Catholics should not discuss the Catholic Faith

Thanks to Brother Michael for his post about the fact that Catholics can’t discuss the Catholic faith.

From Religious Discussions, we read:

By a decree of Alexander IV (1254-1261) inserted in “Sextus Decretalium”, Lib. V, c. ii, and still in force, all laymen are forbidden, under threat of excommunication, to dispute publicly or privately with heretics on the Catholic Faith. The text reads: “Inhibemus quoque, ne cuiquam laicae personae liceat publice vel privatim de fide catholica disputare. Qui vero contra fecerit, excommunicationis laqueo innodetur.” (We furthermore forbid any lay person to engage in dispute, either private or public, concerning the Catholic Faith. Whosoever shall act contrary to this decree, let him be bound in the fetters of excommunication.)

So, laymen are forbidden to dispute with heretics on the Catholic Faith – otherwise they could be excommunicated.

But not only that, even priests must have prior approval to discuss the Catholic Faith in public, and it must be done exactly as ordered by the church.

But the clergy are not free to engage in public disputes on religion without due authorization. In the “Collectanea S. Cong. de Prop. Fide” (p. 102, n. 294) we find the following decree, issued March 8, 1625: “The Sacred Congregation has ordered that public discussions shall not be held with heretics, because for the most part, either owing to their loquacity or audacity or to the applause of the audience, error prevails and the truth is crushed. But should it happen that such a discussion is unavoidable, notice must first be given to the S. Congregation, which, after weighing the circumstances of time and persons, will prescribe in detail what is to be done.”

They also say

error prevails and the truth is crushed.


these discussions often produce no result at all or even result in harm.

But they dont really describe what the harm is. They mention truth is crushed. But one can not crush truth. Truth is, or is not.

Regardless of the reason, Catholics can’t dispute the Catholic Faith with heretics – which would include anyone who does not agree with the Roman Catholic Faith. Of course, given some people I’ve spoken with, that would also include at least some of the people who consider themselves Catholic.


2 Responses

  1. But, if you read their Catechism, near about everyone baptized according to Matthew 28.19 is okay with Rome.

  2. well… I think they will be going back to a position where you are part of the RCC or in alignment with them, or you’re not a Christian. Its only been recently that protestants have been considered to possibly be Christian, from the RCC perspectice.

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