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Volume 6, 2008

Perspectives Latines et Byzantines

Marie-Hélène Congourdeau
Pages 51-58

Les pères peuvent-ils se tromper? Saints, didascales et pères à Byzance sous les Paléologues

Towards the end of the Byzantine Empire many texts of the Latin Fathers were translated into Greek, beginning with the De Trinitate of Augustine. This flurry of translation spurred discussion on the authority of the Fathers. The Greeks were now confronted with the problem of what one should do when the (presumably infallible) Fathers justify apparent heresy (the Filioque) ? This question became crucial after the Council of Florence and the fall of the Byzantine Empire. What is the definition of a Father? A saint? A disciple? Is it possible to honour a Father and yet refuse to follow him on a particular point of doctrine?