessings

Comments

  • It is illogical.
    Non-Biblically traced.
    And a heresy.
    There will never be agreement on the issue from the Orthodox perspective.
  • what is filioque? google says its just the trinity. am i missing something?
  • Filique is a part fo the creed which the Romans added, but was not accepted by the Orthodox Church.

    Orthodox Creed "And we believe in the holy Ghost, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceedeth from the father."

    Catholic Creed "And we believe in the holy Ghost, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceedeth from the father and the son"

    As ilovesaintmark has said, it is a herecy and not accepted by the Coptic Orthodox Church.
  • what's the difference if you have "and the Son" in there. I know there is something wrong but please explain because i am not fully understanding. The Son is the same as the Father so what's the problem?
  • Well the Son is not the same as the Father. Nor is the Father the same as the Spirit, nor the Son the same as the Spirit.

    Therefore it matters that we keep the distinctions which have been revealed to us by God in the Scriptures, where we are taught...

    John 15:26  But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me.

    It is also the case that the Father is the source of the Godhead, which he shares with the Son and the Holy Spirit. If the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father then we see that the Father is the sole source of the Godhead, and that the Son and the Holy Spirit share equally in the divinity of the Father, since the Son is begotten of the Father. But if the Holy Spirit derives from the Father AND the Son then it does not appear that the Holy Spirit is equally divine. Nor does it appear that the Father is the source of the Godhead, since the Holy Spirit is said to derive from the Father and the Son and not the Father alone.

    Of course there are other issues, such as the fact that the Roman Church is not competent to change the Creed unilaterally, as it has done. But it is a positive sign that the Roman Church is starting to use the Creed in its original and Orthodox form. It would seem that the Roman Church wishes to be able to reconsider what it means by the filioque, and if it is able to authoritatively decide that it means only that the Holy Spirit proceeds FROM the Father, THROUGH the Son, that is from the Father as sole source, and then through the Son into the world, then there would be grounds for agreement. This is not how the flioque has been understood in the past though. And the Roman Church has even suggested at some times that it is the Orthodox who have missed something out of the creed, rather than the Roman Church which has uncanonically added to it.

    Father Peter
  • There are several differences between the Coptic Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church, and the filoque is one of them. It is notorious in that it was due to this dogma that the great schism occurred in 1054.

    I foolishly used to think that its not a big deal, but it is quite an essential issue.

    The Father IS the source. From the source proceeds His Word, and the Holy Spirit.
    If the role of the Father changes, if the Holy Spirits proceeds from the Son and the Father this then changes the role of a Triune God. A Triune God where all persons in the Trinity are Equal. This has now made the Son the same as the Father in His role.

    The Son proceeds from the Father. This is a perpetual procession. Let's be clear about that.

    When we say "proceed", it may give the impression that what has come forth from its origin did not exist before. But this is NOT the case with the Trinity. The Son proceeds from the father. He is a perpetual Son to a perpetual Father; co-existing with the Father, perpetually united in the Trinity.

    The Holy Spirit also proceeds from the Father.

    To say that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the 2nd Person of the Trinity (The Logos) would mean that there is an imbalance or change or roles between them.

    I don't know what led the RC to go off and excommunicate the Patriarch of Constantinople over this issue. There was no council to discuss the Filoque, and no prior warning. The catholics not only anathematized the rest of the Holy Patriarchates of the Apostolic Church, but it was done in the cruelest and unChristian way imaginable.

    During a service in the Church of the Holy Wisdom (or Agios Sophia), the Roman Catholic emissary walked right up to the alter during the mass, and placed the bull excommunicating the Patriarch, there and then during the Holy Mass. As he walked out, a deacon ran after him, pleading with him not to leave. The cardinal then said something along the lines: "What I am doing God will judge" - and brushed the sand off his sandals.

  • Here is a post i posted on my blog on the issue - a simple overview

    http://stnoufer.wordpress.com/2010/05/25/filoque/#more-792

    Bish
    www.stnoufer.wordpress.com
  • Yet again an expression of the Empire, extending its hand.  The Roman Empire.
  • If It is true to say that christ underwent two births,that is,one born of the Father before all ages and the second born of the Virgin Mary,would it be theologically wrong to say that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the father through the Son ( sent by the Son to glorify the Son) to do the earthly mission? Does the addition of the Filioque regarding the double procession refer to the eternal procession or the temporary mission?  I have no idea when and where the Filioque was first added to the creed,by if my memory serves me right,it was an idea put forward by St Augustin, also a saint in the Orthodox Church.
  • Augustine is not canonically a saint in the Oriental Orthodox communion.
  • JY,Thanks. But there is  a St Augustine Coptic Orthodox church in the US.

    I found a website: http://www.suscopts.org/staugustineaugusta/index_files/Page585.htm
  • It was entered into the Western Church in the 6t Cenury after the Council of Toledo, which, by any standard, was a "Here are some new Roman Laws" council which seemed to discuss legal matters over Theological ones.
    They also used to as a Chance to clamp down on the Jews living in the newly reclaimed Spain, and to ban crying at funerals.

    As I stated before, the clause was a muscle stretch by Rome, and unfortunately for them, one which severed that arm from the body. Rome should never have tried to do anything behind the back of the other Patriarchs, especially when they were already dealing with linguistic issues between Rome and the Byzantines. This and the crowning of Charlemagne as Roman Emperor in Rome, rather than the Traditional crowning in Constantinople were foolish, arrogant displays of Authority which, i feel, have led to Rome being associated with Arrogance and shocking legalistic obsession in the Roman Church.
  • [quote author=DanieM link=topic=9358.msg115599#msg115599 date=1276641311]
    It was entered into the Western Church in the 6t Cenury after the Council of Toledo, which, by any standard, was a "Here are some new Roman Laws" council which seemed to discuss legal matters over Theological ones.
    They also used to as a Chance to clamp down on the Jews living in the newly reclaimed Spain, and to ban crying at funerals.

    As I stated before, the clause was a muscle stretch by Rome, and unfortunately for them, one which severed that arm from the body. Rome should never have tried to do anything behind the back of the other Patriarchs, especially when they were already dealing with linguistic issues between Rome and the Byzantines. This and the crowning of Charlemagne as Roman Emperor in Rome, rather than the Traditional crowning in Constantinople were foolish, arrogant displays of Authority which, i feel, have led to Rome being associated with Arrogance and shocking legalistic obsession in the Roman Church.


    Daniel,thank you for this information. I never knew that the tampering with creed started in Spain. So is the the doctrine of the double procession in itself heretical or does it pass as a matter of theological expression or opinion?
  • The Roman Catholic doctrine is different to the Orthodox one.

    The Roman Catholics teach that the Holy Spirit proceeds FROM the Father AND the Son.

    The Orthodox teach that the Holy Spirit proceeds FROM the Father THROUGH the Son.

    These are entirely different. I have read much very serious and academic Catholic material which genuinely attempts to bridge this gap. But it is a gap. It will be necessary for the Roman Catholics to reject the idea that the Holy Spirit proceeds FROM the Son, and clearly interpret this doctrine as being related to the giving of the Holy Spirit to the world and therefore THROUGH the Son.

    The Catholic Catechism, the official description of the Catholic faith, says...

    The Holy Spirit is eternally from Father and Son; He has his nature and subsistence at once (simul) from the Father and the Son. He proceeds eternally from both as from one principle and through one spiration. . . .

    This is not at all the same as the Orthodox view and does indeed make the Son as well as the Father the very source of the Holy Spirit. The Scriptures are clear on this point, as is the Nicene-Constantinopolitan creed, 'and in the Holy Spirit who proceeds from the Father', and not 'from the Father and the Son'.

    Father Peter
  • The council of Florence 1431-1445. The majority of the Byzantine Bishops decided to side with the Latins, in order to save their beloved empire from the Muslims. One man stood against Rome, and here is my favorite quote from him: "I neither recognize nor accept the teachings of the westerners, for I have evidence that they are corrupt. There is no room for concession."
    When St. Mark of Ephesus first addressed the council and went into the long history of heresy and schism, the priests and monks of the Latin church were amazed, some even converting to Orthodoxy. Because of this Cardinal Julian Cesarini, later Pope Eugene IV, decreed that the council be only for Bishops. St Mark, even though he is not a saint in the Coptic church, still stands as a symbol of boldness and how we should stand firm in our position against the Latin church.
  • [quote author=Ηεζεκιελ link=topic=9358.msg115598#msg115598 date=1276640975]
    JY,Thanks. But there is  a St Augustine Coptic Orthodox church in the US.

    I found a website: http://www.suscopts.org/staugustineaugusta/index_files/Page585.htm


    Oh wow, I must be mistaken then or thinking of a different Augustine. My mistake
  • As far as I can see Augustine of Hippo is not in the Coptic Synaxarium, and I can't recall him being quoted by St Severus.

    I wonder when he became popular in the modern Coptic Church and why?

    Father Peter
  • Here is are some interesting thoughts:  If the filioque was declared by the Latin Church, does that negate their previous acceptance of Nicea, and Ephesus?  Does it mean that the Fathers of Nicea and Ephesus are heretics?  Does it mean that the Latin Church of the 11th Century is more 'orthodox' than the Latin Church of the 4th and 5th Centuries?  Does it mean that possibly the Latin Pontiffs of the 4th and 5th Century were fallible [relative to the 11th Century]?

    [Moderator: Let us remain civil and polite at all times please]
  • From what I have been taught (Good Old Church History lectures) the filioque clause was just one of hose things which was an "addition" to the creed, rather than a reforming. The fact that it was added during a power tug-of-war between Constantinople and Rome is pure coincidence. ;)

    Rome has always had a tendancy to add these things, and get away with them, such as when the mysterious document "the donation of Constantine" which happened to give the Pope all legal power over Rome just as he was planning military conquest of Italy. But of course this is all coincidence...not fraud ;)

    If this seems a bit sarcastic, I apologise, but on this topic I cannot help myself. The Filioque was the most deplorable power play in Rome-Eastern relations. To change the creed which was formed in an Ecumenical council is to be so arrogant as to try and play the role of editor to the will of God. To chop and Change the statement of faith to suit ones own view and and your polical situation rather than that of the church is Heresy and nothing less..

    Pray for me,
    Daniel
  • [quote author=ilovesaintmark link=topic=9358.msg115651#msg115651 date=1276721712]
    Here is are some interesting thoughts:  If the filioque was declared by the Latin Church, does that negate their previous acceptance of Nicea, and Ephesus?  Does it mean that the Fathers of Nicea and Ephesus are heretics?  Does it mean that the Latin Church of the 11th Century is more 'orthodox' than the Latin Church of the 4th and 5th Centuries?  Does it mean that possibly the Latin Pontiffs of the 4th and 5th Century were fallible [relative to the 11th Century]?

    [Moderator: Let us remain civil and polite at all times please]


    We could also say something similar to the Eastern Orthodox in the 4th council. We accepted both definitions on the Nature of Christ, they rejected ours, which was defined by St Cyril in the 3rd council, whom they accept. So they accept St Cyril as a saint and accept the 3rd council AND his definition, but they reject it at the 4th council, so they are somewhat hypercritical. I do not consider the Eastern Orthodox heretical by any means.

    I do believe that it was very early that the Latins started to go awry. Leading up to the 4th council, Pope Leo wrote a letter to Eutyches praising him, while he was still excommunicated, THEN has a problem with St Dioscorus for allowing him back into the church after Eutyches confessed and repented. I believe it was St Basil who wrote to St Athanasius and in that letter he refers to the Latins as having raised brows, another way of saying they think they are better than everyone else.

    We do have to be cautious in our words, but I dont hesitate in considering the Latins as heretics, where as the protestants were never part of our church so we cant really place that label on them, even though many of them adhere to strange doctrines, they are ignorant of Orthodoxy so its kind of not their fault.
  • [quote author=peterfarrington link=topic=9358.msg115650#msg115650 date=1276721480]
    As far as I can see Augustine of Hippo is not in the Coptic Synaxarium, and I can't recall him being quoted by St Severus.

    I wonder when he became popular in the modern Coptic Church and why?

    Father Peter


    Thanks all of you for the fine answers!

    Fr Peter, I have not been fortunate to find more info on the canonization history of St Augustine in the COC, apart from the short reply posted in the Q 's and A's section of Suscopts.

    "If Saint Augustine is canonized by our church as a saint; why isn't he in our Synaxarium or Antiphonarium?"

     "St. Augustine is considered a saint in our Church. There are saints mainly from the West such as St. Jerome and St. Ambrose who, like St. Augustine, are not mentioned in the Synaxarium or the Antiphonarium. This however, does not diminish their value as great saints in the Church."
  • There are indeed many Western saints who are not mentioned in the Synaxarium. My own church is named after St Alban and St Athanasius. St Alban is the proto-martyr of the British Isles and was martyred in the Decian persecution.

    It is not so much the fact of Augustine being considered a saint, but the reason and process by which he seems to have become so popular just now in the Coptic Orthodox Church when he is not normally considered a major figure by other Orthodox, not least because of some of his problematic teachings.

    It seems that almost the most important source of patristic quotes at the moment is Augustine, and that seems rather strange within an Orthodox context. This is why I wonder how and why he has become so dominant?

    Father Peter
  • Thanks Abouna for the clarity. I once held the view that Catholics really did think that "and the Son" was equivalent to "through the Son", as I read their Apologetics. But having now read what their catechism says about the issue, it is clear that officially the Catholic Church is wrong, and these apologists, if genuine, aren't really upholding the official dogma of the church, but rather the traditions of the Church fathers, rather.
  • Dear Father Peter,

    I think the COC has witnessed an openness for gathering more knowledge, encouraged by an increasing educational activity of its members. This went parallel with important printing and communication advances, so now we are in a better situation to understand, assimilate, discern right from wrong with God's guidance and exchange with others a lot more.

    This has been the case during HH Pope Kyrillos VI era. This has been increasing steadily, because HH Pope Shenouda III who is a very knowledgeable and wise Pope followed the same legacy and has introduced and supported many related improvements.

    HH has also written and published numerous books and encouraged and revised the works of anyone capable of presenting an interesting edifying research, sermon, book, activity, film, etc. With God's Grace HH Pope Shenouda III has fueled huge religious and cultural enhancements, even during the years when he was advised to remain in the monastery.

    One important good point to mention is that with Our Lord's blessing, the COC is fortunate to be able to study anything and communicate with everybody - though the COC will only accept the benefit of what is Orthodox and edifying. The COC will reject what is incorrect or non edifying, and absolutely refuse what is clearly wrong. This is very important nowadays.

    GBU
  • You know Fr. Peter, I have wondered the same thing myself. I have read some of his writings and I personally did not feel that they were really Orthodox. I think confessions is an intriguing book, but some of his ideas were borderline, and when questioned about free will he always seemed to go back on his word, seemingly confused by his own work.

    I also find it odd that so many protestant denominations idolize him. Many of the earlier protestant churches do, but I am very surprised to find that many of the more recent ones accept his writings. I know Calvin based pretty much all of his theology on Augustine's writing on free will.

    I dont dislike Augustine as a human, I am sure he was very ascetic and I do admire him for that. Same as Origen of Alexandria, love him or hate him, you GOT to respect that mans dedication to asceticism. I am not sure if he went overboard in castrating himself or not, but wow. Maybe I shouldnt have shared that. Sorry if people get grossed out.
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