There is a movement by some, who are disgusted by the Vatican II sect, to join the Eastern Orthodox. The appeal is understandable. They have retained the beautiful Divine Liturgy of the East, they have retained all seven sacraments with a reverence for the sacred, and they are not plagued by the rampant sodomite/pedophilia scandal emanating from Modernist Rome. Now, there are even some who openly proselytize for the Orthodox. They talk about how they have stability and do not fight among themselves, unlike Traditionalists. They have "no use" for a pope either, and did you know that popes and Councils have contradicted each other prior to Vatican II? The Orthodox (noun) are truly orthodox (adjective)---so these apologists claim.
Time for a serious reality check. Often the Eastern Orthodox will be incorrectly described as "schismatic." They do not merely refuse to submit to the Roman Pontiff as schismatics, they are heretics as they deny at least three dogmas of Divine and Catholic Faith. They deny:
- that the Holy Ghost proceeds from BOTH God the Father and God the Son (hence the refusal to use the "Filioque" in the Creed; i.e., "and the Son.")
- the Immaculate Conception of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary (defined December 8, 1854 by Pope Pius IX)
- the Primacy and Infallibility of the Roman Pontiff (as decreed by the Vatican Council on July 18, 1870)
There are other problems as well, but those are the most serious. Let it first be noted that Traditionalists do NOT "deny the pope." We deny that the post-Vatican II "popes" are, in fact, the pope because they are notorious and contumacious heretics. A heretic cannot be pope. The papacy will endure until the end of the world but we don't need to have an actual man filling the position at all times. According to theologian Dorsch:
“The Church therefore is a society that is essentially monarchical. But this does not prevent the Church, for a short time after the death of a pope, or even for many years, from remaining deprived of her head. [vel etiam per plures annos capite suo destituta manet]. Her monarchical form also remains intact in this state.…
“Thus the Church is then indeed a headless body.… Her monarchical form of government remains, though then in a different way — that is, it remains incomplete and to be completed. The ordering of the whole to submission to her Primate is present, even though actual submission is not…
“For this reason, the See of Rome is rightly said to remain after the person sitting in it has died — for the See of Rome consists essentially in the rights of the Primate.
“These rights are an essential and necessary element of the Church. With them, moreover, the Primacy then continues, at least morally. The perennial physical presence of the person of the head, however, [perennitas autem physica personis principis] is not so strictly necessary.” (de Ecclesia 2:196–7)
Also, according to theologian Salaverri, instead of being a “primary foundation… without which the Church could not exist,” the pope is a “secondary foundation,” “ministerial,” who exercises his power as someone else’s (Christ’s) representative. (See De Ecclesia 1:448)
Traditionalists are either sedevacantists or sedeprivationists; both of whom deny that Jorge Bergoglio (Francis) is a true pope, but neither deny the institution of the papacy as defined by the Church's own approved pre-Vatican II theologians. As to Traditionalists having disputes (as to sedevacantism, sedeprivationism, "recognize and resist" of the pseudo-Traditionalist SSPX, etc) this is to be expected because when "the Shepard is struck, the sheep will scatter" (See Zechariah 13:7). For the record, I do not consider conclavists (those who believe they can just go out and "elect" a so-called "pope") to be Traditionalists. They adhere formally to a false pope, the same as members of the Vatican II sect.
This post will sketch the controversy surrounding the "Filioque" which the modern day Orthodox proselytizers use to batter Traditionalists. This is a condensation of the Church's Teaching as expounded by theologian Pohle.
1. Origin of the Heresy
When the Macedonian heretics declared the Holy Ghost to be a creature of the Logos-Son, the Second Ecumenical Council (Constantinople I--381 A.D.), in order to safeguard the dogma of His Divinity, thought it was sufficient to affirm His Consubstantiality (of the same substance) with God the Father in the phrase "Qui ex Patre procedit" ("Who proceeds from the Father"). Sometime after the Council, certain heretics came to believe that "ex Patre" ("from the Father") meant "Ex solo Patre" (from the Father alone"). It was left to the heretical Patriarch of Constantinople, Photius, to raise the banner against the Church for inserting the word "Filioque" into the Nicean Creed. A great council (non-ecumenical) was held in Constantinople in 879 A.D. which was attended by 380 bishops of the East and formally pronounced sentence of anathema against all who should add to, or take from, the Creed of Nicea.
Though the Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon (451 A.D.) had forbidden the reception into the Creed of "any other Faith" it can only have meant heterodox additions. The First Council of Constantinople would add many clauses expanding the original Nicene Creed, including clauses that state the Holy Ghost "proceeded from the Father" (as explained above), and "I believe in One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church." Thus history proves there was no absolute ban on doctrinal clarifications considered necessary to combat serious errors. I find it supremely ironic that the Latin text of the Creed with "Filioque" has retained "Theon ek Theon" ("God from God") while the Greek text used by the Eastern Orthodox has eliminated those words from the very Creed they claim cannot have ANY change! They stand condemned by their own invented principle!
2. Scriptural Argument
Sacred Scripture expressly mentions only the procession of the Holy Ghost from the Father. (See St. John 15:26) However, the Procession of the Holy Ghost from the Son can be proved by a three-fold argument from Biblical texts.
- In the New Testament, the Holy Ghost is not only represented as "the Spirit of the Father," but also as "the Spirit of the Son." (See Galatians 4:6, Romans 8:9, Phil. 1:19, I Peter 1:11). The Orthodox admit the only reason why the Holy Ghost can be called "the Spirit of the Father" (See St. Matt. 10:20) is because He proceeds from the Father. If this be true, it must be a pari concluded that He can be called "the Spirit of the Son" because He also proceeds from the Son. This conclusion is fortified by Christ being called "the Son of the Father" (Filius Dei) which evidently expresses a procession One from the Other.
- A stronger argument can be drawn from what is known as the "Mission" of the Holy Ghost. Missio, in the abstract sense, signifies "the procession of one from another by virtue of some principle and for the purpose of accomplishing some task." There are three essential notes of any mission, human or Divine: (1.) A real distinction between the sender and the one sent, for no being can send itself (2.) A certain dependency of the "sent" in regards to the "sender." (3.) A relation on the part of the "sent" to some place or effect. In the Divinity any influence of the "Sender" on the "Sent" --other than by relation of origin, would be repugnant to the Essense of the Triune God. The eternal Procession of one Divine Person from another may be called "Internal Mission" and the Temporal Mission is external and merely reflects the Internal. In Scripture, the Father is always represented as "sending" but never as "sent." The Son is both "sent" and "sending." The Holy Ghost is only "sent" and never "sending." The Son is sent by the Father, because the Son is begotten by the Father, not the Father by the Son; similarly, we read that the Holy Ghost is sent by the Father and the Son, because He proceeds from both the Father and the Son. (See St. John 14:16, St. John 15:26, and St. John 16:7--See also theologian Franzelin, De Deo Trino, thesis 33).
- In St. John 16:13 sqq, it is said that the Holy Ghost "hears" and "receives" His knowledge of the future from Christ. Now, one Divine Person can "hear" and "receive" from another only in so far as He does not, like the Father, possess His knowledge, and consequently His essence, from Himself, but receives it by way of of essential, eternal communication. Hence, just as Christ "hears" and "learns" from His Father only in so far as His Divine Nature with all the attributes of omnipotence, omniscience, etc, are communicated to Him by His eternal Generation from the Father; so, too, the Holy Ghost "hears" and "receives" from the Son only in the sense that all His knowledge and His whole Essence are derived through origination from Christ. Consequently, the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Son as well as from the Father.
2. Patristic Argument
The Eastern Orthodox freely admit that the Latin Fathers unanimously teach the procession of the Holy Ghost from the Father and the Son. In making this admission, they condemn themselves. It is absurd to imagine that the Latin Church, which for eight centuries together with the East formed the One True Church of Christ, should have harbored and taught so disgraceful a heresy during all that time!
In summation, do not be lead astray by those heretics calling themselves "Orthodox." Just as you can call an unborn baby a "product of conception," and it does not detract from his/her humanity, you can likewise call heresy "Orthodox," but it makes those who adhere to it heretics nonetheless.