What Is Heresy?


#1

I’ve read what it is, but am still pretty unclear. I mean, I believe in the teachings of the Church and try to follow them. There have been times where I may have questioned a teaching or doubted it briefly, but for the most part I don’t disbelieve any teachings (although there were times where I was misinformed), although most of the reasons i doubt is when i’m usually found ignorant on the matter, does this make me a heretic? if not, then what would make someone one?

Thanks.


#2

In one sentence… a Heretic is a baptized individual who know a truth but chooses to teach the opposite.

The heresy is what he teaches

John Kerry knows the truth about abortion, but teaches (proclaims) the opposite. I assume he has been baptized.


#3

St. Thomas (II-II:11:1) defines heresy: “a species of infidelity in men who, having professed the faith of Christ, corrupt its dogmas”. "The right Christian faith consists in giving one’s voluntary assent to Christ in all that truly belongs to His teaching. There are,therefore,two ways of deviating from Christianity: the one by refusing to believe in Christ Himself, which is the way of infidelity, common to Pagans and Jews; the other by restricting belief to certain points of Christ’s doctrine selected and fashioned at pleasure, which is the way of heretics. The subject-matter of both faith and heresy is, therefore, the deposit of the faith, that is, the sum total of truths revealed in Scripture and Tradition as proposed to our belief by the Church. The believer accepts the whole deposit as proposed by the Church; the heretic accepts only such parts of it as commend themselves to his own approval. The heretical tenets may be ignorance of the true creed, erroneous judgment, imperfect apprehension and comprehension of dogmas: in none of these does the will play an appreciable part, wherefore one of the necessary conditions of sinfulness–free choice–is wanting and such heresy is merely objective, or material. On the other hand the will may freely incline the intellect to adhere to tenets declared false by the Divine teaching authority of the Church. The impelling motives are many: intellectual pride or exaggerated reliance on one’s own insight; the illusions of religious zeal; the allurements of political or ecclesiastical power; the ties of material interests and personal status; and perhaps others more dishonourable. Heresy thus willed is imputable to the subject and carries with it a varying degree of guilt; it is called formal, because to the material error it adds the informative element of “freely willed”. :blessyou:


#4

man I hate these bifocals, I thought we were talking about chocolate, but I guess that would be on non-Catholic religions.

John Kerry is not a heretic until somebody at the Vatican says he is and so far that hasn’t happened despite the self-promoting web campaign of a well-meaning but possibly misguided co-religionist from Boston.

If as defined above a heretic is one who teaches heresy, that does not apply to Kerry, He is not a theologian or bishop of the Catholic church charged with the responsibility to hold and teach the truth, the fullness of the faith. He is a lay Catholic in public life, who publicly denounces some Catholic teachings, but he is not performing a teaching role under the auspices of the Church. No, that designation of heretic would belong to those hired by Catholic institutions of higher learning including seminaries who are teaching, writing, promoting and endorsing ideas contrary to magesterial teaching of the Church.

If we were allowed to know which of these teachers has signed a mandatum and who has refused, we would know who they are.


#5

[quote=MrS]In one sentence… a Heretic is a baptized individual who know a truth but chooses to teach the opposite.

The heresy is what he teaches

John Kerry knows the truth about abortion, but teaches (proclaims) the opposite. I assume he has been baptized.
[/quote]

If he was an altar boy, which he so proudly proclaims, then he would have to be.

Also, you don’t have to be actually teaching, just publicly proclaiming a belief that is contrary to Catholic doctrine to be a heretic. If you are doing it without knowledge of the doctrine you are acting against, you are guilt of material heresy. If you do it with FULL knowledge of the doctrine you are acting against, you are a formal heretic, which carries the canonical penalty of latae sententia excommunication.


#6

[quote=puzzleannie]man I hate these bifocals, I thought we were talking about chocolate, but I guess that would be on non-Catholic religions.

John Kerry is not a heretic until somebody at the Vatican says he is and so far that hasn’t happened despite the self-promoting web campaign of a well-meaning but possibly misguided co-religionist from Boston.

If as defined above a heretic is one who teaches heresy, that does not apply to Kerry, He is not a theologian or bishop of the Catholic church charged with the responsibility to hold and teach the truth, the fullness of the faith. He is a lay Catholic in public life, who publicly denounces some Catholic teachings, but he is not performing a teaching role under the auspices of the Church. No, that designation of heretic would belong to those hired by Catholic institutions of higher learning including seminaries who are teaching, writing, promoting and endorsing ideas contrary to magesterial teaching of the Church.

If we were allowed to know which of these teachers has signed a mandatum and who has refused, we would know who they are.
[/quote]

You are totally incorrect about a heretic having to be in a teaching position or some other position of authority. The Catechism of the Catholic Church # 2089 says. “Heresy is the obstinate post-batismal denial of some truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith, or it is likewise an obstinate doubt concerning the same…” One can be a heretic and never utter a word or give bad example that would make one known to the public that one is a heretic.


#7

I was in an RCIA group that discussed NFP. One of the candidates refused the teaching by announcing “that doesn’t work!” She held to her conviction, refused to consider NFP and was confirmed a few weeks later. I asked the nun in charge of the class how this woman could be confirmed while holding this position and was told, “We can’t judge her heart, that is for God to do, and she wants to be confirmed so that’s all that concerns us”. Wasn’t this a heresy? :confused:


#8

IMHO, it is. Basically a heresy is denying a teaching of the church. Luther was considered a heretic before he left the church by teaching that we are saved by faith alone. Denying the divinity of Christ is a heresy, as is denying the reality of the Holy Spirit. It’s stuff like that that is heresy. Does that help any?


#9

catsrus: Did she deny NFP in favor of artificial contraception, or simply deny that it works? It it’s the former, then she’s technically speaking heresy, but if it’s the latter then she’s simply got a material stance against a practice that some Catholics use.


#10

[quote=catsrus]I was in an RCIA group that discussed NFP. One of the candidates refused the teaching by announcing “that doesn’t work!” She held to her conviction, refused to consider NFP and was confirmed a few weeks later. I asked the nun in charge of the class how this woman could be confirmed while holding this position and was told, “We can’t judge her heart, that is for God to do, and she wants to be confirmed so that’s all that concerns us”. Wasn’t this a heresy? :confused:
[/quote]

Accepting NFP is not an essential element of faith. Now if she rejected the Church’s dogmatic position regarding artificial contraception, that would be a different story.


#11

Thanks for the answers folks! Actually, I don’t recall that she rejected NFP for artifical contreception, only that she was adament that she wasn’t even going to try it. I would assume that she and her hubby used neither since by the time she was confirmed, she was pregnant. With twins, no less.


#12

Actually, I don’t recall that she rejected NFP for artifical contreception, only that she was adament that she wasn’t even going to try it.

She didn’t do anything wrong then. NFP is just a natural method of spacing childbirth. If she doesn’t want to, she doesn’t have to, nor is she obligated to believe it works. NFP isn’t the exclusive property of the Church, nor is it an obligation.


#13

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