A New Dilemma/Update


This post is kind of an update to my last, about the girl I met who I found out was an apostate. Many of you have said that it’s not sinful to continue being friends with her, but “Apostates, with all who receive, protect, or befriend them, incur excommunication, reserved speciali modo to the Sovereign Pontiff (Constitution [Apostolicæ Sedis] No.1)”, so I’ve decided that I’m going to stop talking to her.

My new problem is this: We’re both part of an online community for writers to share their stories. She’s been reading my stories and participating in the interactive ones. Because I can’t befriend her, should I leave the forum entirely, or take care to only go on when she’s not online?


Some more information:

I’m a high school student, my friend is nineteen.
I am not a moderator on the forum.
The forum only has around 20 members, but we’re a super active community and we’re all friends.


I’d encourage you to relax a little bit. If you start seeing yourself as a judge of who can and cannot be spoken to by ‘good’ Catholics, then I think you’re probably at some point going to end up banning yourself from talking to yourself.

At least talk to an experienced parish priest before anathematizing individuals.


You’re assuming you can’t be friends with her in the first place. Let’s say your interpretation of these ancient documents is true. I’m a priest. Before I could enter seminary, there was a thorough vetting process, part of which included checking to see if I’d incurred any canonical penalties that could keep me from being ordained. In the course of the application process, I mentioned that I had not only befriended a non-Catholic girl, but had dated her when I was in college. I was still allowed to enter seminary and be ordained. So clearly the way you’re reading this can’t be right.

We can’t take every single word written down by anyone at any point in church history as being absolutely literal. We have to read things in the context of the time and place they were written. Not every scrap of writing is a universal principle.

You really need to seek some better guidance, as this seems extremely scrupulous. You should speak to a priest and a counselor.


It’s not the fact that she’s an unbeliever that I’m worried about. I have many friends who are unbelievers, including most of the other people on that forum.

Apostates have historically been viewed as needing to be shunned, right?

Also, I’m not Catholic (yet :crossed_fingers: ), so I don’t really have any priests I could talk to…


It is not intrinsically evil to “receive, protect, or befriend” an apostate or a non-Christian. There is no penalty in current church law assigned to any of these things, at least not in the sense we are talking about here.

As Fr. Edward has mentioned above, the context is important.


Priests do talk to people who aren’t Catholic.


How can you be excommunicated if you’re not Catholic yet?

This has been answered for you several times on here.
You will not be excommunicated for befriending non-Catholics.

You will not be excommunicated for befriending non-Catholics.

You will not be excommunicated for befriending non-Catholics.

Did you read my previous post?


I mean I don’t know any priests…


Are you in the process of becoming Catholic?


I would encourage you to seek out the Catholic Writer’s Guild.


All right, but do you know where to find one?


I’m interested, and I’ve decided that I’m going to try, but I don’t know where to start :-/


…Back on topic to my dilemma…

What do you mean that the documents should be read in context? There’s a saying in evangelical circles that 'truth has no expiration date".


You can start by talking to a priest :innocent:


Okay, but that really doesn’t help me at present. There are circumstances that make it necessary for me to decide what to do about the forum within the next couple of days.


Truth has no expiration date. I can agree with that. But that doesn’t mean that a particular law or practice or even way of stating the truth remains eternally valid. If it were sinful to even associate with an apostate, then how could we ever gain them back? And besides, an apostate is someone who has rejected the faith. They can’t we’ll have rejected it if they never had it to begin with. Just like why we don’t say that Protestants are heretics. One must have started out Catholic in order to become a heretic.

You have to apply reason to these things, and not just take every single word of every single document literally. Ask yourself, why is this or that thing important? Is it still important today?

Check this article out. Read carefully.



I’m sorry… I don’t really understand the article :sweat_smile:

It may be because I’m still fairly young…? Thank you very much and God bless.


Canon law is dated. We are not bound under earlier canons.

You can google your town + Catholic Church and either call or email a priest there.



I really would assume that you can talk to this person. Then if later a priest tells you that you shouldn’t talk to her, you can blame us here.

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