The Catholic Church has a serious Heresy Problem

The Roman Catholic Church, worldwide, has a severe heresy problem. The vast majority of persons who call themselves Catholic have accepted heretical ideas, in contradiction to definitive Church teaching. Common heresies among the laity include:

* the claim that the Bible contains errors
* the rejection of the Magisterium as an authoritative teacher
* the rejection of the indefectibility of the Church
* a failure to believe in the Real Presence
* acceptance of same-sex marriage as if it were a real type of marriage
* acceptance of many different types of grave sexual sins, as if these were moral acts
* acceptance and use of contraception and abortifacient contraception
* acceptance of legalized abortion, as if it were a right
* and many other errors on faith, morals, and salvation

One source of this error is the refusal of the average ordinary layperson to accept the Church as Teacher and Shepherd. Instead, each person believes whatever sinful secular society teaches and/or whatever their own mind and heart tells them. And this rejection of the teaching authority leads to many other heresies.

A second source of this error is the many false teachers in the Church, who not only undermine, but also contradict magisterial teaching. Sometimes they claim that their false teachings are really just the correct understanding of Jesus’ teaching or of Church teaching, but this claim is not true. And these false teachers find many willing listeners among the unfaithful members of the Church.

It has reached the point where most Catholics can’t distinguish between heresy and dogma. Present dogma to them, and they never heard of that idea and it doesn’t seem right to them. Present heresy to them, and they think it is Church teaching. Teachers of heresy are extolled as if they were faithful Catholics, and truth is trampled to the ground.

What Happens Next?

First, there will be a conservative schism. We can already see the schism beginning to unfold, in the determined opposition to Pope Francis by many conservatives.

Second, there will be a liberal schism, under the next conservative Pope.

Then, heresies will increase among the schismatics, but decrease among those who remain faithful.

Third, the tribulation will strike the faithful and unfaithful with fear and confusion, leading many to fall away from Christianity altogether.

Finally, after much suffering, many of those persons who are guilty of apostasy, heresy, or schism will repent and convert and return to the one true Church. After the first part of the tribulation, the Church will be very holy. Anyone who teaches heresy will be sharply rebuked. And those who remain unrepentant after the first rebuke will be expelled from the Church.

Ronald L. Conte Jr.
Roman Catholic theologian and translator of the Catholic Public Domain Version of the Bible.

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17 Responses to The Catholic Church has a serious Heresy Problem

  1. Dora says:

    Could it be conservatives are already trickling away? Evangelical churches are growing, even while the number calling themselves Christian has shrunk (Washington Times article)? I wonder if the lapsed Catholics might account for that growth.

  2. Theophanes the recluse says:

    The question is: how can someone repent from something that his conscience fails to recognize as bad/sinful, because even tough he knows the norm and believes in the Church he can’t grasp its sinfulness? That’s a very big question.

    • Nota says:

      It seems to me that if someone finds himself in that situation, he should recognize the need to be obedient to the Church, instead of his own judgment. Even if he can’t personally “feel” the sinfulness of the particular act, he can know his own perception is at odds with the Church, and in acting in a way that the Church considers sinful he could be sinning of disobedience, or even of not having put enough efforts into learning the teachings and reasons of the Church. An atheist is not necessarily innocent just because he can’t understand how his behaviour could be wrong. There are also many dogmas and revelations that we may not “grasp”, and yet we are required to believe in them. There are also laws that could be morally indifferent in themselves, but we might sin by breaking them wihout reason.

    • Theophanes the recluse says:

      That’s a very big problem because it seems that catholics are hell to a higher standard. If someone is an atheist, to commit a mortal sin he should do something very bad.

      For catholics it seems that being guilty of mortal sin is much easier. I su speck that’s the reason why Jesus have us powerful devotion like the Divine Mercy Chaplet, the Nine Fridays devotion, the fifteen prayers of Saint Bridget and the Rosary
      Because if he didn’t i wonder how many catholics would die in mortal sin, considering how many behaviours are prohibited to us. All those devotions, expecially the Chaplet of divine mercy, the nine fridays devotion and the fifteen prayers of Saint Bridget have the promise of final repentance from Jesus.

      In the fifteen prayers of Saint Bridget he even promised the perfect contriction (that means “no Purgatory”).

    • Theophanes the recluse says:

      Anyway, that whas not the main problem. The problem is not “how can someone be obedient”. The problem is “how can someone REPENT from something he cannot see as bad or sinful”.

      For example, let’s take a divorced and remarried: how can he repent from his relationship when it brought him/her so much Joy and love and regret his/her hellish marriage, a marriage of abuses and loneliness?

      That’s the problem. The Church anatematizes as inherently evil some things that NOBODY would consider evil if we didn’t know the Church or the Gospel.

      We are not talking about killing, stealing, blasphemy, calumniation ecc. Everybody (psicopaths and demon possessed aside) knows that these things are gravely immoral and understands why.

    • Theophanes the recluse says:

      Excuse me for my writing errors, i’m italian (and i live in Italy, not in Usa) and the automatic corrector has done a real mess. ;)

      For example in the first post i wanted to write ” I suspect that’s the reason why Jesus gave us powerful devotions” ecc ecc instead of the mess i wrote. ;)

      Damned automatic corrector. :D

    • Dora says:

      I have thought many times how if no one confesses anymore, it renders priests both ignorant and naive, through no fault of their own. If people brought up a question “is this a sin?” then priests would have a clue to what is really going on, and a good one might feel obliged to preach about it.
      I also believe face-to-face confession results in mortal sins being withheld, while the old style is deemed antiquated. They think frequent confession is “scrupulous.”

    • Dora says:

      Over – scrupulous

  3. Mark P. says:

    In my opinion, just based on my experience at a few parishes over the years, Mass is not often used well enough to teach Church doctrines and dogmas. Almost every homily has a social justice theme and avoids the topic of sin. For instance, say the Gospel reading is one of the eschatological discourses. The homily would focus on doing good things to get into heaven, but would not focus on avoiding sin and repenting. Both of these things are essential to living the faith, but only the “positive” message is taught. So many people, after awhile, reduce the faith to a mere philosophy on how to perform charitable works. There is a fear of offending people and thinking that they will not come to Mass if they are made to feel guilty. In fact, my parish has the 7 corporal / spiritual works of mercy listed on our website, and the spiritual work of “admonish the sinner” has been changed to “give advice to those who need it!” “Advice” is for helping someone pick a house or a paint color, so here this essential work of mercy has been reduced to something meaningless! All of these little dilutions add up to the point where sin becomes a quaint thought with little or no repercussions to the human soul. And to me, that is why many of the items you listed in your post are thought of as being just fine, and compatible with the faith. A lot of the Church has fallen into the secular thought that the greatest sin is to offend somebody.

    • Ron Conte says:

      “There is a fear of offending people and thinking that they will not come to Mass if they are made to feel guilty.”
      Yes, that’s what will happen, eventually. The Church has no other possible solution to the widespread heresy and sinfulness among the laity other than preaching against sin and against heresy at Mass, thus driving away the unrepentant.

  4. Ronald D. says:

    Mr. Conte, I want to thank you personally for helping me overcome the fallacies
    and indignations of sedevacantism. I now believe, wholeheartedly and
    without any intellectual reservations, that the Church’s line of Roman Pontiffs since the
    passing of Pius XII, and Vatican II’s pastoral advices and approaches to Catholic life and worship
    are entirely valid and in-line with a proper understanding of scripture and tradition.

  5. Mark P. says:

    I really wonder how it helps the faithful to have a pro-abortion, population control advocate (Paul Ehrich) invited to speak at the Vatican? What will this do to stop the problem of heresy in the Church? This man will be speaking at a Vatican conference titled “Biological Extinction” at the end of the month. This man has called Catholics “terrorists” in the past for being pro-life. So unless he will be magically converted and baptized on the stop in St. Peter’s Square, this is nothing but a bad choice for the Church.

  6. Mike says:

    Following onto comment from Mark P., I am a “conservative” at heart Pew sitter. I’m trying very hard to understand and stay in the Barque of Peter under Francis. However, it’s getting harder abs harder. The question is does he intend to change and can he change giving Comunion to those in second marriages who have not received annulment? It seems to me these people are in a state of grave sin (adultery) and cannot receive. Believe me, I’m a sinner too but doesn’t there need to repentance?

    • Mark P. says:

      Mike, we do need to pray for the Holy Father and for the Church, and trust in the Holy Spirit that the Church will be guided and protected. I am not sure how often you read Ron’s writings on this site and in his forum, but he does a very good job of keeping things in perspective regarding any controversial issues in the Church. And if you do not stay in the Barque of Peter, where will you go? What other denomination has the fullness of the faith that we do?

      But that being said, I do share some of your concerns. Admittedly, Ron does a great job of not really being affected by any of these controversial news stories. So anytime I read one, I find a very good balanced perspective in what Ron writes. However, I do find that the Pope makes some statements that are intentionally provoking or passive aggressive in nature. It seems to me that at times he debates and responds to those who disagree with him through interviews and statements, instead of directly. Maybe he does address them directly, I don’t know. Lately, the whole Vatican hierarchy has come across more like a dysfunctional government that as the successors of the apostles. And the Vatican should not, in my opinion, hold symposiums as part of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences with topics such as “Biological Extinction” as mentioned in my post above. Too much of a chance for secular worldviews on the origins of creation and man to creep into Holy Mother Church. Reading the PAF website is embarrassing, they just about completely admit to every secular notion of the origins of life and man.

  7. Rico says:

    I can understand your concern about staying in the Barque of Peter under Pope Francis. I too had been swayed by many, many opinions from the conservative camp. Until I realized that it’s not really about Pope Francis anymore. It’s really between me and the Lord Jesus.

    Do I really have the faith to trust Jesus in whatever he says? When he ascended to heaven, all he left the world were some simple fishermen from Galilee to baptize and make disciples. What credibility do they have other than they walked with him for three years? Not much really…. unless you add the fact that to them Jesus promised the Spirit to lead their actions. And that’s a “game changer.” From then on, it is not really they, but God himself working through them.

    “He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me” (Matthew 10:40). If we receive Pope Francis as Christ’s Vicar, then we receive Jesus. The logic is clear, concise, and simple. Yet for many Catholics today, this will take a tremendous, cosmos-shaking faith to accept. It is much easier for them to openly declare that Pope Francis is not the Vicar of Christ if only to avoid the inescapable conclusion of what Jesus taught in that scripture.

    Think about it this way: If you book a flight from a foreign airline to fly to a foreign country, would you worry about the flying skills of those “foreign pilots” in the cockpit? Even if you are an experienced pilot yourself, how much thought would you give this? Yet airline flights takeoff and land hundreds of thousands times a day all across the world, and passengers hardly worry that pilots do their job according to the standards of “what we worry about” (whatever that is). Passengers buy airline tickets and exercise FAITH that they will get to their destinations safely and on schedule.

    The whole aviation industry depends on FAITH when you look at it. Without FAITH, the industry will get nowhere. Yet nothing here is 100% guaranteed. Statistics in this industry still show that accidents are still happening, and will continue to happen in the future. In spite of this, FAITH keeps people buying airline tickets.

    Pope Francis and his crew are guided by the Holy Spirit himself. The Barque of Peter will encounter violent storms and deadly waves. Passengers will be swept off deck. There will be many casualties. But we were all told beforehand about this (read the entire Matthew chap. 10). Meanwhile, the Lord sleeps soundly in his cabin. What do we do now? Should we panic and wake him up? Should we now complain because he put Pope Francis at the helm and his piloting skills scare us? If we panic, remember we will not be the first to do this. Peter and the apostles have. Just see what they got out of it.

    It’s not really about Pope Francis. It’s really about us and our faith in Jesus.

  8. Alex says:

    Some conservative sites keep accusing both pope and faithful who stand for him, of being anything from sinners to traitors to antichrists…

    Ron, I do not share your view the next pope will be conservative. No way, with a college of cardinals who elected the reformer Bergoglio in the name of the reforms. Reforms that he is now blocked to do by a handful of conservatives, in the name of ill understood unity…Unity with cardinal Burke? For what reason, to return pre-Vatican II status quo? He will not elect the next pope, or if he does it would be not in communion with the majority of cardinals, therefore it would be an antipope…

    If the conservative sectarians within the Catholic Church must go, let them go. They are farther now than the Protestants. The billion wide Church cannot afford to wait more and to LOSE PEOPLE everyday. The leak is especially big in traditionally Catholic countries where you are “born Catholic”. The Orthodox Churches now are more relaxed than the Catholic, after centuries of traditionalism there.

    BTW, it is a time for the Great Warning, scheduled or unscheduled. I miss your estimations on that. Sure no one guessed correctly until now, otherwise we wouldn’t discuss it anymore, we’d live it! And that’s why we keep guessing and expecting it.

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