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Filioque clause

Filioque (Ecclesiastical Latin: [filiˈɔkwe]), Latin for "and (from) the Son", is a phrase included in the form of the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed (commonly called the Nicene Creed) used in most Western Christian churches since at least the 8th century. It was accepted by the popes only in 1014, and is rejected by the Eastern Orthodox Church and Oriental Orthodox Churches. It was not in the Greek text of this Creed, attributed to the Second Ecumenical Council (the First Council of Constantinople), which says that the Holy Spirit proceeds "from the Father", without additions of any kind, such as "and the Son" or "alone":[1][2]

Καὶ εἰς τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ Ἅγιον, τὸ κύριον, τὸ ζῳοποιόν, τὸ ἐκ τοῦ Πατρὸς ἐκπορευόμενον
(And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, from the Father proceeding).

The Latin text now in use in the Western Church speaks of the Holy Spirit as proceeding "from the Father and the Son".

Et in Spiritum Sanctum, Dominum, et vivificantem: qui ex Patre Filioque procedit
(And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, and giver of life, who from the Father and the Son proceeds).

Together with papal primacy, differences over this doctrine have been and remain the primary causes of schism between the Eastern Orthodox and Western churches.[3][4] The Filioque has been an ongoing source of conflict between the East and West, contributing, in part, to the East–West Schism of 1054 and proving to be an obstacle to attempts to reunify the two sides.[5]

Underlying issues

There are two separate issues in the Filioque controversy: the orthodoxy of the doctrine itself and the liceity of inserting the phrase into the Nicene Creed. Although the debate over the orthodoxy of the doctrine preceded the question of the admissibility of the phrase as inserted into the Creed, the two issues became linked when the insertion received the approval of the pope in the eleventh century. After that point, the debate was no longer solely about the orthodoxy of the doctrine but also about the authority of the pope to define what was and was not orthodox. Anthony E. Siecienski writes that "[u]ltimately what was at stake was not only God's trinitarian nature, but also the nature of the Church, its teaching authority and the distribution of power among its leaders."[6]

Hubert Cunliffe-Jones identifies two opposing views among Eastern Orthodox regarding the Filioque: a "liberal" view and a "rigorist" view. The "liberal" view sees the controversy as being largely a matter of mutual miscommunication and misunderstanding. In this view, both East and West are at fault for failing to allow for a "plurality of theologies". Each side went astray in considering their theological framework as the only one that was doctrinally valid and applicable. Thus, neither side would accept that the dispute was not so much about conflicting dogmas as it was about different theologoumena[7] or theological perspectives. While all Christians must be in agreement on questions of dogma, there is room for diversity in theological approaches.[8]

However, this "liberal" view is vehemently opposed by those Eastern Orthodox whom Cunliffe-Jones identifies as holding a "rigorist" view. According to standard Eastern Orthodox position, as pronounced by Photius, Mark of Ephesus and modern Orthodox theologians such as Vladimir Lossky, the Filioque question hinges on fundamental issues of dogma and cannot be dismissed as simply one of different theologoumena. Many in the "rigorist" camp consider the Filioque to have resulted in the role of the Holy Spirit being underestimated by the Western Church and thus leading to serious doctrinal error.[9]

In a similar vein, Siecienski comments that, although it was common in the twentieth century to view the Filioque as just another weapon in the power struggle between Rome and Constantinople and although this was occasionally the case, for many involved in the dispute the theological issues outweighed by far the ecclesiological concerns. According to Siecienski, the deeper question was perhaps whether Eastern and Western Christianity had wound up developing "differing and ultimately incompatible teachings about the nature of God." Moreover, Siecienski asserts that the question of whether the teachings of East and West were truly incompatible became almost secondary to the fact that, starting around the eighth or ninth century, Christians on both sides of the dispute began to believe that the differences were irreconcilable.[10]

From the view of the West, the Eastern rejection of the Filioque denied the consubstantiality of the Father and the Son and was thus a form of crypto-Arianism. In the East, the interpolation of the Filioque seemed to many to be an indication that the West was teaching a "substantially different faith". Siecienski asserts that, as much as power and authority were central issues in the debate, the strength of emotion rising even to the level of hatred can be ascribed to a belief that the other side had "destroyed the purity of the faith and refused to accept the clear teachings of the fathers on the Spirit's procession."[10]


Main article: History of the Filioque controversy

New Testament

Anthony E. Siecienski asserts that "the New Testament does not explicitly address the procession of the Holy Spirit as later theology would understand the doctrine", although there are "certain principles established in the New Testament that shaped later Trinitarian theology, and particular texts that both Latins and Greeks exploited to support their respective positions vis-à-vis the filioque".[11] In contrast,Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen says that Eastern Orthodox believe that the absence of an explicit mention of the double procession of the Holy Spirit is a strong indication that the Filioque is a theologically erroneous doctrine.[12]


Church fathers

Cappadocian Fathers

Saint Basil the Great wrote: "Through the one Son (the Holy Spirit) is joined to the Father".[15] He also said that the "natural goodness, inherent holiness, and royal dignity reaches from th Father through the only-begotten (διὰ τοῦ Μονογενοῦς) to the Spirit".[16] However, Siecienski comments that "there are passages in Basil that are certainly capable of being read as advocating something like the filioque, but to do so would be to misunderstand the inherently soteriological thrust of his work".[17]

Gregory of Nazianzus distinguished the coming forth (προϊεον) of the Spirit from the Father from that of the Son from the Father by saying that the latter is by generation, but that of the Spirit by procession (ἐκπρόρευσις),[18] a matter on which there is no dispute between East and West, as shown also by the statement by the Latin Father, St. Augustine:
"At the same time they (learned and distinguished investigators of the Scriptures) hold by this position, namely, to predicate the Holy Spirit neither as begotten, like the Son, of the Father; for Christ is the only one [so begotten]: nor as [begotten] of the Son, like a Grandson of the Supreme Father: while they do not affirm Him to owe that which He is to no one, but [admit Him to owe it] to the Father, of whom are all things; lest we should establish two Beginnings without beginning (ne duo constituamus principia sine principio), which would be an assertion at once most false and most absurd, and one proper not to the catholic faith, but to the error of certain heretics".[19][20][21]

Gregory of Nyssa) stated:

The one (i.e. the Son) is directly from the First and the other (i.e., the Spirit) is through the one who is directly from the First (τὸ δὲ ἐκ τοῦ προσεχῶς ἐκ τοῦ πρώτου) with the result that the Only-begotten remains the Son and does not negate the Spirit's being from the Father since the middle position of the Son both protects His distinction as Only-begotten and does not exclude the Spirit from His natural relation to the Father.[22]

Alexandrian Fathers

Cyril of Alexandria provides "a host of quotations that seemingly speak of the Spirit's 'procession' from both the Father and the Son". In these passages he uses the Greek verbs προϊέναι (like the Latin procedere) and προχεῖσθαι (flow from), not the verb ἐκπορεύεσθαι, the verb that appears in the Greek text of the Nicene Creed.[23]

Epiphanius of Salamis is stated by Bulgakov to present in his writings "a whole series of expressions to the effect that the Holy Spirit is from the Father and the Son, out of the Father and the Son, from the Father and out of the Son, from Both, from one and the same essence as the Father and the Son, and so on". Bulgakov concludes: "The patristic teaching of the fourth century lacks that exclusivity which came to characterize Orthodox theology after Photius under the influence of repulsion from the Filioque doctrine. Although we do not here find the pure Filioque that Catholic theologians find, we also do not find that opposition to the Filioque that became something of an Orthodox or, rather, anti-Catholic dogma."[24]

Regarding the Greek Fathers, whether Cappadocian or Alexandrian, there is, according to A. Edward Siecienski, no citable basis for the claim historically made by both sides, that they explicitly either supported or denied the later theologies concerning the procession of the Spirit from the Son. However, they did enunciate important principles later invoked in support of one theology or the other. These included the insistence on the unique hypostatic properties of each Divine Person, in particular the Father's property of being, within the Trinity, the one cause, while they also recognized that the Persons, through distinct, cannot be separated, and that not only the sending of the Spirit to creatures but also the Spirit's eternal flowing forth (προϊέναι) from the Father within the Trinity is "through the Son" (διὰ τοῦ Υἱοῦ).[25]

Latin Fathers

Siecienski remarked that, "while the Greek fathers were still striving to find language capable of expressing the mysterious nature of the Son's relationship to the Spirit, Latin theologians, even during Cyril's lifetime, had already found their answer - the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son (ex Patre et Filio procedentem). The degree to which this teaching was compatible with, or contradictory to, the emerging Greek tradition remains, sixteen centuries later, subject to debate."[26]

Before the creed of 381 became known in the West and even before it was adopted by the First Council of Constantinople, Christian writers in the West, of whom Tertullian (c. 160 – c. 220), Jerome (347–420), Ambrose (c. 338 – 397) and Augustine (354–430) are representatives, spoke of the Spirit as coming from the Father and the Son,[13] while the expression “from the Father through the Son” is also found among them.[27][28]

Tertullian, writing at the beginning of the third century, emphasizes that Father, Son and Holy Spirit all share a single divine substance, quality and power,[29] which he conceives of as flowing forth from the Father and being transmitted by the Son to the Spirit.[30]

In his arguments against Arians, Marius Victorinus (c. 280-365) strongly connected the Son and the Spirit.

Hilary of Poitiers, in the mid-fourth century, speaks of the Spirit as "coming forth from the Father" and being "sent by the Son" (De Trinitate 12.55); as being "from the Father through the Son" (ibid. 12.56); and as "having the Father and the Son as his source" (ibid. 2.29); in another passage, Hilary points to John 16.15 (where Jesus says: "All things that the Father has are mine; therefore I said that [the Spirit] shall take from what is mine and declare it to you"), and wonders aloud whether "to receive from the Son is the same thing as to proceed from the Father" (ibid. 8.20).

Ambrose of Milan, writing in the 380s, openly asserts that the Spirit "proceeds from (procedit a) the Father and the Son", without ever being separated from either (On the Holy Spirit 1.11.20).

"None of these writers, however, makes the Spirit’s mode of origin the object of special reflection; all are concerned, rather, to emphasize the equality of status of all three divine persons as God, and all acknowledge that the Father alone is the source of God’s eternal being."[31]

Yves Congar commented, "'The walls of separation do not reach as high as heaven.'"[32] And Aidan Nichols remarked that "the Filioque controversy is, in fact, a casualty of the theological pluralism of the patristic Church", on the one hand the Latin and Alexandrian tradition, on the other the Cappadocian and later Byzantine tradition.[33]

Nicene and Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creeds

Main article: Nicene Creed

The original Nicene Creed, as adopted in 325 by the first ecumenical council, that of Nicaea, ended with the words "and in the Holy Spirit". The mention of the Holy Spirit's procession appears in what is also called the Nicene Creed, or more accurately the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed .

Traditionally, this creed has been associated with the First Council of Constantinople of 381, whose participants were exclusively Eastern bishops[34] who met, decided issues and adjourned without informing the Pope.[35] Only in the second half of the 6th century did the West recognize this council as ecumenical.[36]

The creed thus attributed to the Council of Constantinople of 381 is mentioned in no document earlier than the 451 Council of Chalcedon,[37] in whose acts it is referred to as "the creed ... of the 150 saintly fathers assembled in Constantinople".[38] It was cited at that council on instructions from the lay representative of the Emperor who chaired the meeting and who may have wished to present it as "a precedent for drawing up new creeds and definitions to supplement the Creed of Nicaea, as a way of getting round the ban on new creeds in Canon 7 of Ephesus".[37] Scholars are thus not agreed on the supposed connection between the Council of Constantinople and the Niceno–Constantinopolitan Creed, which was not simply an expansion of the Creed of Nicaea, and was probably based on another traditional creed independent of the one from Nicaea.[39]

This Creed is roughly equivalent to the Nicene Creed plus two additional articles: one on the Holy Spirit and another about the Church, baptism, and resurrection of the dead. For the full text of both creeds, see Comparison between Creed of 325 and Creed of 381.

The article on the Holy Spirit is:

Καὶ εἰς τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ Ἅγιον, τὸ κύριον, τὸ ζωοποιόν, τὸ ἐκ τοῦ Πατρὸς ἐκπορευόμενον, τὸ σὺν Πατρὶ καὶ Υἱῷ συμπροσκυνούμενον καὶ συνδοξαζόμενον, τὸ λαλῆσαν διὰ τῶν προφητῶν
Et in Spiritum Sanctum, Dominum et vivificantem: qui ex Patre procedit. Qui cum Patre et Filio simul adoratur et conglorificatur: qui locutus est per prophetas.
And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father. With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets.

It thus speaks of the Holy Spirit as "proceeding from the Father" (ἐκ τοῦ Πατρὸς ἐκπορευόμενον), a phrase based on John 15:26 (ὃ παρὰ τοῦ πατρὸς ἐκπορεύεται).

The Greek word ἐκπορευόμενον refers to the ultimate source from which the proceeding occurs, but the Latin verb procedere (and the corresponding word in other languages used to translate it) can apply also to proceeding from a mediate channel.

Third Ecumenical Council

The third ecumenical council, held at Ephesus in 431, which quoted the creed in its 325 form, not in that of 381,[43] decreed in its seventh canon:

When these things had been read, the holy Synod decreed that it is unlawful for any man to bring forward, or to write, or to compose a different (ἑτέραν) Faith as a rival to that established by the holy Fathers assembled with the Holy Ghost in Nicæa. But those who shall dare to compose a different faith, or to introduce or offer it to persons desiring to turn to the acknowledgment of the truth, whether from Heathenism or from Judaism, or from any heresy whatsoever, shall be deposed, if they be bishops or clergymen; bishops from the episcopate and clergymen from the clergy; and if they be laymen, they shall be anathematized. And in like manner, if any, whether bishops, clergymen, or laymen, should be discovered to hold or teach the doctrines contained in the Exposition introduced by the Presbyter Charisius concerning the Incarnation of the Only-Begotten Son of God, or the abominable and profane doctrines of Nestorius, which are subjoined, they shall be subjected to the sentence of this holy and ecumenical Synod. So that, if it be a bishop, he shall be removed from his bishopric and degraded; if it be a clergyman, he shall likewise be stricken from the clergy; and if it be a layman, he shall be anathematized, as has been afore said.[44]

The Orthodox Church of Estonia, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers.

More recent is Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils, edited by Norman P. Tanner and published in London and Washington in 1990.[46] It contains the original Greek text as established by a number of scholars[47] together with a Latin and an English translation. The text of canon 7 is given on pages 65–66. On page 28 it states: "We give the text according to the manuscripts of the acts of the council". The same Greek text, again not presented as a canon but identical was given already in the old 18th-century Mansi edition, with the same reference to Charisius, as in the English translation above.[48]

Canon 7 of the Council of Ephesus was cited at the Second Council of Ephesus and at the Council of Chalcedon, and was echoed in the Chalcedon definition.[49] This account in the 2005 publication concerning the citing by Eutyches of canon 7 of Ephesus in his defence was confirmed by Stephen H. Webb in his 2011 book Jesus Christ, Eternal God.[50]

The same canon 7 against additions to the Creed of Nicaea is used in polemics against the addition of Filioque to the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed.[51][52] In any case, while the Council of Ephesus thus forbade setting up a different creed as a rival to that of the first ecumenical council, it was the creed attributed to the second ecumenical council that was adopted liturgically in the East and later a Latin variant was adopted in the West. The form of this creed that the West adopted had two additions: "God from God" (Deum de Deo) and "and the Son" (Filioque).[53] It has also been remarked that, strictly speaking, the canon of Ephesus applies "only to the formula to be used in the reception of converts".[54]

An observation by Philip Labre, given in Latin in the Mansi edition of the acts of the Council[55] is translated in Schaff's Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers.[56] Labre remarks that canons 7 and 8 of the Council of Ephesus are omitted in some collections of canons and that the collection of Dionysius Exiguus omits absolutely all the canons of the Council of Ephesus, apparently considering that they did not concern the Church as a whole. The Mansi edition gives at this point[55] a reference to the place in the acts of the council where the text of what is generally called its canon 7 is given in exactly the same formulation under the heading "Ὅρος τῆς συνόδου περὶ τῆς πίστεως" (Definition of the Council about faith).[48]

Fourth Ecumenical Council

At the Council of Chalcedon, both the original Nicene Creed, that of 425, and the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed were read, the former at the request of a bishop, the latter, against the protests of the bishops, on the initiative of the emperor's representative, "doubtless motivated by the need to find a precedent for drawing up new creeds and definitions to supplement the Creed of Nicaea, as a way of getting round the ban on new creeds in Canon 7 of Ephesus".[37] In the acts of the council this was followed by the council's exposition of the teaching on the two natures of Christ. This in turn was followed by the definition:

"These things, therefore, having been expressed by us with the greatest accuracy and attention, the holy Ecumenical Synod defines that no one shall be suffered to bring forward a different faith (ἑτέραν πίστιν), nor to write, nor to put together, nor to excogitate, nor to teach it to others. But such as dare either to put together another faith, or to bring forward or to teach or to deliver a different Creed (ἕτερον σύμβολον) to as wish to be converted to the knowledge of the truth, from the Gentiles, or Jews or any heresy whatever, if they be Bishops or clerics let them be deposed, the Bishops from the Episcopate, and the clerics from the clergy; but if they be monks or laics: let them be anathematized.
After the reading of the definition, all the most religious Bishops cried out: This is the faith of the fathers: let the metropolitans forthwith subscribe it: let them forthwith, in the presence of the judges, subscribe it: let that which has been well defined have no delay: this is the faith of the Apostles: by this we all stand: thus we all believe."[57][58]

Possible earliest use in the Creed

Recent discoveries have shown that the earliest known introduction of "and the Son" into the Nicene Creed may have been the work of a local council in the east, the Council of Seleucia-Ctesiphon in Persia in about 410.[59][60] This was some twenty years before the Nestorian Schism divided the Church in Persia, which after the schism became known as the Church of the East, from the Church in the Roman Empire.[61]

In the West at that time, the First Council of Toledo (400 AD) is said to have adopted a profession of faith that included a repeated statement that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son,[62] but the source for that is a forged collection of canons[63]

Procession of the Holy Spirit

As early as the fourth century, a distinction was made, in connection with the Trinity, between the two Greek verbs ἐκπορεύεσθαι (the verb used in the original Greek text of the 381 Nicene Creed) and προϊέναι. In his Oration on the Holy Lights (XXXIX), Saint Gregory of Nazianzus wrote: "The Holy Ghost is truly Spirit, coming forth (προϊέναι) from the Father indeed, but not after the manner of the Son, for it is not by Generation but by Procession (ἐκπορεύεσθαι)".[64][65]

That the Holy Spirit "proceeds" from the Father and the Son in the sense of the Latin word procedere and the Greek προϊέναι (as opposed to the Greek ἐκπορεύεσθαι) was taught by the early fifth century by Saint Cyril of Alexandria in the East[13][66] The Athanasian Creed, probably of the middle of the fifth century (But this is no documentary evidence of this hypothesis. The earliest manuscript of the Symbol is the 9th century. Prior to that, there is not the symbol itself, none of the Christian writers, or even quotes from it.),[67] and a dogmatic epistle of Pope Leo I,[68][69] who declared in 446 that the Holy Spirit proceeds from both Father and Son.[70]

Although the Eastern Fathers were aware that in the West the procession of the Holy Spirit from the Father and the Son was taught, they did not generally regard it as heretical:[71] According to Sergei Bulgakov "a whole series of Western writers, including popes who are venerated as saints by the Eastern church, confess the procession of the Holy Spirit also from the Son; and it is even more striking that there is virtually no disagreement with this theory."[72] In 447, Pope Leo I taught it in a letter to a Spanish bishop and an anti-Priscillianist council held the same year proclaimed it.[73] The argument was taken a crucial step further in 867 by the affirmation in the East that the Holy Spirit proceeds not merely "from the Father" but "from the Father alone".[74][75]

It is commonly stated that the phrase Filioque first appeared as inserted into the Creed, as an anti-Arian addition,[76][77][78] at the Third Council of Toledo (589), at which Visigothic Spain renounced Arianism, accepting Catholic Christianity. However, the acts of the council, while decreeing that "Spiritusque sanctus confitendus a nobis, et praedicandus est a patre et filio procedere" (the Holy Spirit is to be professed and preached by us as proceeding from the Father and the Son), records faithfully, without the addition of Filioque, the Creed of the First Council of Nicaea and that of the First Council of Constantinople.[79] The first documented appearance of the phrase as included in the Creed is at the 12th Council of Toledo (681).[80]

The addition was confirmed by subsequent local councils in Toledo and soon spread throughout the West, not only in Spain, but also in the kingdom of the Franks, who had adopted the Catholic faith in 496,[81] and in England, where the Council of Hatfield, presided over by a Greek,[82] imposed the doctrine in 680 as a response to Monothelitism.[83][84]

However, while the doctrine was taught in Rome, the addition to the Creed was not adopted there until 1014.

In the Vulgate the Latin verb procedere, which appears in the Filioque passage of the Creed in Latin, is used to translate several Greek verbs. While one of those verbs, ἐκπορεύεσθαι, the one in the corresponding phrase in the Creed in Greek, "was beginning to take on a particular meaning in Greek theology designating the Spirit's unique mode of coming-to-be ... procedere had no such connotations".[42]

Although Hilary of Poitiers is often cited as one of "the chief patristic source(s) for the Latin teaching on the filioque", Siecienski says that "there is also reason for questioning Hilary's support for the filioque as later theology would understand it, especially given the ambiguous nature of (Hilary's) language as it concerns the procession."[85]

However, a number of Latin Church Fathers of the 4th and 5th centuries explicitly speak of the Holy Spirit as proceeding "from the Father and the Son", the phrase in the present Latin version of the Nicene Creed. Examples are what is called the creed of Pope Damasus I,[86] Ambrose of Milan ("one of the earliest witnesses to the explicit affirmation of the Spirit's procession from the Father and the Son"),[87] Augustine of Hippo (whose writings on the Trinity "became the foundation of subsequent Latin trinitarian theology and later served as the foundation for the doctrine of the filioque".[88] and Pope Leo I, who qualified as "impious" those who say "there is not one who begat, another who is begotten, another who proceeded from both [alius qui de utroque processerit]"; he also accepted the Council of Chalcedon, with its reaffirmation of the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed in its original "from the Father" form,[89] as much later did his successor Pope Leo III who professed his faith in the teaching expressed by the Filioque, while opposing its inclusion in the Creed.

Thereafter, Eucherius of Lyon, Gennadius of Massilia, Boethius, Agnellus, Bishop of Ravenna, Cassiodorus, Gregory of Tours are witnesses that the idea that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Son was well established as part of the (Western) Church's faith, before Latin theologians began to concern themselves about how the Spirit proceeds from the Son.[90]

Pope Gregory the Great is usually counted as teaching the Spirit's procession from the Son, although Byzantine theologians, quoting from Greek translations of his work rather than the original, present him as a witness against it, and although he sometimes speaks of the Holy Spirit as proceeding from the Father without mentioning the Son. Siecienski says that, in view of the widespread acceptance by then that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son, it would be strange if Gregory did not advocate the teaching, "even if he did not understand the filioque as later Latin theology would - that is, in terms of a 'double procession'".[91]

"From the Father through the Son"

Church Fathers also use the phrase "from the Father through the Son".[92] Cyril of Alexandria, who undeniably several times states that the Holy Spirit issues from the Father and the Son, also speaks of the Holy Spirit coming from the Father through the Son, two different expressions that for him are complementary: the procession of the Holy Spirit from the Father does not exclude the Son's mediation and the Son receives from the Father a participation in the Holy Spirit's coming.[93] He was attacked by Theodoret for saying the Holy Spirit has his existence "either from the Son or through the Son", but continued to use such formulae.[94][95] The Roman Catholic Church accepts both phrases, and considers that they do not affect the reality of the same faith and instead express the same truth in slightly different ways.[96][97][98] The influence of Augustine of Hippo made the phrase "proceeds from the Father through the Son" popular throughout the West.[99] but, while used also in the East, "through the Son" was later, according to Philip Schaff, dropped or rejected by some as being nearly equivalent to "from the Son" or "and the Son".[100] Others spoke of the Holy Spirit proceeding "from the Father", as in the text of the Nicaeno-Constantinopolitan Creed, which "did not state that the Spirit proceeds from the Father alone".[101]

First Eastern opposition

The first recorded objection by a representative of Eastern Christianity against the Western belief that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son occurred when Patriarch Paul II of Constantinople (642-653) made accusations against either Pope Theodore I (642-649) or Pope Martin I (649-653)[102] of Rome for using the expression. Patriarch Paul was an adherent of Monothelitism, and for that reason Pope Theodore excommunicated him in 647.[103] In response to the attack by Patriarch Paul, Maximus the Confessor, a Greek opponent of Monothelitism, declared that it was wrong to condemn the Roman use of "and the Son" because the Romans "have produced the unanimous evidence of the Latin Fathers, and also of Cyril of Alexandria [...] On the basis of these texts, they have shown that they have not made the Son the cause of the Spirit – they know in fact that the Father is the only cause of the Son and the Spirit, the one by begetting and the other by procession – but that they have manifested the procession through him and have thus shown the unity and identity of the essence." He also indicated that the differences between the Latin and Greek languages were an obstacle to mutual understanding, since "they cannot reproduce their idea in a language and in words that are foreign to them as they can in their mother-tongue, just as we too cannot do".[104]

Later developments

Widespread use of the Filioque in the West led to controversy with envoys of the Byzantine Emperor Constantine V at a synod held at Gentilly in 767.[105][106] The use of Filioque was defended by Saint Paulinus II, the Patriarch of Aquileia, at the Synod of Friuli, Italy in 796, and it was endorsed in 809 at the local Council of Aachen.[107] At the beginning of the ninth century in 808, John, a Greek monk of the monastery of St. Sabas, charged the monks of Mt. Olivet with heresy, since they had inserted the Filioque into the Creed.

As the practice of chanting the Latin Credo at Mass spread in the West, the Filioque became a part of the Latin rite liturgy. This practice was adopted in Emperor Charlemagne's court in 798 and spread through his empire, but, although it was in use in parts of Italy by the eighth century, was not accepted in Rome until 1014.[78][108][109]

Beginning around 796 or 797, Paulinus, bishop of Aquileia, held a council for the region of Friuli (the part of Italy containing Aquileia). Paulinus was appointed the task of addressing Adoptionism and Arians as taught by a group of Spanish bishops including Elipando. Paulinus’ council spent a fair amount of time addressing the subject of the filioque, taking the position that a new council could add a valid interruption to the Creed. Paulinus primary argumentation is that the Filioque could be added and or subtracted if the addition or subtraction does not go against the Fathers’ “intention” and was “a blameless discernment.”

According to John Meyendorff,[110] and John Romanides[111] the Western efforts to get Pope Leo III to approve the addition of Filioque to the Creed were due to a desire of Charlemagne, who in 800 had been crowned in Rome as Emperor, to find grounds for accusations of heresy against the East. The Pope's refusal to approve the interpolation avoided arousing a conflict between East and West about this matter. Emperor Charlemagne accused the Patriarch of Constantinople (Saint Tarasios of Constantinople) of infidelity to the faith of the First Council of Nicaea, because he had not professed the procession of the Holy Spirit from the Father "and the Son", but only "through the Son", an accusation strongly rejected by Rome, but repeated in Charlemagne's commissioned work the Libri Carolini, books also rejected by the Pope.[112] Pope Leo rejected the request of Charlemagne's emissaries for approval of inclusion of the Filioque in the Latin Creed used in Rome. So, during the time of Pope Leo's leadership, 795-816, and for another two centuries, there was no Creed at all in the Roman rite Mass.

Although he approved the Filioque doctrine,[31][107][113][114] Pope Leo III in 810 opposed adding the Filioque to the Creed,[107] and had two heavy silver shields made and displayed in St Peter's, containing the original text of the Creed of 381 in both Greek and Latin,[31] adding: "I, Leo, have placed these for love and protection of the orthodox faith".[115]

In 808 or 809 controversy arose in Jerusalem between the Greek monks of one monastery and the Frankish Benedictines of another: the Greeks reproached the latter for, among other things, singing the creed with the Filioque included.[31][116][117][118] In response, the theology of the Filioque was expressed in the 809 local Council of Aachen.[31][118][119][120]

Photian controversy

Around 860 the controversy over the Filioque and the Frankish monks broke out in the course of the disputes between Saint Photius and Patriarch Ignatius of Constantinople.[109] In 867, Photius was Patriarch of Constantinople and issued an Encyclical to the Eastern Patriarchs, and called a council in Constantinople in which he charged the Western Church with heresy and schism because of differences in practices, in particular for the Filioque and the authority of the Papacy.[121] This moved the issue from jurisdiction and custom to one of dogma. This council declared Pope Nicholas anathema, excommunicated and deposed.[122]

Photius excluded not only "and the Son" but also "through the Son" with regard to the eternal procession of the Holy Spirit: for him "through the Son" applied only to the temporal mission of the Holy Spirit (the sending in time).[123][124][125] He maintained that the eternal procession of the Holy Spirit is "from the Father alone".[126] This phrase was verbally a novelty[127][128] However, Orthodox theologians generally hold that in substance the phrase was only a reaffirmation of traditional teaching.[127][128] Sergei Bulgakov, on the other hand, declared that Photius's doctrine itself "represents a sort of novelty for the Eastern church".[129]

Photius's importance endured in regard to relations between East and West. He is recognized as a Saint by the Eastern Orthodox Church and his line of criticism has often been echoed later, making reconciliation between East and West difficult.

At least three councils (in 867, 869, and 879) were held in Constantinople over the actions of Emperor Michael III in deposing Ignatius and replacing him with Photius. The Council of Constantinople 867 was convened by Photius, so to address the question of Papal Supremacy over all of the churches and their patriarchs and the use of the filioque.[130][131][132][133]

The council of 867 was followed by the Council of Constantinople 869, which reversed the previous council and was promulgated by Rome. The Council of Constantinople in 879 restored Photius to his see. It was attended by Western legates Cardinal Peter of St Chrysogonus, Paul Bishop of Ancona and Eugene Bishop of Ostia who approved its canons, but it is unclear whether it was ever promulgated by Rome.[134]

Adoption in the Roman Rite

It was only in 1014, at the request of the German King Henry II who had come to Rome to be crowned Emperor and was surprised at the different custom in force there, that Pope Benedict VIII, who owed to Henry his restoration to the papal throne after usurpation by Antipope Gregory VI, had the Creed, with the addition of Filioque, sung at Mass in Rome for the first time.[78] In some other places Filioque was incorporated in the Creed even later: at Paris seemingly not even by 1240, 34 years before the Second Council of Lyon defined that the Holy Spirit "proceeds eternally from the Father and from the Son, not as from two principles but from a single principle, not by two spirations but by a single spiration".[135]

Since then the Filioque phrase has been included in the Creed throughout the Latin Rite except where Greek is used in the liturgy,[136][137][137] although it was never adopted by Eastern Catholic Churches.[138]

East-West controversy

Main article: East-West Schism

Eastern opposition to the Filioque strengthened with the East-West Schism of 1054. In the text of the Latin anathema 1054 against the Greeks written: "Ut Pneumotomachi sive Theomachi Spiritum Sancti ex Filio processionem ex Symbolo absciderunt"[139] ( "as Pneumatomachi and theomachists, cut off from the Symbol of the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Son"). The Council of Constantinople in response anathema against the Latins said: "πρὸς ἐπὶ πᾶσι δὲ τούτοις μηδὲ ἐννονειν όλως εθελοντές, ἐν οἷς τὸ πνεῦμα οὐκ ἐκ τοῦ πατρός, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἐκ τοῦ υἱοῦ φασὶν ἐκπορεύεθαι, ὅτι ούτε από εὐαγγελιστῶν τὴν φωνὴν ἔχουσι ταύτην, ούτε από οικουμενικής συνόδου τὸ βλασφήμων κέκτηνται δόγμα. Ὁ μὲν γὰρ ὁ θεὸς ήμάν φησί: "τὸ πνεῦμα τῆς ἀληθείας ὃ παρὰ τοῦ πατρὸς ἐκπορεύεται". Οἱ δὲ τῆς κοινῆς δυσσεβείας πατέρος τὸ πνεῦμα φασὶν, ὃ παρὰ τοῦ πατρός καὶ τοῦ υἱοῦ ἐκπορεύεται."[140] ("And besides all this, and quite unwilling to see that it is they claim that the Spirit proceeds from the Father, not [only], but also from the Son — as if they have no evidence of the evangelists of this, and if they do not have the dogma of the ecumenical council regarding this slander. For the Lord our God says, "even the Spirit of truth, which proceeds from the Father (John 15:26)". But parents say this new wickedness of the Spirit, who proceeds from the Father and the Son.")

Two councils that were held to heal the break discussed the question.

The Second Council of Lyon (1274) accepted the profession of faith of Emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos in the Holy Spirit of the Greek and Latin languages: "Πιστεύομεν δὲ καὶ τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον, πλήρη καὶ τέλεον θεόν, ἀληθῆ θεόν, ἐκ πατρὸς υἱοῦ τε ἐκπορευόμενον — Credimus et Spiritum Sanctum, plenum et perfectum verumque Deum ex Patre Filioque procedentem."[141][142] ("proceeding... from the Father and the Son")[143] and the Greek participants, including Patriarch Joseph I of Constantinople sang the Creed three times with the Filioque addition. Most Byzantine Christians feeling disgust and recovering from the Latin Crusaders' conquest and betrayal, refused to accept the agreement made at Lyon with the Latins. In November 1281, Emperor Michael VIII was excommunicated by Pope Martin IV[144] and later died, after which Patriarch Joseph I's successor, John XI, who had become convinced that the teaching of the Greek Fathers was compatible with that of the Latins, was forced to resign, and was replaced by Gregory II, who was strongly of the opposite opinion.[145]

The council required Eastern churches wishing to be reunited with Rome to accept the Filioque as a legitimate expression of the faith, while it did not require those Christians to change the recitation of the creed in their liturgy.

The council of Lyons also condemned "all who presume to deny that the Holy Spirit proceeds eternally from the Father and the Son, or rashly to assert that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son as from two principles and not as from one."[31][146][147]

Another attempt at reunion was made at the fifteenth-century Council of Florence, to which Emperor John VIII Palaiologos, Ecumenical Patriarch Joseph II of Constantinople, and other bishops from the East had gone in the hope of getting Western military aid against the looming Ottoman Empire. Thirteen public sessions held in Ferrara from 8 October to 13 December 1438 the Filioque question was debated without agreement. The Greeks held that any addition whatever, even if doctrinally correct, to the Creed had been forbidden by the Council of Ephesus, while the Latins claimed that this prohibition concerned meaning, not words.[148]

During the council of Florence in 1439, accord continued to be elusive, until the argument prevailed among the Greeks themselves that, though the Greek and the Latin saints expressed their faith differently, they were in agreement substantially, since saints cannot err in faith; and by 8 June the Greeks accepted the Latin statement of doctrine. On 10 June Patriarch Joseph II died. A statement on the Filioque question was included in the Laetentur Caeli decree of union, which was signed on 5 July 1439 and promulgated the next day, with Mark of Ephesus being the only bishop to refuse his signature.[148] The Council of Florence accepted the profession of faith in the Holy Spirit of the Greek and Latin languages: "τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον ἐκ τοῦ Πατρὸς καὶ τοῦ Υἱοῦ αϊδίως ἐστί, καὶ τὴ ἑαυτοῦ οὐσίαν καὶ τὸ ὑπαρκτικὸν αὐτοῦ εἶναι ἔχει ἐκ τοῦ Πατρὸς ἅμα καὶ τοῦ Υἱοῦ, καὶ ἐξ ἀμφοτέρων ἀϊδίως ὡς ἀπὸ μιᾶς ἀρχῆς καὶ μοναδικῆς προβολῆς ἐκπορεύεται — spiritus sanctus ex patre et filio eternaliter est, et essentiam suam suumque esse subsistens habet et patre simul et filio, et ex utroque eternaliter tanquam ex uno principio et unica spiratione procedit."[149] — "the holy Spirit is eternally from the Father and the Son, and has his essence and his subsistent being from the Father together with the Son, and proceeds from both eternally as from one principle and a single spiration".[150]

The Eastern Church refused to consider the agreement reached at Florence binding, since the death of Joseph II had for the moment left it without a Patriarch of Constantinople. There was strong opposition to the agreement in the East, and when in 1453, 14 years after the agreement, the promised military aid from the West still had not arrived and Constantinople fell to the Turks, neither Eastern Christians nor their new rulers wished union between them and the West.

Councils of Jerusalem, 1583 and 1672 AD

The 1583 Synod of Jerusalem condemned those who do not believe the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father alone in essence, and from Father and Son in time. In addition, this synod re-affirmed adherence to the decisions of Council of Nicaea I in AD 325. The 1672 Synod of Jerusalem similarly re-affirmed procession of the Holy Spirit from the Father alone.


Although the Protestant Reformation challenged a number of church doctrines, they accepted the filioque without reservation. However, they did not have a polemical insistence on the Western view of the Trinity. In the second half of the sixteenth century, Lutheran scholars from the University of Tübingen initiated a dialogue with the Patriarch Jeremy II of Constantinople. The Tübingen Lutherans defended the filioque arguing that, without it, "the doctrine of the Trinity would lose its epistemological justification in the history of revelation." In the centuries that followed, the filioque was considered by Protestant theologians to be a key component of the doctrine of the Trinity, although it was never elevated to being a pillar of Protestant theology.[151] Zizioulas and Knight characterize Protestants as finding themselves "in the same confusion as those fourth century theologians who were unable to distinguish between the two sorts of procession, 'proceeding from' and 'sent by'."[152]

Present position of various churches


The Roman Catholic Church holds, as a truth dogmatically defined since as far back as Pope Leo I in 446, who followed a Latin and Alexandrian tradition, that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son.[70] It rejects the notion that the Holy Spirit proceeds jointly and equally from two principles (Father and Son) and teaches dogmatically that "the Holy Spirit proceeds eternally from the Father and the Son, not as from two principles but as from one single principle".[153] It holds that the Father, as the "principle without principle", is the first origin of the Spirit, but also that he, as Father of the only Son, is with the Son the single principle from which the Spirit proceeds.[96]

It also holds that the procession of the Holy Spirit can be expressed as "from the Father through the Son". The agreement that brought about the 1595 Union of Brest expressly declared that those entering full communion with Rome "should remain with that which was handed down to (them) in the Holy Scriptures, in the Gospel, and in the writings of the holy Greek Doctors, that is, that the Holy Spirit proceeds, not from two sources and not by a double procession, but from one origin, from the Father through the Son."[96][138]

The Roman Catholic Church recognizes that the Creed, as confessed at the First Council of Constantinople, did not add "and the Son", when it spoke of the Holy Spirit as proceeding from the Father, and that this addition was admitted to the Latin liturgy between the 8th and 11th centuries[70] When quoting the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed, as in the 6 August 2000 document Dominus Iesus, it does not include Filioque.[154] It views as complementary the Eastern-tradition expression "who proceeds from the Father" (profession of which it sees as affirming that he comes from the Father through the Son) and the Western-tradition expression "who proceeds from the Father and the Son", with the Eastern tradition expressing firstly the Father's character as first origin of the Spirit, and the Western tradition giving expression firstly to the consubstantial communion between Father and Son; and it believes that, provided this legitimate complementarity does not become rigid, it does not affect the identity of faith in the reality of the same mystery confessed.[96]

The monarchy of the Father is a doctrine upheld not only by those who like Photius speak of a procession from the Father alone. It is also asserted by theologians who speak of a procession from the Father through the Son or from the Father and the Son. Examples cited in the book

The Roman Catholic Church recognizes that, in the Greek language, the word used in the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed (ἐκπορευόμενον, "who proceeds") to signify the proceeding of the Holy Spirit cannot appropriately be used with regard to the Son, but only with regard to the Father, a difficulty that does not exist in other languages.[136] For this reason, even in the liturgy of Latin Rite Catholics, it does not add the phrase corresponding to Filioque (καὶ τοῦ Υἱοῦ) to the Greek text of the Creed containing the word ἐκπορευόμενον.[136] Even in languages other than Greek, it encourages Eastern Catholic Churches that in the past incorporated Filioque into their recitation of the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed to omit it.[161]


In 1978 the Anglican Communion's Lambeth Conference requested "that all member Churches of the Anglican Communion should consider omitting the Filioque from the Nicene Creed, and that the Anglican-Orthodox Joint Doctrinal Commission through the Anglican Consultative Council should assist them in presenting the theological issues to their appropriate synodical bodies and should be responsible for any necessary consultation with other Churches of the Western tradition."[162]

In 1988 the conference "ask(ed) that further thought be given to the Filioque clause, recognising it to be a major point of disagreement (with the Orthodox) ... recommending to the provinces of the Anglican Communion that in future liturgical revisions the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed be printed without the Filioque clause."[163] At a subsequent joint meeting of the Anglican Primates and Anglican Consultative Council in 1993, a resolution was passed urging Anglican churches to comply with the request that "in future liturgical revisions the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed be printed without the Filioque clause."[164]

The recommendation was not specifically renewed in the 1998 and 2008 Lambeth Conferences and has not been implemented.[165]

In 1985 the General Convention of The Episcopal Church (USA) recommended that the Filioque clause should be removed from the Nicene Creed, if this were endorsed by the 1988 Lambeth Council.[166] Accordingly, at its 1994 General Convention, the Episcopal Church reaffirmed its intention to remove the words "and the son" from the Nicene Creed in the next revision of its Book of Common Prayer.[167] The Episcopal Book of Common Prayer was last revised in 1979, and has not been revised since the resolution.


Among modern Protestant theologians, Karl Barth was perhaps the staunchest defender of the filioque doctrine. Barth was harshly critical of the ecumenical movement which advocated dropping the filioque in order to facilitate reunification of the Christian churches. Barth's vigorous defense of the filioque ran counter to the stance of many Protestant theologians of the latter half of the twentieth century who favored abandoning the use of the filioque in the liturgy.[168][169]

The Moravians, a Protestant church with some roots in Eastern Orthodoxy, have never used the filioque clause.

Eastern Orthodoxy

Main article: Eastern Orthodox teaching regarding the Filioque

The Eastern Orthodox interpretation is that the Holy Spirit originates, has his cause for existence or being (manner of existence) from the Father alone [170] as "One God, One Father",[171] Vladimir Lossky insisted that any notion of a double procession of the Holy Spirit from both the Father and the Son was incompatible with Orthodox theology. For Lossky, this incompatibility was so fundamental that "[W]hether we like it or not, the question of the procession of the Holy Spirit has been the sole dogmatic grounds of the separation of East and West."[172][173] Orthodox scholars who share Lossky's view include Dumitru Stăniloae, John Romanides and Michael Pomazansky. Sergius Bulgakov, however, was of the opinion that the filioque did not represent an insurmountable obstacle to reunion of the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches.[172]

In this view, the Son and the Spirit are both one with God and in no way separated from Him. Thus, the Divine Unity consists of the Father, with His Son and His Spirit distinct from Himself and yet perfectly united together in Him [174] and that the filioque confuses the theology as it was defined at the councils at both Nicene and Constantinople.[175]

Views of Eastern Orthodox saints

The addition of the Filioque to the Niceno-Constantinipolitan Creed has been condemned as heretical by many important Fathers and saints of the Eastern Orthodox Church, including Photios I of Constantinople, Gregory Palamas and Mark of Ephesus, sometimes referred to as the Three Pillars of Orthodoxy. However, the statement 'The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son' can be understood in an orthodox sense if it is clear from the context that 'procession from the Son' refers to the sending forth of the Spirit in time, not to an eternal, double procession within the Trinity Itself which gives the Holy Spirit existence or being. Hence, Saint Maximus the Confessor defended the Western use of the Filioque in a context other than that of the Niceno-Constantinipolitan Creed.[176]

Concerning the Holy Spirit, it is said not that he has existence from the Son or through the Son, but rather that He proceeds from the Father and has the same nature as the Son, is in fact the Spirit of the Son as being One in Essence with Him
Saint Theodoret, On the Third Ecumenical Council.

According to Metropolitan Hierotheos (Vlachos) of Nafpaktos, it is Eastern Orthodox tradition that Saint Gregory of Nyssa himself composed the section of the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed referring to the Holy Spirit adopted by the Second Ecumenical Council at Constantinople in 381.[179] There is no reason to suppose that St Gregory of Nyssa, or any of the Fathers of the Second Ecumenical Council, would have endorsed the addition of the Filioque, as later understood in the West, to the Creed.[180]

Eastern Orthodox view of Roman Catholic theology

Eastern Orthodox theologians (e.g., Michael Pomazansky) say that the Nicene Creed as a Symbol of Faith, as dogma, is to address and define church theology specifically the Orthodox Trinitarian understanding of God. In the hypostases of God as correctly expressed against the teachings considered outside the church. The Father hypostasis of the Nicene Creed is the origin of all.[181] Eastern Orthodox theologians have stated that New Testament passages (often quoted by the Latins) speak of the economy rather than the ontology of the Holy Spirit, and that in order to resolve this conflict Western theologians made further doctrinal changes, including declaring all persons of the Trinity to originate in the essence of God (the heresy of Sabellianism).[182] Eastern Orthodox theologians see this as teaching of philosophical speculation rather than from actual experience of God via theoria.

The Father is the eternal, infinite and uncreated reality, that the Christ and the Holy Spirit are also eternal, infinite and uncreated, in that their origin is not in the ousia of God, but that their origin is in the hypostasis of God called the Father. The double procession of the Holy Spirit bears some resemblance[183] to the teachings of Macedonius and his sect called the Pneumatomachians in that the Holy Spirit is created by the Son and a servant of the Father and the Son. It was Macedonius' position that caused the specific wording of the section on the Holy Spirit by St Gregory of Nyssa in the finalized Nicene creed.[184][185]

The following are points of the filioque as Roman Catholic dogma seen as in contention with Eastern Orthodoxy.

  1. The Father is from no one; the Son is from the Father only; and the Holy Spirit is from both the Father and the Son equally. The Fourth Council of the Lateran, 1215,
  2. A definition against the Albigenses and other heretics [We] confess that the Holy Spirit proceeds eternally from the Father and the Son, not as from two principles, but as from one; not by two spirations but by one. The Second Council of Lyon, 1274, Constitution on the Procession of the Holy Spirit.
  3. The Father is not begotten; the Son is begotten of the Father; the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son. The Council of Florence, 1438–45, Decree for the Jacobites
  4. The
  5. “We declare that when holy doctors and fathers say that the holy Spirit proceeds from the Father through the Son, this bears the sense that thereby also the Son should be signified, according to the Greeks indeed as cause, and according to the Latins as principle of the subsistence of the Holy Spirit, just like the Father.” Council of Florence, Session 6[187]
  6. In particular 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”[188]

In the judgment of these Orthodox, the Roman Catholic Church is in fact teaching as a matter of Roman Catholic dogma that the Holy Spirit derives his origin and being (equally) from both the Father and the Son, making the Filioque a double procession.[189][190] This being the very thing that Maximus the Confessor was stating in his work from the 7th century that would be wrong and that the West was not doing.[191][192][193]

They thus perceive the West as teaching through more than one type of theological Filioque a different origin and cause of the Holy Spirit. That through the dogmatic Roman Catholic Filioque the Holy Spirit is subordinate to the Father and the Son and not a free and independent and equal to the Father, hypostasis that receives his uncreatedness from the origin of all things, the Father hypostasis. Trinity expresses the idea of message, messenger and revealer, or mind, word and meaning. Eastern Orthodox Christians believe in one God the Father, whose person is uncaused and unoriginate, who, because He is love and communion, always exists with His Word and Spirit.[194][195]

Eastern Orthodox theology

In Eastern Orthodox Christianity theology starts with the Father hypostasis, not the essence of God, since the Father is the God of the Old Testament.[196] The Father is the origin of all things and this is the basis and starting point of the Orthodox trinitarian teaching of one God in Father, one God, of the essence of the Father (as the uncreated comes from the Father as this is what the Father is).[196] In Eastern Orthodox theology, God's uncreatedness or being or essence in Greek is called ousia.[197] Jesus Christ is the Son (God Man) of the uncreated Father (God). The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of the uncreated Father (God).[198]

The activity and actuality of the Trinity in creation are called God's energies as God as creator is light and this uncreated light (energy) is the basis from which all things derive their existence.[199] God has existences (hypostases) of being; this concept is translated as the word "person" in the West.[200] Each hypostasis of God is a specific and unique existence of God.[200] Each has the same essence (coming from the origin, without origin, Father (God) they are uncreated).[200] Each specific quality that constitutes an hypostasis of God, is non-reductionist and not shared.[200] The issue of ontology or being of the Holy Spirit is also complicated by the filioque in that the Christology and uniqueness of the hypostasis of Jesus Christ would factor into the manifestation of the Holy Spirit. In that Jesus is both God and Man, which fundamentally changes the hypostasis or being of the Holy Spirit, as Christ would be giving to the Holy Spirit an origin or being that was both God the Father (Uncreated) and Man (createdness).

It is this immanence of the Trinity that was defined in the finalized Nicene Creed. The economy of God, as God expresses himself in reality (his energies) was not what the Creed addressed directly.[201] Nor the specifics of God's interrelationships of his existences, is again not what is defined within the Nicene Creed.[201] The attempt to use the Creed to explain God's energies by reducing God existences to mere energies (actualities, activities, potentials) could be perceived as the heresy of semi-modalism.[202][203] Eastern Orthodox theologians have complained about this problem in the Roman Catholic dogmatic teaching of actus purus.[204]

Modern theology

Modern Orthodox theological scholarship is split, according to William La Due, between a group of scholars that hold to a "strict traditionalism going back to Photius" and other scholars "not so adamantly opposed (to the filioque)".[172] The "strict traditionalist" camp is exemplified by the stance of Vladimir Lossky who insisted that any notion of a double procession of the Holy Spirit from both the Father and the Son was incompatible with Orthodox theology. For Lossky, this incompatibility was so fundamental that, "whether we like it or not, the question of the procession of the Holy Spirit has been the sole dogmatic grounds of the separation of East and West."[172][173] Sergius Bulgakov, however, was of the opinion that the Filioque did not represent an insurmountable obstacle to reunion of the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches,[172] an opinion shared by Vasily Bolotov.[205]

Not all Orthodox theologians share the view taken by Vladimir Lossky, Dumitru Stăniloae, John Romanides and Michael Pomazansky, who condemn the Filioque.[206] Kallistos Ware considers this the "rigorist" position within the Orthodox Church.[207] Ware states that a more "liberal" position on this issue "was the view of the Greeks who signed the act of union at Florence. It is a view also held by many Orthodox at the present time". He writes that "according to the 'liberal' view, the Greek and the Latin doctrines on the procession of the Holy Spirit may both alike be regarded as theologically defensible. The Greeks affirm that the Spirit proceeds from the Father through the Son, the Latins that He proceeds from the Father and from the Son; but when applied to the relationship between Son and Spirit, these two prepositions 'through' and 'from' amount to the same thing."[208] The Encyclopedia of Christian Theology lists Vasily Bolotov,[209] Paul Evdokimov, I. Voronov and Sergei Bulgakov as seeing the Filioque as a permissible theological opinion or "theologoumenon."[209] Bolotov defined theologoumena as theological opinions "of those who for every catholic are more than just theologians: they are the theological opinions of the holy fathers of the one undivided church", opinions that Bolotov rated highly but that he sharply distinguished from dogmas.[210]

Sergei Bulgakov's work The Comforter states:

"It is a difference of theological opinions which was dogmatized prematurely and erroneously. There is no dogma of the relation of the Holy Spirit to the Son and therefore particular opinions on this subject are not heresies but merely dogmatic hypotheses, which have been transformed into heresies by the schismatic spirit that has established itself in the Church and that eagerly exploits all sorts of liturgical and even cultural differences" pg80 ISBN 9781444337310[211]

It was without making any statement on Bulgakov's view on the Filioque that, in the 1930s, the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia and a local synod of the Russian Orthodox Church condemned his sophiology, a matter on which he was defended by most of his colleagues at the St. Sergius Orthodox Theological Institute and was protected by his diocesan bishop.[212][213] He continued to be "generally regarded in the Ecumenical Movement as the most distinguished Orthodox theologian",[214] esteemed as such by Alexander Schmemann,[215] Andrew Sharp,[216] Sergei V. Nikolaev,[217] Karl Rahner,[218] and Walter Kasper.[219]

Karl Barth considered that the view prevailing in Eastern Orthodoxy was that of Vasily Bolotov of St Petersburg, who pointed out that the Creed does not deny the Filioque and who concluded that the question had not caused the division and could not constitute an absolute obstacle to intercommunion between the Eastern Orthodox and the Old Catholic Church.[220] Writing in 2009, David Guretzki says that Bolotov's view is becoming more and more prevalent among Orthodox theologians; and he quotes Orthodox theologian Theodore Stylianopoulos as arguing that "the theological use of the filioque in the West against Arian subordinationism is fully valid according to the theological criteria of the Eastern tradition".[221]

Yves Congar states: "Today, the greater number of the Orthodox say that the Filioque is not a heresy or even a dogmatic error but an admissible theological opinion, a 'theologoumenon'"; and he cites Vladimir Soloviev and, as far back as the 12th century, Nicetas of Nicomedia, and the modern writers Bolotov, Florovsky and Bulgakov.[222]

Church of the East

Two of the present-day churches derived from the Church of the East, the Assyrian Church of the East and the Ancient Church of the East do not use "and the Son" when reciting the Nicene Creed. The other, known as the Chaldean Church, has recently, at the request of the Holy See, removed "and the Son" from its version of the Nicene Creed.[223]

Recent theological perspectives

Linguistic issues

Bishop Kallistos Ware suggests that the problem is of semantics rather than of basic doctrinal differences.[206][224] The English Language Liturgical Consultation has commented: "[T]hose who favour retention of the Filioque are often thinking of the Trinity as revealed and active in human affairs, whereas the original Greek text is concerned about relationships within the Godhead itself. As with many historical disputes, the two parties may not be discussing the same thing."[225]

In 1995, the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity published in various languages a study on The Greek and the Latin Traditions regarding the Procession of the Holy Spirit,[136] which pointed out an important difference in meaning between the Greek verb ἐκπορεύεσθαι and the Latin verb procedere, both of which are commonly translated as "proceed". It stated that the Greek verb ἐκπορεύεσθαι indicates that the Spirit "takes his origin from the Father ... in a principal, proper and immediate manner", while the Latin verb, which corresponds rather to the verb προϊέναι in Greek, can be applied to proceeding even from a mediate channel. Therefore the word used in the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed (ἐκπορευόμενον, "who proceeds") to signify the proceeding of the Holy Spirit cannot in the Greek language be appropriately used with regard to the Son, but only with regard to the Father, a difficulty that does not exist in Latin and other languages.[136]

Metropolitan John Zizioulas, while maintaining the explicit Orthodox position of the Father as the single origin and source of the Holy Spirit, has declared that this document of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity shows positive signs of reconciliation. Zizioulas states: "Closely related to the question of the single cause is the problem of the exact meaning of the Son's involvement in the procession of the Spirit. Saint Gregory of Nyssa explicitly admits a 'mediating' role of the Son in the procession of the Spirit from the Father. Is this role to be expressed with the help of the preposition δία (through) the Son (εκ Πατρός δι'Υιού), as Saint Maximus and other Patristic sources seem to suggest?" Zizioulas continues: "The Vatican statement notes that this is 'the basis that must serve for the continuation of the current theological dialogue between Catholic and Orthodox'. I would agree with this, adding that the discussion should take place in the light of the 'single cause' principle to which I have just referred." Zizioulas adds that this "constitutes an encouraging attempt to clarify the basic aspects of the 'Filioque' problem and show that a rapprochement between West and East on this matter is eventually possible".[226]

Some Orthodox reconsideration of the Filioque

Several Orthodox theologians have considered the Filioque anew, with a view to reconciliation of East and West. In 1898, Orthodox theologian Vasily Bolotov published his "Thesen über das Filioque", in which he asserted that the Filioque, like Photios's "from the Father alone", was a permissible theological opinion (a theologoumenon, not a dogma) that cannot be an absolute impediment to reestablishment of communion.[209][227] This thesis was supported by Orthodox theologians Sergei Bulgakov, Paul Evdokimov and I. Voronov, but was rejected by Vladimir Lossky.[209]

In 1986, Theodore Stylianopoulos provided an extensive, scholarly overview of the contemporary discussion.[228] Twenty years after writing the first (1975) edition of his book, The Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Kallistos of Diokleia said that he had changed his mind and had concluded that "the problem is more in the area of semantics and different emphases than in any basic doctrinal differences": "the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father alone" and "the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son" may both have orthodox meanings if the words translated "proceeds" actually have different meanings.[229] For some Orthodox, then, the Filioque, while still a matter of conflict, would not impede full communion of the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches if other issues were resolved. But many Orthodox consider that the Filioque is in flagrant contravention of the words of Christ in the Gospel,[230] has been specifically condemned by the Orthodox Church, and remains a fundamental heretical teaching which divides East and West.

John Romanides too, while personally opposing the "Filioque", has stated that in itself, outside the Creed, the phrase is not considered to have been condemned by the 878-880 Council of Constantinople, "since it did not teach that the Son is 'cause' or 'co-cause' of the existence of the Holy Spirit"; however, it could not be added to the Creed, "where 'procession'[231] means 'cause' of existence of the Holy Spirit".[232]

Inclusion in the Nicene Creed

Eastern Orthodox Christians object that, even if the teaching of the Filioque can be defended, its medieval interpretation and unilateral interpolation into the Creed is anti-canonical and unacceptable.[230][233] "The Catholic Church acknowledges the conciliar, ecumenical, normative and irrevocable value, as expression of the one common faith of the Church and of all Christians, of the Symbol professed in Greek at Constantinople in 381 by the Second Ecumenical Council. No profession of faith peculiar to a particular liturgical tradition can contradict this expression of the faith taught and professed by the undivided Church."[136] The Catholic Church allows liturgical use of the Apostles' Creed as well of the Nicene Creed, and sees no essential difference between the recitation in the liturgy of a creed with orthodox additions and a profession of faith outside the liturgy such that of the Patriarch of Constantinople Saint Tarasius, who developed the Nicene Creed with an addition as follows: "the Holy Spirit, the Lord and giver of life, who proceeds from the Father through the Son".[136] It sees the addition of "and the Son" in the context of the Latin "qui ex Patre procedit" (who proceeds from the Father) as an elucidation of the faith expressed by the Church Fathers, since the verb procedere signifies "the communication of the consubstantial divinity from the Father to the Son and from the Father, through and with the Son, to the Holy Spirit".[136]

The have on the contrary preserved the "we believe" of the original text.

Focus on Saint Maximus as a point of mutual agreement

Recently, theological debate about the filioque has focused on the writings of Maximus the Confessor. Siecienski writes that, "Among the hundreds of figures involved in the filioque debates throughout the centuries, Maximus the Confessor enjoys a privileged position." During the lengthy proceedings at Ferrara-Florence, the Orthodox delegates presented a text from Maximus the Confessor that they felt could provide the key to resolving the theological differences between East and West.[240]

The study published by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity[136] states that, according to Saint Maximus, the phrase "and from the Son" does not contradict the Holy Spirit's procession from the Father as first origin (ἐκπόρευσις), since it concerns only the Holy Spirit's coming (in the sense of the Latin word processio and Saint Cyril of Alexandria's προϊέναι) from the Son in a way that excludes any idea of subordinationism.[241]

Orthodox theologian and Metropolitan of Pergamon, John Zizioulas, says: "For Saint Maximus the Filioque was not heretical because its intention was to denote not the ἐκπορεύεσθαι (ekporeuesthai) but the προϊέναι (proienai) of the Spirit."[242]

Metropolitan John Zizioulas also wrote:

"As Saint Maximus the Confessor insisted, however, in defence of the Roman use of the Filioque, the decisive thing in this defence lies precisely in the point that in using the Filioque the Romans do not imply a "cause" other than the Father. The notion of "cause" seems to be of special significance and importance in the Greek Patristic argument concerning the Filioque. If Roman Catholic theology would be ready to admit that the Son in no way constitutes a "cause" (aition) in the procession of the Spirit, this would bring the two traditions much closer to each other with regard to the Filioque."[243] This is precisely what Saint Maximus said of the Roman view, that "they have shown that they have not made the Son the cause of the Spirit – they know in fact that the Father is the only cause of the Son and the Spirit, the one by begetting and the other by procession".

In this regard, the letter of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity on "The Greek and the Latin Traditions regarding the Procession of the Holy Spirit"[136] upholds the monarchy of the Father as the "sole Trinitarian Cause [aitia] or principle [principium] of the Son and the Holy Spirit" While the Council of Florence proposed the equivalency of the two terms "cause" and "principle" and therefore implied that the Son is a cause (aitia) of the subsistence of the Holy Spirit, the letter of the Pontifical Council distinguishes

between what the Greeks mean by 'procession' in the sense of taking origin from, applicable only to the Holy Spirit relative to the Father (ek tou Patros ekporeuomenon), and what the Latins mean by 'procession' as the more common term applicable to both Son and Spirit (ex Patre Filioque procedit; ek tou Patros kai tou Huiou proion). This preserves the monarchy of the Father as the sole origin of the Holy Spirit while simultaneously allowing for an intratrinitarian relation between the Son and Holy Spirit that the document defines as 'signifying the communication of the consubstantial divinity from the Father to the Son and from the Father through and with the Son to the Holy Spirit'."[244]

Roman Catholic theologian Avery Dulles, writing of the Eastern fathers who, while aware of the currency of the Filioque in the West, did not generally regard it as heretical, said: "Some, such as Maximus the Confessor, a seventh-century Byzantine monk, defended it as a legitimate variation of the Eastern formula that the Spirit proceeds from the Father through the Son."[71]

Michael Pomazansky and John Romanides[245] hold that Maximus' position does not defend the actual way the Roman Catholic Church justifies and teaches the Filioque as dogma for the whole church. While accepting as a legitimate and complementary expression of the same faith and reality the teaching that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father through the Son,[96] Maximus held strictly to the teaching of the Eastern Church that "the Father is the only cause of the Son and the Spirit"[246] and wrote a special treatise about this dogma.[247][248][249] And the Roman Catholic Church cites Maximus as in full accord with the teaching on the Filioque that it proposes for the whole Church as a dogma that is in harmony with the formula "from the Father through the Son",[136] for he explained that, by ekporeusis, "the Father is the sole cause of the Son and the Spirit", but that, by proienai, the Greek verb corresponding to procedere (proceed) in Latin, the Spirit comes through the Son.[136] Later again at the Council of Florence in 1438, the West held that the two views were contradictory.[250] The Council of Florence in fact declared that the Greek formula "from the Father through the Son" was equivalent to the Latin "from the Father and the Son", not contradictory, and that those who used the two formulas "were aiming at the same meaning in different words".[251][252][253][254][255]

Per filium

Recently some Orthodox theologians have proposed the substitution of the formula a patre per filium / ek tou patros dia tou huiou (from the Father through the Son) instead of a patre filioque (from the Father and the Son).[256]

Recent attempts at reconciliation

Starting in the latter half of the nineteenth century, ecumenical efforts have gradually developed more nuanced understandings of the issues underlying the Filioque controversy and worked to remove them as an obstruction to Christian unity. Vladimir Lossky insists that the filioque is so fundamentally incompatible with Orthodox Christianity as to be the central issue dividing the two churches.[173]

Western churches have arrived at the position that, although the Filioque is doctrinally sound, the way that it was inserted into the Nicene Creed has created an unnecessary obstacle to ecumenical dialogue. Thus, without abandoning the Filioque, some Western churches have come to accept that it could be omitted from the Creed without violating any core theological principles. This accommodation on the part of Western Churches has the objective of allowing both East and West to once again to share a common understanding of the Creed as the traditional and fundamental statement of the Christian faith.

Old Catholic Church

Immediately after the Old Catholic Church separated from the Catholic Church in 1871, its theologians initiated contact with the Orthodox Church. In 1874/75, representatives of the two churches held "union conferences" in Bonn with theologians of the Anglican Communion and the Lutheran Church in attendance in an unofficial capacity. The conferences discussed a number of issues including the filioque controversy. From the outset, Old Catholic theologians agreed with the Orthodox position that the filioque had been introduced in the West in an unacceptably non-canonical way. It was at these Bonn conferences that the Old Catholics became the first Western church to omit the filioque from the Nicene Creed.[169][257][258]

Anglican Communion

Three Lambeth Conferences (1888, 1978 and 1988) have recommended that the Filioque be dropped from the Nicene Creed by churches that belong to the Anglican Communion.

The 1930 Lambeth Conference initiated formal theological dialogue between representatives of the Anglican and Orthodox churches.[259] In 1976, the Agreed Statement of the Anglican-Orthodox Joint Doctrinal Commission included a recommendation by Anglican members of the commission that the filioque should be omitted from the Creed because its inclusion had been effected without the authority of an Ecumenical Council.[260]

In 1994, the General Convention of the Episcopal Church resolved that the filioque should be deleted from the Nicene Creed in the next edition of the Prayer Book.[261] The enthronement ceremonies of the last three archbishops of Canterbury have included recitations of the Nicene Creed that omitted the filioque; this has been considered to have been "a gesture of friendship toward Orthodox guests and their Communions."[262]

World Council of Churches

In 1979, a study group was established by the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches to examine the filioque question. The report of the study group included the "Klingenthal Memorandum" which recommended that "that the original form of the Creed, without the filioque, should everywhere be recognized as the normative one and restored, so that the whole Christian people may be able ... to confess their common faith in the Holy Spirit." However, nearly a decade later, the WCC lamented that very few member churches had implemented the recommendation.[169]

Roman Catholic

Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI have recited the Nicene Creed jointly with Patriarchs Demetrius I and Bartholomew I in Greek without the Filioque clause.[31][263][264]

Joint statement of Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic theologians

The Filioque was the main subject discussed at the 62nd meeting of the North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation, in June 2002. In October 2003, the Consultation issued an agreed statement, The Filioque: A Church-Dividing Issue?, which provides an extensive review of Scripture, history, and theology. The recommendations include:

  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.

In the judgment of the consultation, the question of the Filioque is no longer a "Church-dividing" issue, which would impede full reconciliation and full communion. It is for the bishops of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches to review this work and to make whatever decisions would be appropriate.[31]


The Filioque was originally proposed to stress more clearly the connection between the Son and the Spirit, amid a heresy in which the Son was taken as less than the Father because he does not serve as a source of the Holy Spirit. When the Filioque came into use in Spain and Gaul in the West, the local churches were not aware that their language of procession would not translate well back into the Greek. Conversely, from Photius to the Council of Florence, the Greek Fathers were also not acquainted with the linguistic issues.

While the Filioque doctrine was traditional in the West, being declared dogmatically in 447 by

Ironically, a similar anti-Arian emphasis also strongly influenced the development of the liturgy in the East, for example, in promoting prayer to "Christ Our God", an expression which also came to find a place in the West,[269] where, largely as a result of "the Church's reaction to Teutonic Arianism", "'Christ our God' ... gradually assumes precedence over 'Christ our brother'".[270] In this case, a common adversary, namely, Arianism, had profound, far-reaching effects, in the orthodox reaction in both East and West.

Church politics, authority conflicts, ethnic hostility, linguistic misunderstanding, personal rivalry, forced conversions, large scale wars, political intrigue, unfilled promises and secular motives all combined in various ways to divide East and West.

The doctrine expressed by the phrase in Latin (in which the word "procedit" that is linked with "Filioque" does not have exactly the same meaning and overtones as the word used in Greek) is definitively upheld by the Western Church, having been dogmatically declared by Pope Leo the Great,[70] and upheld by councils at Lyon and Florence[271] that the Western Church recognizes as ecumenical, by the unanimous witness of the Latin Church Fathers (as Maximus the Confessor acknowledged) and even by Popes who, like Leo III,[272] opposed insertion of the word into the Creed.

That the doctrine is heretical is something that not all Orthodox now insist on. According to Bishop Kallistos Ware, many Orthodox (whatever may be the doctrine and practice of the Eastern Orthodox Church itself) hold that, in broad outline, to say the Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son amounts to the same thing as to say that the Spirit proceeds from the Father through the Son, a view accepted also by the Greeks who signed the act of union at the Council of Florence.[273] For others, such as Vasily Bolotov and his disciples, the Filioque can be considered a Western theologoumenon, a theological opinion of Church Fathers that falls short of being a dogma.[209][274] Sergei Bulgakov also stated: "There is no dogma of the relation of the Holy Spirit to the Son and therefore particular opinions on this subject are not heresies but merely dogmatic hypotheses, which have been transformed into heresies by the schismatic spirit that has established itself in the Church and that eagerly exploits all sorts of liturgical and even cultural differences."[211]


Christianity portal


Much has been written on the Filioque; what follows is selective. As time goes on, this list will inevitably have to be updated.

  • public domain: 
  • "Filioque", article in the Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church Oxford University Press, 2005, p. 614.
  • David Bradshaw. Aristotle East and West: Metaphysics and the Division of Christendom. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004, pp. 214–220.
  • Laurent Cleenewerck. His Broken Body: Understanding and healing the schism between the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches. Washington, DC: Euclid University Press, 2008, pp. 321–347.
  • God, History, & Dialectic: The Theological Foundations of the Two Europes and Their Cultural Consequences. Bound edition 1997. Electronic edition 2008.
  • Joseph P. Farrell translator The Mystagogy of the Holy Spirit by St Photius Publisher: Holy Cross Orthodox Press Language: English ISBN 978-0-916586-88-1
  • John St. H. Gibaut, "The Cursus Honorum and the Western Case Against Photius", Logos 37 (1996), 35–73.
  • Elizabeth Teresa Groppe. Yves Congar's Theology of the Holy Spirit. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004. See esp. pp. 75–79, for a summary of Congar's work on the Filioque. Congar is widely considered the most important Roman Catholic ecclesiologist of the twentieth century. He was influential in the composition of several Vatican II documents. Most important of all, he was instrumental in the association in the West of pneumatology and ecclesiology, a new development.
  • David Guretzki.ISBN 978-0-7546-6704-9. A close examination of Karl Barth's defense of the filioque and why his position is closer to an Eastern perspective than has typically been assumed.
  • Richard Haugh. Photius and the Carolingians: The Trinitarian Controversy. Belmont, MA: Nordland Publishing Company, 1975.
  • Joseph Jungmann, S.J. Pastoral Liturgy. London: Challoner, 1962. See "Christ our God", pp. 38–48.
  • James Likoudis. Ending the Byzantine Greek Schism. New Rochelle, New York: 1992. An apologetic response to polemical attacks. A useful book for its inclusion of important texts and documents; see especially citations and works by Thomas Aquinas, O.P., Demetrios Kydones, Nikos A. Nissiotis, and Alexis Stawrowsky. The select bibliography is excellent. The author demonstrates that the Filioque dispute is only understood as part of a dispute over papal primacy and cannot be dealt with apart from ecclesiology.
  • Bruce D. Marshall, "'Ex Occidente Lux?' Aquinas and Eastern Orthodox Theology", Modern Theology 20:1 (January 2004), 23–50. Reconsideration of the views of Aquinas, especially on deification and grace, as well as his Orthodox critics. The author suggests that Aquinas may have a more accurate perspective than his critics, on the systematic questions of theology that relate to the Filioque dispute.
  • John Meyendorff. Byzantine Theology. New York: Fordham University Press, 1979, pp. 91–94.
  • Aristeides Papadakis. Crisis in Byzantium: The Filioque Controversy in the Patriarchate of Gregory II of Cyprus (1283–1289). New York: Fordham University Press, 1983.
  • Aristeides Papadakis. The Christian East and the Rise of the Papacy. Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1994, pp. 232–238 and 379-408.
  • Duncan Reid. Energies of the Spirit: Trinitarian Models in Eastern Orthodox and Western Theology. Atlanta, Georgia: Scholars Press, 1997.
  • A. Edward Siecienski. The Use of Maximus the Confessor's Writing on the Filioque at the Council of Ferrara-Florence (1438–1439). Ann Arbor, Michigan: UMI Dissertation Services, 2005.
  • A. Edward Siecienski. The Filioque. History of a Doctrinal Controversy. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2010.
  • Malon H. Smith, III. And Taking Bread: Cerularius and the Azyme Controversy of 1054. Paris: Beauschesne, 1978. This work is still valuable for understanding cultural and theological estrangement of East and West by the turn of the millennium. Now, it is evident that neither side understood the other; both Greek and Latin antagonists assumed their own practices were normative and authentic.
  • Timothy Kallistos Ware. The Orthodox Church. New edition. London: Penguin, 1993, pp. 52–61.
  • Timothy [Kallistos] Ware. The Orthodox Way. Revised edition. Crestwood, New York: 1995, pp. 89–104.
  • [World Council of Churches] /Conseil Oecuménique des Eglises. La théologie du Saint-Esprit dans le dialogue œcuménique Document # 103 [Faith and Order]/Foi et Constitution. Paris: Centurion, 1981.
  • Sergius Bulgakov. The Comforter. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company (June 2004) ISBN 978-0-8028-2112-6

External links

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he:רוח הקודש (נצרות)#רוח הקודש בזרם הנוצרי המרכזי

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