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Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2006 3:57 am
Posts: 391
Location: Indiana, USA
New post Apostasy
I have rather a stupid question that I am compelled to ask. Every book that I have that deal in any way with "apostasy" (all post-Vatican II sources, I am sorry to say) give the definition of "apostasy" as "the total repudiation of Christ." I'm just wondering how accurate this definition is. The emphasis I added in the definition leaves a great deal of room to deny having committed an act of apostasy or being an apostate. After all, even someone who believes that all religions are equally valid can claim to have not totally repudiated Christ.

History books seem to confirm that a Christian who merely agreed to light incense in a pagan temple was considered an apostate even if that one act was the only outward act saying that the pagan religion wasn't so bad or even to save his own life. So which is it? How far can a Catholic go and not be considered an apostate?

I know what seems right to me, but what has the Church said on this through the millennia? Must one really totally repudiate the Christian religion and formally worship some other false god exclusively or formally declare one a believer in no god? Or would simply burning incense in a pagan temple in a religious exercise be an act of apostasy?

Wed Dec 13, 2006 10:09 pm

Joined: Tue May 23, 2006 5:22 am
Posts: 161
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"the total repudiation of Christ."

Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one really can repudiate Him except in words and will. Certainly not by knowledge since no one except God knows all. We may follow the Hindu way (which very sadly recent popes have said are a legitimate way), or the Relative truth which again recent popes have subscribed to with their modernism), or our Modes of life like the recent story of the Franciscan nun who became a Lutheran pastor.

So it seems to me that apostasy resides in the will and while appearances make us judge a statement as apostatic, even repeated such statements, only God really judge their hearts and will. Of course we ask if the person, even a pope, can be that ignorant, and I am very inclined to say YES! Even saintly popes if one looked into all their statements in life have goofed, being human after all. And the theologians??? That is why I prefer to listen to a humble simple person's truth than all the quotes and references to all the numerous fathers and doctors and popes and whatnot. The latter have never impressed me. Am I more knowledgeable than all of them? Certainly not! Are they all more knowledgeable than me? Probably not. Now as for wisdom there's the question to be posed to all followers of Christ.

So when we say some one is speaking apostasy because of his repeated statements against Faith and Tradition it is probably true; but whether the person uttering it is an Apostate? Hmmm...

Some might say that 'if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck it must be a duck.' Well, it looks like bread, tastes like bread and made from wheat..." Hmmm...

We say IT is a sin but rarely do we judge a person a sinner; even though we are all sinners before God.

Thu Dec 14, 2006 11:35 pm

Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2006 3:57 am
Posts: 391
Location: Indiana, USA
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I have to say that this is a most unsatisfying answer for it provides no answers and, instead, provides just enough ambiguity that many Modernists relish in to "hope that all men are saved."

Not all the early Christians were martyrs. Many of them simply would not sacrifice themselves for Christ and consented to perform acts of worship in the pagan temples. When the persecutions had finally ceased, there was a great controversy in the Church over these people as to whether or not they could be forgiven for their apostasy. It was the Church in Rome that settled the matter declaring that even the sin of apostasy can be forgiven and those Christians who had apostated could return to a state of Grace through Penance. But this necessarily requires a definition of what the sin is that is being forgiven, does it not? Surely there were some priests and bishops included in the ranks of the weak of faith who performed acts of apostasy. At what point does the apostasy deprive the man of office and at what point do the faithful no longer owe allegience? Has the Church every defined these limits?

You noted that, "Some might say that 'if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck it must be a duck.' " I would be one who, indeed, will say, if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then--baring a supernatural miracle--it IS a duck. A comparison between the Blessed Sacrament, ducks, and apostates simply isn't a valid comparison.

Mon Dec 18, 2006 12:35 pm
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