Friday, January 9, 2009


I have to admit that this attitude has filtered through me from time to time over the years, it's just so easy. I know many people who subscribe to this "If I'm just a good person, it's all ok" attitude. But, I didn't know it had a name! This article sent to me from Marti in Olympia is fascinating. I hope you all enjoy it!

deconstructing a heresy:
Pelagianism: I hate it, but it is very British. It is really a variant of Arianism which says God did not truly become Man, because Jesus was not truly God. Pelagianism denies the action of Grace in the world; man is saved by his own goodness and efforts, rather than by God. It is what we do, rather than what God does that matters, therefore the value of the sacraments is the psychological effect they have in our lives, rather than the direct intervention of God. It denies the power of Grace, of the role of the Blessed Virgin, of miracles, of the power of prayer: Pelagians above all would deny the role of the Holy Spirit, of His act of sanctification. Wherever there is attempt to place man at the heart of the faith, there we should expect to find Pelagianism. Pelagianism expects Man to be strong rather God’s grace to be powerful. Catholicism, or as we could call it, mainstream Christianity, acknowledges mankind is weak and wholly dependent on those things God gives him.

Signs of the Pelagian: The Church is a human construct and there is nothing or little of Grace about it. The Liturgy and prayer is about how it makes us feel. Feelings rather than Grace are important. Revelation is not a given, something given for today and all time, but something of that past that depends on our interpretation. Ultimately, Pelagianism says God is irrelevant to society and to the individual. Pelagians tend to have a poor view of mankind, what you see is what you get, because there is no room for Grace. It is also elitist, insofar as it values a human being by his goodness, his talents, his skills, his willpower.

Devotion to the Blessed Virgin is the destroyer of Pelagianism. Her whole being was about saying yes to Grace. Being the Mather of God she became the source of Grace. Her life shows the effects and power of Grace.
Fr. Ray Blake
(I will add to Fr. Blake’s observations two other marks of the Pelagian: their penchant for defending the lame-duck ICEL translations and a resistance to the norms of Liturgiam authenticam. --Fr. Z)

Here is more from Fr. Z and again it shows why we must pray for more faithful translations.

ICEL (1973 translation of the 1970MR):
God our Father,
may we always profit by the prayers
of the Virgin Mother Mary,
for you bring us life and salvation
through Jesus Christ her Son…

O God, who by the fruitful virginity of Blessed Mary
bestowed upon the human race the rewards of eternal salvation,
grant, we beg, that we may perceive her interceding for us,
through whom we merited to receive Your Son, the author of life.
Deus, qui salutis aeternae, beatae Mariae virginitate fecunda,
humano generi praemia praestitisti:
tribue, quaesumus; ut ipsam pro nobis intercedere sentiamus,
per quam meruimus auctorem vitae suscipere.

No comments: