José María Yanguas Sanz e-mail(Inicie sesión)

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José María Yanguas Sanz e-mail(Inicie sesión)


The faith in the Holy Spirit, pacifically possesed during the first three centuries of the Church life, was seriously questioned in the fourth century; the arrian heresy, condemned in the Council of Nicea, directed its attacks against the Third Person of the Holy Trinity, by denying His divine nature and placing Him on the same level as the creatures.

We observe the prompt reaction of those who maintained upright the catholic orthodoxy as the faith of the Church is hurt in one of its essential truths. Basil the Great plays over these years such an important role that the doctrine stated by the Council of Constantinople some years after, has its roots in the thought of the Capadocian.

Availing himself of the controversy aroused by his liturgy on the Trinity, the Holy Doctor wrote his Treatise on the Holy Spirit where he exposes in an accomplished way the right doctrine of the divinity of the Holy Spirit; the book is the first formal treatise on pneumatic theology and comes up to be a key chapter in the History of Theology.

The decisive fact that the Holy Scripture mentions the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit in the baptismal command given by the Lord to the Apostoles, and the evident datum that the names as well as the operations attributed to the Holy Spirit are common to the other Divine Persons, caused Basil to affirm the "koinonia" of the nature in the center of the Trinity; the separation of the Holy Spirit from the Father and the Son would amount to emptying out the meaning of the first of the christian dogmas.

The peculiar and difficult circumstances in which the Church found itself in those moments, prevented Basil from speaking his mind distinctly, not to increase division; for this reason, he principally used the term "homótimos" instead of the nicene word "homoousios". The close connection, however, of "homótimos" to "homoousios" is noticeable all throughout his work.

Finally, the unity of divine nature is of such kind that all seems to imply that in Basil's mind -although perhaps in an unconscious manner, since this is not the question to be discussed- the idea of what we call numerical unity of divine nature is present.

Basil completes his reasoning in behalf of the divinity of the Third Person, affirming that his way of proceeding finds its roots in the Tradition of the Catholic Church.


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