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 Post subject: Re: The Dogma of the Church
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 10:02 am 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Two problems with such a list:

1) It's not fixed. The divinity of Christ, though always believed, wasn't the subject of formal definition for three centuries. The nature of Original Sin was not formally defined until Trent, etc.

2) Catholic theology is not easily reducible to a set of propositions. Ott gives a statement, but then he lays out where it's defined, how certain it is, what other things it affects, etc.

There are also areas that the CCC does not discuss in much depth at all, such as the interplay between grace and free will. That's because it's a very complex and still disputed area.

We can even say that just because something is in the Catechism doesn't mean it is definitive. One won't be going against the teaching of the Church by relying on it, but not everything in there is infallible

The Catechism of Trent/Roman Catechism had equal or more authority attached, yet we no longer hold elements of it (especially holy orders), and the new Catechism presents a more developed view on somethings.

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 Post subject: Re: The Dogma of the Church
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 10:20 am 
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Servant of Guadalupe wrote:
Linsou wrote:
Servant of Guadalupe wrote:
Linsou wrote:
Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma by Dr. Ludwig Ott (Paperback - Jan 1, 2009)
2 new from $378.55 15 used from $99.96
(29)
Excerpt - Front Matter: "... DR. LUDWIG OTT FUNDAMENTALS OF CATHOLIC DOGMA EDITED IN ENGLISH By ..." See a random page in this book.
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss? ... olic+Dogma

Well, I know I won't be getting a New one.
L.

New for under $45 as per the publisher!


Well ... phooey (since I just bought the used hardback on eBay).
Thanks though!

I may re-list the hardback and hope for enough to get the new paperback.

L.
Yeah… that is a steep price. Always check abebooks.com first as well. And bookfinder.com.


Tan will be reprinting soon

https://tanbooks.benedictpress.com/inde ... words/ott/

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 Post subject: Re: The Dogma of the Church
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 10:21 am 
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I got my copy for free :)

Keep your eyes open, at library book sales for a copy.

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 Post subject: Re: The Dogma of the Church
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 11:05 am 
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wonder if it would ever show up at a half price books/used book store ... probably not huh?

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 Post subject: Re: The Dogma of the Church
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 4:44 pm 
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faithfulservant wrote:
wonder if it would ever show up at a half price books/used book store ... probably not huh?


People show up with boxes of books at our parish to "donate them" to our library. We have had 3 copies come through that way.

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 Post subject: Re: The Dogma of the Church
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 1:49 am 
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Based on all of this information, how are Catholics supposed to know what to believe or how to understand certain issues when the resources that define and explain them are few and uncertain? Could it perhaps be said that the presentation and answering of issues by the Catechism is perfect and certain, even if its more in-depth explanatory theology is still "imperfect" in the sense that it is still growing? Incomplete might be a better word for this.


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 Post subject: Re: The Dogma of the Church
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 7:00 am 
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The beautiful thing is that the Church has everything official available.

Look it up in the Catechism, follow the footnote links to the full documents then you can read those online at www.vatican.va

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 Post subject: Re: The Dogma of the Church
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 8:18 am 
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alcuin18 wrote:
Could it perhaps be said that the presentation and answering of issues by the Catechism is perfect and certain, even if its more in-depth explanatory theology is still "imperfect" in the sense that it is still growing?
As a blanket statement for the whole of the CCC, no, one cannot say that. You can rely on it in a negative sense--it will not lead you into going against the Church. But even when it treats of doctrines defined as certain, one can still say that it does not do a perfect job of presenting.

Is there a doctrinal issue or a certain group of issues that are the source of your question? Perhaps if we dealt with specifics, it would be easier to help you.

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 Post subject: Re: The Dogma of the Church
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 11:19 am 
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I sense at the bottom of the question is how is Catholic authority any different from a Bible only approach since there doesn't seem to be any written compendium of authentic teaching.


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 Post subject: Re: The Dogma of the Church
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 11:42 am 
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Zeno wrote:
I sense at the bottom of the question is how is Catholic authority any different from a Bible only approach since there doesn't seem to be any written compendium of authentic teaching.



There are many, but there is no single definitive one....kind of like how there is no single definitive edition of the Bible....however unlike the Bible alone, Catholic tradition is a living tradition, which means that anything murky today can be clarified later....

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 Post subject: Re: The Dogma of the Church
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 12:03 pm 
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Well, yes, but beyond that the reason the Church can have a living tradition is because the Church has a living Magesterium, with a visible head as Christ Himself established. Where Peter is, there is the Church, there is God (imprecise paraphrasing).


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 Post subject: Re: The Dogma of the Church
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 12:20 pm 
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Zeno wrote:
Well, yes, but beyond that the reason the Church can have a living tradition is because the Church has a living Magesterium, with a visible head as Christ Himself established. Where Peter is, there is the Church, there is God (imprecise paraphrasing).


Well without trying to sound like I'm minimizing anything but a lot of the teachings of the Church are rather abstract and have no application to the daily live of most people....so while theology students might need a definitive work spelling out all the Church teachings, most people do not, and a catechism is good enough for daily life...

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 Post subject: Re: The Dogma of the Church
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 12:33 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: The Dogma of the Church
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 1:53 am 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
alcuin18 wrote:
Could it perhaps be said that the presentation and answering of issues by the Catechism is perfect and certain, even if its more in-depth explanatory theology is still "imperfect" in the sense that it is still growing?
As a blanket statement for the whole of the CCC, no, one cannot say that. You can rely on it in a negative sense--it will not lead you into going against the Church. But even when it treats of doctrines defined as certain, one can still say that it does not do a perfect job of presenting.

Is there a doctrinal issue or a certain group of issues that are the source of your question? Perhaps if we dealt with specifics, it would be easier to help you.


If reading the Catechism cannot lead you into going against the Church, then why couldn't it be used as I suggested - accepting all the teachings it states as doctrine, while leaving its specific explanations open to theological interpretation?

And, there is not one particular issue I'm trying to figure out except the authority and certainty of the Church and Her teachings. I had previously believed that the Catechism was "infallible", meaning that all of its ideas, teachings and explanations were absolutely certain by the guidance of the Holy Spirit by the office of the Pope, but apparently that is not true. So I'm now having to revise my understanding of what is and is not certain that the Church does and teaches. There does not seem to be a definitive compendium, as I believed the Catechism to be, so it is proving more difficult than I thought, especially with the vague and limited nature of papal infallibility as defined by Vatican I and elucidated further by Vatican II. The main idea, one could say the final idea, that led me to convert to Catholicism was that I could finally be certain of the truth, to have something that could answer all questions. As an atheist I had searched for this for years and believed I had finally found it in the Church. But, now I'm not sure how to understand this or just how certain I can be, or what exactly I can be certain of. I retain my faith, I do not doubt God or His Church. I just want to understand.


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 Post subject: Re: The Dogma of the Church
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 6:59 am 
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The Catechism is being really promoted as the go to source as we speak.

Last Christmas Pope Benedict identified as one of the 5 main goals of the New Evangelisation "To promote the use of the Catechism of the Catholic Church as an essential and complete formulation of the content of the faith for the people of our time." And it will be the main tool of evangelising during the Year of Faith beginning in October.

The Pope gives us great reassurance about it in his Apostolic Letter PORTA FIDEI of last October...


Quote:
11. In order to arrive at a systematic knowledge of the content of the faith, all can find in the Catechism of the Catholic Church a precious and indispensable tool. It is one of the most important fruits of the Second Vatican Council. In the Apostolic Constitution Fidei Depositum, signed, not by accident, on the thirtieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, Blessed John Paul II wrote: “this catechism will make a very important contribution to that work of renewing the whole life of the Church ... I declare it to be a valid and legitimate instrument for ecclesial communion and a sure norm for teaching the faith.”[21]

It is in this sense that that the Year of Faith will have to see a concerted effort to rediscover and study the fundamental content of the faith that receives its systematic and organic synthesis in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Here, in fact, we see the wealth of teaching that the Church has received, safeguarded and proposed in her two thousand years of history. From Sacred Scripture to the Fathers of the Church, from theological masters to the saints across the centuries, the Catechism provides a permanent record of the many ways in which the Church has meditated on the faith and made progress in doctrine so as to offer certitude to believers in their lives of faith.

In its very structure, the Catechism of the Catholic Church follows the development of the faith right up to the great themes of daily life. On page after page, we find that what is presented here is no theory, but an encounter with a Person who lives within the Church. The profession of faith is followed by an account of sacramental life, in which Christ is present, operative and continues to build his Church. Without the liturgy and the sacraments, the profession of faith would lack efficacy, because it would lack the grace which supports Christian witness. By the same criterion, the teaching of the Catechism on the moral life acquires its full meaning if placed in relationship with faith, liturgy and prayer.

12. In this Year, then, the Catechism of the Catholic Church will serve as a tool providing real support for the faith, especially for those concerned with the formation of Christians, so crucial in our cultural context. To this end, I have invited the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, by agreement with the competent Dicasteries of the Holy See, to draw up a Note, providing the Church and individual believers with some guidelines on how to live this Year of Faith in the most effective and appropriate ways, at the service of belief and evangelization.


http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/bened ... ei_en.html


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 Post subject: Re: The Dogma of the Church
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 7:11 am 
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It is a very valuable tool.

That does not make every word in it dogma :fyi:

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 Post subject: Re: The Dogma of the Church
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 7:20 am 
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I had previously believed that the Catechism was "infallible", meaning that all of its ideas, teachings and explanations were absolutely certain by the guidance of the Holy Spirit by the office of the Pope, but apparently that is not true.

Explanations etc. are never covered by infallibility--only doctrinal statements of fact (and, as you've seen, not all of those).

Quote:
vague and limited nature of papal infallibility as defined by Vatican I and elucidated further by Vatican II.
Limited, yes, and for a good reason: a more expansive definition cannot be supported historically. Can you explain a little more what you mean by vague?

Quote:
The main idea, one could say the final idea, that led me to convert to Catholicism was that I could finally be certain of the truth, to have something that could answer all questions.
The Church doesn't claim to be able to answer all questions. It's just that when the Church definitively does give an answer, that answer is certainly correct.

There are a good number of propositions whose truth can be known with certainty. If you want a list, the one linked here is taken from Ott's work. It is as close to an official list as you'll find.

Anything listed on it as de fide is formally defined by the Church as true.
Anything listed on it as sent. certa is certainly true and taught but the Church, but never formally defined (i.e., never set forth as a binding definition from an ecumenical council or papal document).
Anything listed on it as sent. fidei proxima. is not defined and not taught as directly as something that is sent. certa, but cannot be denied without denying something that is in one of the first two categories.

There are other levels, but I think those three are the ones that set forth what is certainly true.

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 Post subject: Re: The Dogma of the Church
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 8:31 am 
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It is important not to demand too much, God has not promised us that we will possess all knowledge, he has only promised that we will know what we need to know for salvation....beyond that he has not promised us anything, and ultimately the Church can only teach what God has chosen to reveal. If God has chosen not to reveal something, the Church can never know it with certainty.

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 Post subject: Re: The Dogma of the Church
PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 12:16 am 
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From our discussion here, I think I have learned four very important things:

1. Faith is the center of the Christian life, not certainty or knowledge. Faith is certain in itself, because it is guaranteed by God, but faith is an act of trust, not of merely intellectual knowledge. We accept the revelation of God and the doctrines of the Church, guided by the Holy Spirit, because we trust God. We believe that which we have not seen. And because we trust Him and His Church, we can then try to further understand and apply the teachings of the Faith. While our explanations may not always be accurate, they may indeed be accurate and thus contribute to the continuing, growing tradition of the Church. This can be evidenced by the contributions of such saints as Augustine and Aquinas to the Catechism, thereby incorporating their personal thought into the totality of Catholic tradition as truth.

2. The Church and Her tradition is organic. We do not worship a stagnant, distant God, and neither are we apart of a mechanistic, finite Church. Indeed, I think that if the Church did have all the answers it would no longer be a Faith, and we would no longer be creatures beneath an infinite Creator. We are meant to grow over time, in our understanding, our knowledge, our holiness, just as the Church grows over time similarly. The current totality of the certain doctrines of the Faith are the summation of two thousand years of councils, papal and Magisterial documents, the works of saints, theologians, and other holy men and women, of scholarship, etc. God did not simply hand the apostles a complete Handbook of Catholic Doctrine with all the answers and send them out to teach it (contrary to proponents of sola scriptura). He wants us to have faith, hope and love, to depend on one another and on Him, and to respect His inherent mystery and love by trusting in Him rather than taking Him for granted.

3. The Catechism is a definitive summary of the teachings of the Church, both Her infallible statements throughout history and the wisdom of the ages, including that which is contained in the Scriptures, in the works of saints and scholars, etc., given as explanation of doctrines and as answers to people's questions and issues. It is meant to inform the conscience of the individual and to strengthen faith, not to overwhelm either one. We are still supposed to apply those teachings to our lives through our own reason and conscience, using the Catechism more as a guide than a playbook. Everything it says can and should be accepted as definitive teaching of the Church, but if parts of the Catechism that are not doctrines of the Faith (as listed by Dr. Ott), one can disagree with them if you have very good reason to. But otherwise, it should be trusted and at least used as the standard for one's own beliefs and opinions.

4. The Sacred Liturgy is the surest standard for definitive Church teaching. That which is contained in the prayers, practice, creeds and beliefs attached to the Liturgy are certainly true and right, even if some of the specifics not pertaining to doctrine, such as the language used in Mass or the particular expressions of other parts, are more open.

To answer Master Kenobi, by vague I meant that it is often disputed exactly when and how papal infallibility has been applied. For example, some say that the Catechism possesses papal infallibility and anything else with papal approval, while others say it has only been used a couple times in history (particularly those defining the Assumption and Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin). This apparent contradiction makes the application of papal infallibility seem varied and uncertain.

If my four points here are wrong in any way, please correct me, as I (like all of us) am trying to grow in my faith and understanding, particularly as a convert, and I greatly appreciate everyone's help. God bless. :D


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 Post subject: Re: The Dogma of the Church
PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 4:56 am 
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I agree that the application of infallibility is not always certain.

With respect to #3, one could go so far as to say that the burden of proof is upon the person who wishes to disagree with the CCC. It's his job to show that what he proposes is acceptable teaching.

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