Dancing on the Head of a Pin

There is a legend of St Thomas Aquinas asking "How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?" At this blog we ask all questions dealing with our faith and spirituality. Some are down to earth, rubber meets the road questions, while others are more lofty...like, how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

The New/Old Creed

Recently an Orthodox priest friend of mine, Fr Thomas Moore of Holy Apostles' Orthodox Church read our church bulletin and reminded me that that Creed we call the Nicene creed is technically (he would say more than technically) incorrect. The Nicene Creed used in the West contains the following phrase concerning the Holy Spirit: "who proceeds from the Father and the Son." The original wording of the Creed read "who proceeds from the Father." The Council of Toledo (not Ohio) inserted the filioque clause without the consent of the universal church. This is been a major issue for Roman Catholic and Orthodox relations in particular. In 1985, the General Convention of the Episcopal Church recommended the original wording of the Creed upon agreement from the Lambeth Conference and the Anglican Consultative Council, two of the important instruments of unity in the Anglican Communion. In 1988 and 1990 the Lambeth Conference and the ACC agreed with the changed and in 1994 the General Convention of the Episcopal Church agreed to make the creedal change with the next Prayer Book revision.

Why all the fuss? The "double procession" of the Holy Spirit from the Father and the Son, leads one to believe that the Holy Spirit is subordinate to the Father and the Son. Orthodox (correct) teaching on the Trinity asserts enthusiastically that in the Trinity "none is afore, or after other; none is greater, or less than another; But the whole three Persons are co-eternal together and co-equal." This comes from the Creed of St Athanasius found on pg. 864-5 of the Book of Common Prayer.

Steve

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