Saturday, February 04, 2017

How the church handles heresy: Probably not what you think

A nun in Spain is enjoying the media limelight; probably a bad thing (look up what happened to the Singing Nun). So she's shooting her mouth off: "Mary wasn't a virgin!" This is from a tabloid but still.

I'm not her bishop but I would start the proceedings against heresy. Warn her, and if she persists, throw her out.

Our holy mother the church doesn't handle heresy like our Protestant hosts in Britain and America think we do (the popular notion about the Inquisition with torture, the Black Legend of Spain, and all that). Historically we don't kick out everyone who has wrong views. Goofy Aunt Terri who thinks a woman should be Pope is fine. Even the Pope's opinions can be wrong; his job (all we care about) is limited to defending our doctrine. To be a heretic you have to 1) be in a position of authority and trust so you could do harm, such as a priest or professor, 2) be in a position to know better, such as someone with a Catholic theological education (we don't punish the ignorant), and 3) be warned; the church doesn't sucker-punch you with excommunication. And even excommunication isn't what you think. We don't issue tickets to hell; we're not that arrogant. It's a warning that you're in grave error, asking you to come back.

Fulton Sheen: People don't hate the Catholic Church; they hate what they think we are.

1 comment:

  1. At my old parish many years ago a paid catechist (a lady) denied the "ever Virginity" of the BVM. Said the theologians say it's not true. This was in my parish library after mass. She was talking with some man when we went in there to find a book on St. Teresa of Avila for my young daughter's Catholic elementary school homework project. I stifled down my temper--I occasionally can go off like a fire cracker--and got my wife and kids outta there. In retrospect, I should have said something to her and that man. For all I know he was an inquirere into the faith. Guess my confirmation wore off! :)

    I wrote a letter of complaint to the Archbishop--I couldn't morally go to the pastor--but never heard from him or any of his lap dogs . . . oh . . . I mean subordinates. About a year later at another parish I read in the Sunday bulletin that so and so (the lady) had resigned her position. I wonder if she annoyed some others and the Archbishop in effect fired her???

    The Church really lets the heterodox get away with a lot in the post V2 Church. I doubt it was quite this bad--although not perfect--pre V2.

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