A heretic is someone who claims they are of a certain faith, but rejects any teaching of that faith. So if a person claims they are Catholic consistently rejects the Catholic teaching forbidding abortion, that person is a heretic. Right?
I was wondering, now obviously there are a lot, if not a majority, or Catholics who are heretics (reject Catholic teachings - Catholic in name only) but was this the case in the old days? I’m talking about middle ages, like when the inquisitions were on. Around that time, did people reject Catholic teaching even when consistently told that that is what the Catholic church teaches? I mean there is a difference between someone who accepts a teaching, but goes against it (because of sinful human nature) but knows it is wrong and regrets that action, and a person who rejects Catholic teaching and is not sorry after commiting that sin. It would be unimaginable in this day and age to have another inquisition, but, back when there was one, did people reject teaching as lightly as they do now?
I believe one does not become a formal heretic unless the heresy is public, and with full knowledge of it and the consequences, and does not back down when corrected. So there are some heretics on the topic of abortion, as abortion has been proclaimed as inherintly evil. Since there were severe penalties for heretics at times, perhaps they were rejecting not so lightly as now.
Episcopal Inquisition (1184–1230s) and later the Papal Inquisition (1230s), Spanish Inquisition 1478 on, Middle Ages is 5th century to the 15th century, so that overlaps to 1184-1500, just before the Council of Trent and before the Reformation, and ignoring the later Portuquese and Roman Inquisitions. Yes there were large groups of heretics:
Pierre De Bruys 1117-1131
Cathars in southern France ~1140
Waldensians in southern France and northern Italy ~1170
Knights Templars and the Beguines 14th cen.
Catechism of the Catholic Church 2272
"Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life. "A person who procures a completed abortion incurs excommunication latae sententiae,"77 "by the very commission of the offense,“78 and subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law.79 The Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy. Rather, she makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society.”
Catechism of the Catholic Church 2088-2089
The first commandment requires us to nourish and protect our faith with prudence and vigilance, and to reject everything that is opposed to it. There are various ways of sinning against faith: Voluntary doubt about the faith disregards or refuses to hold as true what God has revealed and the Church proposes for belief.
Involuntary doubt refers to hesitation in believing, difficulty in overcoming objections connected with the faith, or also anxiety aroused by its obscurity. If deliberately cultivated doubt can lead to spiritual blindness.
*Incredulity *is the neglect of revealed truth or the willful refusal to assent to it.
"*Heresy *is the obstinate post-baptismal denial of some truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith, or it is likewise an obstinate doubt concerning the same;
*apostasy *is the total repudiation of the Christian faith;
*schism *is the refusal of submission to the Roman Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him." --CIC, can. 751: emphasis added.