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The Synodikon on the Holy Spirit

To be read the day after Pentecost (Holy Spirit Monday).

A confession and proclamation of the Orthodox faith of the Christians, in which all the impieties of the heretics are overthrown and the definitions of the Catholic Church of Christ are sustained; through which the enemies of the Holy Spirit are severed from the Church of Christ.

 

The Symbol of Faith

I believe in one God, Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the only-begotten; begotten of the Father before all ages; Light from Light, True God from True God, begotten, not made, of One Essence with the Father, through Whom all things came into being: Who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from Heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and became Man: And was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered and was buried: And He rose on the third day according to the Scriptures: And ascended into the Heavens, and sits at the right hand of the Father: And He is coming again with glory to judge the living and the dead; And His Kingdom will have no end.

And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Life-Giver, Who proceeds from the Father, Who with the Father and the Son is equally worshipped and equally glorified, Who spoke by the Prophets.

And in One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

I confess one Baptism for the remission of sins. I look for the Resurrection of the Dead; And the life of the Age to come.

Amen.

 

The Acclamations

This is the faith of the Apostles, this is the faith of the Fathers; this is the faith of the Orthodox; this faith has established the Church. When this faith was violated of old by Arius, Eunomios, and Macedonius, and by those who were of one mind with them, and they spoke unrighteousness loftily against the most almighty and one Divinity of Three equally powerful hypostases, dividing Him into different honours and essences, then their strength was cast down by the God of wonders. But now, after a period of many years, their impiety is introduced again into our Church, having found appropriate instruments; for just as then, the authors of that wickedness divided the one essence, equally honoured and Divine Trinity into different essences, so also do the present workers of irreligion godlessly divide the one Divinity of three hypostases and of one glory into different honours and ranks. However, it is not our task at the present time to speak of where and how the tares of evil sprouted in the Church of God, except that it came to pass through satanic spite and through the wickedness of them who held the first place in the Church. We deemed it both just and our duty, by the power of Christ our True God, to record first the acclamations and blessings due to those who maintained piety even unto death itself, which acclamations our Saviour confirms with His own right hand from on high, receiving them like approved incense, and secondly the curses which the godless lay upon themselves, so that impiety might be placed under anathema and the corrupt members be cut off by the sword of the Spirit, lest evil seize the opportunity to corrupt the whole body of Christ's Church.

Wherefore, the following we affirm:

To those who confess and accept the holy Symbol of Faith unaltered, neither adding nor removing anything from it, but who extol it as the issue of the Holy Spirit:

Memory eternal!

 

To those who confess that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father alone, with no intermediary, just as the Son is begotten from the Father alone, with no intermediary, according to the testimony of God the Word Himself to His apostles at the season of His passion for the salvation of the world when He said, But when the Paraclete comes, Whom I will send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth which proceeds from the Father, He shall testify of Me, and to those who accept unaltered this divine testament of our God and Saviour, Jesus Christ

Memory eternal!

 

To those who know and believe that the Father is the only source of the superessential Godhead, and that the Son and the Holy Spirit possess their existence from the Father directly and with no intermediary, like two stems or flowers from one root, or like two superessential lights, according to the great Dionysius, eminent in divine things, or like two beams from one sun and two rivers from one headwater, as the divine Gregory of Nyssa declares; but who do not accept the impious and spurious teachings which contend that the Son is related to the Father directly and with no intermediary, but that the Holy Spirit is distant and mediated, and thus these teachings alienate the Holy Spirit from the Father's hypostasis and introduce some sort of interval and limit between the Father and the Spirit, and so fall into the abyss of tritheism; wherefore, to those who do not accept such innovations of the heretics, but who even unto death itself confess unadulterated the word of piety,

Memory eternal!

 

To those who believe and confess one perfect God in three perfect hypostases, in Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the Father being perfect God, the Son being perfect God, the Holy Spirit being perfect God, the Holy Trinity one perfect God; the Father is not a defective God, the Son is not a defective God, the Holy Spirit is not a defective God; the Holy Trinity is neither a compound God nor a composite of imperfect parts, but the divinity is entire and perfect in the Father, the divinity is entire and perfect in the Son, the divinity is entire and perfect in the Holy Spirit; to those who confess that the Holy Trinity is one divinity, simple and immeasurable, neither measured by degrees nor constrained by any subordination, and that this Holy Trinity possesses one honour, glory, and throne like one simple God,

Memory eternal!

 

To those who accept and espouse the holy, venerable, and ecumenical seven synods: namely, the first which was assembled against Arius, the second against Macedonius and Apollinarius, the third agains Nestorius who was of Jewish opinion, as well as the fourth against the Monophysites, the fifth against the Monothelites, and the seventh against the Iconoclasts, and also the local synods which shone with Orthodoxy in their formulated canons and definitions,

Memory eternal!

 

As the prophets have seen, as the apostles have taught, as the Church has received, as the teachers have set forth in dogmas, as the world has understood, as grace has shone forth, as the truth was demonstrated, as falsehood was banished, as wisdom was emboldened, as Christ has awarded, thus do we believe, thus do we speak, thus do we preach the holy and immaculate and blameless Faith, by the grace of our true God Who said, Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. Wherefore, to all who have struggled by giving themselves over to be ill-treated even unto death itself for the sake of piety,

Memory eternal!

 

To Conon, John, Mark, Clement, Maximus, Theodoretus, Barnabas, Jeremiah, Gregory, Joseph, Gerasimos, and Herman, who were truly righteous martyrs and confessors and champions of Orthodoxy, who after many unbearable ill-treatments underwent death by fire,

Memory eternal!

 

 

The Anathemas

So likewise do they who despise and disdain piety receive curses; wherefore, we all in unison, since we constitute the fullness of piety, lay upon them the curse which they have put upon themselves.

To those who do not deign to consent to the unaltered and unadulterated holy Symbol confessed by the Orthodox, that one, I mean, which was evangelically formulated by the First and Second Holy Synods and confirmed by the rest, but who rather amend it and distort it to support their own belief, thereby not only corrupting the synodal traditions of the Holy Fathers and of the holy and God-instructed apostles, but also the definitions of our true God and Saviour, Jesus Christ,

Anathema!

 

To those who do not confess that the Holy Spirit proceeds and has His existence from the Father with no intermediary in the same manner as the Son is begotten from the Father with no intermediary, according as God the Word Himself taught and as the Church has received from on high through the fathers, and who account as worthless the tradition of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ and accept impious and spurious doctrines which contend that the Son is related to the Father directly and with no intermediary, but that the Holy Spirit is distant and mediated, and who thus alienate the Holy Spirit from the Father's hypostasis and introduce some sort of interval and boundary between the Father and the All-holy Spirit, and so fall into the gulf of tritheism,

Anathema!

 

To those who undertake to teach contrary to our Master Christ and who declare that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and from the Son, from the Son directly and with no intermediary, but indirectly from the Father and with an intermediary, that is, as the Son proceeds directly from the Father, so the Spirit proceeds from the Son; and to those who dare to say that the Son is the immediate cause of the Spirit while the Father is the removed cause, as though the Spirit were operatively from the Son but only potentially from the Father and who thus introduce degrees and successions of cause and effect in the simple and indivisible Trinity,

Anathema!

 

To those who affirm differences of glories and dignities in the supremely-hymned Trinity and who dare to say that the Holy Spirit is third in dignity from the Father and second from the Son, and thus they undertake to sever the one, simple divinity which is of one honour, glory, and throne, and subsequently, they declare that the three hypostases differ from one another and are, consequently, three different gods; wherefore Gregory the Theologian cries out in his discourse on the Holy Spirit, So that the distinction of the three hypostases may be preserved in the one nature and dignity of the godhead; and yet again, For the worship of the one is the worship of the three because of the equality of dignity and godhead among the three. Wherefore, to them who, as was said, sever the one tri-hypostatic divinity of one glory into three different dignities,

Anathema!

 

To those who impute an order of rank to the supremely-hymned and indescribable Trinity, that is, that there is a primary, a secondary, and a teritiary, as there is in all things subject to time and separated by place — wherefore, Basil the Great cries out Not by addition do we number, making an increase from one to many and saying one, two, and three, or first, second, and third; for God says, I am the first and I am hereafter — and who do not confess, instead, an order according to the differences of the hypostatic properties — in other words, the Father's property of being unbegotten, the Son's property of being begotten, and the Holy Spirit's property of procession — for as Dionysius, eminent in theology, declares: The properties of the superessential, divine generation are not interchangeable in regard to one another. The Father is the sole source of the superessential godhead, since the Father is not the Son, nor the Son, Father; for the hymns reverently guard the properties of each of the divinely ruling hypostases, wherefore, to those who, as was said, subordinate the Son to the Father and the Holy Spirit to the Son when they speak of first and second and third in rank,

Anathema!

 

To those who, according to their own irreligion, wrongly construe this passage from the divine Fathers Maximus and Tarasius, The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father through the Son, and who do not interpret this passage according to the word of truth, that is, in the same manner as from the one sun the two powers of illumination and warming possess their existence directly and without intermediary, since neither the illuminating power has its existence from the warming, nor the warming from the illuminating, but through the illuminating power the warming power proceeds from the sun and is received by all creation, for their energies proceed from the sun and exist inseparably and simultaneously, yet remain unconfounded; so too, the phrase through the Son signifies simultaneity and is understood to mean with — for the divine Basil declares, The Son, who has made known through Himself and with Himself the Holy Spirit proceeding from the Father, and Who has alone shone forth as the Only-begotten from the Unbegotten Light and in yet another place, the Holy Spirit is known through the Son and with the Son and concurrently with Him — but who rather squander their time attempting to replace the preposition through with the preposition from, as if it concerned creatures or a kind of genealogy or some root and its fruit — for as concerns these things, the third is from the first through the second; the third is from the second immediately and operatively, but from the first potentially and indirectly — wherefore, to those who godlessly attempt to misconstrue the procession of the All-holy Spirit from the Father through the Son,

Anathema!

 

To those who in any way dare to dogmatise that the Father's essence consists of being unbegotten, that the Son's essence consists of being begotten, and the Spirit's essence consists of proceeding, and who shamelessly confess three particular essences — wherefore, the most theological John of Damscus cries out, but the names Father and Son and Spirit and cause and caused and unbegotten and proceeding are to be understood in differentiation, for they do not declare the essence, but mutual relationship and the mode of existence before him, Gregory, the Great Theologian, also proclaimed, For neither is being beginningless or unbegotten the nature of the unoriginate, nor is He Who has an origin separated by that fact from the unoriginate; for having an origin is not the latter's nature, just as being beginningless is not the former's nature; for these are not the nature, but about the nature. And in his sermon at Pentecost, he declares thus: All that the Father has, the Son has also, except being unbegotten; all that the Son has, the Spirit has also, except being begotten; these things do not define the essence, rather they are referred to as being about the essence wherefore, to those who, as we have said, dare to dogmatise concerning the Holy Trinity that the Father's essence consists of being unbegotten, the Son's essence consists of being begotten, and the Spirit's essence consists of proceeding and who shamelessly confess three essences, and thus, by word and deed, they introduce tritheism,

Anathema!

 

To those who teach that the Holy Spirit proceeds and has His existence from the essence of the Father and the Son, and who establish the essence of both the Father and Son as cause of the essence of the All-holy Spirit and so they teach that in the Holy Trinity there is an essence that causes and an essence that is caused, one opposed to the other; to those who reckon diverse essences in the Holy Trinity and do not confess that antithesis, multiplication, and division; cause and caused; and unbegotten, begotten, and procession refer to the hypostases and to the properties of the hypostases, but who claim instead that these terms refer to the essence and who sever into diversities the ineffable essence of the single divinity,

Anathema!

 

To those who confess the Holy Spirit to be from the essence of the Father and the Son, and who so confess, not in order to manifest the one essence, but to designate the cause, and who say that the essence of the Father and of the Son is the cause of the essence of the All-holy Spirit,

Anathema!

 

To those who say that the Holy Spirit proceeds and has His existence from the Father and the Son, and that, as God, there is one cause of procession and one principle, that is, both the Father and the Son together, and who by this teaching alienate the Holy Spirit from the godhead,

Anathema!

 

To those who do not confess that the procession is the mode of existence for the All-holy Spirit, just as the begetting is the mode of existence for the Son, but who declare that the term to proceed is identical to the terms: to pour forth, to issue, to emanate, to well forth, to radiate, to exist, to shine forth, to gush forth, and to emit; and who therefore conclude that the Holy Spirit proceeds also from the Son; who do not understand that these terms refer to the whole and are general, and apply not only to the procession of the All-holy Spirit and to the begetting of the Son, but even to providence itself; wherefore, to those who do not differentiate those terms from procession and who thus confound and violate the hypostatic property of the All-holy Spirit and His mode of existence,

Anathema!

 

To those who misinterpret according to their own ungodliness the saying of the divine apostle which declares, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son and who endeavour to teach that the Holy Spirit both proceeds and has His existence from the Son, and who do not understand that it is one thing to belong to someone, but another thing to have existence from someone — for according to the divine and great Basil, the Spirit is said to be the Son's because they are in accord, equal in honour, and apprehended together inseparably, but never because He has His existence from the Son, as those impious ones declare — to whom be,

Anathema!

 

To those who misunderstand the doctrine that the cause of the Holy Spirit is one, justifying themselves by adducing the reason that everything the Son has is referred to the first cause, for example, the forgiveness of sins, the preparation for the joy of the righteous, the knowledge of that day and hour, and His being the only true God, and who reckon the procession of the Holy Spirit, His hypostatic property, to be an achievement and operation of the divine will,

Anathema!

 

To those who wrongly expound the pronouncement of the divine John of Damascus who states, We do not say that the Holy Spirit is from the Son, nor do we say the Son is from the Spirit for they say, Although the Damascene does enjoin us to say that the Spirit is rot from the Son, he does so because the Spirit is not from the Son as from a first and non-contiguous and mediated cause, for it is in this manner that the Holy Spirit is from the Father; but we definitely affirm that the Holy Spirit is from the Son, contiguously and immediately; wherefore, to those who do not take into account the second part of that statement of the divine John of Damascus, namely, nor do we say the Son is from the Spirit, and who distort the pronouncements of the saints to support their own evil opinion,

Anathema!

 

To those who teach that the exactness of the image is to be understood in the sense of cause, that is, the Son is the image of the Father because He is from the Father, so the Holy Spirit is the image of the Son because He is from the Son; and do not consider that if the Son is the cause of the All-holy Spirit, it would be necessary for the Holy Spirit to be the cause of another hypostasis in order to retain the exactness of the image; wherefore to those who do not confess that the exactness of the image refers to the likeness and to the identity of the natural operation — for they whose operation is common have also a common nature — but who interpret the exactness of the image as referring to the cause,

Anathema!

 

To those who godlessly misunderstand the pronouncement of divine Gregory of Nyssa which says, So again, the Holy Spirit is in touch with the Only-begotten, Who only according to cause is regarded theoretically as prior to the Spirit's hypostasis, and who do not understand that the determinate cause of the Son is begetting, while that of the All-holy Spirit is procession, and that the Son as Son is theoretically regarded as prior on account of the nomenclature of the inter-relationships which lead to divine knowledge of the Spirit's hypostasis, but who say instead that the Son is the cause of the Spirit's hypostasis,

Anathema!

 

To those who teach that the Holy Spirit proceeds and has His existence from the throne of God and the Lamb, and who declare that He obtains His existence from creatures — if, of course, the throne of God is a creature — according to the scriptural word, Heaven is my throne and the Lamb is the humanity of the Master Christ for the sake of the passion; to those who by this teaching confess the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, the one God of the Holy Trinity, to be a creature,

Anathema!

 

To those who irreligiously misunderstand the saying of the Saviour Christ, He shall glorify Me; for He shall receive of Mine and shall show it unto you, and who declare that the Holy Spirit shall receive His existence from the Son, and thus, through this interpretation, they establish the Spirit as being subject to time and as being recent and subsequent to the divine apostles, and who do not confess that this saying signifies the identity of will and operation, but who explicitly proclaim that the Spirit shall receive His existence from the Son,

Anathema!

 

To those who dogmatise that the divine in-breathing is the hypostasis of the All-holy Spirit and not the spiritual gift to bind and loose sins, even as Christ Himself said and as the throng of the Holy Fathers has delivered to us — and moreover, these words which after His resurrection the Savior Christ spoke to the apostles, But tarry ye in Jerusalem until ye be filled with power from on high, after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you and in another place, If I go not away, the Paraclete will not come unto you — to those, therefore, who teach that the Holy Spirit which was breathed upon the apostles by Christ is the hypostasis of God the Comforter and who thereby contend that the Holy Spirit proceeds and has His existence from the Son,

Anathema!

 

To those who debase the hypostasis of the All-holy Spirit to a distribution and communication of gifts, and thereby reject the one God of the Holy Trinity, the Comforter, and who suppose the hypostasis of the All-holy Spirit to be divisible according to the divine existence and Godhead, and also communicable to the righteous, in a greater or lesser degree,

Anathema!

 

To those who misinterpret the statement of the divine Athanasius which says, But to the disciples showing His own divinity and majesty, and intimating that He was no longer inferior to the Spirit but greater and equal, He gave the Spirit, and said Receive ve the Holy Spirit, and who assert from the above quotation that the Son is greater than the All-holy Spirit by reason of cause and who do not confess that He is equal in glory and essence but greater than the apportioned grace, as the same Athanasius the Great says, so to those who affirm that the word greater manifests the cause,

Anathema!

 

To those who recklessly teach that there are some natural properties common to Father and Son but not common to the All-holy Spirit, and who say, in their own words, Of the natural properties of Father and Son, the Holy Spirit shall have no share, and who proclaim by such words that the Holy Spirit is of a different nature from Father and Son,

Anathema!

 

To those who falsify and variously corrupt the divine, sacred writings of the divine fathers, that is, of the great Athanasius, Basil the Great, Epiphanius of Cyprus, Cyril, and Maximus the Confessor, and the remaining divine and Orthodox holy fathers,

Anathema!

 

To those who accept spurious texts and read them to the people in order to deceive them and to destroy the Orthodox Faith, and who slander, first, the divine and great Basil, who supposedly said, The word of piety has delivered to us that the Spirit is to be second in rank to the Son, since from Him the Spirit has His being and from Him He receives and declares, and He is entirely dependent on that Cause, and then Athanasius the Great, who supposedly said, And the Holy Spirit is an emanation of the Father and of the recipient Son, and elsewhere again, The Holy Spirit is from the Father and the Son, not made, not created, not born, but proceeding; and then also Gregory of Nyssa, The Holy Spirit is said to be from the Father and is also confirmed to be from the Son, and moreover the divine Chrysostom, This is the Spirit proceeding from the Father and the Son, which divides His own gifts as He wills, and in another place, We say that this Holy Spirit is equal to the Father and Son and proceeds from the Father and Son; to those, therefore, who accept these interpolated texts and attempt to deceive the simpler among the Orthodox,

Anathema!

 

To those who assail the divine Fathers and who endeavour to dogmatise contrary to Photios, the most holy patriarch, Theophylactos of Bulgaria, Euthyrnios Zigabenos, John Phournes, the First of Mount Ganos, Nicholas of Methone, and to the remaining champions of piety, and who slander these genuine champions of godliness for their devotion to the true dogmas of the Church of Christ and call them deceivers and distorters of the Orthodox Faith,

Anathema!

 

To those who offer unleavened bread, in sacrifice and who thereby scorn God the Word's incarnation and symbolically advocate Apollinarios' heresy — for Apollinarios taught that the Lord took upon Himself a heavenly body without soul or mind, and he also said that the Lord came forth from Mary only in appearance, as if passing through a tube; for in Adam, on account of the fall, sin of thought was inherent in the human mind, while sin of action was inherent in the flesh; therefore, if God the Word took upon Himself human nature, He would not be without sin; but He really was without sin, therefore, He did not take upon Himself human nature, but a pure and sinless, heavenly body, fashioned without soul or mind, from all eternity in heaven, with the divinity of the Only-begotten filling up the place of soul and mind; wherefore, these texts were offered in proof: "No man hath ascended up to Heaven, but He that came down from Heaven and being found in fashion as a man; wherefore, the initiates of this Apollinarios celebrated a sacrifice of unleavened bread, which contained neither leaven nor salt, corresponding, it is said, to the assumed soul-less body, for the leaven is mixed in for a figure of the soul, and the salt for the mind; wherefore they fashion their bread even a year beforehand and store it away and call it pure, and after the prayer, they decree that the bread is leavened, even as the heavenly body invented by them possessed a mind and soul after the union with the divinity, and that it is separated from the other breads of oblation offered for the saints, just as that heavenly body is not consubstantial with the saints — to those, therefore, who offer unleavened breads for sacrifice and who deny the incarnation of God the Word,

Anathema!

 

To those who in any way undertake investigations into new doctrines concerning the divine and incomprehensible Trinity and who search out the difference between begetting and procession, and the nature of begetting and procession in God and who increase words and do not abide and persist in the definitions handed down to us by both the disciples of Christ and the divine fathers; and who thereby uselessly strive to dispute over things not delivered to us,

Anathema!

 

To those who scorn the venerable and holy ecumenical Synods, and who despise even more their dogmatic and canonical traditions; and to those who say that all things were not perfectly defined and delivered by the Synods, but that they left the greater part mysterious, unclear, and untaught,

Anathema!

 

To those who hold in contempt the sacred and divine canons of our blessed fathers, which, by sustaining the holy Church of God and adorning the whole Christian Church, guide to divine reverence,

Anathema!

 

To all things innovated and enacted contrary to the Church tradition, teaching, and institution of the holy and ever-memorable fathers, or to anything henceforth so enacted,

Anathema!

 

Condemnation of the Writings of John Beccus*

In addition to the foregoing, all things written and dogmatised by Beccus and publicly taught by him in the Church, all the texts falsified both by him and by others and evilly construed to the fabrication and certification of that heresy assailing the Holy Spirit, let them be placed under anathema.

He has said the following: First, it is necessary to set forth with demonstrations all the written passages in which they who have at various times theologised concerning the Trinity are shown as expressly proclaiming that the Holy Spirit has His being from the essence of the Father and the Son; which is exactly what the Church of the Italians advocates in saying that He proceeds from both. Herein he says that the essence of the Father and Son is cause of the essence of the All-holy Spirit, and he confesses an essence which is cause and an essence which is caused, which are opposed antithetically with respect to their relationship. But the terms cause and caused do not denote the essence but the relations to each other and the mode of existence; the terms cause and caused refer to the essence and are not the essence, as the divine fathers teach; thus to say that the Holy Spirit is of the essence of the Father and the Son denotes the consubstantiality but certainly not the cause.

He says then again, Supported by the doctrines of the great saints and following their convictions, the church of the Italians proclaims the Son to be from the Father only, but says that the Holy Spirit is from both the Father and from the Son; however, she clearly advocates and confesses one principle in the Holy Trinity, because she knows from the teaching of the fathers to refer all that the Son has to the Father, the first cause. To say that the Spirit is from the Father and from the Son and to believe that there are not two causes of the Spirit is founded upon no other reason than this one: that everything of the Son is referred to the Father, the first cause. Herein, to avoid two causes, he confesses the Holy Spirit to be a creation, for the creative cause is referred to the first cause, the Father, as are all the tokens of the godhead, according to the teaching of Gregory the theologian who says, And if referred to the first cause, as all things of the Only-begotten are, then so are all things of the Spirit, except, of course, for the cause of procession, because it is a hypostatic property, and all hypostatic properties remain immovable; wherefore Basil the Great says to Eunomios, Everything said to have come to pass through the Son has reference to the first cause, the Father (in this pronouncement of the holy Father, come to pass means created). But Beccus, corrupting this text also of that great father Basil, quotes Everything said to be through the Son has reference to the first cause, the Father, and he removed to have come to pass and interpolated to be in order that the cause of procession, as well as the creative cause, be ascribed to the Father by the Son. Whereupon, as if confirmed by this text which he had falsified, he comments on it, saying, Well have we said, like the Italians, that the addition to the text of the Greed that the Holy Spirit proceeds and from the Son (filioque) does not mean that there are two causes of the one Spirit and at one and the same time, he both corrupts and misinterprets the text of that great father, Basil.

He says then again, Since for us there is one Faith, which has come down from the fathers to us, a heritage uttered by God, the which both ecumenical and regional synods established, and the passage of time, from then until now, has confirmed: Let this faith be held unchanged and let nothing hinder us from being at peace with our brethren until the words added by them bring the same understanding of piety. Herein, he slanders all the holy synods and all the Holy Fathers, and he invents the fiction that from the very beginning and outset the Italians had introduced the addition to the divine Symbol of Faith, and that all the holy synods and all the divine fathers accepted it, but that we, out of wickedness only, have cut off those who made such an addition. They who slander the holy synods and all the divine fathers are cast under the anathema.

He says then again, The new theologians and, according to their own lights, sounder dogmaticians than the fathers fabricate differences on their own, and by reason of these spurious differences, they do not accept reconciliation with the Italian Church; for they affirm that the Italian Church says that the Spirit proceeds from the Father and Son, merely because she holds that there is no difference between saying that the Holy Spirit comes forth from the Father and Son, or issues or emanates from Father and Son and saying that the Holy Spirit proceeds from Father and Son. Herein Beccus confuses and debases the mode of existence of the All-holy Spirit, in other words, procession, so that it means coming forth, issuing, and emanating, and the other terms which for various reasons, the divine fathers cited from the utterances of the Son and from divine grace; these terms denote the energies as the divine Chrysostom also cries out, saying Grace is poured out, not the Giver. Therefore, only the term procession declares the mode of existence of the All-holy Spirit, and those other terms do not, just as the Son's is declared by the term begotten.

To return to John Beccus; although he avoids attributing two causes to the Trinity, he falls into another kind of blasphemy and confesses openly that the Holy Spirit is an operation or energy of Father and Son, stating these very words: If one desires even yet to contend, let him go no further, otherwise he will proceed to such blasphemy as to say that He the Holy Spirit has His own operation apart from the Father, for it would not otherwise be possible for him to understand and to call the Father and the Son two causes. Since the Son has no operation apart from the Father, how is it possible for the Father and the Son to be called two causes whether in reference to their creatures or to their own nature? For as great Cyril and greatest Athanasius say, the Holy Spirit is also called the natural operation of the Father, able to fulfill all that He wills; but of those who choose piety, who would ever dare to think that this natural and essential operation is from two causes? Herein he corrupts and misinterprets the writings of the Holy Fathers, because Gregory the Theologian cries out to Eunomios, If the Holy Spirit is an operation or energy, He will be effected but will not effect and will cease to exist as soon as He has been effected, for such is the nature of an operation. How is it then that He works and thus says and separates, and is grieved , and is stirred, and has all the qualities which belong clearly to one that moves, and not to movement? See how Beccus misconstrues some things and falsifies others of his own accord?

Whereupon, again, of his own accord, he brings up definitions alien to piety, stating thus: It is clearly and manifestly found, in all the writings of the more notable theologian saints, that the Holy Spirit exists from the Son by nature, essentially, and hypostatically; I will discuss later whether or not the very term procession from the Son is said also, but with other words. Observe how by himself he adulterates and misinterprets the writings of the Holy Fathers. When did any of the Holy Fathers ever state that the Holy Spirit exists in His whole hypostasis from the Son? All the Church of Christ believes and confesses that we have received from the divine fathers that the Holy Spirit is apportioned and given to the worthy through divine illumination and energy from the Son, naturally and essentially. The Holy Spirit apportioned to the saints is not acquired and external in the Son as it is in the apostles and prophets, for He said to them freely ye have received, freely give. For the Lord, by nature and by essence, grants the grace and operation of the All-holy Spirit to the worthy. However, we have certainly never heard at any time that the Holy Spirit has His hypostatic existence from the Son; rather such a claim is a figment of his wicked mind.

Wherefore, again gathering texts that he or others before him have falsified, he claims and declares, For when in private we were examining the writings of the saints, we would happen upon the passage: the Spirit is emitted essentially by the Son, or the passage: He is hypostatically from the Son, or this one: He shines forth from the Son and is emanated essentially and has His being from Him, or yet this one: the Spirit exists by nature and by essence from the Son. Herein again, it is the spawn of Beccus' own wicked mind to say that the Holy Spirit is hypostatically from the Son. As for the passage, He has His being from Him, that is, the Holy Spirit has His being from the Son, he gladly received it in succession from his own teachers out of the second sowing of the devil; wherefore, all these passages must also be put under the anathema.

 

Note:
* John Beccus was installed as patriarch of Constantinople by Emperor Michael Paleologos VIII to enforce the Union of the Second Council of Lyons (1274) although the overwhelming opinion of the faithful was that Lyons was a mockery and a fraud. Beccus is remembered mainly for his persecution of the Orthodox faithful. When Andronicus II became the new emperor, John Beccus was deposed and the previous patriarch, Joseph, was re-installed. John Beccus was condemned and subjected to anathema by the Synod of Blachernae (1285) as can be read in its Tomos.

 

 

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