Friday 19 September 2008

Heresy watch- how to spot bad doctrine- even from bishops, and why sometimes the heirachi errs!

(Scripturelink Catholic Watchdog South Africa)Now, we know that the magisterium of the church speaks from God- but that the individual bishops do not divinely preach the faith- but rather are trained to be good judges of heresy.

Unfortunately- many bishops- the heirs of Arius, and Eusebus- choose to front ideas not from inside the church- but from their culture and society.

Politics makes this worse- people are told to attend protestant churches, or not to put their moral code on others- or not to judge in any circumstance- or to forgive without justice or repentance-

So, how do we attempt to save our beloved church from such-

from an environment where Orthodoxy is often punished,
and separatist groups sometimes grow faster than the church?

The answer firstly is to focus on yourself!

If the litergy is abused- make sure this is in no way your sin.
If you read something from a church authority- judge it according to what you are accustomed to hearing from a bishop, and try to find what the source of this information is.

Is it the infallible Magisterium, or a bishop's personal opinion.

Opinion is oft unfortunately disguised as dogma- books like the "Modern Catholic Encyclopedia", carrying imprimatur often attack the teachings of the magisterium- this particular book's one author attacks the divinity of Christ.

Another popular book to be sold by Catholic bookstores is "a concise history of the church", it claims to be more conserative- but its statements about confession fall under the anathemas of Trent, and it often misrepresents information.

Other heirachical structures say that all religions are equal- and we must not judge or preach to those of other faiths- or must keep away from making laws in accordance with our morality.

Simply put- those things which come from the Traditions we are told in the bible to always hold to, those who hold to what we heard in the start- are those who are not pruned off of the vine, which is Christ.

When listening to a priest, confessor, bishop, diocesan official-

Be realistic- they are as likely to fall into heresy as any person here-
They are better trained at times, though often Seminary can be the source of their problems- rather - look into the backing of what they say- see where in the magisterium and tradition their words corrolate-

If you cannot find a correlation, but only a rough meaning they wrongly believe to be the "spirit" of works, like the spirit of a crowd, then discount their statement, and look into what the truth is- further- try to aid your fellows in this truth.

Unfortunately two things often occur- firstly, the best of speakers are misquoted, or misunderstood- or speak in a specific context.

Secondly- some bishops and priests and deacons and laymen believe they have a grasp of Catholicism, but without the true Reality of it within- and so front what their culture tells them to, or what that more radical teacher at seminary said.

With both- discussion of your scandal (harm caused by another's sin on a fellow) at this- may either clarify the issue, or save your fellows from the heresy of but one small section of the church- acting in isolation from truth.

Now- a small amount of good in an evil organization has an evil effect- in justifying and maintaining the evil, but a small amount of evil in a good organization- while it should be cleaved off- does not always affect the working of the whole- and it is God who works in the Divine Magisterium, and in the Sacraments- the mortal state of the worker of these- is not needed to be safe for them to work.

As even the Early church said- the feet are not to be the head of the church-
yet, the bishops will have to answer for how they pruned the flock of God.

It is those guilty of sin, or who are silent about this- who partake fully in it.

Admittadly the Church, in western society- has in some places a deadly cancer-

But organizations like Opus Dei, and like internet apolostates, and the Vatican website- are there- but we must not rely on others solely to grow us- we must ourselves research the truth, even as the inspiring Catechism of Baltemore- tells us to!

-Marc Aupiais

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