Monday, September 20, 2010

Thomistic Glosses on Greek Church Fathers

Mirror link

N.B. St. Thomas does not address all of these quotes directly or in their entirety.

St. Dionysius the Areopagite
Whether any created intellect can see the essence of God? (Yes)
On the Divine Names 1:4: the superessential Illimitability is placed above things essential, and the Unity above mind above the Minds; and the One above conception is inconceivable to all conceptions; and the Good above word is unutterable by word—Unit making one every unit, and superessential essence and mind inconceivable, and Word unutterable, speechlessness and inconception, and namelessness—being after the manner of no existing being, and Cause of being to all, but Itself not being, as beyond every essence...
ST I, q. 12, art. 1, ad 3: God is not said to be not existing as if He did not exist at all, but because He exists above all that exists; inasmuch as He is His own existence. Hence it does not follow that He cannot be known at all, but that He exceeds every kind of knowledge; which means that He is not comprehended.

On the Divine Names 1:5: It is superior to every expression and every knowledge, and is altogether placed above mind and essence,—being such as embraces and unites and comprehends and anticipates all things, but Itself is altogether incomprehensible to all, and of It, there is neither perception nor imagination, nor surmise, nor name, nor expression, nor contact, nor science...
ST I, q. 12, art. 1, ad 1: This authority "speak[s] of the vision of comprehension."

Whether a name can be given to God? (Yes)
On the Divine Names 1:5: "the superessential Deity is shown to be without Name, and above Name."
ST I, q. 13, art. 1, ad 1: "The reason why God has no name, or is said to be above being named, is because His essence is above all that we understand about God, and signify in word."

Whether affirmative propositions can be formed about God? (Yes)
On the Heavenly Hierarchy 2:3: "the negations respecting things Divine are true, but the affirmations are inharmonious..."
ST I, q. 13, art. 2, ad 1: "Dionysius says that the affirmations about God are vague or, according to another translation, 'incongruous,' inasmuch as no name can be applied to God according to its mode of signification."

Whether the human intellect can attain to the vision of God in His essence? (Yes)
Letter 1 to Gaius: His pre-eminent darkness is both concealed by every light, and is hidden from every knowledge. And, if any one, having seen God, understood what he saw, he did not see Him, but some of His creatures that are existing and known. But He Himself, highly established above mind, and above essence, by the very fact of His being wholly unknown, and not being, both is super-essentially, and is known above mind.
ST III-S, q. 92, art. 1, ad 4: God is light (John 1:9). Now illumination is the impression of light on an illuminated object. And since the Divine essence is of a different mode from any likeness thereof impressed on the intellect, he (Dionysius) says that the "Divine darkness is impervious to all illumination," because, to wit, the Divine essence, which he calls "darkness" on account of its surpassing brightness, remains undemonstrated by the impression on our intellect, and consequently is "hidden from all knowledge." Therefore if anyone in seeing God conceives something in his mind, this is not God but one of God's effects.

Letter 5 to Dorotheus: The Divine gloom is the unapproachable light in which God is said to dwell. And in this gloom, invisible indeed, on account of the surpassing brightness, and unapproachable on account of the excess of the superessential stream of light, enters every one deemed worthy to know and to see God, by the very fact of neither seeing nor knowing, really entering in Him, Who is above vision and knowledge...
ST III-S, q. 92, art. 1, ad 5: "Although the glory of God surpasses any form by which our intellect is informed now, it does not surpass the Divine essence, which will be the form of our intellect in Heaven: and therefore although it is invisible now, it will be visible then."

ST :

ST :

ST :

St. John of Damascus
Whether any name can be applied to God substantially? (Yes)
An Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith 1:9: Each then of the affirmations about God should be thought of as signifying not what He is in essence, but either something that it is impossible to make plain, or some relation to some of those things which are contrasts or some of those things that follow the nature, or an energy.
ST I, q. 13, art. 2, ad 1: "Damascene says that these names do not signify what God is, forasmuch as by none of these names is perfectly expressed what He is; but each one signifies Him in an imperfect manner, even as creatures represent Him imperfectly."

Whether the name of Image is proper to the Son? (Yes)
An Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith 1:13: "The Son is the Father's image, and the Spirit the Son's, through which Christ dwelling in man makes him after His own image."
ST I, q. 35, art. 2, ad 1: "Damascene and the other Greek Doctors commonly employ the term image as meaning a perfect similitude."

Whether the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Son? (Yes)
An Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith 1:8 [PG 94:832B]: "And we do not speak of the Spirit as from the Son: but yet we call Him the Spirit of the Son."
ST I, q. 36, art. 2, ad 3: The Nestorians were the first to introduce the error that the Holy Ghost did not proceed from the Son, as appears in a Nestorian creed condemned in the council of Ephesus. This error was embraced by Theodoric the Nestorian, and several others after him, among whom was also Damascene. Hence, in that point his opinion is not to be held. Although, too, it has been asserted by some that while Damascene did not confess that the Holy Ghost was from the Son, neither do those words of his express a denial thereof.

ST :

ST :

ST :

Saturday, September 04, 2010

How Can Filioque Be False?

Mirror link

How can the Filioque clause be heretical when all the Latin Fathers from St. Hilary onward{1}--with whom the Greek Fathers were in communion over the centuries and with whose consensus the Greek Fathers cannot, as a whole, disagree on a matter of divine and Catholic faith--taught that the Holy Spirit eternally proceeds, qua hypostasis, from the Father and the Son?{2}

Notes & References
{1} Gill, Fr. Joseph, and B. L. Marthaler "Filioque." New Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. 5, 2nd ed. Detroit: Gale, 2003. p. 720. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Gale. Fordham University Libraries. 4 Sept. 2010.
{2} For fairly detailed proof that the Latin Fathers unanimously teach a hypostatic, not merely energetic, procession from the Father and the Son, see "Filioque." Catholic Patristics. 7 Oct. 2010. 10 Jan. 2011 <>.

Which Is It?

Which is it?

(1) The West should not have added Filioque to the Creed without an Ecumenical Council, since only an Ecumenical Council has the authority to edit the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed of 381.


(2) Under no circumstances can anyone or any organ effect any change whatsoever on the Creed of 381, per Canon Seven of the Council of Ephesus.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Why God Led Me To Rome Instead of Constantinople

Stay tuned for version 3.0 (2011) of part 1 of "Why God Led Me to Rome Instead of Constantinople."

Constantinople Not an Apostolic See

Heretical Patriarchs of Constantinople
-three Arians: Eusebius of Nicomedia (339-342), Eudoxius of Antioch (360-370), Demophilus (370-380)
-one Semi-Arian: Macedonius (342-346, 351-360; †364)
-one Nestorian: Nestorius (428-431; †451)
-five Monophysites: Acacius (472-489), Fravitas (489), Euphemius (489-495), Timothy I (511-518), Anthimus I (535-536)
-six Monothelites: Sergius I (610-638), Pyrrhus (638-641, 654), Paul II (641-653), Peter (654-666), John VI (712-714)
-seven iconoclasts: Anastasius (730-754), Constantine II (754-766), Nicetas I (766-780), Paul IV (780-784), Theodotus I Cassiteras (815-821), Antony I Cassimatis (821-836), John VII Grammaticus (836-842)
-one Calvinist: Cyril I Lucaris (1612, 1620-1623, 1623-1633, 1633-1634, 1634-1635, 1637-1638)
-if Catholicism is false, then even more Patriarchs of Constantinople were heretics, since they accepted distinctively Catholic dogmas (e.g., Filioque, papal primacy):
John XI Beccus (1275-1282; †1297); Joseph II (1416-1439); Metrophanes II (1440-1443); Gregory III Mammas, a renowned wonderworker (1443-1451; †1459) [Ecumenical Patriarchate website]; Dionysius II (1546-1555) [Ecumenical Patriarchate website; AASS 8:I:228C-230B (254-256); Simeon Vailhé in DTC 3.2:1424-1425]; Neophytus II (1602-1603, 1607-1612) [Ecumenical Patriarchate website; ]; Raphael II (1603-1607) [AASS 8:I:237C-238A (263-264); Simeon Vailhé in DTC 3.2:1426]; Cyril II Contares (1633, 1635-1636, 1638-1639) [Ecumenical Patriarchate website; AASS 8:I:242B-243D,243F-244F (268-270)], and Athanasius V (1709-1711) [Siméon Vailhé in DTC 3.2:1432]
-one with Anabaptist tenets: Cyril V (1748-1751, 1752-1757)

Heretical Patriarchs of Alexandria
-Theophilus I (385-412) was an Origenist until 400.{1}
{1} "Until 400 Theophilus of Alexandria was an acknowledged Origenist. His confident was Isidore, a former monk of Nitria, and his friends, 'the Tall Brothers,' the accredited leaders of the Origenist party." -- Fr. Ferdinand Prat, S.J. "Origen and Origenism." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 11. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911. 9 Apr. 2011 <>.
-Monophysites were Dioscorus I (444-451; †454), Timothy III the Cat (460-475, 477-482), Peter III Mongus (477, 482-490), Athanasius II (490-496), John II (496-505), John III (505-516), Timothy IV (517-535), Theodosius I (535-536)
-Cyrus (631-643) was a Monothelite

Heretical Patriarchs of Antioch
-Paul of Samosata (260-268; †275), Eulalius (331-332), Euphronius (332-333), Paulinus (330), Stephen I (342-344), Leontius the Eunuch (344-358), Eudoxius (358-359), John I (428-442)
-Monophysites were Peter the Fuller (469-471, 476, 458-488), John II Codonatus (476-477), and Severus (512-518; †538)
-Palladius (488-498) and Flavian II (498-512) accepted Chalcedon but also accepted the Henoticon
-Monothelites were Anastasius III (620-628), Macedonius (628-640), and Macarius (656-681; †685)

Heretical Patriarchs of Jerusalem
-St. Maximus III (333-348) started out Arian
-Juvenal (422-458) was Monophysite until 451
-Origenists were John II (386-417) and Eustochius (552-564)
-Martyrius (478-486) accepted the Henoticon
-if Catholicism is false, then even more Patriarchs of Jerusalem were heretics, since they announced their loyalty to and explicit desire for communion with the Catholic Church: Lazarus (1334-1368), Abraham I (1468), James III (1492-1503?), and Mark III (1503) [DTC 8.2:1003-1004]

The "Third Rome:" Moscow vs. Kiev
-Princess St. Olga of Kiev was Catholic [Nicholas Brianchaninov]
-excepting Metropolitan John II of Kiev (1080-1089), Kievan Rus' was Catholic from the time of St. Vladimir the Great's 988 conversion until 1104 (Metropolitan St. Michael I [988-992] through Nicholas [1097-1101]), which saw the elevation of Orthodox Metropolitan Nicephorus I of Kiev (1104-1121) [Fr. Joseph Schweigl; Fr. Yves Congar, O.P.]
-St. Theodosius of the Kiev Caves (†1074) and the Holy Fathers of the Kiev Caves were Catholic until at least the 12th century [Bollandists; Fr. Mauricio Gordillo, S.J.]
-after 1104 not all metropolitans of Kiev were Orthodox; Catholic Metropolitans of Kiev prior to the Council of Florence include Clement Smoliatich (1147-1154), probably John IV (1164-1166), and Peter Akerovych (also his patron St. Michael of Chernigov) (1241-1246) [Fr. John Stilting, S.J.; Fr. Gordillo]
-there is no historical certainty that the following metropolitans of Kiev were Orthodox: Nicetas (1122-1126), Michael II (1130-1145), Constantine I (1156-1159), Theodore (1161-1163), Nicephorus II (1182-1198)
-even Alexander Nevsky was Catholic, at least for a while starting in 1248; his contemporary, Daniel I Romanovych of Galicia (†1264) was Catholic from 1248-1256
-Peter of Kiev (1308-1326) who resided in Moscow starting in 1325, was Catholic for quite a while (until at least 1316) but became Orthodox in 1324 at the latest [Fr. Stilting; Andrew Shipman]
-Theognostus of Kiev (1328-1353) was an anti-Palamite, and so were a considerable number of Orthodox bishops and theologians through the centuries [Fr. Martin Jugie, A.A.]
-it was solely because of Grand Duke Basil II (1425–1462) that Holy Union of Florence did not take effect in Moscow, and that probably for political reasons [Shipman; Fr. Joseph Gill, S.J.]
-except for anti-Catholic Jonah of Kiev (1503–1507), the Metropolitans of Kiev (Vilnius line) were Catholic from 1439-1521 (Isidore to Joseph Soltan), and Gregory Tsamblak (1414-1420), the rival claimant to the Orthodox Metropolitan Photius of Kiev (1408-1431), was Catholic [Fr. Stilting; DTC]
-these metropolitans were Gregory II the Bulgarian (1458-1472), Michael Drucki (1474-1480), Symeon (1481-1488), Jonah Glezna (1492-1494), St. Macarius the Hieromartyr (1495-1497), Joseph II Bolgarynovich (1498–1501), and Joseph III Soltan (1508-1521)
-Metropolitans of Kiev (Vilnius line) have been Catholic from 1595 to 1805 following the Holy Union of Brest; rival Orthodox line starting with Job Boretsky in 1620

Alleged Counter-Examples proposed by Orthodox: Old Rome
-St. Marcellinus (296-304): the unprovable charge of apostasy against St. Marcellinus, who was not a martyr, comes from unreliable sources [Johann Peter Kirsch]
-St. Liberius (352-356): the charge that Pope St. Liberius signed the Semi-Arian formula of Sirmium while in exile is untenable on a priori grounds [Fr. John Chapman, O.S.B.]
-Vigilius (537-555):
-Honorius I (625-638): [Fr. Chapman; Fr. Paul Bottala, S.J.; Dr. Warren Carroll II:252-254]
-John XXII (1316-1334): [; Dr. Carroll III:371-373]
-Sixtus V (1585-1590):

The Serbian Church
-Catholic archbishops, including St. Sava I [Bollandists; Fr. Jugie IV:373]
-Stephen Nemanya (Simeon the Myrrh-Gusher of Mt. Athos) was Catholic [Bollandists; Fr. Jugie IV:373; Fr. Horace Kinder Mann XII:33-34; Joseph Lins]

The Serbian Church went into schism starting during the reign of Stephen Uroš I (1243-1276), but Stephen Uroš II Milutin of Serbia (1282–1321) professed papal primacy in his Profession of Faith for Pope John XXII (1316-1334),{6} during the reign of Nicodemus I (1316-1324).
{6} Fr. Martin Jugie, A.A. Theologia dogmatica Christianorum orientalium ab Ecclesia Catholica dissidentium IV:373.

The Bulgarian Church
-Basil I of Tarnovo (1186-1232) was Catholic since 1204, and Joachim I of Tarnovo (1232-1246) was Catholic until 1235 [M. Lacko in NCE II:680]
-Catholic archbishops of Ohrid include Athanasius I (1596-1598), Porphyrius Palaeologos (1624-1627), Abraham Mesaps (1629-1637), and Meletius I (1637-1643) [Leo Allatius, De consensu utriusque Ecclesiæ p. 1092, cited by Siméon Vailhé in DTC 2.1:1196]

The Georgian Church
-the schism of the Georgian Church from the Catholic Church was not known until "between 1224 and 1240" [Cyril Toumanoff in NCE VI:155], during which the Catholicoi-Patriarchs of All Georgia were Arsenius III (1222-1225), George IV (1225-1230), and Arsenius IV Bulmaisisdze (1230–1240), who was followed by Nicholas II (1240-1280)

The Photian Schism
-inconsistent conduct and doctrinal attitudes of Photius

The Second Council of Lyons (1274)

The Council of Florence
-the untenable rejection of the union by Mark of Ephesus [Fr. Gill]