Can Catholic Doctrine Change?
October 18, 2014
St Athanasius, pray for us !
St Athanasius was the greatest champion of Catholic belief on the subject of the Incarnation, particularly on Christ’s true humanity and divinity, in the Patristic Church, and in his lifetime earned the characteristic title of “Father of Orthodoxy”, by which he has been distinguished every since.
St Athanasius was exiled “three times by general councils or synods dominated by Arian bishops, twice by order of the Emperor. He was slandered, condemned by a false council, tried and acquitted of various absurd charges. The Emperor Constantine and his successors considered Athanasius a trouble-maker.” But Blessed Cardinal Newman called him “a principal instrument after the Apostles by which the sacred truths of Christianity have been secured and conveyed to the world”.
This image of the saint trampling down Heresy is on the ceiling on Santa Maria sopra Minerva in Rome. Wow! What an awesome Saint! His Feast Day is May 2. St Athanasius, pray for us!
Can Catholic Doctrine Change?
A lot is being said as of late about a change in Church teaching. It can be gut wrenching and confusing for those who work all their lives, trying to faithfully live out their Catholic Faith. For those who are new to the Church, they may be wondering, can the Church change Her teaching?” This also goes for those who may not be new to the Church, and may be part of the un-catechised generations since the council. Well, this is part of my responsibility, as a member of the Marian Catechist Apostolate, to set this record straight. Catholic Doctrine cannot change .
Catholic doctrine is not an altogether closed system of Divinely revealed teachings. Catholic Doctrine can become clearer, and more defined in time. For instance, Although the belief that Mary was sinless and conceived immaculate has been widely held since Late Antiquity, the doctrine was not defined dogmatically in the strict sense until 1854, by Pope Pius IX in his papal bull Ineffabilis Deus. But, in what we call the broad sense, the Church always believed in Our Lady’s Immaculate Conception. So, the truth became more defined, the content of the truth had already been established. Let us take for instance an object viewed through a microscope or telescope. You see the object through the eyepiece, you know what the object is. As you gently adjust the lens, the object becomes clearer in view. Never does the object become something, which it is not. Nor does the object become another altogether different object. However, if the viewer of the object is insane, he may see a distorted view of the object, or an altogether different object. The actual, true object, has in fact, not changed.
So, what we have here may not be a question of Doctrine, but a question of Faith. We know that in the Catechism of the Catholic Church it states There will be no further Revelation 66 “The Christian economy, therefore, since it is the new and definitive Covenant, will never pass away; and no new public revelation is to be expected before the glorious manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ.”28 Yet even if Revelation is already complete, it has not been made completely explicit; it remains for Christian faith gradually to grasp its full significance over the course of the centuries.” And the Catechism also states in 67 Christian faith cannot accept “revelations” that claim to surpass or correct the Revelation of which Christ is the fulfillment, as is the case in certain non-Christian religions and also in certain recent sects which base themselves on such “revelations”.
Why a question of Faith you say? Well, Faith is a submission of the mind to God’s revealed Truth. It is also a surrender of the will to Almighty God’s revealed commands. We have the Divinely revealed Truth in its absolute fullness in the Catholic Church founded by Jesus Christ. So, with these Truths, Divinely revealed, why would anyone, let alone an ordained Catholic ever try and change or confuse a faithful Catholic into believing something altogether different than what Jesus Himself taught? Because, that person or persons has either lost completely, or worse, never had the great gift of Faith! Faith is a gift to be treasured, nurtured, shared and lived within and under the beautiful umbrella of the Catholic Church. Guard your Faith my brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ. Please read Sacred Scripture, and Sacred Tradition. Read the Encyclicals, and the Catechism of the the Catholic Church. The wolves are not just outside the Church, sometimes they can be inside the Church also. Jesus states in Matthew 24: “ And Jesus answering, said to them: Take heed that no man seduce you:  For many will come in my name saying, I am Christ: and they will seduce many.”
Let us not be seduced, and may we faithfully protect the precious gift of Faith, received at Baptism, strengthened at Confirmation and continually fuelled and fed at the Holy sacrifice of the Mass and frequent Confession.
May Almighty God protect us from the World, the devil and ourselves !
Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us all!
Mary, Seat of Wisdom pray for us!
St Athanasius, pray for us!