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A term first defined by the first general council of the Church to identify Christ's relationship to the Father. It was chosen by the council to clarify the Church's infallible teaching that the second Person of the Trinity, who became man, is of one and the same substance, or essence, or nature as God the Father. The Arians, who were condemned at Nicaea, held that Christ was "divine" only in the sense that he was from God, and therefore like God, but not that he was literally "God from God, one in being with the Father." (Etym. Greek homousios, of one essence, consubstantial.)
All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.