Catholic Teachers of Doctrinal Error

There are many Catholics who have decided to teaching without first having learned. They go forth and proclaim the Gospel, without first learning the Gospel from the Church. They teach on the Sacraments without first reading what the Magisterium infallibly teaches on the Sacraments. They go forth and proclaim, to the whole world via the internet, the Gospel of their own mind. They teach from the “magisterium” of their own ideas, misunderstandings, errors, and heresies — with no qualms of conscience at all. And they claim that all these ideas are merely the teaching of the Catholic Faith.

When it is pointed out that their claims contradict the teachings of the Magisterium, they stand uncorrected. If anyone holds or teaches heresy, without realizing that it contradicts the infallible teaching of the Church, the heresy is material. But if anyone holds or teaches heresy after realizing that it contradicts the dogma of the Faith, the heresy is formal. And formal heresy carries with it the penalty of automatic excommunication. But the teachers of heresy in the Church laugh at such a penalty.

I’ve noticed that certain Catholic publications, particularly online, do not seem to notice that their authors are teaching a wide range of doctrinal errors to their readers, all while claiming that these errors are required belief or sound theology. In addition, most Catholic discussion groups are plagued by innumerable teachers of grave doctrinal error, who teach anonymously while claiming that their errors are Church teaching.

I am not surprised that some Catholics misunderstand Church teaching, or that some Catholics go so far as to teach their misunderstanding. What astounds me is that so few Catholics notice that heresy is being presented to them as if it were Church teaching. And when I point out this fact, most Catholics don’t seem to care. Sinful secular society has taught us we have a right to think and say whatever we wish; the secular “dogma” is that all opinions are equally worthy. As a result, the faithful do not mind that many of their teachers are contradicting and undermining Church teaching, even to the extent of claiming that heresy is required belief.

Are the teachings of the Council of Trent mere opinions to be rejected or ignored at will? How is it that Catholic teachers publicly proclaim grave errors on important matters of faith and morals with no concern for Church teaching?

Jimmy Akin has a post on the Sacrament of Confession. First, he correctly instructs his readers that the valid Sacrament requires the confession of all mortal sins in kind and number. He only cites Canon Law, not the Council of Trent; but that is a correct statement of Catholic dogma. Then he claims there are “exceptions” wherein “the need to confess number is removed.” And that claim is abject heresy. The Council of Trent infallibly teachings that confession, in kind and number, of all mortal sins which can be remembered after a diligent examination of conscience, is required for validity (with contrition and the absolution of a priest). See my post: Confession in Kind and Number.

Akin also teaches heresy on transubstantiation. See my post: Jimmy Akin’s heresy on transubstantiation and the follow-up post here. He openly rejects the conversion of substance and claims instead that the substance of bread and wine are annihilated, cease to exist, return to nothingness. This claim is abject heresy presented as if it were Catholic dogma. And his readers and Catholic employers do not seem to mind.

There are other teachers of heresy online. Michael Voris teaches heresy on the Trinity, in contradiction to the teachings of multiple Ecumenical Councils and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Now here’s a man who speaks as if most Bishops in the Church have gone astray from the Faith, and who presents himself as if he understands Catholicism better than the body of Bishops. Yet he has no written works of theology whatsoever, only videos. And in his videos, he contradicts Catholic teaching, including the dogma of the Trinity, without even realizing it.

What does Sacred Scripture say about this situation?

[Matthew]
{5:18} Amen I say to you, certainly, until heaven and earth pass away, not one iota, not one dot shall pass away from the law, until all is done.
{5:19} Therefore, whoever will have loosened one of the least of these commandments, and have taught men so, shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever will have done and taught these, such a one shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
{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.

[Titus 3]
{3:10} Avoid a man who is a heretic, after the first and second correction,
{3:11} knowing that one who is like this has been subverted, and that he offends; for he has been condemned by his own judgment.

[James 3]
{3:1} My brothers, not many of you should choose to become teachers, knowing that you shall receive a stricter judgment.

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

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