Whether the Divine Nature Suffers in Christ’s Crucifixion?

This is an ongoing question in contemporary protestant theology. However, it has already been answered. I knew for instance that Thomas Aquinas and John Damascene had already answered the question by appealing to the distinction between the divine and the human persons natures. The human nature suffers, the divine one does not, being impassible. Today, however, I was reading some old skool conciliar decisions and came across this little gem:

 

 

Si quis dixerit, quod in passione crucis dolorem sentiebat Deus, et non caro cum anima, quam induerat–forma servi, quam sibi acceperat, sicut ait Scriptura–Filius Dei Christus: non recte sentit.

Which, being translated, is:

 

If someone were to say that in the passion of the cross God felt pain and not the flesh with the soul, which he had put on–the form of a slave, which he himself had taken, as the Scriptures say: he does not think correctly.

This comes from Pope St. Damasius I (366-384) and it records the decisions of the Council of Rome (382). The reference is to Denzinger (1937), #72. It is also worth noting that the decision only says that this is an error, not outright heresy, since every other mistaken proposition about Christ in the list is anathematized. This one is just wrong.

4 Responses to Whether the Divine Nature Suffers in Christ’s Crucifixion?

  1. haldendoerge says:

    Do Aquinas and Damascene actually say it like that? That there are two persons in Christ one of whom suffers and one of whom does not? That’s, uhh, Nestorianism.

  2. scholasticus says:

    Sorry, my typo. The orthodox position is that there are two natures in one person, one of which suffers and the other of which does not. I’ll correct the error above.

    s

  3. Halden says:

    Ahh, ok. Well, be all this as it may I still contend that natures don’t suffer, persons do.

  4. […] the contrary, is the opinion of the council of Rome:  If someone were to say that in the passion of the cross God felt pain and not the flesh with the […]

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