Solemn ANATHEMA against heretics – Sunday of Orthodoxy

UPDATE 7 March:

I received this note from an Archimandrite:

Dear Father, I thought you might be interested in reading what the “Rite of Orthodoxy” actually says so please see the two following

links:  HERE and HERE


___ Originally Published on: Mar 6, 2017

For the Orthodox, Sunday 5 March was the Sunday of Orthodoxy.   They had solemn proclamations of “ANATHEMA” against heretics.   It is very festive.  I envy them conviction and this solemn ceremony.  We Latins really should have something like this.

Here is looong video from Holy Trinity Monastery, Ekaterinburg in Russia, yesterday.  Yes, this is 2017, not 1054. Click around in it if you can’t watch/listen to the whole thing. It is grand.

After reciting the Nicene Creed, they sing

This is the apostolic faith, this is the faith of the fathers, this is the Orthodox Faith, this faith confirmeth the universe. Furthermore, we receive and confirm the Councils of the Holy Fathers, and their traditions and writings which accord with divine revelation. And though there are some who are enemies to this Orthodoxy, and adversaries to the providential and salutary revelation of the Lord toward us, yet hath the Lord been mindful of the reproaches of His servants; for He hath covered the opposers of His glory with shame, and put the perverse enemies of Orthodoxy to flight. And therefore we bless and praise those who have submitted their understanding to the obedience of the divine revelation, and have contended for it; so following the Holy Scriptures, and holding the traditions of the primitive Church, we reject and anathematize all those who oppose the truth, if while the Lord tarried for their repentance and conversion they have refused to return.

To each of the following statements of the deacon, the clergy, choir, and people respond: Anathema! Thrice.

To those who deny the existence of God, and assert that the world is self-existing, and that all things in it are made by chance, without the divine providence, ANATHEMA!
To those who say that God is not a spirit, but flesh; or that He is not just, merciful, wise, omniscient, and such like blasphemies, ANATHEMA!
To those who dare to say that the Son of God and the Holy Spirit are not consubstantial and equal in honour with the Father; and who profess that the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit are not one God, ANATHEMA!
To those who madly assert that the coming of the Son of God into the world in the flesh, and His voluntary passion, death, and resurrection were not necessary for our salvation and the expiation of sin, ANATHEMA!
To those who reject the grace of redemption preached in the Gospel as the only means of our justification before God, ANATHEMA!
To those who dare to say that the most pure Virgin Mary was not a virgin before childbirth, in childbirth, and after childbirth, ANATHEMA!
To those who do not believe that the Holy Spirit inspired the prophets and apostles, and by them instructed us in the true way to eternal salvation, and confirmed the same by miracles, and now dwelleth in the hearts of all faithful and sincere Christians, and guideth them into all truth, ANATHEMA!
To those who do not confess with heart and mouth that the Holy Spirit proceedeth from the Father alone, essentially and hypostatically, as Christ sayeth in the Gospel, ANATHEMA!
To those who reject the immortality of the soul, and deny that the world will have an end, and that there will be a future judgment, and eternal rewards for the virtuous in heaven, and punishment for the wicked, ANATHEMA!
To those who reject all the Holy Mysteries held by the Church of Christ, ANATHEMA!
To those who reject the Councils of the Holy Fathers, and traditions which are in accord with divine revelation, and which the Orthodox Church piously maintains, ANATHEMA!
To those who reason that Orthodox sovereigns are elevated to their thrones not by God’s special good will for them, and that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are not poured out upon them during the anointing for the fulfillment of this great calling; and who likewise dare to rise up against them in revolt and betrayal, ANATHEMA!
To those who mock and blaspheme the holy icons which the Holy Church receiveth, in remembrance of the works of God and of His saints, to inspire the beholders with piety, and to incite them to imitate their examples, and to those who say that they are idols, ANATHEMA!
To the Theosophists and other heretics who dare to say and teach mindlessly that our Lord Jesus Christ did not descend to the earth and become incarnate only once, but hath been incarnate many times; and who likewise deny that the true Wisdom of the Father is His Only-begotten Son, and, contrary to the divine Scriptures and the teaching of the Holy Fathers, seek other wisdoms, ANATHEMA!
To the Masons, the occultists, spiritualists, sorcerers, and all who do not believe in one God, but honour the demons, who do not humbly surrender their life to God, but strive to learn the future through the sorcerous invocation of demons, ANATHEMA!
To the blasphemers of the Christian Faith, the ecumenists who say that they do not confess the Orthodox Eastern Church to be One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic, but madly say that the true Church seems to be a combination of various heresies, ANATHEMA!
To those apostatize from the Orthodox Faith and accept other beliefs, to the scandal of our brethren, and fall into schism, ANATHEMA!
To the persecutors of the Church of Christ, the impious apostates who have lifted their hands against the anointed of God, who slay the sacred ministers, who trample the holy things underfoot, who destroy the temples of God, who subject our brethren to iniquisition and have defiled our homeland, ANATHEMA!

Some of the Anathema Service in a Catholic Greek Melkite Church in English.  HERE

By way of contrast, here’s a video about the same length. The Orthodox are not lacking in color and intensity. Perhaps the Russians have also the Three Days of Darkness in mind.

By the way, this year the LA “Religious” Education Conference did NOT post their “Closing Liturgy” as they have in years past. Perhaps they figured out that they are the hiss of all of the reverent.

And to any nitwit out there who suggests that Gregorian chant or solemn liturgy is toooo haaaard, look at this.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. acardnal says:

    I say, bring back the use of “anathema” in the Latin Church!

    Wouldn’t it be great to get those Orthodox statements listed above (appropriately modified) printed on a t-shirt, sweatshirt or coffee mug and made available as Z-zwag in the Z Stuff Store?

  2. NBW says:

    There is quite a contrast. One brings you closer to God. You can see the reverence and beauty in the vestments and the singing. The other looks like a music special from PBS. I don’t see reverence, just a bunch of performers.

  3. Pingback: Solemn ANATHEMA against heretics – Sunday of Orthodoxy | Fr. Z’s Blog | Trump:The American Years

  4. MarylandBill says:

    And the thing is… the Roman Rite can be done right.. even in its ordinary form, even in the vernacular. But too often people want to make it “multi-cultural” rather than making it the best expression of worship we can give to God.

  5. thomistking says:

    “To those who do not confess with heart and mouth that the Holy Spirit proceedeth from the Father alone, essentially and hypostatically, as Christ sayeth in the Gospel, ANATHEMA!”

    There it is.

    [Yep. That is a point of conflict. However, they are Orthodox, right? They believe what they believe and they are not squeaky little gerbils, as most Western churchmen are.]

  6. Father G says:

    Father Z,
    The video for the LA REC “Closing Liturgy” is posted:

  7. Kerry says:

    Rather like Alec Guiness in Bridge over the River Kwai, “I have a copy of the Geneva convention right here”, we might, as hard identity Catholics say, “I have a copy of the Council of Trent in my pocket, right here”.

  8. Imrahil says:

    Dear thomistking,

    there could be ways to say that “from the Father alone” is not heretical if referring to the ultimate origin and allowing for the orthodoxy of both phrases “from the Father through the Son” and “from the Father and the Son”.

    (However, the ostensible intention in that case is of course, alas, clear.)

  9. ReginaMarie says:

    Not only for our Orthodox Christian brothers & sisters, but we Eastern Catholics also celebrated yesterday as the Sunday of Orthodoxy & the return of the liturgical & private veneration of the holy icons. I was happy to see the link you provided to the Anathema portion of the Divine Liturgy at Holy Transfiguration Melkite Greek Catholic Church! This wonderful parish is the parish we attend when visiting family in the DC area.

  10. andromedaregina says:

    My first thought on the 2nd video, why is Fr. posting some pagan ritual/concert? [skip to middle] WHAT? Is that a priest attempting a Catholic Mass…!?!? [humph]. So demoralizing. Stunningly shameful.

  11. andromedaregina says:

    PS. Let us stand at the foot of the Cross with John who never leaves the side of Mary. St. John the Apostle, pray for us, Mary, Mother of God, pray for us.

  12. IloveJesus says:

    I feel so hurt, and offended and excluded by their statements! :(

    They make me feel so left out. ::sniff::

    NOT! LOL!!! ;) They’re saying what they believe! I don’t agree with everything, but good for them!

    The Catholic ceremony includes every culture except the Catholic one. :/

  13. joekstl says:

    And we believe what we believe. It’s interesting that part of the reason for the split in the 11th century was this obscure disagreement on a totally philosophical splitting of hairs. [It’s more than that.]

    But here is a real poser and perhaps oxymoron: we call them “orthodox” meaning “right doctrine” but we in the Latin Rite say that at best they are schismatics or heretics.

    Go figure!

    [Another who missed the point.]

  14. Netmilsmom says:

    Why can’t we just be Catholic again?

  15. MikeR says:

    How the in the name of all that’s holy did we end up where we are!?

  16. JARay says:

    Just as “thomistking” bristled at read ing “To those who do not confess with heart and mouth that the Holy Spirit proceedeth from the Father alone, essentially and hypostatically, as Christ sayeth in the Gospel, ANATHEMA!”
    I too bristled.
    They are the heretics on this one. The Father pours out Himself on the Son in supreme Love and the Son pours out Himself on the Father in supreme Love.
    God IS Love. It is the essence of God that is poured out. Hence it is The Holy Spirit that is poured out by the Father on the Son and by the Son on the Father.
    So it is that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and from the Son. From the one onto the other and vice versa.

    [We know what the differences are between Catholic and Orthodox teaching about the Holy Spirit. But… you’ve missed the point.]

  17. PTK_70 says:

    As grand as their vestments and ceremonies and icons and chants are, God is grander still. Just sayin’.

    Now here’s something I don’t quite understand: whence comes their unfortunate intransigence on the matter of the filioque? Why not just live and let live? Are there theological, liturgical, or even societal consequences which flow from “Father only” procession of which I am unaware?

    Anyway, let us hope and pray this somehow gets worked out peacefully, and sooner rather than later. In a day and age with nuclear weapons, an example of rapprochement among historically divided Christians might go a long ways towards making this world a better place.

  18. Benedict Joseph says:

    MikeR: “How the in the name of all that’s holy did we end up where we are!?”
    The exhortation to ecclesiastical obedience was in full force in the mid-sixties when the disorientation was set loose. No one but the heterodox thought to do anything other than what the episcopate or what Father or Sister said. It has taken decades to realize, to accept, that the mendacious among us used the beautiful willingness of the laity to submit to legitimate ecclesiastical authority for nefarious purposes. It remains a difficult and bitter pill to swallow, and it in itself produces its own unique sense of confusion in those who see what happened.
    And what continues to happen.
    No longer quite as weak and prone to the distinctive ineffable beauty of Eastern Orthodoxy, I am always humbled by their devotion and constancy in the Holy Faith. Sometimes I think our Blessed Lord allowed that tragic schism in order for them to lure us back on course someday. But who knows? And who knows what is in store for them?
    God preserve us.

  19. ChgoCatholic says:

    The Russians are blessed, re-Christianizing after the long darkness that was Marxism, and the West appears not to have learned that lesson. I strongly believe this is one of the reasons they’re now treated as a bogeyman in American media and by some of our politicians.

  20. thomistking says:

    My quotation above wasn’t meant to be a dig at the Orthodox (although I do find the filioque dispute to be a little silly). I appreciate their honesty in calling us Latins heretics. It is much better than pretending we are all the same, so there is no point in unification.

  21. mburn16 says:

    Orthodox worship is both beautiful and reverent. Unfortunately, its also conducted by people who are every bit schismatic as your most liberal Protestant. Rejection of Rome is rejection of Rome. When Christ said “On THIS Rock, I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against IT”, he did not also say “as well as any who depart from it, so long as their worship of me is beautiful”

    Sometimes I think we as traditionalist Catholics are a little too quick to let the Orthodox off the hook. Indeed, there would probably be some merit to the suggestion that we might have an easier time converting some of our Western Protestants than the Orthodox.

    [No one is letting anyone “off the hook”. You’ve missed the point.]

  22. PTK_70 says:

    thomistking says, “I appreciate their honesty in calling us Latins heretics.”

    I don’t. I very much dislike being called a heretic.

    There’s a Byzantine Catholic Church in town here and I don’t think they say the Creed with the filioque. Live and let live.

  23. CrimsonCatholic says:

    “[Yep. That is a point of conflict. However, they are Orthodox, right? They believe what they believe and they are not squeaky little gerbils, as most Western churchmen are.]”

    Then why does it matter? If they believe their beliefs are the truth, and we believe our beliefs are the truth, then why do we care what the left believes is truth? It isn’t good for the faithful to see a Catholic priest cheerleading the Orthodox.

    [You’ve missed the point, which doesn’t surprise me.]

  24. Orlando says:

    Before you know it will b the Russian Church that will be praying for the conversion of souls of the USA.

  25. The Egyptian says:

    Orlando says
    “Before you know it will be the Russian Church that will be praying for the conversion of souls of the USA.”

    actually I hope so, right now we can use all the help we can get,
    just sayin

  26. Ages says:

    PTK_70 asks:

    Yes, there are potential theological issues, as the Creed is the fundamental theological statement of Christianity.

    The best, relatively simple discourse on this subject I have found on this subject is an essay in the appendix of the “EOB” translation of the New Testament, which can be downloaded here (Appendix D, starts on page 312):

    It’s technical and too hard to summarize here, but it’s pretty comprehensive for only a few pages.

  27. Ages says:

    My apologies, the file I linked only has the odd-numbered pages. Here is the full article:

  28. GrumpyYoungMan says:

    Thank you, Fr. G.

    I noticed comments were disabled. One would think that the LAREC folks could take the heat if they were truly comfortable with what they were doing.

  29. GypsyMom says:

    What really struck me with the Liturgy in Moscow was the intermingling of the generations. The children had a real role in the liturgy, and the adults seemed to give them complete respect. There were some adults singing with the children’s choir, and none of the kids seemed uncomfortable with them there. This is the right way to integrate our children in the church community, where they feel a real and true part of everything, not by sending them to their own youth Masses with electric guitars and drums. Yeechhh! No wonder so many of them disappear from the pews after high school!!

  30. J Kusske says:

    In Beijing we have a great Orthodox church inside the Russian Embassy and though I’m a Latin rite Catholic by background I’ve been attending their liturgy for a few years now, and singing in the choir (the only male singer most of the time). I’ve made many close friends there and we share a deep love of Christ and sacred tradition and liturgy. Yes I know we are not in communion and the schism is still practically in effect, whatever Popes and Ecumenical Patriarchs may have declared, but these people are true friends in the same war and I am glad to be with them here. Singing the Te Deum in Slavonic as part of the Sunday of Orthodoxy this past Sunday was a real joy!

  31. iPadre says:

    If we had a similar celebration, it could begin with a solemn exorcism followed by the oath against modernism. We would need to have janitors on hand to clean up all the green gunk.

  32. JonPatrick says:

    frmh, considering that the Roman Catholic Church is in de facto schism, so we have to then consider that some of our own brethren are now outside salvation? Which is the true Church now, the one that still believes in Jesus’ words that he who divorces his wife commits adultery or the one that believes in showing “mercy”? Perhaps we need to get our own house in order first.

  33. Filipino Catholic says:

    Reunion with them seems very, very unlikely in the foreseeable future, judging from this and the current climate among us Latins. Even if we did extend the olive branch and got our house in order (unlikely barring sudden upheaval), the Orthodox would, borrowing the biblical quote, “treat us like publicans” for not listening to their equivalent to the Magisterium for the last ten centuries or more.

  34. Wiktor says:

    The Nicene Creed starts at 30:05.

  35. Subdeacon Joseph says:

    This has always been my favorite version of this. So haunting.

  36. ce lathrop says:

    It’s pretty clear to this Orthodox that you RCs do not fully appreciate the degree to which we consider the filioque to be, yes, a great big deal, both theologically and ecclesiologically. You can’t paper it over, assert that we should let bygones be bygones, live and let live, and all that. The One Holy and Catholic Church agreed to the Creed in the first two Ecumenical Councils, and subsequent councils decreed that the Creed could not be changed. And then….y’all changed it, thanks to and supported by your absolutely unacceptable ecclesiology, the bitter fruits of which you are enjoying now. I do not see a way forward to reconciliation, not least of all because of our own sins, which are many and profound.

  37. Imrahil says:

    Dear ce lathrop,

    It’s pretty clear to this Orthodox that you RCs do not fully appreciate the degree to which we consider the filioque to be, yes, a great big deal.

    Frankly, I had almost been prepared to regard the filioque as a big deal (on which we are right, of Course, but a big deal)… until I read your comment about it. It confirmed me in what I had been thinking the reason for the conflict was, but about which I was, of course, unsure.

    No offense intended.

    The One Holy and Catholic Church agreed to the Creed in the first two Ecumenical Councils, and subsequent councils decreed that the Creed could not be changed.

    And that is it? That, for all good sakes, is it? That’s what you in practice build a schism, or maybe post-1965 half-schism on? Good Lord in Heaven, have mercy on us all.

    This line of thinking would necessarily lead Church ritual into a meaningless system of formulas (which one step further of necessity will be interpreted in any suited way whatsoever). That’s the Protestant “believe and do not waste your time thinking about it” all over again. The first word, the “believe”, is right enough, but the rest isn’t.

    The filioque had been espoused at least implicitly by all the Church fathers I know of, it had been espoused very explicitly by St. Augustine (and later by St. Thomas), it was even before the Eastern Schism often enough taught by the Pope then still held by the Eastern Orthodox as well as the highest authority, the Easterners never complained even though they did complain about other things (such as, rightly, about Honorius’s acquiescence); and from a logical standpoint to deny to the Son something pertaining to the Father (other than of course active generation of the Son), as here the active procession of the Spirit, necessarily implies subordinationism which the Eastern Orthodox too have condemned…

    but no, the important thing is that even with the assent of the highest authority of the Church an Addition to the creed, orthodox and even the only orthodox opinion around, is not to be made to the Creed.

    Not even when following errors on the matter (such as the Arianism long prevalent in then-Germanic Spain, and the errors of Photius) on the matter it had become necessary to combat a misunderstanding (note: of Latin hearers).

    Fortunately, we need not rely on mere theory, obvious though it be, to disprove such a Notion. The theory of course is obvious enough: Christ is the Truth, so the faith he brought is the truth, truth is unchangeable, so the Faith can never change. (On a supplement, for some and some other reason, the end date for the entry of actually new doctrine into the Church is the death of the last apostle.) On the other hand, what the Church has done the Church can undo; so a law the Church established can be dispensed by the Church, changed by the Church, abrogated by the Church, replaced by the Church – at least by the ones in highest authority, which, following the warrant given by our Lord himself, includes at least the Pope.

    It goes without saying that whether the Pope should do so, or should do so often, is quite another question, and that assuming not even the highest authority in the Church had such a warrant would spare us the one or the other trouble. No doubt it is sometimes the personally more comfortable thing to have a ritualized ritual if that at least means less abuses of the ritual!

    But still, it is the lesser evil and the possibility of something good is the ritual is alive. That does not mean changed. It means it could be changed and, for the most part, isn’t. If you can’t change it at all, you cannot not-change either.

    But as I said: examples, not theory.

    The example is the First Council of Constantinople, which changed a lot about the Creed as it was previously formulated at Nicaea. Now if the highest authority in the Church could do so then, it could do so six hundred years later.

    Hóper édei deíxai.

    PS: What do you mean by “ecclesiology”?

  38. Wiktor says:

    Father Z: “That is a point of conflict.”

    As far as my native Polish and a bit of Russian allows me to understand Church Slavonic (because they do not sing in modern Russian – it’s more like what Latin is to modern Italian), they seem to sing a much shorter version of those anathemas than the English version you provided. They tend to join two paragraphs under one “anathema”, and some paragraphs are omitted altogether.
    This particular anti-filioque part seems not to be there.

    What (I think) they sing are paragraphs: 1+2, 3+4, 5, 6, 7, 9+10, 11+13. Missing are: 8 (filioque), 12 (sovereigns), 14-18 (Theosophists etc.)


    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  39. Imrahil says:

    Btw. there is no reason for the capital-letter in “Addition” other than my stupid autocorrect. Sorry.

  40. We are missing an ecumenical opportunity!

    For years — nay, decades — we have been exhorted to join together with our “separated brethren” in prayer and reflection on what we have in common. No less than the Vicar of Christ made a trek to Norway (or was it Finland? In any case…) to proclaim our love and commonality — somewhat, cough! cough! — with Martin Luther! And it’s only fussy, retrograde people who resist these ecumenical efforts, right? Right?

    We don’t want to be fussy, retrograde sorts, do we? Nooo…

    So I suggest, as a profound ecumenical gesture, we join in an “anathema Sunday” project!

  41. Imrahil says:

    Reverend dear Fr Fox,

    well, let’s stick to our own rite and do the stuff on Holy Thursday… in coena Domini.

  42. Mariana2 says:

    Watched the Orthodox thing from beginning to end, beautiful!

    Tried a few seconds of the first video…jumped ahead…landed at shriekings of “there must be a God somewhere” (Ganesha, or any god, I suppose…). Well, I can’t even!

    So, to those that crazily sing there must be a God somewhere, ANATHEMA!

  43. Mariana2 says:

    Sorry, not “the first video”, I mean the Opening Ceremony one!

  44. Lepidus says:

    To those who claim that Gregorian Chant is toooo haaaard, ANATHEMA!
    To those who believe that applauding the choir has any place in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, ANATHEMA!
    To those piano-players that only know Haas and Haugen, ANATHEMA!
    To those who change the words of Christ to excuse mortal sin as an alternative lifestyle, ANATHEMA!
    To those priests who cannot say the black and do the red, ANATHEMA!

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  45. Semper Gumby says:

    Imrahil’s comments are always worth reading, I would differ here on one point: Fr. Fox is on to something with his excellent comment regarding anathema Sunday.

    acardnal: Good idea you have for Z-swag. A thought occurs. I’d like to suggest a Pope Urban II briefcase lined with Kevlar, and a large ice cooler printed on sides and lid with the Maledictory Psalms.

    Kerry: Good point about a pocket-sized Council of Trent. Maybe one should have a copy laminated against The Coming Storm.

    Mariana2 and Lepidus: Yes!

  46. ce lathrop —

    I don’t know if you know this, but in actuality, Catholic theologians do, indeed, take the question of the filioque quite seriously. This whole subject is rather abstruse, so I risk not doing it justice in a quick comment, but I shall do my best I trust in the forbearance of all.

    First, the basic position of the Catholic Church is that the filioque, properly understood, does not conflict with the Creed absent it. This is why those Eastern Churches in communion with Rome need not recite it; the filioque is not intended to make any substantial change in meaning. As you may know, one of the ways the filioque is explained is more in the lines of, “…proceeds from the Father through the Son. I am not a high-level theologian, but I seem to recall that those who are, both Catholic and Orthodox, have found this to comport with the orthodox Faith. What’s more, the Catholic theologians concede that a wrong understanding of the filioque is harmful to the Faith.

    Second: if the complaint is that the Creed was modified in a high-handed way by the pope, conceding that is not so big a deal for Catholics. We will never know till heaven — at which point it would be silly to ask — whether the filioque would have been accepted, or at least more easily tolerated, by the Orthodox, had the pope done it the right way: proposed it in the context of an ecumenical council. After all, the Creed adopted at Nicea was slightly modified at the Council of Constantinople, to the approbation of both East and West.

    Alternately, we might imagine a scenario in which all popes followed the example of Leo III and disallowed the addition to the profession of Faith. And we might wonder: if the price of healing the East-West split were that Romans no longer recite filioque, would that fly?

    Third, it’s worth noting that Roman Christians did not simply invent this (if we even “invented” it at all) in a moment of idleness. It arises out of the Deposit of Faith, and was intended to counter heresies that diminish the Second Person of the Trinity.

    I conclude that while the content of the Creed, and the unity of its adherence by all the Churches, are of supreme importance, the filioque itself need not be Church-dividing. Personally, I think the major theological issue is the authority of the pope; and that the majority of issues dividing East and West aren’t actually theological at all (which is not to minimize them).

  47. Imrahil says:

    Reverend dear Fr Fox,

    to your very good comment I would just make two slight annotations:

    1. It goes without saying that “a wrongful understanding can be harmful to the Faith” in each and every faith-related matter whatsoever. (We might say this is a diplomatic concession containing a null-statement). The more difficult thing though is, precisely how can the filioque be misunderstood (by someone who does hold the Trinity, uncreatedness of the Three Persons, creation ex nihilo of the Creation, and generation of the Son, and non-subordination of the Son to the Father, in which case it is but logical to assume non-subordination of the Holy Spirit to the Son)?

    2. Whatever to be said about papal high-handedness in general: in this case the Pope merely allowed local churches, including at the beginning of the 11th century his own, to make an orthodox change to liturgy which these local churches very much craved.

    He didn’t demand the Filioque from the East, or at least not before the schism had been there for centuries.

    It might have been a good diplomatic choice to let the East have its way in how the West worships, ad maiora mala vitanda. But I would not call it high-handed if the Pope allows a local Church to do something she wants.

  48. PTK_70 says:

    @Ages…I read the whole essay. Thank you. The author is clearly sympathetic to the East while not being antagonistic to the West. In part I came away with the notion that “what we have here is a failure to communicate.”

    Interesting to me is that while Rome defends the orthodoxy of the filioque as part of the Creed in Latin, Rome has apparently never insisted that the Greeks add the Greek equivalent of filioque to the Creed in Greek, which of course is the language in which the ecumenical councils formulated it.

    We Latins say the Kyrie in Greek (duh, right), why not say the Creed in Greek, if that’s what will get the Church breathing with both lungs again? Couldn’t we embrace this as the super-uber-hyper-ultra traditional solution to the problem of the East-West divide? Just throwing it out there….

  49. Imrahil says:

    why not say the Creed in Greek, if that’s what will get the Church breathing with both lungs again?

    If a Panorthodox Council solemnly proclaims that the Filioque is orthodox and even binding doctrine (just they don’t like it in the Creed) and all the hierarchs of the Eastern Church and all popular institutes of Eastern Orthodoxy (like, each monastery on Athos) solemnly gave assent to that, that would perhaps be something to think about.

    Otherwise, how could such a move possibly convey, to the public at large, any other interpretation than “we’ve taught a serious error and now recant it”?

    Which, setting infallibility aside for a moment, would not be a problem if we did have taught a serious error; saving faces is for the Chinese. But we haven’t, so we have to stick to the truth.

    [And, of course, the Church does breathe with both lungs – with the Catholic Eastern Churches, and perhaps in some disturbed, diminished and defective, but existing manner – hello, Vatican II – also with Eastern Orthodoxy.]

    The idea “stick to Catholic truth, but diminish the forms used to express it that separated brethren don’t like” is not a new one; it has been tried and found wanting. (Pope Paul VI is quoted with “oh how lovely the old Mass is! But we have to give up all that, if the Protestants come back it will be worth it”, or something to the effect.)

  50. PTK_70 says:

    @Imrahil….All’s I’m suggesting is say the Creed in Greek in the way it has already been formulated in Greek, i.e., in the way we Latins apparently find acceptable, given that we don’t impose the filioque on the Eastern Catholic communities. No special council needed. We don’t need anyone’s permission. Do you think we asked the Greeks if we could say the Kyrie in Greek?

  51. Kralperri says:

    What a fantastic liturgy! I have big respect for the reviving Russian Church and their strong devotion to Church Tradition. We here in the West have a lot to learn from their example I believe.

  52. These anathema are great! I agree that we should begin this tradition in the Western, Roman Rite. I think that Dietrich von Hildebrand would have agreed, since he used the word fairly often. I especially enjoyed his book with the title, The Charitable Anathema. Yet another thought crosses my mind as I type now, such a litany lends greater meaning–by way of context–the the sign of our faith in the Creed.

  53. spock says:

    The Slavs are so blessed with such wonderful double (and probably triple) Bass choir members !! I wish we had more of those in the Latin rite. Father Z, they could sing below the 60 Hz hum of the transformer on your Ham Radio. :) (nerd note here: That assumes half-wave rectification, if it’s full-wave, Herr Fourier sez it will be 120 Hz fundamental). Some of them could probably sing down to DC (0 Hz) !! No castrati in that crowd, that’s for sure. :)

  54. Fr. John says:

    As an Orthodox priest, I obviously have concerns about the filioque in general, but reading some of the comments here in defense of it make me more concerned, as they seem to discount the divinity of the Holy Spirit, as a co-equal Person of the Holy Trinity.

    Several posters here have said things like, for example, claiming that since the Spirit procedes from the Father, if He doesn’t procede from the Son as well, then the Son wouldn’t be God, because He wouldn’t have everything that the Father has. If that is so, what of the Spirit? Clearly, He doesn’t procede from Himself and so, if being the source of the Spirit’s procession is necessary to be God, then doesn’t that exclude the Spirit?

    Or likewise, someone appeared to claim that the Holy Spirit is nothing more than the love that the Father and the Son mutually have for each other. Don’t you see how that reduces the Spirit to a divine attribute, not a co-equal Person?

    I would imagine that the Roman Catholic Church wouldn’t accept these defenses of the filioque either. As far as I know, the Roman Catholic teaching of the Holy Trinity is largely the same as ours (leaving aside the filioque), namely that the three Persons of the Holy Trinity are co-equal, co-eternal Persons.

  55. DcnJohnSaturus says:

    If I may paraphrase St Mark of Ephesus?

    The Latins assert that when the Creed says “And I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of Life, who proceeds from the Father, who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified”, that allows of the meaning that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Son as well as from the Father. After all, they say, it doesn’t say that he “proceeds from the Father AND NOT FROM THE SON”.

    But the syntax of the sentence implies just that. If I say “I had lunch with my brother, and I had dinner with my brother and my sister together”, NOBODY would read that as meaning that I might have had lunch with my sister too. If I say “My dad gave me this camera, and my dad and mom together took me to the beach”, I am indeed implying that my mom wasn’t involved in the giving of the camera.

    So also, when the Creed says that the Holy Spirit “proceeds from the Father, and together with the Father and the Son is worshipped”, the implication is that the Holy Spirit did not also proceed from the Son.

  56. rmichaelj says:

    My father had two children and I met with my mother and father today.

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