I do not intend to explain what this is all about ab initio to those who do not already know the general outlines. Just to add some facts which those who do know may not be familiar with.Read the rest of Fr. Hunwicke's reflection.
In 1995 the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity published a learned and interesting paper which suggested that a lack of correlation between the Greek (ekporeuesthai) and Latin (procedere) terms for "proceedeth" is part of the problem. ekporeuesthai refers to the origin of the Holy Spirit within the eternal and glorious economy of the Holy Trinity. And, since the Father is the Source (pege, aitia) of the being of the other two Persons, clearly the Spirit ekporeuetai from the Father alone. To suggest that he might ekporeuesthai from the Son as well is to posit two sources of Divinity and thus, in effect, to believe in two Gods.
Procedere, on the other hand, is a broader term. As well as sharing the meaning of ekporeuesthai, it also encompasses the Sending, within time, of the Spirit by the Son. When the Western Church was battling against Arianism, it seemed important to safeguard the full divinity of the Son by incorporating into the Creed His authentic Missio of the Spirit.
So you could argue that Filioque with ekporeuesthai is gravely erroneous because it is tantamount to polytheism, while procedere without the Filioque is dangerously suggestive of Arianism.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Reflections on the filioque and language from Fr. Hunwicke, courtesy of Josephus Flavius of Byzantine, Texas. Not a new argument, but something to keep in mind as we observe current developments with other groups:
Houston Orthodox priest Fr. Joseph Huneycutt (of the Houston blog ORTHODIXIE) has a report on his blog about the Sunday of Orthodoxy in Houston. Sunday of Orthodoxy Vespers was spent this year at Holy Forty Martyrs Mission (Antiochian Orthodox) here in Sugar Land.