Veritatis Splendor

by Karol Jozef Wojtyła

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What is a summary of Arianism?

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Arianism is a theological doctrine attributed to Arius, a Libyan priest and preacher who lived in Alexandria at the end of the third and beginning of the fourth century AD. None of Arius's writings survive, and many early accounts of his beliefs appear in the writings of his opponents. The central idea of the doctrine to which he gave his name is that of the supremacy and uniqueness of God the Father. According to Arianism, God the Son and the Holy Spirit are separate from and subordinate to God the Father. Jesus Christ is God the Son, and was begotten by God the Father at a certain point in time. He has not always existed, and is essentially a separate and inferior God.

Arianism is regarded as a heresy by most Christians, including the Roman Catholic Church, since it is a departure from the Trinitarian theology of the Nicene Creed. The unity of God was established as a fundamental statement of Christian belief at the First Council of Nicaea in 325. The Nicene Creed states that God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are "of one being." They are consubstantial and co-eternal, which is to say that they have always existed as three in one. Any attempt to separate them and say that one part of the Holy Trinity is not eternal runs counter to the teachings of Catholicism.

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