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Today, the word "heresy" is used so vaguely and diversely...sadly in an age that demands precision in almost everything. The only thing that lacks precision these days is definition of ideas.

And so, there seems to be a lack of interest in "heresies" because it is an idea with no clear explanation. And yet whole histories of nations, like Europe, cannot be understood outside the concept of "heresy." The nations of Europe are nations who in different degrees went heretical from the Church of Christ.

Heresy may be described as the removal of an essential structural support by the introduction of something novel. This "something" might either be something or nothing. What is heretical is the removal of an essential part. Whether the void is filled up with something novel or left void is immaterial.

All heresies in the Catholic Church have been a removal of an essential doctrine of Christ, usually those which go so contrary to man's fallen nature and those which man cannot understand.

The denial of the whole Catholic religion is not heresy and does not have the destructive power of a heresy. It is of the nature of heresy that it attacks only a small portion of the teachings of Christ but leaving the major part intact. It is what is left intact that continues to give it appeal, "Heresies survive by the truths they retain."

Heresy is like a parasite that invades the Church and begins to live a new life of its own within its host, virtually affecting the society it attacks. When saints combat heresies it is because they perceive that the heresy, as it gains ground, will produce a way of living and a social life that can mortally wound the former way of life of the Church.

For example, the Catholic Church has many doctrines, one of which is the immortality of the soul. If a heretic denies the immortality of the soul, even if he accepts the rest of the Catholic doctrine, his way of life will be totally different from the Catholic way of life.

Because heresies affect the individual, they also affect society. When the Scandinavians rejected a doctrine of their Catholic Church, their way of life totally changed. And so battles against heresies had been more decisive than national wars.

Following the above reasoning, Communism would be considered as a heresy. Because it embraces many of Christ's teachings, like community life, but rejects a small part of Catholicism. Divorce is a heresy because it accepts many Catholic doctrines but rejects the indissolubility of marriage.

Today, we live in a regime of countless heresies with only this difference, that the heretical spirit is so prevalent, it has become the general norm of behavior. While the truth, which is rare, has become the abnormal behavior. For lack of a better name, we can call this heresy..."Modernism."




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