Teachers of Heresy are Not Worthy to receive Communion

Under both Canon 915 (external forum) and Canon 916 (internal forum), Catholics who teach heresy should not receive Communion.

If Canon 915 is to be applied in the strict manner preferred by many papal critics, then it cannot be applied only to the divorced and remarried. The Canon does not mention divorce and remarriage. It’s scope is EVERY sin that meets these conditions:
* grave
* manifest
* obstinate perseverance

Yet the critics of Amoris Laetitia utterly ignore all the sins that meet these conditions, except the type of adultery committed by the divorced and remarried. Which other sins fall under the very same Canon?

* teaching heresy
* promoting schism
* politicians who vote for abortion
* teaching grave errors on morality, including sexual ethics, contraception, and abortion
* calumny against the Roman Pontiff

In all seriousness and without any exaggeration, I believe that every signatory of the Filial Correction committed objective mortal sin by falsely accusing the Roman Pontiff of propagating heresy. “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” The sin of bearing false witness is made all the more grave when the falsely accused person is the Vicar of Christ, and when the accusation causes great scandal by being very public. They should all be denied Communion under Canon 915.

I should add that Canon 916, which pertains to the internal forum, generally prohibits anyone from Communion who is guilty of actual mortal sins of any kind, even those that are not manifest or do not include obstinate perseverance. In some cases, a person can make an act of perfect contrition, and receive Communion. But generally the sinner must repent and confess, before receiving.

How many Catholics are guilty of teaching heresy? Many. This sin is committed, not only by some priests and theologians, but also by many ordinary Catholics, who write about Catholicism online and thereby teach or promote heresy. Often, they do so without realizing that their ideas are heretical. But Canon 915 does not consider whether the grave sin has the full culpability of actual mortal sin or not. As long as the sin is objectively grave (teaching heresy) and is manifest (since the teaching is public) and the sinner is obstinately persevering in that sin (by continuing to teach grave error), then the Canon applies.

Catholic teachers of heresy and of any grave error on faith, morals, and salvation are guilty of objective mortal sin, and should not receive holy Communion. “For whoever eats and drinks unworthily, eats and drinks a sentence against himself….” (1 Cor 11:29).

I suppose that some of these teachers of error have a sincere but mistaken conscience. They mistakenly think that these errors are truth. But they are guilty nonetheless, guilty of negligence in learning the Faith, guilty of pride, in that they thought themselves worthy to teach, without first having learned, and guilty of arrogance, in refusing to accept correction. Even so, given the many grave errors that plague the faithful, I can’t believe that so much harm is the result, exclusively, of sincere but mistaken consciences. Some of these false teachers are not in the state of grace, have not been in the state of grave for a long time, and do not wish to humble themselves by repentance.

{5:20} For I say to you, that unless your justice has surpassed that of the scribes and the Pharisees you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

{23:15} Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! For you travel around by sea and by land, in order to make one convert. And when he has been converted, you make him twice the son of Hell that you are yourselves.

{1:17} But others, out of contention, announce Christ insincerely, claiming that their difficulties lift them up to my chains.

{1:6} Certain persons, wandering away from these things, have been turned aside to empty babbling,
{1:7} desiring to be teachers of the law, but understanding neither the things that they themselves are saying, nor what they are affirming about these things.

When will these false teaches be corrected? You don’t realize this, but many of the most popular Catholic speakers and authors are teaching grave errors, and some are not in the state of grace.

{19:30} But many of those who are first shall be last, and the last shall be first.

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

Please take a look at this list of my books and booklets, and see if any topic interests you.

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2 Responses to Teachers of Heresy are Not Worthy to receive Communion

  1. Tom Mazanec says:

    Ron, something that bothers me is that your books on my Kindle do not have an imprimatur or a nihil obstat. Why is this? Is it because it is on a Kindle? I would think this is vital on a book of Catholic theology.

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