Abandoning Christ: The Forgotten Sins of Heresy, Apostasy, and Schism

Public Domain, Wikipedia / ChurchPOP

“Heresy,” “apostasy,” “schism.” Do these words seem foreign to you?

They may seem antiquated and medieval; like they represent something the Church used to be, but has long since abandoned.

If that’s what you think, you may be surprised to learn that all three are officially recognized and defined in both the current Catechism and the Code of Canon Law.

These things are still sins – and serious ones at that!

Here’s how the Church defines them:

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.

Apostasy is the total repudiation of the Christian faith.

Schism is the refusal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him. (CIC 751; CCC 2089)

There are a few important things to note here.

First, these apply to people “after the reception of baptism.” So, e.g., someone who is not a baptized Christian cannot be a heretic by denying a truth of the Christian faith.

Second, notice that heresy requires “obstinate” denial or doubt of a truth of the faith. If a Christian denies a truth of the faith, e.g., out of ignorance, they are not guilty of heresy.

In such a case, the Church makes a distinction between what’s called material heresy and formal heresy. Material heresy is when a person denies a truth of the faith, though they may or may not be culpable. Formal heresy is when a person denies a truth of the faith and is culpable.

For example, most Catholics, if you asked them enough theological questions, probably believe some material heresy (the Catholic faith is complicated!). They are probably not formal heretics, however, since their material heresy is probably simply due to ignorance. You can’t commit these sins on accident.

Why are these things so bad?

Because committing any of them is ultimately a rejection of Jesus!

God has definitively revealed himself through Jesus Christ. This revelation has been passed down to us in Scripture and Tradition, which is guarded and interpreted by the Catholic Church with the help of the Holy Spirit. So heresy, or denying the truths of the faith presented by the Church, is ultimately a rejection of God.

This also explains why apostasy, or repudiating the entirety of the Christian faith, is a rejection of God.

Finally, schism is a rejection of Christ because schism is a rejection of the Church that was established by Christ, the Church that is, in a mystical fashion, the Body of Christ.

So if a person is guilty of one of these sins, what does it mean for them?

Since these sins are certainly grave matter, if they are committed with full knowledge and full intentionality, they are mortal sins and endanger a person’s salvation. To return to a state of grace, the person needs to confess their sins in the Sacrament of Reconciliation and receive absolution.

Further, they might also incur automatic (latae sententiae) excommunication. Canon law says: “An apostate from the faith, a heretic, or a schismatic incurs a latae sententiae excommunication.” (CIC 1364)

For this to happen, though, canon law has a few other conditions, which include: the person must know they were breaking canon law, the person must be at least 16 years old, the person must have the use of their reason, etc (cf. CIC 1321ff).

The bottom line, however, is this:

If you are a baptized Christian, you should hold fast to the teachings of the Church, keep practicing the faith, and maintain unity with your bishop and especially the Pope.

Doing anything less is abandoning Christ and his Church!

[See also: “The Very Necessary Minimum”: The Forgotten “Precepts of the Church”]

[See also: Parents, I Need You: A Heartfelt Letter From a Catholic School Priest]

Comments

comments

37 COMMENTS

  1. I am typically to blogging and i actually recognize your content. The article has really peaks my interest. I’m going to bookmark your web site and maintain checking for brand spanking new information.

  2. There are fantastic modifications on the style of your blog, I really enjoy this! My site is on the subject of mobile number location tracker and right now there are lots of stuff to do, I am still a starter in web page design. Thanks!

  3. I frequently look over your posts thoroughly. I am likewise fascinated by smartphone reviews, maybe you could discuss this occasionally. I’ll be back soon!

  4. You actually make it seem really easy together with your presentation however I in finding this topic to be actually something that I feel I might by no means understand. It sort of feels too complicated and extremely wide for me. I am looking forward in your subsequent submit, I will attempt to get the grasp of it!

  5. I was speaking to a friend of mine around this article and also about upvc double glazed windows as well. I do believe you made some great points on this page, we’re looking forward to find out more stuff from you.

  6. I was extremely pleased to find this website. I wanted to thanks for your time for this superb read!! I undoubtedly enjoying each small bit of it and I’ve you bookmarked to check out new stuff you blog post.

  7. I’m writing to let you be aware of of the impressive experience our child had going through your blog. She learned numerous pieces, most notably what it’s like to have an ideal teaching mindset to make certain people without difficulty fully understand chosen extremely tough subject matter. You really did more than visitors’ desires. Thank you for giving such great, trusted, educational not to mention unique guidance on your topic to Kate.

  8. It was actually wonderful to read this info and I think you’re really correct. Let me know if you’re looking into get market apk, this is my main expertise. I am hoping to check back with you soon, cheers!

  9. It was actually wonderful reading this and I feel you’re 100 right. Let me know in case you’re curious about download kik, this is my major expertise. I hope to hear from you soon enough, bye for now!

  10. I just arrived over here via a different website on real estate rentals and imagined I might as well look into this. I quite like what I see therefore now I”m following you. Looking forward to looking into your blog again.

  11. An exciting discussion is worth comment. I feel that you must write extra on this subject, it may possibly not be a taboo topic but generally people today are not sufficient to speak on such topics. Towards the next. Cheers

  12. Hello I’m really grateful I came across your webpage, I basically found you by error, when I was looking on Bing for best instagram followers app. Regardless I am here now and would just enjoy to say many thanks for a incredible write-up and the all around fun site (I furthermore love the theme), I don’t have sufficient time to browse it all at the moment yet I have saved it and even added in your RSS feed, so once I have enough time I will be returning to read more. Make sure you do keep up the excellent work.

    • Its like you learn my thoughts! You seem to understand a llot about this, like you wrote the
      e-book in it or something. I think that you can do wit a feew % to drive the
      message house a little bit, however other than that, that is fantastic blog.
      A fantastic read. I will certainly be back.

  13. Our LGV (Large Goods Vehicle) HGV training is based in East London, and our LGV/ HGV courses are taught by qualified DVSA LGV & HGV trainers. LGV was formerly known as HGV, where it used to be referred to as HGV Class 2 (now called LGV Category C) and HGV class 1 (Now called LGV Category C+E).

  14. I was speaking with a good friend of my own about this article and even regarding free movies too. I do believe you made a number of good points on this page, we’re excited to continue reading material from you.

  15. Attractive section off content. I just stumbled upon your blog and inn accession capital to assrrt that I get inn
    fact enjoyed account your blog posts. Any wway I will be subscribing to your augment
    and even Iacfhievement you access consistently quickly.

  16. Greate article. Keep writing such kind of information on yolur
    site. Im really impressed by your blog.
    Hi there, You’ve done aan incredible job. I will definitely digg it and in my opinion suggest to my friends.
    I am confident they’ll be benefited from thjis web site.

  17. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point. You definitely know what youre talking about, why throw away your intelligence on just posting videos to your blog when you could be giving us something informative to read?

  18. Appreciating the hard work you put into the website and detailed details you display. It’s awesome to find a blog from time to time which is not the similar unwanted re-written information. Excellent read! I’ve saved your site and I am including the RSS feeds to our mesothelioma lawsuit web page.

  19. I’m truly enjoying the design of your weblog. Do you ever face any kind of web browser interface troubles? A few of my site audience have complained regarding my how to watch free movies online site not operating correctly in Internet Explorer though appears great in Chrome. Have you got any kind of solutions to assist fix the matter?

  20. My friends and I absolutely love your website and find almost all of the discussions to be exactly what I’m trying to find. Do you offer other people to write articles for you? I wouldn’t mind producing a piece of text relating to general dentistry or perhaps on most of the subjects you’re writing about on this page. Nice place!

  21. My spouse and I certainly love your website and find a majority of the content to be precisely what I’m looking for. Would you offer people to write information for you? I would not mind composing an article on free films or maybe on a lot of the things you are writing about here. Nice internet site!

  22. I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you create this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz respond as I’m looking to construct my own blog and would like to know where u got this from. many thanks

  23. Admiring the commitment you put into this website and comprehensive details you provide. It’s good to find a blogging site from time to time that isn’t the same out of date re-written stuff. Great read! We’ve bookmarked your website and I’m including the RSS feeds to my online movies blog.

Leave a Reply