Wednesday, May 2, 2012

St. Athanasius - Proof that Poser Catholics Have Had Influence Before

Today the Church celebrates St. Athanasius, whose title in the Church is "Father of Orthodoxy" (tell me that isn't the best title of all time!).  St. Athanasius was also the MVB of the Council of Nicea (Most Valuable Bishop). 

The Council of Nicea was called to clear up doctrine on Church teaching.  A guy named Arius was running around telling everyone Christ was only a human being and not the 2nd Person of the Trinity.  The Aryans, though, weren't some schismatic group on the fringes...they held tremendous sway and   The Aryans had enough influence to get Athanasius jailed FIVE different times.  The Aryans also had a tremendous following just based on shear numbers as the controversy nearly saw the Church torn in two (it wouldn't have actually been torn in two, there would have been the real Church and a fraud, but you get the point).

Sound familiar?

It should because we see a similar phenomenon in our own Church today, although the new schismatics would never care to fight over something as blatantly dogmatic as the Divinity of Christ - they prefer to ambiguously muddy the waters about ALL teachings of the Church. 

We need new St. Athanasiusses!  We also need a deepening of the knowledge of the laity so that they can refute the modern day folks who would seek to tear off a huge chunk of the Church (some by "working within the Church")!  We need priests as well who can teach and lead people to that level of deeper understanding.  We need some more homilies on things that actually matter.  St. Athanasius --- pray for us!


  1. If I call correctly, most of the Roman army was Arian as well. It's one of those episodes Chesterton noted that looked like the Faith was going to the dogs, but it was the dog that died.

    We need some more homilies on things that actually matter.

    Amen. When I see stories of a church being protested or vandalized, I of course think it is vile, but I also note with a kind of amusement that if your church isn't being protested or vandalized every month or so, you are not doing something right. If you are not taking flak, you are not over the target.

  2. You...Fr. John Hollowell...., are a light in the darkness!!! Thank you for using the internet to reach so many of us who hunger for ORTHODOXY!!!
    You are definitely a MVP (Most Valuable Priest).
    I (for 1) am ETERNALLY grateful for your fidelity to Christ, His Church, and the Holy Vocation He has given you!!! God Bless You!!! Sincerly, Dennis Mazerolle (Canada)

  3. Fr,

    I believe it was the Arians, not the Aryans. Aryans are something else entirely.

    Also, St. Athanasius was not yet a bishop at the time of the First Council of Nicea. He was there accompanying Bishop Alexander of Alexandria as his secretary. Everything he accomplished at the council, he accomplished as a priest.

    "For there must be also heresies: that they also, who are approved, may be made manifest among you." (1 Cor 11:19)

    Athanasius contra mundum!

    1. Yeah, I typed in "Arians" and spell checker came up; when I changed it to a "y" it went away - that's what I get for being a lazy writer!

      I didn't realize Athanasius was only a priest at Nicea; that is pretty incredible that he wasn't a bishop at that point. Thanks for the heads up.