9 thoughts on “The Filioque Controversy – Interview with Allan Ruhl

    • That has been delayed due to its size (700-800 pages) and the delays that have occurred with material printing. I’m assuming because of COVID. Emmaus Academic said that they used to have a 2-5 week wait time from when they send their PDF’s to the printers and received the first copies. However, that is now 12-15 weeks. Speaking of which, the PDF for previewers and endorsers will be available the first week of Feb, and I’ll be sending you that in addition to a free printed copy when that becomes first available.

      This Jan 29th, Emmaus gave me permission to give a fully public announcement on the Papacy/Orthodox book and I will keep everyone posted for when pre-ordering is available. And I will be doing that live on Matt Fradd’s Channel in person at his studio in Ohio.


  1. No mention of Chalcedon and the condemnation of altering the creed of Constantinople regardless of the heresy one was coming from? This has to eventually be dealt with Erick. Seriously. As well as the specific historical context whereby it came about and developed, the purpose behind it and the SOLIDIFYING of the verbal formulation of the creed of Constnatinople and Nicea together (as two, not as one revising the other) as irreformable by a dogmatic definition of an ecumenical council. The theology behind the teaching of the filioque is completely secondary to the issue of whether the content of the creed of Constantinople as such is locked in place by the dogmatic definition of an ecumenical council. Please do a video on that specifically or remember to bring it up in the future. With all due rigor.

    • Well, I think the reverse is true. The Orthodox have committed a heretical crime in condemning the filioque, and the Catholics have, at worst, committed a disciplinary crime. You can’t attribute doctrinal criminality to creedal construction changes without being self-defeated

      • It is not a matter of discipline to restructure the content of dogmatic pronouncements. That is the exact mentality of the modernists. Verbal conformity with a different mindset OR “aggiornamento” of the existing formulae to a degree where they mean nothing as Pius XII complained in Humani Generis.

        Erick, either DOGMATIC DECREES are irreformable of themselves by the very fact of the mode of their pronouncement, or they are not. You cannot eat your cake and have it too. Leo III, John VIII and the synod fathers of 879 recognized this which is WHY they say that you cannot attempt to perfect that which is defined as perfect. This is WHY Leo III considered he did not have the power to alter the creed. Because its formulation was RATIFIED as perfect in its very expression as a dogmatic definition at Chalcedon, reaffirmed at Lateran 649 and the 6th ecumenical council.

        The very attempt to improve upon what has been defined as perfect IS THE MINDSET OF MODERNISM. It is lack of contentment with the dogmatic formulae of the Church.

        Now, explain how that in anyway approximates a fidelity to tradition?

        Let’s keep it clear as well- We BOTH know what Photius was condemning is something the Roman Church claims to have never taught, which really makes it a moot point. And Photius CLEARLY allows those Latin Fathers to perhaps have poorly expressed the truth. He reckons Ausgustine a saint for heaven’s sake.

        Moreover, this interview misses the entire point- The theological correctness of the filioque is POSTERIOR to the issue of whether or not it should have been added to the creed at all. That is why Pope Leo III says in his letters to Smaragdus that just because we also acknowledge the eucharist as true, is it legitimate to add articles of faith about the eucharist to the creed? Absolutely not. And that has nothing to do about the real presence.

        So then, let us ask THIS question- is the Latin version of the creed something OTHER than the universal creed of Constantinople? Is it a particular and local creed? If not, then Rome has illegitimately modified a universal creed without the consent of the Churches in violation of the Dogmatic decree of Chalcedon. If it IS, then it is NOT the creed of Constantinople, but rather the creed of Lateran 1274 or Florence. But then it has no business posing as the creed of Constantinople, which then goes to the issue of the infallibility of dogmatic facts, so badly shaken since Vatican II and the canonization of people who are directly responsible for the destruction of the liturgy in the Roman Church.

        This needs to be dealt with at the level of the irreformability of dogmatic decrees. Are dogmatic decrees, and indeed the very formulation of dogmatic decrees, irreformable?

        Hint- Double check Vatican I, Lamentabili and Pascendi first.

      • Internetsecurity82,

        My personal phone has changed (btw) in case you were trying to call or text. I’ll e-mail the new number just in case you’d like to bring this to a conversation level. But I do have a short answer here.

        This is the text of Chalcedon:

        “These things, therefore, having been expressed by us with the greatest accuracy and attention, the holy Ecumenical Synod defines that no one shall be suffered to bring forward a different faith (ἑτέραν πίστιν), nor to write, nor to put together, nor to excogitate, nor to teach it to others. But such as dare either to put together another faith, or to bring forward or to teach or to deliver a different Creed (ἕτερον σύμβολον) to as wish to be converted to the knowledge of the truth, from the Gentiles, or Jews or any heresy whatever, if they be Bishops or clerics let them be deposed, the Bishops from the Episcopate, and the clerics from the clergy; but if they be monks or laics: let them be anathematized.”

        In the first sentence, there is a ban on bringing forward “a different faith”. Full stop. This is entirely to do with doctrinal content, because corrupt doctrine will corrupt souls. The prohibition of a different creed is in this same vein, and so I feel entirely justified in saying that this locked-nature of the creed was towards the goal of protecting the faith from that which would threaten souls and their salvation. The difference between the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed and the Nicene Creed is not a difference of orthodoxy versus heterodoxy, but one of a customary discipline versus another customary discipline. Likewise, the nature of the difference between the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed or the Nicene-Creed and the Apostles Creed, or even the Athanasian Creed (universally embraced for catechetical purposes in the West), is not one of heterodoxy versus orthodoxy, but of customary discipline versus another customary discipline.

        To try and say that the difference between them is one of heresy (or dogmatic violation) would be to shove an alien category into mixture. No Orthodox Christian has the right to infer that the Apostles Creed or the Nicene Creed is heterodox, harmful to souls, or that it can potentially be the cause of a heretical infection. And yet, the Creed that was locked at Chalcedon was the Nicene-Constantinopolitan (and yes, I realize they see Nicaea and Cple 381 as consubstantially one creed). This difference is not one of heresy versus orthodoxy, and we shouldn’t be burdened with the fear that it is.

        Now, can the Chalcedonian lock upon the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed, a 5th century creation, be of such a nature that adding orthodox content to it would render it a doctrinal violation ? Here we enter into metaphysics and philosophy. In the first place, since the Creed locked in 451 is a late 4th century creature, and its being locked is a 5th century accident, the Creed qua Creed cannot merge into the definitive revelation given to the Apostles. That should be philosophically obvious to everyone. Since the Creed of 451 qua Creed is a 5th century accident, and one which only accidentally exhibits divine revelation, its orthodox modification is entirely within lawful potentiality. To say otherwise would be to say the Creed of 451 qua Creed is conflated with the data of revelation, which would mean that divine revelation did not stop until the 5th century, which contradicts the Church’s faith.

        Now, you try to compare the creedal construction of 451 with the textual formula of dogmatic decrees (either in Council or via the Pope’s ministry). However, if you examine the texts of the Nicene dogma, there was a lawful development at Cple 381, Ephesus 431, and Chalcedon 451. These expansive developments to prior textual formulae was not deemed a heretical modification, even though some did try to think that way (c.f. Dioscorus and the Diocese of Egypt). Or how about the controversial Synod of Cple 553, which went beyond expansive development to dogmatic-textual construction, but even had to quasi-revise Chalcedon’s 10th session on the letter of Ibas? Moreover, if you see the Lyonese textual-formula of the Filioque, it is not word-for-word the same as the Florentine textual-formula. Likewise, the textual-formula of the Pope’s primacy given at Lyons 1274, Lateran 1215, and Florence were not (qua textual construction) verbatim as the decrees of the 1st or 2nd Vatican Councils. Everyone knew this was permissible in light of the nature of the expanding developments, i.e. they were orthodox modifications.

        As for Pope Leo III, who was emphatic that the Filioque was an orthodox doctrine according to divine revelation, this is what I am aware of him saying (and I cite from Aidan Nichols). If you have other information that I’m not providing thenceforth, please let me know:

        “I dare not say that what they did they did badly, since undoubtedly they omitted other matters of faith as well even though they knew them… I dare not say that they understood less of this than we do. If they thought of it, why did they omit it? Or why, having admitted it, did they prohibit anything else from being added? See how I feel towards you and your people! I shall not say that I prefer myself to the fathers. Far be it from me to count myself their equal” (PL 102:971-76; taken from Rome and the Eastern Churches, pg. 238)

        I don’t see anything in here that would indicate an orthodox modification to the creed would be a dogmatic violation. What I see is a Pope who believes that it would be detrimental to change the creed, and that he entirely prefers to trust the wisdom of the ancients.

  2. Erick,

    Considering that this is my first comment on your site, let me begin by thanking you for your work as well as your contributions to Reason & Theology. I have grown and learned substantially more in the past year by listening to Michael, William, and yourself, than I have in the past seven years since I reverted and embraced my Catholic faith.
    I simply wanted to ask if you could direct me towards some introductory material on the filioque. Also, you recommended St. Cyril of Alexandria’s Commentary on the Gospel of John in a previous video posted over a year ago. Is there any particular edition that you would recommend? I am curious to see the relation between both he and Maximus that you referred to in the video.
    Forgive me if you’ve posted book suggestions in previous posts, I am trying to navigate through your blog as best I can.

    Francis W.

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