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Document Details :
Title: De theologische dialoog over het Filioque, I
Author(s): DAVIDS, Adelbert
Journal: Journal of Eastern Christian Studies
Volume: 50 Issue: 3-4 Date: 1998
The Theological Dialogue about the Filioque, I
The aim of the Vatican document from 1995 on ‘The Greek and the Latin traditions regarding the procession of the Holy Spirit’, drawn up by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, is to reopen the theological dialogue about the procession of the Holy Spirit, which is carried out by the Joint International Commission between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church. In its first report on ‘The Mystery of the Church and of the Eucharist in the light of the Mystery of the Holy Trinity’ from Munich in 1982 the commission had mentioned the centuries-old difficulty between the two Churches concerning the eternal origin of the Holy Spirit, but was not able to treat the subject extensively.
The Vatican document from 1995 consists of two parts. In the first part the problem of the Filioque is sketched. The East has always maintained the formula of the creed of the second ecumenical council of Constantinople of 381, whereas in the West the Filioque was introduced in the formulation about the Holy Spirit in that creed: “qui a patre filioque procedit”. But the Eastern theology also knows about a procession of the Spirit from the Father throughthe Son. The second part gives an explanation of the Western theology of the Filioque. The conclusion of the document is that both theologies, the Eastern as well as the Western, are complementary (as was already stated in the new Catechism of 1992) and that there is no need to omit the Filioque from the creed of the Western Church. Being aware of the “legitimate complementarity”, the Catholic Church has refused the addition of the Filioque to the creed in the Greek-speaking Churches, even of Latin rite, which use it in Greek.