Changes in RCC teaching

Maggs's picture

This is one area that I find quite troubling...
Changes in Teaching? I hope this is not too controversial. If it is, please remove my post.

I am not longer in the RCC and disagree with many things in the church and in the article/link below...some would consider me a heretic.

One will say for instance that I am "seperated bretheran" Another pope in the past would say that I am "condemned"

One would say that my children would have been in "Limbo" if passed away and not baptized.... Another time later, it would be said that it no longer is the teaching or that it never was the teaching...

I have read lots of history and many differences over 1000's of years in this teaching. No mudslinging intented.

There is certainly plenty of evidence of contradictions.

Here is one example:

This papal bull is as official as they can get. It is an “infallible” pronouncement of Catholic doctrine. The Pope who wrote it is on his way to becoming a canonized saint or perhaps he already is by now. Pope John Paul II beatified him on September 3, 2000.[11] Beatification is the last step before canonization.

http://www.naorc.org/documents/ineffabilis_deus.htm

We declare, pronounce, and define that the doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin, is a doctrine revealed by God and therefore to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful.

****Hence, if anyone shall dare**** -- which God forbid! -- to think otherwise than as has been defined by us, let him know and understand that he is *condemned* by his own judgment; that he has suffered shipwreck in the faith; that he has separated from the unity of the Church; and that, furthermore, by his own action he incurs the penalties established by law if he should are to express in words or writing or by any other outward means the errors he think in his heart*******************

Given at St. Peter's in Rome, the eighth day of December, 1854, in the eighth year of our pontificate. Pius IX

How can I be condemned and just seperated?

The Holy Scriptures are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 3:15

Love in Christ,
Maggs
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michael_legna's picture

Changes in RCC

The examples provided in the original posters comment are of two different types.

First is the example of saying "that my children would have been in "Limbo" if passed away and not baptized.... Another time later, it would be said that it no longer is the teaching or that it never was the teaching..." You need to realize that the Catholic Church does not claim to have never changed an opinion on a theological issue or even that all theological issues have even been fully considered during the past 2000 years. If they had been then there would be no current need for theologians.

What the Church does claim is that no doctrine which has been declared a dogma has ever been changed. The issue of limbo was never declared as either doctrine nor dogma, so it was merely a theological postulate offered as a possible explanation to sooth those who were concerned over the issue of those who died before Baptism when scripture so clearly shows that Baptism is required for salvation in - John 3:5 "Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." In addition the speculation on the existence of limbo by the Church was to try to provide an answer consistent with the teachings of some of the early Church Fathers, such as St. Gregory of Nazianzus who stated that infants dying without baptism "will neither be admitted by the just judge to the glory of Heaven nor condemned to suffer punishment, since, though unsealed [by baptism], they are not wicked." Orat., XL, 23

The current theological postulate is that the Church does not know and does not judge (as is its position on all others salvation). In effect the RCC now says that the method or means of a child's eternal life, and state of that after-life, is unknown to the Church and simple speculations such as limbo are probably of little value, as we hope for God's merciful treatment of these children of His. But even this is not a doctrinal or dogmatic statement so it too could change in the future.

The official Catholic Catechism has the follow:

CCC 1261: "As regards children who have died without baptism, the Church can only entrust them to the mercy of God, as she does in her funeral rites for them. Indeed, the great mercy of God, who desires that all men should be saved, and Jesus' tenderness toward children, which caused him to say, 'Let the children come to me, do not hinder them' [Mark 10:14, cf. 1 Tim. 2:4], allow us to hope that there is a way of salvation for children who have died without baptism. All the more urgent is the Church's call not to prevent little children coming to Christ through the gift of holy baptism".

and in

CCC 1257: "The Lord himself affirms that Baptism is necessary for salvation...The Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude...God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism..." Just because the Church is unaware of any other means does not necessarily mean that such means are not available.

You went on to say that -

"I have read lots of history and many differences over 1000's of years in this teaching. No mudslinging intented.

There is certainly plenty of evidence of contradictions."

I cannot address what is not presented but I would think that you would not want to claim a position you were not willing to put forward the effort to support. Certainly the theologians within the Catholic Church and the billion plus members of the Church are not all idiots and if such contradictions were so obvious as you imply they would not remain within the Church. So I wish you could entertain the possibility that your position may be based on similar misunderstandings as I have revealed with regards to the above issue.

Now to address the issue regarding the dogmatic declaration on the Immaculate Conception.

You said in part -

"This papal bull is as official as they can get. It is an “infallible” pronouncement of Catholic doctrine.

We declare, pronounce, and define that the doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin, is a doctrine revealed by God and therefore to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful.

****Hence, if anyone shall dare**** -- which God forbid! -- to think otherwise than as has been defined by us, let him know and understand that he is *condemned* by his own judgment; that he has suffered shipwreck in the faith; that he has separated from the unity of the Church; and that, furthermore, by his own action he incurs the penalties established by law if he should are to express in words or writing or by any other outward means the errors he think in his heart*******************

How can I be condemned and just seperated?"

You are indeed correct that the RCC has defined the above dogmatically and anyone who recognizes the authority of the Church and rejects this dogma is separating themselves from the Church and to knowingly separate oneself from what you know is Christ's Church is to condemn yourself by your own actions.

Of course this does not apply to non-Catholics who out of their own ignorance (and I use that term only as a statement of not knowing - not as a judgmental term) do not recognize the RCC as the true Church. Those people cannot be held accountable for acting out of ignorance, as sin and rebellion requires knowledge and understanding to hold one accountable.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church puts it this way -

817 In fact, "in this one and only Church of God from its very beginnings there arose certain rifts, which the Apostle strongly censures as damnable. But in subsequent centuries much more serious dissensions appeared and large communities became separated from full communion with the Catholic Church - for which, often enough, men of both sides were to blame." The ruptures that wound the unity of Christ's Body - here we must distinguish heresy, apostasy, and schism - do not occur without human sin:

Where there are sins, there are also divisions, schisms, heresies, and disputes. Where there is virtue, however, there also are harmony and unity, from which arise the one heart and one soul of all believers.

818 "However, one cannot charge with the sin of the separation those who at present are born into these communities [that resulted from such separation] and in them are brought up in the faith of Christ, and the Catholic Church accepts them with respect and affection as brothers . . . . All who have been justified by faith in Baptism are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers in the Lord by the children of the Catholic Church."

819 "Furthermore, many elements of sanctification and of truth" are found outside the visible confines of the Catholic Church: "the written Word of God; the life of grace; faith, hope, and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit, as well as visible elements." Christ's Spirit uses these Churches and ecclesial communities as means of salvation, whose power derives from the fullness of grace and truth that Christ has entrusted to the Catholic Church. All these blessings come from Christ and lead to him, and are in themselves calls to "Catholic unity."

So it is possible to disagree with a dogma of the Catholic Church without self condemning ones-self as long as one is not willfully disagreeing with the Church after recognizing it as the true Church of Christ.

I hope this answers these questions of yours and explains how they do not represent contradictions within the Catholic Church.




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