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THE OLD CATHOLIC AGREEMENT ON THE FILIOQUE CONTROVERSY. A.D. 1875.

[At the second Döllinger Union Conference between Old Catholics, Orientals, and Anglo-Catholics, held at Bonn, Prussia, Aug. 10–16, 1875, the following agreement on the old Filioque Controversy, essentially in favor of the Greek view, was adopted, but, like the agreement of the preceding Conference, it still waits for the official sanction of the Churches therein represented. The German text is the original, and is taken from the Secretary's Bericht über die vom 10–16. Aug, 1875 zu Bonn gehaltenen Unions-Conferenzen, im Auftrage des Vorsitzenden Dr. von Döllinger herausgegeben von Dr. Fr. Heinrich Reusch, Prof. der Theologie, Bonn, 1875, pp. 80, 92, and 93. An English translation of this report by Rev. Dr. Samuel Buel, Prof. of Divinity in the Gen. Theol. Sem. of the Prot. Episcopal Church at N.Y., with a Preface by Rev. Dr. Robert J. Nevin, Rector of the American Episcopal Church in Rome, was published In New York (1876), and another translation, with an Introduction by Canon Liddon, in London (1876).]

1. Wir stimmen überein in der Annahme der ökumenischen Symbole und der Glaubensentscheidungen der alten ungetheilten Kirche.

1. We agree in accepting the œcumenical symbols and the decisions in matters of faith of the ancient undivided Church.

2. Wir stimmen überein in der Anerkennung, dass der Zusatz des Filioque zum Symbolum nicht in kirchlich rechtmässiger Weise erfolgt sei.

2. We agree in acknowledging that the addition Filioque to the symbol did not take place in an ecclesiastically regular manner.

3. Wir bekennen uns allerseits zu der Darstellung der Lehre vom heiligen Geiste, wie sie von den Vätern der ungetheilten Kirche vorgetragen wird.

3. We give our unanimous assent to the presentation of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit as taught by the fathers of the undivided Church.

4. Wir verwerfen jede Vorstellung und jede Ausdruckweise, in welcher etwa die Annahme zweier Principien oder ἀρχαί oder αἰτία in der Dreieinigkeit enthalten wäre.

4. We reject every representation and every form of expression in which is contained the acceptance of two principles, or beginnings, or causes, in the Trinity.

[The following additional Articles are explanatory of Art. 3, and were adopted at the request of the Greek and Russian delegates:]

Wir nehmen die Lehre des heiligen Johannes von Damaskus über den heiligen Geist, wie dieselbe in nachfolgenden Paragraphen ausgedrückt ist, im Sinne der Lehre der alten ungetrennten Kirche an.

We accept the teaching of St. John of Damascus concerning the Holy Spirit, as it is expressed in the following paragraphs, in the sense of the doctrine of the ancient undivided Church.

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1. Der heilige Geist geht aus aus dem Vater ( ἐκ τοῦ Πατρός )321321    [Lit., goes forth out of the Father. The N. T., in John xv. 26, uses παρά , from; the Nicene Creed, ἐκ , out of, which, however, is implied in the compound verb ἐκπορεύεται .] als dem Anfang ( ἀρχή ), der Ursache ( αἰτία ), der Quelle ( πηγή ) der Gottheit.322322     De recta sententia , n. 1; Contra Manich. n. 4.

1. The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father as the beginning, the cause, the fountain of the Godhead.323323     De recta sententia , n. 1; Contra Manich. n. 4.

2. Der heilige Geist geht nicht aus aus dem Sohne ( ἐκ ταῦ Υἱοῦ ), weil es in der Gottheit nur Einen Anfang ( ὰρχή ), Eine Ursache ( αἰτία ) gibt, durch welche alles, was in der Gottheit ist, hervorgebracht wird.324324    De fide orthod. I. 8: ἐκ τοῦ Υἱοῦ δὲ τὸ Πνεῦμα οὐ λέγομεν, Πνεῦμα δὲ Υἱοῦ ὀνομάζομεν.

2. The Holy Spirit proceeds not from the Son, because in the Godhead there is only one beginning, one cause, by which all that is in the Godhead is produced.325325    De fide orthod. I. 8: ἐκ τοῦ Υἱοῦ δὲ τὸ Πνεῦμα οὐ λέγομεν, Πνεῦμα δὲ Υἱοῦ ὀνομάζομεν.

3. Der heilige Geist geht aus aus dem Vater durch den Sohn. 326326    De fide orthod. I. 12: τὸ δὲ Πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον ἐκφαντορικὴ τοῦ κρυφίου τῆς θεότητος δύναμις τοῦ Πατρὸς, ἐκ Πατρὸς μὲν δἰ Υἱοῦ ἐκπορευομένη. Ibidem: Υἱοῦ δὲ Πνεῦμα οὐχ ὡς ἐξ αὐτοῦ, ἀλλ᾿ ὡς δἰ αὐτοῦ ἐκ τοῦ Πατρὸς ἐκπορευόμενον. C. Manich. n. 5: διὰ τοῦ Λόγου αὐτοῦ ἐξ αὐτοῦ τὸ Πνεῦμα αὐτοῦ ἐκπορευόμενον. De hymno Trisag. n. 28: Πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον ἐκ τοῦ Πατρὸς διὰ τοῦ Υἱοῦ καὶ Λόγου πρϊόν. Hom. in Sabb. s. n. 4: τοῦτ᾿ ἡμῖν ἐστι τὸ λατρευόμενον … Πνεῦμα ἅγιον τοῦ Θεοῦ καὶ Πατρὸς, ὡς ἐξ αὐτοῦ ἐκπορευόμενον, ὅπερ καὶ τοῦ Υἱοῦ λέγεται, ὡς δἰ αὐτοῦ φανερούμενον καὶ τῇ κτίσει μεταδιδόμενον, ἀλλ᾿ οὐκ ἐξ αὐτοῦ ἔχον τὴν ὕπαρξιν.

3. The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father through the Son.327327    De fide orthod. I. 12: τὸ δὲ Πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον ἐκφαντορικὴ τοῦ κρυφίου τῆς θεότητος δύναμις τοῦ Πατρὸς, ἐκ Πατρὸς μὲν δἰ Υἱοῦ ἐκπορευομένη. Ibidem: Υἱοῦ δὲ Πνεῦμα οὐχ ὡς ἐξ αὐτοῦ, ἀλλ᾿ ὡς δἰ αὐτοῦ ἐκ τοῦ Πατρὸς ἐκπορευόμενον. C. Manich. n. 5: διὰ τοῦ Λόγου αὐτοῦ ἐξ αὐτοῦ τὸ Πνεῦμα αὐτοῦ ἐκπορευόμενον. De hymno Trisag. n. 28: Πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον ἐκ τοῦ Πατρὸς διὰ τοῦ Υἱοῦ καὶ Λόγου πρϊόν. Hom. in Sabb. s. n. 4: τοῦτ᾿ ἡμῖν ἐστι τὸ λατρευόμενον … Πνεῦμα ἅγιον τοῦ Θεοῦ καὶ Πατρὸς, ὡς ἐξ αὐτοῦ ἐκπορευόμενον, ὅπερ καὶ τοῦ Υἱοῦ λέγεται, ὡς δἰ αὐτοῦ φανερούμενον καὶ τῇ κτίσει μεταδιδόμενον, ἀλλ᾿ οὐκ ἐξ αὐτοῦ ἔχον τὴν ὕπαρξιν.

4. Der heilige Geist ist das Bild des Sohnes, des Bildes des Vaters,328328    De fide orthod. I. 13: εἰκὼν τοῦ Πατρὸς ὁ Υἱὸς, καὶ τοῦ Υἱοῦ τὸ Πνεῦμα. aus dem Vater ausgehend und im Sohne ruhend als dessen ausstrahlende Kraft.329329    De fide orthod. I. 7: τοῦ Πατρὸς προερχομένην καὶ ἐν τῷ Λόγῳ ἀναπαυομένην καὶ αὐτοῦ οὖσαν ἐκφαντικὴν δύναμιν. Ibidem, I. 12: Πατήρ … διὰ Λόγου προβολεὺς ἐκφαντορικοῦ Πνεύματος.

4. The Holy Spirit is the image of the Son (as the Son is the image of the Father),330330    De fide orthod. I. 13: εἰκὼν τοῦ Πατρὸς ὁ Υἱὸς, καὶ τοῦ Υἱοῦ τὸ Πνεῦμα. proceeding from the Father, and resting in the Son as the power shining forth from him.331331    De fide orthod. I. 7: τοῦ Πατρὸς προερχομένην καὶ ἐν τῷ Λόγῳ ἀναπαυομένην καὶ αὐτοῦ οὖσαν ἐκφαντικὴν δύναμιν. Ibidem, I. 12: Πατήρ … διὰ Λόγου προβολεὺς ἐκφαντορικοῦ Πνεύματος.

5. Der heilige Geist ist die persönliche Hervorbringung aus dem Vater, dem Sohne angehörig, aber nicht aus dem Sohne, weil er der Geist des Mundes der Gottheit ist, welcher das Wort ausspricht.332332    De hymno Trisag. n. 28: τὸ Πνεῦμα ἐνυπόστατον ἐκπόρευμα καὶ πρόβλημα ἐκ Πατρὸς μὲν, Υἱοῦ δὲ, καὶ μὴ ἐξ Υἱοῦ, ὡς Πνεῦμα στόματος θεοῦ, Λόγου ἐξαγγελτικόν.

5. The Holy Spirit is the personal production out of the Father, belonging to the Son, but not out of the Son, because he is the Spirit of the mouth of the Godhead which pronounces the Word.333333    De hymno Trisag. n. 28: τὸ Πνεῦμα ἐνυπόστατον ἐκπόρευμα καὶ πρόβλημα ἐκ Πατρὸς μὲν, Υἱοῦ δὲ, καὶ μὴ ἐξ Υἱοῦ, ὡς Πνεῦμα στόματος θεοῦ, Λόγου ἐξαγγελτικόν.

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6. Der heilige Geist bildet die Vermittlung zwischen dem Vater und dem Sohne und ist durch den Sohn mit dem Vater verbunden. 334334    De fide orthod. I. 13: μέσον τοῦ ἀγεννήτου καὶ γεννητοῦ καὶ δἰ Υἱοῦ τῷ Πατρὶ συναπτόμενον.

6. The Holy Spirit forms the mediation between the Father and the Son, and is, through the Son, united with the Father.335335    De fide orthod. I. 13: μέσον τοῦ ἀγεννήτου καὶ γεννητοῦ καὶ δἰ Υἱοῦ τῷ Πατρὶ συναπτόμενον.

 

NOTES.

1. The Filioque controversy, which is now a thousand years old, refers only to the metaphysical question of the eternal procession ( ἐκπόρευσις ) of the Holy Spirit (John xv. 26); the Greek Church, in the interest of the monarchia of the Father, maintains the single procession from the Father alone; the Latin Church, since Augustine, in the interest of the homoousia of the Son, the double procession from the Father and the Son. About the temporal mission ( πέμψις ) of the Spirit from the Father and the Son (John xiv. 26; xv. 26; xvi. 7), and the practical question of the work of the Spirit in the regeneration and sanctification of believers, there has been no controversy between the Greek and Latin Churches. See Vol. I. p. 26.

2. John of Damascus, or Joannes Damascenus (surnamed Chrysorrhoas, gold-pouring; also called by the Arabs Mansur, i.e., λελυτρωμένος ), born at Damascus (then under Saracen rule), monk in the convent of St. Sabas near Jerusalem, died after 754, is the last of the Greek fathers, and the greatest and most authoritative of the divines of the Oriental Church. He may be called the Thomas Aquinas of the East. Inferior in productive genius and originality to Origen, Athanasius, Gregory Nazianzen, and Gregory of Nyssa, he is more comprehensive in his range of teaching, and more uniformly orthodox in his dogmatic statements. His chief work is his 'Exposition of the Orthodox Faith' ( ἔκδοσις ἀκριβὴς τῆς ὀρθοδόξου πίστεως ), which sums up under a hundred heads the results of the theological labors of the Greek fathers and councils down to the seventh century. It was the first complete system of divinity, and by the use of Aristotelian dialectics ushered in the scholastic period. He distinguished himself also by his hymns, and by his eloquent defense of images against the iconoclasts, for which he was highly lauded by the second Council of Nicæa (787). The best edition of his works has been issued by Le Quien, Paris, 1712, two vols. folio, reproduced in Migne's Patrologia Græca, Vols. XCIV.–XCVI., Paris, 1857.

3. After reading this agreement, the aged Dr. Döllinger, who is the head of these Union conferences, added the following hopeful remarks: 'So far then are we agreed, and the theologians know that the question of the Holy Spirit is herewith properly exhausted. A dogmatic conflict concerning this question no longer exists between us. May God grant that what we have here adjusted be received by the Churches of the East in the spirit of peace and discrimination between dogma and theological opinion. What we have accomplished furnishes a new ground of hope that our efforts are blessed by God, and that we shall succeed still further; while the history of former union transactions makes the impression that God's blessing did not rest on them. I think it no presumption to believe that here we perceive the blessing of God, there the absence of his blessing ( Gottes Unsegen ). Let us remember how much deception and fraud, what a tissue of falsifications, how much ambitious violence were employed at the Councils of Lyons and Florence, how both parties were always conscious of aiming at something else than agreement in the great truths of the Christian faith. I hope we shall be able to continue these international conferences next year. What a joy, if then the Orientals bring the glad tidings—Our Bishops, Synods, and Churches have approved our agreement.'

 


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