Catholic Dogmas, Doctrines and Principles - Expanded


In my earlier articles on principles (article 1) (article 2), I provided a list of principles that I think are particularly important in these times.

Attached below is an expanded version.

Pray lest you enter into temptation.

When you're not praying, read the Catechism of Trent on the 'One Holy Catholic Apostolic' Church.


  1. The Church is "A body of men united together by the profession of the same Christian Faith, and by participation in the same sacraments,    under the governance of lawful pastors, more especially of the Roman    Pontiff, the sole vicar of Christ on earth" (Bellarmine, De Eccl., III, ii,    9) - Catholic Encyclopedia
  2. This Church includes both the good and the bad (but not the unbaptized, heretics (protestants), schismatics (orthodox), excommunicates (certain degrees).  Even if the hierarchy, is 'debased by crime' they are still within the Church and    retain their authority - Catechism of the Council of Trent
  3. There are degrees to heresy with 'heresy - proper' being the 'pertinacious' denial of a defined de fide teaching (238 ish teachings).   This degree of heresy must be manifested by the individual publicly and pertinaciously in order for the separation from the Church noted above to  be in effect.  - Catholic Encyclopedia
  4. A Catholic material heretic remains 'in the Church' as their error is presumed to be temporary and that they would submit when corrected by the Church - Catholic Encyclopedia
  5. In anything less than an explicit denial of a de-fide truth, a  compentent authority has to render a judgment. - Robert Siscoe quoting    Canon Hesse.
  6. An Infallible Dogmatic Fact is established confirming the legality of a Pope when:
    1. the Bishops agree in recognizing a certain man as Pope (Hunter)
    2. the adhesion of the universal Church will be always, in itself, an infallible sign of the legitimacy of a determined Pontiff (Billot)
    3. the ordinary magisterium dispersed throughout the world unmistakably proposes to its members as something to be held (tenendas). So, for example, one must give an absolute assent to the proposition: “Pius XII is the legitimate successor of St. Peter” (Van Noort)
    4. Therefore Pope Pius XII, John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, St. John Paul II, Benedict XVI, Francis have all been validly elected Popes.
  7. The sin of schism has the same effect as heresy, in that it renders  the responsible person outside of the Church.  Simple disobedience does not constitute schism, unless it includes a denial of the authorities 'Divine right to command'. As such the refusal of submission to a legitimate  command can imply such a denial. - Catholic Encyclopedia
  8. Hence the sin of schism is, properly speaking, a special sin, for the reason that the schismatic intends to sever himself from that unity which is the effect of charity: because charity unites not only one person to another with the bond of spiritual love, but also the whole Church in unity of spirit.Schismatics are those who, willfully and intentionally separate themselves from the unity of the Church. The unity of the Church consists in two things: mutual connection or communion of the members of the Church, and the subordination of all the members of the Church to the one head. Now this Head is Christ Himself, Whose viceregent in the Church is the Sovereign Pontiff. Schismatics are those who refuse to submit to the Sovereign Pontiff, and to hold communion with those members of the Church who acknowledge his supremacy.(Summa Theologica) [Restored context to clarify which aspect of Unity St. Thomas was discussing - that of Charity. Schism is a sin against Charity, while Heresy is a sin against Faith)
  9. "The Church is indefectible, that is, she remains and will remain the Institution of Salvation, founded by Christ, until the end of the world. (Sent. certa.)" Ott - Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma
  10. The Church is visible, and the foundation of both its visibility and unity is the Pope - Ott and First Vatican Council
  11. Because of indefectibility the Church, even now, retains the four marks (One, Holy, Catholic & Apostolic). Following the principle of indefectibility and the special infallibility afforded to the Church in her discipline and laws, the new sacraments as promulgated are valid and  provide grace under the normal conditions (form, matter, intention).
  12. Obedience due to a superior is required if the command falls within  the scope of authority and are not 'against God'.  Disobedience in this  condition is sinful - Summa 2,2, Q104, A5
  13. Correction of a superior can be done in charity and must be done 'in  a becoming manner, not with impudence and harshness, but with gentleness and respect' - Summa II II Q.33, a.4, ad 2m
  14. Four Marks of the Church (Detailed Article)
    1. One (Unity): One may, with the Vatican Council, distinguish a two-fold unity of the Church"
      1. Unity of Faith, consists in the fact that all members of the Church inwardly believe the truths of faith (ie de fide truths) proposed by the teaching office of the Church, at least implicitly, and outwardly confess them. 
      2. Unity of Communion: This consists, in the subjection of the members of the Church to the authority of the bishops and of the Pope (unity of government or hierarchical unity) and in the binding of the members among themselves to a social unity by participation in the same cult and in the same means of grace (unity of cult or liturgical unity).
      3. The unity of both faith and of communion is guaranteed by the Primacy of the Pope, the Supreme Teacher and Pastor of the Church (centrum unitatis : D 1960). 
      4. One is cut off from the unity of Faith by heresy and from the unity of communion by schism. 
    2. Holy: The Church is Holy for the following reasons: it is consecrated and dedicated to God; because the Church, as the Mystical Body of Christ, is united to its head: Our Lord Jesus Christ; and lastly the Church has the true worship of God.
    3. Catholic: The Catholic Church is Universal, "embraces ... all mankind" and includes "all the faithful who have existed from Adam to the present day, or who shall exist, in the profession of the true faith, to the end of time".  Finally, the Church is called Universal because "all who desire eternal salvation must cling to and embrace her".
    4. Apostolic:The Church of Christ can be recognized by its Apostolic origin, for "the Holy Ghost, who presides over the Church, governs her by no other ministers than those of Apostolic succession".
  15. There are three conditions for membership of the Church: 
    1. The valid reception of the Sacrament of Baptism. 
    2. The profession of the true Faith. 
    3. Participation in the Communion of the Church. 
  16. Conditions for Obedience
    1. The person issuing the command is in a position of authority over the inferior. ie They are the superior of the inferior.
    2. The command is within the scope of the superior's authority
    3. The command does not require the inferior to sin, either in the immediate or proximate case.
    4. If the above conditions are met then the person has an obligation to obey. Disobedience in this case is sinful.
    5. Whereas if #3 is lacking (sinful command) then the person has an obligation to disobey
    6. Whereas if #1 or #2 is lacking the person practice greater virtue in obeying a command that is not obligatory.

A last thought to keep in the before our eyes:
"For in after ages there would not be wanting wicked men who, like the ape that would fain pass for a man, would claim that they alone were Catholics, and with no less impiety than effrontery assert that with them alone is the Catholic Church." Catechism of Trent


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