Are the Dogmas of the Catholic Church important?
At least not if it is a 'stumbling block' (read: Archbishop Bugnini) between our separated brethren (read: schismatic & orthodox).
But I'm getting ahead of myself ...
What teaching did the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council approve on this topic:
11. The way and method in which the Catholic faith is expressed should never become an obstacle to dialogue with our brethren. It is, of course, essential that the doctrine should be clearly presented in its entirety. Nothing is so foreign to the spirit of ecumenism as a false irenicism, in which the purity of Catholic doctrine suffers loss and its genuine and certain meaning is clouded.
At the same time, the Catholic faith must be explained more profoundly and precisely, in such a way and in such terms as our separated brethren can also really understand.
Moreover, in ecumenical dialogue, Catholic theologians standing fast by the teaching of the Church and investigating the divine mysteries with the separated brethren must proceed with love for the truth, with charity, and with humility. When comparing doctrines with one another, they should remember that in Catholic doctrine there exists a "hierarchy" of truths, since they vary in their relation to the fundamental Christian faith. Thus the way will be opened by which through fraternal rivalry all will be stirred to a deeper understanding and a clearer presentation of the unfathomable riches of Christ.(34) Source: UNITATIS REDINTEGRATIOI would submit that anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of the english language will note the bi-polar aspects of this quotation (Blue is True, Lavender is Liberal.). Sad to say this is typical of the documents and the reason, as stated by Traditionalists (Archbishop Lefebvre et al) and admitted by the Miberal / Lodernists (Cardinal Kasper) that there was conflict in the Council between two determined groups (estimates that I've heard were about 10% each side). So 'compromise' statements are in the documents.
It is obvious that since the Council the doctrine of the Catholic Church has NOT been clearly presented in its entirety - especially when there is conflict with those involved in the sins of heresy or schism.
A stunning case of this occurred in 2005 when the Ukranian Archeparchy of Canada removed the 'Filioque' from its public recitation of the Creed in its liturgy.
Here's their rationale:
Prompted by the Second Vatican Council, and as part of a comprehensive liturgical renewal in the Ukrainian Catholic Church, the Bishops of the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Canada have determined that the Creed once again be recited in its original form, that is, without the words “and the Son.”
We do so in full support of the Synod of Bishops of the Ukrainian Catholic Church.
We do so in support of the Roman Pontiff, who himself has publicly recited the Creed without the filioque on several occasions. In doing so, he gives witness to the Church in general, and to the Ukrainian Catholic Church in particular, that the recitation of the Creed in its original form is without prejudice to the Catholic faith.
We do so also in a greater desire to renew bonds with our Orthodox sisters and brothers, drawing nearer to that day when we may once again be one as commanded by Jesus Himself: “That they may be one, Father, as You are in me and I am in You” (John 17: 21). (source)Now it is clear that the recitation of the Creed without the Filioque does not constitute an explicit denial of the Dogma as the truth.
However it is important to note the following two elements:
The Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and from the Son as from a Single Principle through a Single Spiration. (De fide.)
Since the 9th century, the Greek Orthodox Church has taught that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father alone. A Synod at Constantinople in the year 879, under the Patriarch Photius, rejected the "filioque" of the Latins as heretical.(Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma - Ott, 1954 pg 62)So in removing the "filioque" from the expression of the faith (as it is implicit), a Catholic who believes the Dogma can say the Nicene Creed with a Schismatic Orthodox who does not.
This is called 'keeping appearances'. It's like a married couple who, by all outward appearances are still living as man and wife. However, inwardly they are living separate lives. It is simply a marriage of convenience or as others would put it a 'sham marriage'.
There is no true unity and to allow this to occur leads to indifferentism.
If they can remove the filioque from the Creed, then, people will reason that it couldn't have been that important. This is how culture is changed, by changing the 'artifacts', eventually people's values will be altered and given sufficient time, so will their assumptions.
In the end the Catholics, after sufficient alteration in their liturgy and Creed will become a mess of Protestant (heretical) and Orthodox assumptions.
They will be hybrids.
This hybridation is on going and whenever Catholic Dogma is reasserted it prompts a confused reaction from the Orthodox (schismatic).
In the context of Ukrainian church realities, the ecumenical breadth of the new Catechism of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church (“CUGCC”) can be measured by the attitude of its authors toward Orthodox theology, and specifically to their own Orthodox roots.
At the outset, the very publication of such a document can be said to be an expression of the Eastern theological identity of the UGCC. When the basis of the first section of the 1992 “Catechism of the Catholic Church” is founded upon the so-called “Apostolic” Symbol of Faith, (See Footnote 1) which is accepted only in the Western Church and in the mainstream Protestant Churches, the CUGCC corrects this anti-Orthodox lapse of the Latin Church and makes specific reference to the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Symbol of Faith, which bears an unquestionable universal authority and is acknowledged as the authentic expression of the faith of the Ancient Church not only by Catholics and Orthodox, but even by the majority of the great Protestant denominations.
However, for some reason the creed is given with the “Filioque” addition, even though in brackets. The particular reasons guiding the authors of the CUGCC in making such an ecumenical faux pas toward their Orthodox brothers is truly incomprehensible. It is well-known that this unfortunate addition was one of the main theological reasons of the Great Schism between East and West. This is even more incomprehensible, if we take into account the fact that the Filioque was dropped even in the declaration of the Vatican Congregation of the Faith’s “Dominus Iesus” (See Footnote 2) (2000 AD). It is obvious that the creators of the CUGCC lacked the courage to clearly articulate the truth of the Eastern theological “Monarchy” or “Single Principle” of the Father. (source)Lastly, to demonstrate the hybridization of Catholics in process we have the following:
The filioque continues to be a matter of concern among theologians interested in ecumenical discussion and, in that regard, it is to be noted—and in the present context it is very significant—that the vast majority of contemporary Western theologians propose that the filioque be dropped from the Creed when it is recited in the mass.22 This proposal is founded upon two bases: (i) the process by which the filioque was added was questionable at best, and (ii) it remains a barrier to the profession of the common Christian faith expressed in the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed (which all agree did not contain the filioque).23 (source)So for the Catholics in the pews, will they even notice the change? Undoubtedly, because they are used to reciting the Filioque in the Creed. But as the Ukranian Bishops wrote: "Change is oftentimes difficult, yet necessary. " (source)
Here's the question many Traditionalists are right to ask:
Can a hybrid Heretical/Schismatic/Catholic, truly expand the Mystical Body of Christ by passing on the Catholic Faith to their offspring and by bringing others into the Faith?
Well, if a Ukranian Catholic manages to convince an Orthodox Catholic to 'join' the Church and they refuse to utter the 'Filioque' - are they really Catholic.
The answer is no.
According to Rorate, Doctrine and Clarity are important to the Evangelicals (except Tony Palmer, RIP later). The Church gives up its treasures and what happens, the Evangelicals want them to give up the Truth.