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THE GHOST OF ARIANISM IN THE CHURCH TODAY

Discussion in 'One Bread, One Body - Catholic' started by Michie, Jan 27, 2021.

  1. Michie

    Michie Human rights begin in the womb. Supporter

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    Heresies are like weeds. They keep coming back. The thing is, they come back in different guises. In the fourth century Arianism was part of the great debate over the divinity of Christ and therefore the definition of the Holy Trinity.

    In the course I am teaching at Avila Institute on How St Benedict Changed the World we spent part of Monday night’s first session discussing the heresy of Arianism. The heresy began with the teaching of Arius in the mid third century, and spread throughout the Empire. Missionaries from the Eastern part of the empire went North and the Gothic tribes were converted to Arianism. In our discussion of Benedict we pointed out how, when he was a young man studying in Rome around the year 500, Italy was ruled by the Gothic king Theodoric the Great who was Arian.

    Arianism developed into not just a theological problem, but a major schism. The Arians had their own churches, their own bishops and their own temporal powers, like Theodoric, supporting them. At the core of Arianism was a denial of Nicene christology. Put simply, they believed that Jesus was the “Son of God” but he was not the second person of the holy and undivided Trinity who took human flesh of his blessed mother. He was, instead, a created being–a demi god and therefore subordinate to God the Father.

    St Athanasius who famously battled against Arianism noted that the Arians were subtle theologians. They used ambiguous language and spoke in vague terms. They were more interested in pastoral care than dogma. They were also, for the most part, the more educated and from the ruling classes. Arianism was a much more believable form of Christianity. Jesus as a created subordinate to the Father was more palatable intellectually than the full blooded doctrine of the Incarnation which led to the intellectual difficulties of the doctrine of the Trinity.

    Today Arianism takes a different form, and comes to us in the guise of humanism. By ‘humanism’ I mean that belief system that takes man as the measure of all things. This humanism is a conglomeration of different modernistic beliefs, but the summary of it all is materialism– that this physical world is all there is, human history is all that matters and the advancement of the human race in this physical realm is the only thing fighting for.

    Continued below.
    The Ghost of Arianism in the Church Today | Fr. Dwight Longenecker
     
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