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Contra errores Graecorum, ad Urbanum IV Pontificem Maximum (Against the Errors of the Greeks, to Pope Urban IV ) is a short treatise (an "opusculum") written in 1263 by Roman Catholic theologian Saint Thomas Aquinas as a contribution to Pope Urban's efforts at reunion with the Eastern Church.Aquinas wrote the treatise in 1263 while he was papal theologian and conventual lector in the Dominican studium at Orvieto after his first regency as professor of theology at the University of Paris which ended in 1259 and before he took up his duties in 1265 reforming the Dominican studium at Santa Sabina, the forerunner of the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Angelicum, in Rome.
The title of the treatise was not given by Aquinas himself, and it contains nothing that is directed against the doctrine of the Eastern Orthodox Church, but only, in the view of theologian Yves Congar, a defence of Catholic doctrine against Eastern misunderstandings.
The 72 chapters of the work are each of the length of a paragraph in a modern book. In it Aquinas presents the teaching of the Greek Church Fathers as in harmony with that of the Latin Church.The book is arranged in two parts, the first of 32 chapters and the second of 40, each part preceded by a prologue, and the work as a whole concluded with an epilogue. All the first part and 31 of the 40 chapters of the second concern pneumatology (doctrine on the Holy Spirit). Of the final 9 chapters, 7 deal with the position of the Roman Pontiff, and the last two with the use of leavened bread in the Eucharist and with purgatory. In all of these Aquinas quoted expressions by Fathers of the Greek Church in support of the teaching propounded by the Latin Church.
Aquinas died on his way to participate in the 1274 Second Council of Lyons, to which he had been invited, but this treatise, which he had written eleven years before and not for the use of this Council,was influential at the Council.
The 1968 Leonine edition is available in Latin at the Corpus Thomisticum website.
A complete English translation is given at the website of the Dominican Province of St Joseph.
A different English translation, but only of the first ten chapters, is found at the website of Ecclesia Triumphans Catholic Apologetics.
The titles of the first ten chapters given in the latter translation indicate something of the contents of the short work:
In his treatise, Aquinas "demonstrated that there was a theological harmony between the Greek Church Fathers and the Latin Church".He pointed out that one source of misunderstandings between Greeks and Latins was the difficulty of finding appropriate words in each language` with which to translate technical theological terms used in the other:
The apologetic impact of the work is limited, due to the fact that Thomas uses a collection of texts compiled by Nicholas of Crotone which contains doubtful attributions and personal glosses of the compiler that bent the text in direction of the Latin theology. According to Jean-Pierre Torell, "on four specific questions concerning the procession a filio, the primacy of the pope, the Eucharistic celebration with unleavened bread, and purgatory, Thomas is clearly forced to rely more on the texts that are closer to Latin theology, when these are in fact glosses foreign to the Fathers."
Filioque is a Latin term added to the original Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed, and which has been the subject of great controversy between Eastern and Western Christianity. It is not in the original text of the Creed, attributed to the First Council of Constantinople (381), the second ecumenical council, which says that the Holy Spirit proceeds "from the Father", without additions of any kind, such as "and the Son" or "alone".
The Nicene Creed is a statement of belief widely used in Christian liturgy. It is called Nicene because it was originally adopted in the city of Nicaea by the First Council of Nicaea in 325. In 381, it was amended at the First Council of Constantinople, and the amended form is referred to as the Nicene or the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed. It defines Nicene Christianity.
The Christian doctrine of the Trinity holds that God is one God, but three coeternal consubstantial persons or hypostases—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—as "one God in three Divine persons". The three persons are distinct, yet are one "substance, essence or nature" (homoousios). In this context, a "nature" is what one is, whereas a "person" is who one is. The subset of Christianity that accepts this doctrine is collectively known as Trinitarianism, while the subset that does not is referred to as nontrinitarian. Trinitarianism contrasts with positions such as Binitarianism and Monarchianism, of which Modalistic Monarchianism and Unitarianism are subsets.
Anicius Manlius Severinus Boëthius, commonly called Boethius, was a Roman senator, consul, magister officiorum, and philosopher of the early 6th century. He was born about a year after Odoacer deposed the last Western Roman Emperor and declared himself King of Italy. Boethius entered public service under Ostrogothic King Theodoric the Great, who later imprisoned and executed him in 524 on charges of conspiracy to overthrow him. While jailed, Boethius composed his Consolation of Philosophy, a philosophical treatise on fortune, death, and other issues, which became one of the most popular and influential works of the Middle Ages. As the author of numerous handbooks and translator of Plato and Aristotle, he became the main intermediary between Classical antiquity and following centuries.
The Johannine Comma is an interpolated phrase in verse 5:7–8 of the First Epistle of John. It became a touchpoint for Protestant and Catholic debates over the doctrine of the Trinity in the early modern period.
"Gloria in excelsis Deo" is a Christian hymn known also as the Greater Doxology and the Angelic Hymn/Hymn of the Angels. The name is often abbreviated to Gloria in Excelsis or simply Gloria.
The Sanctus is a hymn in Christian liturgy. It may also be called the epinikios hymnos when referring to the Greek rendition.
Mark of Ephesus was a hesychast theologian of the late Palaiologan period of the Byzantine Empire who became famous for his rejection of the Council of Ferrara-Florence (1438–1439). As a monk in Constantinople, Mark was a prolific hymnographer and a devoted Palamite. As a theologian and a scholar, he was instrumental in the preparations for the Council of Ferrara-Florence, and as Metropolitan of Ephesus and delegate for the Patriarch of Alexandria, he was one of the most important voices at the synod. After renouncing the Council as a lost cause, Mark became the leader of the Orthodox opposition to the Union of Florence, thus sealing his reputation as a defender of Eastern Orthodoxy and pillar of the Eastern Orthodox Church.
God the Son is the second person of the Trinity in Christian theology. The doctrine of the Trinity identifies Jesus as the incarnation of God, united in essence (consubstantial) but distinct in person with regard to God the Father and God the Holy Spirit.
The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are an enumeration of seven spiritual gifts originating from patristic authors, later elaborated by five intellectual virtues and four other groups of ethical characteristics. They are: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord.
The Shield of the Trinity or Scutum Fidei is a traditional Christian visual symbol which expresses many aspects of the doctrine of the Trinity, summarizing the first part of the Athanasian Creed in a compact diagram. In late medieval Europe, this emblem was considered to be the heraldic arms of God.
Homoousion is a Christian theological term, most notably used in the Nicene Creed for describing Jesus as "same in being" or "same in essence" with God the Father. The same term was later also applied to the Holy Spirit in order to designate him as being "same in essence" with the Father and the Son. Those notions became cornerstones of theology in Nicene Christianity, and also represent one of the most important theological concepts within the Trinitarian doctrinal understanding of God.
Hugh Etherianus or Ugo Eteriano, was an adviser on western church affairs to Byzantine emperor Manuel Comnenus. Nothing is known of his family apart from a letter sent after his death by the Pope to his brother Leo, nicknamed Tuscus, which mentions a "nephew," possibly Hugh's son. He studied under Alberic in Paris some time before 1146, then was in Constantinople from about 1165–82. He and his brother Leo Tuscus, were Tuscans by birth, employed at the court of Constantinople under the Emperor Manuel I Comnenus. Hugh was a Catholic theologian and controversialist, who became a Cardinal at the end of his life.
The Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church have been in a state of official schism from one another since the East–West Schism of 1054. This schism was caused by historical and language differences, and the ensuing theological differences between the Western and Eastern churches.
The Latin Church, also known as the Western Church or the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest particular church sui iuris of the Catholic Church, and employs the Latin liturgical rites. It is one of 24 such churches, the 23 others forming the Eastern Catholic Churches. It is headed by the bishop of Rome, the pope – traditionally also called the patriarch of the West – with his cathedra in this role at the Archbasilica of Saint John Lateran in Rome, Italy. The Latin Church traces its history to the earliest days of Christianity through its direct leadership under the Holy See that according to Catholic tradition was founded by Peter and Paul.
For the majority of Christian denominations, the Holy Spirit, or Holy Ghost, is the third person of the Trinity, the Triune God manifested as God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, each entity itself being God. Nontrinitarian Christians, who reject the doctrine of the Trinity, differ significantly from mainstream Christianity in their beliefs about the Holy Spirit. In Christian theology, pneumatology refers to the study of the Holy Spirit. Due to Christianity's historical relationship with Judaism, theologians often identify the Holy Spirit with the concept of the Ruach Hakodesh in Jewish scripture, in the belief Jesus was expanding upon these Jewish concepts. Similar names, and ideas, include the Ruach Elohim, Ruach YHWH, and the Ruach Hakodesh. In the New Testament it is identified with the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit of Truth, the Paraclete and the Holy Spirit.
The history of the Filioque controversy is the historical development of theological controversies within Christianity regarding three distinctive issues: the orthodoxy of the doctrine of procession of the Holy Spirit as represented by the Filioque clause, the nature of anathemas mutually imposed by conflicted sides during the Filioque controversy, and the liceity (legitimacy) of the insertion of the Filioque phrase into the Nicene Creed. Although the debates over the orthodoxy of the doctrine of procession and the nature of related anathemas preceded the question of the admissibility of the phrase as inserted into the Creed, all of those issues became linked when the insertion received the approval of the Pope in the eleventh century.
The position of the Eastern Orthodox Church regarding the Filioque controversy is defined by the Bible, teachings of the Church Fathers, creeds and definitions of the seven Ecumenical Councils and decisions of several particular councils of the Eastern Orthodox Church.
The episcopal or pontifical blessing is a blessing imparted by a bishop, especially if using a formula given in official liturgical books.