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A number of priests are taking pro-gay priest Fr. James Martin to task for yet another ignorant remark made on Twitter.
The celebrity Jesuit tweeted Sunday evening, "The most popular heresy in the Catholic Twitterverse is Docetism. It betrays a fundamental fear of any indication that Jesus was fully human."
Docetism was an Early Church heresy that held that Christ was not truly human, but only appeared so — a notion based on a gnostic denigration of the physical body over spirit. Martin — known for pushing pro-gay ideology and refusing to teach on chastity for active gay couples — charges Catholics with essentially forgetting Christ's humanity — the humanity that experienced everything we experience yet without sin, and which — to borrow today's popular Church-speak — results in an "encounter" that "meets people where they are" and "accompanies them" on their "journey" — even if that journey means remaining in mortal sin.
Priests and monks jumped in to berate Martin for his misinformation.
Paragraph 474 of the Catechism states: "By its union to the divine wisdom in the person of the Word incarnate, Christ enjoyed in his human knowledge the fullness of understanding of the eternal plans he had come to reveal." In other words, Christ's divinity fully informed His humanity, which was perfect in every way. His intellect was not darkened by sin.
One priest, Fr. Peter Totleben, raised the topic of the hypostatic union — a theological term indicating that Christ has a fully human nature and a fully divine nature united in one Person — and noted that anyone who denies the two natures in Christ holds to another heresy — Nestorianism, a fifth-century belief that held that Christ exists as two distinct persons, divine and human. Nestorianism is based on the idea that Christ as divine could not have suffered as a Man — a heresy explicitly condemned by the Church.
Quoting Pope Pius XII, Fr. Brendon Laroche recalled the pontiff's words in his encyclical "On Devotion to the Sacred Heart": "It is, besides, the symbol of that burning love which, infused into His soul, enriches the human will of Christ and enlightens and governs its acts by the most perfect knowledge derived both from the beatific vision and that which is directly infused."
In other words, Christ's divine nature informed His human nature, which was governed "with perfect knowledge."
And one Catholic, neither priest nor monk, said what was on many people's minds: