Frank discussions, advice, and opinions from a Catholic Director of Religious Education.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Catholic Word of the Week (September 12, 2011)

Arianism: A fourth century heresy proposed by a priest named Arius who denied the divinity of Christ. It was condemned by the Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D. The same council defined the term homoousios (one in the same substance or nature) to identify the relationship between Jesus and the Father. Today we say "one in being" in the Nicene Creed. (This Advent we will begin saying "consubstantial.")

This heresy really draws out the history behind a part of the Creed that we say every Sunday. In one sense, we should be thankful for heresy because, ultimately, God uses it to bring forth precious gems like the creed.  


  1. spelling counts in theology. :) (re: homoousios vs. homoiousios)

  2. Maybe I am wrong and just not seeing it, but Britannica seems to agree with my spelling:

    Homoiousios actually means "similar substance":

  3. Ok, my wife just pointed out that maybe you were not correcting my spelling, but just pointing out how similar the words were...

    The internet is an ambiguous place.

  4. i was indeed pointing out the similarities of the word and how the mistake was made that caused the heresy. the arians used "homoIousios" (like substance) vs. "homoousios" (same substance) used by the orthodox christians.

    (i have part of a masters in church history and i've taught koine greek at a local prison when we lived in montana.)