What Heretics Are For: A Reminder for the Anglicans and the Rest of Us

Something Anglicans need to remember:

Heretics are those who entertain in Christ’s Church unsound and distorted ideas and stubbornly refuse, even when warned, to return to what is sound and right, to correct their contagious and death-dealing docrtrines, but go on defending them.  When they leave the Church they are ranked as enemies who try her patience.  Even so, their evil-doing profits the loyal Catholic members of Christ’s Body, for God makes good use of bad men, while ‘for those who love God all things work together unto good.’ (Rom 8:28) Actually, all foes of the Church, whether blinded by error or moved by malice, subserve her in some fashion.  If they have power to do her physical harm, they develop her power to suffer; if they oppose her intellectually, they bring out her wisdom; since she must love even her enemies, her loving kindness is made manifest; and whether she has to deal with them in the persuasiveness of argument or the chastisement of law, they bring into play her power to do good. (St. Augustine, The City of God, XVIII, 51)

The tricky part to this comes, as my friend Fr. Greg puts it, when “the “weeds” get control of the structure, as with TEC.”

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