Heresy is understood as the opposition to a group or group of ideas that are held in relation to those beliefs that have been considered irrevocable and immutable by a group of people at a given time or time.
There is generally a religious ideal that is based on the imposition of a doctrine, a philosophy, a dogma, a faith, which must be respected without any observation by its believers. He who reveals himself, stands up or he who contradicts these ideals is said to practice heresy.
Heresy is given by a contraposition, because a dissent arises in relation to the way in which two or more groups understand the truth of the human being, understood this truth as an aspect of philosophy, since some will go more for reason and science, and others for science and experience.
That is why it is said that heresy is a tendency, theory or belief that despite being innovative only seeks to counteract the dogma or faith of believers of a specific religion or sect.
Heresies appeared throughout the history of the Church due to the voluntary denial or recusal of one or more affirmation of Faith. Due to its theological and political significance, heresies regarding the nature and mission of Christ are distinguished, to freedom of man and the action of grace, by the function, and constitution of the Church, among other points.
In relation to the above, from the fourth century the ecumenical councils became the main ecclesiastical instrument for the condemnation of heresies, and since the sixteenth century the doctrinal vigilance was exercised by the Sacred Congregation of the Inquisition, called Holy Office from the year 1908, and Doctrine of Faith from 1965.
On the other hand, the word heretic identifies that person who professes a heresy, that is, who raises certain questions, some philosophical thesis, or religious belief through a completely controversial and innovative concept.
The heretic is the person who reveals himself against the principles or dogmas of a particular religion, culture or sect, who does or qualifies him as that heretic person, because of his opposition to others.
Etymologically, the word heresy is of Greek origin “haíresis” which means “option”.
Heresy in the Bible
Heresy, as stated above, is a doctrine that opposes the dogmas of the Church frontally. The term heresy is observed in the Bible, in some verses such as:
- “But there were also false prophets among the people, as there will be among you false teachers, who will covertly introduce destructive heresies, and even deny the Lord who rescued them, attracting sudden destruction upon themselves.” (Peter 2: 1)
- “For there must be dissension among you (” haireseis “), so that those who are approved may become manifest among you” (Corinthians 11:19).
Christological heresies are ideas or doctrines respecting Jesus Christ that are against the teachings of the Catholic Church. Some of these doctrines are: docetism, adoptionism, ebionism, Arianism, apolinarism, monotelism, monophysism, nestorianism, among others.
Heresy in the Middle Ages
In the Middle Ages, during the Inquisition Catholicism begins to feel that its foundations and principles are being affected and threatened by those who criticized its teachings and ideals as well as the questioning of the Holy Scriptures, is when a war and persecution against of those suspected of heresy, this movement was led by Pope Gregory IX in the thirteenth century establishing the Court of the Holy Office of the Inquisition.
At the time the religious court was created that was closely linked to the Power of the State, for which reason it was also fought against illegitimacy by virtue of the alliance that existed between the State and the Catholic Church.
The suspects were severely punished, tortured to confess their “impure acts” and then hanged or burned alive to “drive out the demons” that their bodies had possessed to perform such acts of heresy.
The Bula Gratia Divina in 1656 defines heresy as “the belief, teaching, or defense of opinions, dogmas, proposals or ideas contrary to the teachings of the Holy Bible, the Holy Gospels, tradition and teaching.”
Who commits acts of heresy, it can be affirmed, that he also committed or could commit injury and / or blasphemy, since he could verbally offend or with his actions everything that is revered or idolized by a religion, that dogma, that theory, that faith it can be affected by these actions of the heretic since his words or actions could offend the divine majesty which was a public crime against God.
The end of this persecution begins its hard process after the French Revolution after blasphemy is abolished when they manage to develop freedom of religion and worship as well as freedom of the press.