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'Quick Help' Page: Is It Ever Acceptable For Catholics To 'Worship' In Common With Heretics & Schismatics?

 

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'Worship' in Common With Those Outside the Church

Heresy | Heretic | Heretics | Heretical

Schism | Schismatic | Schismatics | Schismatical

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Arrow Question / Issue:

Is it ever acceptable for Catholics to 'worship' in common with heretics and schismatics?

 

Arrow Answer / Resources:

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No. As Scripture declares and as the Catholic Church has always held, Catholics should not 'worship' in common with heretics and schismatics...

"After a first and second warning, break off contact with a heretic, realizing that such a person is perverted and sinful and stands self-condemned." (St. Paul, Ti. 3:10-11)

"If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him in your house or even greet him; for whoever greets him shares in his evil works." (St. John, the 'apostle of love', 2 Jn. 1:10-11)

"Can. 1365 One who is guilty of prohibited participation in religious rites is to be punished with a just penalty." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"[B]y the very fact that a person communicates in the sacraments with a heretic who is cut off from the Church, he sins" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"None must either pray or sing psalms with heretics; and whomsoever shall communicate with those who are cut off from the Communion of the Church, whether clergymen or laic, let him be excommunicated." (Council of Carthage)

"Can. 2316 Whoever in any manner willingly and knowingly helps in the promulgation of heresy, or who communicates in things divine with heretics against the prescriptions of Canon 1258, is suspected of heresy." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

"Common participation in worship (communicatio in sacris) which harms the unity of the Church or involves formal acceptance of error or the danger of aberration in the faith, of scandal and indifferentism, is forbidden by divine law." (Second Vatican Council) [Note: Participation in such activities inherently involves dangers of scandal and indifferentism, at the very least.]

"Fly from them and from their doctrines; do not go near them, for you know that whoever is found in a place where outrage has been offered to the king has to come into court to be questioned according to law. Even if he can prove he was not guilty he will be condemned for want of zeal. Do not sit with heretics nor associate with apostates. It would be better to dwell with a demon than with a renegade. For if you abjure the demon he will flee, for he cannot stand before the name of Jesus, but even were you to exorcise the apostate ten thousand times he would not cease from his wickedness or renounce his folly. It would be better to teach demons than to try to convince heretics." (St. Ephraem the Syrian, Doctor of the Church)


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