Material Heretics Might Not Be Members of the Church
#21
(07-30-2014, 10:45 AM)FatherCekada Wrote:
(07-30-2014, 09:47 AM)MagisterMusicae Wrote:
(07-30-2014, 07:28 AM)FatherCekada Wrote: In the case of a material heretic who starts out as a Catholic and then publicly denies a truth of the faith (as opposed, say, to Francis' "brother bishop" Tony Palmer who was raised in heresy)  the loss of membership in the Church is the consequence of the sin of heresy against the divine law, rather than the crime of heresy against ecclesiastical law, which involves the rigmarole of warnings, trials, declarations, etc.

But can the whole sin/crime be a conveniently separated as you suggest, Father? Are we not then dealing with the internal vs. external fora?

It seems one who expresses an heretical point, as probably you and many other priests have accidentally done at some point (certainly not intending heresy, but bungling up a phrase in a sermon, for instance) must in some way be confirmed in that heresy, or else you and I exit and re-enter the Church each time we make an honest mistake.

If the determining factors is whether the expression was sinful or not, then that seems something subjective, and only something that could be determined in the internal forum. But outside of your confessional you can't judge the internal forum.

We're left then looking at actions in the external forum. If so, where's the dividing line then? How do we distinguish an unintentional bumbling from Lutheran Larry's heresy? Is not the certain and public determination that one has professed a heresy in the external forum an act of the power of Jurisdiction?

The sin/crime distinction is not mine; it's that of Michel in the DTC 6:2222.

As for bungling preachers vs. Lutheran Larry, Van Noort and others who laid down the principle that public material heresy puts one outside the Church were smart guys who undoubtedly came across a lot of dumb preachers.

If they thought this phenomenon elided the general principle they laid down, or that even that it was a serious objection worth responding to, they would have told us so.

Furthermore, even as regards the crime of heresy (for which less is required than for the sin), the principle is as follows:

[b]“The very commission of any act which signifies heresy[/b], e.g., the statement of some doctrine contrary or contradictory to a revealed and defined dogma, gives sufficient ground for juridical presumption of heretical depravity… [E]xcusing circumstances have to be proved in the external forum, and the burden of proof is on the person whose action has given rise to the imputation of heresy. In the absence of such proof, all such excuses are presumed not to exist.” (McKenzie, The Delict of Heresy, CU Canon Law Studies 77, [Washington: 1932], 35.)

So mental probing of the delinquent is not required, even for the crime of heresy

It seems your second quote is dealing with trial principles.  A presumption does not equal a verdict.  It just establishes the burden of proof for the trial.  If the presumption is not rebutted, the verdict will be guilty.  But the presumption itself does not mean the verdict has been levied--it's jut the starting point which may or may not lead to a guilty verdict.

Your apparent position that publicly saying something erroneous makes one instantly cease to be a member would destroy the visibility of the Church. What we see as the Church would actually be a mix of Church and not Church. Finding the Church would require finding public records of anything and everything one's bishop had ever said publicly, even if never challenged or corrected and whether he subsequently retracted it--records which may not have been kept or which may have been lost making it impossible to verify--not to mention anything every priest and layperson had ever publicly said as well, since they also make up the Church.

This makes the identity of the Church impossible to ascertain.

I may be misunderstanding what you're getting at, but this is how it came across to me.
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#22
(07-30-2014, 11:11 AM)SaintSebastian Wrote: This makes the identity of the Church impossible to ascertain.

I may be misunderstanding what you're getting at, but this is how it came across to me.

The heart of the matter.  If you're interested, here is how one Orthodox priest deals with it.
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#23
(07-30-2014, 11:11 AM)SaintSebastian Wrote:
(07-30-2014, 10:45 AM)FatherCekada Wrote: [b]“The very commission of any act which signifies heresy[/b], e.g., the statement of some doctrine contrary or contradictory to a revealed and defined dogma, gives sufficient ground for juridical presumption of heretical depravity… [E]xcusing circumstances have to be proved in the external forum, and the burden of proof is on the person whose action has given rise to the imputation of heresy. In the absence of such proof, all such excuses are presumed not to exist.” (McKenzie, The Delict of Heresy, CU Canon Law Studies 77, [Washington: 1932], 35.)

So mental probing of the delinquent is not required, even for the crime of heresy

It seems your second quote is dealing with trial principles.  A presumption does not equal a verdict.  It just establishes the burden of proof for the trial.  If the presumption is not rebutted, the verdict will be guilty.  But the presumption itself does not mean the verdict has been levied--it's jut the starting point which may or may not lead to a guilty verdict.

Well, not exactly. The quote continues:

"in the absence of such proof, all such excuses are presumed not to exist. When satisfactory proof is offered, the juridical presumption will yield to fact, the the person will be pronounced innocent of heresy, and not liable to censure." (Ibid. 35-6)

Once you posit the act, the presumption is not "innocent of heresy until proven guilty," but "guilty of heresy until proven innocent."
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#24
(07-30-2014, 11:11 AM)SaintSebastian Wrote: Your apparent position that publicly saying something erroneous makes one instantly cease to be a member would destroy the visibility of the Church. What we see as the Church would actually be a mix of Church and not Church. Finding the Church would require finding public records of anything and everything one's bishop had ever said publicly, even if never challenged or corrected and whether he subsequently retracted it--records which may not have been kept or which may have been lost making it impossible to verify--not to mention anything every priest and layperson had ever publicly said as well, since they also make up the Church.

This makes the identity of the Church impossible to ascertain.

The case you posit, in fact, proves the exact opposite . Here is Van Noort:

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"b. Public heretics (and a fortiori, apostates) are not members of the Church. They are not members because they separate themselves from the unity of Catholic faith and from the external profession of that faith. Obviously, therefore, they lack one of the three factors – baptism, profession of the same faith, union with the hierarchy – pointed out by Pius XII as requisite for membership in the Church (see above, p. 238). The same pontiff has explicitly pointed out that, unlike other sins, heresy, schism, and apostasy automatically sever a man from the Church. “For not every sin, however grave and enormous it be, is such as to sever a man automatically from the Body of the Church, as does schism or heresy or apostasy” (MCC 30; italics ours).

"By the term public heretics at this point we mean all who externally deny a truth (for example Mary’s Divine Maternity), or several truths of divine and Catholic faith, regardless of whether the one denying does so ignorantly and innocently (a merely material heretic), or willfully and guiltily (a formal heretic). It is certain that public, formal heretics are severed from Church membership. It is the more common opinion that public, material heretics are likewise excluded from membership. Theological reasoning for this opinion is quite strong: if public material heretics remained members of the Church, the visibility and unity of Christ’s Church would perish. If these purely material heretics were considered members of the Catholic Church in the strict sense of the term, how would one ever locate the “Catholic Church?” How would the Church be one body? How would it profess one faith? Where would be its visibility? Where its unity? For these and other reasons we find it difficult to see any intrinsic probability to the opinion which would allow for public heretics, in good faith, remaining members of the Church." (Dogmatic Theology 2 : 153).

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So maintaining that public material heretics ARE members of the Church has the opposite effect of what you envision: It would DESTROY the visibility and unity of Christ's Church.
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#25
(07-30-2014, 10:45 AM)FatherCekada Wrote: The sin/crime distinction is not mine; it's that of Michel in the DTC 6:2222.

Thanks for the reference. I unfortunately don't have my Dictionaire with me, but that seems an interesting place to read next I come across one.
(07-30-2014, 10:45 AM)FatherCekada Wrote: As for bungling preachers vs. Lutheran Larry, Van Noort and others who laid down the principle that public material heresy puts one outside the Church were smart guys who undoubtedly came across a lot of dumb preachers.

If they thought this phenomenon elided the general principle they laid down, or that even that it was a serious objection worth responding to, they would have told us so.

Fair enough, though it seems there does need to be some kind of distinction. I don't presume to know it, but without my reference material in front of me, have no resources to explore that. It does seem that since we do see many mistakes by even good preachers and pass over them giving the benefit of the doubt, decent orthodox Catholics don't do this for those belonging to heretical sects there's some kind of distinction to be made.

In any case, thanks for the references and explanation.

I am curious, however. I am not familiar with the "MCC" reference as regards Van Noort. Might I ask what you are referencing here?
FatherCekada Wrote:"b. Public heretics (and a fortiori, apostates) are not members of the Church. They are not members because they separate themselves from the unity of Catholic faith and from the external profession of that faith. Obviously, therefore, they lack one of the three factors – baptism, profession of the same faith, union with the hierarchy – pointed out by Pius XII as requisite for membership in the Church (see above, p. 238). The same pontiff has explicitly pointed out that, unlike other sins, heresy, schism, and apostasy automatically sever a man from the Church. “For not every sin, however grave and enormous it be, is such as to sever a man automatically from the Body of the Church, as does schism or heresy or apostasy” (MCC 30; italics ours).
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#26
(07-30-2014, 05:34 PM)MagisterMusicae Wrote:
(07-30-2014, 10:45 AM)FatherCekada Wrote: As for bungling preachers vs. Lutheran Larry, Van Noort and others who laid down the principle that public material heresy puts one outside the Church were smart guys who undoubtedly came across a lot of dumb preachers.

If they thought this phenomenon elided the general principle they laid down, or that even that it was a serious objection worth responding to, they would have told us so.

Fair enough, though it seems there does need to be some kind of distinction. I don't presume to know it, but without my reference material in front of me, have no resources to explore that. It does seem that since we do see many mistakes by even good preachers and pass over them giving the benefit of the doubt, decent orthodox Catholics don't do this for those belonging to heretical sects there's some kind of distinction to be made.

I suspect the distinction would probably have something to do with pertinacity.

What may seem like a plausible objection to an amateur -- and compared with someone like Cappello or Van Noort, we're all amateurs these days -- may not have even seemed worthy of note to them.

One example: The Feeney follower who says, "Aha, Unam Sanctam and Cantate Domino refute baptism of blood and baptism of desire." But it seems likely that the hundreds of academic theologians who taught the latter doctrines were quite familiar with both pronouncements and saw no problem.

(07-30-2014, 05:34 PM)MagisterMusicae Wrote:
FatherCekada Wrote:"b. Public heretics (and a fortiori, apostates) are not members of the Church. They are not members because they separate themselves from the unity of Catholic faith and from the external profession of that faith. Obviously, therefore, they lack one of the three factors – baptism, profession of the same faith, union with the hierarchy – pointed out by Pius XII as requisite for membership in the Church (see above, p. 238). The same pontiff has explicitly pointed out that, unlike other sins, heresy, schism, and apostasy automatically sever a man from the Church. “For not every sin, however grave and enormous it be, is such as to sever a man automatically from the Body of the Church, as does schism or heresy or apostasy” (MCC 30; italics ours).

Sorry, misplaced quotation mark. The citation was Van Noort's and is to Mystici Corporis.



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#27
BTW, Magister Musicae, if your handle here is also your job description, you may be interested in arrangements of some simpler SA and SAB motets and Masses that I posted here:

http://www2.cpdl.org/wiki/index.php/Cate...a_editions
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#28
This should help clear things up:
Quote: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. So the heresy of material heretics is not imputable as sin and indeed it is not necessarily incompatible with that supernatural faith which is the beginning and root of all justification. For they may explicitly believe the principal articles, and believe the others, though not explicitly, yet implicitly, through their disposition of mind and good will to adhere to whatever is sufficiently proposed to them as having been revealed by God. In fact they can still belong to the body of the Church by desire and fulfil the other conditions necessary for salvation. Nonetheless, as to their actual incorporation in the visible Church of Christ, which is our present subject, our thesis makes no distinction between formal and material heretics, understanding everything in accordance with the notion of material heresy just given, which indeed is the only true and genuine one. For, if you understand by the expression material heretic one who, while professing subjection to the Church's Magisterium in matters of faith, nevertheless still denies something defined by the Church because he did not know it was defined, or, by the same token, holds an opinion opposed to Catholic doctrine because he falsely thinks that the Church teaches it, it would be quite absurd to place material heretics outside the body of the true Church; but on this understanding the legitimate use of the expression would be entirely perverted. For a material sin is said to exist only when what belongs to the nature of the sin takes place materially, but without advertence or deliberate will. But the nature of heresy consists in withdrawal from the rule of the ecclesiastical Magisterium and this does not take place in the case mentioned [of someone who is resolved to believe all that the Church teaches but makes a mistake as to what her teaching consists in], since this is a simple error of fact concerning what the rule dictates. And therefore there is no scope for heresy, even materially.

(Cardinal Louis Billot S.J., De Ecclesia Christi, 4th edition, pp.289-290.  Translated by John S. Daly.)
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#29
Fraghi also quotes St. Robert Bellarmine and Suarez views on Church membership:
St. Robert, De Ecclesia Milit., III, c 4 (Fraghi p. 66) Wrote:Praeterea character non proprie unit hominem cum capite, sed est signum potestatis et unionis cuiusdam, et ideo in inferno illo signo cognoscentur qui fuerunt membra Christi. Quod autem non uniat patet: nam non unit exterius cum sit res invisibilis: nec interius cum non sit actus nec habitus operativus. Divus Thomas primam unionem internam ponit in fide.

Moreover, the [baptismal] character does not itself unit a man with the head, but it is a sign of a certain power and union, and so in hell by that sign they who were members of Christ may be known. But what may not unite is clear: for it [the baptismal character] does not unite externally since it is an invisible thing: nor internally since it is not an action or operative habit. Saint Thomas places the first union [to the Body of Christ] in faith.
Suarez, De Fide, disp. 9, Sect. 1, n. 5. (Fraghi p. 60) Wrote:Omnes qui fidem habent, Ecclesiae membra sunt, omnes vero qui illa carent, extra Ecclesiam constituuntur.

All who have the faith are members of the Church, but those who lack [the faith] are placed outside the Church.
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