Doctrinal Dissonance - An Application of Cognitive Dissonance Theory


I've discussed various cultural and psychological barriers that exist both in 'modern' and 'traditional' Catholics here, here, and here.

Normally, I referred to fig 1 in discussing the issues faced by Catholics of all cultural dispositions.

Fig 1: Cognitive Dissonance Model

I was involved in some debates on dogmatic facts, specifically the dogmatic fact established by the recognition of the Bishops determines infallibly who is the Pope.

I decided that it would be good to provide a graphic applying the model to the crisis of the Church.

Fig 2: Cognitive Dissonance Model as applied to Doctrine of Catholic Church
Applying the Cognitive Dissonance Model to the crisis in the Church is valuable.

There is Doctrine and how the Church explained it.  There are what people believe as to these doctrines.  They are not necessarily aligned and when confronted with a conflict between their belief and the Church doctrine people encounter discomfort.

Depending on how strongly people hold their beliefs (which is tied to culture), they will make a selection between the three options.

In general modernists would have us change the perception of the doctrine by altering the meaning of the words used, since the doctrine is relatively fixed.

However, if a Trad has a misbelief about Catholic Doctrine and holds it firmly - then they will do exactly what the modernists have done.

Alter the perception of the doctrine.

Funny how holding a misbelief about Church doctrine leads to a response similar to the modernists.

So as a warning to all Catholics we need to understand Church Doctrine as the Church understands and explains it.

If not ... well we risk falling into error and becoming that which we strive against.



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