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ATHANASIUS: PASSIONATE THEOLOGIAN OF THE INCARNATE WORD
VATICAN CITY, JUN 20, 2007 (VIS) - Benedict XVI dedicated his catechesis during this morning's general audience to the figure of St. Athanasius of Alexandria (circa 300-373), calling him a "column of the Church," and a "model of orthodoxy in both East and West." Before the audience, which was held in the Paul VI Hall, the Pope visited the Vatican Basilica where he greeted faithful gathered there. After noting how St. Athanasius' statue was placed by Bernini, alongside statues of other doctors of the Church (St. John Chrysostom, St. Ambrose and St. Augustine), around the cathedra of St. Peter in the apse of the Vatican Basilica, the Pope described the Alexandrian saint as a "passionate theologian of the incarnation of the 'Logos,' the Word of God," and "the most important and tenacious adversary of the Arian heresy which then threatened faith in Christ by minimizing His divinity, in keeping with a recurring historical tendency which is also evident in various ways today."