There have been 'many' Apostasies?


[FONT=times new roman, new york, times, serif]I have question to ask in this forum, becuase there must be some people here who know more history than I do. A friend asked me this:


[FONT=times new roman, new york, times, serif]“To say that protestantism has caused the world to lose faith also strikes me as odd since the world by definition lacks faith. Haven’t there been plenty who have lacked faith throughout Christendom?”

I replied as follows:


[FONT=times new roman, new york, times, serif]Your statement reminds me of something a priest said once when I told him about the prophecy of the mystics of a MINOR apostasy to occur before the great one. His response was, “But there have been MANY apostasies.”[/FONT]
[FONT=times new roman, new york, times, serif]This really disturbed me, because it was as if he was implying that, myriads of times in Church history, the near totality of Europe fell into an UTTERLY DEPRAVED rejection of the Gospel, that is, that, like today, about 80% of them had absolutely no regard for God’s existence, that were utterly indifferent to ANY religion, and that they lived only for materialistic pleasures and accomplishments. But my question is, is this true? That is, when we read about the history of the Middle Ages, why then is religion, and especially Christianity, so much emphasized, if in fact the world of Europe and its children have always been mostly full apostates? I mean, is this implying that all the wrigamoral of the religious wars, persecutions, debates on doctrine, etc, were merely taking place amongst only a very tiny fraction of the European population, and that the rather other majority of the Europeans had absolutely no concern for religious issues (ie, like today in the Global North). The problem is, I’ve always assumed that when they described the Middle Ages as an “Age of FAITH”, they meant it! That is, that, TRULY, the majority of Europeans, while not always holy, nevertheless practiced Christianity, and, for matter, mostly Catholicism?

So I really didn’t understand what this priest was saying? But then a further light came to me from a guy named Fidelis on Catholic Answers Forum. He said the same thing as the priest: there have been MANY “apostasies”, but he went on to qualify his assertion, that the priest did not, and this gives me a clue as to what probably the priest meant as well. Fidelis said (I’m paraphrasing from memory):


There was the Arian apostasy, the Muslim attacks, the Eastern Apostasy (i.e. schism), the Protestant apostasy, the Enlightenment apostasy*

So what Fidelis seems to think is that ANY rejection of Catholic doctrine, whether COMPLETELY, or only PARTIALLY, is nevertheless an “apostasy”. I also saw Father Kramer of the book of desitny use the same word: he called Protestantism an “apostasy”.

… continued…


…continued from above

Well, now wait a minute, aren’t these people really oversimplifying the issue? I mean granted, all of the above categories of people are “in apostasy” in the sense that they “stand apart” from the Catholic Church, but the DEGREE and WAY that they stand apart certainly varies. They are not all UTTERLY opposed to the Gospel. Only the final category of atheists and relativist materialists can be said to “utterly stand apart from the RCC”. For the Muslims still have SOME goodness and truth. They believe there is one God who must be obeyed and submitted to, a God who has revealed things. The Orthodox, in fact, even though they “stand apart”, are nevertheless almost Catholic. There is very little in which they stand apart. Even Protestants are not TOTAL apostates: they accept the Scriptures and Christ. For that matter, even the deists and rationalists are not absolutely bad, for they acknowledge that at least some sort of Supreme Being is up there, a Being that should be honored, and that one should strive to live at least in the natural virtues that are evident from reason. It is rather then, only the final category of atheistic and relativistic materialists that are basicall UTTERLY depraved, who accept no Divine Truth whatsoever and who consider themselves to be utterly their own god.

So my question is, what does this priest, and Fidelis, mean when they say that there have been “many apostasies”? It is as if they would like to wave their hands and say that Catholicism could care less about TYPES and DEGREES of opposition to her teaching, so that, as far as she is concerned, the Arians and the Muslims ,and the Orthodox, and the Protestants, etc, all the way down to the total atheists or relativists, are “non-Catholic”, and therefore, it doesn’t really matter what category they are in, they might as well ALL be EQUALLY children of the devil?


The way I understand the word, to turn away from a faith or a belief is apostasy. To reject any Cathlic Doctrine (revealed to us by God through the apostles) is to become an apostate. In that regards, every heresy or schism is an apostasy. This is why the Church does not do the reconcilliation: it is the individual who changed, not the Church, and the individual must reconcile their apostasy/heresy with the Truth…


There is a difference between apostasy and heresy. Here are the CCC definitions:

Paragraph #2089:
Incredulity is the neglect of revealed truth or the willful refusal to assent to it.
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;
apostasy is the total repudiation of the Christian faith;
schism is the refusal of submission to the Roman Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him.

Arianism was a heresy, not an apostasy.

There have been many heresies throughout Church history. I don’t know about apostasies (large group); maybe where the Moslems conquered Christian countries and the Christians eventually abandoned their faith and accepted Islam. On an individual basis, a person apostasizes when, having been a Christian, they totally reject Christianity. So, if the priest was referring to individuals, it has happened many times over the years and continues to happen whenever someone abandons Christianity.



well, yeah, I already know what you are saying. My question was more, who the hell do these people think they are to call anything “non-Catholic” an apostasy. I would say that in all due respect, they are guilty of the pluralistic error, that differences between religions is neglible and that therefore, the modern crisis of a minor apostasy is “not any different from any other age of the Church”, which is complete BS. Yeah, in the Protestant Rebellion, there was great “opposition to the Church”. But to lump Protestants in with atheists and relativistic hedonists is not only unfair to them, it insults the dogma of the Church which carefully draws distinctions between certain religious classes, so as to point out what good IS in them. For material heretic Protestants can be saved, whereas an individual who embraces outright atheism or relativistic hedonism CANNOT be saved in such a condtion, because there is nothing of Redemptive quality to any of those outlooks.

BTW, I realize that many individual persons have abandoned the faith over the centuries. But as far as I can tell, there condition of the Global North is as depraved as it can get in the general sense of the victims of these ideologies. I’m not saying this is necessarily the end of the world, but the varying degrees and types of spiritual depravities should be pointed out by an academic to have a more precise picture of what is going on in history, instead of vaguely waving one’s hand and lumping all “opposition” to the Church as though there is no need to analyze it in any sense, as if it were all of the same nature and degree.


Did not Ambrose say that to deny even one aspect of Christ is to deny him in entirety?:confused:

Who cares about degrees of denial.

Denial is not to be sugar coated or propped up with a pillow and told its not so bad really.


I am NOT trying to sugarcoat in any means. what I am rather ultimately getting at is their liberal approach to the apoc. They wave their hands and say, “The Church has always had opposition from without, always will, hence, the only thing the apoc could say about it is a vague general sense of ‘the Church goes through ups and downs, but there is no difference. Opposition is opposition.’” In other words, they reduce the apoc to full allegory, that it makes no more specific distinction than this. But the Church formally and dogmatically recognizes these distinctions, and so, consequently, I believe the ecclesiological analysis of Church history may in fact be veiled in the apoc.

Don’t get me wrong, I once again do not intend to sugar coat. I am well aware that the greater the deficiencies in belief or grace, the greater the chance of damnation, even if the individual is innocent of their errors and deficiencies.


I totally misunderstood the direction you were going in.:o

Yes, of course you have legitimate points, I should have tried harder to see what you were driving at.


Isn’t apostacy something from within.

Jesus said we are only given to him by the gift of the Father.

If we do not pray for Fatih for ourselves and others or seek it then what do we expect.

I found this somewhere on the net and saved it:


  1. When you become content with your spiritual growth as it is.
  2. When you lose your hunger for the things of God.
  3. When it takes much urging to get you to do something for Jesus.
  4. When you are ashamed of Jesus in the presence of sinners.
  5. When you grow weary in well doing.
  6. When you do not care to be with spiritual people or talk about spiritual things.
  7. When the most pleasing part of the church service is the benediction.
  8. When someone becomes distasteful because of his or her spirituality.
  9. When you no longer pray as you once did.
  10. When you no longer study the Bible.
  11. When you find an excuse for not doing what you should.
  12. When you see “little” sins cropping up without being alarmed.
  13. When you do not fear your temptations.
  14. When it is easier to see the shortcomings in others rather than in yourself.

There are enemies ready to attack us, and like any soldier on a battlefield, we must keep constant lookout to be on guard. Temptation has many forms and appears in deceptive ways. It requires great caution and attention to identify it and be warned.

Jesus also exhorts us to watch for his coming, “for (we) do not know when the time is” (Mark 13:33). In this case “watch” does not carry the meaning of “looking for” so much as it does “be prepared.” When Jesus comes, there will be no missing it, and there will be nothing else to do.

Whatever condition we are in will be our condition in judgment. The danger lies in assuming that he will not come soon and that we will have plenty of time to prepare for him later. Such assumption is dangerous, and Jesus warns that it will almost inevitably lead one to postpone preparation until it is too late.

A third thing for which we are exhorted to watch is our brothers’ and sisters’ welfare. “Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others” (Philippians 3:4). We are to “consider” and “exhort” one another (Hebrews 10:24-25), “teach and admonish” one another (Colossians 3:16), “forgive” one another (Ephesians 4:32), and, in summary, “love” one another (Romans 13:8). All of this amounts to keeping one’s fellowman always in “view” watching for him or her at all times.

Jesus’ admonition to “watch and pray” remains timely and urgent advice. Our own vigilance is insufficient. We need God’s help. So let us keep a diligent lookout, and let us remain in constant communication with him who sees all things. If we do these things, we will not be surprised or disappointed!

When you meditate, imagine that Jesus Christ in person is about to talk to you about the most important thing in the world. Give him your complete attention.

For me, it takes all my strength to be on guard that apostacy isn’t creeping into myself.

A good rule of thumb is staying in line with the Magisterium, Primacy of Peter and the 16 Dogma of the church:


I am not talking about “knowing” “when” the Second Coming. Amen to your statement that is summed up in St. Peter, “Take care lest you should fall.” I am rather earnest in understanding the MEANING of salvation history, which finds its completion in the age of the Church. I firmly believe that the apoc needs to analyzed in a deeper and more mystical fashion thant the typical preterism. Preterism is fine as one layer of meaning, but it alone cannot address all these questions. Fundamentalists DO have a legitimate point in that they emphasize that an apostasy of epic and severe proportions exists, and I am tired of the typical “Catholic” response of “we know not the day or the hour”, therefore, “forget about it completely and focus on social justice issues.” IN FACT, herein is precisely where greater depth is needed. The Fundamentalist, in point of fact, is even himself oversimplifying the issue. For him, the world “started to end” when the Jews came back to Israel in 1948. This represent ignorance. The modern spiritual desert did not emerge out of no where. It is centuries in the making. From the first moment after the Church’s release from the persecution of pagan Rome, the devil has wasted no time. Yet, on the other hand, he knew he couldn’t cause humanity to totally reject Catholicism all at once. No, the blood of the Roman martyrs was still quite fresh on the ground. No, he had to work gradually at it. And herein is precisely where the formal ecclesiological classifications that the Church makes come into play. These distinctions are not merely ideas. They are, in fact, objectively real spiritual obstructions that have left (and in most case continue to leave) their imprint in human history, in the history of the Church, which is in fact the concluding age of Salvation history itself.

So again, it was in no way the situation that the world was wonderful flowers until the Jews returned in 1948. For in the immediate wake of the Edict of Milan, the devil begins his first attack: attacking the claim of the Triune and Incarnate God, culminating with Islam, a classification that is formally mentioned in the CCC. Next, he moves down the ladder to the Pope. Hence, the Orthodox rebel not against all mediated fatherhood, but of Peter’s special possession of this. Then later, he sows laxity in the general clergy to bring about the total negation of Apostolic Succession and Oral Tradition, retaining but Scripture (Protestantism). And having robbed them of the only sure foundtaion of truth, it was then no difficult task to cause utter chaos and confusion in the pursuit of Christian truth, that is, supernatural truth, hence, it was easy then for him to drive humanity to disillusionment with organized religion, hence giving birth the “Enlightenment”, which stripped religion of its supernatural essence, leaving Reason as the only basis. And now, in the modern age, even Reason is discard. The Global North no longer then lives even in unison with the essential moral law that can be seen merely that same Reason.

Now, my point is not (because you’ll probably assume this), that the “VERY end is upon us”. By no means, for I have faith with the mystics that God can heal all these wounds, if necessary by a Chastisement. But, then, precisely on that vein, given this general structure, how could the Scriptures not somehow prefigre this process? Again, the typical Catholic, who is ignorant of most of these realities, cannot accept even that such a process could be there because they only interp they know of is the typical preterism. They will surely not find this analysis in the New American Bible. Such a possible layer of meaning is not even on the radar screen in the footnotes of that watered down version of Sacred Scripture. And frankly, I’m sick of it.

… continued


… continued

Does not anyone realize that such depth and analysis as spiritual historicism can not only give a much deeper and meaningful response to the Fundamentalist, but in point of fact, one that VINDICATES the Church and its doctrine in a way that preterism, by itself, can never do.

That 's what I’m talking about. Of course, I know we must be on guard in the depths of our hearts and minds for our salvation and that of our fellow creatures in our life. Amen! But then precisely in this issue, I reflect on the modern spiritual depravity, and I wish to probe deeper into the mysteries of Christ, and what therefore also includes the history of the Church herself. For Salvation History is PART of the Deposit of Faith.

And yet you accuse me of being a fundie who is obsessed with knowing things like "“who is the king of the north in Daniel and will Russia blow up Germany first, or rather will China invade Belguim?” garbage, which I am not.

I say the daily rosary, and many times even the Divine Mercy Chaplet. I make the daily offerings and offer everything in love as best I can. But I also wish to ponder the ultimate Plan in terms of its spiritual meaning. But for some reason, according to you, it would seem that a Catholic “shouldn’t do that” because, “it’s a distraction.”

OK, whatever. :rolleyes:


Woah, this is getting scary.

Jehovah’s witnesses focus on Daniel and Revelation!:eek:

Spauline, you are so smart, but you think Catholics are dumb to not explore this and feel like fundamentalists have a point?


Where is your trust in the Church and in God’s providence?

Would God mislead us this way?:shrug:


But I don’t think that the Church formally endorses the typical preterist mush. That’s one layer of meaning. But RCC doesn’t say preterism trumps all other meanings. I am not saying Fundamentalists have a very good grasp of what it means. But at least they are concerned about it more than “typical Catholics” in this country. In other words, I do not beleive that waving you hand back to preterism is the best response that a Catholic can give, because it dismisses the spiritual crises that exists. If anything, and even if not spiritual historicism, they could at least reply with an idealistic and mystical interpretation of the diabolical trinity in Rev. 13, instead of just casually dismissing it as nothing more than a handful of Roman Emperors. But, admittedly, the Fundamentalists do not understand the essence of it. But, actually, then, the anti-Catholic historicists like ultra-Calvinists have the right approach (spiritual historicism), but because they are not Catholic, they get it way wrong. What I’m saying, we can play their game too. So in point of fact, we can say the book actually coincides with OUR ecclesiology. We don’t have to merely defend and wave our hand back to pagan Rome. We can go on the offense: Scripture prefigures, schism, heresy, etc.


Not at all.

Humbly, according to me I am saying that we can only indirectly affect apostasy outside of ourselves. Which is not to say that we shouldn’t try. Salvation isn’t of us though we must speak the truth as it’s delineated to us from the Church as the Lord calls us to witness to him first by our actions and they by words if we must.

Granted the impending doom is intriguing and I am sure you realize that we cannot know the exact time for its not ordained for us to have that information as attested to by Christ’s own words.

Mat 24:36 But as to that day and that hour, no one knows, neither the angels of Heaven, except My Father only.

Again though, this also is not to say that we cannot discern signs of the times and prophesy impending events. If one wishes to scrupulously look to the heavens then he only needs to watch what the substantiated visionaries and mystics are saying.

Personally I have found greater peace in not trying to force truth on souls to eliminate apostasy in anyone other than myself or to scrutinize every apparition or miracle watching for the apocalypse and instead trust in Gods Mercy that on my last day I will meet him face to face.

But again finally that is only my humble opinion. You will follow yours. If you find out when the last day is please let us know. :smiley:

Gods peace and speed to you friend.


But I’m NOT a Fundamentalist. Are you misreading me? I was CONDEMNING the “Russia will blow up Belgium stuff.”, not endorsing it.

Being interested in SPIRITUAL HISTORICISM is not anything LIKE the Fundamentalists. Fundamentalists are generally literalistic futurists. Liberals are fully allegorical preterists. I am in between: I’m partially allegorical, spiritual historicism, from a Catholic viewpoint.

So what are you saying, that I am wrong to pursue what i pursue? My thinking is, you seem to be a typical Catholic who is incapable of understanding what i’m talking about. I think typical people today think in extremes. You must be EITHER the full right OR the FULL left. No room for a middle. EITHER you are a Bible-thumping literal six day creationist, OR you are an atheist evolutionist. EITHER you believe that you everyone will go to hell unless they get all of the truth right, or else it doesn’t really matter what you believe in any sense, just be a “good person”. EITHER, there is predestination, OR there is free will, but not both. So then, I think most Catholics do not even realize that are other options besides fully allegorical preterism and literalistic futurism.

Hence, the typical Catholic assumes, anything other than liberal preterism MUST be Fundamentalism, MUST be senseless interest that in the end is but a distraction. I don’t buy it. Is there meaning to Salvation History or not? There is a difference between saying, “NO apocalyptic questions are valid other than preterism”, versus, “There are legitimate Q’s on the apoc that are not only not futurism but also BEYOND preterism.” But I think the typical stigma in the Western Church is not to bother with it. I refuse to accept that I wasting my time or being distracted. I rather think that persons who don’t care about it in any sense are less than fervent. They haven’t matured to a point that they wish to go into unsettled places.


I give up! You don’t even understand what I’m talking about. Your post only serves to manifest that you do not understand. I am not interested in the “nature of impending doom” or of temporal calamities, or the “day or the hour.” I am interested in understanding Salvation history. Asking questions about the degree of spiritual fruit that God will bring before the final manifestation of sin. I am interested in understanding how the Church will discern when humanity is incurable. Those are questions have nothing to do with “what will happen temporily in the impending doom”. It is questions like, can Christ heal the wounds to unity in Christendom? Can He restore the Faith? Other stuff. LIke a spiritual and psychological analysis behind the greater events in Salvation history, discerning the DIvine Responses and the rather inevitable respective stages of the fallen nature in man. But I don’t think I can even try to explain this to you. Your under a stigma, and you are labeling me as such, when I really don’t think you understand me.

Oh well. :rolleyes:


Let me put in another way: I’m not interested in merely the WHAT of Salvation history, even if this about the spiritual subages of Salvation history. It’s not just that but the WHY. HOW will man get into an incurable spiritual depravity? Which is inseparabel from the antecedent question: what will the fullness of the Redemption be in the Gentiles? Is it pessimistic Augustinism, or the mystics more on track and WHY! Not just “what”, but why?

That has nothing to do with “what will be the political scenarios in the ultimate doom”, nor “the day or the hour”. I am getting sick of being relegated as a “impending doom political scenarios, day and hour” person. But oh well, there is perhaps a cross here that I can offer up. Offer up it for the salvation of my loved ones who are practically apostate, continue to unite my sufferings and struggles with Christ and offer them up in love for my own sanctification and that of my loved ones.

I pray that God BLess you all, even if I feel that you misunderstand me.

In Her Love Always,


I understand when I am being vexed with a prideful lack of charity.

Your stigmatizing yourself.

“Oh well” and “whatever”, sounds intellectual but so did the Pharisees.

Peace is the key.

Belittle me all you like. I see history for what it is; A lesson, not an answer. Optimism reveals more than pessimism. Learn the lessons and you gain the wisdom. Maybe then you will understand where the circle to the unity of Christendom ends, all the best with that. You will have the answer in heaven before you see it here in this lifetime.

I could have shared my theory on the accomplishment of that christian unity one but you obviously don’t care what I think or even that I can understand you.

As you said: “I give up!” Now your getting it. Peace and oh, well.


Look, I am sorry for losing my temper. I have judged you unfairly and misunderstood you. I am sorry, I actually do like to dialog. Please share with me what you believe on Christian unity. In point of fact, as I hinted at, I DO believe that Christians will be reunited back to Our Mother the Church and Therefore the Mother of God and that the faith will then be restored. I know I can’t know this for sure, but I have faith that this will happen for many reasons based on personal meditation on Scripture and tradition. Yes, in the near future, I am optmistic of a healing of the spiritual damage.

Please forgive me Katholikos Mercy, and I would like to hear what you have to say. For I do not want to presume that I know everything or understand everthing spiritual, it was just that I perceived that you were saying that I shouldn’t meditate on these things. But please, share with me your thoughts and meditations on this.


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