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.

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,

jwmcmac's picture

Limbo of infants . . . and other things

Don’t want to stir anything.

You talk very well Maggs and kindly too. Thanks.

Time restraints causes many of us to quickly respond and sometimes I know I don’t choose my words carefully enough in concern for everyone’s feelings and such . . . but I do try and I think we all try . . . even those of us who just can’t help ourselves and choose seemingly harsh words . . . not you or Maria. Sometimes the Church does this as well . . . in consideration for their primary audience and due to real-world constraints they neglect to consider all . . . at the time of a pronouncement, especially in the past. This has more to do with the pastoral realm than with the Doctrinal or Dogmatic realm of the Faith and Practice. This is why good-will is so necessary on both sides of the issues in our conversing here at this site.

As to some of your concerns:

I don’t think I can answer them adequately but will throw some thoughts in your direction which may or may not give you another perspective on thing Catholic which may come across as hard sounding or difficult to take.


In regards to Limbo:

A really good article on this topic . . . better than what I will have to say . . . is at “”.

This has been a confused area of Teaching and of speculation in the Church from the early days. Regardless of the high standing of any who have spoken on this issue, it is only the official pronouncements which have come to us from official Teaching Councils which are united to the Pope which carry the force of law, so to speak. The main reason this is a confused area of Teaching is that although many of the learned in the Church have spoken on the matter, there have not been very many official statements of Doctrine of Dogma concerning this area, to the best of my knowledge.

Because of certain heresies of the day, Augustine came down on the harsher sounding side of the Teaching of the Limbo of infants. At the time, he had to do this, so as not to allow an even greater error of thought and Teaching of the time . . . something to do with the Pelagians which I will not go into in this posting . . . except to say . . . “Pelagianism received its name from Pelagius and designates a heresy of the fifth century, which denied original sin as well as Christian grace (Catholic Encyclopedia).” Limbo of infants of itself simply was not a great issue of concern in and of itself at the time due in part, I Believe, to the fact of the vast majority of infants being Baptized together with the households to which they belonged in the early Church. Only when the Protestants came along, with Faith-only and Bible-only and Grace-only and all the other ‘onlies’ . . . with some denying the need for Baptism or more specifically for infant Baptism . . . did this Teaching take on a more urgent status for understanding. Up to this day, Limbo of infants has been a developing, not changing as you say, Doctrine and probably is still not adequately developed or defined even to this day, although it is getting closer and closer to that status, I believe.

Aquinas later developed a less hurried argument in favor of ‘a place of natural happiness and no punishment’ due to a lack of personal sin on the part of the infant . . . but only the sin of inheritance from Adam’s Original Sin . . . the loss of the ability to see GOD Face to face . . . the loss of Sanctifying Grace . . . though Aquinas conceding that there was separation from GOD on the Supernatural level. These having to do with the Teachings of Original Sin, which seems reasonably clear in Catholic Theology, but at the same time having to do also with the two natures of CHRIST and with each of our own Eternal Souls being coupled to a finite human body which will be restored to either a Glorified Body or to an Eternally corrupt body at the end of time. It is this last state of existence which I feel has not fully been resolved toward the unBaptized infant, though many would say . . . and I think the Church would tend to come down on the side of . . . the unBaptized infant being on the wrong side of things eternal as to their final state of Being in this regard . . . but that is not officially final as far as I can tell.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church at least holds out Hope for the Salvation of the unBaptized infant who has committed no personal sin, without the Church having resolved either the issues or the questions involved. It seems that upon judgement day, the LORD may give those unBaptized a choice . . . a choice which only CHRIST HIMSELF knows will be a True and honest test of their Free-will, just as we have been tested in this Life . . . and they will either pass or fail the test.

The thing is, that it is so easy for a parent to Baptize a child . . . that the weight of sin regarding an unBaptized child would seem to come down heavily on the shoulders of the negligent parent, just as the reward for Baptizing their child would weigh heavily in the favor of the parent at judgement day.

Amongst those who Believe the unBaptized shall never see GOD, but who believe the unBaptized child shall eternally be in a happy place of no torment . . . this would fall into the category of perhaps the ‘Happy hunting ground’ of the Indian . . . a place of natural, but not Supernatural, happiness. But to tell the Truth, in Church Teaching, Limbo is still an open question almost along the lines of a Mystery of the Faith, which Mysteries can be understood but not fathomed as to depth.

When it is so easy to Baptize a child, or even to Baptize an aborted Baby, the double tragedy of abortion being that we do not even Mercifully Baptize the fetus, claiming it is not necessary. CHRIST’s Incarnation wed the invisible Supernatural to the visible natural. Both are necessary. SPIRIT and Water are necessary, one way or another. Sacraments are the normal way of this. Why depend on what we cannot ‘see’ or ‘do’ when it is so easy to accomplish these Sacraments in our daily lives?

This presumption we seem to insist upon that the invisible occurs without the visible to accompany the invisible in Sacramental form . . . makes no sense to me who Believes in the Incarnate CHRIST WHO is the wedding of the visible and the Invisible in the Flesh of Man.

As to Peter swerving off the beaten path:

Peter wasn’t ‘swerving off the beaten path’ as you say . . . but Peter was plowing the path. Paul withstood Peter to his face . . . but that was it. Peter, as he always did, turned himself around and got it straight. Paul did not contest Peter’s Authority. Paul simply said, Peter, you are making a mistake here. And Peter said yes, you are right. The Pope and Priests and you and me can make mistakes of judgement and practice. What the Pope and Peter can not make a mistake on are matters of the Faith. The Pope will get it right on Faith . . . just like Peter. It may take a Paul to help him get it right. But don’t leave Peter or the Pope if you want to also get it right.


Temporarily getting way off the subject:

The greatest difficulty here is that there can be a false Pope. But to my knowledge, I do not know of any false Pope who has stated any formal dogmatic definition of Faith.

I will say this about discerning a false Pope. If there is ever a democratically elected Pope in the Catholic Church . . . you can be fairly certain that that is a false Pope. It just does not happen that way. GOD tells us. We don't tell GOD.

The Pope is the most highly restricted office in all the world. His office is to explain and defend what has always been taught and believed . . . according to the current problems and or needs of the Church of today. He cannot change one jot or tittle of any formal profession of Faith which has preceded him by CHRIST or any of CHRIST Vicars. Every Protestant gives to himself . . . in his private interpretations of the meanings of Scripture . . . more latitude than any Pope has ever had.

Had Paul broke off and formed his own church at that point of confronting Peter, he would have been the first Protestant rather than a Catholic Saint today.

Who did Paul go to to get confirmed in his Faith which he had received from CHRIST by way of direct Revelation? Paul went to Peter and the others who were with Peter to get his commission and confirmation in the Faith. Why? Because that is Peter’s office of commission . . . to . . . “When once thou hast turned back, confirm also your brethren.”

Luke 22:31 “And the Lord said: Simon, Simon, behold Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: 32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and thou, being once converted, confirm thy brethren.”


As to the Bereans:

The passage of the Acts which says "Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true" (Acts 17:11).

Since the only Scriptures in existence were those of the Old Testament . . . is is believed that these are the Scriptures referred to in this passage. The Eunuch on the trail also was reading the Old Testament when Philip asked him if he understood what he was reading. Philip went on to explain the Old Testament Scriptures which pointed to CHRIST. CHRIST HIMSELF went about referring to the Old Testament Scriptures which referred to HIMSELF or to the things HE was Teaching which the current Bible Scholars were in error about.

As to damnation then and now:

Circumstances change even if the Faith does not. If you as a believing Catholic were to reject your Faith, you become a formal apostate or heretic . . . if you do so fully knowingly.

If I was a Protestant who Believes in CHRIST . . . and I were to reject what I erroneously ‘believe’ to be the Catholic Faith, I would be in ignorance of what I was rejecting . . . and there is at least the possibility that I am not really rejecting the Faith, knowingly . . . but rather I would be rejecting what I erroneously ‘believe’ to be the Faith. There is a difference in those two. The rest of us may think we know the objective facts, and should perhaps base our actions accordingly, with all outward and inward Mercy . . . but of course, ultimately, only GOD can discern the hidden parts of those differences and the exact state of our minds and of our wills on the issues concerned.

The Bull in question was specifically referring to ‘Professed Catholics” claiming to be Believing Catholics. The Pope was making it clear what the Catholic Faith professes and believes and that if you want to make that claim and do not profess what the Church Teaches and Believes about the Immaculate Conception of Mary, then you are condemned. Any Church has the right and duty to make such a claim about its’ Faith and toward its’ professed members.

The Doctrine is Beautiful. The Bull appears ugly to those who do not Believe . . . and pastorally . . . maybe they are correct that the negative penalty involved is stated very firmly . . . but this because of the total opposition against the Beautiful Doctrine by those who should know better, the supposed Faithful, who are denying the Beautiful Doctrine as if it were evil itself. People don’t like hard sayings when CHRIST, the Church, their parents, or any Authority makes the same. However, if the Teaching or rule is for your own good and to your own benefit . . . why would one think that saying it in an easy sounding manner, making it relative or speculative, would better serve to make the point? It never does. Doctrines, especially the Beautiful Doctrines of the Catholic Church and Faith, should be stated firmly and in all their pristine Beauty.

Leading to the time of the Protestant Reformation, pretty much everyone was Catholic, albeit in the process of losing their Faith in the Catholic Teachings . . . and perhaps for good reason . . . if we look only at the externals which ruled the day rather than at the Faith and Sacraments themselves. Politics and being too closely associated to the Government had corrupted many of the Members of the Church in many ways. Politics and Government do not corrupt the Faith. But a loss of Faith coupled with a too close association with Government very definitely tends toward corruption of the members of the Faith . . . and by association . . . therefore appears to corrupt the Faith Itself. Just my opinion.

The Beauty of the Catholic Sacramental Faith Itself cannot be corrupted . . . but She can appear as so in and by the bad example of Her members.

Just look today at all the supposed ‘Catholic’ politicians of today who are anything but Catholic in their voting and in their 180 degree wrong-direction of their political actions. We all will suffer the consequences if not of their bad Faith then of their corrupt actions contrary to their supposed Faith. But this could be said of any Christian politicians today who do not live by what they proclaim to Believe.

Because of this, harsh negative statements were made, which although True in their strictest sense, were perhaps not the wisest manner in which to say these things . . . even if understandable . . . due to the widespread loss of and departure from the Faith at the time.

However, when the Church lays down the law of Faith . . . and we supposedly Faithful Catholics reject it . . . the Church then and not as much now lays down the law firmly and without equivocation . . . this is merely the responsible parent telling the soon-to-be wayward child that he is in jeopardy of going to hell if he persists in disbelieving this Beautiful Doctrine . . . which Beautiful Doctrine that Doctrine of the Immaculate Conception is and which all the other Catholic Doctrines are. Of course, I know most here don’t believe this. That is ok, for you . . . but not for me.