Monday, November 30, 2009

Happy Feast Day of St. Andrew the First-Called Apostle

Happy Feast Day of St. Andrew the First-Called (προτοκλήτος) Apostle, who was martyred on this day 1,949 years ago. The illustrious martyr was bound and crucified on decussate cross in Patras by order of Roman Governor Aegeas.

St. Gregory the Theologian & Filioque

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Culled from various sections of my upcoming paper on the Cappadocian Fathers and Filioque:

In Oration 29:2{26} (the Third Theological Oration) on the Son, St. Gregory the Theologian (†390) says, "The Father is the Begetter and the Emitter … The Son is the Begotten, and the Holy Spirit is the Emission …"{27} In the same section, he suggests confining the discussion to "the Unbegotten and the Begotten and That which proceeds from the Father, as somewhere God the Word Himself says." Does this imply that the Son has no role in the ontological procession of the Holy Spirit? Fr. Jugie gives a negative answer, explaining that St. Gregory does not rule out the idea that the Son has it from the Father that He is also προβολεύς.{28} The fairness of the scholar's explanation becomes apparent when we compare St. Gregory's statement from this oration with comments he makes elsewhere.

{26} P.G. 36:76B.
{27} Philip Schaff, D.D. translation, used for the rest of the primary sources unless otherwise noted.
{28} Jugie, De processione, 164.

In Oration 34:10, St. Gregory lays special emphasis on the monarchy of the Father: "all that the Father has belongs likewise to the Son, except Causality."{29} Mark of Ephesus, in his July 1440 "Encyclical Letter to All the Orthodox," quotes this statement to show that the Son does not spirate the Holy Spirit.{30} If the Father is the only cause, Mark argues, the Holy Spirit does not proceed from the Son. However, St. Gregory uses "cause" in a narrower sense than proponents of Filioque do when they say that the Father and the Son are one "principle" of the Holy Spirit,{31} and he does not teach that the Son does not participate in the spiration of the third person of the Trinity.{32} He means that the Father is the only person of the Trinity Who does not take His origin from another; this hypostatic property of being the ungenerated generator does not include the notion of being the sole spirator of the Holy Spirit, as St. Gregory's other statements show.{33} Several codices of Oration 34 have "ingenerateness" instead of causality; the two words are synonyms for St. Gregory.{34} Moreover,{35} in Oration 41:9, he says, "All that the Father has the Son has also, except being Unbegotten."{36}

{29} P.G. 36:252A.
{30} P.G. 160:176B.
{31} When Catholics say one principle of the Holy Spirit, they use "principle" indeterminately. See Aquinas, Summa Theologica I, q. 36, art. 4, ad 4. The term "principle" of the Holy Spirit is a substantive name (a form with an accompanying suppositum), so even though the Father and the Son are two supposita spirating, They are not two principles because They are one form, God. See ibid., ad 7.
{32} Jugie, De processione, 165.
{33} Ibid., 165.
{34} Ibid., 165.
{35} Qtd. in ibid., 165.
{36} P.G. 36:441C.

We find, in Oration 31 (the Fifth Theological Oration) of St. Gregory, a number of indications of the Son’s involvement in the hypostatic procession of the Holy Spirit. In Oration 31:4, the Theologian observes, "If ever there was a time when the Father was not, there was a time when the Son was not. If ever there was a time when the Son was not, then there was a time when the Spirit was not."{37} According to Fr. Jugie, St. Gregory here not only declares the co-eternality of the three hypostases, but also describes the Trinitarian ταξις so as to vaguely allude to the asymmetric dependence of the Holy Spirit on the Son.{38}

{37} PG 36:137A.
{38} Jugie, De processione, 162-163.

Other statements are clearer in their signification. In Oration 31:32, the saint compares the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit to "the sun and a ray and a light."{39} This figure implies more than just an eternal energetic shining forth (manifestation) of the Holy Spirit from the Father through the Son, which is the view of Gregory of Cyprus (†1290), who succeeded the unionist John XI Bekkos as Patriarch of Constantinople in 1283. The analogy St. Gregory uses implies that the Father and the Son act together to give existence to the Holy Spirit, because the globe of the sun is the unbegotten source, which, through and with the ray, produces the light.{40}

{39} P.G. 36:169B.
{40} Jugie, De processione, 161.

In Oration 31:8, St. Gregory points out that the Holy Spirit "proceeds from the Father," as "our Savior Himself" declares. Here St. Gregory does not say that the Holy Spirit "proceeds" from the Father and the Son, because εκπόρευσις has always been used, even by the Eastern Fathers after the Cappadocians who expressly taught the idea of Filioque, to indicate the relationship of origin of the Holy Spirit to the sole ἀρχὴ-ἄναρχος and πηγή of the Godhead, the Father.{41} εκπόρευσις cannot be used in connection with the Son, because the Son is not unoriginate, but rather is begotten from the Father. St. Gregory deems the fact of εκπόρευσις sufficient to prove that the Holy Spirit is God: "inasmuch as He proceeds from That Source, [He] is no creature." Does this mean he had no idea of a relationship of origin between the Holy Spirit and the Son? On the contrary, his teaching, from the very same sentence, that the Holy Spirit "is between the Unbegotten and the Begotten" entails that the Holy Spirit also proceeds from the Son in the sphere of ontology,{42} though different vocabulary (προείναι instead of εκπόρευσις) must be used in order to convey this properly.{43}

{41} Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. "The Father as the Source of the Whole Trinity: The Procession of the Holy Spirit in Greek and Latin Traditions." Catholic Culture.
{42} Jugie, De processione, 163.
{43} Pontifical Council, "The Father."

Further support for this thesis comes from the ninth section of the same oration, when St. Gregory explains why the Holy Spirit is not another Son. He points out that "the difference of manifestation, if I may so express myself, or rather of Their mutual relations one to another, has caused the difference of Their Names."{44} The relations of which St. Gregory speaks are clearly relations of origin.{45} For St. Gregory to be consistent with his own maxim and be able to distinguish the hypostases of the Son and the Holy Spirit, there must be, besides the relation between the Father and the Son and the relation between the Father and the Holy Spirit, a relation of origin between the Son and the Holy Spirit. The order of names tells us that the Son does not proceed from the Holy Spirit, so it must be the case that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Son.{46}

{44} P.G. 36:141C.
{45} Jugie, De processione, 163.
{46} Ibid., 163.

In Oration 42:15,{47} his final farewell at the Second Ecumenical Council,{48} the Theologian does not deny that the Son, even though He is caused, spirates the Holy Spirit.{49} He teaches that the Father is ἅναρχος, the Son is ἀρχὴ, and the Holy Spirit is τὸ µετὰ τῆς ἀρχῆς, which, according to Dr. Bardenhewer, implies between the Holy Spirit and the Son the relation of One Who proceeds and One From Whom He proceeds. Additionally, in Oration 31:2,{50} St. Gregory expressly states that the Holy Spirit is "ἐξ μφοῖν συνημμένον," that is to say, the Holy Spirit is "composed of both" the Father and the Son.{51} According to Dr. Bardenhewer, the sense of the Theologian's words is that the Father and the Son both compose, so to speak, the Holy Spirit, i.e., the Father and the Son both produce or spirate the Holy Spirit.{52} It follows that St. Gregory teaches here that the Holy Spirit "proceeds equally from the Father and the Son."{53}

{47} P.G. 36:476AB.
{48} New Catholic Encyclopedia, 2nd ed., s.v. "Gregory of Nazianzus, St."
{49} Jugie, De processione, 161.
{50} P.G. 36:136A.
{51} Bardenhewer, Patrology, 292.
{52} Ibid., 292.
{53} Ibid., 292.

This being so, why didn't the Second Ecumenical Council, under St. Gregory's presidency,{54} define that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son? First, the Second Council did not need to define that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Son, since that was not something the Pneumatomachi denied; the latter thought that the Son would of course be involved in the procession of any other person from the Father.{55} Second, the Council's goal "was to put the origin of the Holy [Spirit] on a footing with the origin of the Son with respect to consubstantiality with the Father," and since the Pneumatomachi denied that the Son is God, the Council would not achieve its goal of proving the Holy Spirit is ὁμοούσιος with God the Father by defining that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Son.{56} Third, the Council wanted to base its definition on Holy Scripture, but the key text John 15:26, which formally teaches that "the Spirit of Truth … proceeds from the Father," does not formally teach that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Son.{57} After the Cappadocians' time, why didn't the Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Ecumenical Councils define that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Son? These Holy Councils, which hailed many Filioquist Fathers as illustrious teachers of orthodoxy,{58} had no need to define this because no one was denying it in those times.{59}

{54} New Catholic Encyclopedia, 2nd ed., s.v. "Constantinople I, Council of."
{55} Joseph Wilhelm, D.D., Ph.D. and Thomas B. Scannell, D.D., A Manual of Catholic Theology, vol. 1, 4th ed. (New York: Benziger Bros., 1909), 296.
{56} Ibid., 296.
{57} Ibid., 296.
{58} E.g., the Holy Fathers of the Fifth Ecumenical Council declare in the first session that they "in every way follow the Holy Fathers … Hilary, … Ambrose, … Augustine, … [and] Leo [Pope of Rome], and their writings on the true faith." See Mansi, IX:183B.
{59} New Catholic Encyclopedia, 2nd ed., s.v. "Byzantine Theology."

Although St. Gregory the Theologian puts great emphasis on the monarchy of the Father, his vague allusion to the Holy Spirit's dependence on the Son in the Trinitarian τάξις, his analogy of the Trinity as sun-ray-light, and his teaching that the Holy Spirit is the mean between the Father and Son all imply not merely that the Holy Spirit is eternally energetically manifested through the Son, but that He has His being from the Father and the Son. Filioque becomes necessary to distinguish the persons of the Holy Spirit and the Son when we give just consideration to the holy archbishop’s axiom that the persons are distinguished from each other in their relations of origin to one another. His teaching that the Father is ἅναρχος, the Son is ἀρχὴ, and the Holy Spirit is τὸ µετὰ τῆς ἀρχῆς, implies that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Son. Finally, his statement that the Holy Spirit is "composed of both" the Father and the Son means that the Father and the Son spirate the Holy Spirit.

Whatever one thinks of the pneumatological statements of Eastern Fathers like St. Athanasius the Great of Alexandria,{69} St. Epiphanius of Salamis,{70} and St. Cyril of Alexandria,{71} there can be no doubt that the Latin Fathers, from the time of Bishop St. Hilary of Poitiers,{72} unanimously teach Filioque.{73} They include St. Ambrose the Great of Milan,{74} St. Augustine the Great of Hippo,{75} Pope St. Leo I the Great of Rome,{76} Pope St. Hormisdas of Rome,{77} the martyred philosopher St. Boethius,{78} Pope St. Gregory I the Great of Rome,{79} and St. Isidore of Seville.{80} All the God-bearing Latin Fathers were, like the holy Cappadocian Fathers, inspired by the one Spirit of Truth; how could the Cappadocians and the Latins have held mutually exclusive views on the procession of the Holy Spirit?

{69} This great pillar of the Church saw no contradiction between affirming that the Father is "the sole unbegotten and sole fount of divinity" (P.G. 28:97BC) and declaring,
"Whatever the Spirit has, He has from the Word" (Against the Arians 3:25:24 in P.G. 26:376A) and "jointly with the Father, the Son is indeed the source of the Holy Spirit" (On the Incarnation of the Word Against the Arians 9 in P.G. 26:1000A).
{70} The Well-Anchored Man 71,73 in P.G. 43:148B,153A.
{71} Commentary on the Prophet Joel 35 in P.G. 71:377D; Thesaurus 34 in P.G. 75:576B,600D; On the Incarnation of the Only-Begotten in P.G. 75:1241A; On Worship and Adoration in Spirit and Truth 1 in P.G. 68:148A.
{72} On the Trinity 2:29 and 8:20 in Migne, Patrologia Latina Cursus Completus, 10:69A,250C-251A.
{73} New Catholic Encyclopedia, 2nd ed., s.v. "Filioque."
{74} On the Holy Spirit 1:11:120 in P.L. 16:733A. See also ibid., 1:15:172 in P.L. 16:739B.
{75} Against Maximus 2:14:1 in P.L. 42:770.
{76} Letter 15:2 to Bishop St. Turibius of Astorga in P.L. 54:680.
{77} Profession of Faith in P.L. 63:514B.
{78} How the Trinity is One God and Not Three Gods 5 in P.L. 64:1254C.
{79} Morals on the Book of Job 2:56:92 in P.L. 75:599A.
{80} Etymologies 7:3 in P.L. 82:268A,C. See also Books of Sentences 1:15:2 in P.L. 83:568C.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Gregory VI Was True Pope

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Gregory VI (John Gratian) was simoniacally elected and therefore an antipope

The wicked Pope Benedict IX{1} abdicated and his godfather John Gratian gave him monetary compensation.{2} John Gratian was canonically elected Pope Gregory VI on 5/1/1045 because of his reputation for holiness.{3} We know John Gratian did not "buy the papacy" from the following facts: (1) he gave all his money to Benedict IX, who kept it for himself (i.e., Gregory VI did not buy any votes); and (2) he accepted his election reluctantly.{4} Gregory VI was not deposed; rather, he voluntarily abdicated before Christmas 1046 when he decided he had no choice but to step down in order to avoid a scandal of an outward appearance of simony and bring peace to the Church.{5}
Notes & References
{1} a) Bishop Benno of Piacenza accused Pope Benedict IX (10/1032-9/1044, 4/1045-5/1045, 11/1047-7/1048) of "many vile adulteries and murders" ("post multa turpia adulteria et homicidia manibus suis perpetrata, postremo…"). Liber ad amicum in Dümmler, Ernst Ludwig, Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Libelli de lite, vol. 1. Hannover: Deutsches Institut für Erforschung des Mittelalters, 1891, p. 584. 27 Nov. 2009 <$FILE/AlimBonizoAdamicum.doc?openelement>.
b) Bl. Pope Victor III, while Abbot Desiderius of Monte Cassino, referred to "his rapes, murders, and other unspeakable acts. His life as a Pope so vile, so foul, so execrable, that I shudder to think of it" ("cujus vita quam turpis, quam freda, quamque execranda extiterit, horresco referre"). Dialogi de miraculis Sancti Benedicti Liber Tertius in Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Libelli de lite. Hannover: Deutsches Institut für Erforschung des Mittelalters, 1934, p. 141. 27 Nov. 2009 <$FILE/AlimDesiderioDialogi.doc?openelement>.
c) While Benedict IX was very evil during his reign as pope, one tradition reports that after abdicating for good, Theophylact of Tusculum "died in penitence at Grottaferrata." Mann, Fr. Horace. "Pope Benedict IX." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 2. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1907. 30 Nov. 2009 <>.
{2} Brusher, Fr. Joseph, S.J. "Gregory VI." Popes Through the Ages. 27 Nov. 2009 <>.
{3} Ibid.
{4} Ibid.
{5} Ibid.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Prayer Requests

Please pray for Grandma Huysman, that she recovers fully from her stroke. Please also pray for the repose of the soul of Grandpa Huysman, who passed away eight years ago of leukemia. Thank you from the bottom of my heart and God bless you and yours.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Happy Solemnity of Christ the King!

Happy Solemnity of Christ the King 2009! Tonight I will go through the Rite of Acceptance at Mass. Yesterday I had my first retreat of the RCIA program. Praise the Lord! Pray for me, a sinner. Pray fervently also for Grandma Huysman, who had a stroke last week. St. Raphael the Archangel, pray for the speedy and complete healing of my beloved and holy grandmother.

Reading 1
Dn 7:13-14

As the visions during the night continued, I saw
one like a Son of man coming,
on the clouds of Heaven;
when He reached the Ancient One
and was presented before Him,
the one like a Son of man received dominion, glory, and kingship;
all peoples, nations, and languages serve Him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion
that shall not be taken away,
His kingship shall not be destroyed.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 93:1, 1-2, 5

R. (1a) The LORD is king; He is robed in majesty.
The LORD is king, in splendor robed;
robed is the LORD and girt about with strength.
R. The LORD is king; He is robed in majesty.
And He has made the world firm,
not to be moved.
Your throne stands firm from of old;
from everlasting you are, O LORD.
R. The LORD is king; He is robed in majesty.
Your decrees are worthy of trust indeed;
holiness befits your house,
O LORD, for length of days.
R. The LORD is king; He is robed in majesty.

Reading II
Rv 1:5-8

Jesus Christ is the faithful witness,
the firstborn of the dead and ruler of the kings of the earth.
To Him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood,
Who has made us into a kingdom, priests for His God and Father,
to Him be glory and power forever and ever. Amen.
Behold, He is coming amid the clouds,
and every eye will see Him,
even those who pierced Him.
All the peoples of the earth will lament Him.
Yes. Amen.

"I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God,
"the one Who is and Who was and Who is to come, the Almighty."

Jn 18:33b-37

Pilate said to Jesus,
"Are you the King of the Jews?"
Jesus answered, "Do you say this on your own
or have others told you about Me?"
Pilate answered, "I am not a Jew, am I?
Your own nation and the chief priests handed you over to me.
What have you done?"
Jesus answered, "My kingdom does not belong to this world.
If My kingdom did belong to this world,
My attendants would be fighting
to keep Me from being handed over to the Jews.
But as it is, My kingdom is not here."
So Pilate said to Him, "Then you are a king?"
Jesus answered, "You say I am a king.
For this I was born and for this I came into the world,
to testify to the truth.
Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to My voice."

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Cappadocian Theology Final Paper Outline

1. Introduction

2. St. Basil the Great biographical info
a. ecclesiastical career
b. St. Gregory the Theologian and the Holy Spirit as God
c. one of the three Holy Hierarchs
3. St. Basil's understanding of "cause" and Letter to St. Gregory of Nyssa [PG 32:329BC] (Jugie 147-148 & Gill 201)
4. The Holy Spirit is from the Father and not from elsewhere (Gill 195-196)
5. The Cappadocian Principle and St. Photios
a. St. Basil the Great, Letter 214:4 [PG 32:789]
6. book On the Holy Spirit (Jugie 147-148)
7. statement in Against Eunomius 3:1
8. controversy at Council of Florence over whether passage is genuine (Gill 199-200)
9. arguments that passage is genuine
a. parchment of Nicholas de Cusa from 600 years prior to Council of Florence (Pusey 121 n. x)
b. five out of six codices brought by Bessarion's countrymen had passage (Parsons 139)
c. Bessarion's thorough examination of ancient manuscripts in Constantinopolitan monasteries (Gill 223-224)
d. codex from 350 years prior to Council of Florence had passage poorly erased but still visible, and another old codex had passage covered with ink (Gill 224)
e. ancient codex brought by John of Montenero from Metropolitan Dorotheus of Mitylene (Gill 203)
f. Bessarion on witnesses to passage in centuries before (Gill 224 n. 1)
g. absurdity of Latin writing & neatly inserting stereotypically Greek phrases (Gill 224 n. 1)
h. St. Basil's very argument presupposes the truth of the words in the passage (Bardenhewer 282, Gill 204)

10. St. Gregory the Theologian biographical info
a. ecclesiastical career
b. one of the three Holy Hierarchs
11. Oration 29:2 [PG 36:76B]
a. does not mean that the Father is the sole spirator of the Holy Spirit (Jugie 164)
12. Oration 34:10 [PG 36:252A]
a. the Father as the sole cause
b. interpretation of Mark of Ephesus
c. causality means, according to variant manuscripts and in the context of Oration 41:9 [PG 36:441C], ingenerateness (Jugie 165)
d. paternity implies being the Father of the Son, not being the sole spirator of the Holy Spirit
13. Oration 31:31-32 [PG 36:169B]
a. the eye, fountain, and river
b. the sun, ray, and light
c. interpretation of Gregory of Cyprus
14. Oration 31:4 [PG 36:137A]
a. vague allusion to dependence of the Holy Spirit on the Son in the Trinitarian taxis (Jugie 162-163)
15. Oration 31:8 [PG 36:141B]
a. Holy Spirit is the medium between the Father and the Son
b. therefore He proceeds from both (Jugie 163 n. 2)
16. Oration 31:9 [PG 36:141C]
a. persons distinguished in the manifestations, or relations to one another
b. must be a relation between the Son and the Holy Spirit to distinguish them (Jugie 163)
c. this relation can only be one of origin
d. Son does not proceed from Holy Spirit, so Holy Spirit proceeds from Son
17. Oration 42:15 [PG 36:476AB]
a. St. Gregory does not deny that the Son, even though He is caused, spirates the Holy Spirit (Jugie 161)
b. The Father is ἅναρχος, the Son is ἀρχὴ, and the Holy Spirit is τὸ µετὰ τῆς ἀρχῆς
c. implies relation between the Holy Spirit and the Son the relation of One Who proceeds and One From Whom He proceeds (Bardenhewer 292)
18. Oration 31:2 [PG 36:136A]
a. Holy Spirit composed of both (ἐξ μφοῖν συνημμένον)
b. therefore, Holy Spirit proceeds from both the Father and the Son (Bardenhewer 292)

19. St. Gregory of Nyssa biographical info
a. ecclesiastical career
20. Third Sermon on the Lord's Prayer
a. property of the Holy Spirit is that He is from the Father and the Son
b. arguments for "from the Son" vs. "of the Son" (Jugie 160)
21. To Ablabius on Not Three Gods [PG 45:133BC]
a. mediation of Son necessary to distinguish Son from Holy Spirit
b. St. Gregory's understanding of cause
22. Against the Macedonians on the Holy Spirit 6 [PG 45:1308AB]
a. the Father and Son are the one principle of the Holy Spirit because they are the one flame from which the third torch is kindled
b. the meaning of this mediation: the Son, together with the Father, gives existence to the Holy Spirit
23. Against Eunomius 1 in PG 45:464BC

24. Conclusion
a. Meaning of Filioque (Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity)
b. St. Basil the Great
c. St. Gregory the Theologian
d. St. Gregory of Nyssa
e. absurdity of incompatibility of Cappadocian Triadology with unanimous consent of Latin Fathers; there can be no contradiction in this crucial teaching between the Eastern and Western Fathers who were inspired by the one Spirit of Truth

Monday, November 16, 2009

Concise Cappadocian Theology Final Paper Précis

What light can the great Cappadocian Fathers shed on the vexed question of Filioque? Careful examination of the writings of the Cappadocian Fathers reveals that they support the thesis that the Father and the Son spirate the ὑπόστᾰσις of the Holy Spirit.

St. Photios the Great (Mystagogy of the Holy Spirit) echoes St. Basil's idea (Epistle 214) that every real divine property is either common to all three persons or proper to one person. But unassailable evidence proves the genuineness of the passage from St. Basil's Third Book Against Eunomius in which he, unlike St. Photios, teaches that active spiration is not proper to the Father, since the Holy Spirit has His existence from the Father and the Son.

St. Gregory of Nyssa expressly teaches that the Holy Spirit is from the Father and the Son on the level of hypostasis (Third Sermon on the Lord's Prayer). For the holy bishop, to be the αἰτία is to exist in an ungenerated way, but this does not include the idea of being the sole spirator of the Holy Spirit. The Son's mediation in the hypostatic procession of the Holy Spirit, which is necessary to distinguish the Holy Spirit from the person of the Son (To Ablabius On "Not Three Gods"), consists in, as the saint's analogy to the flame and torches reveals (Against the Macedonians on the Holy Spirit), the Son cooperating with the Father in spirating the Holy Spirit as from one principle.

For St. Gregory the Theologian, the Father alone possesses causality (Oration 34), which means "ingenerateness" (cf. Oration 41). But he does not call the Father the sole προβολεύς of the Holy Spirit (Oration 29), which is how Mark of Ephesus understands him (Encyclical Letter to All the Orthodox). St. Gregory's vague allusion to the Holy Spirit's dependence on the Son in the Trinitarian τάξις, his analogy of the Trinity as sun-ray-light, and his teaching that the Holy Spirit is the mean between the Father and Son (Oration 31) all imply not merely that the Holy Spirit is eternally energetically manifested through the Son, but that He has His being from the Father and the Son. Filioque becomes necessary to distinguish the persons of the Holy Spirit and the Son when we give just consideration to the holy archbishop’s axiom (ibid.) that the persons are distinguished from each other in their relations of origin to one another.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Cappadocian Theology Final Paper Précis

This is my rough draft of a précis for my final 12+ page paper for Cappadocian Theology. The version I'll turn in has to be 250 words; I'll post that, as well, after I make this more concise:

As the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity says, Filioque deals not with the εκπόρευσις of the Holy Spirit from the Father as the sole ἀρχὴ-ἄναρχος and πηγή of the Godhead, but reveals the procession (το προείναι) 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. In other words, the Father and the Son spirate the ὑπόστᾰσις of the Holy Spirit in a single act of spiration as from one principle. What light can the great Cappadocian Fathers shed on the vexed question of Filioque? In fact, careful examination of the writings of the Cappadocian Fathers reveals that they support this perspective on the procession of the Holy Spirit.

In his 214th Epistle, St. Basil the Great teaches that every real divine property is either common to all three persons or proper to one person. Unlike St. Photios the Great, who uses this teaching to oppose Filioque in his Mystagogy of the Holy Spirit, St. Basil did not consider active spiration to be proper to the Father, and, without contradicting himself, taught that the Holy Spirit has His existence from the Father and the Son in his Third Book Against Eunomius. Unassailable arguments prove the genuineness of the passage in which St. Basil teaches this.

Opponents of Filioque, such as Metropolitan Mark Eugenikos of Ephesus in his "Encyclical Letter to All the Orthodox," have held up St. Gregory the Theologian as an opponent to the Filioque, since the great Doctor of the Trinity says, in Oration 34, that the Father alone possesses causality. St. Gregory's statement that the Son has all that the Father has except for causality does not exclude the Son from spirating the Holy Spirit. Ancient manuscripts and a comparison with other writings, such as Oration 41, show that by causality, the saint means "ingenerateness." Although the Theologian says the Father is the sole αἰτία in that sense, he does not, in Oration 29, say that the Father is the sole προβολεύς of the Holy Spirit. In Oration 31, when he discusses the Trinitarian τάξις, he vaguely alludes to the dependence of the Holy Spirit of the Son. In the same oration, his comparisons of the Trinity to the sun, ray, and light and to the eye, fountain, and river imply not just that the Holy Spirit is energetically manifested through the Son, but that He has His being from the Father and the Son. That the Father and the Son both spirate the Holy Spirit is implied by St. Gregory's teaching from the same oration that the Holy Spirit is the mean between the Father and the Son. Indeed, the idea of Filioque becomes necessary to in order to say that the Holy Spirit is not the Son, when we give just consideration to the holy archbishop's axiom, again from the same oration, that the persons are distinguished from each other not just in their energetic manifestation, but in their relations of origin to one another.

Finally, St. Gregory of Nyssa expressly teaches in his Third Sermon on the Lord's Prayer that the Holy Spirit is from the Father and the Son in the order of hypostasis. He also points out in To Ablabius On "Not Three Gods" that the mediation of the Son in the hypostatic procession of the Holy Spirit is necessary in order to distinguish the Holy Spirit from the person of the Son. For the holy bishop, to be the αἰτία is to exist in an ungenerated way, but this does not include the idea of being the sole spirator of the Holy Spirit. In what does the Son’s mediation consist, for St. Gregory? It consists, as his analogy to the flame and torches from his Against the Macedonians on the Holy Spirit, reveals, in the Son cooperating with the Father in spirating the Holy Spirit as from one principle.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Hell Is Not Empty

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Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Those who say that Hell is empty make our Lord a liar, a false prophet. The prophecies of Hell are not merely conditional.

Judith 16:20-21: "Woe be to the nation that riseth up against My people: for the Lord Almighty will take revenge on them, in the day of judgment He will visit them. For He will give fire, and worms into their flesh, that they may burn, and may feel forever."
Job 24:19-20: "Let him pass from the snow waters to excessive heat, and his sin even to Hell. Let mercy forget him: may worms be his sweetness: let him be remembered no more, but be broken in pieces as an unfruitful tree."
Psalm 108:6-7: "Set Thou the sinner over him: and may the devil stand at his right hand. When he is judged, may he go out condemned; and may his prayer be turned to sin. May his days be few: and his bishopric let another take."
Sirach 7:19: "Humble thy spirit very much: for the vengeance on the flesh of the ungodly is fire and worms."
Matthew 7:21-23:
Not every one that saith to Me, "Lord, Lord," shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven: but he that doth the will of My Father Who is in Heaven, he shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. Many will say to Me in that day: "Lord, Lord, have not we prophesied in Thy name, and cast out devils in Thy name, and done many miracles in Thy name?" And then will I profess unto them, "I never knew you: depart from Me, you that work iniquity."
Matthew 13:41-42: "The Son of man shall send His angels, and they shall gather out of His Kingdom all scandals, and them that work iniquity. And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
Matthew 22:13-14: "Then the King said to the waiters: 'Bind his hands and feet, and cast him into the exterior darkness. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen.'"
Matthew 25:31-46:
And when the Son of man shall come in His majesty, and all the angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the seat of His majesty. And all nations shall be gathered together before Him: and He shall separate them one from another, as the shepherd separateth the sheep from the goats: And He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on His left. Then shall the King say to them that shall be on His right hand: "Come, ye blessed of My Father, possess you the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me to eat: I was thirsty, and you gave Me to drink: I was a stranger, and you took Me in: Naked, and you covered Me: sick, and you visited Me: I was in prison, and you came to Me." Then shall the just answer Him, saying: "Lord, when did we see Thee hungry and fed Thee: thirsty and gave Thee drink? when did we see Thee a stranger and took Thee in? Or naked and covered Thee? Or when did we see Thee sick or in prison and came to Thee?" And the King answering shall say to them: "Amen I say to you, as long as you did it to one of these My least brethren, you did it to Me." Then He shall say to them also that shall be on his left hand: "Depart from Me, you cursed, into everlasting fire, which was prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave Me not to eat: I was thirsty and you gave Me not to drink. I was a stranger and you took Me not in: naked and you covered Me not: sick and in prison and you did not visit Me." Then they also shall answer Him, saying: "Lord, when did we see Thee hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison and did not minister to Thee?" Then He shall answer them, saying: "Amen: I say to you, as long as you did it not to one of these least, neither did you do it to Me." And these shall go into everlasting punishment: but the just, into life everlasting.
Luke 13:23-24: And a certain man said to Him: "Lord, are they few that are saved?" But He said to them: "Strive to enter by the narrow gate: for many, I say to you, shall seek to enter and shall not be able."
Luke 16:19-31:
There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and feasted sumptuously every day. And there was a certain beggar, named Lazarus, who lay at his gate, full of sores, desiring to be filled with the crumbs that fell from the rich man's table. And no one did give him: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass that the beggar died and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom. And the rich man also died: and he was buried in Hell. And lifting up his eyes when he was in torments, he saw Abraham afar off and Lazarus in his bosom: and he cried and said: "Father Abraham, have mercy on me and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water to cool my tongue: for I am tormented in this flame." And Abraham said to him: "Son, remember that thou didst receive good things in thy lifetime, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted and thou art tormented. And besides all this, between us and you, there is fixed a great chaos: so that they who would pass from hence to you cannot, nor from thence come hither." And he said: "Then, father, I beseech thee that thou wouldst send him to my father's house, for I have five brethren, that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torments." And Abraham said to him: "They have Moses and the prophets. Let them hear them." But he said: "No, father Abraham: but if one went to them from the dead, they will do penance." And he said to him: "If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they believe, if one rise again from the dead."
John 8:24: "Therefore I said to you that you shall die in your sins. For if you believe not that I am He, you shall die in your sin."
John 17:12: "While I was with them, I kept them in Thy name. Those whom Thou gavest Me have I kept: and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition: that the Scripture may be fulfilled."
St. Peter, the Prince of the Apostles, applies Psalm 108 to Judas in Acts 1:20: "For it is written in the book of Psalms: 'Let their habitation become desolate, and let there be none to dwell therein. And his bishopric let another take.'"
Rom 9:27: And Isaiah cried out concerning Israel: "If the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved."
1 Corinthians 6:9-10: "Know you not that the unjust shall not possess the Kingdom of God? Do not err: Neither fornicators nor idolaters nor adulterers: Nor the effeminate nor liers with mankind nor thieves nor covetous nor drunkards nor railers nor extortioners shall possess the Kingdom of God."
2 Thessalonians 1:7-9:
And to you who are troubled, rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from Heaven with the angels of His power: in a flame of fire, giving vengeance to them who know not God and who obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Who shall suffer eternal punishment in destruction, from the face of the Lord and from the glory of His power...
Jude 1:7: Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighboring cities, in like manner, having given themselves to fornication and going after other flesh, were made an example, suffering the punishment of eternal fire.
Revelation 20:9-10,15: And there came down fire from God out of Heaven and devoured them: and the Devil, who seduced them, was cast into the pool of fire and brimstone, where both the beast And the false prophet shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. ... And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the pool of fire.

Bishop St. Ignatius the Martyr of Antioch before 107 [Epistle to the Ephesians 16 in PG 5:567AB]:
Those that corrupt families shall not inherit the Kingdom of God. If, then, those who do this as respects the flesh have suffered death, how much more shall this be the case with any one who corrupts by wicked doctrine the faith of God, for which Jesus Christ was crucified! Such an one becoming defiled [in this way], shall go away into everlasting fire, and so shall every one that hearkens unto him.
The same illustrious martyr says [Epistle to the Philadelphians 3 in PG 5:700A]: "If any man follows him that makes a schism in the Church, he shall not inherit the Kingdom of God."

Bishop St. Justin Martyr of Caesarea in 151 [Apology 1:8 in PG 6:337C]:
And Plato, in like manner, used to say that Rhadamanthus and Minos would punish the wicked who came before them; and we say that the same thing will be done, but at the hand of Christ, and upon the wicked in the same bodies united again to their spirits which are now to undergo everlasting punishment; and not only, as Plato said, for a period of a thousand years.
The same man of God says [Dialogue with Trypho the Jew 45 in PG 6:573A]: "some are sent to be punished unceasingly into judgment and condemnation of fire."

Bishop St. Polycarp the Martyr of Smyrna (Doctor of the Chaldean Catholic Church) in 155 [Martyrdom of St. Polycarp 11 in PG 5:1037B]: "You threaten me with fire which burns for an hour, and after a little is extinguished, but are ignorant of the fire of the coming judgment and of eternal punishment, reserved for the ungodly. But why do you tarry? Bring forth what you will."

Bishop St. Irenaeus the Martyr of Lyons in 181 [Against Heresies 1:10:1 in PG 7A:549B-552A]: "that He may send "spiritual wickednesses" [Eph 6:12] and the angels who transgressed and became apostates, together with the ungodly, and unrighteous, and wicked, and profane among men, into everlasting fire."

Archbishop St. Gregory I the Theologian of Constantinople (Doctor) on 1/6/381 [Oration 40:36 in PG 36:412A]:
I know also a fire which is not cleansing, but avenging; either that fire of Sodom [Gen 19:24] which He pours down on all sinners, mingled with brimstone and storms, or that "which is prepared for the Devil and his angels" [Mt 25:41] or that which proceeds from the face of the Lord, and shall burn up his enemies round about; and one even more fearful still than these, the unquenchable fire which is ranged with the worm that dies not but is eternal for the wicked.
Bishop St. Ambrose the Great of Milan (Doctor) [On Repentance 2:4:27 in PL 16:504A]: "For I suppose that even Judas might through the exceeding mercy of God not have been shut out from forgiveness, if he had expressed his sorrow not before the Jews but before Christ."

Local Council of Quiersy in 853 [Chapter 3 in DS 318]: "Omnipotent God wishes all men without exception to be saved [1 Tim 2:4] although not all will be saved. However, that certain ones are saved, is the gift of the one who saves; that certain ones perish, however, is the deserved punishment of those who perish."

St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelic Doctor) [On Truth I, q. 6, art. 2:11], "Now, in the case of Judas, the abuse of grace was the reason for his reprobation, since was made reprobate because he died without grace."

Pope Pius II of Rome on 11/14/1459 condemns the following proposition [Errors of Zanini de Solcia in DS 717B]: "That all Christians are to be saved."

Sixth Ecumenical Council (Constantinople III), Session 13: "And with these we define that there shall be expelled from the holy Church of God and anathematized Honorius, who was some time pope of Old Rome..."
Editor: Does this mean that Pope Honorius I of Rome, whom the he Sixth Council, with papal approbation, declared  to be excommunicated, is not a member of the Church Triumphant?

16th Ecumenical Council (Constance) on 5/4/1415 (the holy Pope Martin V approved this definition):
This holy synod, therefore, at the instance of the procurator-fiscal and since a decree was issued to the effect that sentence should be heard on this day, declares, defines and decrees that the said John Wyclif was a notorious and obstinate heretic who died in heresy, and it anathematizes him and condemns his memory. It decrees and orders that his body and bones are to be exhumed, if they can be identified among the corpses of the faithful, and to be scattered far from a burial place of the church, in accordance with canonical and lawful sanctions.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Happy Veteran's Day 2009

Happy Veteran's Day 2009. Sts. Acacius the Martyr of Byzantium, Adrian of Nicomedia, Faith the Martyr of Agen, Gabriel the Archangel, George the Great Martyr of Georgia, Ignatius of Loyola, Apostle and Martyr James the Greater, Joan the Martyr of Arc, John of Capistrano, Joseph of Cupertino, Joseph the Betrothed of Nazareth, King Louis IX of France, Martin of Tours, Mary the Ever-Virgin Theotókos, Maurice the Martyr of the Theban Legion, Michael the Archangel, Phanourios the Great Martyr of Crete, Philip Neri, Raphael the Archangel, Sebastian the Martyr of France, Bishop Stanislaus Szczepanowsky of Cracow, General Theodore Stratelates the Martyr of Tyro, and Therese of Lisieux, pray for our veterans, and for those troops currently serving and all those working with them! Uncle Mike and Cousin John, thank you for selflessly serving our country in war!

Monday, November 09, 2009

V. Palamism's principal opponents. Their doctrine on the light of Tabor

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Here is an ongoing rough translation of part of Fr. Martin Jugie, A.A. (1878-1954), "Palamite (Controverse)," in: M. Vacant et al., eds., Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, tome XI/2 (Paris 1932), cols. 1777-1818. Many thanks to Dr. Peter Gilbert of De Unione Ecclesiarum for sending me the French text. N.B. I know a very small amount of Greek, and I have trouble distinguishing the diacritical marks due to the printing quality of the DTC. If something strikes you as nonsensical, please help me correct any mistakes.

V. Palamism's principal opponents. Their doctrine on the light of Tabor (col. 1802)

If Palamism recruited fervent adherents in 14th century Byzantium, it also picked up numerous and formidable adversaries, who would have undoubtedly triumphed without the intervention of the secular arm. A list of these adversaries, athough incomplete, has been conserved in the Vatic. græc, 1096, fol. 29 vº, which is from the end of the 14th century. We note, among other names, the following, who took an active part in the controversy: Barlaam, Gregory Acindynus, Nicephorus Gregoras, the hieromonk Niphon, the philosopher Georges Lapithes, John Calecas, Patriarch Ignatius of Antioch, Matthew of Ephesus, the hieromonk Prochorus Cydones. Cf. Giovanni Mercati, op. cit. It is necessary to add: [Theodore] Atouemes, Theodore Dexios, Isaac Argyros and the unionists Demetrius Cydones, John Cyparissiotes and Manuel Calecas.

Of Barlaam we have already spoken enough. We showed how, from the beginning of the quarrel, he had been abandoned by everyone, even by Acindynus, and by the monks less because of the substance of his doctrine about the Taboric Light than for the way he had expressed it. Palamites, as well, did not stop at these superficial differences, and they treated as Barlaamites all those who do not admit a real distinction between the essence of God and His operation, and the existence of an eternal divine light and uncreated grace.

Before speaking of the principle defenders of orthodoxy and sound philosophy against the innovations of Palamas, let us point out that one should not judge their true doctrine according to the statements of the Palamite theologians. If we believe them, Acindynus, John Calecas, Gregoras and the others taught pure nominalism. They made an inert nature; or else they lowered the action of God and all His relative and operative attributes. All these imputations are attributable to unfair accounts of the debate, which, to better crush the enemy, lend themselves to insanities. We do not mean that all the anti-Palamites were blameless in their way of speaking about God and His attributes: all had enough sense to make necessary distinctions and to reduce to null the sometimes subtle and embarrassing objections of Palamas and of his disciples. Most of the Byzantines were not introduced to the Scholastic method of the West, and were so equivocal that a doctor in Sorbonne should have torn like a spider web by an appropriate distinction that could leave a Nicephorus Gregoras silent. [???] But the adversaries of Palamism had enough philosophy and theology to maintain the absolute simplicity of the divine Being and deny everything else but Him the epithets of uncreated and eternal.

There is still a marked difference between the attitude of anti-Palamites of the first period and the one the polemicists of the second phase of the controversy had. The first, that is to say Acindynus, John Calecas, Theodore Dexios, Matthew of Ephesus and even Nicephorus Gregoras, are preoccupied with avoiding any doctrinal innovation and stick to, in matters of dogma, the teachings of the Symbol and the seven ecumenical councils. This attitude is commanded of them and by the defense made by the τόμος συνoδικὸς and by the pretension of Palamas and his followers to develop and explain the ancient definitions. They are resolute conservatives, who do not even want to pose the question of the nature of the Taboric light. Asked about this point, or they refuse to answer, as they did at the council of 1351; or they say: "If the light of Tabor is uncreated, it must be identified with God Himself, because God alone is uncreated; nothing is uncreated except Him. If you posit a light really distinct from the divine essence, it must necessarily be ranked among created things." By virtue of this same principle, they declare that divine grace and the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are created. They identify between the divine essence and the divine operation considered as a terminus a quo, and say it is created, if it is considered as a terminus ad quem, that is to say, in its effects. The Palamites show themselves to be unable to grasp this distinction, however so simple, and they accuse their adversaries of fickleness and contradiction; teaching sometimes that the Taboric Light is created, other times that it is uncreated; of reducing the divine operation to the status of a creature, or eradicating it by identifying it with the essence.

1. The attitude of which we speak has always been that of Acindynus. We still have from him, besides a number of letters, three Confessions of Faith, one addressed to the Empress Anna Palaeologus. 2. A short exposition of the detestable heresies of Palamas, Ἕκθεσις ἐπίτoμος τῶν τoῦ ∏αλαµᾶ πoνηρoτάτων αἱρέεσων. 3. A refutation of the Confession of Faith of Gregory Palamas, Ἡ τoῦ ∏αλαµᾶ ὁµoλoγία ἀνεσκευασµένη. This refutation is not the confession of faith Palamas presented to the Council of 1351, but another previous formula. 4. A Refutation of the Letter of Palamas to Acindynus sent from Thessalonica shortly before the Council of 1341, Ἐπιστoλὴ τoῦ ∏αλαµᾶ ἀνεσκευκσμενη, ἢν ἀπὁ Θεσσαλονἰχκης ἀπἐστειλεν τῷ Ἀχινδὐνῳ, or the Hesychast theologian expounds his system with the most audacious formulas. 5. A Report to the Patriarch John and his synod recounting the origins of the controversy between Barlaam and Palamas, Λόγος πρὸς τὸν μακαριώταταον πατριάρχην κῦρ Ἰωάννην καὶ τὴν περὶ αὐτὸν σὐνοδον, διεξιὼν ὄπως ἡ τοῦ Παλαμᾶ καὶ Βαρλαὰμ φιλονεικὶα τὴν ἀρχὴν ουνέστη. This report, probably written before the excommunication of Palamas (November 4, 1344), is very interesting for the history of the origins of the controversy, and we put it to good use in our study. 6. Another Exposition and refutation of the heresies of Palamas, Ἐτέρα ἕκθεσις καὶ ἀναρσκευὴ τῶν τοῦ Παλαμᾶ πονηροτάτων αἱρέσεων. 7. Five other antirrhetical discourses against Palamas. All these writings, except the Profession of Faith addressed to Anna Palaeologus, which is in Barberinus 291, fol. 218-222 vº, are found in Monacensis 223, 363 fol. (15th century). They are all unedited.

A false judgment has heretofore been brought to bear on the theology of Acindynus due to the attribution which was made to him of the work De essentia et operatione, which belongs to Prochoros Cydones. Far from being Latinophrone, penetrated by Thomistic doctrine, he is a Byzantine in rigid conservatism, just as much an enemy of the Latins as Palamas, and who sticks to the traditional faith. All his formulas, all his expressions are derived from the Greek Fathers. The major thesis he supports against Palamas is this: God is an absolutely simple being, in Whom everything is really identified with the exception of the hypostatic properties: Tαὐτότης µόνη ὲν τῶ Θεῶ καὶ ἀπαραλλαξία πλὴν τῶν κατὰ τὰς τρεῖς Θεαρχικὰς ὐπoστἀσεις ἰδιoτήτῶν, Monac. 223, fol. 19 vº. In Him, there is no primary element and secondary element. Nothing outside of Him is uncreated. He is the first; everything that comes after is a creature; there is no intermediary between the Creator and the creature. There is nothing eternal outside of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit: πᾶν τὸ ἕλαττον τοῦ Θεοῦ κτίσμα καὶ Θεὸς µόνoν τὸ Θεῖoν ἅκτιστιόν τε καὶ ᾶναρχoν καὶ Θεὸς µὲν πρῶτoν, µετὰ δὲ τοῦτον κτίσις, διὰ µεσου δὲ τὸ σύµπαν oύὀέν, καὶ µόυη τῆς κτίσεως ὑπέρκειται ἡ Θεία τε καὶ ἅκτιστoς φύσις, καὶ oὐδὲν πρoαιώνιoν πλὴν ∏ατρὸς καὶ Υῖoῦ καὶ ἁγίoυ ∏νεύµατoς. Ibid., fol. 18 vº. Based on this principle, he consequently rejects all the theses of Palamas: the divine light is not uncreated, unless one identifies it with the essence; the gifts of the Holy Spirit are not uncreated, since they are numerous; grace is not uncreated, since it is an effect produced in the creature. Regarding the object of the beatific vision, it is God Himself, that is to say His nature, His essence, which enters into communion with the sanctified creature in an incomprehensible manner and without the slightest change: τoῖς θεοφόρος πατρἀσιν ἐπόµενoι καὶ ἀναλλοιώτως καὶ ὐπὲρ αῖσθησιν καὶ διὰνoιαν δὲχεσθαι φρονοῦµεν τoὐς ἁγίoυς τὴν καὶ µακαρίαν oὐσίαν εις κoινωνίαν ἁγιασµoῦ. Ibid., fol. 31 vº-32.

2. The patriarch John Calecas, who was not a theologian by profession, approved and endorsed the doctrine of Acindynus. The work that he presented to the empress by way of apology (see above, col. 1787) was a collection of writings composed by Acindynus and by confessors and professors appointed by him. The tome of the synod of February 13 that deposed him has preserved some of anathematisms he threw against the Palamites: "Anathema to those who dare say that the glory of the deity of Christ is different from the essence of God. --- Anathema to those who dare say that the divine grace is uncreated and yet differs from the essence of God. --- Anathema to those who dare say that the uncreated divinity can be seen by the eyes of the body: Toῖς ἀπoτoλµῶσι καὶ λέγoυσι τὴν θείαν χάριν ἅκτιστoν µὲν εἷναι έτέραν δὲ παρα τὴν oὐσίαν τoῦ Θεoῦ, ἀνάθεµα." Cf. P. G., t. CLII, col. 1280A.

3. Theodore Dexios belongs equally to the school of Acindynus and, even more than [Acindynus], shows himself an enemy of curious speculation about everything that the ancients did not clarify. He does not want to figure out or decide anything on the nature of the Taboric Light. This agnostic attitude is well-marked in the drama of Philotheus of Silivri. There Dexios seems to insist on the incomprehensibility of the divine essence and blames the foolhardy who dare to stir up insoluble problems on this subject. The chorus of sophists replied ironically, Palamas being present: ᾽Υπέρευνε ὁ καλὸς καὶ παράριστος Δεξιός. Cod. Palm. 366, fol. 393 vº. On Dexios, G. Mercati, op. cit., p. 226 sq., and 270-271, who just discovered a long treatise against Cantacuzene and his Council of 1351, in Vatic. 1111, part. 4, fol. 223-321, and three short apologies at the prompting of the anti-Palamites, in Vatic. 1823, fol. 258-280. In the first work, this theologian takes a stand against the injustice of the decisions of 1351 and their innovative character. Why, he says, agitate the question of the nature of the Taboric Light, which none of the ancient councils clarified? For him, the light that shone on Tabor, is the Incarnate Word Himself, one of the Trinity, Who was not revealed to the Apostles as He is manifested to the elect in Heaven, but in an imperfect way, which only He knows. What the Apostles beheld with their eyes was not the divine essence, but the humanity of the Savior shining like the sun: Λάμϕαν φῶς ἐπὶ τοῦ ὄρους Θαβὼρ αὐτὸν τὸν ἕνα Τριάδος, τὸν τὴν καθ᾽ἡμᾶς ἀνει ληφότα φύσιν Λόγον τοῦ Θεοῦ καὶ Πατρὸς οἴδαμεν. Vatic. 1111. Cf. also the first apology in Vatic. 1823, fol. 258: ὃ γὰν ῶπται τοῖς αὐτοπταῖς Χριστοῦ σωματικοῖς ὄμμασι κτιστὸν ἀληθῶς καὶ αἴσθητον ἧν. ἧν δ᾽ᾶρα οὐχ ἔτερον ἣ τὸ θεῖον πρόσλημμα μεταμορφωθὲν καὶ ὠς δ ἤλιοσ λάμϕαν. It is precisely this singular opinion on the Taboric Light, an opinion from which he would not depart, which pitted him against his anti-Palamite friends, with Isaac Argyros among others, and made him write his three short apologies. To justify himself, he said that we should not seek to specify more than the Gospels do, and appealed to the authority of Nicephorus Gregoras and Matthew of Ephesus.

4. Gregoras, in effect, also follows traces of Acindynus, and we have in him another representative of conservative Byzantinism, an enemy of all novelty. Like Aciyndus, he teaches the real identity, in God, of the essence and the operation, and demonstrates well that the divine simplicity is unique and no example can be found in creatures, every creature is composed of essence and quality: ἐκείνη µόνη τῆ θεία καὶ ἁπλoυστάτη φύσει πρoσήκει, ἑτέρα δὲ oὐδεµιᾶ τῶν κτιστῶν ἁπασῶν… πᾶσα κτίσις σύνθετός ὲστι ἐξ οὐσίας καὶ πoιότητoς. Hist. Byzant., l. XXXI (ὁ δεύτερoς δoγµατικός), P. G., t. CXLIX, col. 321 D, 324 A. However, whatever Dexios says about it, Nicephorus has a very definite theory on the light of Tabor. According to him, that light could only be created, since it was seen by mortal eyes, and there is nothing uncreated except for the divine essence. It was a symbolic manifestation of the enigmatic and uncreated light, analogous to the light that appeared in other theophanies. On Tabor, the Apostles beheld not the uncreated divinity, not God, but a visible reality, that is to say something created: oἱ ἀπὀστoλoι τὸ ἐν τῶ Θαὅωρἰω λἁµψαν τότε θεασάµενοι φῶς, oύτε θεότητα εῖδoν ἅκτιστoν, oὕτε Θεόν, ἀλλἀ τι τῶν ὅντων καὶ γινωσκoµένων. Op. cit., l. XXXIII, c. XIII, P. G., loc. cit., col. 384-385. He also denies that such light can be the object of Heavenly beatitude. Ibid., col. 376-380. Moreover, many points remain obscure in the theology of the monk of Chora. We see western Scholasticism has not rubbed off on him and he is a novice in the art of making clear distinctions that dispel the ambiguities.

5. What is missing from Nicephorus Gregoras, Prochoros Cydones, the Brother of Demetrius, possesses to an unusual degree. In his work ∏ερὶ οὐσίας καὶ ἐνεργεἱας, in six books (cf. Vatic. græc. 1435, and the study quoted by G. Mercati), we hear a true disciple of St. Thomas Aquinas, who assimilated his doctrine well, and brings full light on the issues debated between Palamites and anti-Palamites and by the appropriate distinctions. He rightly begins by noting that those before him, in Byzantium, addressed the question of God's essence and His operation, ἐνὲργεια. From their uncertain pace in the discussion, their lack of confidence in the fight: διὸ καὶ άκριτ ἐστινός αὐτοῖς ὁ ἀγών, καὶ σκιαµαχία τὸ δλον. De essentia et operatione, l. I, c. I, P. G, t. CLI, col. 1192-1193. The criticism is particularly true for Gregoras, who professed such contempt for Latin theologians. With imperturbable coolness and a very sure hand, Prochoros walks the iron from Aristotelian and Thomistic dialectic in the Palamite plague, and bursts all the blisters of falsehood. Philotheus is also stunned by such audacity and does not tread there. The devil, he says, speaks through the mouth of Prochoros. Barlaam was nothing compared to him! The disciples of Palamas could not follow him in his relentless deductions. The sun and its rays disappeared before the infinite transcendence of the pure Act, and the θεότητες of Palamas melted before it like snow in the sun. See the interesting excerpts of Prochoros in the synodal tome of 1368 reported earlier. The reading of this tome shows well the confusion into which the Thomistic hieromonk threw his Palamite opponents. On his works, see G. Mercati, op. cit.

7. Among the opponents of Palamism, John Cyparissiotes certainly occupies the first place both for the thoroughness and the sharpness of his refutation and for the abundance and variety of the arguments produced. He unites positive theology and speculative theology in a harmonious proportion. He refutes the whole of Palamas and his disciples and lets nothing pass. We have two great works from him: 1. The Ἔχθεσις στοιχειώδης ῤὴσειωμ θεολογικῶν [Elementary Exposition of Theological Texts], divided into ten decades, a comprehensive treatise De Deo uno and trino of which Francis Torrés (Turrianus) published, in 1581, a Latin translation reproduced in P.G., t. CLII, col. 737-992. Palamism is not directly targeted, but the true doctrine is explained, using mainly Patristic texts in order turn all the Palamite theses upside down. There is considerable discussion of the Tabor Light in the sixth decade, P.G., loc. cit., 839-864. Cyparissiotes is of the same opinion as Isaac Argyros on this question. Here is his conclusion: "In divinis luminibus symbolicis præcipua est apparitio luminis facta in divinissima transfiguratione vultus Domini, quæ decorem corporis Christi post resurrectionem gloriosi facti tanquam in imagine repræsentabat, et symbolum erat divinitatis, quæ in eo latebat, pulchritudinemque Adæ ante peccatum significabat eamque jam naturam nostram in humanitate Christi récupérasse ; quo lumine justi post resurrectionem resplendebunt." Ibid., col. 864. 2. The Παλαμιτικαὶ παραβάσεις [Palamite Transgressions], an enormous polemical treatise, divided into five books, in which the whole of Palamism is reviewed and masterfully refuted. The first book, containing four dissertations or λόγοι, explains the Palamite system, points out the multiple errors, recounts the genesis [of the errors], and shows how the Palamite Church cannot be the true Church of Christ. Combefis has published the first and fourth discourses of the first book; cf. P.G., t. CLII, col. 663-778. The second book refutes the Synodal Tome of 1351 and has eight discourses. The third book also includes eight discourses, exhausts the question of the Taboric Light. The fourth book, in three discourses, treats of the anathemas of the Sunday of Orthodoxy. Finally, in the fifth book, divided into five discourses, Cyparissiotes refutes Nilus Cabasilas at length, who came to posit four natures [φύσεις] in God: namely, the common essence [οὐσία κοινή], hypostasis [ὑπόστασις], energy [ἐνέργεια], and finally God Himself, the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit [αὐτὸς ὁ Θεός, ὁ Πατὴρ καὶ ὁ Υἱὸς καὶ τὸ Πνεῦμα]. This fifth book, the longest of all, was written before the others. It is entirely speculative. Unlike Ἔχθεσις στοιχειώδης, which is mostly positive, the lion's share of The Palamite Transgressions is speculative theology. All subterfuge, all sophistry, all the arguments of Palamite theologians are clearly exposed and masterfully refuted. Needless to say, the polemical work of Cyparissiotes leaves the lion behind the dissertations of Gregoras [???!]. We add that Cyparissiotes was Unionist, at least in the last period of his life, and spent some time at the papal court of Gregory XI, who gave him a pension (1376-1377). This was demonstrated recently by Angelo Mercati, in a note given in Byzantinische Zeitschrift (Mélanges Heisenberg), t. XXX, p. 496-501: Giovanni Ciparissiota alla corte di Gregorio XI (November 1376-December 1377).

8. Let us finally note among the adversaries of Palamism the Dominican Manuel Calecas (†1410), a Greek who converted to Catholicism, who left us a short but excellent refutation of the synodal tome of 1351, in his work ∏ερὶ οὐσίας καὶ ἐνεργεἱας, P. G., t. CLII, col. 283-428. Manuel especially uses positive arguments from Scripture and tradition but he knows St. Thomas well, and it gives him an incontestable superiority over the polemicists who have drawn from Greek sources.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Immaculate Conception: Eastern Witnesses

Still to come: explanation of seemingly Maculist passages.

1st Century
Patriarch St. Mark I the Apostle of Alexandria (Bryant 69) before 60 [Liturgy of St. Mark the Evangelist], "Most holy, immaculate, and blessed Mother of God, and ever Virgin Mary." Latin: "Sanctissima, immaculata, et benedicta, Deipara et semper virgine Maria."

Bishop St. James the Just Apostle of Jerusalem (Bryant 68-69) before 60 [Liturgy of St. James], "Most holy, most glorious, immaculate, Mother of God and ever Virgin," and Mary is "in every respect out of the range of sinful men."
Editor: The holy St. James, brother of the Lord, taught that Mary was not a sinner, i.e., she never contracted original sin or committed venial or mortal sin.

St. Andrew the First-Called Apostle in 62 [Acts of Andrew]: "And therefore, because the first man was created of immaculate earth, it was necessary that of an immaculate Virgin should be born a perfect man, that the Son of God should restore that eternal life which men had lost." Latin: "Et propterea, quod ex immaculatâ terrâ ereatus fuerat primus homo, necesse erat ut ex immaculatâ Virgine nasceretur perfectus homo, quo Filius Dei, qui antè condiderat hominem, vitam æternam quam perdiderant hominess, repararet."
Editor: The earth from which Adam was created had always been immaculate, and so the Blessed Virgin was always immaculate, or else we would make the glorious and all-praised St. Andrew guilty of a false analogy.

2nd Century

3rd Century

4th Century

5th Century
Bishop St. Theodotus of Ancyra [Homily 6:11 on the Holy Mother of God in PG 77:1427A],
In the place of Eve, an instrument of death, is chosen a Virgin, most pleasing to God and full of His grace, as an instrument of life. A Virgin included in woman's sex, but without a share in woman's fault. A Virgin innocent; immaculate; free from all guilt; spotless; undefiled; holy in spirit and body; a lily among thorns.
Archbishop St. Proclus of Constantinople before 466 [Homily 1:3 in PG 65:683B]: "As He formed her without any stain of her own, so He proceeded from her contracting no stain."
Editor: Mary was formed without stain, meaning that she had no stain at the moment of her formation, meaning that she never contracted original sin.

6th Century
Patriarch St. Anastasius I the Sinaite of Antioch before 598 [Oration 3:6 on the Incarnation in PG 89:1338].

7th Century
Patriarch St. Sophronius of Jerusalem [Oration 2:25 on the Annunciation to the Holy Mother of God in PG 87:3248A]: "Many saints appeared before thee, but none was as filled with grace as thou… No one has been purified in advance as thou hast been… Thou dost surpass all that is most excellent in man, as well as all the gifts which have been bestowed by God upon all others."

8th Century
St. Andrew of Crete [Homily 1 on the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in PG 97:809D-812]:
Today, Adam presents Mary to God as the first fruits of our nature… Today, humanity recovers the gift it had received when first formed by divine hands, and returns immaculate to its original nobility. The shame of sin had cast a shadow upon the splendor and charm of human nature; but when the Mother of Him Who is Beauty itself is born, this nature recovers in her person its ancient privileges, and is fashioned according to a perfect model, truly worthy of God. And this fashioning is a perfect restoration; this restoration is a divinization, and this divinization is an assimilation to the primitive state… In a word, the reformation of our nature begins today; the world, which had grown old, undergoes a transformation which is wholly divine, and receives the first fruits of its second creation.
Patriarch St. Germanus I of Constantinople [Homily 1 on the Presentation of the Holy Mother of God in PG 98:300D]: "Accept her whom you have chosen, predestined, and sanctified, … her whom you have chosen as a lily among the thorns of our unworthiness."

Hieromonk St. John of Damascus (Doctor) [Homily on the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in PG 96:664AB]:
Nature was defeated by grace and stopped, trembling, not daring to take precedence over it [grace]. Since the Virgin Mother of God was to be born of Anne, nature did not dare to precede the product of grace; but remained sterile until grace had produced its fruit. O happy loins of Joachim, which had produced a germ which is all immaculate. O wondrous womb of Anne in which an all-holy child slowly grew and took shape!
Editor: Mary was spotless as a zygote and was infused with grace before she could receive the wounds of nature; meaning she had no original sin at the moment of her conception.

9th Century
Abbot St. Theodore of Studion [On the Nativity of the Blessed Mary 4 in PG 96:685A]:
Mary is the earth on which the thorns of sin did not grow. On the contrary, she brought forth a plant through which sin has been uprooted and taken away. She is an earth which was not cursed as was the first earth, fertile in thorns and thistles, but was blessed by the Lord; and her fruit is also blessed, as says the word of the Lord.
The same great saint adds [On the Nativity of the Blessed Mary 4 in PG 96:685D]: "She is the new dough that has been remade by God, the holy first-fruits of the human race, the root of that stem spoken of by the prophet."

Patriarch St. Photius the Great of Constantinople [Homily 2 On the Annunciation]: "Mayest thou rejoice, furnace forged by God, in which the Creator, having leavened anew our nature with the most pure and virginal dough, has cleansed us of that sour and distressing staleness, renovating man into a new creature."
10th Century
Patriarch St. Euthymius I Syncellus of Constantinople before 917 [PO 16:501-502].

11th Century
Archbishop Theophylact of Ohrid [On the Presentation of the Blessed Mary 6 in PG 126:137A]: "She who surpassed all nature in purity and holiness, and who was justified from her mother's womb, had to be exempt from a law made not for the just but for sinners."
12th Century

13th Century
Neophyte the Recluse of Cyprus before 1214 [Homily on the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary 3 in PO 16:530,534].

14th Century
Archbishop St. Gregory Palamas of Thessalonica [Homily 14 on the Annunciation in PG 151:172A-C]: "Mary escaped the malediction of Eve. Free from the old servitude, she became the source of deliverance of men from it."
Nicholas Cabasilas [Homily on the Annunciation 3 in PO 19:486]:
The wall of separation, the barrier of enmity, did not exist for her, and everything which kept the human race away from God was removed in her. She alone made her peace [with God] before the general reconciliation; or rather she never needed reconciliation of any sort, because from the beginning she occupied the first place in the choir of the friends [of God].
The same writer, whom the Orthodox venerate as a saint, adds [Homily on the Dormition of the Blessed Mary 4 in PO 19:498]: "Earth she is, because she is from the earth; but she is a new earth, since she derives in no way from her ancestors and has not inherited the old leaven. She is … a new dough and has originated a new race."

15th Century
Archbishop Symeon of Thessalonica before 1429 [Response to Gabriel of Pentapolis 45 in PG 155:892C].

16th Century