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Non-Catholics Section: Doctrinal Change/Unchanging Doctrine

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Non-Catholics Section:

Doctrinal Change / Unchanging Doctrine

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Do You Think the Catholic Church Has Changed Her Teachings Over Time? / Do You Want the Church to Change Her Teachings?

Do You Think Religious Truths Can Change Over Time?

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Truth / Doctrine

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Do You Think the Catholic Church Has Changed Her Teachings Over Time? / Do You Want the Church to Change Her Teachings?

Consider:

* The Catholic Church teaches religious truth and religious truth cannot change, even if it is unpopular.

* The Catholic Church is not a creator of doctrine, but its guardian. She has authority only to pass on what she has already received, not to invent new dogma.

"[N]othing of the things appointed ought to be diminished; nothing changed; nothing added; but they must be preserved both as regards expression and meaning." (Pope St. Agatho)

"The Holy Spirit was not promised to the successor of Peter that by the revelation of the Holy Spirit they might disclose new doctrine, but that by His help they might guard sacredly the revelation transmitted through the Apostles and the deposit of faith, and might faithfully set it forth." (First Vatican Council)

"To announce, therefore, to Catholic Christians something other than that which they have received is never permitted, is nowhere permitted, and never will be permitted. And to anathematize those who announce anything other than that which has been received once and for all has never been unnecessary, is nowhere unnecessary, and never will be unnecessary" (St. Vincent of Lerins, c. 434 A.D.) 

"For the Church of Christ, watchful guardian that she is, and defender of the dogmas deposited with her, never changes anything, never diminishes anything, never adds anything to them; but with all diligence she treats the ancient documents faithfully and wisely; if they really are of ancient origin and if the faith of the Fathers has transmitted them, she strives to investigate and explain them in such a way that the ancient dogmas of heavenly doctrine will be made evident and clear, but will retain their full, integral, and proper nature, and will grow only within their own genus - that is, within the same dogma, in the same sense and the same meaning." (Pope Pius IX, "Ineffabilis Deus", 1854 A.D.)

Note that even a so-called "new" dogma (e.g. the Immaculate Conception of Mary), is not really new. Rather, it has always been part of the deposit of faith (at least implicitly), but it is simply put forth in a more explicit manner. As Pope Pius XI has stated, "For the teaching authority of the Church, which in the divine wisdom was constituted on earth in order that revealed doctrines might remain intact forever, and that they might be brought with ease and security to the knowledge of men, and which is daily exercised through the Roman Pontiff and the Bishops who are in communion with him, has also the office of defining, when it sees fit, any truth with solemn rites and decrees, whenever this is necessary either to oppose the errors or the attacks of heretics, or more clearly and in greater detail to stamp the minds of the faithful with the articles of sacred doctrine which have been explained. But in the use of this extraordinary teaching authority no newly invented matter is brought in, nor is anything new added to the number of those truths which are at least implicitly contained in the deposit of Revelation, divinely handed down to the Church: only those which are made clear which perhaps may still seem obscure to some, or that which some have previously called into question is declared to be of faith." (Pope Pius XI, "Mortalium Animos", 1928 A.D.)

* The dogmas of the Church are not subject to changing interpretations over time.

"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)

"I entirely reject the heretical misrepresentation that dogmas evolve and change from one meaning to another different from the one which the Church held previously." (From the Oath Against Modernism, Prescribed by Pope St. Pius X, 1910 A.D.) 

"For the doctrine of the faith which God has revealed is put forward not as some philosophical discovery capable of being perfected by human intelligence, but as a divine deposit committed to the spouse of Christ to be faithfully protected and infallibly promulgated. Hence, too, that meaning of the sacred dogmas is ever to be maintained which has once been declared by Holy Mother Church, and there must never be any abandonment of this sense under the pretext or in the name of a more profound understanding. May understanding, knowledge and wisdom increase as ages and centuries roll along, and greatly and vigorously flourish, in each and all, in the individual and the whole church: but this only in its own proper kind, that is to say, in the same doctrine, the same sense, and the same understanding." (First Vatican Council)

"Finally, I declare that I am completely opposed to the error of the modernists who hold that there is nothing divine in sacred tradition; or what is far worse, say that there is, but in a pantheistic sense, with the result that there would remain nothing but this plain simple fact - one to be put on a par with the ordinary facts of history - the fact, namely, that a group of men by their own labor, skill, and talent have continued through subsequent ages a school begun by Christ and his apostles. I firmly hold, then, and shall hold to my dying breath the belief of the Fathers in the charism of truth, which certainly is, was, and always will be in the succession of the episcopacy from the apostles. The purpose of this is, then, not that dogma may be tailored according to what seems better and more suited to the culture of each age; rather, that the absolute and immutable truth preached by the apostles from the beginning may never be believed to be different, may never be understood in any other way." (Pope St. Pius X, Oath Against Modernism, 1910 A.D.) 

* The Church is bound to protect the purity of the faith by preserving her constant teachings and upholding tradition

"Take as your norm the sound words that you heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Guard this rich trust with the help of the Holy Spirit that dwells within us." (2 Tm. 1:13-14)

"O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you. Avoid profane babbling and the absurdities of so-called knowledge. By professing it, some people have deviated from the faith. Grace be with all of you." (1 Tm. 6:20-21)

"Remember your leaders who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teaching." (Heb. 13:7-9)

"I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold fast to the traditions, just as I handed them on to you." (1 Cor. 11:2)

"If anyone rejects any written or unwritten tradition of the church, let him be anathema." (Second Council of Nicaea)

"Let them innovate nothing, but keep the traditions." (Pope St. Steven I, 3rd century A.D.)

"The best advice that I can give you is this. Church traditions - especially when they do not run counter to the faith - are to be observed in the form in which previous generations have handed them down" (St. Jerome, Doctor of the Church, 4th century A.D.)

"The Church appeals to the faithful not to abandon or make light of the traditions of the Fathers but to receive them reverently as a precious possession of the Catholic family and to honor those traditions." (Pope Paul VI)

"The customs of God's people and the institutions of our ancestors are to be considered as laws. And those who throw contempt on the customs of the Church ought to be punished as those who disobey the law of God." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church, 5th century A.D.)

"'Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you have been taught, whether by word or by our letter.' From this it is clear that they did not hand down everything by letter, but there was much also that was not written. Like that which was written, the unwritten too is worthy of belief. So let us regard the tradition of the Church also as worthy of belief. Is it a tradition? Seek no further." (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church, c. 400 A.D.)

"Those, therefore, who dare to think or to teach otherwise or to spurn according to wretched heretics the ecclesiastical traditions and to invent anything novel, or to reject anything from these things which have been consecrated by the Church...or to invent perversely and cunningly for the overthrow of anyone of the legitimate traditions of the Catholic Church; or even, as it were, to use the sacred vessels or the venerable monasteries as common things; if indeed they are bishops or clerics, we order (them) to be deposed; monks, however, or laymen, to be excommunicated" (Second Council of Nicaea, 787 A.D.)

"The Church of Christ, zealous and cautious guardian of the dogmas deposited with it, never changes any phase of them. It does not diminish them or add to them; it neither trims what seems necessary nor grafts things superfluous; it neither gives up its own or usurps what does not belong to it. But it devotes all its diligence to one aim: to treat tradition faithfully and wisely; to nurse and polish what from old times may have remain unshaped and unfinished; to consolidate and strengthen what already was clear and plain; and to guard what already was confirmed and defined." (St. Vincent of Lerins, 5th century A.D.)

"'Guard.' he says, 'what has been committed.' What does it mean, 'what has been committed'? It is what has been faithfully entrusted to you, not what has been discovered by you; what you have received, not what you have thought up; a matter not of ingenuity, but of doctrine; not of private acquisition, but of public Tradition; a matter brought to you, not put forth by you, in which you must not be the author but the guardian, not the founder but the sharer, not the leader, but the follower. 'Guard,' he says, 'what has been committed.' Keep the talent [see Mt. 25:14-30] of the Catholic Faith inviolate and unimpaired. What has been faithfully entrusted, let it remain in your possession, let it be handed on by you. You have received gold, so give gold. For my part, I do not want you to substitute on thing for another; I do not want you imprudently to put lead in place of gold, or fraudulently, brass. I do not want the appearance of gold, but the real thing. O Timothy, O priest, O interpreter, O teacher, if a divine gift has made you suitable in genius, in experience, in doctrine to be the Bezalel [i.e. skilled craftsman] of the spiritual tabernacle, cut out the precious gems of divine dogma, shape them faithfully, ornament them wisely, add splendor, grace and beauty to them! By your expounding it, may that now be understood more clearly which formerly was believed even in its obscurity. May posterity, be means of you, rejoice in understanding what in times past was venerated without understanding. Nevertheless, teach the same that you have learned, so that if you say something anew, it is not something new that you say." (St. Vincent of Lerins, c. 434 A.D.)

* The Catholic religion is not subject to human progress: 

"...that progress of dogmas...is, in reality, nothing but the corruption of dogmas." (Pope St. Pius X, "Lamentabili Sane", 1907 A.D.)

Error CONDEMNED by Pope Pius IX in the Syllabus of Errors: "Divine revelation is imperfect, and therefore subject to continuous and indefinite progress, which corresponds to the progress of human reason." (Bl. Pope Pius IX, This proposition was condemned in the Syllabus of Errors, Dec. 8, 1864 A.D.) 

"It is with no less deceit, venerable brothers, that other enemies of divine revelation, with reckless and sacrilegious effrontery, want to import the doctrine of human progress into the Catholic religion. They extol it with the highest praise, as if religion itself were not of God but the work of men, or a philosophical discovery which can be perfected by human means... Our holy religion was not invented by human reason, but was most mercifully revealed by God; therefore, one can quite easily understand that religion itself acquires all its power from the authority of God who made the revelation, and that it can never be arrived at or perfected by human reason." (Bl. Pope Pius IX, "Qui Pluribus", 1846 A.D.)

* The Church is a divine institution and cannot simply change because her members might want her to.

* The Church's teachings are timeless and never need to be "modernized".

* The Church cannot contradict what she has always held to be true - genuine novelties can never become dogma!

* Christ's followers have a duty to reject novelties & strange doctrine...

"Let what you heard from the beginning remain in you. If what you heard from the beginning remains in you, then you will remain in the Son and in the Father." (Jn. 2:24)

"Remember your leaders who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teaching." (Heb. 13:7-9)

"Anyone who is so 'progressive' as not to remain in the teaching of the Christ does not have God; whoever remains in the teaching has the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him in your house or even greet him; for whoever greets him shares in his evil works." (2 Jn. 1:9-11)

"I am amazed that you are so quickly forsaking the one who called you by (the) grace (of Christ) for a different gospel (not that there is another). But there are some who are disturbing you and wish to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach (to you) a gospel other than the one that we preached to you, let that one be accursed! As we have said before, and now I say again, if anyone preaches to you a gospel other than the one that you received, let that one be accursed!" (Gal. 1:6-9)

"I have learned however, that certain persons from elsewhere, who have evil doctrine, have stayed with you; but you did not allow them to sow it among you, and you stopped your ears so that you would not receive what they sow... Do not err, my brethren: the corrupters of families will not inherit the kingdom of God. And if they who do these things according to the flesh suffer death, how much more if a man corrupt by evil teaching the faith of God, for the sake of which Jesus Christ was crucified? A man become so foul will depart into unquenchable fire; and so also will anyone who listens to him." (St. Ignatius of Antioch, hearer of St. John the Apostle, c. 110 A.D.)

* Although it is clear that the Church cannot add to or change dogmas, it should be noted that:

* Not everything uttered or written by a pope, theologian, saint, council, doctor of the Church, etc. is dogma. 

* Not all papal writings / utterances are considered "dogma" or are protected by infallibility (click here for more information on papal infallibility). 

* Even the greatest theologians and saints have been wrong on some points - and even popes (when not speaking infallibly) have sometimes been wrong. Clearly, one must learn to separate private opinions from true Church dogma. This is best facilitated by looking to what the Church has always held to be true.

* Priests - and even bishops and cardinals - do not always expound true Catholic dogma, especially in today's age. As indicated above, one must learn to separate private opinions from true Church dogma. Again, this is best facilitated by examining what the Church has always held to be true.

* Certain disciplines / practices of the Church - e.g. fasting regulations - (and not dogma or doctrine) are subject to change. Such changes, however, should only be made for the glory of God and for the good of the Church and of souls.

* Do you think the Church has changed her teachings? If so, you should refer back to her earliest teachings. You will find that her dogmas have not changed, even if certain expressions have changed. Further, it should be noted that:

* While dogma cannot change, expressions of dogma may change. "She may magnify what was already there, not change it." 

* Dogma may be developed or made more precise over time (but never developed in a contradictory manner).

* The Church's ways of presenting truth may vary over time, according to circumstances ("would you do everything the same in the winter as in the summer?").

* The early Church was persecuted and would naturally be expected to change appearance somewhat after the persecutions had passed (much like a plant that starts from a seed). Such changes are proof of life, not death! Just as the plant remains the same plant (only better developed), the Church remains of the same essence, only visibly 'fuller'. It would be wrong try to try to shrink the Church back to infancy, just as it would be wrong to want a grown man to shrink back to infancy or a tree to return to a seed! "Just as all those things, which, through the seasons, develop in the tree, were already present but invisible in its seed" (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church) 

* The "coining of a term" to define a dogma does not mean that the dogma was invented, but rather a term was invented to describe an existing dogma. Such terms are especially useful for making belief more precise and for passing doctrines on to future generations.

* The defining of a doctrine does not mean a doctrine was created, but rather what has always been believed (at least implicitly) is made more explicit, more clear.

* Certain terms originally employed by the Church may have later been distorted by heretics.

* In earlier days, certain elements of the faith weren't disbelieved or debated, so persons could discuss them without fear of their words being taken in the wrong way.

* Not all writers discuss every point of doctrine, especially since certain points of doctrine were so well known and accepted, there was no reason to address them. 

* The lack of written evidence of any particular item is not infallible "proof" that it did not exist. We must remember that some things were purposely not written down, many person were illiterate, writing materials were hard to come by / expensive / non-durable...

* The Church as a whole should not be blamed for the failure of a certain persons (or persons) to expound true doctrine. The views of certain person(s) do not necessarily represent the teachings of the Catholic Church.

* The fact that something may have been taught in a certain location (or locations) does not mean it was the universal teaching of the Church.

* Not even Vatican II changed dogma (especially considering that the Council has been considered pastoral and not dogmatic).

* The Church cannot change her dogmas because Christ promised that the gates of Hell would not prevail against His Church (Mt. 16:18), and that He would remain with her always (Mt. 28:20), along with the Holy Spirit (Jn. 14:16). Certainly we know that Christ would not make such promises unless He intended to fulfill them! How then can you maintain that the Catholic Church has changed her dogma - are you meaning to imply that Christ set up a church and said the gates of hell would not prevail but then let it fall into error? Do you make Jesus a liar? Do you pretend that He does not live up to his promises? Do you imagine that He speaks in error?

* It would be wrong to try to change the Church's teachings as it would be a corruption of Christ's teachings. As St. Augustine says, "What else do those preachers of another gospel than that which we have received try to do, but to corrupt us from the purity which we preserve for Christ, when they stigmatize the law of God as old, and praise their own falsehoods as new, as if all that is new must be good, and all that is old bad? The Apostle John, however, praises the old commandment, and the Apostle Paul bids us avoid novelties in doctrine."

* The Church cannot change because truth - by its very nature - is unchanging. One cannot change 2+2=4 for any person, no matter how unpopular the formula may be, precisely because it is a truth which is not subject to change. The dogmas of the Church are also truths which are not subject to change.

* The Church cannot change because her purpose is to preserve doctrine, not to create new doctrine; "the Faith is not a thing to be refashioned by any human intelligence, but something to be safeguarded by the Church's authority against any such refashioning."

* The dogmas of the Church are God's revealed truths. No one on earth has the power or authority to change them, not even the pope.

* The Church teaches infallibly through the protection of the Holy Spirit (click here). Do you seriously expect the Church to put aside the assistance of the Holy Spirit so that instead of teaching truth she may simply teach what you like? 

* How could you respect the Church if she changed her doctrines to suit your likes and dislikes? You would be worshiping not God, but yourself!

* Like it or not, there are fixed truths not subject to the whims or opinions of human beings.

* The Church is not a democracy, nor was it founded by Christ to be a democracy.

* Since when does opinion dictate religious truths?

* Do you also expect God to change for you?

* Why do you think that the Church - Christ's body (see Col 1:18) - should cater to your likes and dislikes? 

* The Church's dogmas are not hers to change. She did not manufacture them, but only passes down what was committed to her.

* How can dogmas of the faith be subject to negotiation?

* "The Church is not a medium for or an outlet for self-gratification; rather, she is the living safeguard of Christ's teaching." 

* The Church's unchangeableness and protection of dogmas has actually led to the protection of human life on earth. Note that heretics have been around from the beginning - some of them even promoted suicide as a positive good. If not for the unchangeable Church, people would be swept away by all sorts of strange teaching.

* Although you may consider the Church's unwillingness to change her teachings as a bad thing, it is actually a good thing - and it is proof of Christ's fulfillment of His promises. The Catholic Church is the only religion with fully consistent doctrine since its inception. In fact, it is an excellent way of distinguishing the true Church from false religions (who are unable to maintain consistent doctrine precisely because they don't consider truths as fixed but rather allow each to 'come to their own doctrine' by means of personal interpretation). Thanks to God's protection, the Catholic Church has managed to preserve her teachings intact for all these many years despite great persecution, barbarians, threats from heresy, etc... 

* Those whose doctrines contradict the teaching of the apostles "by that very fact show themselves as false teachers." Whereas the Catholic Church can prove that her teachings agree with apostolic teachings, those outside the Catholic Church cannot trace their teachings (at least not all of them) directly back to the apostles.


In Closing...

"We do not advocate one thing at one time and change it at another; otherwise the faith would become a joke to those outside." (St. John of Damascus, Doctor of the Church) 

"As regards the substance of the articles of faith, they have not received any increase as time when on: since whatever those who lived later have believed was contained, albeit implicitly, in the faith of those Fathers who proceeded them. But there was an increase in the number of articles believed explicitly, since to those who lived in later times some were known explicitly which were not known explicitly by those who lived before them." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church)

"It is of necessity, then, that these aforementioned heretics, because they are blind to the truth, walk in various and devious paths; and on this account the [traces] of their doctrine are scattered about without agreement or connection. The path of those, however, who belong to the Church, goes around the whole world; for it has the firm tradition of the Apostles, enabling us to see that the faith of all is one and the same." (St. Irenaeus, 2nd century A.D.) 

"If then these things are so, it is the same degree manifest that all doctrine which agrees with the apostolic churches - those moulds and original sources of the faith - must be reckoned for truth, as undoubtedly containing that which the churches received from the apostles, the apostles from Christ, Christ from God. Whereas all doctrine must be prejudged as false which savors of contrariety to the truth of the churches and apostles of Christ and God." [Tertullian ("an excellent early Christian writer" - although he would ultimately fall into heresy), 3rd century A.D.]

"As I said before, the Church, having received this preaching and this faith, although she is disseminated throughout the whole world, yet guarded it, as if she occupied but one house. She likewise believes these things just as if she had but one soul and one and the same heart; and harmoniously she proclaims them and teaches them and hands them down, as if she possessed but one mouth. For, while the languages of the world are diverse, nevertheless, the authority of the tradition is one and the same. Neither do the Churches among the Germans believe otherwise or have another tradition, nor do those among the Iberians, nor among the Celts, nor away in the East, nor in Egypt, nor in Libya, nor those which have been established in the central regions of the world. But just as the sun, that creature of God, is one and the same throughout the whole world, so also the preaching of the truth shines everywhere and enlightens all men who desire to come to a knowledge of truth." (St. Irenaeus, 2nd century A.D.) 

Do You Think Religious Truths Can Change Over Time?

Consider:

* Since God is perfect, and therefore unchangeable, how can you imagine that His truths can change?

"God is not man that he should speak falsely, nor human, that he should change his mind. Is he one to speak and not act, to decree and not fulfill?" (Num. 23:19)

"Of old you laid the earth's foundations; the heavens are the work of your hands. They perish, but you remain; they all wear out like a garment; Like clothing you change them and they are changed, but you are the same, your years have no end." (Ps. 102:26-28)

"He plumbs the depths and penetrates the heart; their innermost being he understands. The Most High possesses all knowledge, and sees from of old the things that are to come: He makes known the past and the future, and reveals the deepest secrets. No understanding does he lack; no single thing escapes him. Perennial is his almighty wisdom; he is from all eternity one and the same, with nothing added, nothing taken away; no need of a counselor for him!" (Sirach 42:18-22)

"Even to your old age I am the same, even when your hair is gray I will bear you; It is I who have done this, I who will continue, and I who will carry you to safety." (Isa. 46:4)

"Surely I, the LORD, do not change, nor do you cease to be sons of Jacob." (Mal. 3:6)

"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." (Heb. 13:8)

"Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers: all good giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no alteration or shadow caused by change." (Jms. 1:16-17)

* The dogmas of faith are God's revealed truths. How do you suspect mere persons on earth could ever have the power or authority to change them?

* Why does Scripture specifically tell us to guard what has been received if religious truths are subject to change?

"Let what you heard from the beginning remain in you. If what you heard from the beginning remains in you, then you will remain in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that he made us: eternal life. I write you these things about those who would deceive you." (1 Jn. 2:24-26)

"If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him in your house or even greet him; for whoever greets him shares in his evil works." (2 Jn. 1:10-11)

"Anyone who is so 'progressive' as not to remain in the teaching of the Christ does not have God; whoever remains in the teaching has the Father and the Son." (2 Jn. 1:9)

"Remember your leaders who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teaching." (Heb. 13:7-9)

"Whoever teaches something different and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the religious teaching is conceited, understanding nothing, and has a morbid disposition for arguments and verbal disputes. From these come envy, rivalry, insults, evil suspicions, and mutual friction among people with corrupted minds, who are deprived of the truth, supposing religion to be a means of gain." (1 Tm. 6:3-5)

"O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you. Avoid profane babbling and the absurdities of so-called knowledge. By professing it, some people have deviated from the faith. Grace be with all of you." (1 Tm. 6:20-21)

"I am amazed that you are so quickly forsaking the one who called you by (the) grace (of Christ) for a different gospel (not that there is another). But there are some who are disturbing you and wish to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach (to you) a gospel other than the one that we preached to you, let that one be accursed! As we have said before, and now I say again, if anyone preaches to you a gospel other than the one that you received, let that one be accursed! Am I now currying favor with human beings or God? Or am I seeking to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a slave of Christ. Now I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel preached by me is not of human origin. For I did not receive it from a human being, nor was I taught it, but it came through a revelation of Jesus Christ. For you heard of my former way of life in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it, and progressed in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries among my race, since I was even more a zealot for my ancestral traditions." (Gal. 1:6-14)

* Where did you get the idea that religious truths can change over time?

* Considering that "continuity with the apostolic witness is the safeguard of right belief", why are you not troubled by changes in doctrine (e.g. by those outside the Church)?


In Closing...

"Truth...cannot change from day to day." (Pope Pius XII)

"Those who wage war against the truth are powerless to win; rather, they wound themselves, like those who kick against spikes." (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church)

"There is only one way of standing in the truth; many and various of not standing in it." [Origen ("the greatest scholar of Christian antiquity" - although he would eventually be excommunicated and be regarded as a heretic), 3rd century A.D.]

"Eternity itself is the substance of God, which has nothing that is changeable. There is nothing there that is past, as if it were no longer; nothing there is future, as if it not yet were. There is nothing there except 'is'." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church, c. 5th century A.D.)

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