The Pelagian Heresy and the Refutation of St. Augustine

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1.0INRODUCTION
Heresy is a doctrinal belief held in opposition to the recognized atandardds of an established system of thought. Theologically, it means an oopinion ta variance with the authorized teachings of any Church, notably the Christian (Catholic), and especially when this promotes separation from the body of faithful believers. So, anyone who after baptism, pertinaciuosly desires or doubts any of the truths; that must be believed with divine and Catholic faith is considered a herectic. Thus, this write-up is going to explore one of such heresies as propagated by Pelagius and how it was refuted by St. Augustine. 2.0PELAGIANISM

Theologically, Pelagianism designates a heretical position with regard to the problems of grace and freedom. It goes back to the British monk Pelagius (355-425), who first propagated his view in Rome in the time of Pope Anastasius (reigned 399-401). Pelagius preached in Rome a strictly biblical spirituality with strong emphasis on the human will. It was disseminated by his disciples Caelestius and Julian of Eclanum. Augustine played a decisive role in the pelagian controversy, whose historical course need not be pursed here in detail. Pelagius 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. Like the stoics, Pelagius thought that one could obtain every good by every except virtue. Once having received the gift of free will, it is man’s responsibiliy to make good moral use of it. He is responsible for his actions and, if only he has courage to will it, there is no height of sanctity he may not attain. This affirmation of the freedom of man as a created but fully autonomous power of self-determination, who can observe the law of God by his own powers, was a denial of the necessity of grace for natural and salutary observance of the moral law and hence disregarded the doctrine of original sin of the consequences of sin. More so,...
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