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Nicene Creed
Question from Michael Schmidt on 11/21/2002:

Why do the Eastern Churches profess that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father, not the Father and Son?

Answer by Anthony Dragani on 12/20/2002:

Michael,

The Eastern Churches use the original version of the Nicene Creed, which states that the Holy Spirit "proceeds from the Father." This reflects the Eastern theological tradition, espcially as it was formulated by SS. Basil the Great, Gregory Nazianzus, and Gregory of Nyssa.

The version of the Creed which states that the Holy Spirit "proceeds from the Father and the Son" is particular to the Latin Church, and reflects the Latin theological tradition, as formulated by St. Augustine.

Despite the tragic historical baggage associated with this question, I am firmly convinced that both traditions are complimentary, not contradictory. Pope John Paul II has demonstrated profound respect for the Eastern tradition in this matter, and routinely recites the Eastern version of the Creed when celebrating the Mass in Greek or when participating in an Eastern liturgy.

God Bless, Anthony

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