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Catholic Essentials
"Not Believing" is not an Option!


Definition: "Apostasy from the Faith is the act by which a baptized person, after possessing the true Christian faith, totally rejects it. The complete abandonment  of the practice of the Faith is NOT apostasy, or even presumption of Apostasy. A person is an apostate whether he joins a non-Christian religion, as Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, or falls into unbelief, atheism, materialism, agnosticism, rationalism, indifferentism, or "free-thought". Apostates from the Faith incur excommunication ipso facto, and other penalties" (Definition from A Catholic Dictionary, 1951)

References to Apostasy in Scripture:

  • But he that shall deny me before men, I will also deny him before my Father who is in heaven. Matthew 10:33
  • Thy own wickedness shall reprove thee, and thy apostasy shall rebuke thee. Know thou, and see that it is an evil and a bitter thing for thee, to have left the Lord thy God, and that my fear is not with thee, saith the Lord the God of hosts. Jeremias 2:19
  • A man that is an apostate, an unprofitable man, walketh with a perverse mouth, He winketh with the eyes, presseth with the foot, speaketh with the finger. With a wicked heart he deviseth evil, and at all times he soweth discord. To such a one his destruction shall presently come, and he shall suddenly be destroyed, and shall no longer have any remedy. Proverbs 6:12-15
  • Woe to you, apostate children, saith the Lord, that you would take counsel, and not of me: and would begin a web, and not by my spirit, that you might add sin upon sill. Isaias 30:1
  • "But yet the Son of man, when he cometh, shall he find, think you, faith on earth?" Luke 18:8

Catholic Church Teaching on Apostasy in the Church:

  • a) Excommunications Specially Reserved to the Pope: These are twelve in number and are imposed upon the following persons: (1) "All apostates from the Christian Faith, heretics of every name and sect, and those who give them credence, who receive or countenance them, and generally all those who take up their defence." Catholic Encyclopedia (1917)


It is clear from Scripture that apostates will not enter Heaven, and Church teaching openly states apostasy incurs excommunication. Apostate and Catholic are opposites and never can a Catholic even be in a position of defending an apostates beliefs.




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