Against heresies, including the contemporary heresies
Fr Ireneusz Skubis
Saint Irenaeus, Bishop and Martyr, commemorated in the liturgy of the Church on 28 June, was Bishop of Lyon, murdered for his faith in 202 AD. He was a disciple of Saint Polycarp, who in turn was a disciple of Saint Ignatius of Antioch, who was a disciple of John the Evangelist.
The theology of the first centuries of Christianity was created and developed thanks to the reflections of the first disciples of the Apostles and the Fathers of the Church. It was them that tried to introduce us into the depth of Christianity. Then we knew some of them as the ancient Fathers of the Desert. Those were people who reflected on Jesus, examined the teaching of the Old and the New Testament and built the foundations of Christian theology.
Ancient Christianity also experienced their problems, temptations and inclinations. Those included the phenomenon of gnosis that undermined Christian doctrine and was a den of false ideas about Christianity. The Gnostic writings have been shown as sure elements of the ancient doctrine to contemporary Christians. Among other things this is the Gospel of Judas, the philosophy and the book and film ‘The Da Vinci Code’. But ancient bishops and Christian theologians who regarded them as heretical fought against those sectarian elements. Saint Irenaues was an outstanding bishop and defender of the Church in those times.
Christian theology is rooted in the revelation of the Old and New Testament. St Irenaues belonged to those Christian thinkers who were able to fathom the sources of revelation. His theological though was extremely fresh and precise. One can say that he was a very modern theologian. We are astonished by his theological way of thinking and reflecting. Therefore, the first centuries of Christianity provided the yeast for theology, deep reflection on God, the Church as well as man.
In our times Saint Irenaeus helps us to discern theological thought properly in order to understand Christ and man better. Although he lived so many ages ago he was a very modern shepherd and teacher that removed temptations of errors in the field of faith. In his famous ‘Adversus haereses’ (Against heresies) he showed us the best theological thought.
In Poland there is no church under his patronage although the saint enjoys great reverence and respect in the Church. Therefore, I am glad that in Czestochowa on the student campus Saint Irenaeus Student Center Parish, within the framework of a personal parish, has been created and now an academic church is being built; his patron is Saint Irenaeus. He is an outstanding patron for our times as well, especially when we observe intensified fight against Christianity, fight directed at young people. And we can see that one can earn a lot on people who have been brought without Christ and who, colloquially speaking, have no moral restraints. St Irenaeus directs human thinking towards true unchangeable values and through his teaching he lays intellectual foundations for purity of our faith and the whole theology of the Church.
Today I would like to appeal to those who were members of the Academic Pastoral Centre in Czestochowa in the years 1966-82:
Dear Alumni of the Academic Centre ‘Piwnica’ in Czestochowa,
Come to the academic church of St Irenaeus in Czestochowa, located in Kilinskiego Street. The construction of the church has almost been completed. One can enter and rejoice to see the church, which is going to be blessed in October. However, there is still much to do and we need funds. I dare to ask you for help the church under construction. Today you all have jobs and some of you are well off. You know well what the small academic church meant for us; today it is St Mary’s Church in III Aleja in Czestochowa. May your children and their peers who study in our city have similar memories, wonderful memories. Simply speaking, let them come closer to Christ. I wholeheartedly ask you for help.
Below please find the address and the bank account for donations:
Personalna Parafia Akademicka pw. sw. Ireneusza BM
ul. Kilinskiego 132, 42-200 Czestochowa,
Citibank Handlowy SA Oddz. w Czestochowie
Account number (in PLN):
95 1030 1582 0000 0008 5402 6003
Account numer (foreign currencies): Swift: CITIPLPX
USD 73 1030 1582 0000 0008 5402 6011
EUR 23 1030 1582 0000 0008 5402 6038
May God reward you for your every penny and for your prayers for this parish.