By Bro. Michael Dimond, O.S.B.
Read more of Benedict XVI’s Recent Heresies
Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth, p. 355: “‘Son of God’ now acquires a totally new meaning… This new meaning then had to go through many difficult stages of discernment and fierce debate in order to be fully clarified and secured against attempts to interpret it in light of polytheistic mythology and politics. For this purpose the First Council of Nicea (A.D. 325) adopted the word consubstantial (in Greek, homoousious). This term did not Hellenize the faith or burden it with an alien philosophy. On the contrary, it captured in a stable formula exactly what had emerged as incomparably new and different in Jesus’ way of speaking with the Father.” (Doubleday, 2007)
The Council of Nicea’s definition that Jesus is “consubstantial” with the Father means that He is of the same substance as God the Father; that is, Jesus is God Himself. Benedict XVI, however, states that the term captured Jesus’s “new and different way of speaking with the Father”! Why in the world would he make such a statement, that Nicea’s definition merely refers to Jesus’s way of speaking with the Father? Why wouldn’t he simply state that Nicea’s formula captured that Jesus is equal to God?
As pointed out in our most recent radio program, the end of Benedict XVI’s book is focused on the real meaning of the terms “Son of God,” “Son,” “I am he,” etc. Benedict XVI is focused on the question of Jesus’s identity. It’s obvious that by putting this curious statement on the last page of his book – a statement which at least implies some doubt about whether Nicea’s formula means that Jesus is God – Benedict XVI is making a calculated attempt to sow the seeds of doubt about Jesus’s true identity as God. That Benedict XVI would want to sow such a heretical doubt makes perfect sense because, as we have shown from his other books, he clearly states that Jesus doesn’t have to be viewed as the Messiah (e.g., God and the World and Milestones), and that the Jewish view that Jesus is not the Messiah and Son of God is valid. For the other statements that are heretical or approaching heresy in Benedict XVI’s recent book, Jesus of Nazareth, one should consult the aforementioned June 22, 2007 Radio Program.
First Council of Nicea, 325: “We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of all things visible and invisible; and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the only-begotten of his Father, of the substance of the Father, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance (consubstantialem) with the Father. By whom all things were made, both which be in heaven and in earth. Who for us men and for our salvation came down [from heaven] and was incarnate and was made man. He suffered and the third day he rose again, and ascended into heaven. And he shall come again to judge both the quick and the dead. And [we believe] in the Holy Ghost. And whosoever shall say that there was a time when the Son of God was not, or that before he was begotten he was not, or that he was made of things that were not, or that he is of a different substance or essence [from the Father] or that he is a creature, or subject to change or conversion – all that so say, the Catholic and Apostolic Church anathematizes them.”