Are all these three women committing Heresy?

All three were baptised Catholic, all three are now Protestants and are the same age.

  1. Left the Catholic Church as an adult to become a protestant.
  2. Left the Catholic Church as a teenager to become a protestant.
  3. Left the Catholic Church as a baby/toddler and became a protestant later on.

I know that you have to be baptised a Catholic but do you have to have made your first Holy Communion or to be an age that you actually understand the truth?


No, ignorance nor not reaching the age of reason would change the validity of the Baptismal sacrament. Heresy by leaving the Church? Its covered in the CCC-no salvation outside the church and its further implications.

From the Catechism:

“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"

This website might also help

…in keeping with the pastoral charity of the (Second Vatican) Council today we use the term heretic only to describe those who willingly embrace what they know to be contrary to revealed truth. Such persons are formally (in their conscience before God) guilty of heresy. Thus, the person who is objectively in heresy is not formally guilty of heresy if 1) their ignorance of the truth is due to their upbringing in a particular religious tradition (to which they may even be scrupulously faithful), and 2) they are not morally responsible for their ignorance of the truth.

Therefore, if someone knows what the Catholic Church teaches, and joins a Protestant religion anyway, they are guilty of Heresy. If someone left the church and joined a protestant denomination without being taught anything of the Catholic Faith, they would be less guilty, but it’s still a sad situation.:frowning:

Right, this also…

Is an adult who leaves the Church having full knowledge that the Catholic Church is necessary for salvation not committing apostasy?

Would any adult having full knowledge that the Catholic church is necessary for salvation, leave the church ?

How does a baby or toddler leave the Catholic Church?

Excellent point!

Not that I’m an expert on heresy or apostasy, but I think the questions is too vague, as to the circumstances.

I think apostasy has to involve some heresy ( I could very well be wrong on that). I guess we’re supposed to accept that these were willful actions and not under duress?

protestant (with “p” or “P”) implies a rejection of the Catholic Church authority, up or down the line, someplace. If they are REALLY protesting something, then it would seem to be simple heresy.

In my Catholic bible study recently, there was a formerly Catholic woman who left the church because she couldn’t accept the idea of confessing sins to a priest. The specific issue here might be a rejection of the sacred tradition of the Church which has established this rite. This would be analogous to leaving the Church because Baptism is administered not by immersion but by sprinkling or pouring water over the head.

In the US Church, it’s thought that many young Catholics simply drop out when they get into their 20’s – they don’t belong to anything.

All three would be material heretics.

Whether they are formal heretics would depend on their knowledge and free choice.

As such, it’s not possible that a baby/toddler could be a formal heretic in this case, unless they learnt the full truth later and then rejected it.

As for the others…as seagal asks, if they have full knowledge (a proper understanding) that the Catholic Church is necessary for salvation, why would they leave it?

Secularism may lower the 20 something’s culpability.

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