Clemens Trinitas

Steven Avery

Clemens Trinitas

RGA - p. 37
contrasts this with the orthodox formulation in the creed Clemens Tritiitas est una divinitas, also known as the “creed of St Augustine” (Southern France, fifth/sixth century; text given in Denzinger, 2001, 49-50, $ 73-74). Although Clemens Trinitas does not contain the comma in its classical form, it contains the phrase tres unum sunt (here with the status of a symbolum) with an enumeration of the persons of the Trinity, creating an oddly ungrammatical sentence (Itaque Pater et Filius et Spiritus Sanctus, et tres unum sunt).

Itaque Pater et Filius et Spiritus Sanctus, et tres unum sunt


Expositio fidei catholicae: Clemens Trinitas (4th or 5th century)
• [Denzinger] This formula was also called "Fides catholica Sancti Augustini episcopi" (Codex Augiensis
Reichenau XVIII, 9th century, ed. KüBS). It originated in the 5th or 6th century in the south of France and then
came to Spain. Ed. I. A. de Aldama, in: Greg 14 (1933) 487f / KüA 65f / KüBS 147f; see 12. - Reg.: CIPL
1748. ("#73–74: Confession »Clemens Trinitas«" in Denzinger, Enchiridion symbolorum definitionum et
declarationum de rebus fidei et morum, 2017, p. 44)
• [Aldama] The symbolic collection represented by the two codices of Paris B. N. lat. 2076 and 2341, is largely
composed of anti-Arian symbols; such are that of Nicea, that of S. Gregorio Taumaturgo, the Libellas fidei of
Gregorio de Elvira and the Fides S. Ambrosii more than once cited. These symbols in the manuscript
transmission are not characteristic of any region, given the great diffusion they reached. The other group of
symbols received in the collection is made up of the Quicumque, the Fides Damasi and the Clemens Trinitas.
This group can be characteristic for the origin of the collection. In the current state of science, the presence in it
of the Quieumque leads us to the south of Gaul. With this we can have an indication of the origin of the
collection and of our symbol.
• [Aldama] On the other hand, we have numerous indications to place the collection's homeland in Gaul. We
have indicated before, that the text of the Hispana used by the author is no longer legitimately Spanish, but
one of the first that ran through Gaul; to the same region we are taken by Quicumque, Gennadio's Definitio
ecclesiasticorum Dogmatum, Alcuino's treatises, and perhaps pseudo-Augustinian sermons 242, 237-239, etc.
In fact, the author of the collection has used pieces of African origin for a long time, at the same time as
Hispana and the works of S. Isidoro. But precisely all this falls very well in the region in which we locate the
cradle of our symbolic collection. Thus, the two unique collections that up to the present have transmitted the
symbol we are studying seem to have originated in Gaul. Both appear, in addition to our symbol, the
Quicumque and the Fides Damasi. But there is a Spanish document, through which we can affirm that the
Clemens Trinitas formula, even without belonging to the peninsula, actually entered it and in it he exerted his
literary influence. The interesting thing is that our symbol does not appear there alone, but accompanied again
by the Quicumque and the Fides Damasi.
• [Aldama] The collection of the Augiensis is well known that Künstle gave it as Spanish and of the sixth
century; moreover, as an official of the church of Spain and composed in connection with the Council of Toledo
in 589. It has recently been denied that the collection goes back to such an ancient time: there is no reason to
suppose that the pieces of S. Isidoro, Alcuin and some more contained in it are later additions. We cannot
even believe that it is Spanish. Neither the presence of the two Toledan symbols I and XI, nor that of the
anathematisms corresponding to the first and the Toledo Councils of 589 and Braga of 563, neither the text of
the Nicene symbol without the canons, nor the use of the Constantinopolitan, prove in any way, as Künstle
wants, the Spanish origin of the collection. All these texts could be taken from Hispana, whose great diffusion
is known, and we have certain indications to believe that the Hispanic used by the collector was the Hispanic
who had already crossed the Pyrenees and had suffered not a little at the hands of imperious scribes. That
Künstle alludes to are more decisive. For the pieces by an unknown author, which he also attributes to Spain,
wanting to see in them a whole flourishing anti-priscilianist literature; the vast majority certainly do not belong
to the peninsula. (Aldama, "El Simbolo 'Clemens Trinitas' notas para su texto y su historia, 1933, p. 495-498)
• The merciful Trinity is one divinity. That is why Father and Son and the Holy Spirit are one source, one
substance, one force, one power. We say that the Father is God, the Son is God and the Holy Spirit is
God, not three gods, but we profess one mercifully. For, naming three persons, we profess with a
The Witness of God is Greater
Mike Ferrando Page 164
Catholic and apostolic voice that only one is the substance. Therefore, Father and Son and Holy
Spirit, and "the three are one" [cf. I Jo 5.7]. Three, neither confused nor separated, but distinctly
united and uniquely distinct; united in substance, but distinct in names, united in nature, distinct in
people, equal in divinity, similar in majesty, agree in the Trinity, participants in splendor. They are one,
in such a way that we must not doubt that they are also three; there are three, in such a way that
we must say that they cannot be separated from each other. (Formula "Clemens Trinitas", 4-5th
o Latin: Clemens Trinitas, una divinitas. Pater itaque et Filius et Spiritus Sanctus, unus fons, una
substantia, una virtus, una potestas est. Patrem Deum, et Filium Deum, et Spiritum Sanctum
Deum, non tres deos esse dicimus, sed unum piissimi confitemur. Name tres manentes
personas unam esse substantiam catholica atque apostolica profitemur voce. Itaque Pater et
Filius et Spiritus Sanctus, et "tres unum sunt" [cf. 1 Io 5,7]. Nec tres confusi, nec divisi, nec
distincti, sed coniuncti, uniti substantia, sed discreti nominibus, coniuncti natura, distincti
personis, aequales divinitate, consimiles maiestate, concordes trinitate, participes claritate. Qui
ita unum sunt, ut tres quoque non dubitemus; ita tres sunt, ut separai a se non posse
fateamur. (Formula "Clemens Trinitas", 4-5th century; Denzinger, Enchiridion Symbolorum
definitionum et declarationum de rebus fidei et morum, 1908, p. 14)