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    These men have said all the rash impudence there is to say... - Patriarch St. Photius the Great (Mystagogy of the Holy Spirit)
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    "The Symbol of the Faith must be preserved inviolate, as at its origin. Since all the holy doctors of the Church, all the Councils and all the Scriptures put us on our guard against heterodoxy, how dare I, in spite of these authorities, follow those who urge us to unity in a deceitful semblance of union—those who have corrupted the holy and divine Symbol of Faith and brought in the Son as second cause of the Holy Spirit" - St. Mark of Ephesus - The Pillar of Orthodoxy
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Mystagogy of the Holy Spirit (St. Photius) by Dr. Joseph P. FarrellTHE FILIOQUE IN QUOTATIONS

A look at the filioque via some quotations from Dr. Joseph P. Farrell’s landmark
translation: Saint Photios: The Mystagogy of the Holy Spirit. Brookline: Holy
Cross Orthodox Press, 1987.


“seeking as he [St. Augustine] did . . . the common ground between the
two doctrines (Christianity and Neoplatonism) . . could come to believe, without
basis for it, that he found Christianity in Plato or Plato in the Gospels.”
– Portalie

“Even Plato had not gone beyond a plurality of finite universals to posit
one, all-encompassing universal, a “Universal” universal. Nor had
Aristotle posited an absolute genus in which all particulars could be comprehended.
Plotinos does both. He posits the infinite One and defines this infinite One
as “simplicity.” Thus with Plotinos and the advent of Neoplatonism,
a monumental change in philosophy took place. In his thought, philosophy had
its first real impetus to explore the infinite in the context of a rational
philosophical system.” – Farrell


“since the three are together one God, why not also one person . . .
“ – St. Augustine

“The Godhead is absolutely simple essence, and therefore to be is then
the same as to be wise.” – St. Augustine

“to God it is not one thing to be, another to be a person, but it is absolutely
the same thing . . . It is the same thing to Him to be as to be a person.”
– St. Augustine

“He is called in respect to Himself both God, and great, and good, and
just, and anything else of the kind; and just as to Him to be is the same as
to be God, or as to be great, or as to be good, so it is the same thing to Him
to be as to be a person.” – St. Augustine

“In regard to the essence of truth, to be true is the same as to be and
to be is the same as to be great . . . therefore, to be great is the same as
to be true.” – St. Augustine

“the person of the Trinity” – St. Augustine

“The terms (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) are used reciprocally and in
relation to each other.” – St. Augustine

“understand that as the Father has in Himself that the Holy Spirit should
proceed from Him so He has given to the Son that the same Spirit should proceed
from Him (the Son), and both apart from time. For if the Son has of the Father
whatever He (the Father) has, then certainly He has of the Father that the Holy
Spirit proceeds also from Him.” – St. Augustine

“Because both the Father is a spirit and the Son is a spirit, and because
the Father is Holy and the Son is Holy, therefore . . . since, the Father, the
Son and the Holy Spirit are one God, and certainly God is Holy, and God is a
spirit, the Trinity can be called also the Holy Spirit.” – St. Augustine

“God” for Saint Augustine, thus “did not mean directly”
the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, but the “more general notion of the godhead,
conceived concretely and personally no doubt, not as any one person in particular.”
– Dr. Farrell/Portalie

“For Augustine, existence itself is not personal, for whatever is personal
in the divinity is not absolute but relative. Person is ad se identical to the
essence. Person becomes merely another aspect of existence; for God to exist
is the same as to be a person, just as it is the same to be good, just, wise.”
– Haugh


“As one cannot be a father apart from a son, nor a lord apart from holding
possession of a a slave, so we cannot even call God Almighty if there are none
over whom He can exercise his power.” – Origen, the Heretic

“Do you not see the manifold flexibility of this ungodly thing?” –
St. Photios


(St. Augustine is) “the foundation of everything the West has to say”
– Paul Tillich

“each new crisis and each orientation of thought in the West can be traced
back (to Augustine)” – Portalie

“. . . by the dogma of the filioque . . . the unknowable essence of God
receives positive qualifications. It becomes the object of natural theology.
We get a God in general, who could be the God of Descartes, or the God of Leibnitz,
or to some extent the God of

Voltaire and the de-Christianized Deists of the eighteenth century.” –

“Anselm made it possible to discuss the incarnation without Christ.”-

“In fine, leaving Christ out of view (as if nothing had ever been known
of him), it proves, by absolute reasons, the impossibility that any man should
be saved without him.” – Anselm

(of later scholastic theologians) “our ideas of the divine attributes
are not formally distinct but mutually compenetrate each other.” – Portalie

“God’s will is not other than His essence” – Thomas Aquinas

“simplicity is the abyss of everything specific” – Paul Tillich

Thesis. Synthesis. Antithesis. – Hegel

(Though) “this bold ambition to procure necessary reasons for revealed
dogmas had never entered the mind of Augustine . . . , it was bound to follow
from a merely dialectical treatment of the Christian faith.” – Gilson


“Nothing could prevent [one] from applying the same method to each of
the Christian dogmas.” – Gilson

“The doctrine of the double procession was for Saint Photios a sort of
summation of all theological error; it said “all the rash impudence that
there is to say”.” – Farrell

“These men have said all the rash impudence that there is to say”
– St. Photios

“If Cyril means that the Holy Spirit has his existence from or through
the Son, we repudiate this as irreligious blasphemy. We believe that, in the
Lord’s own words, the Spirit proceeds from the Father.” Farrell

“The Photian case is not merely a matter of Byzantine interest. It concerns
the history of Christianity and the world, as the appraisement of Photios and
his work lies at the core of the controversies that separate Eastern and Western
churches.” Farrell

“to predestine is the same as to foreknow” – St. Augustine


“if something is said of one thing in the Godhead, and if this cannot
be observed to be a property of the nature of the Almighty Trinity, then it
is said of only one of the three Persons.” – St Photios

“Is it possible to avoid the conclusion that the Spirit has been divided
into two? On the one hand, He proceeds from the Father, Who is the First cause
and also unoriginate. On the other hand, however, He proceeds from a second
cause, and this cause is not underived.” St Photios

“Spirit, Who is of equal honor and dignity is deprived of the equal perogative
of an essential procession from Himself.” St Photios

“another person should proceed from the Spirit, and so we should have
not three but four persons. And if the fourth person is possible, then another
procession is possible from that, and so on to an infinite number of processions
and persons, until the doctrine is transformed into Greek polytheism.”
St Photios

“Is He not also the Spirit of fulness . . . Why do you frown at this?
At the gifts, the very things that He supplies and bestows? Is it because you
fight against the procession of the all-holy Spirit from each of these gifts
as well?” St Photios

“But since it is claimed that He proceeds from two persons, the Spirit
is brought to a double cause . . . Does it not follow as an implications of
this that the Spirit is therefore composite? How then is the Trinity simple?
But on the other hand, how shall the Spirit not be blasphemed if, proceeding
from the Son, He in turn has no equality by causing the Son?” St Photios

“For if the Son and the Spirit came forth from the same cause, that is
to say, the Father, and if — as this blasphemy cries out — the Spirit also
proceeds from the Son, then why not simply tear up the Word ad propagate the
fable that the Spirit also produces the Son, thereby according the same dignity
to each person by allowing each person to produce the other person? And not
according to any different manner — by no means! –, even if you say that the
Spirit proceeds and the Son is begotten! For reason demands equality for each
person so that each person exchanges the grace of causality indistinguishably.”
St Photios

” For if, according to the reasonings of the ungodly, the specific properties
of the persons are opposed and transferred to one another, then the Father —
O depth of impiety! — comes under the property of being begotten and the Son
will beget the Father.” St Photios


“If the filioque can now only be viewed as a dispute about words, this
can only indicate the absence of historical perception, or a modalist theology,
or both.This means that it is not necessary merely to insist that the filioque
must be dropped from Western creeds and confessions for unity to come about,
but that, as Karl Rahner has so pertinently observed, there is need for the
West to return to a non-Augustinian theology. Indeed, this means that the Augustinian
ordo theologiae itself must be shunned as being ultimately contradictory to
the Christian experience of God as primarily personal and concrete and not impersonal,
abstract, and philosophical.” – Farrell

(“procession” did not signify merely) “a simple going forth of
someone from another, as for example in the case of being born; it means rather
a setting forth from somewhere towards a definite goal; a departure from one
person in order to reach another. When the Spirit proceeds from the Father he
sets out towards the Son; the Son is the goal at which He will stop.” –
Gregory of Cyprus, Patriarch of Constantinople (1283-1289)

Gregory’s formula exposed another danger latent not only in the filioque but
to some extent also in the response of Saint Photios to it. In Gregory’s theology,
it was impossible to separate the Son and the Spirit, for there was an eternal,
personal relation between them. If this were not so, and the Holy Spirit proceeded
beyond the Son as from a point of origin, then important ecclesiological ramifications
would result: “in that case the faithful might possess the Spirit without
being in Christ, or they might possess Christ without being in the Spirit.”
It is precisely this “abiding of the Spirit upon the Son” which affords
the theological basis in the very life of the Trinity for the fact that Orthodoxy
does not separate Scripture and Tradition as two, isolated, independent and
opposed sources of authority. Rather, it sees them as implying and complementing
each other, both having equal weight because they are related.” – Farrell

“The twentieth century Orthodox theologian Dumitru Staniloae has found
in the filioque, in addition to certain ecclesiological implications, other
ramifications for the pattern and structure of authority in the contemporary
West. He sees in it the theological basis for confusing Spirit with human subjectivity:
without that which constitutes the distinguishing mark of divinity in this system,
causality, it becomes all to easy to equate the movements of the Spirit with
the movements of the human spirit.” – Farrell

From Dr. Farrell’s translation of Saint Photios’ Mystagogy is eloquent and, in this time of renewed interest in the ancient Church, altogether timely. His lengthy introduction, drawing on references as diverse as Plotinus and Paul Tillich, provides the historical, cultural, and theological setting of Saint Photios’ controversial treatise. The introductory essay is itself a classic of modern Patristics – the study of the Church Fathers. Dr. Farrell argues that Photios is attacking a fundamental theological trend in Western Christendom which has implications for its entire polity. In this sense he offers the Mystagogy as a prophetic work rather than simply a theoretical one. The Mystagogy is a comprehensive assault on the new culture being created in the West by the addition of the “filioque” clause to the Western Creed. For Saint Photios, this clause represents “all the rash impudence” that the new Europe has to say. Dr. Farrell in his analysis uses the phrase “summation of all theological error”. This is not a wishy-washy work of scholarship for the faint-hearted. It packs a punch both in stye and in depth. Still, the brevity of the book makes it accessible for a general audience and rightly so if, as Dr. Farrell argues, Saint Photios’ work is of universal import. Hearty reading!

From: Bishop (then Archmandrite) Chrysostomos: “Mr. Farrell… has given us a text which is faithful to Saint Photios’ original Greek text; a theological overview of the filioque controversy – an essential controversy in the history of the whole Church – that is not too technical to be understood by an untrained theologian; and an historical view of this subject and Saint Photios that presents no problem to the reader untrained in historical investigation. His is not the only translation to be had in a modern language, but it certainly is the only translation which consciously attempts to reach the average Orthodox reader… introducing the faithful to the inner spirit of the Patristic witness.”


Eugene Portalie, A Guide to the Thought of St. Augustine (Norwood, 1975),
p. 97.

Farrell, p. 20.

St. Augustine, Trinity, 7.1.2

St. Augustine, Trinity, 7.6.11

St. Augustine, Trinity, 7.6.11

St. Augustine, Trinity, 8.1.2

St. Augustine, Trinity, 7.4.8

St. Augustine, Trinity, 2.10.18

St. Augustine, Trinity, 6.5.6

St. Augustine, Trinity, 15.27.45

St. Augustine, Trinity, 15.27.48.

Dr. Joseph Farrell, St. Photios: Mystagogy of the Holy Spirit, pp. 27-28: quoting
Portalie, p 130-131.

Richard Haugh, Photios and the Carolingians: The Trinitarian Controversy (Belmont,
1975), p. 204.

Photios, Mystagogy, 62.

Origen: Cited in Florovsky, “St Athanasios’ Concept of Creation,”
Volume 4 of The Collective Works of Georges Florovsky: Aspects of Church History
(Belmont, 1975), 45.

Portalie, p. 83.

Vladimir Lossky, “The Procession of the Holy Spirit in Orthodox Trinitarian
Doctrine,” in The Image and Likeness of God (Crestwood, 1974), p. 88.

Farrell, 46.

Anselm, Cur Deus Homo (St. Anselm: Basic Writings), trans. S. N. Deane (Chicago,
1981), p. 177.

Portalie, p. 128.

Thomas Aquinas, Summa contra Gentiles, Book One, God (Notre Dame, 1975), p.

Paul Tillich, A History of Christian Thought (New York, 1968), p. 51.

Gilson, 27.

Tillich, p. 103.

Farrell, 17-18.

St. Photios, Mystagogy of the Holy Spirit, 16.

Theodoretos, “Reprehensio (12 Captium seu) anathematismorum Cyrilli,”
in Bettenson, p. 275.

Francis Dvornik, The Photian Schism (Cambridge, 1970), p.15.

Etienne Gilson, Reason and Revelation in the Middle Ages (New York, 1966),
p. 26.

St. Augustine, Ad Romanum Expositio, 8.29, cited in Gonzales, p. 31.

Photios, 63.

Photios, 43.

Photios, 38.

Photios, 37.

Photios, 56.

Photios, 4.

Photios, 3.

Photios, 17.

Staniloae, Theology and the Church, p. 15.

Farrell, p. 49.

Farrell, p. 49.

Farrell, 49-50.


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