My friend Fr. Ray Blake, the distinguished pastor of St. Mary Magdalene in Brighton has a good commentary on his blog today.
Pelagianism: I hate it, but it is very British. It is really a variant of Arianism which says God did not truly become Man, because Jesus was not truly God.
Pelagianism denies the action of Grace in the world, man is saved by his own goodness and efforts, rather than by God.
It is what we do, rather than what God does that matters, therefore the value of the sacraments is the psychological effect they have in our lives, rather than the direct intervention of God. It denies the power of Grace, of the role of the Blessed Virgin, of miracles, of the power of prayer: Pelagians above all would deny the role of the Holy Spirit, of His act of sanctification. Wherever there is attempt to place man at the heart of the faith, there we should expect to find Pelagianism.
Pelagianism expects Man to be strong rather God’s grace to be powerful. Catholicism, or as we could call it, mainstream Christianity, acknowledges mankind is weak and wholly dependant on those things God gives him.Signs of the Pelagian:
The Church is a human construct, there is nothing or little of Grace about it.
The Liturgy and prayer is about how it makes us feel. Feelings rather than Grace are important.
Revelation is not a given, something given for today and all time, but something of that past that depends on our interpretation.
Ultimately Pelagianism says God is irrelevant to society and to the individual.
Pelagians tend to have a poor view of mankind, what see is what you get, because their is no room for Grace. It is also elitist, insofar as it values a human being by his goodness, his talents, his skills, his willpower.
Devotion to the Blessed Virgin is the destroyer Pelagianism, her whole being was about saying yes to Grace, and being the Mother of God she became the source of Grace. Her life shows the effects and power of Grace
Perhaps another sign of of the Pelagian is a defense of the lame-duck ICEL translations and resistance to the norms of Liturgiam authenticam..