Former or fallen away


#1

some friends and I were talking last night about people who dont attend Catholic Mass any more.we were debating whether or not they would still be considered Catholic if they registered as a member of a non-Catholic church.in my opinion they would be considered former Catholics .if they quit going to any church what so ever then I would consider them fallen away Catholics.what is the opinion of Catholics on this board,or if you can direct me to official Church policy that would be even better.thanx!!!


#2

Here is an article from the Vatican that explains what one needs to do to formally defect from the Catholic Church. Unless these criteria are met, a person is a fallen-away Catholic but still a Catholic.


#3

The link doesn’t work for me. Can you post the http;// type address?


#4

vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/intrptxt/documents/rc_pc_intrptxt_doc_20060313_actus-formalis_en.html


#5

Sorry about that. :o

Thank you for fixing it. :slight_smile:


#6

I never knew there was a distinction. I think I would have thought if someone was actually practicing another faith they would be former though. Thanks for the link!


#7

On Fire;

Of course we all know that once you are a member of the Catholic Church, you always are a member, unless you are excommunicated. As well, we all know that Catholics do not normally use terms such as fallen away. This terminology was developed by our seperated bretheren. Using this might imply that we give credence to things such as, once saved always saved. I believe that one who left the church could be excommunicated, see the previously referenced document, but more likely would be our of the state of sanctifying grace.

YBIC

By the way I was just kidding when I said … Of Course… and …We all know…

I love my brothers, even “Bunites”


#8

I’ve known many people who have gone to other churches who consider themselves “former” Catholics, even if the Catholic Church doesn’t see them as such.

Scout :tiphat:


#9

Well, yes, you have to file paperwork with the bishop to officially leave the Church (I only found out about this a few months ago, it came as quite a surprise!). But honestly, if you’re leaving the Church, obviously you don’t think it has any sort of binding authority over you – so why fill out the forms? This has had me confused for a while.

On the other hand, a heretic, schismatic, or apostate is considered excommunicated latae sententiae, which, as far as I’m aware, is pretty much the same thing.


#10

Not only must the paper be filed, it must be “received” (which does not mean delivered by the post office) by the Bishop. Meaning, he must accept the declaration.

However, it matters from a juridical standpoint. And, if one were to ever decide to return it would make a very big difference regarding validity of marriage contracted while away and possibly other areas where canon law applies.

So, yes, the Church defines what constitutes “leaving” because it can have an impact on the person’s standing under canon law.

That is an oversimplification-- there are mitigating circumstances (canons 1323, 1324) and also there must be a finding of one of these through the juridical processes of the Church before the Church would enforce such an excommunication (canon 1331)


#11

Now I know how Michael Corleone felt…

“Just when I think I’m out… they pull me back in!”

I’m not sure it’s worth the effort just to be a “Church-Approved” Apostate.


#12

That I can see; however, requiring the potential absentee to formally defect from a body he or she no longer regards as having binding authority would seem to be counter-productive, at the very least.

That is an oversimplification-- there are mitigating circumstances (canons 1323, 1324) and also there must be a finding of one of these through the juridical processes of the Church before the Church would enforce such an excommunication (canon 1331)

You’re quite right in the first point. I did read those canons before I posted; they cover such factors as being under the age of 16, being coerced, being impaired, being simply ignorant – none of these possible mitigating factors I read applied to someone who knew full well what the Church teaches and was of an age to recognize the fact, but simply lacked faith – in other words, someone like myself.

As to enforcement, that’s the nature of latae sententiae, the sentence laid down: it’s automatic. Not that anything necessarily gets done about it until, as you said, somebody notices and starts the machinery working, but the excommunication holds from the point of action.

If you’d like to look it up, I am drawing primarily from Can. 1364, which states ‘an apostate from the faith, a heretic, or a schismatic incurs a latae sententiae excommunication’; and Can. 1314, which states ‘a penalty is latae sententiae, so that it is incurred ipso facto when the delict is committed’.

[quote=MerryAtheist]I’m not sure it’s worth the effort just to be a “Church-Approved” Apostate.
[/quote]

I’m with you (and I love your signature!) :o


#13

so much wisdom and knowledge from a first time poster.I am starting to see things more clearly now thanx to some help from my brothers…by the way…we are Bunions…


#14

A minor correction. Even if you are excommunicated you are still Catholic, though not in good standing.


#15

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