08 February, 2011

Some Patristic Quotes Pertaining to the Filioque

“And there is One Holy Spirit, having His subsistence from God, and being made manifest by the Son, to wit to men: Image of the Son, Perfect Image of the Perfect; Life, the Cause of the living; Holy Fount; Sanctity, the Supplier, or Leader, of Sanctification; in whom is manifested God the Father, who is above all and in all, and God the Son, who is through all.”
Gregory Thaumaturgus, A Declaration of Faith

“Concerning the Holy Spirit I ought not to be silent, and yet I have no need to speak; still, for the sake of those who are in ignorance, I cannot refrain. There is no need to speak, because we are bound to confess Him, proceeding, as He does, from Father and Son.”
Hilary of Poitiers, On the Trinity 2.29

“We are all spiritual if the Spirit of God dwells in us. But this Spirit of God is also the Spirit of Christ, and though the Spirit of Christ is in us, yet His Spirit is also in us Who raised Christ from the dead, and He Who raised Christ from the dead shall quicken our mortal bodies also on account of His Spirit that dwelleth in us.”
Hilary of Poitiers, On the Trinity 8.21

“As in the revelation that Thy Only-begotten was born of Thee before times eternal, when we cease to struggle with ambiguities of language and difficulties of thought, the one certainty of His birth remains; so I hold fast in my consciousness the truth that Thy Holy Spirit is from Thee and through Him, although I cannot by my intellect comprehend it.”
Hilary of Poitiers, On the Trinity 12.56

“And yet it is not to no purpose that in this Trinity the Son and none other is called the Word of God, and the Holy Spirit and none other the Gift of God, and God the Father alone is He from whom the Word is born, and from whom the Holy Spirit principally proceeds. And therefore I have added the word principally, because we find that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Son also.”
Augustine, On the Trinity 15.17.29

“For when, among other things, I had taught them by testimonies of the Holy Scriptures that the Holy Spirit proceeds from both, I continue: “If, then, the Holy Spirit proceeds both from the Father and from the Son, why did the Son say, ‘He proceedeth from the Father?’ “Why, think you, except as He is wont to refer to Him, that also which is His own, from whom also He Himself is? Whence also is that which He saith, “My doctrine is not mine own, but His that sent me?” If, therefore, it is His doctrine that is here understood, which yet He said was not His own, but His that sent Him, how much more is it there to be understood that the Holy Spirit proceeds also from Himself, where He so says, He proceedeth from the Father, as not to say, He proceedeth not from me? From Him, certainly, from whom the Son had his Divine nature, for He is God of God, He has also, that from Him too proceeds the Holy Spirit; and hence the Holy Spirit has from the Father Himself, that He should proceed from the Son also, as He proceeds from the Father.”
Augustine, On the Trinity 15.27.48

“And while in the property of each Person the Father is one, the Son is another, and the Holy Ghost is another, yet the Godhead is not distinct and different; for whilst the Son is the Only begotten of the Father, the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of the Father and the Son, not in the way that every creature is the creature of the Father and the Son, but as living and having power with Both, and eternally subsisting of That Which is the Father and the Son.”
Pope Leo I, Sermons of Leo I, Sermon 75.3


Historical note - "Filioque, Latin for "and the Son", was added in 589 to the Catholic Church's Nicene Creed. This creed, foundational to Christian belief since the 4th century, defines the three persons of the Trinity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. In its original Greek form, the creed says that the Holy Spirit proceeds "from the Father". The Latin text speaks of the Holy Spirit as proceeding "from the Father and the Son" "[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filioque].

There is no dispute at present between Lutherans and Rome on the filioque; this matter is disputed by the Eastern Orthodox, who protest that the filioque was inserted into the Creed in the West without ecumenical consent. The filioque has been the subject of much discussion between Rome and the Orthodox in recent years.
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