DEFINTION (DESCRIPTION) OF A HERETIC
Disciple So as to understand better the material about heretics I will object against the above description in many ways. For the first element, which is put in place of a genus, when it is said "seriously baptized", does not seem suitably laid down. For many are seriously baptized outside the Church's form, who, however much they may err pertinaciously, should not be judged heretics as we are now speaking of heretics, because we are speaking now only about heretics who belong to the forum of the Church and are to be judged by the Church. But those who are outside the Church and never were of the Church and never were Christians should not be judged by the Church, as the Apostle testifies. In 1 Corinthians 5, he says, "For what business is it of mine to judge those outside?" But those baptized outside the Church's form have always been outside and never have been Christians. Therefore they should not be judged by the Church and consequently should not be regarded as heretics.
Master Your objection is based on an equivocation, for people are said to be "outside" in various ways. For some are outside because they have never been baptized, by either true or false baptism, and have not in any way behaved as baptized persons, and the Apostle means these. However much they err pertinaciously against Catholic truth, they are not to be punished by the Church, as baptized heretics are.
Others are outside who never received true baptism; however, they have received false baptism, or have behaved as baptized persons; and these, like those who have been within, are subject to the jurisdiction of the Church.
Others are outside who have at some time been inside but are separated from the Church by the Church's censure; and nevertheless sometimes they remain within. And in this way all excommunicates are said to be outside. Thus Jerome, as we read in 24, q. 3, c. Si quis, says: "It happens sometimes that he who is sent outside is inside, and he is outside who seems to be retained within". Those also, however much they are outside, are not at all exempt from the Church's jurisdiction.
Disciple That objection seems probably answered, but still another occurs to me. For people who are [baptised while] insane, asleep, and altogether contradicting it, even if they are baptized, if they afterwards err pertinaciously or remain in pertinacious error, do not seem to be regarded as heretics, because they will not belong to ecclesiastical jurisdiction.
Master Those who describe the heretic in the above way say that if people thus baptized persist in contradiction, they are understood not to be baptized by either true or false baptism. Certainly not by false; nor by true, because whoever is baptized by true baptism receives the character of the sacrament.
Disciple What do they say about catechumens and those who express an intention to be baptised, if before they are baptized they fall into heretical wickedness or return to their previous rite?
Master Some of them say that such people should be punished as heretics because they regard themselves as Catholics, so if they afterwards err they should be regarded as heretics. Also, all adult catechumens, and those who assert that they intend to be baptized, act as persons baptized by the baptism of the spirit; therefore they are subject, as baptized people, to the judgment of the Church, and consequently, if they return to their vomit or fall into pertinacious error, they should be struck by the Church with due penalty. Others, however, say that before they are baptized such people do not belong to the jurisdiction of the Church; therefore they can, without fear of the Church's punishment, return to their previous rite and in other ways err pertinaciously.