Monday, November 23, 2009

Contra Bizzaro, Material Heresy


The position that Mike has taken, which I will be addressing in this article, along with many of his citations, is that every instance of ignorance of any dogma of the Catholic Faith whatsoever results in the instant separation of the person’s soul from the body of Christ. He does not allow for the reasonable and equitable position (held by Saints Thomas and Augustine as we will see) that if such a person has simply either not yet learned a deeper dogmatic issue or has come to the incorrect conclusion on such without any intention of opposing the Church, that he is not severed from Catholic unity and damned as a result of merely considering the mysteries of God and accidentally getting something wrong, without the will to oppose the Church.

Mike has ignored the fact that there are only certain mysteries of the Faith, which have been proposed as absolutely necessary to be known by all for salvation, and that there are many, many other dogmas, of which many people would never even have occasion to learn, let alone consider in their daily Catholic lives.

To give a basic example of Mike’s depraved position, he must state the following to be consistent:

“If any person simply does not know that the soul is the form of the body, or that heretics are able to baptize validly, or that priests are not the ordinary ministers of confirmation (etc., etc.), or that priests are NOT the minister of matrimony (that's right, Council of Florence, Session 8), or that the baptism of John was inferior to the Baptism of Christ, then such a person is automatically not Catholic and is on the road to hell.”

We will see that not only is this position alien to the Church, but that Mike fails to teach the Catholic Faith whole and undefiled according to his own standards.

I would also like to mention the following, since it relates directly to the issue: If a person is presented with what another believes to be the Catholic position on a specific dogmatic issue, and rejects it all the same, then he is to be viewed by the other as committing an objective offense against the Faith, and must prove his innocence. If he does not, then it is necessary to view the other as a heretic (if the one presenting is correct). But how might he prove his innocence?

1) By amending his position and professing the correct Catholic position. If he does so, and his material heresy was not contrary to the basic Christian Creed, then he never lost his Catholicity at all, which is the position explicitly held by St. Augustine.

2) By sufficiently defending his position and showing that his opinion, in fact, never was an actual offense against the Catholic Faith.

A person should be able to do one of these, and truly, if he cannot do one, he should consider himself BOUND to do the other. So whether or not a person has fallen into material heresy, the point is that as soon as he has reason to question his belief, it is incumbent upon him to learn what the correct position is and to profess it. Failure to do so in a timely manner renders what previously may have only been innocent ignorance into willful and culpable ignorance.

But does this mean that a person is not Catholic until he knows ALL the dogmas? That is an absurd proposition, and is contrary to Scripture and the practice of the Church. We find an example in Scripture of one of the Apostles instructing a convert in the basic truths of the Faith and then baptizing him.

Acts of the Apostles 8:30-38: "And Philip running thither, heard him reading the prophet Isaias. And he said: Thinkest thou that thou understandest what thou readest?

Who said: And how can I, unless some man shew me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. And the place of the scripture which he was reading was this: He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb without voice before his shearer, so openeth he not his mouth.  In humility his judgment was taken away. His generation who shall declare, for his life shall be taken from the earth? And the eunuch answering Philip, said: I beseech thee, of whom doth the prophet speak this? of himself, or of some other man?  Then Philip, opening his mouth, and beginning at this scripture, preached unto him Jesus.  And as they went on their way, they came to a certain water; and the eunuch said: See, here is water: what doth hinder me from being baptized? And Philip said: If thou believest with all thy heart, thou mayest.  And he answering, said: I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still; and they went down into the water, both Philip and the eunuch: and he baptized him."
 
The eunuch professed the basic truths of Christianity and was baptized. Was he still not a Catholic? Did the Apostle baptize him unto damnation?

What about the practice of the Church, whereby men are baptized after receiving only basic Catechesis? Mike would have to say that because they are not being told ALL the dogmas that the Church is therefore baptizing them unto damnation and not salvation, but this is a ridiculous position. Take a look at the Council of Nicaea's second canon:

Council of Nicaea, Canon 2, AD 325: "Since, either through necessity or through the importunate demands of certain individuals, there have been many breaches of the church's canon, with the result that men who have recently come from a pagan life to the faith after a short catechumenate have been admitted at once to the spiritual washing, and at the same time as their baptism have been promoted to the episcopate or the presbyterate, it is agreed that it would be well for nothing of the kind to occur in the future. For a catechumen needs time and further probation after baptism, for the apostle's words are clear: "Not a recent convert, or he may be puffed up and fall into the condemnation and the snare of the devil".

So the ancient practice of the Church even back as far as the Council of Nicaea ALLOWED for persons to be baptized after a SHORT CATECHUMENATE, even if it looked with scorn upon such a person also immediately becoming a priest or bishop. Would such persons have known EVERY DOGMA of the Holy Catholic Faith? Certainly not. Hence the teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas:

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa, Tertia Pars, Q. 71: The preparations that accompany Baptism, Article 1. Whether catechism should precede Baptism: "On the contrary, Rabanus says (De Instit. Cleric. i): "Before Baptism man should be prepared by catechism, in order that the catechumen may receive the rudiments of faith."

In order that the catechumen may receive what? The rudiments of faith, the necessary truths, namely the "Catholic Faith, whole and undefiled" as it was later defined in the Council of Florence when the Athanasian Creed was dogmatized.

We can even go farther back and show from the writings of Tertullian (while he was still in the Catholic Church) that this rule of Faith is what is held as necessary:

Tertullian, The Prescription Against the Heretics, Chapter XIII, somewhere around AD 200: “…there is one only God, and that He is none other than the Creator of the world, who produced all things out of nothing through His own Word, first of all sent forth; that this Word is called His Son, and, under the name of God, was seen "in diverse manners" by the patriarchs, heard at all times in the prophets, at last brought down by the Spirit and Power of the Father into the Virgin Mary, was made flesh in her womb, and, being born of her, went forth as Jesus Christ; thenceforth He preached the new law and the new promise of the kingdom of heaven, worked miracles; having been crucified, He rose again the third day; (then) having ascended into the heavens, He sat at the right hand of the Father; sent instead of Himself the Power of the Holy Ghost to lead such as believe; will come with glory to take the saints to the enjoyment of everlasting life and of the heavenly promises, and to condemn the wicked to everlasting fire, after the resurrection of both these classes shall have happened, together with the restoration of their flesh. This rule, as it will be proved, was taught by Christ, and raises amongst ourselves no other questions than those which heresies introduce, and which make men heretics."

So even as far back as Tertullian, the Rule of Faith was the same, though Tertullian worded it a little differently than the Apostles Creed, or the Athanasian Creed. It still contained all the articles proposed as absolutely necessary for salvation.

St. Thomas Aquinas also states that some men may explicitly believe more articles of faith than other men, and yet have the same faith:

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa, Secunda Secundae Partis, Q. 5, Article 4: "Now the object of faith may be considered in two ways: first, in respect of its formal aspect; secondly, in respect of the material object which is proposed to be believed. Now the formal object of faith is one and simple, namely the First Truth, as stated above. Hence in this respect there is no diversity of faith among believers, but it is specifically one in all, as stated above. But the things which are proposed as the matter of our belief are many and can be received more or less explicitly; and in this respect one man can believe explicitly more things than another, so that faith can can be greater in one man on account of its being more explicit [...]

"Reply to Objection 1. A man who obstinately disbelieves a thing that is of faith, has not the habit of faith, and yet he who does not explicitly believe all, while he is prepared to believe all, has that habit (faith). On this respect, one man has greater faith than another, on the part of the object, in so far as he believes more things, as stated above."

And how about the following Canon from the fourth century Synod of Laodicea?


Synod of Loadicea, Canon 46: "They who are to be baptized must learn the faith [Creed] by heart, and recite it to the bishop, or to the presbyters, on the fifth day of the week."

According to Mike's position, this canon does not represent an adequate preparation for the sacrament of baptism, since according to his position, a person who ONLY knows the Creed is not yet a Christian. If Mike's position were correct, such a person would have to not only recite the Creed in full, but also list off every dogma of the Catholic Faith.

By the way Mike, I noticed that the dogma that the baptism of John was inferior to that of Christ (Council of Trent's very first canon on Baptism!) is not present on your "authentically Catholic" website. You must be a heretic then, and a hypocrite if you claim to be teaching people all the dogmas of the Catholic Church. If they "just don't know" this dogma, according to your ridiculous position they are damned. Are you trying to help them go to hell?

But Mike, THAT'S NOT HOW IT WORKS.

Think about it: You have a catechumen, freshly baptized, but he has not yet received in depth instruction on the sacraments. Is he damned because of this? The Church damns people then Mike, because that is what happens. The Church has withheld the in depth instruction on the sacraments from the catechumens, professing that the grace bestowed in baptism is necessary in order to learn these deep mysteries.

St. Augustine, on the Catechising of the Uninstructed, Chapter 26: "At the conclusion of this address the person is to be asked whether he believes these things and earnestly desires to observe them. And on his replying to that effect then certainly he is to be solemnly signed and dealt with in accordance with the custom of the Church. On the subject of the sacrament, indeed, which he receives, it is first to be well impressed upon his notice that the signs of divine things are, it is true, things visible, but that the invisible things themselves are also honored in them, and that that species, which is then sanctified by the blessing, is therefore not to be regarded merely in the way in which it is regarded in any common use. And thereafter he ought to be told what is also signified by the form of words to which he has listened, and what in him is seasoned by that (spiritual grace) of which this material substance presents the emblem."

So Augustine prescribes that AFTER baptism there are more matters pertaining to the sacraments, matters which are Divinely revealed dogmas, that are to be told to the new convert. So, Mike, does that mean that Augustine is encouraging priests to baptize people into a corrupt or defiled faith? Or, again could it be that YOU are ADDING TO THE RULE OF FAITH, those dogmas which are not necessary to be known to all for salvation?

St.Thomas Aquinas, Summa, II/II, Q. 11, Article 1. Whether heresy is a species of unbelief: "I answer that, The word heresy as stated in the first objection denotes a choosing. Now choice as stated above (I-II, 13, 3) is about things directed to the end, the end being presupposed. Now, in matters of faith, the will assents to some truth, as to its proper good, as was shown above (Question 4, Article 3): wherefore that which is the chief truth, has the character of last end, while those which are secondary truths, have the character of being directed to the end...

Therefore heresy is a species of unbelief, belonging to those who profess the Christian faith, but corrupt its dogmas."

St. Thomas identifies what types of beliefs are heretical, and he goes further to point out, agreeing with St. Augustine, a person is reckoned a heretic (one who has committed the SIN of heresy) once they are rebuked and reject the dogma.

Article 2. Whether heresy is properly about matters of faith: "On the contrary, Augustine says against the Manichees [Cf. De Civ. Dei xviii, 1]: "In Christ's Church, those are heretics, who hold mischievous and erroneous opinions, and when rebuked that they may think soundly and rightly, offer a stubborn resistance, and, refusing to mend their pernicious and deadly doctrines, persist in defending them." Now pernicious and deadly doctrines are none but those which are contrary to the dogmas of faith, whereby "the just man liveth" (Romans 1:17). Therefore heresy is about matters of faith, as about its proper matter."

Article 3. Whether heretics ought to be tolerated: "I answer that, With regard to heretics two points must be observed: one, on their own side; the other, on the side of the Church. On their own side there is the sin, whereby they deserve not only to be separated from the Church by excommunication, but also to be severed from the world by death."

St. Thomas states that heretics commit a sin, but it is no sin to contemplate God, and since God is so merciful that He demands nothing more than what nature can bear, He certainly does not expect that ALL those who contemplate Him will ALWAYS be able to intuitively know EVERY SINGLE DOGMA that has ever been revealed to the world, nor even to come to the correct conclusions on them all. Especially considering the fact that there have been many instances in the Holy Church where various Saints and Church Fathers disagreed on matters pertaining to the Faith, let alone those who have not the resources, training or teachers to guide them.

Jeremias 12:11: "With desolation is all the land made desolate; because there is none that considereth in the heart"

But according to Mike, the land is made desolate, and souls are cast into hell for doing just that: considering God in their hearts, contemplating Divine things, and occasionally making a mistake, even if it is without the intention of opposing the Church in which they place their fidelity, and without corrupting the basic Christian Creed, which is the requirement for baptism according to the practice of the Church.

Below you will find several examples of Mike Bizzaro’s latest attempt at distorting this rule of Faith, by making every single dogma a necessary dogma, essentially demanding that every human being must know every dogma, and that without the knowledge of each singular one, a person is automatically damned. His out of context quotations are in red, followed by my responses to him. I have responded to the citations he uses which most appear (on the surface) to lend some support to his schismatic position.
 
Against the "Material Heretic" Heresy ... Which falsely states: "If someone doesn't know he's a heretic he isn't one."

First of all Mike, a material heretic is a person who is outside the Church and who does not realize that what he is opposing is the true Faith of Jesus Christ. Surely if he knew this was the case, he would obviously not oppose it, but that fact does not save him. He is severed from the Church by his profession of a false so-called Christian religion or denomination and is in schism from the one true Divinely revealed Faith.

A Catholic who does not know all the dogmas of the Faith, or who accidentally comes to a heretical understanding on one (so long as it is not part of the rule of Faith, defined at the Council of Florence) is not a "material heretic", but a Catholic who materially believes a heresy.

Catholic writing in Saint Matthew 12:37 > "For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned."

Okay Mike, why is a person judged and condemned by his or her words? Scripture has the answer:

St. Matthew 15:16-20: “Are you also yet without understanding? Do you not understand, that whatsoever entereth into the mouth, goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the privy? But the things which proceed out of the mouth, come forth from the heart, and those things defile a man. For from the heart come forth evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false testimonies, blasphemies. These are the things that defile a man. But to eat with unwashed hands doth not defile a man.”

So Mike, the reason a person is condemned by his words is because they are a reflection of the impurity of his heart, but according to your schismatic position, whereby you refuse communion with Catholics who hold the Faith whole and inviolate and who recognize that not every mistaken belief automatically severs one from Catholic unity, people are judged by their words just for being wrong, even if they mean not to oppose the Church.

Introduction to the Material Heresy (Material Heretic) versus Formal Heresy (Formal Heretic) fraud
1. The false non-Catholic notion of "material heresy" is the identifying of someone as an innocent "material heretic" (and not simply a heretic headed for Hell) based on the notion that he is simply in error and so cannot be identified as a "formal heretic" (another fraudulant term). The devil's objective here is to make people think that "material heretics" are in a justified state and might be able to get to Heaven, because after all they are not "formal heretics".

Only those are justified Mike, who hold the Catholic rule of Faith which I have demonstrated above, and who are subject to the Roman Pontiff and are free from mortal sin. YOUR position is that to fall into any error at all against a dogma, even without evil will, and despite being free from mortal sin a person is necessarily severed from the Church.

It is material and not formal because the matter required for being a heretic is the mistaken belief in itself and the form necessary to render it formal is the will to oppose the Church. Certainly you are aware of the distinctions between matter and form in sacramental and moral theology Mike? How inconsistent it would be to ignore such distinctions in dogmatic theology.

2. The false teaching continues that it is only after the "material heretic" (or person in "material heresy") is informed that he is in error on the Catholic Faith - and if he rejects the admonition and correction - it is only then that he falls into "formal heresy" and only now is he culpable, blameworthy and subject to perdition (loss of his soul to Hell).


That is the teaching of Saints Augustine and Thomas Aquinas as you have seen, and there is no dogmatic definition anywhere that contradicts them.


There is a complete absence of this modernist theory of "material" and "formal" heresy in the formal Catholic writings ... proving
that it is non-Catholic fiction, groundless, unfounded, totally without merit, and must be rejected to save your soul.

Mike, your reasoning in this matter is entirely flawed and your conclusion absurd. You are attaching yourself to buzzwords like “material heresy” and you are avoiding specifically addressing the issue at hand. In fact, your flawed argument is quite easily shown to be flawed by pointing out that Scripture does not contain the word Trinity ANYWHERE, nor the word Pope, nor the words Ecumenical Council, Dogma, the word indulgence only appears once, and not in any context that gives the Catholic Church a Scriptural basis for using the word the way she does… Would you like me to go on?

The point is that buzzwords in and of themselves are not as important as the meaning attached to them, and whether or not the meaning is tenable in relation to the Catholic Magisterium.

Catholic Citations that specifically refute the "material heresy" / "formal heresy" fabrications, which were proved above to be unfounded and groundless,  since these terms are found nowhere in the authentic Catholic sources (excepting the non-Catholic commentary that has crept into the Denzinger).
 These citations cover two different aspects of the "material heresy" / "formal heresy" fraud >

1. Some of these citations address the fact that the ignorant (unknowing) person is culpable for his crime of ignorance.
2. Others address the fact that the unknowing (ignorant) person is not in a justified state (headed for Hell), since he is automatically outside of the Catholic Church for his crime of not knowing.
This is your interpretation based on quite flawed reasoning, as well as complete IGNORANCE of the context of many of the citations which you blindly toss about. I will demonstrate this as we move along:
The Catholic Citations:
Dogmatic Athanasius Creed >
"Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic Faith. Which Faith except everyone do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly."

Note: Those who are falsely called "material heretics" are not, by this Source of Dogma, in a justified state since they do not keep the faith whole and undefiled since "they just don't know". So they are not in a state where they can get to Heaven, to say otherwise is heresy.

Yes, Mike. You have quoted the Athanasian Creed. Does the Athanasian Creed consist of ALL the dogmas of the Catholic Faith? NO! It consists of those truths which are necessary to be know by all for salvation. Ignorance of any one dogma contained in this Creed, the basic Christian Creed is enough for one to number among the reprobate, whether this ignorance stems from obstinacy, sloth, or from “just not knowing”. You and I will agree on this, I am sure. But you take it too far; you become schismatic by trying to assert that EVERY SINGLE DOGMA is implied in this definition of “the Catholic Faith, whole and undefiled”, but this is simply not the case.

Pope Pius X, Acerbo Nimis, 15 April 1905, Paragraphs 2, 26 >
"And so Our Predecessor, Benedict XIV, had just cause to write: 'We declare that a great number of those who are condemned to eternal punishment suffer that everlasting calamity because of ignorance of those mysteries of faith which must be known and believed in order to be numbered among the elect.' (...) These truths, indeed, far surpass the natural understanding of the people, yet must be known by all - the uneducated and the cultured - in order that they may arrive at eternal happiness."

Note: Those who are falsely called "material heretics" do not know the faith "which must be known" to be numbered among the elect. Falsely calling them "material heretics" and thus trying to remove their culpability for "not knowing" contributes to their eternal damnation. It goes without saying that those who employ the "material heretic" fiction to effect the loss of other souls are also losing their souls, unless they repent.

This quotation merely reiterates what I have said above. The burden of proof is still upon you to present a Catholic teaching, whereby EVERY DOGMA EVER is necessary to be known by all, not just to make blind assertions that fly in the face of Catholic theology.

Saint Augustine, Epistle to Sixtus, JUR vol.III:1454 >
"Those who keep their eyes shut cannot see. God made you without your knowledge, but He does not justify you without your willing it. Refusal to hear the truth leads to sin, and that sin itself is punishment for the preceding sin. Every sinner is inexcusable whether he knows it or not. For ignorance itself, in those who do not want to know, is without doubt a sin; and, in those unable to know, is the penalty of sin. In neither case, then, is there a just excuse, but in both cases there is a just condemnation."

Note: Those who are falsely called "material heretics" are identified as culpable by Saint Augustine. Since they are culpable, those who falsely call these people "material heretics" (to eliminate their culpability) and thereby sinning themselves - and not talking like the Saints who have been confirmed by the Church as being in Heaven.

St. Augustine (Patrologia Latina 33, epistle 43, #160): “Those are by no means to be accounted heretics who do not defend their false and perverse opinions with pertinacious zeal, especially when their error is not the fruit of audacious presumption but has been communicated to them by seduced and lapsed parents, and when they are seeking the truth with cautious solicitude and ready to be corrected.”

Okay Mike, either Augustine is a heretic or he is a Catholic saint. Which is it? You can’t have it both ways. Do you reject this teaching because it is contrary to your schismatic position? Was Augustine a heretic for teaching this?

Council of Florence, Session 11, 4 February 1442, Ex-Cathedra >
"The Holy Roman Church ... condemns, reproves, anathematizes and declares to be outside the body of Christ, which is the Church, whoever holds opposing or contrary views."

Note: Those who are falsely called "material heretics" hold opposing views because "they just don't know" and the Council of Florence verifies the fact that they are outside of the Catholic Church.

Mike I have already admonished you on this one. I have very specifically mentioned that the necessary dogmas which must be believed by ALL for salvation and to be numbered among the elect is the doctrine of the Trinity and the Incarnation of Christ as contained in the Creed.
The quote you have wrenched out of context above teaches the EXACT SAME THING! Here it is in full:

Council of Florence, Session 11, 4 February 1442, Ex-Cathedra: “We, therefore, to whom the Lord gave the task of feeding Christ's sheep', had abbot Andrew carefully examined by some outstanding men of this sacred council on the articles of the faith, the sacraments of the church and certain other matters pertaining to salvation. At length, after an exposition of the catholic faith to the abbot, as far as this seemed to be necessary, and his humble acceptance of it, we have delivered in the name of the Lord in this solemn session, with the approval of this sacred ecumenical council of Florence, the following true and necessary doctrine.

First, then, the holy Roman church, founded on the words of our Lord and Saviour, firmly believes, professes and preaches one true God, almighty, immutable and eternal, Father, Son and holy Spirit; one in essence, three in persons; unbegotten Father, Son begotten from the Father, holy Spirit proceeding from the Father and the Son; the Father is not the Son or the holy Spirit, the Son is not the Father or the holy Spirit, the holy Spirit is not the Father or the Son; the Father is only the Father, the Son is only the Son, the holy Spirit is only the holy Spirit. The Father alone from his substance begot the Son; the Son alone is begotten of the Father alone; the holy Spirit alone proceeds at once from the Father and the Son. These three persons are one God not three gods, because there is one substance of the three, one essence, one nature, one Godhead, one immensity, one eternity, and everything is one where the difference of a relation does not prevent this. Because of this unity the Father is whole in the Son, whole in the holy Spirit; the Son is whole in the Father, whole in the holy Spirit; the holy Spirit is whole in the Father, whole in the Son. No one of them precedes another in eternity or excels in greatness or surpasses in power. The existence of the Son from the Father is certainly eternal and without beginning, and the procession of the holy Spirit from the Father and the Son is eternal and without beginning. Whatever the Father is or has, he has not from another but from himself and is principle without principle. Whatever the Son is or has, he has from the Father and is principle from principle. Whatever the holy Spirit is or has, he has from the Father together with the Son. But the Father and the Son are not two principles of the holy Spirit, but one principle, just as the Father and the Son and the holy Spirit are not three principles of creation but one principle. Therefore it condemns, reproves, anathematizes and declares to be outside the body of Christ, which is the church, whoever holds opposing or contrary views.”
Doesn’t it bother you that to enforce your schismatic view you have to take singular quotations and hide their full context? I mean, get serious man, you quoted the first part, and you quoted the last part but you completely skipped over everything in between! How much more dishonest can you make yourself look?

Pope Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus, 8 December 1854 >
"Hence, if anyone shall dare - which God forbid! - to think otherwise than as has been defined by us, let him know and understand that he is condemned by his own judgment; that he has suffered shipwreck in the faith; that he has separated from the unity of the Church ..."

Note: Those who are falsely called "material heretics", who think otherwise as has been defined, because "they just don't know" are separated from the Catholic Church.

“Hence, if anyone shall DARE –“ Mike, do you think it is particularly DARING of someone to fall accidentally into an incorrect belief, a material heresy? This wording clearly shows that it is the DARE to oppose the Church, the willfulness of the sin which severs a man ipso facto from Catholic unity, “by his own judgment”, rather than adhering to the judgment of the Church. This obviously has nothing to do with a person who has never seen the decree and simply makes a mistake.

Pope St. Leo the Great, "Magno Munere," Epistle 82 to Emperor Marcian >
"The faith shall never vary in any age, for one is the faith which justifies the Just of all ages."


Note: Those who people falsely call "material heretics" - are not in a justified state because they do not hold the faith.

Pope Pius IX, Qui Pluribus >
"Therefore, it is necessary to receive these divine oracles integrally, in the same sense in which they have been kept (...) Remain firm and unshakably attached to this faith which, unless a man keep whole and entire, he shall undoubtedly be lost."


Note: Those who people falsely call "material heretics" - are not in a justified state because they do not hold the faith.

"Therefore, it is necessary to receive…” One cannot reject what one has not received! One must receive WILLINGLY the truths of Faith, but unless he has been presented them, he cannot be charged with failure to receive it. Not everyone has the resources or ability to learn every single dogma of the Catholic religion, nor is it required of anyone. ALL MUST HOLD THE CREED whole and undefiled and refuse to oppose the Church, this has not changed.

St. Vincent of Lerins, Commonitoria >
"Every possible care must be taken to hold fast to that faith which has been believed everywhere, always, and by everyone. (...) It is therefore an indispensable obligation for all Catholics to adhere to the faith of the Fathers, to preserve it, to die for it and, on the other hand, to detest the profane novelties of profane men, to dread them, to harass them, and to attack them."

Note: Those who people falsely call "material heretics" - are not in a justified state because they do not hold the faith.

Consider your profane doctrine dreaded, harassed and attacked Mike.

Pope Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum, Paragraph 9, 29 June 1896 >
"But he who dissents even in one point from divinely revealed truth absolutely rejects all faith, since he thereby refuses to honor God as the supreme truth and the formal motive of faith."

Note: Those people who are falsely called "material herestics" by being in a state of unbelief on some point of the truth, reject all faith - he cannot be in a justified state whereby he can get to Heaven (because he is in a fallen state).


Leo XIII was NEVER pope.  You can't use a quotation from spoken by such a man Mike. Besides, what is “dissent” Mike? Surely you know the answer, but here it is: Dissent is a sentiment or philosophy of non-agreement or opposition to an idea (wikipedia). Did you catch that? “non-agreement” or “opposition”. A person must DISAGREE with what he knows the Church teaches on a deeper dogmatic issue in order to be severed from the Church.

Catholic writing in 2 Saint John 1:9 >
"Whosoever revolteth, and continueth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that continueth in the doctrine, the same hath both the Father and the Son."


Note: Those who are falsely called "material heretics" violate this scripture by not continuing in the doctrine because "they just don't know". They cannot continue in the doctrine if they sinfully "do not know" the doctrine.

As has been shown above, the doctrine of which he here speaks is the Catholic Rule of Faith, the necessary dogmas of the basic Christian Creed.

Catholic Dogma, Section V, God the Santifier, Dogma No. 14 >
"The human will remains free under the influence of efficacious grace, which is not irresistible."


Note: De Fide Dogma that those who are falsely called "material heretics" receive the graces efficacious to save their souls, but this grace is not irresistible so people freely remain in states where they "just don't know".

Mike you don’t even know what you are talking about. Grace that is called efficacious is the grace whereby a man is ultimately numbered among the elect in heaven, hence the word “EFFICACIOUS”, which means that it has succeeded in bringing about it effects. You are basing your schismatic theology on a complete lack of understanding the terms in use in the Catholic Faith.

The reason for the definition that free will exists along with efficacious grace is to refute the foolish Protestants, such as Calvinists, who claim that when a person is saved it was not by cooperating with grace, but that grace itself “forced” him to be saved.

Catholic Dogma, Section V, God the Santifier, Dogma No. 17 >
"The sinner can and must prepare himself by the help of actual grace for the reception of the grace by which he is justified."


Note: De Fide Dogma that the sinner, such as the people who are falsely called "material heretics" do receive the actual graces needed to move to the justified state but they chose to stay in the state where "they just don't know".

No, Mike this false conclusion of yours does not even follow. It is purely based on your INVENTION that every single dogma of the Catholic Faith is absolutely necessary to be known by all for salvation. You have NEVER provided one shred of evidence to support this, and the contrary is shown by the wording of the Magisterium, as well as by the practice and history of the Church.

Great examples are the continual admonitions given by popes before finally condemning people as heretics. Why did they do this, rather than simply condemning them outright? Because it had to be manifested that they were indeed opposing the Church, for this is the way in which one becomes a heretic: by willingly opposing the Church.

Pope Innocent II, Errors of Peter Abelard, No.10 >
"That whatever is done through ignorance must not be considered a sin, is hereby condemned as error."


Note: Those who are falsely called "material heretics" are in sin by that very fact, Innocent II states that they are culpable.

You are distorting the meaning of what he says once again to suit your own schismatic and damnable agenda. The pope clearly condemned the error that states that “whatever is done through ignorance must not be considered a sin”, but you have superimposed your own error which states that “EVERYTHING that is done in error must therefore be sin.” That is simply not tenable Mike, and it flies in the face of Scripture itself:

St. John 9:41: “Jesus said to them: If you were blind, you should not have sin: but now you say: We see. Your sin remaineth.”

What do you think he could possibly mean here Mike? You have to condemn this saying of the Lord Jesus Christ as heresy, you illogical evil man. Christ’s own words fully support the position that a person may fall into a material heresy and remain Catholic, so long as his accidental heretical belief was not opposed to the necessary truths of the Faith, and his WILL was not opposed to the authority of Holy Church.

But if he had SEEN what the Church teaches on some deeper dogmatic issue and still rejected it, he would have sin.

Finally, I propose one final argument from reason and the Magisterium of the Catholic Church (which helps to refute not only Mike's position on material heresy, but also his belief, stated in an email and dealt with in detail in this article, that believing contrary to a dogmatic definition was heresy even for Catholics who lived prior to the date of the dogmatic definition!):

Pope Sixtus IV, Grave Nimis, 1483 (Denz. 735): "Although the Holy Roman Church solemnly celebrates the public feast of the conception of the immaculate Mary ever Virgin, and has ordained a special and proper office for this feast, some preachers of different orders, as we have heard, in their sermons to the people in public throughout different cities and lands have not been ashamed to affirm up to this time, and daily cease not to affirm, that all those who hold or assert that the same glorious and immaculate mother of God was conceived without the stain of original sin, sin mortally, or that they are heretical' who celebrate the office of this same immaculate conception, and that those who listen to the sermons of those who affirm that she was conceived without this sin, sin grievously. . .

"We reprove and condemn assertions of this kind as false and erroneous and far removed from the truth, and also by apostolic authority and the tenor of these present [letters] we condemn and disapprove on this point published books which contain it . . . [but these also we reprehend] who have dared to assert that those holding the contrary opinion, namely, that the glorious Virgin Mary was conceived with original sin are guilty of the crime of heresy and of mortal sin, since up to this time there has been no decision made by the Roman Church and the Apostolic See."

Okay Mike, this decree of Pope Sixtus was uttered a few centuries before the dogma of the Immaculate Conception was defined. While it remains true that a dogma (such as the Immaculate Conception) was always TRUE, it was not necessarily always proposed by the Church as a dogma.

But according to your perverse position, you would say not only that Pope Sixtus IV was wrong, but that he was encouraging the faithful to be in communion with heretics! But if you are logical and reasonable and VALUE YOUR SOUL, recognize and admit that you are in error in holding that every dogma was a dogma even before it was defined, and that Sixtus IV was correct in saying that people who believed contrary were not heretics, since the Church had never made a dogmatic definition in the matter.

If you can admit all of this, then the final piece of the puzzle is an argument from reason. Here it is: Does the Church proclaim dogmas to help SAVE souls or to DAMN souls?

If you answered the first one, then you must admit that a person can fall into material heresy and remain Catholic, so long as they are not aware of the specific teaching of the Church and so long as it is not a matter contained in the basic Christian creed (that rule of Faith defined at the Council of Florence as "this is the Catholic Faith..." and "the Catholic Faith, whole and undefiled...", and so long as his will is not opposed to the authority of the Church.

However, if you answered the second (that the Church proclaims dogmas to DAMN people), then you have to say that all those people who Sixtus IV said ARE NOT HERETICS, and therefore not guilty of the SIN of heresy, nevertheless became guilty of heresy OVERNIGHT, as soon as the dogma was defined and their opinions, which the night before were merely erroneous, have today become (MATERIALLY!) heretical.

But if you say this you are a schismatic, because you refuse communion with Catholics like myself who recognize and profess this truth (that one may believe in something heretical, but only materially), not out of a desire to favour heresy, or those who believe it, even materially, BUT BECAUSE IT IS THE CORRECT POSITION AND THE ONLY ONE REASONABLE AND CONSISTENT WITH THE CATHOLIC CHURCH'S THEOLOGY AND MAGISTERIUM.



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