The Profession of Faith
Father as “the source and origin of the whole divinity.”
eternal origin of the Spirit is not unconnected with the Son’s origin:
“The Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, is God, one and
equal with the Father and the Son, of the same substance and also
of the same nature . . . . Yet he is not called the Spirit of the Father
alone, . . . but the Spirit of both the Father and the Son.”
of the Church from the Council of Constantinople confesses: “who
with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified.”
The Latin tradition of the Creed confesses that the Spirit
“proceeds from the Father
and the Son
).” The Council of
Florence in 1438 explains: “The Holy Spirit is eternally from Father
and Son; He has his nature and subsistence at once (
) from the
Father and the Son. He proceeds eternally from both as from one
principle and through one spiration . . . . And, since the Father has
through generation given to the only-begotten Son everything
that belongs to the Father, except being Father, the Son has also eter
nally from the Father, from whom he is eternally born, that the
Holy Spirit proceeds from the Son.”
The affirmation of the
does not appear in the Creed
confessed in 381 at Constantinople. But Pope St. Leo I, following an ancient
Latin andAlexandrian tradition, had already confessed it dogmatically in
even before Rome, in 451 at the Council of Chalcedon, came to
recognize and receive the Symbol of 381. The use of this formula in the
Creed was gradually admitted into the Latin liturgy (between the eighth
and eleventh centuries). The introduction of the
into the Niceno-
Constantinopolitan Creed by the Latin liturgy constitutes moreover, even
today, a point of disagreement with the Orthodox Churches.
At the outset the Eastern tradition expresses the Father’s charac-
ter as first origin of the Spirit. By confessing the Spirit as he “who proceeds
from the Father,” it affirms that he
The Western tradition expresses first the consubstantial communion be-
tween Father and Son, by saying that the Spirit proceeds from the Father
and the Son (
). It says this, “legitimately and with good reason,”
for the eternal order of the divine persons in their consubstantial commun
ion implies that the Father, as “the principle without principle,”
first origin of the Spirit, but also that as Father of the only Son, he is, with
the Son, the single principle from which the Holy Spirit proceeds.
72 Council of Toledo VI (638): DS 490.
73 Council of Toledo XI (675): DS 527.
74 Nicene Creed; cf. DS 150.
75 Council of Florence (1439): DS 1300-1301.
76 Cf. Leo I,
(447): DS 284.
78 Council of Florence (1439): DS 1302.
79 Council of Florence (1442): DS 1331.
80 Cf. Council of Lyons II (1274): DS 850.