Fr. Michael Rennier: What St. Irenaeus Would’ve Thought About the Digital Age

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Français : Saint Irénée ; Vitraux de Lucien Bégule (1901), Église Saint-Irénée. June 6, 2010. Source photo Gérald Gambier. Author: Lucien Bégule (1848–1935). ... Public domain: This work is in the public domain in its country of origin and other countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 70 years or fewer.

By Fr. Michael Rennier, Aleteia, June 27, 2024

Like his mentor, St. Irenaeus placed great value in the physicality of the Christian faith. What would he have said about a world immersed in digital “reality”?

When he was a young man, St. Irenaeus endured the tragic loss of his mentor, St. Polycarp. Polycarp was arrested by the Romans and put to death around the year 155. Offered the chance to recant his belief in Jesus and save his life, Polycarp declined. He understood that, in declining, he was accepting physical pain and suffering.

Polycarp must have been tempted to recant. After all, it was just a few simple words that he could later forget about and repent for having said. But Polycarp wouldn’t take the easy way out. He was prepared to witness to the sincerity of his beliefs by the destruction of his body. …