Author Topic: Material Heretics Might Not Be Members of the Church  (Read 12121 times)

Offline Norwich24

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Re: Material Heretics Might Not Be Members of the Church
« Reply #15 on: August 02, 2014, 09:46:06 AM »
Quote from: Billot
Heretics are divided into formal and material. Formal heretics are those to whom the authority of the Church is sufficiently known; while material heretics are those who, being in invincible ignorance of the Church herself, in good faith choose some other guiding rule.

This seems to contradict Van Noort, because Van Noort suggests Catholics simply in error can be material heretics.
Does Van Noort say one way or another about what Card. Billot calls "simple error of fact concerning what the rule dictates"?

The key is the distinction between those "whom the authority of the Church is sufficiently known" and those "who have chosen another rule," which refers to those who are not Catholics.
Perhaps Van Noort just doesn't mention error explicitly because the context is heresy, not error.

Although, as Fraghi says above, St. Augustine seems to use "error" in a different sense than simply an incorrect conclusion drawn from true premises:
Quote
St. Augustine distinguishes between heretics who defend error "pertinaciously with animosity," and the others who are in error "without animosity:" the latter are not among true heretics, i.e., they are not reputed among formal heretics, although they are not "of our communion."

That is my point. The distinction is important because if it isn't made, a Catholic who is merely mistaken (he is not pertinacious) is considered to be outside the Church. Apparently, even Fr. Cekada believes this.
 

Offline Geremia

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Re: Material Heretics Might Not Be Members of the Church
« Reply #16 on: August 02, 2014, 11:52:25 AM »
What of a baptized Catholic child (past the age of reason) who, when he is learning (or later), is sometimes in explicit error (say about the Assumption) out of ignorance or bad memory etc?  I would think his mistake would be material error; but does that make him a material heretic?  His error is a "simple error of fact". He follows the Church as his guiding light (even if through his parents).  I assume he would  still be in the Church?

It seems the same could be asked about practicing Catholic adults as they learn and forget and re-learn points of their faith.  They make material  errors, but if they are of good will, and the Church is their guiding light, at what point  do they become material heretics, and more importantly when are they out of the Church?
The context in which we are speaking is public material heresy. In other words: You need to know the faith well to confess or teach it publicly because if you make a mistake in that, you erode the unity of the Church. Whether occult heretics are or are not part of the Church is another contested issue.

Offline Geremia

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Re: Material Heretics Might Not Be Members of the Church
« Reply #17 on: August 02, 2014, 12:04:39 PM »
That is my point. The distinction is important because if it isn't made, a Catholic who is merely mistaken (he is not pertinacious) is considered to be outside the Church. Apparently, even Fr. Cekada believes this.
Public material heretics still erode the unity of the Church, regardless their intentions.

Offline SouthpawLink

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Re: Material Heretics Might Not Be Members of the Church
« Reply #18 on: August 02, 2014, 12:05:35 PM »
I think the following passage from Tanquerey is quite relevant to this discussion:

"b.  no one can separate himself from the true faith once received and from the Church without some fault, at least the fault of imprudence1; but this fault is not always a mortal sin, and it is not always against faith; therefore it does not necessarily expel the habit of faith.  The Vatican Council has declared2 that those 'who have received the faith under the magisterium of the Church can never have any just cause for changing or doubting that faith'3.  But from the exposition of the theory of some authors which was proposed to the Fathers of the Council, it is clear that this opinion of some older theologians was not condemned, namely: 'per accidens and in certain definite circumstances, the conscience of an uneducated Catholic can be so much drawn into invincible error that he may embrace some heterodox sect without a formal sin against faith; in this hypothesis he would not lose the faith'3.

"1 So, he is guilty of imprudence:
1.   Who, instructed only slightly in religion, does not hesitate to mingle frequently with non-Catholics and to listen to them;
2.   Who reads magazines and books which atttack the faith, and does not have recourse to a well-informed priest when doubts arise contrary to faith.
2 Vatican Council, session III, chap. 3, D. B., 1794.
3 Refer to VACANT, Etudes théol. sur les Constit. du C. du Vatican, t. II, n. 731-737" (A Manual of Dogmatic Theology, vol. I, part 2, tr. VI, chap. III, art. II A, sec. 391, p. 235f.).
« Last Edit: August 02, 2014, 12:07:37 PM by SouthpawLink »
"Is there no exception to the rule forbidding the administration of the Sacraments to baptized non-Catholics who are in good faith? In the case of those who are in good health, the prohibition is absolute; no dispute on this point is possible in view of the repeated explicit declarations of the Holy Office" (Rev. S. Woywod, A Practical Commentary on the Code of Canon Law, vol. I, sec. 625, p. 322ff.).

Contrast the above with the 1983 CIC, Can. 844 §3 & 4: "Catholic ministers administer the sacraments of penance, Eucharist, and anointing of the sick licitly to members of Eastern Churches which do not have full communion with the Catholic Church. . . .  If the danger of death is present or if, in the judgment of the diocesan bishop or conference of bishops, some other grave necessity urges it, Catholic ministers administer these same sacraments licitly also to other Christians not having full communion with the Catholic Church." — The phrase "properly disposed" does not save the canon from error, because the context shows that no conversion is expected on the part of non-Catholics ("manifest Catholic faith in respect to these sacraments" is the sole requirement).
 

Offline Norwich24

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Re: Material Heretics Might Not Be Members of the Church
« Reply #19 on: August 02, 2014, 02:49:03 PM »
That is my point. The distinction is important because if it isn't made, a Catholic who is merely mistaken (he is not pertinacious) is considered to be outside the Church. Apparently, even Fr. Cekada believes this.
Public material heretics still erode the unity of the Church, regardless their intentions.
Material heretics are not members of the Church. They not only at least hold a material heresy, they have adopted another rule of faith.
 

Offline FockeWulf

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Re: Material Heretics Might Not Be Members of the Church
« Reply #20 on: August 02, 2014, 04:03:36 PM »
Because I don't have enough time to parse all of these comments, did some of you allude to the fact that you actually believe that private/occult material heretics, that is to say a child past the age of reason or a retarded individual, have placed themselves outside of the Church through adhering to some error in belief, or are you stating that such individuals are not properly called "material heretics." I gathered the distinction between public/private, yet I'd like to know what you believe regarding privately held heresies as a result of some ignorance or defect of reason or instruction.
 

Offline RobertJS

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Re: Material Heretics Might Not Be Members of the Church
« Reply #21 on: August 02, 2014, 06:06:25 PM »
Because I don't have enough time to parse all of these comments, did some of you allude to the fact that you actually believe that private/occult material heretics, that is to say a child past the age of reason or a retarded individual, have placed themselves outside of the Church through adhering to some error in belief, or are you stating that such individuals are not properly called "material heretics." I gathered the distinction between public/private, yet I'd like to know what you believe regarding privately held heresies as a result of some ignorance or defect of reason or instruction.

This was a very good response to Norwich.

The answer really is, there is a canonical "material heretic", and a moral "material heretic". If the distinction is not understood, it will cause a lot of debate (unnecessarily).

An example of the first is when the Church ruled on the Protestants being heretics. Certainly the original leaders of Protestants were pertinacious, but the descendants not necessarily so. Yet, because it was legally established, if a Catholic joins, he is legally no longer a Catholic, because he joined what is obviously condemned as a current practicing sect.

FockeWulf brings up the other case of a (moral) material heretic, which is not legal, but philosophical. For instance if a young boy of 9 explains the Hypostatic Union in a heretical way, he is not to be considered a non-Catholic, but merely a mistaken Catholic. Adult Catholics who are mistaken in the same way are considered dangerous Catholics and can be somewhat treated as non-Catholic, but still they are legally "Catholics" until determined by the Church to be pertinacious and cut-off.



ideo mittit illis Deus operationem erroris ut credant mendacio
 

Offline Norwich24

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Re: Material Heretics Might Not Be Members of the Church
« Reply #22 on: August 02, 2014, 07:03:16 PM »
Because I don't have enough time to parse all of these comments, did some of you allude to the fact that you actually believe that private/occult material heretics, that is to say a child past the age of reason or a retarded individual, have placed themselves outside of the Church through adhering to some error in belief, or are you stating that such individuals are not properly called "material heretics." I gathered the distinction between public/private, yet I'd like to know what you believe regarding privately held heresies as a result of some ignorance or defect of reason or instruction.

This was a very good response to Norwich.

The answer really is, there is a canonical "material heretic", and a moral "material heretic". If the distinction is not understood, it will cause a lot of debate (unnecessarily).

An example of the first is when the Church ruled on the Protestants being heretics. Certainly the original leaders of Protestants were pertinacious, but the descendants not necessarily so. Yet, because it was legally established, if a Catholic joins, he is legally no longer a Catholic, because he joined what is obviously condemned as a current practicing sect.

FockeWulf brings up the other case of a (moral) material heretic, which is not legal, but philosophical. For instance if a young boy of 9 explains the Hypostatic Union in a heretical way, he is not to be considered a non-Catholic, but merely a mistaken Catholic. Adult Catholics who are mistaken in the same way are considered dangerous Catholics and can be somewhat treated as non-Catholic, but still they are legally "Catholics" until determined by the Church to be pertinacious and cut-off.



I'm not sure he was responding to me alone, Robert ... But anyway, the material heretic can only be one who has a different rule of faith to begin with. A protestant is a good example, as you stated.

A Catholic who holds a heretical notion is either mistaken or unaware of the conflict between his belief and the teaching of the Church somehow (and not a heretic at all) or he is a formal heretic and therefore outside the Church.

Quote from: RobertJS
Adult Catholics who are mistaken in the same way are considered dangerous Catholics and can be somewhat treated as non-Catholic, but still they are legally "Catholics" until determined by the Church to be pertinacious and cut-off.

This appears to justify your deciding who is and isn't "dangerous" and how they can be "somewhat treated as non-Catholics," whatever that might mean.

 
 

Offline RobertJS

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Re: Material Heretics Might Not Be Members of the Church
« Reply #23 on: August 02, 2014, 07:09:46 PM »
Because I don't have enough time to parse all of these comments, did some of you allude to the fact that you actually believe that private/occult material heretics, that is to say a child past the age of reason or a retarded individual, have placed themselves outside of the Church through adhering to some error in belief, or are you stating that such individuals are not properly called "material heretics." I gathered the distinction between public/private, yet I'd like to know what you believe regarding privately held heresies as a result of some ignorance or defect of reason or instruction.

This was a very good response to Norwich.

The answer really is, there is a canonical "material heretic", and a moral "material heretic". If the distinction is not understood, it will cause a lot of debate (unnecessarily).

An example of the first is when the Church ruled on the Protestants being heretics. Certainly the original leaders of Protestants were pertinacious, but the descendants not necessarily so. Yet, because it was legally established, if a Catholic joins, he is legally no longer a Catholic, because he joined what is obviously condemned as a current practicing sect.

FockeWulf brings up the other case of a (moral) material heretic, which is not legal, but philosophical. For instance if a young boy of 9 explains the Hypostatic Union in a heretical way, he is not to be considered a non-Catholic, but merely a mistaken Catholic. Adult Catholics who are mistaken in the same way are considered dangerous Catholics and can be somewhat treated as non-Catholic, but still they are legally "Catholics" until determined by the Church to be pertinacious and cut-off.



I'm not sure he was responding to me alone, Robert ... But anyway, the material heretic can only be one who has a different rule of faith to begin with. A protestant is a good example, as you stated.

A Catholic who holds a heretical notion is either mistaken or unaware of the conflict between his belief and the teaching of the Church somehow (and not a heretic at all) or he is a formal heretic and therefore outside the Church.

Quote from: RobertJS
Adult Catholics who are mistaken in the same way are considered dangerous Catholics and can be somewhat treated as non-Catholic, but still they are legally "Catholics" until determined by the Church to be pertinacious and cut-off.

This appears to justify your deciding who is and isn't "dangerous" and how they can be "somewhat treated as non-Catholics," whatever that might mean.

Truly, I think you need to ponder what I previously wrote, and then you should see something different.

ideo mittit illis Deus operationem erroris ut credant mendacio
 

Offline Norwich24

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Re: Material Heretics Might Not Be Members of the Church
« Reply #24 on: August 02, 2014, 09:12:17 PM »
Robert, you always think everybody just doesn't understand you. If they only pondered your posts a little longer they'd figure it out.
 

Offline Norwich24

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Re: Material Heretics Might Not Be Members of the Church
« Reply #25 on: August 03, 2014, 08:11:53 AM »
Quote from: Billot
Thesis XI

Although Baptismal character is sufficient in itself to make someone member of the Catholic Church, nevertheless for adults two conditions are required in order to produce this effect. The first is that it is not impeded the social bound of unity of faith through formal or even mere material heresy. In fact since this impediment is brought only by the openly professed heresy, we have to say that it excludes only the notorious heretics from the body of the Church.

“According to the etymology of the word and the common meaning of the whole tradition, someone is properly called heretic who after receiving the sacrament of baptism, does not receive from the ecclesiastical magisterium the rule of believers, but rather he chose some other norm for believing on matters of faith and of the doctrine of Christ: whether he follow other doctors and teachers of religion, whether he adhere to the principle of free exam professing the absolute independence of reason, or whether he finally don`t believe even one of those articles propossed by the Church as dogmas of faith...”
“...Heretics are divided into formal and material. Formal heretics are those to which the authority of the Church is well known; whereas material heretics are those that chose on good faith another directive rule, while invincibly ignoring about the very Church. The heresy of the material heretics is not imputed to them as sin, even they don`t necessary lack the supernatural faith which is the beginning and root of all iustification. Perhaps they believe explicitly the main articles, and the rest only in an implicit way, with a disposition of the will and a good will to adhere all those things that be sufficiently proposed to him as revealed by God. Therefore they may still belong by desire to the body of the Church, and having the other conditions to be saved. Nevertheless regarding the real incorporation into the visible Church, of which we are talking about, the thesis doesn`t make any distinction between formal and material heretics, understanding all these things according to the notion of material heresy, which is the only one both genuine and proper, that we will explain soon. Because if by material heretic you understand he who, professing to depend on things on faith upon the magisterium of the Church, denies something defined by the Church because he doesn´t know it was defined, or he holds some sentence contrary to the Catholic doctrine because he believes wrongly that it was defined by the Church, then it would be absurd to put material heretics outside the body of the true Church, but in this way it would be completly twisted the legitimate meaning of the word. Because it is said that there is a material sin only when you put (make) materially those things that are proper of such a sin, without warning or deliberated will. Instead it is of the reason of heresy the removal (separation) from the ecclesiastical magisterium, which doesn´t exist in that case (material heresy as it was explained before), since it is a simple error of fact regarding what the rule teaches.”
 

Offline RobertJS

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Re: Material Heretics Might Not Be Members of the Church
« Reply #26 on: August 03, 2014, 02:13:53 PM »
Robert, you always think everybody just doesn't understand you. If they only pondered your posts a little longer they'd figure it out.

Always?
Everybody?
C'mon!
ideo mittit illis Deus operationem erroris ut credant mendacio
 

Offline RobertJS

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Re: Material Heretics Might Not Be Members of the Church
« Reply #27 on: August 03, 2014, 02:18:26 PM »
Quote from: RobertJS
Adult Catholics who are mistaken in the same way are considered dangerous Catholics and can be somewhat treated as non-Catholic, but still they are legally "Catholics" until determined by the Church to be pertinacious and cut-off.

This appears to justify your deciding who is and isn't "dangerous" and how they can be "somewhat treated as non-Catholics," whatever that might mean.

For instance, when Martin Luther was suspect, there was a time period in which he was being censured, but was still a Catholic. Between the start of his being admonished by the Church, and his final excommunication which made him a non-Catholic, people could treat him "somewhat" as a non-Catholic, meaning they had an obligation to avoid him and his writings as a danger.

ideo mittit illis Deus operationem erroris ut credant mendacio
 

Offline Norwich24

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Re: Material Heretics Might Not Be Members of the Church
« Reply #28 on: August 03, 2014, 03:40:12 PM »
Quote from: RobertJS
Adult Catholics who are mistaken in the same way are considered dangerous Catholics and can be somewhat treated as non-Catholic, but still they are legally "Catholics" until determined by the Church to be pertinacious and cut-off.

This appears to justify your deciding who is and isn't "dangerous" and how they can be "somewhat treated as non-Catholics," whatever that might mean.

For instance, when Martin Luther was suspect, there was a time period in which he was being censured, but was still a Catholic. Between the start of his being admonished by the Church, and his final excommunication which made him a non-Catholic, people could treat him "somewhat" as a non-Catholic, meaning they had an obligation to avoid him and his writings as a danger.
Well, nobody is being censured today, so I'm not sure that example is a relevant one.
 

Offline LouisIX

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Re: Material Heretics Might Not Be Members of the Church
« Reply #29 on: August 03, 2014, 04:23:49 PM »
I believe he is using the terms in a very specific way which is not necessarily how the OP is interpreting them.

I'd be interested in LouisIX's thoughts, as the OP's opening and the actual text seem to go a little passed each other.

Even Fraghi recognizes that this subject is open to debate.  This is why "dogmatic sedevacantist" or "dogmatic sedeplenism" are so dangerous.  They treat this question as if it has been settled.  It is anything but. 

Everyone is free to hold a position on this.  I personally believe that material heretics are within the Body of Christ, but the Magisterium has refused an official pronunciation up until now.  I do think, however, that this will be an important question for the Church to address after the crisis has subsided.
IF I speak with the tongues of men, and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.