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Catholic Dictionary




Organized bodies or movements, since the Reformation, that professedly subscribe to the Arian denial that Christ is the natural Son of God. This modern Arianism is a logical though not always linear development from the ancient stock. Under the more familiar names of Unitarians, Anti-trinitarians and Socinians, those who profess this creed believe in the Fatherhood of God, the society of the human race, the example of Jesus as a model of ethical perfection, and salvation of humankind through an evolutionary process inherent in all things.

Also in the Arian tradition are the rationalists when they deal with the person of Christ. Their system postulates the absolute rights of natural reason as the only source of religious truth. Consequently they deny the divinity of Christ, except in Arius' sense of "the most intimate to God," and for the same reason as Arius (256-336), because the Trinity and Incarnation are mysteries of faith to be accepted on the authority of God.