Question, How does one report suspected heresy

Or a better understanding of language than you are showing.

You remind me of the adage “Ready! Fire! Aim!”

You have a lot to learn about your faith, and what the faith actually constitutes.

In case you have not done so recently, you might sit down and read the Gospels. Nowhere in there does Christ say that our mission is to attend Mass on Sunday; our mission, which He gives very clearly, is to preach the Good News.

And that doesn’t mean that He does not want us to go to Mass on Sunday; simply that it is not out mission from Him.

You need to find out what real heresy is; and to do that, you need to learn what the Church actually teaches, since heresy is a denial of a truth.

There is no defined doctrine of the Church concerning which may be the better, or more poorly written Gospel, or which is superior or inferior. Therefore, it is more than a bit hard to commit heresy by stating that one is superior or inferior to another.

And that is just a starter.

Great—just great—another one covering up.

Are you trying to be dense, or just funny? Or do you even know what the faith actually teaches? You are the one proposing that the priest is teaching heresy; show us poor “covering up” illiterates what we are missing.

I will oblige you—Although—you were the one calling yourself and an other illiterate.

The priest is saying that the Church is doing a bad job by requiring that we attend Mass. This takes away from the mission of the Church–to spread the gospel and help mankind. Mass to him–takes away our time and by the context of his words—is an impediment to our salvation. Apparently–instead of attending Mass (waste of time)----we should be out there looking for people to help.

The Church is doing a bad job, we should’nt be in church services at all, we should be wondering the Earth finding poor and sick people, only then will we be saved.

Well, that doesn’t rule out the OP’s obligation to first pray about it, then go to the priest. That’s a very Catholic thing to do, to charitably go to the person who might be wrong, privately. The OP wanted to NOT “kick up much steam”.

There is also the matter of evidence and witnesses who also saw and heard the same thing. Without proof, nobody’s going to want to listen to the OP. The OP will not gain any ground by running to the bishop crying “heresy, heresy” when he can’t tell if it is heresy to start. He (or she- can’t tell) will be asked for evidence. Right now, it’s the OP’s word against the priest’s retelling of the story. With a recorded meeting with the priest, with at least another witness…then and only then is it time to go elsewhere.

I don’t have a problem with what Joysong said, nor otjm. Personal opinion might not have a place in the homily, but that’s what it was, personal opinion. The metaphors might have been misunderstood.

But if the OP starts with a conversation with God, then goes to the priest, the the dean, THEN the bishop, THEN the Provincial (archbishop or cardinal); THEN and only then the Vatican- the OP cannot go wrong.

The Church’s chain-of-command should not be jumped without cause.

Catholics have rights–like the right to authentic Catholic doctrine. You might want to get advice from the St. Joseph Foundation. They specialize in this kind of thing :thumbsup:

This is unwarranted and harsh. The OP is asking – not condemning. A picture is worth a thousand words. Here are two pictures for you to ponder:

The protestant side of my family have the “personal opinion” that the Catholic Church was not founded by Christ. They have the “personal opinion” that our Lord is not truely present in Communion. They have a “personal opinion” that our doctrine and Faith is made up and does not come from the Apostles.

A Catholic’s “personal opinion” becomes heresy–when it contradicts the teachings of the Church.

Since the priest made the statements during Mass—this does not concern only the OP and the priest—but the whole congregation—who can be led astray. It is a serious matter.

Dear Genesis315,

You always come through with such good information, right on target, and I thank you for your link! Just in case people did not notice this subsection, I think the counsel therein is excellent and to the point.

Heresy is the obstinate denial or doubt, after baptism, of a truth which must be believed by divine and catholic faith. 751

Not all forms of error add up to heresy. Thus, the rejection of those propositions that must be held definitively is a very serious violation and can result in a penalty. However, the penalty is not automatic (latae sententiae) but must be imposed by canonical process.

Whenever a denunciation is under consideration, a large measure of prudence is called for, especially concerning the use of the word heresy. As we have seen in this issue, not all error rises to that level and to falsely accuse someone of it, even if they are indeed guilty of a lesser violation, could be a violation of c. 1390, which states: A person who calumniously denounces an offence to an ecclesiastical Superior, or otherwise injures the good name of another, can be punished with a just penalty, not excluding a censure.

[quote=Ani ibi]This is unwarranted and harsh. The OP is asking – not condemning. A picture is worth a thousand words. Here are two pictures for you to ponder:

I agree that the OP was asking and not condemning, otherwise he would not have begun the thread. He has been given good advice by a number of posters and is now capable of making his own decision.

You were mistaken that I directed this to the OP, and if you read carefully, my post addressed Walking Home (W.H.) against her strong insistence that the priest was guilty of heresy, and laying a guilt trip on the OP that he would be an accomplice. That’s “unwarranted and harsh” … IMO.

As for your pictures, I haven’t a clue?

Putting aside your other deeply disturbing comments for a minute, this seems far more serious. What exactly is he doing/saying during the consecration? Do you have reason to believe he is not validly consecrating the Host?

Well Joysong —the following IS a teaching of the Church. One that does concern grave matter. If a layperson, priest, or even bishop says that we should not be in Church services at all for it keeps us from helping the poor—that is heretical.

Are we not to believe with our Catholic Faith—that we should attend Mass. Or does this to you —not fall under a truth that must be believed—and can have grave consequences.


2180 The precept of the Church specifies the law of the Lord more precisely: "On Sundays and other holy days of obligation the faithful are bound to participate in the Mass."117 "The precept of participating in the Mass is satisfied by assistance at a Mass which is celebrated anywhere in a Catholic rite either on the holy day or on the evening of the preceding day."118

2181 The Sunday Eucharist is the foundation and confirmation of all Christian practice. For this reason the faithful are obliged to participate in the Eucharist on days of obligation, unless excused for a serious reason (for example, illness, the care of infants) or dispensed by their own pastor.119 Those who deliberately fail in this obligation commit a grave sin.

The “personal opnion” related to the Gospel of St. John, not to whether or not we should attend Mass. Further, even the OP is not sure what exactly was said, because the OP has not yet clarified it with others who might have been there or the priest in question.

Ruining somebody’s reputation without checking the facts is a serious matter, as well.

Again, definition of heresy:
And again:
1.) Prayer.
2.) Be sure it’s really heresy.
3.) Collect evidence and witnesses.
4.) Go to see priest.
5.) Chain of command if things don’t work out talking to the priest (dean, bishop, provincial, Vatican).

I don’t understand WHY you are willing to take on the word of one person that this happened, that there might be a misunderstanding of some sort, that things might have been misinterpreted. I don’t understand why you are willing to jump the Church’s system, and cause the OP more problems. It seems you would rather the OP make a charge of heresy, and risk a charge of calumny against the OP, than to gather the evidence and witnesses properly, and move through the ranks up the chain of command the Church has established.

Neither you nor I heard the priest, and the OP isn’t even entirely sure of exactly what the priest said. At best, the priest sounds like he was trying to jar the pew-warmers out of their all-too-often preconceived notion that they are good Cahtolics if they go to church every Sunday and stick $5 in the collection when they have a 5 on them, and go to confession once in a while - or maybe even every week; and then do nothing more. Being Catholic isn’t about showing up for Mass, or making sure that you attend the most liturgically correct Mass in the diocese, or sing Gregorian Chant. Being authentically Catholic is being Christ for others. It is preaching the Gospel, and as St Francis said, if necessary, using words. None of that in any way says you should not go to Mass; but the dismissal “Ite, missae est” doesn’t translate to “Go, have a nice Sunday and I’ll see you next week”; it is a charge to go out and take Christ into the world. It sounds as if the priest was trying to use some hyperbole, something that someone not paying a lot of attention, or not understanding it is hyperbole, could easily mistake for some wrong suggestions. I have sat through similar homilies, and found people upset, because they just didn’t get it (and they were the ones who thought that taking Christ to the world was the priest’s job).

It is not helpful that the OP cannot quote exactly what the priest said; but I would hazard a guess that if the priest and the OP were to meet in the bishop’s office and we all could be a fly on the wall, that the results might very well be that the priest may not have made himself very clear, but was well within the bounds of Catholic theological thought.

And if you are going to go around and charge heresy for everything you don’t like, at least learn what the Church teaches doctrinally, and what is not a doctrinal issue. I am still waiting for you to state clearly what you seem to think is a heretical statement. And while you are at it, go back and read Joysong’s post; I think it is #6. You may not like the way that the priest said things, but I am waiting to see the heresy.

The OP is nowhere near as explicit as you are tiking the comment to be; I doubt from the OP’s statement of what the priest said that he counseled anyone to not go to Mass. Again, the word hyperbole comes to mind. You are stretching what the OP said that the priest said (all of which should show why hearsay is not acceptable in a court of law).

From what RS-2004 states----the next step would be the bishop. Unless–someone is willing to say that the OP is not being truthful—the OP would be within his rights to contact the bishop in truth and in charity to protect the faithful from false information.

[184.] Any Catholic, whether Priest or Deacon or lay member of Christ’s faithful, has the right to lodge a complaint regarding a liturgical abuse to the diocesan Bishop or the competent Ordinary equivalent to him in law, or to the Apostolic See on account of the primacy of the Roman Pontiff.[290] It is fitting, however, insofar as possible, that the report or complaint be submitted first to the diocesan Bishop. This is naturally to be done in truth and charity

You having trouble reading otjm. What part of —“we shouldn’t be in church services at all”----does register. Taking a second look–it seems the priest is also denying our Catholic Faith and the graces that are received in Communion.

Ok, these were the things the priest said in the mass.

Only through us all finding disempowered people and drug addicts ect and helping them will we be saved, Prayer and Faith and Communion will not save us.

The Church is doing a bad job, we should’nt be in church services at all, we should be wondering the Earth finding poor and sick people, only then will we be saved.

One also has the right to make a complete *** of oneself over an issue that has no substance. But then, what would bishops do with their spare time if any and everyone didn’t come forth with their misunderstanding of what the beleagured priest most recently needed to be misquoted on?

But you seem to think that the priest is guilty without hearing his side of it.

Having made such reports for liturgical abuse, I know that the OP is going to be asked by the bishop if the OP talked with the priest first. The OP will be asked what evidence or witnesses there are. The OP will be asked** if the OP spoke to the dean**.

If the OP does not follow the steps outlined by John Hiner’s link, this is what will happen:

  • The OP will call the chancery and state the complaint against the priest.
  • The OP will not have any evidence, other than the OP’s word.
  • The chancery will take a few notes, and assure the OP that they will “look into it”.
  • The chancery will call the priest.
  • The priest will say his piece to whomever calls from the chancery. If the priest is honest, he’ll tell his side from his (the priest’s) perspective. If the priest is guilty, he might lie to cover his own fanny. In any event, it’s the priest’s word against the OP’s word.
  • The chancery will send the OP a kind letter that states that the priest said otherwise, and without evidence, the chancery can’t do anything.
  • If the OP gets into the bishop’s office, the bishop will kindly ask the OP the same questions, assure the OP of his interest, and farm the thing out to the chancery. Same result without evidence.

And this should close out this thread. The OP has a fairly clear idea on how to pursue this, should that be the OP’s choice.

I’m going to suggest something quite simple:

Change parishes.

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