According to St Jerome

The whole world groaned, and was astonished to find itself Arian.

But from what I have read at the council of Nicea, Arianism was only held by a few bishops of the 318 (Eusebius of Nicomedia seems to have been one such example), and the articulated Arian proposition was promptly torn up and it seems the issue was resolved with the creed.

Did Arianism have a second wave, was the matter not uniformally resolved at this Council?

Hello Darryl,

I believe Arianism was indeed a problem for several hundred years in the West. I’m sure it ebbed and flowed, but if I remember things correctly there were times when hundreds of bishops had fallen to the Arian heresy and the orthodox bishops were few and far between.

I also believe it was repeatedly condemned, but didn’t disappear overnight after one council.


IIRC, most of the bishops by the time of Nicea had fallen to Arianism. Emperor Constantine also preferred Arianism, but understood that there was division in the Church as to what the proper teaching was (thus calling the Council). The Pope himself, though, St. Sylvester I, had not accepted Arianism. Neither had most of the faithful. The Pope therefore used the teachings of the apostles (most especially, the Gospel of John) and the sensus fideii{/i] of the people to convince the bishops of their error. The bishops were horrified that they had been led so far astray, and came out of the Council with the Nicene Creed to help protect against further heresy. Arianism, though, didn’t die out quickly - there were many, especially in the East, that held to the heresy. And there were future heresies that would arise in the future that would be even more damaging than Arianism, first and foremost being the Monophysite heresy - which led to the first major schism after the Council of Chalcedon.

Being as charitable as possible, in all actuality Arianism continues today via the Jehovah Witness faith, Islam, and to a certain extant the Church of Latter Day Saints.

The Goths who ruled some largely Catholic countries adhered to Arianism hence their regimes were unfortunately easier to dislodge by invaders than would have been the case had they integrated better with the mindset and community of their subjects. :frowning:

To be fair , they held more of a semi Arianism , still terrible though :frowning:

What are the differences in Arianism and simi Arianism?


Semi Arianism is a heterodox view , it’s Trinitarian, but says " similar substance "

Extra History does a great run-down of the early Church heresies.

The Council of Toledo in sixth century Spain was called to address Arianism. That same council gave us the filioque.

From the posts so far, it appears that the major problem of Arianism has been resolved by the Catholic Church. Nonetheless, here is a contemporary question. Is anyone aware of modern or stealth Arianism which exists today?

In addition, in my opinion, stealth Arianism can be seen in Progressive Christianity and in the beginning paragraphs of Humani Generis, Pope Pius XII. And in the first adult biography I read as a child.

Could we now be in a “third wave”?


Obviously non-Christian religions and atheists/deists deny the divinity of Christ. Is it proper to call them arians? I don’t think so either. An element of arianism will always be present because it is impossible to completely separate the Christian faith from the world.

I also agree with the point of the article, but Father presents it in a way that seems as if he thinks there is a mounting army of arianists waiting to pounce. I think the current atmosphere of denying Christ’s divinity has more to do with secular distractions/distortions which hold science and ‘having fun’ up above everything. Combine that with some types of protestantism and other non-Christian religions plus a general attitude of sloth among western countries; and voila, we have an “I’m okay, you’re okay” culture.

I had similar thoughts. Father wanted to give “stealth Arianism” the blame for today’s culture of infidelity. But I believe Newman saw the real enemy 150 yrs. ago: Liberalism. He spent his life combating it. It is THE ORTHODOX belief in the Post-Christian West. IOW, Liberalism is no longer a threat, it has in fact TRIUMPHED all over the West. The US and Europe are completely in its grip.

Liberalism is that belief that all religions are basically the same. It is the Anti-dogmatic principle that undergirds all of today’s “inclusiveness” and reducing every dogmatic belief into just an opinion in a surging sea of equally valid opinions. The reason that Science has become the West’s new religion is because it is the closest thing we have to objective Truth anymore, and even that can be overturned with any random new discovery. :shrug:

Thank you so much for reading the article. This article was presented in a CAF thread which died.

My guess is that the people who attended a workshop with me on modern Arianism at Franciscan University, Steubenville, are probably dead. For the most part, my memory of what we discovered about modern Arianism is long gone. However, there was something about the article which made me think that it could be a follow-up to that workshop.

Going back to 1950, your correct comment – “I think the current atmosphere of denying Christ’s divinity has more to do with secular distractions/distortions which hold science and ‘having fun’ up above everything.” – could easily have been one of the observations which led to the beginning paragraphs of Humani Generis where the word “eirenism” (sic) is used.

I would appreciate further understanding of the applied elements in this sentence. “An element of arianism will always be present because it is impossible to completely separate the Christian faith from the world.” It seems to me that would be important for apologetics.

Thank you so much for reading the article. This article was presented in a CAF thread which died.

The first time I read the article, I stepped back because it definitely seemed that the author wanted to give “stealth Arianism” the blame for today’s culture of infidelity. However, having seen Arianism in an adult biography of Jesus Christ, which I read as a kid, I became somewhat patient with the author. Obviously, when I read the book’s chapter on the loaves and fishes meal, I had never heard the word Arianism. Maybe when we are little, we instinctively know the power of Divinity even though we may not be able to put it into words.

When I was connecting the article’s dots, Liberalism never came into my view. Thank you for presenting it. When you described Liberalism as the belief that all religions are basically the same, are you considering that it is the base for today’s popular Progressive Christianity?

Catholics may not use the exact words Progressive Christianity, but, to me, that sounds like the idea that the Catholic Church needs to update the teachings which flow from the first three chapters of Genesis or the teachings on seeking forgiveness for one’s sins or the teachings on conscience and so on.

Perhaps the difficulty in spotting stealth Arianism is because some, not all, people do not understand the term Emerging Christianity or the older term Big Tent. first definition which also refers to a religious denomination.

Is there a way [hidden] modern Arianism can be connected to Liberalism? It seems to me that there can be times when apologetics could use the fully complete Divinity of Jesus Christ as a solid base. Reading that adult biography of Jesus Christ, my young mind questioned the power of Jesus Christ to teach us right from wrong. If Jesus could not create a simple food miracle, how do we know He is telling us the truth? I was not being brilliant. I was in a long ago generation where we learned the necessity of the full divinity of Jesus Christ because we learned the base of Original Sin. In that era, the Gospel of John, as practiced by the Catholic Church, is understandable because we were grounded in the Divinity of Jesus Christ.

[quote=grannymh]Is there a way [hidden] modern Arianism can be connected to Liberalism?

I suppose there is a connection. In fact if you want a Liberal’s perspective, you can read the book “The Great Dissent” by Robert Pattison.

In it, the author portrays Liberalism as THE great heresy that occupied Newman’s energy. The author (himself a liberal) claims that NEWMAN is the ONLY true and capable opponent of Liberalism. This author traces Newman’s vision of liberalism actually beginning with the Arian Heresy (and of course The Arians was the Title of Newman’s first book.) So there is a link! :thumbsup:

In a nutshell, Newman’s view was that because Liberalism is the anti-dogmatic principle, Arius felt there was plenty of room for his interpretation of Scripture. IOW, his opinion was just as valid as other people’s in the Church, since his interpretation was based on the very same texts as his opponents. So why shouldn’t his reading be just as valid as theirs?

It is also the Protestant principle.

To understand the anti-dogmatic principle (the very foundation of a dogmatic Church like ours) you have to understand the importance of Objective Truth, and whether we humans have the ability to know it.

  1. If anyone examines the state of affairs outside the Christian fold, he will easily discover the principle trends that not a few learned men are following. Some imprudently and indiscreetly hold that evolution, which has not been fully proved even in the domain of natural sciences, explains the origin of all things, and audaciously support the monistic and pantheistic opinion that the world is in continual evolution. Communists gladly subscribe to this opinion so that, when the souls of men have been deprived of every idea of a personal God, they may the more efficaciously defend and propagate their dialectical materialism.(Humani Generis ,1950)

Communism has failed as an ideology but it’s principles live on today in the form of liberalism/progressivism.

Humani Generis is geared toward refuting the notion that evolution proves there is no God. That being said, I’ve heard plenty of evidence from priests educated in Rome who argue that evolution is not incompatible with anything the Church teaches. Since the Church has won this argument, Progressives have moved on to attacking Protestant fundamentalists who take the book of Genesis literally. And attacking the Church on issues such as birth control and marriage.

Thank you for paragraph 5 in *[FONT=Arial]Humani Generis. *The mind of Pius XII is over and above brilliant. Continuing with his Encyclical, there is the timely issue in [/FONT]
paragraphs 11-12. And of course there are the popular paragraphs 35-37.

In respect of this ban Sticky: Temporary Ban on Evolution Threads

I need to point out that in this century, the Catholic Church does not declare doctrines regarding the workings of the material/physical world created by God in Genesis 1:1-25. It is the dramatic shift from Genesis 1: 25 to Genesis 1:26 which signals the domain of the Catholic Church. Unfortunately, there are those modern people, including some, certainly not all, clergy who have set aside the deeper truths (aka doctrines) in order to comport or harmonized Catholicism with this century’s modern scientific world.

What some, certainly not all, people in this century have failed to comprehend is that modern science itself has separated knowledge about the human species from knowledge about bears, bananas, birds, bacteria, and those busy beavers which have never figured out how to build a Hoover Dam.

Whenever someone says — nothing in science is incompatible with Catholic teachings, perhaps one can gently ask this person to take a look in the mirror.

Your local ordinary can explain the whereabouts of heresy, in its most generative form.

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