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By Gerald O'Collins S. J., Mario Farrugia S. J.

The bestselling Catholicism has now been revised and up to date for an eagerly-anticipated moment variation. This lucid and available account explains how Roman Catholicism and its ideals and practices got here to be what they're. popular students Gerald O'Collins and Mario Farrugia go through historical past to sum up the current features of Catholic Christianity and the main demanding situations it faces within the 3rd millennium. transparent and interesting, the authors current concerns in a clean and unique method. They skilfully depict the Catholic historical past and exhibit that Catholicism is a dynamic and dwelling religion. O'Collins and Farrugia have interaction with modern ethical matters and discover the demanding situations which Catholics and different Christians needs to face. this can be an authoritative, energetic, and up to date advent to Catholicism for the twenty-first century.

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Not only its origin (in God’s creation) and its destiny (in the resurrection to come) but also (and even more) the incarnation of the Son of God conferred an essential dignity on human bodiliness. Predictably the affirmation of John 1: 14 (‘the Word became flesh’) enjoyed central importance for Irenaeus. By assuming ‘flesh’ (the complete human condition of body and spirit), the Son of God ratified the value of men and women created in God’s image and likeness. When they are baptized into Christ and receive him in the Eucharist, their intimate contact with the incarnate and risen Lord will bring them to their own resurrection.

Hence the Council of Ephesus confessed that ‘(the Son of) God was born’, just as in 553 the Second Council of Constantinople would confess that ‘(the Son of) God suffered/died in the flesh’ (DH 432; ND 620/10; see DH 401; ND 617). The Council of Ephesus indicated clearly that the divinity and humanity of Christ are not separated. If so, are they really to be distinguished? And, if not, how are they united? These questions remained to set the agenda for the Council of Chalcedon in 451. In an important (but fateful) letter of April 433 to John the patriarch of Antioch, Cyril had written of ‘the difference’ between Christ’s two natures, ‘from which came the union’.

St Jerome wrote from Bethlehem: ‘Rome, capturer of the world, fell captive’ (Epistola, 127. 12). The Vandals, led by Gaiseric, also an Arian Christian, had overrun North Africa by 429. In 442 the Roman legions abandoned Britain. Between 410 and 463, invading forces had put Rome itself under siege eight times, occupied the city six times, and sacked it twice (in 410 and 455). It was Pope Leo I, and not a Roman emperor, who persuaded Attila, king of the Huns (known as ‘the Scourge of God’), not to sack Rome in 452, the year after Leo’s teaching on Christ had been solemnly endorsed at the Council of Chalcedon.

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