Roman apologetics at its finest...

Not open for further replies.


Puritan Board Junior
I noticed on the Envoy forum, a Roman Catholic forum, that one Roman Catholic apologist made the following post...

"Anathema to those who spurn the teachings of the holy Fathers and the tradition of the holy Catholic Church, taking as a pretext and making their own the arguments of Arius, Nestorius, Eutyches, and Dioscorus, that unless we were evidently taught by the Old and New Testaments, we should not follow the teachings of the holy Fathers and of the holy Ecumenical Synods, and the tradition of the Catholic Church" (The Council of Nicea 787, Acts of Session I).

[T]he EO regard this council (Nicea 787) as infallible and inspired. Written over 700 years before the Reformation, this anathema could not have Protestantism in view. Yet, the Protestant position of sola Scriptura is roundly condemned and associated with some of the most notorious heretics in church history. The council correctly notes that Arius did appeal to Scripture in his denial of Christ's deity, just as the Jehovah's Witnesses do today. However, from our perspective, the problem with Arius was not that he held to sola Scriptura and thereby failed to give enough place to tradition, but that he twisted scripture's true meaning...

The names of Luther and Calvin could with equal propriety be placed alongside the notorious heretics listed. (Indeed, there were seventeenth-century EO confessions that did condemn the teachings of the Reformers by name. However, these are not mentioned here because these are local and not ecumenical councils.)

This has to be one of the most outstanding examples of how Roman apologists set themselves up for the kill apologetically. Why? Well, the very same council that was "infallible and inspired" actually did place the name of their pope Honorius alongside the notorious heretics listed in another place. So, while this apologist is careful to include the language of the report which states that the names of Luther and Calvin could be listed as condemned by this council, he stumbles over the fact that this same council actually did place the name of his pope Honorius alongside the same notorious heretics in yet another place. Notice the excerpt below...

2nd Council of Nicea: And now having carefully traced the traditions of the Apostles and Fathers, we are bold to speak. Having but one mind by the inbreathing of the most Holy Spirit, and being all knit together in one, and understanding the harmonious tradition of the Catholic Church, we are in perfect harmony with the symphonies set forth by the six, holy and ecumenical councils; and accordingly we have anathematized the madness of Arius, the frenzy of Macedonius, the senseless understanding of Appolinarius, the man-worship of Nestorius, the irreverent mingling of the natures devised by Eutyches and Dioscorus, and the many-headed hydra which is their companion. We have also anathematized the idle tales of Origen, Didymus, and Evagrius; and the doctrine of one will held by Sergius, Honorius, Cyrus, and Pyrrhus, or rather, we have anathematized their own evil will. Finally, taught by the Spirit, from whom we have drawn pure water, we have with one accord and one soul, altogether wiped out with the sponge of the divine dogmas the newly devised heresy, well-worthy to be classed with those just mentioned, which springing up after them, uttered such empty nonsense about the sacred icons. And the contrivers of this vain, but revolutionary babbling we have cast forth far from the Church’s precincts. NPNF2: Vol. XIV, Canon 22, The Second of Nice.

Now, to be sure, the Roman apologist was quoting approvingly from the "Task Force Report on Eastern Orthodox Teachings from Biola University," , but their apologetics doesn't get any more ironic than this.

Last edited by a moderator:

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
He also seems to set up a straw man version of what Sola Scriptura is arguing that it entails a denial of the testimony of the Church.
Not open for further replies.