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Old 14th November 2009, 02:47 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 12,630
Default the sin of apostasy

Apostasy occurs when a person who is a baptised, believing and practicing Catholic (or at least a Protestant Christian) subsequenlty decides to leave the Christian Faith altogether. Apostates reject the Christian Faith in its entirety, or at least rejects all its fundmental teachings.

Examples: (1) A Catholic stops going to Mass and Confession, stops praying, and stops believing in the teachings of Tradition, Scripture, Magisterium. Instead, he now believes whatever his own mind thinks is true and good, regardless of what the Christian Faith teaches. Such a person is an apostate.

(2) A Catholic leaves the Catholic Faith to become a believing and practicing Protestant Christian. Such a person is a heretic, but not an apostate, because he still retains something substantial from the Christian Faith.

(3) A Catholic continues to go to Mass and Confession, and continues to call himself Catholic, but he believes that Christ is merely human, and that the Church has no authority, and that Tradition and Scripture are not Divine Revelation. Such a person is an apostate, because he has in effect abandoned the entire Christian Faith, even though he still claims to be a Christian.

Canon 751: “Heresy is the obstinate denial or obstinate doubt after the reception of baptism of some truth which is to be believed by divine and Catholic faith; apostasy is the total repudiation of the Christian faith; schism is the refusal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him.”

Canon 1364 §1: “an apostate from the faith, a heretic, or a schismatic incurs a latae sententiae excommunication.”
Ron Conte
Roman Catholic theologian
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