In Today's Catholic World News Blog

Definition of Schismatics and Heretics by Canon Law

"Schismatics, according to the definition of Canon Law, are those baptised persons who 'refuse to be subject to the Supreme Pontiff, or to have communication with the members of the Church subject to the Pope' (Canon 1925). Many heresies, e.g., Anglicanism, began as schisms. But separation from the Pope, the Vicar of Christ on earth and the custodian of Revelation, inevitably leads to errors concerning dogmatic truths.



Christ Giving the Keys to the Kingdom of Heaven to the First Pope (St. Peter)

Heretics are defined in Canon Law as 'baptised persons who, while retaining the name of Christian, obstinately deny or doubt any of the truths proposed for belief by the divine Catholic faith' (Canon 1325). The underlying idea of heresy is the selection of some truths and the rejection of others. Heretics arbitrarily assume the right to choose their beliefs, whereas only the infallible Church alone has the right to define dogmas and to propose to men the truths they are to believe."


(Source: "Foundations of Catholic Belief: An Introductory Study", Page 290, Imprimatur July 16, 1942)


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