Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Summa Pro Filioque

The following under-construction post is a skeletal outline that will be fleshed out, hyperlinked, and cross-referenced with the customary endnotes, etc. when I have the chance. When I get the chance, I will directly address the concerns of Vladimir Lossky,{1}, Theodore Stylianopoulos,{2} Thomas Ross Valentine,{3} Perry Robinson,{4} Photios Jones,{5} and other eminent Orthodox apologists{6} against the Filioque clause.

Definition to Dispel Misunderstandings

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Ekporeusis
We predicate Ekporeusis of the Son in relation to the Father and of the Spirit in relation to the Father. But why don't we predicate Ekporeusis of the Spirit in relation to the Son, if Filioque is true? The Greek Fathers, working from an approach different from the Latin one but complementary and equally legitimate rather than contradictory,{12} say that the Spirit proceeds not from (ek) the Son (e.g. the Doctor St. John of Damascus){13} simply because ekporeusis can, by definition, characterize only the relationship of origin to the principle without principle of the Holy Trinity, viz. the Father.{14} To say that the Spirit proceeds from the Son in that manner, rather than the correct sense of proceeds (proesi), would mean that the Son is the principle without principle and thus would turn the Son into the Father. That is why we avoid the error of professing that the Holy Spirit is to ek tou Patros ai tou Uiou ekporeuomenon.{15}

This is not what Filioque does, pace St. Photius the Great and modern Eastern Orthodox authors who argue against Filioque from a doctrinal (as opposed to merely liturgical) basis.{16} Nevertheless the illustrious Greek Fathers and Doctors maintained that the Spirit eternally proceeds ontologically, i.e. essentially, from the Father through the Son, and some even said explicitly from the Father and the Son,{17} and these formulas are equivalent and correspond to Filioque as you will soon see in a section below. Before Patriarch St. Photius I the Great of Constantinople,{18} no Father stated that the Son proceeds as regards His eternal existence from the Father alone,{19} or using a wrongheaded either-or approach, restricted the procession of the Holy Spirit from the Father through=and the Son to a merely economic or energetic procession to the exclusion of ontological procession.{20}

The Filioque deals not with the ekporeusis of the Holy Spirit from the Father as the sole principle without principle (arche anarchos) and source (peghe) of the Godhead, but reveals the procession (proienai = processio) of the Holy Spirit in consubstantial communion from the Father and the Son, i.e. the communication of consubstantial divinity from the Father to the Son and from the Father, through and with the Son, to the Holy Spirit.{21}

Monarchy of the Father

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Pace Mark of Ephesus,{26} we do not make the Son into a secondary and instrumental cause because the spirative power the Son receives from the Father is not numerically distinct from the spirative power of the Father.{27}

Mark J. Bonocore is the inventor of a superb analogy which shows that Filioque does not threaten the monarchy of the Father: the game of catch proceeds from the father alone since he initiates the game as aition and the game of catch proceeds from the father and the son since the participation of both is necessary for the game of catch to exist; the son is not made into a co-initiator or secondary cause (aition) of the game in the sense of the father being the initiator and cause (aition).{28}

"From the Son" and "Through the Son"
As Blemmidus, Patriarch John XI Bekkos of Constantinople, Calecas, and Basilios Bessarion pointed out, the Greek formula and the Latin formula are equivalent.{29} We know this from the following facts: (1) the great Byzantine Fathers and Doctors had no reservations about being in communion with those great Latin Fathers and Doctors who openly and dogmatically professed Filioque;{30} (2) several Latin and even Byzantine Fathers and Doctors used "from" and "through" interchangeably when speaking of the eternal ontological procession of the Holy Spirit;{31} and (3) the complementarity of the formulas as manifested in their different priorities but identical tenets. To wit, the Greek formula directly expresses the order according to which the Father and Son are the one principle of the Holy Spirit, and implies Their equality as principle. As St. John Chrysostom the Great says, we confess "through (dia = per) Him" so that it is clear that the Son is eternally generated.{32} The Latin formula directly expresses the equality of the Father and Son as principle, and implies the order.{33}

Double Procession
Filioque manifestly does not entail a "dual/double procession" and "double spiration"{34} in the sense that many Eastern Orthodox apologists, such as Cyril Quattrone,{35} misunderstand it. For, as Dr. Michael Liccione says,{36} the Son does not contribute anything to the spiration distinct from the contribution of the Father.

Patristic Basis{37}
The Eastern Fathers: Origen Adamantius of Alexandria, St. Gregory Thaumaturgus of Neocaesarea, St. Athanasius the Great of Alexandria (Doctor), St. John Chrysostom the Great (Doctor), St. Gregory the Great Theologian of Nazianzus (Doctor), St. Basil the Great of Caesarea (Doctor), St. Gregory of Nyssa, St. Cyril of Alexandria (Doctor), St. Epiphanius of Salamis, St. Didymus the Blind of Alexandria, St. Maximus the Confessor of Constantinople, St. John of Damascus (Doctor)
The Western Fathers: St. Hippolytus of Rome, Tertullian of Carthage, Marius Victorinus, St. Hilary of Poitiers (Doctor), St. Ambrose the Great of Milan (Doctor), St. Augustine the Great of Hippo (Doctor), St. Fulgence of Ruspe, Pope St. Leo I the Great of Rome (Doctor), St. Eucherius of Lyons, Gennadius Scholasticus of Massilia, Julianus Pomerius of Arles, Paschasius of Rome, Pope St. Hormisdas of Rome, St. Alcimus Ecdicius Avitus of Vienne, Cassiodorius, Pope St. Gregory I the Great of Rome (Doctor), St. Isidore of Seville (Doctor), Pope St. Martin I

Post-Patristic Papal Basis{38}
Popes Adrian I, Leo III{39}

The synod of 879-880 which rejected the interpolation of Filioque into the Creed was not ecumenical.{40}

Conciliar Basis{41}
Ecumenical Councils: Ecumenical Council of Constantinople II (553), Ecumenical Council of Nicaea II (787)
Local Councils: Councils of Seleucia in Mesopotamia (410), Toledo II (447), Toledo III (589), Mérida (666), Toledo XI (675), Braga (675), Hatfield (680), Toledo (693), Friaul (796), Aachen (809)

Scriptural Basis
St. Thomas Aquinas pointed out in Summa Contra Gentiles that Jn 16:12-15 proves that the Spirit proceeds from the Son as opposed to the Father alone.{42} The economic Trinity sheds light on the immanent Trinity; i.e. mission reflects the inner life of the Trinity.{43} Since the Son sends the Holy Spirit, He must have some authority over the Holy Spirit. There are four kinds of authority: (1) superiority; (2) seniority; (3) dominion; and (4) origin. Only authority of origin is admissible in the Trinity of co-equal and co-eternal Persons.{44} Thus we must say that the Holy Spirit has His origin from the Son in some way. Therefore, the Spirit proceeds not only from the Father but from the Father and the Son as regards His eternal existence.

Theological Basis
Four chief theological considerations lead us to maintain Filioque: (1) order of procession of things not materially distinct; (2) the Spirit as the unitive Love of the Father and Son; (3) the fact that God is not only essentially hypostatic but essentially perichoretic; and (4) the order of intellect and love in nature which is a reflection of the Trinity.

Firstly, St. Thomas Aquinas proves in Summa Theologica that among things that proceed from one thing, there must be order if the things proceeding are not materially distinct.{45} Since the origin of the Persons of the Trinity admits of no material distinction, the processions would not be distinct from each other unless the Son is from the Father alone and the Holy Spirit is from both the Father and the Son.{46}

As for the third consideration, Dr. Michael Liccione presents the following argument that shows that Filioque is true because the eternal manifestation of the Holy Spirit is equivalent to His existence:{#}
1. God is not only essentially hypostatic, but also essentially perichoretic.
2. That the Three Persons mutually indwell in love is not free; only how They love is free.
3. Therefore, given the existence of the Holy Spirit, we have His eternal manifestation ad intra from the Father through the Son because they are logically equivalent.
4. Thus, whatever is true necessarily of the eternal manifestation of the Spirit ad intra is true of His eternal procession.
5. Therefore, the eternal existence of the Holy Spirit, and not only His eternal manifestation, proceeds from the Father through the Son and thus from the Father and the Son.

Alleged Subordinationism and Degradation of Spirituality

Notes and References
{1}
{2}
{3} Valentine, Thomas Ross. "An Orthodox Guide to the Filioque: Third Edition." 8 Aug. 2008 <http://www.geocities.com/trvalentine/orthodox/workinprog_filioque.html>.
{4}
{5}
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{9}
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{13}
{14} Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (9/20/1995): The Greek and the Latin Traditions regarding the Procession of the Holy Spirit (English translation on L'Osservatore Romano).
{15} Ibid.
{16}
{17} Huysman, Will R. "Filioque: Fathers, Popes, and Councils." The Banana Republican. 25 July 2008. 8 Aug. 2008 <http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2008/07/filioque-fathers-popes-councils.html>.
{18}
{19}
{20} Huysman, Will R. "Filioque: Fathers, Popes, and Councils." The Banana Republican. 25 July 2008. 8 Aug. 2008 <http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2008/07/filioque-fathers-popes-councils.html>.
{21} Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (9/20/1995): The Greek and the Latin Traditions regarding the Procession of the Holy Spirit (English translation on L'Osservatore Romano).
{22}
{23}
{24}
{25}
{26} Huysman, Will R. "Mark of Ephesus." The Banana Republican. 24 July 2008. 8 Aug. 2008 <http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2008/07/mark-of-ephesus.html>.
{27} Aquinas, St. Thomas. "Article 36, Question 2, Answer." Summa Theologica, Part I. New Advent. 8 Aug. 2008 <http://newadvent.org/summa/1036.htm#article2>.
{28} Bonocore, Mark J. "Filioque: A Response to Eastern Orthodox Objections." The Catholic Legate. 12 Dec. 2006. 13 Aug. 2008 <http://www.catholic-legate.com/articles/filioque.html>.
{29} Maas, Anthony (9/1/1909). "Filioque." The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved August 8, 2008 from New Advent: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06073a.htm.
{30} Huysman, Will R. "Filioque: Fathers, Popes, and Councils." The Banana Republican. 25 July 2008. 8 Aug. 2008 <http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2008/07/filioque-fathers-popes-councils.html>.
{31} St. Hilary of Poitiers (Doctor), St. Basil the Great of Caesarea (Doctor), St. Cyril of Alexandria (Doctor), and St. Maximus the Confessor of Constantinople.
{32} St. John Chrysostom the Great, Homily 5 on the Gospel of John, n. 2. Cf. St. Basil the Great of Caesarea, On the Holy Spirit 8:21.
{33} Maas, Anthony (9/1/1909). "Filioque." The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved August 8, 2008 from New Advent: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06073a.htm.
{34}
{35} Bonocore, Mark J. "Filioque: A Response to Eastern Orthodox Objections." The Catholic Legate. 12 Dec. 2006. 13 Aug. 2008 <http://www.catholic-legate.com/articles/filioque.html>.
{36}
{37} Huysman, Will R. "Filioque: Fathers, Popes, and Councils." The Banana Republican. 25 July 2008. 8 Aug. 2008 <http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2008/07/filioque-fathers-popes-councils.html>.
{38} Ibid.
{39}
{40} Huysman, Will R. "The Photian Synod of 879-880 Was NOT Ecumenical." The Banana Republican. 1 Aug. 2008. 8 Aug. 2008 <http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2008/08/photian-synod-of-879-880-was-not.html>.
{41} Huysman, Will R. "Filioque: Fathers, Popes, and Councils." The Banana Republican. 25 July 2008. 8 Aug. 2008 <http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2008/07/filioque-fathers-popes-councils.html>.
{42} Aquinas, St. Thomas. "That the Holy Ghost Proceeds from the Son." Summa Contra Gentiles, Book IV: Of God in His Revelation. Retrieved August 8, 2008: http://www2.nd.edu/Departments/Maritain/etext/gc4_24.htm.
{43}
{44} Huysman, Will R. "Invincible Argument for Filioque." The Banana Republican. 14 Apr. 2007. 8 Aug. 2008 <http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2007/04/invincible-argument-for-filioque.html>.
{45} Aquinas, St. Thomas. "Article 36, Question 2, Answer." Summa Theologica, Part I. New Advent. 8 Aug. 2008 <http://newadvent.org/summa/1036.htm#article2>.
{46} Ibid.
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[UNDER CONSTRUCTION!!!]

2 comments:

Acolyte4236 said...

Have you read Francis Dvornik's, The Photian Schism?

Will Huysman said...

Dear Perry,
No, I have not read Francis Dvornik's monumental work, but I have wanted to since I first started investigating the Pillars of Orthodoxy ca. December 2007; I just can't afford a copy right now and I can't get one from the library. I've read Dvornik's New Catholic Encyclopedia on St. Photius the Great but apparently it's not entirely accurate, though I'm very happy that the man whose virtues were praised by Pope St. Nicholas I the Great died in communion with Rome. I've also read very positive reviews of The Photian Schism, though I read that Dvornik holds to the thesis, rebutted with seven facts in one of my recent posts, that the synod of 879-880 was ecumenical and that the 869-870 council was (officially and irrevocably) stripped of that status by the Catholic Church herself. What, for you, were the most valuable contributions of the book? May God bless you and yours with holiness, health, and happiness!

William Rood Huysman
+JMJ