What to do about Heresy?


#1

It has been clear to me for a long time that a particular heresy about Christ is epedemic in my Parish community, it is even taught in the Catholic highschool and aserted by the head priest at the Parish. I have heard many many many Catholics say that Jesus did not have complete knowledge while He was on earth, that He didn’t even know He was the Son of God until He was baptized, but rather just knew there was something special about Him. I am certain now that this is a heresy, and one I have been trying to fight for many years now since I first saw it in the highschool when I was 15 (I’m 19 now). This is such a big problem in my community that I can find more people who believe it than don’t, and almost no one sees a problem with it. And the ones who do know it is wrong, don’t really plan to do anything about it, and sometimes I feel like there really is nothing to be done. I have thought about writing to the Achdioses (sp?) of Baltimore and complaining about it, but I don’t know if it would do any good or not. Can someone PLEASE tell me what to do about this?


#2

You have a big problem. I think you as a Catholic are free to contact your Bishop, I once did. I was ignored.

But to your question, what was Jesus’ answer to His Mother after she found him conversing with the Jewish Priests in the Temple. Wasn’t His answer similar to,“I was about My Father’s Business.”

“My Father’s Business” to me means that Jesus was saying that God was His Father. For a 12 year old to talk theology with the Jewish Priests was very unusual. If God was His Father then Jesus was knowingly saying He was the Son of God. How could He say that without having that knowledge?


#3

[quote=Exporter]You have a big problem. I think you as a Catholic are free to contact your Bishop, I once did. I was ignored.
[/quote]

Thanks, but does anyone have any better ideas on how to combat such a wide spread belief?


#4

lol. you might get more suggestions if you don’t insult the ones you do get.


#5

[quote=ContraFool] I am certain now that this is a heresy, and one I have been trying to fight for many years now since I first saw it in the highschool when I was 15 (I’m 19 now).
[/quote]

Hmmmmm.

I think if I were you I would take a few Theology classes at the college level before I would start throwing around words like “heresy.”


#6

seriously, i wouldn’t get into a fret about this one. sure, it looks very much like Jesus knew Who He was (Was?) from the start. how much did He know as an infant? we don’t know.

but do you see this ‘heresy’ negatively affecting the people around you? in charity, it might be best to let this one slide, in light of more important issues.

there ARE issues which are extremely important, and i think focusing on those (choosing our battles, so to speak) might be the best use of our time and talent.


#7

Oh, I didn’t mean to be insulting! He said himself that the Bishop ignored him! I’m hoping for something better than just being ignored.

[quote=jeffreedy789]lol. you might get more suggestions if you don’t insult the ones you do get.
[/quote]


#8

[quote=jeffreedy789]seriously, i wouldn’t get into a fret about this one. sure, it looks very much like Jesus knew Who He was (Was?) from the start. how much did He know as an infant? we don’t know.

but do you see this ‘heresy’ negatively affecting the people around you? in charity, it might be best to let this one slide, in light of more important issues.

there ARE issues which are extremely important, and i think focusing on those (choosing our battles, so to speak) might be the best use of our time and talent.

[/quote]

Dear jeffreedy789,

I agree that this issue seems of little consequence.

Then again, I thought the issue of whether Mary remained a virgin after Christ was born was immaterial, and I found people to be so passionate about that it was amazing. On that, I finally conceded that there are reasons to believe she was (not to mention the Church proclaimed it infallibly as I’m told) but I still don’t see why it matters in any material way.

To ContraFool, I’d say that I’ve read the other posts and think they are good. Keep in mind that “heresy” implies that it is opposed to the teaching of the Church. You said you “are certain now” that this is a heresy, but what do you base that on? This is the perfect place to get absolutely clear on whether it is a teaching of the Church. If it is not, then there is, by definition, no heresy even though you may persist in believing they are misguided. If it is a Church teaching, then there are several ways you can proceed.

For example, one way is to get a copy of the actual Church document that states Christ knew He was God all along, or whatever it is you’re trying to assert. Ask your parish priest, with a spirit of humility and curiousity, to explain it to you. When he does, accept what he says and do not bring up the issue of “but then why do you say, this or that,” unless you are reaaally led by the Spirit to do so. Take whatever he says and pray about it.

I’m giving you advice based on my experience at trying to correct church leaders and getting totally spit up and chewed out for it. Do not let them think for a second that you consider yourself smarter than them or act confrontational in any way, or you will have quite a cross to carry.

Alan


#9

[quote=ContraFool]Oh, I didn’t mean to be insulting! He said himself that the Bishop ignored him! I’m hoping for something better than just being ignored.
[/quote]

Don’t get your hopes up.

Some bishops ignored and covered complaints against molesting priests for years, but don’t any more because they got caught. Don’t be surprised if they take your opinion of possible heretical teachings by priests with any more urgency, unless they can be sued for it.

Of course, this completely depends on the bishop.

Alan


#10

[quote=jeffreedy789]seriously, i wouldn’t get into a fret about this one. sure, it looks very much like Jesus knew Who He was (Was?) from the start. how much did He know as an infant? we don’t know.

but do you see this ‘heresy’ negatively affecting the people around you? in charity, it might be best to let this one slide, in light of more important issues.

there ARE issues which are extremely important, and i think focusing on those (choosing our battles, so to speak) might be the best use of our time and talent.
[/quote]

I must disagree because one heresy can lead to another. If people start thinking Jesus didn’t know some things, they may start to wonder why He had any teaching authority at all. Jesus must be compeltly removed form all human limitations, else He was no better than Moses. I just fear where this could lead. And if my priest is teaching something that I know to be against the CCC (I now have a reference), then what other bad things could he be teaching that I don’t know about?


#11

I wish he were as easy to talk to as that. But since he is the pastor of such a huge parish (some 20,000 families), he is really hard to get ahold of. I have only spoken to him personally less than 5 times in the 15 years I’ve been a member of the parish. I only ever got to speak to him about this issue once when I was lucky enough to get him for confession…and he laughed at me.


#12

thanks for the clarification on what i took to be an ‘insulting’ post.

i suppose it IS YOUR time and talent, after all. i would just remind you that we’re called, above all else, to LOVE. sometimes loving means telling people they’re wrong. but it hurts to do that. them AND us. it needs to be a major issue, and done with a great deal of humility and respect and kindness.

if you feel this is something that really needs to be addressed, then i’m not saying don’t. i’m just saying to stay in submission to the authority of the church, and your church leaders, and if you feel you need to correct some bad teaching, be very careful how you do it.

i was taught some bad theology when i became catholic, but i don’t see, in charity, how bringing it up to those who taught me is going to accomplish much. if i knew them better, and had their respect, i could gently bring it up. but otherwise, i’ll find bigger fish.

God bless you.


#13

That also helps explains why you are so serious about this issue.

There is nothing quite like having one’s issues taken lightly to cause one to take them even more seriously.

At the age of 45, I am finally accepting the fact that I cannot save others from wrong teaching. I’m in a class now (not religious) where the teacher makes misstatements and then puts down my attempts at revealing the truth, plainly written in the book, and this is RIGHT AFTER she made a big deal out telling us to correct her if she says anything wrong because she knows she does sometimes. I have finally concluded that those in authority, bosses, teachers, politicians, and yes even lay and religious church leaders, frequently don’t expect you to actually do what they tell you to do. They either don’t even realize what they have told you to do, or don’t recognize it when you do it. The other lemmings who only half-way obey are seen as the true obedient. It cost me a job and a psychotic episode to figure that out; save yourself from it, and pray a lot including contemplative forms. You must be very strong spiritually before you make waves or your boat will get swamped. On the other hand, as Ted Nugent said, “if you aren’t making waves then you aren’t paddling.”

With my current class, after much consternation I finally decided the other class members are on their own. When I teach class I take that opportunity to “do it my way” and I take every question seriously.

Alan


#14

[quote=AlanFromWichita]That also helps explains why you are so serious about this issue.

There is nothing quite like having one’s issues taken lightly to cause one to take them even more seriously.

At the age of 45, I am finally accepting the fact that I cannot save others from wrong teaching. I’m in a class now (not religious) where the teacher makes misstatements and then puts down my attempts at revealing the truth, plainly written in the book, and this is RIGHT AFTER she made a big deal out telling us to correct her if she says anything wrong because she knows she does sometimes. I have finally concluded that those in authority, bosses, teachers, politicians, and yes even lay and religious church leaders, frequently don’t expect you to actually do what they tell you to do. They either don’t even realize what they have told you to do, or don’t recognize it when you do it. The other lemmings who only half-way obey are seen as the true obedient. It cost me a job and a psychotic episode to figure that out; save yourself from it, and pray a lot including contemplative forms. You must be very strong spiritually before you make waves or your boat will get swamped. On the other hand, as Ted Nugent said, “if you aren’t making waves then you aren’t paddling.”

With my current class, after much consternation I finally decided the other class members are on their own. When I teach class I take that opportunity to “do it my way” and I take every question seriously.
Alan
[/quote]

I got into a lot of trouble in highschool becasue I would never let things go when I thought I was right about something. I had been homeschooled seven years before that so I just wasn’t used to the rules I guess. I was rejected from entering the national honor society even though I had the GPA for it, and I was informed that it was because I lacked “leadership ability.” They gave me a nice little leader that explained a good leader follows all the rules. I think they were just mad because I raised a lot of issues there, (religion just being one of them) that they would rather not have dealt with. I still haven’t really learned to keep my mouth shut. The only thing that keeps me from demanding an explanation from the priest while he is at the pulpit is that I’m outnumbered here several thousand to one.


#15

For Catholics the Truth is very important, for the Truth is Jesus Himself. A pastor should NEVER laugh at your concerns, and that he did disturbs me. I would recommend you write to the bishop, because the teaching that Christ did know who He was was obviously important enough to be included in the Gospel (with the Temple episode). You’re bishop may or may not reply, but if you do not get a reply, don’t take it personally…bishops are very busy, it’s a very difficult job being a bishop in the modern world (well actually at any time) and they need all the prayer we can give them. I’m very blessed to have come to the Church (I will be received this upcoming January) in relatively small diocese, in many ways. I have met with our bishop personally, to talk with him one on one about my desire to convert, for example! And meet with my pastor every couple of weeks for one on one instruction in the faith. It would be nice if this were possible everywhere. (The Diocese of Nelson, in British Columbia, Canada is in a relatively non-Catholic part of the country, with only 67 000 or so Catholics out of 350 000 people over an area of about 110 000 square kilometres).

I knew that in the Catechism, somewhere, it shed some light on this issue…so I flipped open and went to the rough area where I thought it would be and within seconds I found the following (the Spirit uses the Catechism too!):
“At the age of twelve he decided to remain in the Temple to remind his parents that he must be about his Father’s business.” (From CCC#538). Seems pretty clear to me that the Magisterium us telling us that Jesus knew who His Father was, and that He must be focused on his Divine Mission…at the age of 12.


#16

[quote=ContraFool]I got into a lot of trouble in highschool becasue I would never let things go when I thought I was right about something. I had been homeschooled seven years before that so I just wasn’t used to the rules I guess. I was rejected from entering the national honor society even though I had the GPA for it, and I was informed that it was because I lacked “leadership ability.” They gave me a nice little leader that explained a good leader follows all the rules. I think they were just mad because I raised a lot of issues there, (religion just being one of them) that they would rather not have dealt with. I still haven’t really learned to keep my mouth shut. The only thing that keeps me from demanding an explanation from the priest while he is at the pulpit is that I’m outnumbered here several thousand to one.
[/quote]

Bingo! I knew you sounded a lot like me.

I wish you lived near me and we could hang around a lot. I could write a book on all the ways I got into trouble when I was simply trying my best to do what I was told and/or stand up for the truth. Not just any trivial truth, but truth that was highly relevant to the situation. I would like to talk to you much more because truly, there are ways of going about it (which sound like the path you are currently on) which could actually lead to dire consequences. They could also lead to great leadership roles. I suspect you are probably intelligent and academically capable, and simply cannot understand why others don’t seem to value being right. I have a number of theories on this, and let me tell you, I am getting my spiritual and emotional strength back up to the point where I am going to be ready not only to face the world, but to change it for the better. The issue is not to give up or sell out your integrity, but to learn strategy in how to deal with it – and knowing which battles to fight.

Just another wild guess – do you have a great distaste for sales, either someone trying to manipulate you through partial truth or for trying to sell a product by such means yourself?

Alan


#17

Eh, when I think about it, it bothers me, but I don’t stay up late at nights worrying about it or anything. LOL I have more important battles to fight!


#18

[quote=ContraFool] Jesus must be completly removed from all human limitations, else He was no better than Moses. I just fear where this could lead. And if my priest is teaching something that I know to be against the CCC (I now have a reference), then what other bad things could he be teaching that I don’t know about?
[/quote]

Now, the bolded part worries me a little. Remember, that Jesus voluntarily took on human limitations by taking on a human nature. He was “a man like is in everything but sin.”

We must keep both natures in view. He was fully God; and He was fully human–with all the limitations that entails. As a human being, he suffered the same bodily limitations that we do. He got tired, had to sleep, suffered pain. In his human nature he had to learn, and to grow in knowledge.

In His divine nature He was omnipotent and all knowing.

We can’t exclude either His human nature or his divine nature.

And since none of us has the experience of having two natures, human and divine, it’s rather difficult, and sometimes presumptuous, to try to analyze Jesus.


#19

I would not be too quick to jump to the conclusion of heresy. Even the inquisitors weren’t too quick to make such conclusions (except Bernard Gui maybe). But what knowledge are you talking about? Check out the Catholic Encyclopedia 1913 edition:

It has already been stated that the knowledge in Christ’s Divine nature is co-extensive with God’s Omniscience. As to the experimental knowledge acquired by Christ, it must have been at least equal to the knowledge of the most gifted of men; it appears to us wholly unworthy of the dignity of Christ that His powers of observation and natural insight should have been less than those of other naturally perfect men. But the main difficulty arises from the question as to the extent of Christ’s knowledge flowing from His beatific vision, and of His infused amount of knowledge.

(1) The Council of Basle (Sess. XXII) condemned the proposition of a certain Augustinus de Roma: “Anima Christi videt Deum tam clare. Et intense quam clare et intense Deus videt seipsum” (The soul of Christ sees God as clearly and intimately as God perceives Himself). It is quite clear that, however perfect the human soul of Christ is, it always remains finite and limited; hence its knowledge cannot be unlimited and infinite.

(2) Though the knowledge in the human soul of Christ was not infinite, it was most perfect and embraced the widest range, extending to the Divine ideas already realized, or still to be realized. Nescience of any of these matters would amount to positive ignorance in Christ, as the ignorance of law in a judge. For Christ is not merely our infallible teacher, but also the universal mediator, the supreme judge, the sovereign king of all creation. (3) Two important texts are urged against this perfection of Christ’s knowledge: Luke, ii, 52 demands an advancement in knowledge in the case of Christ; this text has already been considered in the last paragraph. The other text is Mark, xiii, 32: “Of that day or hour no man knoweth, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father.” After all that has been written on this question in recent years, we see no need to add anything to the traditional explanations: the Son has no knowledge of the judgment day which He may communicate; or, the Son has no knowledge of this event, which spring from His human nature as such, or again, the Son has no knowledge of the day and the hour, that has not been communicated to Him by the Father. (See Mangenot in Vigouroux, “Dict. de la Bible”, II, Paris, 1899, 2268 sqq.) …

newadvent.org/cathen/08675a.htm


#20

[quote=JimG]Now, the bolded part worries me a little. Remember, that Jesus voluntarily took on human limitations by taking on a human nature. He was “a man like is in everything but sin.”

We must keep both natures in view. He was fully God; and He was fully human–with all the limitations that entails. As a human being, he suffered the same bodily limitations that we do. He got tired, had to sleep, suffered pain. In his human nature he had to learn, and to grow in knowledge.

In His divine nature He was omnipotent and all knowing.

We can’t exclude either His human nature or his divine nature.

And since none of us has the experience of having two natures, human and divine, it’s rather difficult, and sometimes presumptuous, to try to analyze Jesus.
[/quote]

Yes, Jesus knew what it was to have those physical limitations, but I think He demonstrated on many occassions that He didn’t have to, so I believe it is safe to say He was “free” of them. There were times when He did eat, and did drink, and did sleep, but I honestly don’t think that He HAD to. I mean He went 40 days in the desert without food or water. It is possible to live about 30 days without eating, and about three without drinking any water. So clearly He was not really bound by the same human limitations as the rest of us. If a man locks himself in a room that he has the key to, and no one is forcing him to do it, I think it is safe to say that he is actually free.


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