Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Dictionary

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

Search:

Or browse the dictionary by selecting a letter!
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

PELAGIANISM

Heretical teaching on grace of Pelagius (355-425), the English or Irish lay monk who first propagated his views in Rome in the time of Pope Anastasius (reigned 399-401). He was scandalized at St. Augustine's teaching on the need for grace to remain chaste, arguing that this imperiled man's use of his own free will. Pelagius wrote and spoke extensively and was several times condemned by Church councils during his lifetime, notably the Councils of Carthage and Mileve in 416, confirmed the following year by Pope Innocent I. Pelagius deceived the next Pope, Zozimus, who at first exonerated the heretic, but soon (418) retracted his decision. Pelagianism is a cluster of doctrinal errors, some of which have plagued the Church ever since. Its principal tenets are: 1. Adam would have died even if he had not sinned; 2. Adam's fall injured only himself and at worst affected his posterity by giving them a bad example; 3. newborn children are in the same condition as Adam before hi fell; 4. mankind will not die because of Adam's sin or rise on the Last Day because of Christ's redemption; 5. the law of ancient Israel no less than the Gospel offers equal opportunity to reach heaven. As Pelagianism later developed, it totally denied the supernatural order and the necessity of grace for salvation.

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

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Talk to your kids about porn! 1 hours ago
Showing the Courage to battle homosexual impulses 16 hours ago
In other words, to be a Christian means this: 18 hours ago
Wanted: a balanced Catholic perspective on immigration 22 hours ago
Renewal with God before Us: Christ Determines All July 30

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
New management, new changes coming for reformed Vatican bank CWN - July 8
Sweeping reforms to Vatican's media, financial operations CWN - July 9
‘Even Genghis Khan didn’t do this’: Mosul emptied of Christians CWN - July 21