Fr. E. Sylvester Berry Repeats the Teaching of the Church that Heretics Pass Sentence Upon Themselves

“Manifest heretics and schismatics are excluded from membership in the Church.  Heretics separate themselves from the unity of faith and worship;”

“There is no need to adduce arguments from Scripture or tradition for a truth that is self-evident.  St. Jerome says: ‘An adulterer, a homicide, and other sinners are driven from the Church by the priests (i.e., by excommunication); but heretics pass sentence upon themselves, leaving the Church by their own free-will.’ St. Augustine gives expression to the same doctrine: ‘If you do not wish to belong to the Church,…separate yourselves from her members, put yourselves off from her body. But why should I now urge them to leave the Church, since they have already done this? They are heretics, and therefore already out.'”
(Fr. E. Sylvester Berry, S.T.D., The Church of Christ: An Apologetic and Dogmatic Treatise, p. 128 & p.129 respectively)[Emphases mine]

Did you read that, my friends?  For other sins, the Church drives out the sinner.  Heretics, however, pass sentence upon themselves.  They put themselves outside the Church.  This flies in the face of those who hold (heretically by the way) that one is separated from the Church for heresy only when the Church makes that judgement and not beforehand.

Leave a Comment