Episcopal and Orthodox agree on Filioque removal from Nicene Creed

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The Anglican communion, Episcopal Church, and Orthodox Church jointly agree the Filioque should be removed from the Nicene Creed. Since the 1970s the Anglican Communion and by extension the Episcopal Church has sought mutual understanding with the Orthodox Church. Cooperation in understanding church history, language, and theology has brought this action. The Lambeth Conference of 1988 recommended that the phrase be dropped from the Nicene Creed in Anglican churches. The 1994 General Convention of the Episcopal Church resolved to delete the filioque from the Nicene Creed in the next edition of the Book of Common Prayer.

The Nicene Creed was written in Greek at the Council of Nicaea in 325 and the Council of Constantinople in 318. The original wording translated into English is We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life, who proceeds from the Father, who with the Father and Son together is worshipped and glorified…

The Gospel of John 15:26 (NSRV) describes that the Holy Spirit comes from the Father with the major purpose of assisting spreading the word of Jesus Christ. It reads “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father, he will testify on my behalf.

Not long after this Roman Catholic theologians begun to differ with their Eastern counter parts as to how this should be interpreted. In the sixth century the Filioque “meaning and from the Son” began to appear in Latin translations beginning first in Mozarabic rite on the Iberian Peninsula then added to the Gallican Rite in 800 CE at the Council of Aachen. The Emperor Charlemagne was concerned that the original wording without the Filioque lessened the role of Jesus Christ, thus supporting Arian heresy which stated that Jesus was not a divine being. In the 11th century, Pope Benedict VIII incorporated the Filioque in the Roman Rite liturgy. This difference contributed to the split between the Eastern and Western churches.

The Orthodox church could not accept the liturgy of the Filioque because it was contradicted by the Gospel and what had been agreed upon at the joint councils. Maximus the Confessor in the seventh century tried to assuage the difference in his Letter to Marinus stating the Filioque did not take away from the Father as the “Godhead” and did not describe the Holy Spirit as having a “hypostatic existence” separate only in Christ. He also emphasized that Jesus had two natures divine and human.

Professor Tony Magana https://myfindinggrace.com

Dr. Tony Magana is Professor Emeritus in Neurosurgery who spent many years doing international teaching and research including 10 years in Ethiopia. Over the past 15 years he concomitantly intensified his Christian faith through study and worship through the Episcopal Church. He grew up in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas. Attended Texas A&M University, Harvard Medical School, and trained at the University of Miami. Additionally he took the University of South Education for Ministry as well as attending the Southeast Florida Episcopal Diocesan School for Christian Studies.
Professor Tony Magana, a seasoned neurosurgeon, has not only dedicated his life to medical practice but also embarked on a profound spiritual journey. Over the past 15 years, he has deepened his Christian faith through study and worship within the Episcopal Church. His experiences span international teaching, research, and a decade of service in Ethiopia
Dr. Tony Magana’s writings blend faith, compassion, and wisdom, inviting readers to explore the intersection of spirituality and the human experience. His journey serves as an inspiration for those seeking deeper connections with faith and humanity.

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