List Of Heresies In Catholicism
Heresy has been a concern in Christian communities at least since the writing of 2 Peter: "even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them"(2P. 2:1-AV). While in the first two or three centuries of the early Church heresy and schism were not clearly distinguished and a similar overlapping occurred in medieval scholastic thought, heresy is understood today to mean the denial of revealed truth as taught by the Church. Schleiermacher, writing in 1821/2 defined it as "that which preserved the appearance of Christianity, and yet contradicted its essence".
The Catholic Church makes a distinction between 'material' and 'formal' heresy. Material heresy means in effect "holding erroneous doctrines through no fault of one´s own" as occurs with people brought up in non-Catholic communities and "is neither a crime nor a sin" since the individual has never accepted the doctrine. Formal heresy is "the wilful and persistent adherence to an error in matters of faith" on the part of a baptised member of the Catholic Church. As such it is a grave sin and involves ipso facto excommunication. Here "matters of faith" means dogmas which have been proposed by the infallible Magisterium of the Church and, in addition to this intellectual error, "pertinacity in the will" in maintaining it in opposition to the teaching of the Church must be present.
While individual Protestant churches have also used the concept in proceedings against individuals and groups deemed to be heretical by those churches, the lack of a central doctrinal authority has meant that beliefs can often not be unanimously considered heretical from the Protestant perspective. Likewise the Eastern Orthodox Church officially declares a heresy only at an ecumenical council, and currently only accepts the First seven Ecumenical Councils as ecumenical.
The following listing contains those opinions which were either explicitly condemned by Chalcedonian Christianity before 1054 or are of later origin but similar. Details of some modern opinions deemed to be heretical by the Catholic Church are listed in an appendix. All lists are in alphabetical order.Further information: First seven Ecumenical Councils
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