In a recent survey that asked members of the Russian Orthodox church if they believed the Filioque of the Nicene Creed was correct, over two-thirds of respondents agreed that “and the Son” is right.
During the Great East-West Schism of 1054, a major point of contention was the addition of the Latin term Filioque into the Nicene Creed. Today, the Nicene Creed is prayed such that the Holy Spirit proceeds “from the Father and the Son,” but before the addition of the Filioque was prayed that the Holy Spirit proceeds only “from the Father.” The translation of the Latin term and how it is understood led to the controversy.
However, the Sreda Research Service based in Russia shows that the controversy may not be as widespread as it once was. Below is a translated excerpt from the organization’s report:
Which of the statements do you think is right: “Does the Holy Spirit come from the Father and the Son” or “does the Holy Spirit come only from the Father”?
From the Father and the Son [69%]
Only from the Father [10%]
None of these statements [3%]
Difficult to answer [18%]
We have been conducting studies of Orthodox religiosity in Russia for a number of years, and our working hypothesis was that most of the respondents would choose the option “I do not know”. But it turned out to be wrong: the respondents did not “find it difficult” when answering the question about Filioque.
69% of Orthodox Russians agreed with the statement that ‘the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and from the Son.’ One is inclined to be silent for a minute to grasp this fact in its entirety.
This is not the first time such signs of unity and ecumenism have been shown. In 2003, an agreement was reached on the matter of the Trinity by US Catholic and Orthodox leadership in a joint statement.