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I originally imported this from Wikipedia, but it seems to me that this article needs a major reworking, if not replacement. Its rhetoric is pretty convoluted and unclear. --Rdr. Andrew 19:50, 1 Feb 2005 (CST)

Update: It has, indeed, been significantly reworked! ——Dcn. Andrew talk random contribs 12:39, 4 Jul 2005 (EDT)

I'd like to do a bit of a rework on this article to make it more encyclopedic and formal in tone. But I don't want to step on anyone's toes. Unless anyone objects, I'll take a stab at some point soon. --Jeff 16:57, 2 Apr 2008 (PDT)

No Basilique?

The article said:

Charlemagne called for a council at Aix-la-Chapelle in 809 at which Pope Leo III forbade the use of the filioque clause and ordered that the original version of the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed be engraved on silver tablets displayed at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome so that his conclusion would not be overturned in the future.

But in at that time there was no "St. Peter's Basilica".


As far as I know there was. The building made from indulgence money in 15 - 16th C was not first, but replaced one which had been tottering. Since St Peter was crucified on Collis Vaticanus, it would have been remarkable, had there not been built a Basilica after the peace of St Constantine.

By the way: remarkable too that Pope Leo III of Rome forbids something as far away from his own diocese as Aix-la-Chapelle, is it not?


As for St. Peter's Basilica, I agree with Hans. The current one was built after the previous one had been burned. The first Basilica under this name was built soon after the peace of St. Constantine. Even in this time, this Basilica had been known by its magnificence.
"Pope Leo III said something from Aix-la-Chapelle (or Amiens, the place of Frankish court) sounds a bit strange, but it could happen. In 799 he refuged to the Frankish court over the Alps. But I have no idea what is the fact on this matter. --Cat68 23:13, February 26, 2007 (PST)

--Cat68 23:13, February 26, 2007 (PST)


Do you think it's really necessary to include a misspelled version? It seems that could set a somewhat awkward precedent. I don't see that sort of thing in any encyclopedia with which I'm familiar. ——Dcn. Andrew talk random contribs 12:39, 4 Jul 2005 (EDT)

Rdr. Andrew, Please feel free to change anything I do. Let me say...I don't know you in the flesh, but have come to appreciate you and your leadership. Maybe the way to approach this is to insert it somewhere in the text or redirect a filoque page to filioque. I just know that this is a very common misspelling (I've done it!). Whatever the community sees fit to do. Maybe we should start something in the style manual about how to address misspellings. --[[User:Joe Rodgers|Joe ( talk » inspect » chat )]] 13:05, 4 Jul 2005 (EDT)
I don't think we should put in redirects for misspellings - I don't think it makes the site that much more usable, and such redirects could too easily multiply. Besides, why not just let people learn to spell the words in question correctly? Fr. John
Yes, I thought that the redirect issue could get out of hand. This is why I thought to include the misspelling on the page. --[[User:Joe Rodgers|Joe ( talk » inspect » chat )]] 14:11, 4 Jul 2005 (EDT)
Perhaps the Misspellings section could be removed, and the sentence "Filioque may be misspelled as filoque." added to the very end of the first paragraph? Especially in an article of this magnitude, giving a such a brief section to misspellings seems out of balance. —magda 19:31, 5 Jul 2005 (EDT)
Ah yes, here is where the discussion was. Filoque is a common misspelling. I guess I thought we could be indexed by search engines and it would point them in the right direction. I still don't know how important this is, but I care. Joe 16:19 26 Nov 2005
Hmm... the search engine thing is an interesting consideration. Maybe we could put in misspellings in comments, so they don't show for people, but they could for search engines. E.g. at the bottom of the page, near the Categories, we could put <!-- Common misspellings: filoqe filllioque--> and so on? What do other folks think about that idea?

This comment provides more to think about as well. I like the idea of commenting in misspellings rather than giving them a more prominent place. Any other ideas? I, for one, need to look up "Irene" to find Irene Chrysovalantou, as I can never remember how the monastery's name is spelled. —magda (talk) 15:39, November 26, 2005 (CST)

Conciliar condemnation

"There has never been a specific conciliar statement in the Orthodox Church which defined the filioque as heresy" ... except that of The Eighth Ecumenical Council, offcourse ... Luci83ro 09:47, July 28, 2006 (CDT)

That synod did not define the filioque as heresy but rather forbid alteration to the Creed. In effect, this precludes the filioque, but it does not define it specifically as heresy, which would instead have involved a standard formula such as "To any who teach that the Spirit proceeds from the Son as well as from the Father, anathema." —Dcn. Andrew talk random contribs 10:24, July 28, 2006 (CDT)

Why was the Council of Lyons not an Ecumenical Council? Russians and probably Egyptians did not attend, but there were some countries not represented at the Council of Nicea too. Andronicus of Constantinople later repudiated the Council of Lyons, but was it at the time, 1274-1283, ecumenical? Rakovsky 08:31, June 19, 2009 (UTC)

Which filioque?

There are at least two separate issues concerning the filioque. The first is its unlawful addition the the Symbol. On this I don't believe there is any good argument to be made for its inclusion. We might term this issue the "canonical" one.

The second issue is the "dogmatic" one. Is the teaaching of the filioque orthodox or heterodox? That depends upon which understanding of the fiolioque one has in mind. A distinction must be made between the heterodox filioque (the teaching that the Spirit is dependent upon the Son as well as the Father for his origin) and the orthodox filioque (the perfectly Orthodox idea that the Spirit proceeds from the Father through (dia) the Son. The latter was taught by St Maximos Confessor and is Orthodox. The former is definitely heterodox. I would shy away from terming it "heretical" in that no council has defined it as such. --Fr Lev 10:44, July 28, 2006 (CDT)

Please excuse me for asking You this rather silly question, but ... I'm a little bit confused here: What, then, is "heterodox, (yet not heretical)"? (Do You mean by this an opinion? -- if so, then St. Maximos the Confessor is heterodox, because, in the Church, to say that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father through the Son is only a theologumenon ... or not). Luci83ro 12:10, July 28, 2006 (CDT)
I think the distinction that Fr. Lev is making is that something which is heterodox is definitely against the Orthodox faith, whereas something which is heretical has been subject to an explicit synodal condemnation of anathema.
A theologoumenon is a theological opinion which is not contrary to the Orthodox faith but has not been dogmatized by the Church. —Dcn. Andrew talk random contribs 13:22, July 28, 2006 (CDT)
Okay. That was very enlightening, I have to admit. And thank You very much for Your prompt response, Father. But I still can't help myself at asking yet another Silly question #2a: how is something "against, or contrary to, the Orthodox faith", yet "not condemned" by the very same Orthodoxy that it contradicts? And yet another Silly question #2b: how does Orthodoxy not contradict something that contradicts Orthodoxy? Luci83ro 13:50, July 28, 2006 (CDT)
Conciliar condemnations are not issued simply because a heterodox teaching arises. There needs to be a sort of "critical mass" of controversy in order for a synod to meet and issue an anathema. If, for instance, a local parishioner had a few bizarre ideas about the Church, they may never affect anyone but for a few of his fellow parishioners. If, however, a bishop began teaching something heterodox and instructed all his priests to do the same, gaining support from outside his diocese, as well, that would be a clear case for a synodal condemnation (assuming, of course, that the heterodoxy isn't something already covered by previous anathema).
In short, anathemas really are for pastoral necessity in the Church body, not to keep every person doctrinally pure in every expressed opinion. —Dcn. Andrew talk random contribs 20:54, July 28, 2006 (CDT)

I think the distinction is rather straightforward. A heresy is a teaching that the Orthodox Church has formally condemned as theological error. Presumably there are many, many heterodox claims that have been made that the Church has never formally condemned. Part of what I was saying before is that the notion of "filioque" is patient of an Orthodox interpretation, as when St Maximos Confessor speaks of the Spirit proceeding "through" the Son. One need not take it in the heterodox sense of taking the Son to be a second, eteranl cause of the Spirit. --Fr Lev 20:22, July 28, 2006 (CDT)

"Conciliar condemnations are not issued simply because a heterodox teaching arises. There needs to be a sort of "critical mass" of controversy in order for a synod to meet and issue an anathema" ... So, in other words, all the (over) 1,000,000,000 Catholics in the world (all of which are professing the heterodox Filioque) do not constitute a <<"critical mass" of controversy>>.
"the notion of "filioque" is patient of an Orthodox interpretation, as when St Maximos Confessor speaks of the Spirit proceeding "through" the Son. One need not take it in the heterodox sense of taking the Son to be a second, eternal cause of the Spirit" -- no, one doesn't need to, ... but, unfortunately, <<one>> does ... <<one>> being the Catholic Church, consisting out of over a bilion believers.
(Isn't it a little bit curious that this has been told to them by St. Mark of Ephesus some over 500 years ago, ... yet still they insisted, and insisted, and insisted that this DOES mean the ETERNAL procession ... and they very much still do, now, after half a millenium, ... and don't, in their wildest dreams, think of making our <<through>> to corrupt their <<and>> -- but, instead, they want it to work the other way around, in spite of a millenium of dialogue??) Luci83ro 09:36, July 29, 2006 (CDT)

Two points. First, it simply isn't true that all Roman Catholics believe in the heterodox reading of the filioque. In addition to ones I've spoken who reject such a reading, one need only read the Vatican declaration on the filiqoue to see that there are at least some Roman Catholics (at the official level, no less) that reject the idea that the Son is an eternal cause of the Spirit. While the document isn't as clear as it could be (see the commentary by Metropolitan John [Zizioulas] of Pergamon that is readily available on the web), it is clear that the spirit of the document isn't heretical or heterodox. It represents an attempt to come to terms with what similarities and differences there are between the language of the Symbol of Constantinople and pre-Schism Western theology. Second, the language of the Spirit's procession from the Father through the Son isn't unique to St Maximos Confessor -- we find it in St Basil, the first great theologian of the Holy Spirit, and in St John Damascene, who sought to summarize the teaching of the Church. In other, one finds this Orthodox reading of filioque in the heart of our tradition. A final, personal note: I vigorously reject the heterodox filioque, and I vigorously believe that the word must be removed from the Western translations of the Symbol if there is to be reconciliation between East and West. Further dialogue is needed to bring the theology of the Spirt to greater clarity in the teaching of our Churches. But for our part, we must resist the temptation to simply dismiss our Roman Catholic brothers and sisters as "heretics."--Fr Lev 10:25, July 29, 2006 (CDT)

I've read the thing You were talking about, Father (long time ago), and ... let's just say that I wasn't "impressed" by it. It was simply a re-affirmation of the same old thing (a SICK interpretation of the "through" -- the same for over 1,000 years, "nothing new under the Sun", as the wise man said; TWISTED missinterpretations of Bible-passages having nothing to do with the subject under discussion -- "because 'one' got high"; and, at the end, the "cherry on the cake" : "offcourse, we should not drop out any eternal relationship between the Son and the Holy Ghost" -- and, somehow, I'm under the impression that simple consubstantiality between the 3 Persons wasn't quite what they meant by it ...) Luci83ro 11:02, July 29, 2006 (CDT)
There are also many Protestants in the world who teach various heterodox things, as well as non-Christians. The question is whether it is a controversy within the Church. Generally speaking, with the longstanding state of schism that exists between Rome and the Orthodox Church, it may be said with some confidence that controversy over the filioque does not exist within the Orthodox Church.
In any event, the historical reality is that there has not been a conciliar anamethatization of the filioque. Whether there ought to be or not is perhaps another matter, but up until the present time, it hasn't happened. —Dcn. Andrew talk random contribs 11:19, July 29, 2006 (CDT)

Early Filioque

Check out Sts Hilary of Poitiers and Athanasius the Great on Scripture Catholic site

Why? What's "Scripture Catholic site" and do you have a link? Thanks, — FrJohn (talk)

Pro-Filioquist, Pro-Roman Hijacks

MaximustheConfessor has been adding conspicuously anti-Orthodox biased materials to this article.

I undid most of his work, but kept some of his neutral or "acceptable" (in my opinion) edits.

He seems to misunderstand that this is an Orthodox Wiki, not Roman Catholic.

The OrthodoxWiki article states: "Orthodoxwiki purposes to present the Orthodox Christian viewpoint throughout the site. Articles on OrthodoxWiki will be, so far as is reasonably possible, worded from a neutral point of view (NPOV). That is, disputes between Orthodox Christian groups will be characterized and described rather than entered into.)

For instance, he changed "Thomas Aquinas" to "St. Thomas Aquinas." This is a clearly Roman bias. Thomas of Aquino is a philosopher, an academic theologian, a scholastic -- but not an Orthodox Saint.

Furthermore, he baldly claims that Roman Catholics do not hold "a heterodox interpretation of the filioque." Such a claim is so close to false it is hardly controversial -- but let's be charitable; it is highly controversial at the very least.

He consistently rewrites "Eastern Roman Empire" as "Byzantine Empire", as if "Byzantine" were a kind of insult, or as if Constantine the Emperor had failed to include the East in the Roman Empire.

Again, Orthodox Wiki says, "[This site is] a place for Orthodox Christians to share their knowledge and perspectives." Roman Catholics or ecumenists who view the differences between East and West as non-fundamental are welcome to read and to edit, but they are not welcome to hijack the site to their own bias. Correct me if I am wrong.

I move that MaximustheConfessor's ambitious edits are misguided, and that they should cease.

Thanks for your time. -CircularReason

As Fr. Lev had pointed out, the Catholic understanding of the Filioque is neither heretical, nor heterodox.

"The problems on the order of terminology seem thus to be resolved and the intentions clarified, to the extent that each party, the Greeks and the Latins, during the sixth session (July 6, 1439) were able to sign this common definition: "In the name of the Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, with the approval of this sacred and universal Council of Florence, we establish that this truth of faith must be believed and accepted by all Christians: and thus all must profess that the Holy Spirit is eternally of the Father and the Son, that he has his existence and his subsistent being from the Father and the Son together, and that he proceeds eternally from the one and from the other as from a single principle and from a single spiration" (DS 1300).

"There is an additional clarification to which St. Thomas had devoted an article of the Summa ("Utrum Spiritus Sanctus procedat a Patre per Filium," I, q. 36, a. 3): "We declare," said the Council, "what the holy Doctors and Fathers stated” that is, that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father through the Son” tends to make understandable and means that the Son too, like the Father, is the cause, as the Greeks say, and the principle, as the Latins say, of the subsistence of the Holy Spirit. And since all that the Father has he has given to the Son in his generation, with the exception of being Father, this very procession of the Holy Spirit from the Son the Son himself has eternally from the Father, from whom he has been eternally generated" (DS 1301)."

(The Spirit and the Filioque Debate[1])

The term "Byzantine" is not insulting, but is the accepted academic term, whereas "Eastern Empire" is a reference to an eastern portion of the Roman Empire under ONE emperor.

Although we might not call Muhammad a prophet, should we not be respectful enough to say that he is called such? Similarly, Thomas Aquinas is called a saint. Do you not know that many Orthodox revere St. Francis of Assisi? Why not Thomas Aquinas as well?

My edits are ambitious only inasmuch as they seek a recount of history free even from Orthodox bias.--Maximustheconfessor 10:11, April 8, 2010 (UTC)

Photian Schism

The "Photian" Schism section of this article needs a comprehensive review and editing. It does not take into count the work of Francis Dvornik, a Roman Catholic, who found that Patr. Ignatius had resigned prior to Patr. Photius' election. Thus, Photius' election was not illegal and the relations between Rome and Constantinople appear not to be as strained as the earlier stories present. As a non-scholar, what Dvornik's work may do to the Filioque position as presented must also be reviewed. As stated in the article the history appears to be that before Dvornik's epic work! Wsk 13:52, September 8, 2012 (HST)

Return to "Filioque" page.