Thursday, December 31, 2015

Fighting Bishops, Heresies, Today's Solemnity, and YOU!

Notes from my homily today that I preached off of:

Some brief history

Ecumenical council – a council working on the unity of the entire Church throughout the world

325 we had our first ecumenical council – the council of Nicea.  A priest named Arius had a teaching that had spread far and wide –

Christ was NOT God in the fullest sense – Christ was CREATED…a DEIFIED human being

OVER HALF the bishops of the world are believed to have been following Arius teaching in 325

St. Nicolas, at the council, after Arius presented his side, walked over and slapped Arius

Arius is eventually condemned and exiled.  It took many years for the people following Arius to return to the Church.  Some still hold to his teaching.  Hardly anyone has heard of his Church today.  It is insignificant.

So, there was debate, violent at times, but eventually, the Church came out and said on this question – “You are either in bounds or out of bounds, that there are things you can think and believe that are OUTSIDE the realm of the Church, things that can NOT be believed by Catholics”

Third ecumenical council involved today’s Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God
431 in Ephesus

Nestorius vs. Cyril of Alexandria

Again there was fighting

Nestorius – we can’t really say Mary is the Mother of God…we can say she’s the Mother of CHRIST, but not the Mother of God

Cyril – If Mary is the Mother of Christ, she’s the Mother of God

Fracture again as some held to Nestorius view.   It took a long time, decades, for unity to return to the Church.  Today, some people still follow Nestorius’ teaching, but no one has hardly heard of them


1)      We can laugh at the violence – but do we care that much?

2)      Do we think there is an “in bounds” and an “out of bounds”? 

Do we know all the teachings of our Faith, particularly those things that the Church has definitively said “These are in bounds, and these things over here are distinctly out of bounds and not up for discussion?

The Church does allow for debate, discussion, collaboration, etc.  That’s what all the Ecumenical Councils have been – but when the Church rules definitively, are we on board?  Do we know what all those teachings are? 

3)      May 2016 be a year where we learn about those teachings, and learn the “why’s” – Formed, RCIA, etc.

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