Is it wrong to ponder heresy or question church teaching?


The thing I have a question on is heresy. Is heresy objectively wrong even if it’s just a thought and not my full-time belief? I don’t hold like any heretic beliefs but sometimes I think things that are probably against the church. I just wanted a little clarification since I was thinking about the subject of divorce. Now, I know divorce is wrong in the eyes of the church, but I had a momentary thought in my anger about how ‘divorce is ok’ or even should be ok. I haven’t been to a priest to ask about this yet, and I’m not that scrupulous, but I’ll probably ask a priest sometime soon.


We all have random thoughts from time to time. They’re not sinful. They pop up, big deal. We can even entertain thoughts that might be contrary to Church teaching. How else would we study and evaluate heresy to begin with? If these thoughts trouble you, it might be OCD and/or scruples. But don’t let it bother you. Random thoughts are random thoughts. Heresy means obstinate denial of an essential truth of the faith.



It was a semi-deliberate thought. It wasn’t all that random. I knew it was probably wrong to think about.


Pondering and examining heretical issues is not a sin. Studying why they are heretical will build your knowledge of the faith. Assenting to heretical beliefs is where the line is drawn.

FYI divorce is not a sin. Marrying someone else without receiving an annulment first is a sin.


Thank you for the clarification


If it were a sin to think about things that are wrong and what would happen if they weren’t wrong, I wouldn’t be getting a degree in medical ethics right now.


Is it not only heresey if you teach others to think or do what is in conflict with the Church. It’s a veniel sin to think contrary against dogma and a mortal to act contrary


No it’s not a venial sin to “think contrary against dogma.” If that were true, we couldn’t study heresies in theology classes.



I think you may have misunderstood. I was thinking about this whole “divorce is ok” due to my anger with certain people. I know what your saying is true but that’s not really my issue.


I agree, to rephrase to agree with heresy could be a venial sin


It was a random thought you entertained momentarily. Don’t worry about it. There’s a temptation to obsess about these sorts of things.


Here is an example from my life: I questioned sex before marriage, then went further and had sexual relations outside of marriage. Luckily I didnt go even further and teach others to do the same.

Are these not three clear stages of no sin, sin, and heresy?


That makes more sense, thanks!


No, this isn’t what “heresy” is by the formal definition given in the catechism and the Code of Canon Law.

Heresy is the obstinate, post-baptismal denial of some essential truth of the Christian faith. To teach contrary to what is taught in the Creed about the nature of God, or about the essential nature of the Church, or about how the Sacraments work, these would be heresies.

What you describe is that you questioned a teaching of the Church and acted contrary to it. It has nothing to do with heresy. Heresy is a technical term that doesn’t include what you describe here. If what you had done was heresy, what would have had to have happened was that you started teaching publicly that sex before marriage is allowed and even good, and accumulated a lot of followers who started their own sect devoted to your teaching. Personally and individually questioning and acting contrary to Church teaching does not rise to the level of heresy.



No it is not wrong. Like St Paul said, test all things and hold on to what is good. Heresy is when you deny and spread denial of some fundamental truth.


Is this not what I stated in my actions being no sin, sin and then heresy if I was to teach others?



Pray very much,

Divorce it self can be :justified" BUT one such cannot remarry without obtaining an ANNULMENT through the RCC

PRAY very much this us an enormous decision


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