Lance Foster (hengruh) wrote,
Lance Foster

Old School Catholicism on Heretics, Schismatics, and Apostates

i learned it this way as a Roman Catholic, so your mileage may vary. To be considered Christian requires baptism with water under the Three Names, each a Person of the One God (not arguing how three can be one here). Mormons and Unitarians would therefore not be considered Christian under old school Roman Catholic thought. Baptists and Evangelicals would be considered heretics. Eastern Orthodox are schismatics. People who were baptized Christian but convert to Islam or Wicca are apostates. People who were were never baptized at all are the only true pagans in traditional Catholic thought. But then some traditionalists are considered heretics by Rome and they consider Rome as heretics (such as the sedevacantists or "Old Catholics"). Yes, it turns into quite a mess.

Heresy - rejection of an essential element (dogma or doctrine) of faith - aka for a Catholic an example would be rejection of transubstantiation. Catholics consider Protestants as heretics. Only Christians can be heretics, those who were never part of the church cannot be.

Schism - division from the faith, ex. the historic division between Roman and Eastern churches over the nature of the Holy Spirit. Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox consider each other schismatic. Individuals are not schismatic, it take a splitting of the church itself.

Apostasy - completely abandoning and rejecting the Christian faith if one has already accepted it. So one who converts from Catholicism to Islam would be an apostate. Neopagans such as Wiccans who were baptized are apostates.

As I understand it, Catholics who have "fallen away" and are nonpracticing are not yet fully apostates, unless they declare such publicly, as the sacrament of Confession and healing for reunification is possible. However they cannot take Communion. The divorced, without annulment, cannot take Communion.
Tags: catholic, catholicism, christianity

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