Please use the sharing buttons! Thanks!My friend Fr. Ray Blake, reknowned p.p. of Brighton, has on his blog an interesting entry about “the Good Shepherd”. Be sure to visit his great blog.
I remember hearing about a school inspector telling a class of Yorkshire children the parable about the Good Shepherd, then asking them what their dad’s, most of whom were sheep farmers what there dads would do. One little girl said, “Sir, ‘e’ll shoot the b*gger, once one runs, he’ll teach the rest of ’em to run”.
Jewish shepherds would leave the flock, and go in search of the lost one, the reason why he would carry it on his shoulder is because he would break or dislocate its leg, which meant until it healed the shepherd needed to carry it around.
The important thing was that whilst it was getting better it was also learning to stay with he flock and while it was disabled it could not teach the rest of the flock to run and it itself learnt to listen to and follow the shepherd.
So what do we do with sheep who run off from the flock and teach others to do the same? In the past we might have called them heretics, now we call them dissidents, redolent of the political prisoners of the Soviet Gulags. The problem is that they remain to teach others to leap the fence, indeed, their role as “dissident” seems to give them importance in the secular world, and the “Liberal Catholic” establishment to comment on the Church and to condemn it.
The Church has moved on from Pope Zachary’s (741-52) Rite of Anathema and by doing so seems to have broken from Tradition and scripture 1 Timothy 1:20; 1 Corinthians 5:5.
“Wherefore in the name of God the All-powerful, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, of the Blessed Peter, Prince of the Apostles, and of all the saints, in virtue of the power which has been given us of binding and loosing in Heaven and on earth, we deprive N– himself and all his accomplices and all his abettors of the Communion of the Body and Blood of Our Lord, we separate him from the society of all Christians, we exclude him from the bosom of our Holy Mother the Church in Heaven and on earth, we declare him excommunicated and anathematized and we judge him condemned to eternal fire with Satan and his angels and all the reprobate, so long as he will not burst the fetters of the demon, do penance and satisfy the Church; we deliver him to Satan to mortify his body, that his soul may be saved on the day of judgement.”
The problem with dissidents, (can we still call them heretics?) touches the whole issue of religious liberty, do we tolerate heretics, is this the message of scripture?
Yes, Fr. Blake, we can still call them “heretics”, though they must be – in fact – actual heretics.
The word is often thrown around too easily in the interwebs by people who don’t know what heretic means, what the parameters of dissent or the obligations of religiosum obsequium are, or what the actual doctrines are they think a person is straying from. On the other hand, there is also a reluctance on the part of others to use the word when it ought to be used.