Sunday, February 15, 2015

Catholic In Good Standing?

On a discussion board elsewhere a person I was debating with claims he is a Catholic in good standing with the Church.  I found that rather curious, as this person obstinately denies SEVERAL dogmatically defined (infallible) teachings of the Catholic Church.  My response back to him was that he's either flying under the radar of his local bishop - or - he's too weak or liberal to take action.  The fact is if one who is validly baptized "obstinately denies" even ONE de fide teaching of the Catholic Faith, then he is a heretic. 
Can. 751 Heresy is the obstinate denial or obstinate doubt after the reception of baptism of some truth which is to be believed by divine and Catholic faith (Code of Canon Law)
 Can. 1364 §1. Without prejudice to the prescript of can. 194, §1, n. 2, an apostate from the faith, a heretic, or a schismatic incurs a latae sententiae excommunication; (Code of Canon Law)
So, one does not need to be exposed to their local bishop.  If one who has been baptized has demonstrated to be in obstinate denial or doubt then they incur an automatic (latae sententiae) excommunication.  So there can be little doubt, actually NO doubt for this person to whom I refer.  Below is a partial list of the teachings he obstinately denies:
  • The inerrancy of Scripture
  • The Immaculate Conception
  • The Nativity Narratives
  • The Virgin Birth of Christ
  • The Divinity of Christ
  • That Jesus started a Church
  • Papal Infallibility
  • Infallibility of Ecumenical Councils
  • The Blessed Trinity (as Three Divine Persons in One God)
  • The Bodily Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
These are not all the teachings this person denies, but for a baptized Catholic to obstinately deny even ONE of these teachings equates to heresy and an heretic is automatically excommunicated, no official action need to be taken by their local bishop (but he could act, if he so chooses).  

My recommendation to this person, who still claims to be a Catholic in good standing:  My friend, you are not in good standing with the Catholic Church!  You need to go to your confessor and confess these sins (each heresy IS a mortal sin!) and sincerely repent of having committed these offenses and sincerely resolve not to commit these sins again.  Be humble and submit yourself to the due and proper authority which Jesus Christ left His Flock.  It is ONLY through His bishops and/or one whom they have authorized (such as priests within their jurisdiction) who have the ability/authority to forgive your sins.  It is my prayer that you come back to full communion with the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.


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