Author Topic: Prevalence of Catholicism in the Arian Crisis  (Read 355 times)

Joe Cupertino

Re: Prevalence of Catholicism in the Arian Crisis
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2018, 09:32:04 AM »
In the days of Arianism, as in our times, the majority (all?) of the hierarchy possessing authority are swept away by modernism.

Öthe few remaining faithful bishops in those times...

What from the quotes in this thread supports the idea that the majority, or all, the hierarchy in the days of Arianism are swept away by Arianism?  Thatís the very idea these authors are countering.

Why does it have to be from the quotes in this thread?

I would cite Newman, Phillips, and several others.
It doesnít have to be from the quotes in the thread.  2Vermontís question seemed to be in reference to what had been posted in this thread, which was mostly the quotes and the conclusions drawn from them.  So, your reply to her question was confusing, since on one hand you seemed to be replying to what the conclusions drawn from the quotes mean for the present crisis, but on the other hand you were arguing for a different conclusion.  But, maybe 2Vermontís question wasnít in reference to what had been posted.

Either way, I would be interested in seeing what those other authors have said, if you find time to post quotes from them.
 

Anonimus

Re: Prevalence of Catholicism in the Arian Crisis
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2018, 08:46:56 AM »
This article is 17 pages.

It is directly relevant. 

After a few days time to read and absorb the argument being made, I will offer some corroborative citations and commentary:

http://www.newmanfriendsinternational.org/en/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/on-consulting-english1.pdf

You will have to overlook a couple instances where the author purports to find in Newman a justification for certain false doctrines unleashed at Vatican II (another conversation for another time).

If you want to get right to the meat and potatoes, skip ahead to p. 5 and start there (the preceding just explains the temporal context within which Newman's thesis occurred).

And the section which begins the content directly relevant to this thread begins at the bottom of p. 8.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2018, 09:06:09 AM by Anonimus »
 

Joe Cupertino

Re: Prevalence of Catholicism in the Arian Crisis
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2018, 10:47:13 PM »
This article is 17 pages.

It is directly relevant. 

After a few days time to read and absorb the argument being made, I will offer some corroborative citations and commentary:

http://www.newmanfriendsinternational.org/en/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/on-consulting-english1.pdf

You will have to overlook a couple instances where the author purports to find in Newman a justification for certain false doctrines unleashed at Vatican II (another conversation for another time).

If you want to get right to the meat and potatoes, skip ahead to p. 5 and start there (the preceding just explains the temporal context within which Newman's thesis occurred).

And the section which begins the content directly relevant to this thread begins at the bottom of p. 8.
From reading some of the article, Newman, at least while an Anglican, contended that the doctrine of the divinity of Christ was retained and handed down in the fourth century far more by the faithful than by the bishops (the footnote in the article says this is disputed among historians).  In arguing for this, though, Newman affirms that the majority of bishops remained Catholic.  Despite not becoming Arians, Newman says they neglected their duty and failed to give a firm, unvarying, consistent testimony for 60 years after Nicea.
 
The following users thanked this post: Troubled Teen

Anonimus

Re: Prevalence of Catholicism in the Arian Crisis
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2018, 10:23:58 PM »
This article is 17 pages.

It is directly relevant. 

After a few days time to read and absorb the argument being made, I will offer some corroborative citations and commentary:

http://www.newmanfriendsinternational.org/en/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/on-consulting-english1.pdf

You will have to overlook a couple instances where the author purports to find in Newman a justification for certain false doctrines unleashed at Vatican II (another conversation for another time).

If you want to get right to the meat and potatoes, skip ahead to p. 5 and start there (the preceding just explains the temporal context within which Newman's thesis occurred).

And the section which begins the content directly relevant to this thread begins at the bottom of p. 8.
From reading some of the article, Newman, at least while an Anglican, contended that the doctrine of the divinity of Christ was retained and handed down in the fourth century far more by the faithful than by the bishops (the footnote in the article says this is disputed among historians).  In arguing for this, though, Newman affirms that the majority of bishops remained Catholic.  Despite not becoming Arians, Newman says they neglected their duty and failed to give a firm, unvarying, consistent testimony for 60 years after Nicea.

Monsignor Phillip Hughes ("A Popular History of the Catholic Church," Image Books, 1954, p. 28) says:

"The heresy was not new.  When it has previously shown itself its fate had been that of all the first revolts against the tradition.  The bishops, as guardians of the tradition, had condemned it, had warned the believers that this was not Christianity, and ultimately the innovators, expelled from the Church, had formed a dissident body outside it.  Never had they succeeded, after their condemnation, in maintaining both their place in the Church and their heretical opinions.  The reappearance of the heresy was to be the occasion of a revolutionary change in this matter.  The heretics would again be condemned, but they would now resist expulsion, and backed by the Christian emperor, more concerned to avoid riots than to preserve the purity of faith, they would continue to maintain their places, and their offices, in the Church.  They would even, for a moment, hold almost all the key positions, and a day would come of which St. Jerome could say, 'The whole world groaned to find itself Arian.'"

This bolded portion certainly makes it sound as though the Arian bishops were in the majority.

A couple pages later, Monsignor confirms that interpretation:

"The peak of the imperial success was the joint council held in 359, at Rimini for the west, and Selucia for the east, where, under pressure, practically the whole episcopate consented to sign an ambiguous definition of the faith that could be interpreted in an heretical sense [semi-Arian]." (pp. 31-31)
« Last Edit: February 09, 2018, 01:01:09 PM by Anonimus »
 

ubipetrus

Re: Prevalence of Catholicism in the Arian Crisis
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2018, 04:04:20 PM »
Given all of this (and I also saw this in Berry, the same quote, which struck me as rather exceptional as I read it at the time), I have to wonder why the phrase "Athanasius against the world"?  If more of the world was already with him rather than against him it would probably have been "Athanasius and a majority of bishops against a minority."  Doesn't sound as inspiring, but if that's the real history then the original phrase was altogether uncalled for.

As I recall, this was a time when even the general run of society (the laity) considered this a matter of common discussion, e.g.:  "He:  I would like to buy a loaf of bread, please.  She:  If you think the Son is equal to the Father then you are full of it!"  So it is far from clear that even the laity could have been all that helpful.
"My food is to do the will of Him that sent me." - John 4:34
 

Anonimus

Re: Prevalence of Catholicism in the Arian Crisis
« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2018, 05:31:03 PM »
Given all of this (and I also saw this in Berry, the same quote, which struck me as rather exceptional as I read it at the time), I have to wonder why the phrase "Athanasius against the world"?  If more of the world was already with him rather than against him it would probably have been "Athanasius and a majority of bishops against a minority."  Doesn't sound as inspiring, but if that's the real history then the original phrase was altogether uncalled for.

As I recall, this was a time when even the general run of society (the laity) considered this a matter of common discussion, e.g.:  "He:  I would like to buy a loaf of bread, please.  She:  If you think the Son is equal to the Father then you are full of it!"  So it is far from clear that even the laity could have been all that helpful.

Actually Athanasius was one of the only faithful bishops (along with Hilary, Eusebius of Samasota, and a handful of others): It was the majority of the faithful who were with him. 

But the overwhelming majority of the hierarchy had apostatized.

Hence "Athanasius contra mundum."
 

TKGS

Re: Prevalence of Catholicism in the Arian Crisis
« Reply #16 on: February 12, 2018, 05:54:18 PM »
Actually Athanasius was one of the only faithful bishops (along with Hilary, Eusebius of Samasota, and a handful of others): It was the majority of the faithful who were with him. 

But the overwhelming majority of the hierarchy had apostatized.

Hence "Athanasius contra mundum."

This is what I've read in the histories written for the common man.  In fact, this is the only version of events I've ever heard until this topic.

As I recall, this was a time when even the general run of society (the laity) considered this a matter of common discussion...

I have to admit, you're a lot older than I thought!   ;D
 
The following users thanked this post: Troubled Teen

Joe Cupertino

Re: Prevalence of Catholicism in the Arian Crisis
« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2018, 09:43:57 PM »
Monsignor Phillip Hughes ("A Popular History of the Catholic Church," Image Books, 1954, p. 28) says:

"The heresy was not new.  When it has previously shown itself its fate had been that of all the first revolts against the tradition.  The bishops, as guardians of the tradition, had condemned it, had warned the believers that this was not Christianity, and ultimately the innovators, expelled from the Church, had formed a dissident body outside it.  Never had they succeeded, after their condemnation, in maintaining both their place in the Church and their heretical opinions.  The reappearance of the heresy was to be the occasion of a revolutionary change in this matter.  The heretics would again be condemned, but they would now resist expulsion, and backed by the Christian emperor, more concerned to avoid riots than to preserve the purity of faith, they would continue to maintain their places, and their offices, in the Church.  They would even, for a moment, hold almost all the key positions, and a day would come of which St. Jerome could say, 'The whole world groaned to find itself Arian.'"

This bolded portion certainly makes it sound as though the Arian bishops were in the majority.

A couple pages later, Monsignor confirms that interpretation:

"The peak of the imperial success was the joint council held in 359, at Rimini for the west, and Selucia for the east, where, under pressure, practically the whole episcopate consented to sign an ambiguous definition of the faith that could be interpreted in an heretical sense [semi-Arian]." (pp. 31-31)
It's interesting that St. Jerome's "whole world groaned" comment and the Council of Rimini form the underpinnings of Msgr. Hughes conclusions here.  These are the same things Fr. Berry, Fr. Hunter, and St. Alphonsus addressed in the quotes posted earlier in the thread.  As they all noted, St. Jerome's comment was in reference to the Council of Rimini, so it's really just the events around the Council of Rimini that Msgr. Hughes cites for his opinion. 

According to St. Alphonsus, though, the roughly 320 Catholic bishops at that council were fooled and induced by the other 80 Arian bishops into signing a creed that favored the Arians; and far from becoming apostates, the 320 Catholic bishops at the council were staunchly against Arianism from start to end.  According to St. Alphonsus, the formula they signed contained nothing obviously heretical.  They didn't apostatize, but just unwittingly made a mistake that gave the Arians reason to claim a victory. 

Msgr. Hughes' commentary doesn't seem to necessarily contradict St. Alphonsus in this, nor is it very clear that Msgr. Hughes is saying the majority of the hierarchy apostatized.  The closest he gets to saying this is when he says, "They would even, for a moment, hold almost all the key positions."  But he says this in reference to the Council of Rimini, the council at which St. Alphonsus shows no Catholic bishop actually apostatized, but just made a blunder.  If Msgr. Hughes' did intend to convey that the majority apostatized at Rimini, then that's directly contrary to what St. Alphonsus has said.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2018, 09:49:19 PM by Joe Cupertino »
 

Joe Cupertino

Re: Prevalence of Catholicism in the Arian Crisis
« Reply #18 on: February 12, 2018, 10:35:17 PM »
Given all of this (and I also saw this in Berry, the same quote, which struck me as rather exceptional as I read it at the time), I have to wonder why the phrase "Athanasius against the world"?  If more of the world was already with him rather than against him it would probably have been "Athanasius and a majority of bishops against a minority."  Doesn't sound as inspiring, but if that's the real history then the original phrase was altogether uncalled for.

As I recall, this was a time when even the general run of society (the laity) considered this a matter of common discussion, e.g.:  "He:  I would like to buy a loaf of bread, please.  She:  If you think the Son is equal to the Father then you are full of it!"  So it is far from clear that even the laity could have been all that helpful.
It could just be that "Athanasius against the world" was a hyperbole simply meant to convey the extraordinary challenges and attacks he endured and courageously fought against, and wasn't meant to be used as a precise historical statement.

Interestingly, Emperor Constantius used the phrase while confronting Pope Liberius, saying to Liberius, "Who are you to stand up for Athanasius against the world?"  (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09217a.htm).  I doubt Constantius was intending to make a precise assessment of the state of the Church, rather than simply trying to intimidate Liberius into renouncing Athanasius.  Was this the origin of the phrase?  Did Catholics hear of Constantius' words, then turned that phrase around as a battle-cry against him and the Arians?
 

ubipetrus

Re: Prevalence of Catholicism in the Arian Crisis
« Reply #19 on: February 13, 2018, 07:03:37 PM »
Actually Athanasius was one of the only faithful bishops (along with Hilary, Eusebius of Samasota, and a handful of others): It was the majority of the faithful who were with him. 
But the overwhelming majority of the hierarchy had apostatized.
Hence "Athanasius contra mundum."
This is the conventional account I had encountered at every turn and in every place, with such constancy as to constitute sound and accurate historical information.  But in preparing my draft for Sede Vacante! Part One I adopted Fr. Sylvester Berry's work as my second most common source (next to Msgr. G. Van Noort), who explores some aspects not explored by Van Noort, and also offers some different perspectives (and terminology) that I saw as necessary to round out its findings.  It was in that reading that I first came across the exact quote that heads off this thread.  It was far and away the most truly unexpected statement I came across in all of the reading of these and several other works which I quote in that book.

At the time, it seemed to make sense to me that perhaps it was a bit of pious conjecture, since the actual prime source historical data must be rather fragmentary and inconsistent to allow for such disparate historical interpretations, and even accounts, of that whole event.  It was enough for me to back off from any references to the historical events of the Arian Crisis, as reports so varied, within any further works.  And as brought out in this thread, apparently Fr. Berry is not alone, either.  But I still have to wonder.  St. Bellarmine in writing of the same events differs in the one respect that he claims that the Council of Rimini had 600 bishops, as distinct from 450 bishops at the subsequent Council of Constantinople, as proof that the number of bishops is not what gives weight to one Council versus another.  The point remains valid even if the history be mistaken.  What makes a Council authoritative is that the Pope approves it.

But I still had (have?) reason to question this assertion.  At least in the case of Fr. Berry, he makes this claim in the context of claiming that the general run of the bishops cannot all (or even "nearly all") fall into the same error.  Obviously, if the Arian Crisis had been as the conventional wisdom about it reports, then obviously a majority of bishops CAN fall into error (but at least the Pope would still be true, and DOES have more doctrinal weight than even all the rest of the bishops taken together) which directly runs counter to the very point he was trying to make, so of course such an extraordinarily favorable interpretation of historical events (what little is actually known of them) is necessary.

For my book, rather than try to get into the history (which I realized would only open a vast can of worms as to what actually "might" have happened), I balanced that with Van Noort who also discusses this idea with the claim that it is a "majority opinion" among the theologians, with an acknowledged "minority opinion," but even so I have stuck with a policy of not attempting to resolve any questions legitimately open among theologians before Vatican II.  Certainly, it would be easy to put the whole Vatican II morass down to the minority opinion (that such a massive defection is possible to much of the general run of Catholic bishops), as against the majority opinion (which Fr. Berry taught absolutely), and while that might have been a legitimate tack to take, I could not, other than to venture it as a possibility.  Especially not if the Arian Crisis may not be quite the conclusive evidence in favor of the minority opinion as I (and most of us) had previously supposed.

The more difficult course, the alternative (which I took as being something which must be addressed somehow) of going with Fr. Berry and the majority opinion as spoken of by Van Noort results in one of twenty-two dangling questions left at the end of Part One, which can only be dealt with using a theory, as discussed in Part Two.  As worded, that question was "If the teaching (as presented by Berry) and the majority theological opinion (as so described by Van Noort) were correct, then by what means or at what point did the vast majority of bishops first depart from the Church, such that their subsequent fall into error had no relevance to such scenario as such a significant proportion of Catholic bishops falling into error?"

If Fr. Berry is right, if Msgr. G. Van Noort's "majority opinion" is right, then the failure of nearly every formerly Catholic bishop at (and/or since) Vatican II requires an explanation, doctrinally speaking.  They cannot, per the doctrine, and as the general run of the bishops of the Church, have virtually all defected, yet we note that the Novus Ordo "bishops" really have defected.  This gets discussed in Section 15 of Sede Vacante! Part One, by which point it is already clear from the preceding doctrines already covered that the only way this could happen is that they departed from the Church first and then defected into their Novus Ordo errors.

The additional quotes from this thread do furnish us with some additional thoughts, however, and some parallels to today.  Going with the numbers given in the St. Alphonsus Liguori quote of 80 Arians and ~320 others who are not Arians (though I kind of have to wonder since Bellarmine has 600 bishops total) that might be like some (the 80 Arians or the "Fathers of the Rhine" as described by Fr. Wiltgen in The Rhine Flows Into the Tiber) at Vatican II who culpably wanted to change the Church, and then so very many others (like the 320) who signed on owing to having been deceived as to the actual content and meaning and implications of the documents they were signing, but who intended no departure from the previous Faith at the time.

As a result, I do not see their participation at Vatican II (or Rimini for the same reasons) to be a basis to conclude they had defected.  But after the council was over and the Modernists (and Arians) began to gloat over their success and to take things in a non-Catholic direction, there were some (maybe even many) who felt that having signed what they signed (though they had been tricked) they saw it as a fait accompli, permitted in God's Providence, and therefore that they had to stand by what they signed, tolerating the heresies or even gradually coming to accept them.  While many at the council (either one) meant no break with Catholic doctrine, many of those may have felt committed to the errors and heresies to which they had unwittingly signed up.  Certainly with Vatican II that was the case.  Perhaps that also happened with Rimini as well, making Arianism a much larger problem in the years following the council than it had ever been before or during it, and in that time perhaps St. Athanasius then found himself so very nearly alone and isolated.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2018, 07:25:42 PM by ubipetrus »
"My food is to do the will of Him that sent me." - John 4:34