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A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

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NICENE CREED

There are two creeds that have the same name. The original Nicene Creed was issued in A.D. 325 by the Council of Nicaea. It was composed by the Fathers of the Council in their conflict with Arianism and contains the term homoousios (consubstantial). It is comparatively short, ends with the phrase, "and in the Holy Spirit," and has attached to it four anathemas against Arianism. The more common Nicene Creed is more accurately the Nicene-Constantinople Creed. It came after the first ecumenical Council of Constantinople (381), is the creed now used in the liturgy, including the added phrases "and the Son," and "died," and differs from the preceding in that it: 1. has more about the person of Christ; 2. omits the phrase "from the substance of the Father" after homoousios; 3. says more about the Holy Spirit; 4. adds the articles on the Church, baptism, the resurrection, and eternal life; and 5. contains no anathemas. The full text reads: "We believe in one God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth, of all things both visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all time; light from light, true God from true God; begotten, not created, consubstantial with the Father; through him all things were made. For the sake of us men and for our salvation, he came down from heaven, was made flesh by the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life; he proceeds from the Father and the Son, is adored and honored together with the Father and the Son; he spoke through the prophets. We believe in one, holy, Catholic, and apostolic Church. We profess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We expect the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen."

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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