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Non-Catholics Section: Church Teachings

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Non-Catholics Section:

Church Teachings

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Important Notice: Items herein may not apply to all persons. References and translations may vary. We make no guarantees regarding any item herein. Do not take items out of context. Do not inflict harm on yourself or others, break laws, take unsuitable/incautious or inappropriate/drastic actions, or take figurative items literally. Use of site is at your own risk and is subject to our terms of use. For more terms information, see below and click here


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What Does the Catholic Church Teach?

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Comments

What Does the Catholic Church Teach?

Consider:

* If you are seeking the Catholic Church's teachings on matters of doctrine, we recommend that you look to appropriate, official sources which carry an imprimatur (note that pre-1950's publications may especially clear and reliable sources of Catholic doctrine). 

* If you are seeking the Catholic Church's teachings related to Holy Scripture, especially consider Catholic Bibles issued before 1950 that are based on the Vulgate (the Church's only 'canonized' bible) and which contain adequate footnotes.

* For general Catholic teachings, especially consider official catechisms issued before 1950 which carry an imprimatur.

* For a wide assortment of papal teachings, especially consider those issued from the 1800's to early 1900's.

* For official teachings of ecumenical councils, especially consider those of the Council of Trent and the First Vatican Council. 

Note: The Second Vatican Council was a pastoral, not doctrinal council. The Pope who closed the council said that: "Given the Council's pastoral character, it avoided pronouncing in any extraordinary manner, dogmas endowed with the note of infallibility." (Pope Paul VI, General Audience, Jan. 12, 1966) And, as Cardinal Ratzinger, council father and the future Pope Benedict XVI has said, "The Second Vatican Council has not been treated as a part of the entire living Tradition of the Church, but as an end of Tradition, a new start from zero. The truth is that this particular Council defined no dogma at all, and deliberately chose to remain on a modest level, as a pastoral council; and yet many treat it as though it had made itself into a sort of super-dogma which takes away the importance of all the rest." (emphasis added) 

* If you are seeking the Catholic Church's teachings on current issues such as abortion and euthanasia, consider the writings relating to the sanctity of life by Pope John Paul II.

* When you want to obtain the Catholic Church's official teachings on various matters, we recommend that you avoid relying on (or at least use extreme caution with) certain sources, including:

* Individuals (even priests, bishops, and theologians). Note: It is a sad fact that many Catholics nowadays are poorly catechized. It would be wrong to take someone's mistaken conceptions of the Catholic Church's teaching as true Church doctrine.

* Religious Groups / Organizations. Note: As indicated above, it is a sad fact that many Catholics nowadays - even including Catholic religious groups / organizations - are poorly catechized. It would be wrong to take mistaken conceptions of the Catholic Church's teaching as true Church doctrine.

* The Catholic press. Note: The orthodoxy of Catholic publications may vary greatly.

* Non-Catholic sources.

* Anti-Catholic sources.

* Modern publications. Note: The orthodoxy of many modern publications varies greatly. Even some with an imprimatur have been questionable.

* Traditional publications that have undergone revisions since their first issuance (especially in the 1960's and beyond). Note: As indicated above, the orthodoxy of Catholic publications may vary greatly. Even the orthodoxy of traditional publications may be corrupted by modern revisions.

* Unworthy websites.

* If you are seeking the Catholic Church's official teachings, keep in mind that not everything a bishop, priest, theologian, Church father, or even a pope or saint says is "official Catholic dogma." 

Click Here For 'Catholic Basics' Section


Final Note

It should be noted that since the Second Vatican Council, the Catholic Church has experienced much turbulence. Unfortunately, many of her members have become poorly catechized and unorthodox statements abound. Even high-ranking prelates have been known to publicly make statements of questionable orthodoxy. While this sad state of affairs continues, it is especially important to note that:

(1) Unorthodox statements made by Catholics do not represent the official teaching of the Church

And... 

(2) The Church can NEVER change her doctrines, create new doctrines, or re-interpret her doctrines in a new manner. Rather, she must retain the same doctrine that she has always had, and with the same understanding. Those who attempt to "re-interpret" traditional Catholic dogma contrary to what has always been taught fall under the anathema of the Church. As the First Vatican Council has stated: 

"The meaning of Sacred Dogmas, which must always be preserved, is that which our Holy Mother the Church has determined. Never is it permissible to depart from this in the name of a deeper understanding." (First Vatican Council)

And:

"If anyone says that it is possible that at some time, given the advancement of knowledge, a sense may be assigned to the dogmas propounded by the Church which is different from that which the Church has understood and understands: let him be anathema." (First Vatican Council)

[top]


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