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  #1  
Old 29th September 2010, 12:26 AM
myLivingBread myLivingBread is offline
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Default Holy Trinity

Ron,

Is there difference in understanding of the Trinity by Eastern Orthodox? What is that difference and where does EO doctrine agree with Catholic doctrine on the Trinity.
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  #2  
Old 29th September 2010, 01:12 AM
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EO said:

They both confess that God exists in three Persons but one being.

The difference is in the introduction of filioque in the Latin confession of the Nicene Creed. Although filioque was inserted in order to assert consubstantiality of the Father and the Son against Arian heresy, it is also a deviation from the Ecumenical Confession.

From Spain, ‘filioque’ spread to the Franks (present-day France). It was embraced by Charlemagne who went so far as to accuse the East of having deliberately omitted it from the ancient Creed. Pope Leo III (795-816) intervened, and forbade any interpolations or alterations in the Nicene Creed. He ordered the Creed, without filioque, to be engraved in Latin and Greek on two silver plates on the wall of St. Peter’s in Rome. Nevertheless, the addition was maintained by the Franks. History of Filioque, http://aggreen.net/filioque/filioque.html
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Old 29th September 2010, 02:49 AM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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The Eastern Orthodox are in a state of heresy and schism.

The teaching of the one true Catholic Church is that the Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son, but as from one principle, not a double procession.

from the Catechism

246 The Latin tradition of the Creed confesses that the Spirit “proceeds from the Father and the Son (filioque)”. the Council of Florence in 1438 explains: “The Holy Spirit is eternally from Father and Son; He has his nature and subsistence at once (simul) from the Father and the Son. He proceeds eternally from both as from one principle and through one spiration... And, since the Father has through generation given to the only-begotten Son everything that belongs to the Father, except being Father, the Son has also eternally from the Father, from whom he is eternally born, that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Son.” [75]

247 The affirmation of the filioque does not appear in the Creed confessed in 381 at Constantinople. But Pope St. Leo I, following an ancient Latin and Alexandrian tradition, had already confessed it dogmatically in 447, [76] even before Rome, in 451 at the Council of Chalcedon, came to recognize and receive the Symbol of 381. the use of this formula in the Creed was gradually admitted into the Latin liturgy (between the eighth and eleventh centuries). the introduction of the filioque into the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed by the Latin liturgy constitutes moreover, even today, a point of disagreement with the Orthodox Churches.

248 At the outset the Eastern tradition expresses the Father's character as first origin of the Spirit. By confessing the Spirit as he “who proceeds from the Father”, it affirms that he comes from the Father through the Son. [77] The Western tradition expresses first the consubstantial communion between Father and Son, by saying that the Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son (filioque). It says this, “legitimately and with good reason”, [78] for the eternal order of the divine persons in their consubstantial communion implies that the Father, as “the principle without principle”, [79] is the first origin of the Spirit, but also that as Father of the only Son, he is, with the Son, the single principle from which the Holy Spirit proceeds. [80] This legitimate complementarity, provided it does not become rigid, does not affect the identity of faith in the reality of the same mystery confessed.
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  #4  
Old 29th September 2010, 05:39 AM
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EO: also further said on that first post.

The Latins approached their theology first by considering that God is one. The "one" refers of course to the essence or nature of God.

This approach was acknowledged as owing from Augustine and Thomas Aquinas. For them, "God" is denoted to the Trinity, not the Father. And as you can see, this safely guards the unity of God at once. While Roman Catholics will say that it also protects the equality of Persons, filioque undermines this claim.

The Greeks emphasis, contrary to the Latins, is on the three DISTINCT persons: the Father as the source and the origin, for whom "God" belongs, the Son as the only begotten of God is therefore "God" by virtue of the Father's own deity, and the Holy Spirit who proceeded from the Father alone (contrary to the assertion of the Western confession).

The Monarchical perspective of the Greeks may be viewed as subordination of the Son and the Holy Spirit, but this charge is without substance because of the indivisible relationship of the Son and the Spirit to the God the Father. For the Greeks God the Father is the locus of all things divine. What is true of him will be true to the others. It is also the "indivisibility" of their relationship of the divine persons that made tritheism impossible.

In Augustine, the Holy Spirit was a "result" of the communion of the Father and Son, and thus he is said as proceeding from the Father and the Son. This will later culminate in the filioque clause of the Latin Confession.

To the Greeks filioque undermines the equality of the Trinity and degraded the dignity of the Holy Spirit to that of the Father and the Son.
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  #5  
Old 29th September 2010, 01:08 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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God is One. There cannot be many Gods for the following reason. Suppose a theological belief that there are several Gods. The first God is not only perfect, but infinitely perfect, lacking in absolutely nothing, and existing unbounded by time and place. So what would a second God be like? He could not be the same as the first, but in a different place, or a different time, for any God by His Nature must be unlimited by time and place. A second God cannot be distinguished from the first God by being more perfect, or less perfect. A second God cannot be distinguished from the first God by having different qualities, since any God must be infinitely perfect in all that is Good; He must be Goodness Itself. There is nothing left for the Nature of the second God. So not only can there not be many Gods, there cannot be more than one God.

To explain this again by an analogy: suppose that there are several very wealthy men on earth, and to simplify, let's say that wealth is measured only by ownership of land. There could be many very wealthy men, each owning vast expanses of land. But suppose we instead postulate several wealthy men, each of which is perfect and complete in all wealth. The first wealthy man will own the entire earth (since we are measuring wealth in this example by ownership of land). But there will be no more land left for a second man to be perfect and complete in wealth. So there can be only one.

Similarly, God is perfect and complete and infinite in His Nature; He is infinite Goodness. So there is nothing left for a second God to be.

Thus, the Three Persons of the One God do not each have His own perfect infinite Nature; the Nature of God is One. And the Nature is not shared in the sense of each Person possessing only part -- each possesses the entire Whole of the Nature, without any detriment or loss or compromise to the possession of the other Persons of the same Nature.

But this poses a problem. What distinguishes the three Persons? There cannot be more than one infinitely perfect God, so the Nature is One. And God is 'truly and absolutely simple' (as both Augustine and Aquinas taught). So the one Nature is not divided into three parts. The Three Persons are distinct, yet each is perfect God, having the one and same Divine Nature.

The only basis for distinction between the Persons is procession.

The Father does not proceed.

The Son proceeds only from the Father.

The Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son.

This distinction allows there to be Three Persons who are truly distinct from one another.

But if the Spirit proceeds only from the Father, just as the Son does, then there would be no distinction at all between Son and Spirit. For each is infinitely perfect God.
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  #6  
Old 30th September 2010, 12:00 AM
myLivingBread myLivingBread is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Conte View Post
The Eastern Orthodox are in a state of heresy and schism.

The teaching of the one true Catholic Church is that the Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son, but as from one principle, not a double procession.

This teaching is true only to the Church of Rome and not to the Universal Church as in fact evidenced by your posted catechism.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Conte View Post
from the Catechism

246 The Latin tradition of the Creed confesses that the Spirit “proceeds from the Father and the Son (filioque)”. the Council of Florence in 1438 explains: “The Holy Spirit is eternally from Father and Son; He has his nature and subsistence at once (simul) from the Father and the Son. He proceeds eternally from both as from one principle and through one spiration... And, since the Father has through generation given to the only-begotten Son everything that belongs to the Father, except being Father, the Son has also eternally from the Father, from whom he is eternally born, that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Son.” [75]
Can you please provide the scriptural proof of the double procession of the Spirit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Conte View Post
247 The affirmation of the filioque does not appear in the Creed confessed in 381 at Constantinople. But Pope St. Leo I, following an ancient Latin and Alexandrian tradition, had already confessed it dogmatically in 447, [76] even before Rome, in 451 at the Council of Chalcedon, came to recognize and receive the Symbol of 381. the use of this formula in the Creed was gradually admitted into the Latin liturgy (between the eighth and eleventh centuries). the introduction of the filioque into the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed by the Latin liturgy constitutes moreover, even today, a point of disagreement with the Orthodox Churches.

248 At the outset the Eastern tradition expresses the Father's character as first origin of the Spirit. By confessing the Spirit as he “who proceeds from the Father”, it affirms that he comes from the Father through the Son. [77] The Western tradition expresses first the consubstantial communion between Father and Son, by saying that the Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son (filioque). It says this, “legitimately and with good reason”, [78] for the eternal order of the divine persons in their consubstantial communion implies that the Father, as “the principle without principle”, [79] is the first origin of the Spirit, but also that as Father of the only Son, he is, with the Son, the single principle from which the Holy Spirit proceeds. [80] This legitimate complementarity, provided it does not become rigid, does not affect the identity of faith in the reality of the same mystery confessed.

In the divine economy of salvation, the Spirit proceeds from the Father through the Son, but not as a divine reality before the world began. But the Church of Rome pushed this divine economic relation as the Trinity of the Godhead for which the Greek Churches disagreed to this day.
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Old 30th September 2010, 12:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Conte View Post

The Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son.
Please provide a biblical basis of double procession of the Spirit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Conte View Post
But if the Spirit proceeds only from the Father, just as the Son does, then there would be no distinction at all between Son and Spirit. For each is infinitely perfect God.

The relationship of the Son to the Father through generation distinguishes him from the Spirit who proceeds from the Father. The Church long understood this without the double procession. Double procession is unnecessary if its distinction that was aiming for. Only the Son is begotten of the Father and only the Spirit proceeds from the Father. These two are not the same.
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Old 30th September 2010, 01:34 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by myLivingBread View Post
Please provide a biblical basis of double procession of the Spirit.

The Son proceeds from the Father. The Father does not proceed. Therefore, the Son does not send the Father to the world to be incarnate. Rather, the Father sends the Son into the world to be incarnate. It is fitting that the Father send the Son because the Father also 'sends' the Son in the sense of procession.

The Spirit is sent by the Father and by the Son. This is fitting because the Spirit proceeds from the Father and from the Son. If the Spirit proceeded only from the Father, then only the Father could send the Spirit.

[John]
{14:16} And I will ask the Father, and he will give another Advocate to you, so that he may abide with you for eternity:

{14:26} But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will suggest to you everything whatsoever that I have said to you.

{15:26} But when the Advocate has arrived, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, he will offer testimony about me.

[Luke]
{24:49} And I am sending the Promise of my Father upon you. But you must stay in the city, until such time as you are clothed with power from on high.”

The above verses portray the Spirit as being sent by the Father, at the request, or in the name, of the Son. Even the verse that says the Spirit proceeds from the Father, adds that the Spirit is sent by the Son and offers testimony about the Son, thereby implying procession also from the Son. But a Person of the Trinity could not be sent and offer testimony about the Son unless he proceeds also from the Son. Just as it would not be fitting for the Son or the Spirit to send the Father, so also it would not be fitting for the Spirit to be sent by the Son, to offer testimony about the Son, to teach and remind about the Son's teachings, unless the Spirit also proceeded from the Son.

As it is with sending, so it is also with teaching.

[John]
{5:19} Then Jesus responded and said to them: “Amen, amen, I say to you, the Son is not able to do anything of himself, but only what he has seen the Father doing. For whatever he does, even this does the Son do, similarly.

{16:13} But when the Spirit of truth has arrived, he will teach the whole truth to you. For he will not be speaking from himself. Instead, whatever he will hear, he will speak. And he will announce to you the things that are to come.
{16:14} He shall glorify me. For he will receive from what is mine, and he will announce it to you.
{16:15} All things whatsoever that the Father has are mine. For this reason, I said that he will receive from what is mine and that he will announce it to you.

The Son only teaches what he learns from the Father, for the Son proceeds only from the Father. But the Spirit of truth teaches from the Father and from the Son, therefore he proceeds from the Father and from the Son. Otherwise, the Spirit could not receive from what is Jesus'. For each Person, as God, is infinite and perfect, in need of the reception of nothing. And so this reception from Jesus can only refer to procession.

Quote:
Originally Posted by myLivingBread View Post
The relationship of the Son to the Father through generation distinguishes him from the Spirit who proceeds from the Father. The Church long understood this without the double procession. Double procession is unnecessary if its distinction that was aiming for. Only the Son is begotten of the Father and only the Spirit proceeds from the Father. These two are not the same.

The use of a different word to describe the procession of the Son and the procession of the Spirit does not result in any real distinction. The Son has everything that he is from the Father -- they are identical except that the Son depends upon the Father, by virtue of procession, for all that he is. If the Spirit has everything that he is from the Father also, then the Son and the Spirit would be identical. There would be literally nothing different between them, because each is perfectly infinite and infinitely perfect. Only if the Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son, a double procession but as from one principle, is there a real basis for the distinction of the Third Person from the Second Person.

Here is a Catholic article on the filioque clause.
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06073a.htm
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  #9  
Old 30th September 2010, 01:49 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Originally Posted by myLivingBread View Post
This teaching is true only to the Church of Rome and not to the Universal Church as in fact evidenced by your posted catechism.

The universal Church is the Church led by the Bishop of Rome, the Pope, and his teachings are from Tradition and Scripture to the universal Church. Furthermore, the body of Bishops continuously, with every successive Pope and faithful successive Bishop, has held and taught that the Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son, just as the Creed of the universal Church teaches.

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Originally Posted by myLivingBread View Post
Can you please provide the scriptural proof of the double procession of the Spirit?
See my previous post.

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Originally Posted by myLivingBread View Post
In the divine economy of salvation, the Spirit proceeds from the Father through the Son, but not as a divine reality before the world began. But the Church of Rome pushed this divine economic relation as the Trinity of the Godhead for which the Greek Churches disagreed to this day.

God is unchanging and eternal. The claim that the procession of the Spirit 'through the Son' is not eternal is a rejection of the eternal unchanging nature of God.

The Father does not proceed, therefore He is the first Person. The Son proceeds only from the Father, therefore He is the second Person. The Spirit proceeds primarily from the First Person and secondarily from the Second Person, but in one Act, therefore He is the third Person. If the Spirit proceeded only from the Father, then He would not be Third, but also Second (which is absurd).

There is a distinction, within the double procession of the Spirit, between the role of the Father and the role of the Son in that one Act. This distinction is based on the fact that the Father does not proceed, but the Son does proceed. So the Spirit proceeds primarily from the Father and secondarily from the Son.

The universal Church is of Rome. The Greek Churches are heretical and schismatic, as evidenced by their departure from the worldwide body of Bishops, their rejection of numerous successive Ecumenical Councils, and their rejection of the authority of numerous successive Popes. Peter was appointed directly by Christ to lead the Apostles, and Peter was the Bishop of Rome. The rejection of papal authority is an objective mortal sin.

Several Eastern Churches have remained faithful to Rome, believing and teaching all that the Ecumenical Councils and the Popes and the body of Bishops also teach. They are witnesses against the heretical and schismatic Churches of the East, who reject the authority of Rome.
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  #10  
Old 30th September 2010, 05:55 PM
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A family is a reflection of the Trinity, the father is the head of the family, the mother - woman proceeds from man, and children proceeds from the father (man - who was created first) and the mother's love.

[Genesis]
{1:27} And God created man to his own image; to the image of God he created him; male and female, he created them.

{2:22} And the Lord God built up the rib, which he took from Adam, into a woman. And he led her to Adam.


[Matthew]
{19:4} And he said to them in response, “Have you not read that he who made man from the beginning, made them male and female?” And he said:
{19:5} “For this reason, a man shall separate from father and mother, and he shall cling to his wife, and these two shall become one flesh.

Last edited by Brother : 30th September 2010 at 06:06 PM.
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