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The Holy Trinity The First Person -------------------- The Father The Second Person -------------------- The Son The Third Person ------------------------ The Holy Spirit Not three gods Rather: One God Not three spirits One Being Not three beings

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The First Person -------------------- The Father

The Second Person -------------------- The Son

The Third Person ------------------------ The Holy Spirit

Not three gods

Rather:

One God

Not three spirits

One Being

Not three beings

But mysteriously, God is three distinct persons, in one divine nature.


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Holy Trinity: God is Three distinct Persons in One Divine Nature

Jesus: Two Natures, One Person.


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Heresy

  • The denial or doubt by error of judgment, publically or privately, by a baptized, professed person of any truth revealed by God and proposed for belief by the Catholic Church.

    Heresy must be:

    • Deliberate (with a sufficient knowledge of the true teaching.

    • Obstinate (the person continues in the error of judgment without seeking further to learn the truth.


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Arianism

Arius – a priest of Alexandria

taught that the Son of God is not of one nature or substance with God the Father, nor equal to Him in dignity. He also denied that the Son was co-eternal with the Father.


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The Council of Nicaea (325)

This council was called by Constantine the Great to settle the dispute over the relationship between the First and Second Persons of the Trinity. It finally condemned the heretical teaching of Arius.


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Nestorianism

Nestorius: a priest of Antioch. Eventually he became the bishop of Constantinople in 428.

He declared that the Blessed Virgin was mother only of Christ’s human nature and he banned the term “Theotokos”, which means “Mother of God”.

He also taught that only Christ as man (not as God) died on the cross.


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Nestorianism

This is significant because

if Jesus is two natures, but one Person, then Mary is indeed the Mother of the Person of Jesus, who is the Person of the Son. Jesus cannot be split in two as Nestorius conceived him.


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Nestorianism

Furthermore, if Jesus died on a cross, and if he is the Person of the Son, then Christ as God (Person of the Son) died on a cross.

We can truly say the God suffered (in his humanity).


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The Council of Ephesus (431)

It condemned both Nestorianism and Pelagianism.

It defined the Catholic dogma that the Blessed Virgin Mary is the Mother of God.

It defined the hypostatic union of the two natures, divine and human, in the one divine Person of Christ.

Established the Nicene Creed as the true statement of faith.


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Monophysitism

Mono: one

Physis: nature

The Monophysites affirmed that the human nature of Christ had ceased to exist as such in Christ when the divine person of God’s Son assumed it.

Monophysitism teaches that there was only one nature in Christ, and that Christ was not both God and Man.


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The Council of Chalcedon (451)

This Council condemned Monophysitism:

Following the holy Fathers, we unanimously teach and confess one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ: the same perfect in divinity and perfect in humanity, the same truly God and truly man, composed of rational soul and body; consubstantial with the Father as to his divinity and consubstantial with us as to his humanity; “like us in all things but sin.” He was begotten from the Father before all ages as to his divinity and in these last days, for us and for our salvation, was born as to his humanity of the virgin Mary, the Mother of God.

We confess that one and the same Christ, Lord, and only-begotten Son, is to be acknowledged in two natures without confusion, change, division, or separation. The distinction between the natures was never abolished by their union, but rather the character proper to each of the two natures was preserved as they came together in one person and one hypostasis.



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