The Catholic teaching of the Filioque, which states that the Holy Spirit eternally comes from the Father and the Son, has long been a subject of conflict between the Western and Eastern Churches. While recent attempts to reach ecumenical agreement have claimed to bridge this gap, their proposed solutions not only ignore but contradict the consensus reached by West and East alike at the fifteenth-century Council of Florence, which defined the doctrine and clarified its roots in the teaching of the Church's Fathers.
In Vindicating the Filioque, Thomas Crean, O.P., makes a forceful ecumenical defence of the doctrine's reality and the authority of its Florentine explanation, basing his argument on Catholic and Orthodox foundations. The first section of the essay provides a detailed treatment of patristic witness about the procession of the Spirit—material crucial to the Florence conciliar discussions and of lasting theological significance. Crean investigates the nature of ecumenical councils in the second half, relying on the previous seven councils to construct criteria for conciliar ecumenicity and authority that may be used to assess the Council of Florence's position. The final section discusses the Council of Florence itself, demonstrating how it meets the conditions for an ecumenical council and responding to challenges to its authority.
Vindicating the Filioque demonstrates the soundness of the Florentine definition of the Holy Spirit's procession and its importance as a basis for lasting East-West unity by combining thorough study of patristic texts, sensitivity to theological common ground, and historical attentiveness to the acta of the council.
Hardcover. 496 pages.