Looking at Heresy

Which of these four would be deemed heresy for a Roman Catholic to reject?

  1. Dogma.
  2. Infallible Doctrine.
  3. Non-Infallible Doctrine.
  4. Theological Opinion.


I would assume the first two would constitute heresy. The last two might be simply (and perhaps, sinfully) disobedience to one’s Bishop.

One to three would all constitute heresy if memory serves, while the latter is not infallible the laity are to offer intellectual submission to all teachings.

A theological opinion however is just that. You’d probably do well to pay it some respect if it came from a senior cleric, the Pope even but that doesn’t mean you have to agree with those.

What IS an infallible doctrine? Somewhere in between dogma and theological opinion?? What is it?

1 and 2 below are infallible categories: .

Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma§ 8. The Theological Grades of Certainty

  1. The highest degree of certainty appertains to the immediately revealed truths. The belief due to them is based on the authority of God Revealing (fides divina), and if the Church, through its teaching, vouches for the fact that a truth is contained in Revelation, one’s certainty is then also based on the authority of the** Infallible** Teaching Authority of the Church (fides catholica). If Truths are defined by a solemn judgment of faith (definition) of the Pope or of a General Council, they are “de fide definita.”

  2. Catholic truths or Church doctrines, on which the** infallible **Teaching Authority of the Church has finally decided, are to be accepted with a faith which is based on the sole authority of the Church (fides ecclesiastica). These truths are as infallibly certain as dogmas proper.

  3. A Teaching proximate to Faith (sententia fidei proxima) is a doctrine, which is regarded by theologians generally as a truth of Revelation. but which has not yet been finally promulgated as such by the Church.

  4. A Teaching pertaining to the Faith, i.e., theologically certain (sententia ad fidem pertinens, i.e., theologice certa) is a doctrine, on which the Teaching Authority of the Church has not yet finally pronounced, but whose truth is guaranteed by its intrinsic connection with the doctrine of revelation (theological conclusions).

  5. Common Teaching (sententia communis) is doctrine, which in itself belongs to the field of the free opinions, but which is accepted by theologians generally.

  6. Theological opinions of lesser grades of certainty are called probable, more probable, well-founded (sententia probabilis, probabilior, bene fundata). Those which are regarded as being in agreement with the consciousness of Faith of the Church are called pious opinions (sententia pia). The least degree of certainty is possessed by the tolerated opinion (opinio tolerata), which is only weakly founded, but which is tolerated by the Church.

Using your 4 points:

Rejecting 1 and 2 would be heresy.

Rejecting 3 would be a sin of grave matter but not heresy.

Rejecting 4 is neither heresy nor a sin of grave matter.

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