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Law, culture, and Catholicism...up in smoke!

Monday, May 02, 2005

Feast of St. Athanasius

Today is the feast day of St. Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria. New Advent's Catholic Encyclopedia tells us that "Athanasius was the greatest champion of Catholic belief on the subject of the Incarnation that the Church has ever known and in his lifetime earned the characteristic title of 'Father of Orthodoxy', by which he has been distinguished ever[] since." St. Athanasius is perhaps best known for defeating Arianism at the Council of Nicaea and for his influence over the debates which ultimately resulted in a Nicene Creed that so adamantly avers the divinity of Christ. That he accomplished this even though he was only a young cleric is a testament to the movement of the Holy Spirit then present at the Council.

For his rigorous defense of the Faith, the Bishop of Nicomedia brought baseless ecclesiastical and political charges against Athanasius, of which he was eventually convicted in a kangaroo court, twice, once in the absence of emperor Constantine and once in his presence, and exiled to Treves. Two and a half years latter, Athanasius returned to Constantinople at the invitation of Constantine the Younger.

The heresy of Arianism, or the belief that Christ is merely man and not divine, is alive and doing well in this modern world, whether in the form of A&E and History Channel documentaries citing "new archeological discoveries" in an effort to refute Christ's Godhead, or the outright lies of the bestseller "The Da Vinci Code." Nevertheless, rest assured that Benedict XVI, with the sword of Tradition, will cast out the wormtongues and restore the Church's keen senses.