Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Year of Faith 10: On Dogmas and Doctrines

Year of Faith 10: On Dogmas and Doctrines- The Catholic Church, as a religion, has a lot of dogmas and doctrines. For easy understanding, we can understand doctrines as teachings given by the Church e.g. seven sacraments, Mary's virginity, Trinity, etc. Dogmas on the other hand are required teachings or doctrines to be believed if one claims to belong to the Catholic Faith. Examples of dogma are T
rinity, Jesus is true man and true God, The Assumption, The Resurrection, and Immaculate Conception. Dogmas are considered revealed truths. It is revealed through by God through Scriptures and Tradition and was transmitted by the Apostles and proposed by the Church for its believers. Since it comes from God, it is obligatory. Efforts maybe made to understand them but it is not required. One may believe it without a clear and complete understanding because it was revealed by God. Note that dogmas are not man-made.

Belief in them defines the membership of the faithful. They are what makes one a Catholic!.The pope, bishops, and priests are tasked with the responsibility to teach them. They must try to help the faithful accept that truth. They do not have the authority and power to change it. This last should be clear to everyone who belongs and deals with the Catholic Church. At times groups and intellectuals who think otherwise will advise, encourage, or even challenge the Catholic hierarchy to change the teaching for various "legitimate" or "practical" reason. But it does not work that way. Only God can change it. But if it comes from God, then it must be the perfect truth and right. Also, it is not about the majority preferring it or not. Popular or not, majority or minority, if it is a dogma revealed by God, then it should stand. We (apostles, popes, bishops, priests, and laity) are trustees of these truths. It is for us to hand them from generations to generations. The reason why we have these truths now is because those who were before us did their responsibility. It has become our responsibility now to hand on these truths to the next generation!

Thus, the claim to be Catholic does not only mean calling one as such or believing some of its dogmas. All the dogmas held by the Catholic Faith should be believed to be a true Catholic! We can not choose to believe and live in some and discard the others we do not like.

Be Catholic! Live the Catholic Faith!

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