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The Catechism of the Catholic Church, # 2089 states: “Apostasy is the total repudiation of the Christian faith.”
The difference between heresy and apostasy is that the heretic denies one or more doctrines of Christianity, while the apostate denies Christianity itself.
The apostate, who must of course have been at some time validly baptized, openly renounces the Christian faith and instead takes up Judaism, Islam, paganism, or some other religion, or merely professes naturalism, rationalism, or some other system of thought, or simply becomes an atheist or agnostic.
The sin of apostasy is mortal if the person recognizes his obligation to believe and refuses to do so.
This type of apostasy is called apostasy in faith. Clerical apostasy refers to priests. Ecclesiastical apostasy refers to consecrated religious.
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