Today is the Feast Day of another great Doctor of the Church, St. Peter Chrysologus.
St. Peter Chrysologus is known for his succinct and defining sermons, explaining in particular the texts of Holy Scripture, the Mystery of the Incarnation and the heresies of Arianism and Monophysitism.
Arianism, although it had been condemned at the Council of Nicea in 325 and was defeated intellectually around the time of St Peter Chrysologus' birth and the Council of Constantinople in 381, still held sway in parts of Christendom and threatened political danger for the Church. It continued to do so for several hundred years.
The Arian heresy, of course, disputed the very nature of the Holy Triune God.
Belloc, in The Great Heresies described it as "... a declaration that Our Lord was as much of the Divine Essence as it was possible for a creature to be, but that He was nonetheless a creature.... He was created (or, if people did not like the word 'created,' the He 'came forth') from the Godhead before all other effects thereof"
In Saint Athanasius, Defender of the Faith, Michael Davies wrote that "Its essence is that the Son is somehow less than the Father, subordinate to him".
Bishop Rudolph Graber, warns us in his book Athanasius and The Church of Our Time, first published in 1973, that "What happened over 1600 years ago is repeating itself today...". He went on to write "In his encyclical on Modernism Pope Pius X called it the repository of all heresies. And indeed, if we look back at the early Church, we can see the old false doctrines of those days reappearing in new garb. Arius, who denied that the Logos was of one substance with the Father, lives on.... The central dogma of our Faith is to all practical purposes denied".
The Arian creed went something very much like this:
"I believe in God.
Not in a Catholic God.
There is no Catholic God.
There is God.
And I believe in Jesus Christ, His Incarnation.
Jesus is my teacher and my pastor.
But God the Father, Abba, is the light and the Creator".
St. Peter Chrysologus, pray for us.