St. Edmund Campion Catechism Group - Series 2 Lesson 10


Podcast: The Heresy of Indifferentism
Podcast: Notes
Magisterium: Mirari Vos #13-14Syllabus Errorum #15-18Humanum Genus #16On the Sillon #36-40Mortalium Animos #2,9,15Humani Generis #27
Catechism: Q9-13
My Catholic Faith: Chapter 2
Catholic Encyclopedia: Religious Indifferentism
Aquinas 101: Faith, Faith & Reason, Common objections to Faith
Summa Theologica: Secunda Secundae Q1-9
Companion to the Summa: Vol III.1

The heresy of indifferentism

  1. Recap:

    - Faith: Faith is the supernatural virtue which renders the intellect entirely obedient to the will when God reveals a truth, because of the authority of God revealing.

    - Faith gives the greatest certitude.

    Faith is absolutely necessary for salvation.

  2. Definition of Religious Indifferentism

    Religious Indifferentism is the perverse opinion that it is possible to obtain eternal salvation by the profession of any kind of religion, as long as “morality” is maintained.

  3. Division of Religious Indifferentism

  4. Appeal of Religious Indifferentism

    - It unites all religions and philosophies

    - It's positive (no more "Thou shalt not")

    - It sets us free

    - It respects our opinions and preferences, our dignity as humans

    - It respects our culture and history

  5. Error of Religious Indifferentism

    - When unity is put before truth, faith and morals diminish to the lowest common denominator (like the intelligence of crowds)

    - In the same way as we shouldn't resent manhole covers on the road, we shouldn't resent the anathemas of the magisterium.

    - Indifferentism enslaves souls to a disordered, self-seeking will

    - Our dignity as human beings consists in freely choosing what leads us to God, not choosing whatever we like

    - Culture and tradition is to be respected only in as much as it leads souls to God

  6. Condemnation of Religious Indifferentism

    - Mirari Vos 14: This shameful font of indifferentism gives rise to that absurd and erroneous proposition which claims that liberty of conscience must be maintained for everyone. It spreads ruin in sacred and civil affairs, though some repeat over and over again with the greatest impudence that some advantage accrues to religion from it. “But the death of the soul is worse than freedom of error,” as Augustine was wont to say. 

    - Mortalium Animos 9. These pan-Christians who turn their minds to uniting the churches seem, indeed, to pursue the noblest of ideas in promoting charity among all Christians: nevertheless how does it happen that this charity tends to injure faith? Everyone knows that John himself, the Apostle of love, who seems to reveal in his Gospel the secrets of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and who never ceased to impress on the memories of his followers the new commandment "Love one another," altogether forbade any intercourse with those who professed a mutilated and corrupt version of Christ's teaching: "If any man come to you and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into the house nor say to him: God speed you."

    - Instruction on Ecumenical Movements 1949

       (i) The Catholic Church posssess the fullness of Christ

       (ii) Christian unity should not proceed by a process of assimilation between different confessions of faith.

       (iii) True union between churches can only come about by a return of seperated brethren to the Church of God.

       (iv) Separated brehtren who rejoin the Catholic Church lose nothing of the truth to be found in the their own denominations, rather they retain it as it was, but in its completed and perfected context.

  7. Modern manifestation of indifferentism: false ecumenism

    - Vatican II: Unitatitis Redintegratio. Conversion to the One True Church is replaced by convergence of churches to the Church of Christ as if the Catholic Church was not the Church of Christ.

    - Vatican II: Lumen gentium. "The Church of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church" implies a distinction between the Church of Christ and the Catholic Church.

    - JPII: Ut unum sint. 13. ..Indeed, the elements of sanctification and truth present in the other Christian Communities, in a degree which varies from one to the other, constitute the objective basis of the communion, albeit imperfect, which exists between them and the Catholic Church.

    To the extent that these elements are found in other Christian Communities, the one Church of Christ is effectively present in them. For this reason the Second Vatican Council speaks of a certain, though imperfect communion. The Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium stresses that the Catholic Church "recognizes that in many ways she is linked" 14 with these Communities by a true union in the Holy Spirit.