30 June 2022

The Angelic Doctor Against the Errors of the Greeks - Part Two - Chapter 26

The general conclusion: that the Spirit proceeds from the Son.

After so many testimonies, however, certain adversaries Footnote (meaning the Greek theologians opposing the Latins from the time of Photius) of the truth refuse to confess the true faith, saying that although the Holy Spirit has been shown to exist, to be spirated, to emanate, and to flow out of the Son, nonetheless that he proceeds from the Son is not to be admitted. For this is not contained in any of the cited authorities; nor in any authority of Holy Scripture, which states that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father, without however joining the Son in this to the Father, when in John 15:26 it is said: When the Paraclete comes, whom I shall send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father. Accordingly, it must be shown how on the basis of the foregoing it necessarily follows that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Son.

Now, of all the words relating to origin, the term procession is found to be more generic Footnote and less specific of a mode of origin. For according to accepted usage we designate as proceeding whatever is from another in any way whatsoever, whether this be naturally from another as Peter is said to proceed from his father, or emissively as breath proceeds from someone breathing, or flowingly as a stream proceeds from a source, or artificially as a house proceeds from a builder, or locally as the bridegroom proceeds from the bridal chamber.

Not everything, however, in any way from another can be described as being spirated, or begotten, or flowing, or emitted. Hence, the term procession is also particularly suitable Footnote to express the origin of the divine persons, for, as observed previously, Footnote the divine is better designated by generic rather than specific terms. So, from any of the points which have been discussed, namely, that the Holy Spirit exists of the Son, flows from him, or is spirated or emanates, it is necessarily concluded that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Son.” Footnote

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