Getting Placed on the Dissenter Lists

How does an organization or person get placed on our lists of Dissenting Organizations and Dissenting Authors and Speakers?

In summary, very carefully. Certain qualifications must be met and verified before anyone or any organization is placed on these lists. In the words of St. Francis de Sales in his book "Introduction to a Devout Life," "it is an act of charity to cry out against the wolf when he is among the sheep, wherever he is." Similarly, Pope St. Felix III said "Not to oppose error is to approve it; and not to defend truth is to suppress it."

  1. The person or organization must claim to be Catholic. By definition this excludes all those of other faiths who do not accept Catholic teachings. This distinction is critical because a person or organization claiming to be Catholic must follow all the teachings of the Catholic Church, without exception. One who accepts part of the Faith and reject others - today commonly called "cafeteria Catholic" or a follower of pluralism - is really nothing more than a form of heretic if they obstinately reject the Church's teachings (Summa Theologica, Part 2 of the Second Part, Treatise on the Theological Virtues, Question 5, Article 3 [1]).

  2. The person or organization publicly promotes non-Catholic ideas to be acceptable as Catholic doctrine. In some cases, various dissenters might try and twist the true meaning of Vatican II to appear to support their agenda. This is very commonly done under the distortion of the true meaning of Freedom of Conscience.

  3. The person or organization publicly speaks out against the official teachings of the Church, which commonly manifests itself by the call for a change to Church teachings, i.e. replace the Church's teachings with their own agenda as manifested in item 2 above.

  4. The person or organization publicly speaks against the Pope's rulings as Supreme Pastor of the Church, or denies/attacks the teaching authority of the Church - the Magisterium - headed by the Pope. This in an necessary consequence of the above three items, since dissenters try and get their own opinions sanctioned in any way possible.

  5. Any person who is part of a dissenting organization which meets any the above criteria [1 through 4] is a candidate for the Dissenting Authors list. However, we report more practically only on those in leadership roles or those who most publicly proclaim the views of the dissenting organization. Similarly, an organization meeting said criteria is a candidate for the Dissenting Organizations list. 

  6. A person who has had their teachings formally condemned by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith can be placed on the Dissenting Author list. This means that the Church has already formally determined their lack of Catholicity.

Lastly, these lists are not an exhaustive listing of all the dissenters.


SUMMA THEOLOGICA Second Part - Part II - Treatise on the Theological Virtues
ARTICLE 3: Whether a man who disbelieves one article of faith, can have lifeless faith in other articles?

OBJ 1: It would seem that a heretic who disbelieves one article of faith, can have lifeless faith in the other articles. For the natural intellect of a heretic is not more able than that of a catholic. Now a Catholic's intellect needs the aid of the gift of faith in order to believe any article whatever of faith. Therefore it seems that heretics cannot believe any articles of faith without the gift of lifeless faith.

OBJ 2: Further, just as faith contains many articles, so does one science, viz. geometry, contain many conclusions. Now a man may possess the science of geometry as to some geometrical conclusions, and yet be ignorant of other conclusions. Therefore a man can believe some articles of faith without believing the others.

OBJ 3: Further, just as man obeys God in believing the articles of faith, so does he also in keeping the commandments of the Law. Now a man can obey some commandments, and disobey others. Therefore he can believe some articles, and disbelieve others.

On the contrary, Just as mortal sin is contrary to charity, so is disbelief in one article of faith contrary to faith. Now charity does not remain in a man after one mortal sin. Therefore neither does faith, after a man disbelieves one article.

I answer that, Neither living nor lifeless faith remains in a heretic who disbelieves one article of faith.

The reason of this is that the species of every habit depends on the formal aspect of the object, without which the species of the habit cannot remain. Now the formal object of faith is the First Truth, as manifested in Holy Writ and the teaching of the Church, which proceeds from the First Truth. Consequently whoever does not adhere, as to an infallible and Divine rule, to the teaching of the Church, which proceeds from the First Truth manifested in Holy Writ, has not the habit of faith, but holds that which is of faith otherwise than by faith. Even so, it is evident that a man whose mind holds a conclusion without knowing how it is proved, has not scientific knowledge, but merely an opinion about it. Now it is manifest that he who adheres to the teaching of the Church, as to an infallible rule, assents to whatever the Church teaches; otherwise, if, of the things taught by the Church, he holds what he chooses to hold, and rejects what he chooses to reject, he no longer adheres to the teaching of the Church as to an infallible rule, but to his own will. Hence it is evident that a heretic who obstinately disbelieves one article of faith, is not prepared to follow the teaching of the Church in all things; but if he is not obstinate, he is no longer in heresy but only in error. Therefore it is clear that such a heretic with regard to one article has no faith in the other articles, but only a kind of opinion in accordance with his own will.

Reply OBJ 1: A heretic does not hold the other articles of faith, about which he does not err, in the same way as one of the faithful does, namely by adhering simply to the Divine Truth, because in order to do so, a man needs the help of the habit of faith; but he holds the things that are of faith, by his own will and judgment.

Reply OBJ 2: The various conclusions of a science have their respective means of demonstration, one of which may be known without another, so that we may know some conclusions of a science without knowing the others. On the other hand faith adheres to all the articles of faith by reason of one mean, viz. on account of the First Truth proposed to us in Scriptures, according to the teaching of the Church who has the right understanding of them. Hence whoever abandons this mean is altogether lacking in faith.

Reply OBJ 3: The various precepts of the Law may be referred either to their respective proximate motives, and thus one can be kept without another; or to their primary motive, which is perfect obedience to God, in which a man fails whenever he breaks one commandment, according to James 2:10: "Whosoever shall. . . offend in one point is become guilty of all."

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