A New Dilemma/Update


The earlier canons may be outdated, but throughout history since the early church, shunning apostates was seen as right…

It’s a consistent viewpoint.


So please tell me how I was allowed to be ordained, since I dated a Protestant. Were my Diocese, Bishop, and seminary all wrong to admit me, advance me through formation, and approve me for ordination? I didn’t shun her, and I have several close friends, not Catholic, even still. Am I wrong? Are all of the above wrong? Or is there a principle in play in those ancient canons that isn’t applied today?


Do you have a link to the full text of the document you cited?


It’s not about Protestants, or even just non-believers.

I’m friends with many unbelievers, and Protestants as well.

However, the way the church has always treated apostates has been more strict than just the general “unbelievers.”


Okay, what do you think an “apostate” is?


It was quoted here.



Someone who used to have the faith, but has since left it for whatever reason.


Many of these documents are related to the Sacraments and Eucharist. Apostates, until they repent, cannot be admitted to the Sacraments.

We are commanded by Christ to love our enemies and to do good to those who do bad things.


I’m no Canon Lawyer so I’m not entirely sure but I feel like this statement:

“reserved speciali modo to the Sovereign Pontiff“

means that the excommunication power is reserved to the Pope. So he can excommunicate you based on those grounds but he does not have to.

It’s probably for anyone that would be a prominent public figure that is going against the faith or a very bad movement going on at the time of that bull.

Plus there might be more context and even still, it might be something that’s repealed in Law.


You have arrived at an improper understanding of this injunction by reading it in isolation and out of context. To properly comprehend it, one must first turn to Pope Martin V’s 1418 Constitution Ad Evitanda Scandala:

“To avoid scandals and many dangers and relieve timorous consciences, by the tenor of these presents we mercifully grant to all Christ’s faithful that no one henceforth shall be bound to abstain from communion with anyone in the administration or reception of the sacraments or in any other religious or non-religious acts whatsoever, nor to avoid anyone nor to observe any ecclesiastical interdict, on pretext of any ecclesiastical sentence or censure globally promulgated whether by the law or by an individual; unless the sentence or censure in question has been specifically and expressly published or denounced by the judge on or against a definite person[.]”

Pope Martin V relaxed the Church’s ancient discipline with regards to shunning apostates; whereas there was a complete prohibition in the past, Martin V decreed that Catholics were obliged only to shun those apostates which had been formally condemned by the Church. The excommunication reserved for those who support “receive, protect, or befriend [apostates]”, therefore, only applied to individuals who abetted heresiarchs like Martin Luther, to give one example. Now, in your case, I doubt very much that your friend has founded a heretical sect and been formally excommunicated by the Church; accordingly, there is no reason why you should feel obligated to cease communicating with her.


I think we need to look at the context as to when this was written (in the 1800s) the wordage implies a person that is supporting and encouraging their apostacy in a very active manner. Back then, who you socialized or were seen with mattered a great deal and people took those things very seriously, much like it was scandalous for any woman to be seen alone with a man that wasn’t her husband. Nowadays these kinds of social activities don’t generate the kind of talk and scandal that they did then. You can befriend an apostate without giving approval.


In the early Church there was a huge debate over whether those who’d left the faith, especially under threat of martyrdom, could be readmitted to communion with the Church. There was a worry that if someone associated with apostates, it would lead them to fall away as well. Eventually it was realized that one could return to communion, and there isn’t the worry about the influence of apostates inducing others to do so.

Times change, law changes, circumstances change.


AAAAAAA that helps a lot!! Thank you so much :blush:


…Wait, was that a binding statement?


Not absolutely, because this is a matter of discipline. Pope Francis could tighten the discipline back to how it was during the days of the Early Church, if he were so inclined. For now, however, this is the current discipline of the Church; if I am not mistaken, the norms established by Ad Evitanda Scandala were most recently reiterated by Pope Benedict XIV in 1753 (Collectanea S. C. de Prop Fide, vol. I, n. 389).


If you aren’t Catholic, you aren’t bound by any rules regarding how Catholics might or might not be allowed or forbidden to associate with apostates.


you sound very scrupulous. edward george is a priest, listen to him

you are going to stop talking to someone because they are turned away from God. Thats not what Jesus taught.


I have done this once.


nm…prayers for your journey


The canon laws changed on this matter.

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