Defending Heretics
#1
It would seem that defending heretics puts one out of communion with Holy Mother Church:

Second Lateran Council

3. We utterly prohibit those who have been excommunicated by their bishops to be received by others. Indeed, whoever knowingly presumes to communicate someone who has been excommunicated, before he is absolved by the one who excommunicated him, is to be held liable to the same sentence.

23. Those who, simulating a kind of religiosity, condemn
1. the sacrament of the Lord's body and blood,
2. the baptism of children,
3. the priesthood and other ecclesiastical orders, and
4. legitimate marriages,

we expel from the church of God and condemn as heretics, and prescribe that they be constrained by the secular powers. We also bind up their defenders in the fetter of the same condemnation. {13
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#2
Third Lateran Council

The accursed perversity of heretics [...] has so increased that now they exercise their wickedness not in secret, but manifest their error publicly, and win over the weak and simple-minded to their opinion. For this reason, We resolve to cast them, their defenders, and their receivers under anathema, and We forbid under anathema that any one presume to help heretics or to do business with heretics
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#3
Fourth Lateran Council (section 3-paragraph2)

Moreover, we determine to subject to excommunication believers who receive, defend or support heretics…..
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#4
Council of Laodicea

Those who are members of the Church are not to be permitted to go into the cemeteries of any of the heretics for the purpose of prayer or veneration. If they do, they are to be excommunicated.

No one shall pray in common with heretics and schismatics
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#5
III Council of Constantinople

If any Bishops or Priest or Deacon shall join in prayer with heretics, let him be suspended from Communion
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#6
It wasn't just any "defending." Obviously, if a heretic were being mugged and you defending him, it would not be a problem.  The problem was defending a heretic against the judgment of the Church or a just punishment by the state (if one applied). 

Furthermore, by divine law, only heresy, schism, and apostacy separate one from the Church.  But the Church can impose excommunication on other offenses if she judges it expedient.  But these penalties are not immutable.  These kinds of violations no longer necessarily receive excommunication.  I'm no canon lawyer, but it seems these kinds of offences fall within categories that now receive a "just penalty" in the Code in force, which I assume could include excommunication if the situation warranted it. 
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#7
(01-26-2016, 01:43 PM)Ultron2032 Wrote: It would seem that defending heretics puts one out of communion with Holy Mother Church:

Second Lateran Council

3. We utterly prohibit those who have been excommunicated by their bishops to be received by others. Indeed, whoever knowingly presumes to communicate someone who has been excommunicated, before he is absolved by the one who excommunicated him, is to be held liable to the same sentence.

23. Those who, simulating a kind of religiosity, condemn
1. the sacrament of the Lord's body and blood,
2. the baptism of children,
3. the priesthood and other ecclesiastical orders, and
4. legitimate marriages,

we expel from the church of God and condemn as heretics, and prescribe that they be constrained by the secular powers. We also bind up their defenders in the fetter of the same condemnation. {13
I think that would depend on what you are defending heretics from? 
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#8
For instance, defending the theological position of Luther and the protestants would seem to put someone out of communion with the Church.
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#9
From the Fathers of the Desert;


This is what Abba Daniel, the Pharanite, said, 'Our  Father abba Arsenius told
us of an  inhabitant of Scetis, of notable  life and of  simple faith; through
his  naivete he was  deceived and said,  "The  bread which  we  receive is not
really the body of Christ, but a symbol. Two old men having learnt that he had
uttered this saying, knowing that he was outstanding  in his way of life, knew
that he had not spoken through malice, but through simplicity. So they came to
find him and said, "Father, we have heard a proposition  contrary to the faith
on the part of someone who says that the bread which we receivve is not really
the body of  Christ, but a symbol." The  old man said,  "it is I who have said
that." Then  the  old men exhorted  him  saying, "Do not  hold  this position,
Father, but hold one  in conformity with that  which  the catholic  Church has
given us. We  believe,  for our part, that  the  bread itself is  the  body of
Christ as in  the beginning, God formed man  in his image,  taking the dust of
the earth, without anyone being able to say that  it is not  the image of God,
even though it  is not seen  to be so;  thus it is  with teh bread of which he
said that  it is his  body; and so we believe  that it is  really the body of
Christ." The  old man said to them,  "As long as  I have not been persuaded by
the thing itself, I shall not be fully convinced." So they  said, "Let us pray
God about this mystery throughout the whole  of this week  and we believe that
God will reveal it  to us." The old man  received this saying  with joy and he
prayed in these words, "Lord, you know that it is not through malice that I do
not believe and so that  I may not err through  ignorance, reveal this mystery
to me, Lord Jesus Christ." The old men  returned to their  cells and they also
prayed God,  saying, "Lord Jesus Christ, reveal  this mystery to the  old man,
that he may believe and not lose his  reward." God heard  both the prayers. At
the end of  the week they  came to church on Sunday  and sat all  three on the
same mat, the old man in the middle. Then their  eyes were opened and when the
bread was placed on the holy table, there  appeared as it  were a little child
to these three  alone. And when  the priest  put  out his  hand to break  the
breadd,  behold an  angel descended from  heaven with  a  sword and poured the
child's blood into  the chalice. When  the priest cut  the bread into  small
pieces, the  angel also cut  the child  in pieces.  When    they drew near  to
receive the  sacred elements the  old man  alone  received a morsel  of bloody
flesh. Seeing  this he was afraid and  cried out, "Lord,  I believe that this
bread is your flesh and this chalice  your blood." Immediately the flesh which
he held in his  hand became bread, according to  the  mystery and he  took it,
giving thanks to God. Then  the old men  said to him,  "God knows human nature
and that man cannot eat raw flesh and that is why he has changed his body into
bread and his blood into  wine, for those who receive  it in faith."Then  they
gave thanks to God for the old man, because he had allowed him not to lose the
reward of his labour. So  all three returned with joy  to their own  cells.'

http://www.coptic.net/articles/sayingsof...athers.txt

This is how the men of old acted when someone was in error. They met with him. They prayed with him and for him. And they left the rest to God. 
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