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Here "matters of faith" means dogmas which have been proposed by the infallible magisterium of the Church While individual branches of the Protestant Church have also used the concept in proceedings against individuals and groups deemed to be heretical by those branches, the lack of a central doctrinal authority has meant that beliefs can often not be unanimously considered heretical from the Protestant perspective.
Details of some modern opinions deemed to be heretical by the Catholic Church are listed in an appendix. Traditionally, orthodoxy and heresy have been viewed in relation to the "orthodoxy" as an authentic lineage of tradition.
Bauer endeavored to rethink early Christianity historically, independent from the views of the church.
He argued that originally unity was based on a common relationship with the same Lord rather than on formally defined doctrines and that a wide variety of views was tolerated.
The Catholic Church makes a distinction between 'material' and 'formal' heresy.
Material heresy means in effect "holding erroneous doctrines through no fault of one's own" as occurs with people brought up in non-Catholic communities and "is neither a crime nor a sin" since the individual has never accepted the doctrine.A similar overlapping occurred in medieval scholasticism.