Back during the days of persecution by the caesars, a heresy wound and coiled its way through the Church that would explode onto the scene right after the empire stopped killing us. It was called Arianism and derives its name from a priest — go figure.
For the record and something to keep in mind, no heresy has ever gained any traction unless it first came from a member of the ordained class. Father Martin Luther, for example, comes to mind.
But back to Arius. Arius went around saying Jesus was a great man, a superman, no one closer to the God than Him — but He wasn't divine. Of course, there are huge problems with that heresy, but we will defer on those problems for the moment, except to say that if Our Lord isn't divine, then there is no Trinity. You see the problems.
At the beginning of the 20th century, Pope St. Pius X recognized that the Church was beginning to be overwhelmed by what he called the heresy of Modernism, which he styled as "the synthesis of all heresies." That would of course include Arianism, since it was a heresy. And by the way, this heresy was so pervasive that it is the reason the first council was called — the Council of Nicea in the year 325 — to settle once and for all the teaching of Our Lord's divinity.
Well, as Pope St. Pius said 17 centuries later, it's back. Along with a number of heresies, Arianism has been re-introduced into the life of the Catholic Church, just a little more discreetly. While very few in the Church are out and out denying the divinity of Christ these days, they are acting as though He is not divine — acting so because they deny His teachings, twist His words, and pervert His precepts. They treat His sacred Body and Blood with disregard. They show next to no reverence for His Real Presence in the Blessed Sacrament. They trample on His sacraments. They tell people, through their own interpretations, to ignore His warnings about Hell.
This is no way to treat God — allowing and even advancing abuses at the Mass; teaching seminarians that they are free to believe in either transubstantiation consubstantiation (as we recently heard the rector of a major archdiocesan seminary is teaching).
The sins of omission that have piled up in the Church Nice and have actually given it its character are too numerous to tally. Just the very reality that in huge numbers of parishes, the Blessed Sacrament is shunted off to a corner, or is difficult to even locate, and when you do find it, it is unadorned or given only the most minimal attention.
All of this says flat out that Our Lord is not believed in as divine. And when Churchmen take God off His throne, what are they now faced with? An empty throne — and that means, someone wants to be on that throne. Arianism — or what might be better termed today as semi-Arianism — is the ruling thought among the vast throngs of today's Catholics, laity and clergy alike, even if it might be unconscious with some of them. And it has had horrifying results for the Faith.
When I was born, 75 percent of Catholics in America went to Mass. Fifty years later, 75 percent don't. And why don't they? At the end of the day, after all the rationalization and proffering of arguments and theories and social analysis, they stay away because they do not believe in their heart of hearts that Jesus Christ is God.
And it's perfectly fitting that they don't because many of the clergy who have had care for their souls during this past 50 years also don't believe in their heart of hearts that Jesus is God — and it's evidenced by the manner in which they treat Him. They have lost supernatural faith and consequently don't give a rip about your supernatural faith, or your children's or loved ones' faith.
This is why the diabolical notion that we have a reasonable hope that all men are saved has gained such traction among Churchmen these days and is spoken about freely by so many lay people. Its funerals more resemble little canonizations than a pleading to God for mercy on the dead. It's why there are no lines for confession, because there is no real sin that can separate you from God for all eternity, because those warnings from Jesus are a bit overblown — because, well, after all, it's not like He's divine or anything.
If it were possible to push a button or pull a lever and everyone who is a semi-Arian in the Church would suddenly turn purple, then that button or lever should be activated. As it is, Satan wants these enemies of Christ hidden so their damage and destruction can go on. But the discerning, discriminating faithful Catholic mind can see their deceit and denial of Our Lord's divinity through their actions and sugar-coated words.
When Our Blessed Lord asked His apostles, "Who do You say that I am?" He meant that for today's apostles as well, as well as for us. The divinity of Christ must be maintained not just as some scholarly reflection or meditation, but as the foundational reality of the Faith. If Jesus isn't God, then you and I are not redeemed and have no hope of salvation. Church leaders who allow the quiet heresy of semi-Arianism to continue are leading souls to Hell. Great will be their sufferings when the enemy lays hold of them for all eternity.
In the meantime, you faithful must resist.