My Meyendorff books are packed up as we've recently moved, but I will find that quote for you in good time!
The Filioque, and we've certainly had a few posts about it here, is about two issues. One is the theology behind it, the other the fact of its inclusion by the West in the universal creed.
"And" and "Through" are truly different words. But we need to go into some of the Roman Catholic theological background on this issue to understand usage as it applies here.
Roman Catholic Trinitarian theology has ALWAYS taught that the Father is the Fountainhead of the Holy Trinity.
In this it is in total agreement, of course, with Orthodoxy.
Where the problem lies is in the view that the Spirit proceeds also "from" the Son.
Roman Catholic theology, however, also has always taught that the Father "actively spirates" the Holy Spirit (in agreement with Orthodoxy) and that the Spirit is also "passively spirated" by the Son.
In other words, the Spirit proceeds from the Father as His Eternal Origin, but only proceeds "from the Son" passively, since the Son has His Eternal Origin in the Father as well.
Roman Catholicism has also always condemned the notion that there could be two Origins in the Trinity - everyone is agreed that would be intolerable heresy.
If Roman Catholicism taught that the Spirit is actively spirated by both the Father and the Son, then, by its own theological standards, it would be in heresy.
St Thomas Aquinas, the RC theologian and teacher (whom many Orthodox admired and who drew on his writings with respect to moral theology), taught that this was no different from the Orthodox position that the Spirit proceeds from the Father through the Son.
"And" understood not as "proceeding equally from both," but with the qualification of "Actively" and "Passively" is truly the same as St John Damascene's and St Maximos's "From the Father through the Son."
There is no theological difference here, except in terms of wording. The understanding is the same. The Son, both sides agree, is not the Eternal Origin of the Spirit. ONLY the Father is.
I'm not stretching anything here. I'm just observing two theological traditions comment on the Mystery of the Holy Trinity.
Meyendorff in his "Byzantine Theology" indeed states emphatically that, at the Council of Florence, both sides could have reached full agreement on the Trinity if they accepted the term "Through the Son" as normative. Both sides, he correctly notes, had always accepted that explanation for the Spirit's procession and agreed with it.
The issue of the inclusion of the Filioque into the Creed is a problem involving church authority more than theology itself.
The West affirmed that the Pope had the right to unilaterally make this change to the Creed, the East denied that he could, since the Creed was established by Ecumenical Council, the highest authority in the One, Holy, Orthodox-Catholic and Apostolic Church of Christ.
So this issue has to do with the whole Papacy/Collegiality issue. Ultimately, Roman Catholic theologians, as Fr. Prof. Bilaniuk discussed, agree that the Filioque was not in the original universal Creed and should be removed. The Pope already recites it without the Filioque whenever he celebrates the Latin Rite Mass in the Greek language.
The Pope has also issued a publication (and more?) where he ordered the removal of the Filioque. The Roman Catholic Church of Greece has Rome's blessing to recite the Nicene Creed without the Filioque. I see it as a "religious cultural symbol" of Roman Catholicism that they will eventually and slowly be weaned off of. They have already lost so many such symbols, the hierarchy needs to tread lightly.
But theologically, Orthodoxy admits that the Filioque is a legitimate theological opinion. Blessed Seraphim Rose, in his studies of Western Orthodoxy, showed how the "Filioque" was a popular term among Western Orthodox Saints and showed how they understood this to mean the economic sending of the Spirit into the world by both the Father AND the Son - a legitimate Orthodox theological expression.
It was the Orthodox theology of the Economic Trinity that first introduced the "Filioque" understood IN THIS WAY - the sending of the Spirit into the world by both the Father and the Son.
Frankish theologians later applied this to the Eternal relations of the Trinity, as the West, as Meyendorff also notes, understood the Trinity in terms of its internal relations only.
As Orthodox theologians affirm, there is an Orthodox Filioque then that is entirely legitimate to hold from the point of view of the Economic Trinity.
So there really is no theological difference between East and West on this important matter, only different theological nuances.
Original Sin as understood in the West takes its teaching from the writings of St Augustine.
Orthodoxy accepts St Augustine since this saint admitted that he might not know all the subtleties of the Eastern Fathers and accepted the correction of their teaching wherever necessary.
But the idea of inheriting the sin of Adam, rather than the human nature of Adam weakened by Original Sin, was NEVER a declared doctrine of the RC Church.
Thomas Aquinas himself understood Original Sin in the Orthodox sense, in terms of a weakened nature subject to death, concupiscence and temptation.
There is also the matter of Grace at birth, but we don't need to get into that now.
As Met. Kallistos Ware wrote in the "Orthodox Way," the Immaculate Conception doctrine was established to affirm the total and continual holiness and purity of the Mother of the Word Incarnate.
Ware himself said that if he accepted the West's view of Original Sin, he himself would want to believe in the Immaculate Conception.
As Meyendorff states again in his "Byzantine Theology," there were Orthodox theologians in history that understood the western Original Sin view and the Immaculate Conception, centuries before it was a declared doctrine by Rome, and accepted both.
Ware, in his "Orthodox Church" also said that the Immaculate Conception would be a valid theologoumena or theological opinion for any Orthodox Christian to accept - and he or she could not be branded a "heretic" for so believing.
There were Orthodox brotherhoods of the Immaculate Conception in Eastern Europe and their prayer was: "All Immaculate Mother of God, save us!"
They also made the "bloody vow," popular in the West, where someone swore to uphold to the death the belief in the Immaculate Conception.
And if you will go to the wonderful OCA Saints site on their general site, go to the "Feast of the Conception of St Ann."
In that remarkable and comprehensive article, the author actually describes Orthodox icons of the "Conception of St Ann" (known by RC's as the "Immaculate Conception") that are EXACT REPLICAS OF THE RC IMAGE OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION.
Several of these icons have been declared miraculous by the Orthodox Church and are listed in Professor Poselianin's "Bogomater" that is published by Jordanville.
Roman Catholic theology today is moving away from Augustinian views on human nature etc. as being rather negative.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church, the official catechism today, affirms the Orthodox theology of Original Sin as normative for RC's (of whatever Rite
Meyendorff was against the Augustinian version of the Immaculate Conception.
That the Mother of God was conceived in holiness and granted every gift of Grace from the Holy Spirit is celebrated by the Orthodox Church and Byzantine Catholics who use the same liturgical services on the Feast of Her Nativity and on the Feast of Her Conception, the Conception of St Ann.
It is impossible to celebrate the feast of someone who is not a saint i.e. who has not been sanctified by the Spirit.
Both the Mother of God and St John the Baptist have their Conceptions celebrated in Orthodoxy. This is because both were conceived in holiness.
So when we Byzantine Catholics or whatever you like to call us
, say what the Western Immaculate Conception doctrine is about has always been held by the East, that is not a stretch, but a fact.
As for the papal doctrines, Meyendorff makes the statement I mention in a book of short articles by him.
Again, I'll have to find the reference for you.
But it is relatively well known, and when I've mentioned it to two OCA priests I know, they knew exactly the source and admitted that Meyendorff has a point from the Orthodox theological position.
The number one issue concerning the papal doctrines is not whether they agree with Orthodox theology or ecclesiology, but that they were not put through process of doctrinal validation of a significant point that is reserved to an Ecumenical Council.
The Pope of Alexandria of the Copts, for example, had long ago declared his jurisdictional primacy and control of every church and priest throughout Africa. The "New Pharaohs" did this at a time when Rome didn't even have full jurisdiction throughout Italy itself and the Bishop of Rome was addressed as "His Beatitude."
Again, I am not stretching anything, but basing myself on the facts, if theology can be said to deal in "facts."
If anything I have written here, from both the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Catholic standpoints is wrong objectively or mistaken, and I can be shown how it is, I will withdraw it and apologise for the error.
And if, after having read this, Orthoman, you come to realize that what I have said here is not my own personal views, but actual positions and statements of representatives of the two Churches, I would ask you to withdraw your statement that I somehow "stretched" anything.
The only thing I stretch is people's patience with my sense of humour, Big Guy. Just ask Brendan and Reader Sergius.
[ 06-06-2002: Message edited by: Orthodox Catholic ]