"...One of the main problems of our time is the problem of Christology...if Christ's divinity is doubted, the foundation of Christianity is doubted..."
So says the new Vatican Secretary of State, the Italian Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, in an interview with the Chilean newspaper El Mercurio. He referred to the doctrine of Arius (256-336) who denied the divinity of the Word, the Second Person of the Trinity.
"But we see in addition that even in the elaboration of certain theology, doubt is cast on the divinity and salvific unity of Christ, the only Savior...This Christological reduction betrays the faith of the nascent Church and of the great Christological councils of Nicaea, Constantinople and Chalcedon...It is an authentic betrayal and a denial of the faith of our fathers."
According to the Cardinal, the Church not only faces the threat of Arianism, but also of a new Pelagianism, one of the worst heresies:
" This hinges on thinking that we can build a Church ourselves and in believing that it is possible to save ourselves, without the Lord's grace and help...They are recurring dangers which appear successively in history."
The 'worst' heresy?
The teachings of Arius are far removed from the teachings of the Apostles, those of Pelagius not so far, but neither are as demonstrably and blatantly false as the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church. Therefore, is not this Church's teachings the worst of all 'heresies'?
I expect, as a baptised Roman Catholic, to be excommunicated and even anathematized forthwith.
For the intellectually curious, according to the Roman Catholic Encyclopaedia, the formula of anathema ends with these words:
"Wherefore in the name of God the All-powerful, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, of the Blessed Peter, Prince of the Apostles, and of all the saints, in virtue of the power which has been given us of binding and loosing in Heaven and on earth, we deprive........himself and all his accomplices and all his abettors of the Communion of the Body and Blood of Our Lord,
we separate him from the society of all Christians, we exclude him from the bosom of our Holy Mother the Church in Heaven and on earth, we declare him excommunicated and anathematized and we judge him condemned to eternal fire with Satan and his angels and all the reprobate, so long as he will not burst the fetters of the demon, do penance and satisfy the Church; we deliver him to Satan to mortify his body, that his soul may be saved on the day of judgment."
Whereupon all the assistants respond: "Fiat, fiat, fiat."