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Thursday, October 30, 2008


Jerry Dunleavy

I'm no Church historian, but the difference between this priest's opinion and Arianism is what, exactly?

Carl Olson

Arius taught that the Son divine, but begotten in time by the Father, thus making the Son a lesser or demi-god. This is essentially what Jehovah's Witnesses believe. Fr. Dresser apparently believes that Jesus is not divine in any way whatsoever.


No human being, as such, can ever be God (though in theosis we may share in His divine life), but God can certainly be a human being if He so desires -- and since he did so, accepting it is at least a matter of obedience.


This fellow has gone back further than Arius. It was Jesus' claim to be God (before Abraham was, I am) that infuriated the Jewish leaders and was essentially why they demanded his execution. It is still a stumbling block to religious Jews today. I have heard Rosalind Moss speak of her Jewish upbringing and that if the subject of Jesus Christ ever came up, Christianity was rejected out of hand because such a thing was impossible.

If Fr. Dresser truly believes what he is teaching, he should have at least the honesty to face the fact that he is no longer Christian, by any measure. Whether he would find Judaism attractive is another matter. Either way, I should think his Bishop ought to remove him and give him some time to think and pray and ask for divine guidance, if he still believes in God the Father. He cannot remain an active Catholic priest, at least until he truly reverses course.

Ed Peters

LJ, if, after 8 years of seminary, and who knows how many years in ministry, one still does not believe that Jesus was the divine Son, what on earth will "some time to think about it" accomplish? Crimeny, if a Ford salesman published a book (!) about how Ford cars are crud, "It's as simple as that", should Ford give him some to think and pray about it?


Well, Ford wouldn't.
I suppose in Fr. Dresser's case it would depend somewhat on whether this was a recent conclusion, or as you suggest, a long standing disbelief.
I think what I find most irritating about these kinds of cases is the dishonesty, the lack of integrity. Much like the priestettes, this insistence on remaining and promoting heresy, to me seems at best disingenuous and at worst malicious. And the significance of the years of seminary and ministry is that if anyone should know his ideas are not Catholic or even minimally Christian it is Fr Dresser. Without the Incarnation we may as well pack it up and head for the Synagogue.
Having looked at your blog I agree that the other source of irritation is the occasional slowness to act of some Bishops. Pastorally, they must leave the door open to repentance, but in the meantime, for the sake of the rest of the faithful, they must take swift, public and effective action because, it seems to me, that under Canon 213 and 217 the faithful have the right in this case to be free from the heresy of such a cleric.


Better a millstone be tied around Fr. Dresser's neck than lead one of God's little ones astray. What good does this priest serve in our Church? Excommunicate him to avoid causing more scandal than already exists in our Church.

Mark Olson

You offer: The question is not "Can man become God?", but rather, "Can God become man?"

St. Athanasius wrote, "God became man so man can become God." ... which might mean "Can man become God" is a salient question ... just not with respect to Christ.

Carl E. Olson

St. Athanasius wrote, "God became man so man can become God." ... which might mean "Can man become God" is a salient question ... just not with respect to Christ.

Theosis, or divinization, refers to man sharing in God's divine life through grace. But the question on the table, although not put in these explicit terms, is: "Can man become God by nature?" The answer is "No." Rather, God became man in the Person of Jesus Christ so that man could become God—by grace—through the work and Person of the God-man:

The Word became flesh to make us "partakers of the divine nature": "For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God." "For the Son of God became man so that we might become God." "The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 460)

Grace is a participation in the life of God. It introduces us into the intimacy of Trinitarian life: by Baptism the Christian participates in the grace of Christ, the Head of his Body. As an "adopted son" he can henceforth call God "Father," in union with the only Son. He receives the life of the Spirit who breathes charity into him and who forms the Church. (par 1997)

Filial adoption, in making us partakers by grace in the divine nature, can bestow true merit on us as a result of God's gratuitous justice. This is our right by grace, the full right of love, making us "co-heirs" with Christ and worthy of obtaining "the promised inheritance of eternal life." The merits of our good works are gifts of the divine goodness. "Grace has gone before us; now we are given what is due.... Our merits are God's gifts." (par 2009)

For more on this topic, see my essay, "The Dignity of the Human Person: Pope John Paul II's Teaching on Divinization in the Trinitarian Encyclicals."


"The question is not "Can man become God?", but rather, "Can God become man?"

Thank goodness! Fr. Dresser has finally refuted adoptionism.


I am sick to death of these heretical priests, their fame, and the inaction of their bishops.

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