knows the Father except the Son and any one to whom the Son
chooses to reveal him.”
For this reason the apostles confess Jesus to be the Word:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and
the Word was God”; as “the image of the invisible God”; as the
“radiance of the glory of God and the very stamp of his nature.”
Following this apostolic tradition, the Church confessed at
the first ecumenical council at Nicaea (325) that the Son is “consub
stantial” with the Father, that is, one only God with him.
second ecumenical council, held at Constantinople in 381, kept this
expression in its formulation of the Nicene Creed and confessed
“the Only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages.
God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begot-
ten, not made, consubstantial with the Father.”
The Father and the Son revealed by the Spirit
Before his Passover, Jesus announced the sending of “an-
other Paraclete” (Advocate), the Holy Spirit. At work since crea
tion, having previously “spoken through the prophets,” the Spirit
will now be with and in the disciples, to teach them and guide them
“into all the truth.”
The Holy Spirit is thus revealed as another
divine person with Jesus and the Father.
The eternal origin of the Holy Spirit is revealed in his
mission in time. The Spirit is sent to the apostles and to the Church
both by the Father in the name of the Son, and by the Son in person,
once he had returned to the Father.
The sending of the person of
the Spirit after Jesus’ glorification
reveals in its fullness the mys-
tery of the Holy Trinity.
The apostolic faith concerning the Spirit was confessed by
the second ecumenical council at Constantinople (381): “I believe
in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from
By this confession, the Church recognizes the
66 The English phrases “of one being” and “one in being” translate the Greek
which was rendered in Latin by
67 Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed; cf. DS 150.
2; Nicene Creed (DS 150);
14:17, 26. 16:13.
14:26; 15:26; 16:14.
71 Nicene Creed; cf. DS 150.