1 Corinthians 5:12

For what have I to do to judge them also that are outside? do not you judge them that are within?
All Commentaries on 1 Corinthians 5:12 Go To 1 Corinthians 5

Cornelius a Lapide

AD 1637
For what have I to do to judge them that are without? To judge is here and elsewhere the same as to condemn and punish fornicators, e.g, by excommunicating them, which is done in order to warn others who are pure and innocent not to mingle with them. When S. Paul says that they were not to mingle with fornicators, he at the same time judges indirectly the fornicators, by ordering them to be avoided and shunned as guilty and dangerous. He condemns not those outside the Church, because as pagans they were beyond his jurisdiction, but only the faithful, who were subject to his pastoral care. It may be said that if we cannot judge them that are without, the Church cannot judge and punish heretics and schismatics, for they are without, i.e, outside the Church. I answer that they are without the Church in the sense of being deprived of all her benefits, but within so far as jurisdiction is concerned. The very fact that they still retain the character of baptism makes them subject and bound to the Church. Hence they are bound to observe the fasts and feasts and other laws of the Church; and they are in the Church as slaves in a family, or as criminals imprisoned in a city. >
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Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation - 2 Peter 1:20

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