Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween 2008!

Happy Halloween 2008! Have fun, be safe, and God bless you!

Origin of Jack-o'-Lanterns

Thursday, October 30, 2008

19th Birthday

I am officially 19! Praise the Lord; I've made it this far and am blessed to be alive and well and have such loving and providing family and friends who give me shelter and food and books and movies and supplies but far more importantly shower me with the gifts of love and hope and faith. Thank you everyone for wishing me such a happy birthday, for by the providence of the supreme God Who is beyond goodness, your wish has come true! Thank you Lord Jesus Christ Almighty, my Savior.! Thank you St. Raphael the Archangel, especially, for praying for me and noticeably interceding on my behalf before our eternal Lord Who is the Lamb of God and very God Himself. I love you, God! I love you Mom, Dad, Charles, Liam, Boomer, Ollie, and Daisy!!! A special shoutout, as well, to my teammates representing Fordham University at the Atlantic 10 Championships! May God bless you all with good health and keep you free of injuries and make you strong of heart so that you run your best time; go Rams!!!

With love in Christ,
Will R. Huysman
The Banana Republican
+JMJ

Almost 19

Praise God, I will be 19 in 5:42 from now! What a year my 18th has been! No time to comment now; good night and God bless!

Ex 20:1-17 by St. Moses: The Ten Commandments
And the Lord spoke all these words: I am the Lord thy God, Who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt not have strange gods before Me. Thou shalt not make to thyself a graven thing, nor the likeness of any thing that is in Heaven above, or in the earth beneath, nor of those things that are in the waters under the earth. Thou shalt not adore them, nor serve them: I am the Lord thy God, mighty, jealous, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate Me: And showing mercy unto thousands to them that love Me, and keep My commandments. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain: for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that shall take the name of the Lord his God in vain. Remember that thou keep holy the sabbath day. Six days shalt thou labor, and shalt do all thy works. But on the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: thou shalt do no work on it, thou nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy beast, nor the stranger that is within thy gates. For in six days the Lord made Heaven and earth, and the sea, and all things that are in them, and rested on the seventh day: therefore the Lord blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it. Honor thy father and thy mother, that thou mayst be longlived upon the land which the Lord thy God will give thee. Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house; neither shalt thou desire his wife, nor his servant, nor his handmaid, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is his.
Psalm 23 by King St. David:
1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside still waters,

3 He restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for His name's sake.

4 Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff,
they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.

6 Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD
forever.
Psalm 136 by King St. David:
1 Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good.
His love endures forever.

2 Give thanks to the God of gods.
His love endures forever.

3 Give thanks to the Lord of lords:
His love endures forever.

4 to Him Who alone does great wonders,
His love endures forever.

5 Who by His understanding made the heavens,
His love endures forever.

6 Who spread out the earth upon the waters,
His love endures forever.

7 Who made the great lights—
His love endures forever.

8 the sun to govern the day,
His love endures forever.

9 the moon and stars to govern the night;
His love endures forever.

10 to Him Who struck down the firstborn of Egypt
His love endures forever.

11 and brought Israel out from among them
His love endures forever.

12 with a mighty hand and outstretched arm;
His love endures forever.

13 to Him Who divided the Red Sea asunder
His love endures forever.

14 and brought Israel through the midst of it,
His love endures forever.

15 but swept Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea;
His love endures forever.

16 to Him who led his people through the desert,
His love endures forever.

17 Who struck down great kings,
His love endures forever.

18 and killed mighty kings—
His love endures forever.

19 Sihon king of the Amorites
His love endures forever.

20 and Og king of Bashan—
His love endures forever.

21 and gave their land as an inheritance,
His love endures forever.

22 an inheritance to His servant Israel;
His love endures forever.

23 to the One Who remembered us in our low estate
His love endures forever.

24 and freed us from our enemies,
His love endures forever.

25 and Who gives food to every creature.
His love endures forever.

26 Give thanks to the God of Heaven.
His love endures forever.
Matthew 5:1-16 by St. Matthew the Evangelist: The Beatitudes from Jesus' Sermon on the Mount
And seeing the multitudes, He went up into a mountain, and when He was set down, His disciples came unto Him. And opening His mouth He taught them, saying: Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. Blessed are the meek: for they shall possess the land. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the clean of heart: they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven. Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for My sake: Be glad and rejoice for your reward is very great in heaven. For so they persecuted the prophets that were before you.
You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt lose its savor, wherewith shall it be salted? It is good for nothing anymore but to be cast out, and to be trodden on by men. You are the light of the world. A city seated on a mountain cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but upon a candlestick, that it may shine to all that are in the house. So let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father Who is in Heaven.
The Jesus Prayer
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
Hail Mary
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Sts. Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael the Archangels, pray for us!

All saints, pray for us!

In Christ,
Will R. Huysman
The Banana Republican
+JMJ

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Seven Who Stand Before the Lord

Abstract: We know from canonical Scripture that three of the seven archangels are Sts. Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael. Is it possible to identify the other four? What are the most probable names of the other four of "the seven who stand before the Lord" [Tob 12:15]?

Certainly the fourth archangel is St. Uriel; though his name is not in canonical Scripture,{1} he figures in Sacred Tradition: the ancient authorities are unanimous that Uriel is an archangel. Bishop-Martyr St. Dionysius the Areopagite of Athens and Pope St. Gregory I the Great of Rome are two examples.

Notes & References
{1} St. Uriel appears in the non-canonical book 1 Enoch. St. Uriel appears in the non-canonical book of 2 Esdras, which the Russian Orthodox consider canonical:
2 Esdras 4:1-3: "Then the angel that had been sent to me, whose name was Uriel, answered and said to me, 'Your understanding has utterly failed regarding this world, and do you think you can comprehend the way of the Most High?'"
2 Esdras 5:20: "So I fasted for seven days, mourning and weeping, as the angel Uriel had commanded me."
2 Esdras 10:27-28: "When I looked up, the woman was no longer visible to me, but a city was being built, and a place of huge foundations showed itself. I was afraid, and cried with a loud voice and said, 'Where is the angel Uriel, who came to me at first? For it was he who brought me into this overpowering bewilderment; my end has become corruption, and my prayer a reproach.'"

Monday, October 27, 2008

Emperor St. Justinian I the Great

Abstract: The reign of Emperor St. Justinian I the Great, canonized pre-congregation when the Eastern Orthodox had not yet split from the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church; his ascetic deeds and his most praiseworthy zeal for the preservation of the true faith; the demolition of the myth of his ultimate fall into Aphthartodocetism.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Thomism and Palamism Compared

I can see right off the bat that the wonderworking Church Doctor St. Thomas Aquinas, prince of theologians, and the hesychast Gregory Palamas, agree in the following areas at least:

Areas of Agreement
(1) The Immaculate Conception: Mary never contracted original sin (this was the original opinion of Aquinas; he stated in Summa Theologica that Mary contracted original sin but reverted to his original opinion at the end of his life).
(2) The divine names are not synonymous. This is very much stressed by Gregory Palamas throughout his works, and St. Thomas says in his Summa Theologica: "All synonyms united with each other are redundant, as when we say, 'vesture clothing.' Therefore if all names applied to God are synonymous, we cannot properly say 'good God' or the like, and yet it is written, 'O most mighty, great and powerful, the Lord of hosts is Thy name' [Jer 32:18]."
(3) "Death is not natural to man." St. Thomas Aquinas says in Summa Theologica 2:I:85:6 that "death is not natural to man" and "the human body is naturally incorruptible." Gregory Palamas says in his 150 Chapters, "Death, then, was to follow our ancestors just as it is laid up even for those who outlive us, and our body was rendered mortal."

However, it is important to note that there are a few areas in which St. Thomas Aquinas and Gregory Palamas disagree.
Areas of Disagreement
(1) St. Thomas Aquinas says in Summa Theologica that angels are in a place in: "Consequently an angel is said to be in a corporeal place by application of the angelic power in any manner whatever to any place." Gregory Palamas, on the other hand, says in Chapter 61 of his 150 Chapters, "The angel and the soul, as incorporeal beings, are not located in place..." However, maybe Palamas is speaking in a different sense than Aquinas, so that there is no real contradiction. Palamas says, "The soul therefore as it sustains the body together with which it was created is everywhere in the body, not as in a place, nor as if it were encompassed, but as sustaining, encompassing, and giving life to it because it possesses this too in the image of God."
(2)
(3)

More to come on Triadology (Filioque), angelology (whether angels are more to the image of God than man), theonimy (the divine names), essence-energies distinction and its relation to the beatific vision, etc.

[UNDER CONSTRUCTION!!!]

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Purgatory vs. Toll-Houses

MYTH
After death all souls must literally pass through a series of stations of accusing demons before making it to Heaven or being dragged down to the Hell of the damned

1. The toll-house theory is that after death, all souls must go through a series of stations of accusing demons before making it to Heaven or being dragged down to Hell, is plainly false. A person who is damned does not pass through toll-houses before making it to a toll-house where it is guilty of sins and cannot pass, and so is dragged into Hell. Rather, the damned (those who die in a state of mortal sin) immediately descend to Hell, as the Church teaches; on this constant teaching of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church the Catechism of the Catholic Church 1035 points to DS 76; 409; 411; 801; 858; 1002; 1351; 1575; Paul VI, CPG [Solemn Profession of Faith: Credo of the People of God] # 12.

Does Ephesians 6:12 Teach Toll-Houses?

Does 1 Peter 5:8 Teach Toll-Houses?

The Scriptures Against Toll-Houses

Do Demons Judge Everyone?

Does St. Macarius the Great Teach Toll-Houses?
Does St. Anthony the Great Teach Toll-Houses?
St. Anthony the Great, in fact, expressly rules out toll-houses, as we see in The Life of St. Anthony the Great:
"From the beginning the devil is a murderer and the father of lies" [Jn 8:44]; while we, though this is so, are alive, and spend our lives all the more in opposing him; it is plain that they [the demons] are powerless. For place is no hindrance to their plots, nor do they look on us as friends that they should spare us; nor are they lovers of good that they should amend. But on the contrary they are evil, and nothing is so much sought after by them as wounding them that love virtue and fear God. But since they have no power to effect anything, they do nought but threaten ... If they had power, they would permit none of us Christians to live... But since they can do nothing, they inflict the greater wounds on themselves; for they can fulfill none of their threats. Next this ought to be considered that we may be in no fear of them... But the demons as they have no power are like actors on the stage ... from which they ought rather to be despised as showing their weakness.
Does Pope St. Gregory I the Great Teach Toll-Houses?

Does St. John of Raithu Teach Toll-Houses?
St. Abba John of Raithu says in his introduction to the Ladder of Divine Ascent of St. John Climacus of Sinai that, "As a ladder set up, [this book] will lead aspirants to the gates of Heaven pure and blameless, so that they may pass unhindered the spirits of wickedness, and the world rulers of darkness and the princes of the air."

But it is clear from the context and purpose of this most edifying work of asceticism that John is referring to the struggle of the present life, rather than the toll-house doctrine of a gauntlet full of demons that every departed person must pass through.

Does St. Diadochos of Photiki Teach Toll-Houses?
St. Diadochos of Photiki says,
If we do not confess our involuntary sins as we should, we shall discover an ill defined fear in ourselves at that hour of our death. We who love the Lord should pray that we may be without fear at that time; for if we are afraid then, we will not be able freely to pass the rulers of the lower world. They will have as their advocate to plead against us the fear which our soul experiences because of its own wickedness. But the soul which rejoices in the love of God, at the hour of its departure, is lifted with the angels of peace above all the hosts of darkness.
In fact it is clear from this passage, so often quoted to support the toll-house myth, that St. Diadochos of Photiki teaches that sins, and not demons, are the only accusers. There are no disputes between angels and demons over the departed.
Does St. Hesychius the Presbyter Teach Toll-Houses?
St. Hesychius the Presbyter says, "If the soul has Christ with it, it will not be disgraced by its enemies even at death, when it rises to heaven's entrance; but then, as now, it will boldly confront them. But let it not tire of calling upon the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, day and night until the time of its departure from this mortal life, and He will avenge it ... Indeed, He will avenge it both in this present life and after its departure from the body."

"Its enemies" could very well refer to the sins of the person, and this whole statement of the saint can refer to the temptations by demons at the hour of death, when I pray that each person will have the gift of final perseverance. O most holy Church Doctor St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori, pray for us! Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

St. John Chrysostom Against Toll-Houses
That wonderful Church Doctor, Patriarch St. John Chrysostom the Great of Constantinople, expressly teaches against the toll-house theory. He says in his Commentary on Matthew, Homily 28:3 in Patrologia Graeca,
Nor indeed is it possible for a soul, torn away from the body, to wander here any more. "For the souls of the righteous are in the Hand of God" [Wis 3:1] ... and the souls of sinners are also led away hence. This is evident from the parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man; and elsewhere also Christ says, "This day your soul will be required of you" [Lk 12:20]. Therefore, when the soul has gone forth from the body, it cannot wander here; nor is the reason hard to understand: for if we, going about in the earth which is familiar and well know to us, as once we did when encompassed with a body, journeys down a strange road, know not which way to go unless guided; how should the bodiless soul, having lost her accustomed condition, know where to walk without someone to show it the way.
Hence the God-graced Chrysostom proves from the inspired Scriptures that the demons do not have power, influence, or control over the souls of the righteous departed, thus refuting the toll-house theory which states that all souls must pass through several stations of accusing demons before going to Heaven or Hell.
St. John Cassian Against Toll-Houses
Indeed St. John Cassian rules out toll-houses when he says, "...the demons cannot possibly come near to those thoughts which have not yet come forth from the inmost recesses of the soul. And the thoughts too, which they suggest, whether they are actually or in a kind of way embraced, are discovered by them not from the nature of the soul itself, that is, that inner inclination....but from the motions and signs given by the outward man."
St. Aphrahat the Persian Against Toll-Houses

St. Anastasius of Sinai Against Toll-Houses
St. John the Solitary Against Toll-Houses
St. John the Solitary says [Sixth Dialogue with Thomasios],
The devil cannot touch the nature of the soul, nor can he draw nigh it at all to harm it ... The devil does not touch or see the soul, but the members of the body only ... for indeed if he could draw nigh the soul so as to harm it, then he would also be able to harm it after it departed the body, but this he would have to do while being unable to see it and having no power over it ...
St. Isaac of Nineveh Against Toll-Houses
Bishop St. Isaac of Nineveh, a great ascetic Father who was not actually Christologically Nestorian, says, "The demons, though they are extremely polluted, are not concealed from one another in their own orders; howbeit they do not see the two orders [human souls and angels] that are above them."

The Life of St. Basil the New and The Journey of St. Theodora of Constantinople Through 20 Toll-Houses
Do Demons Punish in Purgatory?

The Fire of Purgatory

Metropolitan Mark of Ephesus and Purgatory

[UNDER CONSTRUCTION!!!]

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Contra Nestorius, Part II

Mirror link

MYTH
The unjustly deposed Nestorios did not teach that Christ is two persons

1. All attempts to rehabilitate Patriarch Nestorios of Constantinople (381-451, r. 4/10/428-6/22/431) are a waste of time. Nestorios [Bazaar of Heraclides p. 218] plainly distinguished two persons, the uncreated λόγος and the created man Jesus of Nazareth, who were united in one person: "But I predicate two natures, that He indeed Who is clothed is one and he wherewith He is clothed another, and these two prosôpa [persons] of Him Who is clothed and of him wherewith He is clothed." But it is impossible for one single prosopic reality to be the product of the conjunction of two persons.

2. It is clear from the above that Nestorios was rightly deposed [Mansi iv:1212D] and not unjustly accused of something he did not teach. In a futile attempt to support his doctrine, Nestorios explained that the two persons were united in various ways [Summa Theologica III, q. 2, art. 6, corp.], such as indwelling (i.e., the προσώπω of the man was a temple in which the λόγος dwelt), "unity of intention" (the will of the person of the man was always in harmony with that of the person of the λόγος), operation (the person of the λόγος used the person of the man as an instrument), honor (the two persons were equal in honor), and "by equivocation." All of these five types of unity are accidental, which is most repugnant to the Catholic faith in the Incarnation [ibid.].

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Christology of Babai the Great

Mirror link

MYTH
Babai the Great of Assyria was fully Christologically orthodox

Babai Not Fully Nestorian
1. It would seem that Babai the Great was not a full-blooded Nestorian, but a semi-Nestorian.

Antitheopaschism of Babai
2. He accepted that "Christ died" and "the Son died," so he was orthodox in that respect. However, he was heterodox in that he refused to believe that "the Word died" and "the Word died in the flesh."{1} He was also wrong to completely reject Theopaschism. While he rightly affirmed that the divinity did not suffer and the Trinity did not suffer, he wrongly denied that one of the hypostases of the Trinity suffered.{2}

Babai Affirms Theotókos
3. Babai rightly affirmed that the human nature of Christ is has "no existence apart from its union with" the eternal Logos), and that Mary is Theotókos: "because of the union the blessed Mary is called Mother of God and Mother of Man—Mother of Man according to her own nature, but Mother of God because of the union which He had with His humanity."{3}

Babai's Two Qnômê in One Parsôpâ
4. A qnômá, according to Sebastian Brock, "is an individual instance or example of a kyâna (which is understood as always abstract), but this individual manifestation is not necessarily a self-existent instance of a kyâna."{4} Thus qnômá is broader than hypostasis, according to Mr. Brock. If this is the case, then Babai did not teach two hypostaseis, i.e. two self-existent instances of a kyâna, in Christ. In other words, if qnômá does not have a connotation of self-existence as hypostasis does, then Babai did not teach that Christ is two persons. Nestorius' doctrine of two hypostaseis in Christ inevitably leads to two persons in Christ,{5} and Nestorius even expressly said that Christ is two persons in one person.{6}

Notes and References
{1} Huysman, Will R. "Contra Nestorius." The Banana Republican. 19 Aug. 2007. 21 Oct. 2008 <http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2007/08/contra-nestorius.html>, n. 6: "The characteristics of the Son of Man may be predicated of the Son of God and the characteristics of the Son of God may be predicated of the Son of Man. That means that we can say of Christ that 'God is passible,' 'the God of glory was crucified,' and 'God died.'"
{2} Ibid.
{3} Letter of the Union, pp. 264-265.
{4} Sebastian Brock (1996), "The 'Nestorian' Church: A Lamentable Misnomer." Bulletin of the John Rylands University Library of Manchester 78, p. 28.
{5} Huysman, Will R. "Contra Nestorius." The Banana Republican. 19 Aug. 2007. 19 Oct. 2008 <http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2007/08/contra-nestorius.html>.
{6} Huysman, Will R. "Contra Nestorius, Part II." The Banana Republican. 21 Oct. 2008 <http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2008/10/contra-nestorius-part-ii.html>.

parsôpâ (prosôpon), kyânê (phuseis), qnômê, etc.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Fullness of Grace, Part II

Abstract: By virtue of her lifelong fullness of grace [Lk 1:28], the most blessed ever-virgin Theotókos never any venial or mortal sin.

MYTH
The Theotókos sinned

Thursday, October 16, 2008

On Filioque, Against Mark of Ephesus, et al

Obj. 1: Pope St. Zachary says "the Paraclete Spirit, proceeds from the Father and abides in the Son." Since the Holy Spirit rests in the Son, He does not proceed from the Son.
Ans. 1: The fact that the Holy Spirit abides in the Son does not entail that He does not proceed from the Son, because we also say that the Son abides in the Father, from Whom He proceeds as Only-Begotten [Summa Theologica I, q. 36, art. 2, ad 4]. The Holy Spirit abides in the Son as the love (Holy Spirit) of the lover (Father) abides in the beloved (Son) [ibid.]. The Holy Spirit abides in the Son with reference to the human nature of the latter, as it is written in Jn 1:33 (Douay Rheims): "He upon Whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, He it is that baptizeth with the Holy Ghost" [ibid.].
Obj. 2: Pope St. Gregory I the Great Dialogist of Rome says that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father alone [Patriarch St. Photius I the Great of Constantinople, Mystagogy §87 in PG 102:373C].
Ans. 2: On the contrary, Pope St. Gregory I the Great of Rome (Doctor) says in 595 [Morals on the Book of Job 2:56:92 in PL 75:599A], "The Spirit proceeds essentially from the Son." In the Latin from Fr. Jacques-Paul Migne, St. Gregory the Great refers to the Son and says, "quia et ex illo isdem Spiritus per substantiam profertur." It is not just a question of the οἰκονομία (temporal mission), or an eternal manifestation of ενέργεια à la the once-unionist Patriarch Gregory II the Cypriot of Constantinople.
Obj. 3: Pope St. Leo III of Rome opposed the addition of Filioque into the Creed [Patriarch St. Photius I the Great of Constantinople, Mystagogy of the Holy Spirit 87].
Ans. 3: St. Leo III told Bl. Charlemagne (January 28) that he agreed with the doctrine of Filioque. But Pope St. Leo III--who omitted Filioque from the Creed for the sake of Church unity and was aware of the sensitivity of the Greeks about their Creed and the nuances of ἐκπορευόμενον vs. προείναι--openly confessed, in letter to all the Eastern Churches, his belief in "the Holy Spirit, proceeding equally from the Father and from the Son, consubstantial, coeternal with the Father and the Son. The Father, complete God in Himself, the Son, complete God begotten of the Father, the Holy Spirit, complete God proceeding from the Father and the Son..."
Obj. 4: St. Justin Martyr the Philosopher of Caesarea says, "As the Son is from the Father, so is the Spirit from the Father." But the Son is from the Father immediately. Therefore, the Holy Spirit is not, as the Latins say, from the Father mediately [Mark of Ephesus, 7/1440 Encyclical on False Union and the Filioque].
Ans. 4: We rightly confess with reference to "the persons themselves spirating" that the Holy Spirit "proceeds from the Father immediately, as from Him, and mediately, as from the Son," and that, with reference to the spirative power, the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son immediately [Summa Theologica I, q. 36, art. 3, ad 1].

Obj. 5: During the Seventh Ecumenical Council, Pope Adrian I wrote to Patriarch St. Tarasius of Constantinople [PG 102:373D-375] that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father alone.
Ans. 5: Adrian I affirmed Filioque in his answer to the Caroline Books. He defended, against the misunderstanding of my ancestor Bl. Charlemagne (1/28), the formula and doctrine of Patriarch St. Tarasios of Constantinople [PL 98:1249-1252], who said at the Seventh Ecumenical Council that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father through the Son [Mansi XII:1121D]. He quoted Patristic statements to prove that omitting Filioque need not mean that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father alone, i.e., that the Father alone spirates the Holy Spirit.
Obj. 6: St. Gregory the Theologian of Nazianzus says [Oratio 34:10 in PG 36:252A], "everything the Father is said to possess, the Son, likewise, possesses except causality." If the Son is distinguished from the with respect to cause, He is neither Father nor producer, and so He is not the cause of the Holy Spirit [Metropolitan Mark of Ephesus, 7/1440 Encyclical On False Union and Filioque].
Ans. 6: Filioque would only infringe on the Monarchy and Cappadocian Principle if it gave the Son the property distinctive of the Father, if it made the Son the unoriginate source of divinity, i.e., gave the Son the notions of innascibility and paternity. Filioque manifestly does no such thing. The Father alone is the source (peghe = πηγή) of divinity and arche anarchos; the Son is not the arche anarchos. That is to say, the Son is not aitia because aitia deals with ekporeusis (origin from the sole principle without principle) but the Son is, together with the Father, the one principium from which the Holy Spirit proceeds because principium is more general and corresponds to processio, which signifies origin in any way at all, as opposed to the restricted term ekporeusis (εκπορευσις). St. Gregory of Nazianzus means that the Father is the sole origin (αρχη, αιτια) of the εκπορευσις of the Spirit, which is not something that Filioque negates. The objection is based on a failure to understand that causa is not exactly the same as aitia and that principium is more general than arche.
Obj. 7: Bishop St. Dionysius the Areopagite of Athens says [PG 3:641D], the "sole fount of the supersubstantial divinity is the Father" [Metropolitan Mark of Ephesus].
Ans. 7: The Filioque deals not with the ekporeusis of the Holy Spirit from the Father as the sole principle without principle (αιτια and arche anarchos) and source (peghe) of the Godhead (divinity), but "reveals the procession [proienai = προιεναι = 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."{1}

{1} Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (9/20/1995): The Greek and the Latin Traditions regarding the Procession of the Holy Spirit (English translation in L'Osservatore Romano).

The source (i.e., unoriginate fount) of the personhood of the Holy Spirit is the Father alone [Ecumenical Council of Ferrara-Florence], but the Holy Spirit as a Person proceeds ("moves out from") the Father and the Son, but principally from the Father because the Son participates in the eternal motion and is not the source of it. Since the Holy Spirit is eternally a Person and granted He proceeds in some way from the Son, He must proceed as a Person (subsistence), wherefore the subsistence of the Holy Spirit is from the Son [Ecumenical Council of Ferrara-Florence], not as the source, but rather as the notional principle from which He eternally proceeds. The Holy Spirit receives of the Son the being and nature of the Father, which the Son receives as Only-Begotten. So the Hypostasis of the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Son eternally, but the primordial source of His divine Hypostasis is the Father alone.

Says my friend Ghosty from Catholic Answers Forums, the one source of the water (Godhead, divinity) is the spring (Father), and the river (Son) receives the same water and contribution (spirative power) from the spring (Father) without becoming the primordial source (the Father) of the lake (Holy Spirit).
Obj. 8: Bishop Theodoret of Cyrus says [PG 83:1484C], "The Holy Spirit does not gain its existence from the Son or through the Son, but by procession from the Father, we say that It is of the Son since it is co-essential (homoousios)."
Ans. 8: The Nestorian contradicted the teaching of numerous Fathers before him. Theodoret contradicted the Eastern Fathers St. Gregory Thaumaturgus of Neocaesarea, St. Athanasius the Great of Alexandria (Doctor), St. Basil the Great of Caesarea (Doctor), St. Gregory of Nyssa, St. Cyril of Alexandria (Doctor), and St. Epiphanius of Salamis. Theodoret contradicted the Western Fathers St. Hilary of Poitiers (Doctor), St. Ambrose the Great of Milan (Doctor), and St. Augustine the Great of Hippo (Doctor).
Obj. 9: St. Maximus the Confessor of Constantinople says [Letter to Marinus of Cyprus in PG 91:136A-B] that the Latins "do not make the Son Cause (Αιτια) of the Spirit. They know, indeed, that the Father is the sole Cause of the Son and of the Spirit, of one by generation and of the other by εκπορευσις ..." But at the Council of Ferrara-Florence the Latins said [DS 1301-1302], "the Holy Fathers and Doctors say, that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father through the Son, tends to this understanding that by this is meant that the Son is also, according to the Greeks the cause, and according to the Latins the principle, of subsistence of the Holy Spirit, as is also the Father." So the Latins betray St. Maximus and teach against the monarchy of the Father.
Ans. 9: It is a problem of translation; the Latins did not mean "arche." The objection is based on a failure to understand that causa is not exactly the same as aitia and that principium is more general than arche.
Obj. 10: The two great Doctors, the Cappadocian Fathers St. Basil the Great of Caesarea and St. Gregory the Great Theologian of Nazianzus, said that every real divine property must be individual or common to all three Persons of the Trinity. Therefore Filioque is false.
Ans. 10: Besides the fact that St. Basil the Great of Caesarea explicitly affirmed tenets of Filioquism, there is the fact that the brilliant Brandon Watson has clearly demonstrated the compatibility of the Cappadocian Principle and Filioque. Once again, to put it very succinctly, Filioque would only infringe on the Monarchy and Cappadocian Principle if it gave the Son the property distinctive of the Father, if it made the Son the unoriginate source of divinity, i.e., gave the Son the notions of innascibility and paternity. Filioque manifestly does no such thing.Obj. 11: Since the Holy Spirit proceeds perfectly from the Father, it is superfluous to claim that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Son [Patriarch St. Photius I the Great of Constantinople, Mystagogy of the Holy Spirit].
Ans. 11: Because the Holy Spirit proceeds perfectly from the Father, it is necessary, and not at all superfluous, to say that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Son. St. Thomas Aquinas says [ST 1:36:2:6a] that the power of the Father and the Son is numerically one and whatever is from the Father has to also be from the Son unless it is opposed to filiation, for the reason that the Son does not proceed from Himself but rather proceeds from the Father.
Obj. 12: Christ said that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father [Jn 15:26]; if the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Son as well, the Son Himself would have surely said so. You Filioquists make Christ a teller of half-truths! Therefore, it is pretty straightforward that Jn 15:26 means that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father alone [Patriarch St. Photius I the Great of Constantinople, Mystagogy of the Holy Spirit; Metropolitan Mark of Ephesus].
Ans. 12: On the contrary, Jn 15:26 does not rule out Filioque but in fact implies it; we see in Mt 11:27 that the Son knowing Himself and the Holy Spirit knowing the Son are not excluded, and St. Augustine the Great of Hippo offers a robust defense of Filioque in light of John 15:26. It was the novelty of St. Photius the Great, who died in communion with Rome, to teach that the Holy Spirit does not in any way proceed from the Son eternally.

Obj. 13: Pope St. Agatho does not mention that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Son [Patriarch St. Photius I the Great of Constantinople, Mystagogy of the Holy Spirit 83].
Ans. 13:
Obj. 14: Pope Vigilius does not mention that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Son, and proclaims instead that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father, and anathematizes anyone who introduces a different definition "than the unanimous and common faith of the pious" [Patriarch St. Photius I the Great of Constantinople, Mystagogy of the Holy Spirit 82].
Ans. 14:
Obj. 15: If the Son has the power to originate, but the Spirit does not, then the Spirit is inferior in power to the Son.
Ans. 15: Cf. 10; the concern about the subordination of the Holy Spirit to the Father and the Son stems from a misunderstanding of the relation of Filioque to the Cappadocian principle. The power is the same and equal, even with two-person notional descriptions: the Father and the Son have the power to spirate and the Holy Spirit has the power to be spirated.

Obj. 16: In PG 10:985A, St. Gregory the Wonderworker of Neocaesarea interprets 1 Cor 2:12 to say, "One Holy Spirit having existence from God and manifested to men through the Son." Therefore the saint believed that the Holy Spirit proceeds through the Son energetically, not from the Son essentially [Metropolitan Mark of Ephesus].
Ans. 16: In the first place, "to men" is an interpolation.
Obj. 17: St. Basil the Great of Caesarea says in PG 29:736B that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father alone: God the Father "sends forth the Spirit through His mouth ... for the Spirit is from Him and not from elsewhere" [Metropolitan Mark of Ephesus].
Ans. 17: St. Basil the Great did not teach that the Holy Spirit has His existence from the Father alone, and here he emphasized that the Holy Spirit is not a creature. If he did, as Mark of Ephesus claims, then he would not have said in Against Eunomius 3: "Even if the Holy Spirit is third in dignity and order, why need He be third also in nature? For that He is second to the Son, having His being from Him and receiving from Him and announcing to us and being completely dependent on Him, pious tradition recounts; but that His nature is third we are not taught by the Saints nor can we conclude logically from what has been said."

Obj. 18: At the Ecumenical Council of Nicaea [PG 85:1288C], St. Leontius of Caesarea said, "and of the Holy Spirit proceeding from Him, the Father" and said "Father" so that people would not think he meant that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Son, Whom he had just mentioned [Metropolitan Mark of Ephesus].
Ans. 18: This can be explained with reference to the above replies about the Greek vs. Latin vocabulary. If St. Leontius of Caesarea and the other Holy Fathers agreed with your novel doctrine, it would not have been agreed at the Ecumenical Council of Nicaea in 325 that "The Spirit will be found proceeding from the Father, proper to the Son and gushing forth from Him" [Mansi 2:868CD].

Obj. 19: Patriarch St. Athanasius I the Great of Alexandria says in PG 28:97BC, "The sole unbegotten and sole fount of divinity, the Father." Filioque is false because the property of being the sole fount of divinity is incommunicable [Metropolitan Mark of Ephesus].
Ans. 19: If Filioque is false and St. Athanasius the Great disagreed with my above explanations on the monarchy of the Father in light of Filioque, then the most holy patriarch would not have been able to say that the Father and Son are the one principle of the Holy Spirit [De Incarnatione 9 in PG 26:1000A]: "David sings in the psalm [35:10], saying: For with You is the font of life; because jointly with the Father the Son is indeed the source of the Holy Spirit."Obj. 20: St. Cyril of Alexandria's repudiation of Theodoret's charges [Metropolitan Mark of Ephesus].
Ans. 20:

Obj. 21: Pope John VIII [Patriarch St. Photius I the Great of Constantinople, Mystagogy of the Holy Spirit 89].
Ans. 21:
Obj. 22: Ps 32:6 says, "By the Word of the Lord the heavens were established; and all the power of them by the Spirit of His mouth." King St. David applied "of His mouth" to the Father, not to the Son, and therefore taught that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father alone [Patriarch St. Photius I the Great of Constantinople, Mystagogy of the Holy Spirit].
Ans. 22: King St. David taught no such error, and this hermeneutic fails when applied to the New Testament passages which speak of the Spirit as the Spirit of the Son [Gal 4:6], of Christ [Rom 8:9], and of Jesus Christ [Phil 1:19]. If only the Father spirates the Holy Spirit, then the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of the Father only, and the New Testament passages quoted would make no sense.

Obj. 23: Thanks to Augustine and the Franks, the West has consistently failed to appreciate the difference between the hypostatic procession of the Holy Spirit from the Father alone vs. His eternal energetic manifestation from the Father through the Son and His going forth from the Son in terms of mission. The Fathers made this distinction and did not teach that the hypostasis of the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son.
Ans. 23: Cf. 7. While the Eastern Fathers indeed made such a distinction between the Divine Essence and Divine Energy, it is false to say that they taught that the Holy Spirit receives His eternal existence from the Father alone. The falsehood of such a statement is clear from the statements of such God-bearing Fathers as Sts. Athanasius I the Great of Alexandria, Basil the Great of Caesarea, Gregory of Nyssa, and Cyril I of Alexandria. These saints clearly teach that the Spirit has His being from the Father and Son, and not the Father alone.

Obj. 24: By confusing the hypostatic properties of the Father and Son, Filioque makes the Father and Son a semi-Sabellian monster and dissolves the person of the Father into an attribute of the divine nature [Patriarch St. Photius I the Great of Constantinople, Mystagogy of the Holy Spirit 9, 15].
Ans. 24: There is no such confusion of distinctive properties with Filioque; see 6, 7, 10, 11. It seems that all of St. Photius's triadological arguments were based on a failure to appreciate the compatibility of Filioque and the Cappadocian Principle.

Obj. 25: The difference of "through the Son" vs. "and the Son".
Ans. 25:

Obj. 26: The canonicity of the Latin addition of Filioque to the Creed: Canon 7 of Ephesus, St. Cyril I of Alexandria, Holy Fathers of Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon, St. John II the Cappadocian of Constantinople, Pope St. Agatho.
Ans. 26:

[UNDER CONSTRUCTION!!!]

Abstract: Filioque Contra Mark of Ephesus

This under-construction post will discuss the following bogus arguments of anti-Filioquists [red = already addressed in main post]:
*The replies of St. Cyril of Alexandria (Doctor) to Nestorian Bishop Theodoret of Cyrus
*The statement of Pope St. Zachary that the Holy Spirit abides in the Son
*St. Gregory the Great Theologian of Nazianzus (Doctor) on the monarchy of the Father
*Pope St. Gregory I the Great Dialogist of Rome and the Mystagogy of Patriarch St. Photius I the Great of Constantinople
*The opposition of Pope St. Leo III to the addition of Filioque in the Creed
*Bishop St. Dionysius the Areopagite of Athens on the monarchy of the Father
*St. Justin Martyr the Philosopher of Alexandria on the Trinitarian relations
*Letter of Pope Adrian I to Patriarch St. Tarasius of Constantinople during the Seventh Ecumenical Council of Nicaea II (787)
*The silence of Pope Vigilius on Filioque
*The silence of Pope St. Agatho on Filioque
*Pope John VIII of Rome and the Photian synod of 879-880
*St. Maximus the Confessor of Constantinople on the monarchy of the Father
*The canonicity of the Latin addition of Filioque to the Creed
*The statement of Leontius of Caesarea at the Council of Nicaea
*Patriarch St. Athanasius the Great of Alexandria on the monarchy of the Father
*St. Gregory Thaumaturgus of Neocaesarea on the Trinitarian relations
*Patriarch St. Photius I the Great of Constantinople and perfect procession from the Father
*Patriarch St. Photius I the Great of Constantinople and a text of King St. David the Psalmist
*The difference of "through the Son" vs. "and the Son"
*The interpretation of Metropolitan Mark of Ephesus of a text of Bishop St. Basil the Great of Caesarea on the Holy Spirit
*The Essence-Energies distinction in the Church Fathers
*The subordination and inferiority of power of the Holy Spirit allegedly resulting from Filioque
*Patriarch St. Photius I the Great of Constantinople and the Semi-Sabellian monster
*The Cappadocian Principle

[UNDER CONSTRUCTION]

Sunday, October 12, 2008

List of Saints Styled "The Great"

Here is a list of some Catholic saints styled the Great:

Albert
Alfred
Ambrose, Archbishop of Milan
Ammon
Anthony of Thebes
Arsenius
Athanasius, Patriarch of Alexandria
Augustine, Bishop of Hippo
Basil, Bishop of Caesarea
Benjamin of Nitra
Bessarion
Catherine, Martyr of Alexandria
Constantine I, Emperor of Rome
Dionysius, Patriarch of Alexandria
Euthymius
George
Gertrude
Gregory I, Pope of Rome
Gregory Nazianzen
Hugh, Abbot of Cluny
Isaac, Catholicos of Armenia
James
Jerome of Stridon
John Chrysostom, Patriarch of Constantinople
Leo I, Pope of Rome
Macarius of Alexandria
Nerses
Nicholas I, Pope of Rome
Paisius
Paphnutius
Photius, Patriarch of Constantinople
Pimen
Stephen
Vladimir I of Kiev

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Temporal Separation Between Baptism & Confirmation

Mirror link

MYTH
It is wrong to not celebrate confirmation right after infant baptism

Eastern Orthodox polemicists object to the fact that in the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church, infants are not confirmed immediately after being baptized. They say this represents a barbaric innovation and deviation from orthopraxis. On the contrary, the Latin practice has the same validity and legitimacy as the Eastern practice. It often became necessary as the flock of the Church grew to separate Baptism and Confirmation into two distinct celebrations. The reasons for this include, according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, "the multiplication of infant baptisms all through the year, the increase of rural parishes, and the growth of dioceses" which "often prevented the bishop from being present at all baptismal celebrations."{1} The Latins wanted "to reserve the completion of Baptism to the bishop."{2} The Church is Catholic. Therefore, we are going to see diverse rites. These rites are complementary, not contradictory, for the difference between them consists in difference of emphasis and not in belief.{3} The Eastern rite "gives greater emphasis to the unity of Christian initiation," while the Latin rite "more clearly expresses the communion of the new Christian with the bishop as guarantor and servant of the unity, catholicity, and apostolicity of his Church, and hence the connection with the apostolic origins of Christ's Church."{4} In other words, the Eastern rite "highlights the unity of the three sacraments of Christian initiation," while the Latin rite, in which the "celebration is ordinarily reserved to the bishop" after "the age of reason has been reached," signifies that Confirmation "strengthens the ecclesial bond."{5}

Notes and References
{1} CCC 1290.
{2} Ibid.
{3} Cf. the Filioque issue. The Eastern formula "through the Son" and the Western formula "and the Son" address the same truth but differ in emphasis.
{4} CCC 1292.
{5} CCC 1318.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Capita Physica Theologica Epitomes 126-150

Part VI of VI. Here I attempt to provide the epitomes of each chapter of the 150-chapter Capita Physica Theologica, a work of systematic theology by Archbishop St. Gregory Palamas the Wonderworker of Thessaloniki, who is venerated by Catholics and Eastern Orthodox alike. I pretty-much omit the very often powerful, straight-forward reasoning process of the saint, which can be reminiscent of that of the prince of theologians, that Angelic Doctor St. Thomas Aquinas. Nevertheless I give the conclusions of the miracle-working archbishop and try to do justice to his holy memory by portraying these conclusions completely and accurately.

126.
127.
128. St. Gregory the Theologian [Or. 31:6, PG 36:140A] is right to teach that the Divine Energy does not involve composition, because only the Divine Energy has no passion and He only acts by it and is not acted upon, so there is no coming into being or change involved.
129.
130.
131.
132.
133.
134.
135.
136.
137.
138. The energy of the three divine hypostases is numerically one but since the Akindynists cannot affirm these they take away the actual subsistence of the trihypostatic God.
139. Against Akindynos: One cannot create and be active without an energy, just as one cannot exist without existence, so to call God's energy is to created is to deny that He has the power to operate and create in an uncreated way.
140. Against Akindynos: God is eternally active and all-powerful and His energy is uncreated and coeternal with Him but the products and effects of the divine energy are creatures.
141.
142.
143. The saintly Doctors Basil the Great [Adversus Eunomium 4, PG 29:689C], Cyril of Alexandria [Thesaurus 18, PG 75:312C], and John Damascene [Expositio fidei 8:67-70; 59:6-9] teach that the Divine Energy is in many ways distinct from the Divine Substance.
144.
145. The real distinction between the Divine Essence and the Divine Energies does not introduce composition into God because God acts ad extra without being acted upon and undergoing change.
146.
147.
148.
149.
150.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Capita Physica Theologica Epitomes 101-125

Part V of VI. Here I attempt to provide the epitomes of each chapter of the 150-chapter Capita Physica Theologica, a work of systematic theology by Archbishop St. Gregory Palamas the Wonderworker of Thessaloniki, who is venerated by Catholics and Eastern Orthodox alike. I pretty-much omit the very often powerful, straight-forward reasoning process of the saint, which can be reminiscent of that of the prince of theologians, that Angelic Doctor St. Thomas Aquinas. Nevertheless I give the conclusions of the miracle-working archbishop and try to do justice to his holy memory by portraying these conclusions completely and accurately.

101. The divine energies are distinct from one another because God's creative power must be distinct from His foreknowledge or else His foreknowledge had a beginning.
102. The creative energy of God is distinct from His foreknowledge because His creatures, whom He foreknows, are posterior to Him.
103. God's creative energy must be distinct from His foreknowledge because if creating is not subject to His will then God would create by nature alone and not by will.
104. The three divine hypostases eternally connaturally mutually indwell without confusion, so God is substantially within Himself. God is within the universe and the universe is in God and God allows all things to participate not in His substance but in His sustaining energy called omnipresence.
105. 'Divinity' is a name for the divine energy because though we cannot participate in the substance of God, we participate in His divine energy [2 Pt 1:4].
106.
107.
108.
109.
110.
111.
112.
113.
114.
115.
116.
117.
118.
119.
120.
121.
122.
123.
124.
125.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Capita Physica Theologica Epitomes 76-100

Part IV of VI. Here I attempt to provide the epitomes of each chapter of the 150-chapter Capita Physica Theologica, a work of systematic theology by Archbishop St. Gregory Palamas the Wonderworker of Thessaloniki, who is venerated by Catholics and Eastern Orthodox alike. I pretty-much omit the very often powerful, straight-forward reasoning process of the saint, which can be reminiscent of that of the prince of theologians, that Angelic Doctor St. Thomas Aquinas. Nevertheless I give the conclusions of the miracle-working archbishop and try to do justice to his holy memory by portraying these conclusions completely and accurately.

76.
77.
78.
79.
80.
81.
82.
83.
84.
85.
86.
87.
88.
89.
90.
91.
92.
93.
94.
95.
96.
97. If the divine essence is not distinct from the divine energy, then generation and procession are not distinct from creating.
98. If the divine essence is distinct from the energy and will of God, the Son was created from the Father's will.
99.
100.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

WRH Political Platform 2008

Abortion and Stem Cell Research
Make all abortion illegal, even in cases of rape and incest; life begins at conception; if mother’s life is endangered try to save both mother and unborn child; overturn Roe v. Wade; additional penalties for criminals that harm unborn fetus; oppose embryonic stem cell research but federally fund amniotic stem cell research.

Gay "Marriage"
Make gay marriage and civil unions illegal; marriage is only between one man and one woman; no health benefits for gay partners; include anti-gay violence in definition of hate crimes.

Sex Education
Abstinence sex education only; no education on contraceptives and no distribution of contraceptives to students; no federal funding of contraceptives.

Gun Control
Let states and cities determine local gun laws; federal ban on private ownership of military/assault/automatic/semi-automatic weaponry.

Nuclear Weapons
Nuclear non-proliferation.

Euthanasia
Federal ban on euthanasia; euthanasia is murder (Gaudium et Spes 64).

Torture

Energy

Crime

Notes and References
{1}
{2}
{3}
{4}
{5}
{6}
{7}

[UNDER CONSTRUCTION]

Monday, October 06, 2008

St. Raphael the Archangel and the Efficacy of Prayer to Saints

Abstract: Intercession of St. Raphael the Archangel for the wretched author of this blog; Scriptural and Patristic refutation of the anti-Catholic Protestant canards against prayer to saints; the reasons for the efficacy of prayer to saints.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Compatibility of Cappadocian Principle and Filioque

MYTH
Filioque is incompatible with the Cappadocian principle and therefore false

Definition of Cappadocian Principle
1. St. Basil the Great of Caesarea and St. Gregory the Great Theologian of Nazianzus rightly affirmed the Cappadocian Principle: every real divine property must be individual or common to all three Persons of the Trinity. The two-person description "of the cause" applies to the Son and the Holy Spirit but is not a single distinctive property; rather, this two-person description only safeguards the distinctive property of the Father.{1} "Of the cause" actually supposes two distinct properties and therefore can be subject to further distinction, i.e. into the person Who is of the cause as only-begotten [Jn 3:16] and the person Who is of the cause by interposition.{2}

Necessity of Two-Person Descriptions
2. The Cappadocian Principle is no prejudice to the Filioque clause because there must be descriptions shared by two persons and not the third, or else we could not describe the Son and Holy Spirit as "of the cause" and thus we could not say that the Father is the cause of the Godhead.{3}

Distinguishing Between Generation & Procession
3. The processions could have no order to each other, and the Son and Holy Spirit would not be distinct and would thus be a Semi-Sabellian monster, if the Son did not proceed from the Father alone while the Holy Spirit proceeds from both Father and Son.{4} To that extent, we do in fact know how generation differs from procession.

Saint Photius the Great on Properties Vis-à-vis Filioque
4. Properties are natural when they are not distinctive.{5} Ergo Patriarch St. Photius I the Great of Constantinople was right that predicating of the Son the distinctive property of the Father makes the Father an attribute of the nature rather than a subsistent person.{6} But the same great saint was wrong to reject the Filioque, for the Filioque does not attribute to the Son the property distinctive of the Father.{7}

Notes and References
{1} Watson, Brandon. "Interposition." Siris. 9 May 2007. 5 Oct. 2008 <http://branemrys.blogspot.com/2007/05/interposition.html>.
{2} Ibid.
{3} Ibid.
{4} St. Thomas Aquinas (Doctor Angelicus), Summa Theologica 1:36:2 @ http://newadvent.org/summa/1036.htm#article2.
{5} Watson, Brandon. "Interposition." Siris. 9 May 2007. 5 Oct. 2008 <http://branemrys.blogspot.com/2007/05/interposition.html>.
{6} Patriarch St. Photius I the Great of Constantinople, Mystagogy of the Holy Spirit.
{7} Watson, Brandon. "Interposition." Siris. 9 May 2007. 5 Oct. 2008 <http://branemrys.blogspot.com/2007/05/interposition.html>.

Friday, October 03, 2008

What the Ordinary Magisterium Is

Definition of Ordinary Magisterium
1. The ordinary magisterium is the daily administration of the Church Universal by the Episcopal college's bishops under the supreme pontiff's authority, as expressed in the universal governing and teaching of the supreme pontiff and the exercise of lawful duties by every bishop in communion with him.{1}

The Right Approach
2. It's important for Catholic apologists to try to avoid conceding errors in the ordinary magisterium, because we are required to give religious assent to all of its even non-definitive teachings.{2} In other words, infallibility is not the criteria for obedience; authority is the criteria for obedience! Catholic apologists should, when discussing possible errors in the ordinary magisterium, focus on whether a teaching is irreformable, true, and requires obedience.{3}

The Good Fruits of This Approach
3. With this approach Catholic apologists will have a much easier time addressing lists of alleged magisterial errors (e.g. the conduct of Pope St. Peter at Antioch, Pope Stephen VI and the abominable "Cadaver Synod," etc.) because they will see that the lists do not prove reversals of magisterial teaching or deal with magisterial teaching in the first place, but feature items that deal with, at most, doctrine that was not promulgated, or magisterial discipline.{4}

Notes and References
{1} I. Shawn McElhinney (10/20/2002), "One from the Vault" Dept.: Musings on Common Problematical Catholic Approaches to the Ordinary Magisterium @ http://rerum-novarum.blogspot.com/2003_09_07_archive.html#106329662693810865.
{2} Lumen Gentium §25.
{3} I. Shawn McElhinney (10/20/2002), "One from the Vault" Dept.: Musings on Common Problematical Catholic Approaches to the Ordinary Magisterium @ http://rerum-novarum.blogspot.com/2003_09_07_archive.html#106329662693810865.
{4} Ibid.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Capita Physica Theologica Epitomes 51-75

Part III of VI. Here I attempt to provide the epitomes of each chapter of the 150-chapter Capita Physica Theologica, a work of systematic theology by Archbishop St. Gregory Palamas the Wonderworker of Thessaloniki, who is venerated by Catholics and Eastern Orthodox alike. I pretty-much omit the very often powerful, straight-forward reasoning process of the saint, which can be reminiscent of that of the prince of theologians, that Angelic Doctor St. Thomas Aquinas. Nevertheless I give the conclusions of the miracle-working archbishop and try to do justice to his holy memory by portraying these conclusions completely and accurately.

51.
52.
53.
54.
55.
56.
57.
58.
59. Through the Holy Spirit, Who has a spirit of truth, and the Son Who is Truth itself [Jn 14:6], true worshipers worship the Father "in spirit and truth" [Jn 4:23] and receive the divine energies.
60.
61. Angels and the soul, both incorporeal and dependent on God the sustainer of the universe, are not omnipresent but are not in a place; angels and the soul are bounded by God and the soul is everywhere in a body in the sense of encompassing and vivifying it thanks to the image of God.
62.
63.
64. We are more to the image of God than angels but way inferior to the good angels concerning the likeness of God because they have more divine illumination; the wicked angels lack this illumination and so are in darkness. The good angels know sensible things by an all-seeing divine power rather than by a sensible and natural power.
65.
66. On Mount Tabor the Word Who compassionately assumed human nature showed to His chosen disciplines the luminous state of what we used to be and what we will be through Him in Heaven if we strive to live like Him as much as possible [St. John Chrysostom the Great].
67.
68.
69.
70. St. Isaiah enumerated seven (many) uncreated spirits (energies) [St. Gregory the Great Theologian of Nazianzus, Oratio in PG 36:432C] of "wisdom, understanding, knowledge, piety, counsel, might, and fear," [Is 11:1-2] which rested upon Christ's human nature.
71.
72.
73.
74.
75.