Is ‘Filioque’ still a deal breaker for the Orthodox?


Is ‘Filioque‘ still a deal breaker for the Orthodox? Perhaps not. In 2003 the North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation produced: The Filioque: A Church-Dividing Issue? The document recommended the following:
1. That all involved in such dialogue expressly recognize the limitations of our ability to make definitive assertions about the inner life of God.

2. That, in the future, because of the progress in mutual understanding that has come about in recent decades, Orthodox and Catholics refrain from labeling as heretical the traditions of the other side on the subject of the procession of the Holy Spirit.

3. That Orthodox and Catholic theologians distinguish more clearly between the divinity and hypostatic identity of the Holy Spirit (which is a received dogma of our Churches) and the manner of the Spirit’s origin, which still awaits full and final ecumenical resolution.

4. That those engaged in dialogue on this issue distinguish, as far as possible, the theological issues of the origin of the Holy Spirit from the ecclesiological issues of primacy and doctrinal authority in the Church, even as we pursue both questions seriously, together.

5. That the theological dialogue between our Churches also give careful consideration to the status of later councils held in both our Churches after those seven generally received as ecumenical.

6. That the Catholic Church, as a consequence of the normative and irrevocable dogmatic value of the Creed of 381, use the original Greek text alone in making translations of that Creed for catechetical and liturgical use.

7. That the Catholic Church, following a growing theological consensus, and in particular the statements made by Pope Paul VI, declare that the condemnation made at the Second Council of Lyons (1274) of those “who presume to deny that the Holy Spirit proceeds eternally from the Father and the Son” is no longer applicable.

All in all, it seems that the commission believes that the Filioque clause is no longer a “a Church dividing issue”. Of course, it remains to be seen if the monks at Mt. Athos will sign on the dotted line and join in on the ecumenical group hug.

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  • Scott R. Harrington

    The Filioque is clearly a heresy according to Jesus Christ in John 15:26.  Christ did not say “and the Son”, so, neither should we as Christians.  It really is as simple as that, in a world where people don’t want to be as simple as a child, but want to complicate things by the search for rationalism in all things.  What seems “reasonable” may not, in fact, be true, right, Biblical.  The Filioque is not Biblical, but Augustinian.  And Augustine of Hippo made some theological errors, which we are experiencing in the Western portion of Christianity today.  In Erie PA  Scott R. Harrington

  • Scott R. Harrington

    “… even today the East still regards this “Filioque” as a falsifcation of the old ecumenical creed and as clear heresy.  However, similarly, to thr present day those Catholic and Protestant dogmatic theologians of the West who attempt to make what is claimed to be the central dogma of Christianity credible to their contemporaries with every possible modernization and new argument (usually in vain) hardly seem to be aware that they are interpreting the relationship between Father, Son, and Spirit not so much in the light of the New Testament as in the light of Augustine”  [HANS KUNG, THE CATHOLIC CHURCH: A SHORT HISTORY.  New York: Modern Library, 2001; p. 51.].
    God bless all of you.  In Erie PA USA   Scott R. Harrington