The case of Saint Athanasius and Pope Liberius is often used by so called "Traditionalists" to justify disobedience to the Pope. Their claim is that Pope Liberius was the first Pope not to be canonised a Saint, because he unjustly excommunicated Saint Athanasius, who was the only Bishop that resisted the Arian heresy during this great turmoil and crisis in the Church.
Well, paging through my copy of Denzinger, I came across a letter written by Saint Athanasius which praised the Pontiff for his part in fighting the Arian heresy! This was somewhat of a shock to me, and at first I thought I was reading the text wrong. But I didn't let it bother me too much until I started to come into conflict with fellow Traditional Catholics, who brandished this case as a definate historical proof of a valid case of resisting the Pope when he seems to be the cause of troubles in the Church. (Could the Pontiff ever be?)
Anyways, it seems that someone else, with more knowledge and authority than I, has shed some light on this case of Pope Liberius and his role during the Arian heresy.
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