Follow usTwitterFacebook

Latest

14 Sep 2015 News Vatican Comments (1)

Pope encourages work of cooperatives

Pope Francis met with directors and employees of an Italian credit union on September 12 and encouraged it and other cooperatives “to continue to be the motor t…

Read more

31 Dec 2014 Q&A Comments (1)

Is it right to be proud of some things?

Full Question When is it okay to be proud? Can I be "proud" of my Catholic faith? Can I be "proud" of my many years of marriage? Answer Theol…

Read more

04 Nov 2014 Q&A Comments (18)

Where did people who died before Christ go?

Full Question Where did people who died before Christ go? Answer According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, before the Resurrection, Abra…

Read more

04 Jul 2016 USA Comments (8)

True story behind 'Miracles From Heaven'

Annabel Beam was only 9-years-old when she fell down a hollowed-out tree and landed on her skull. Despite other horror stories in which spines were snapped and …

Read more

05 May 2016 Vatican Comments (1)

Individuals are more generous than governments over immigration, says Cardinal Nichols

The cardinal said political leaders need to look at what we gain from migration, as well as the problems we confront Cardinal Vincent Nichols has said that man…

Read more

24 Nov 2015 Europe News No comments

Two new Auxiliary Bishops are appointed for the Diocese Westminster Cathedral by Pope Francis

Pope Francis has appointed two new Auxiliary Bishops to be ordained on 25th January, 2016 on the feast of the Conversion of St Paul. Canon Paul McAleenan, a pri…

Read more

06 Aug 2016 News Comments (1)

US nuns urge Presidential candidates to refrain from ‘dehumanising language’

More than 5,600 religious have signed a letter to all the Presidential candidates More than 5,600 American women religious have signed a letter addressed to Pr…

Read more

29 Nov 2015 Middle East - Africa News No comments

Pope Francis "Messenger of Peace" welcomed in Central Africa

Pope Francis arrived Central Africa in the morning hours of 29th November, 2015 after visiting Kenya and Uganda in the past few days of his pastoral visit to Af…

Read more

18 Feb 2016 Articles No comments

Unless You Become Like Little Children

As a youngster, I thought going to church was a mystical adventure filled with a strange language, bells and incense. We knew we were in a sacred place because …

Read more
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
«
»

Did the Church change its position on the punishment of heretics?

Full Question

An anti-Catholic claims that the Church at the Fourth Lateran Council said heretics should be exterminated, but now the Church denies that they should be. What should we make of this?

Answer

Not much. First, the issue Lateran IV (1215) addressed was not the “extermination” of heretics in the sense of killing them. Anti-Catholics have been confused by the use of the Latin extermino in the Council’s decree and have assumed the word means the same as the English verb “exterminate.” It does not.

For example, the (non-Catholic) Cassell’s Latin Dictionary points out that extermino is derived from ex (from or out of) and terminus (boundary). In English it has come to mean pushing beyond the boundary of life, but it doesn’t have that meaning in Latin. Cassell’s defines extermino as “to drive beyond the boundaries; hence lit[eral meaning], to drive out, expel, banish . . . transf[erred meaning] to put aside, remove.” Cassell’s does not list “kill,” “exterminate,” or any equivalent as a definition.

Thus the relevant passage of Lateran IV reads, “Catholics who take the cross and gird themselves up for the expulsion [“extermination”] of heretics shall enjoy the same indulgence and be strengthened by the same holy privilege as is granted to those who go to the aid of the holy land” (Constitution 3).










wpsd_autopost:
1

3 comments

  1. David Blyth Reply

    That’s the problem with hasty translations!

  2. obeirne Reply

    As a Christian, therefore not a Roman Catholic, Protestant, Orthdox adherent all of which are the antithesis of original Christianity, your play on words is contradicted by history. Millions defined as heretics by the Roman Catholic Church were exterminated either directly or through the leaders of countries in the Roman Catholic fold – the leaders being known under the titles of either kings, queens or some other title.

  3. Lisa Smith Reply

    Yes, I would like to know why The Catholic church killed heretics by the millions when all she had to do was excommunicate them. Is there a reason for all the bloodshed?

Leave a Reply

  1. most read post
  2. Most Commented
  3. Choose Categories