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Disagreement and Dissent: the Devil’s in the Details

Martin Luther's 95 Theses Ferdinand Pauwels, 1872
Martin Luther’s 95 Theses Ferdinand Pauwels, 1872

My father passed away in 2005, but every time I read articles like this one I think of him. The article, by Donald Cardinal Wuerl, is all about dissent, and my father was one of the most obedient Catholics I’ve ever known. But he knew the difference between disagreement with a Pope and dissent from Church teaching. Cardinal Wuerl, however, makes little distinction in his article between the two.

Not that I always understood the distinction myself. My attendance at Catholic schools for 12 years did little to provide me with substantial Catholic teaching. “Be nice and don’t do drugs,” is how one priest my age summed up his childhood religious education.

During my college years, then, it was with a sense of totally new discovery that I began to understand the depth and the beauty of the Catholic Faith. Pope John Paul II played a huge part in my transformation from ill-formed semi-feminist cultural Catholic to… well, a slightly better-informed practicing Catholic. The watershed moment was reading his Mulieris Dignatatem. Finally, everything made sense; all the longings and questionings of my heart were stilled as I could at long last see God’s beautiful design for womanhood that I had sought but never found elucidated in a way that rang true. The pope became my hero. I hung on his every word, followed his travels, his audiences, and his writings. I felt overwhelming gratitude to him, as if he personally had reached a hand into my dimness and brought me into beautiful light. I will never forget seeing this Saint in person at the 1993 World Youth Day in Denver. In some mysterious way he seemed to bring the very love of God with him wherever he appeared, and to hand it to each of us as a personal gift.

Newly zealous for my faith, I quickly divided the people around me into two neat groups: the faithful and the dissenting. We enthusiastic, prolife, orthodox Catholics were a small but vocal minority. Then there was everyone else in the pews – poorly catechized Catholics picking their beliefs from what seemed to appear to them a mostly unappetizing smorgasbord. Thank God we faithful could at least point to John Paul II as clear evidence that we were right! Everything he said glowed with truth!

As I grew in knowledge of the Faith I began to look about me. I noticed my dad. Here was a man who’d never strayed, even when tempted to do so after the tragic death of his own father a week after his high school graduation. He prayed his rosary faithfully, loved the Mass, and was devoted to all the observances of the liturgical year. I asked him once what it had been like for him when the Mass changed after Vatican II. He told me how disconcerting it was and how he’d felt a little lost. It had been painful. How could he be sure, I asked, that the Church was still THE Church? “Christ promised us,” he said, “that the gates of hell would not prevail against it.” When the Church spoke, he obeyed. He knew that whatever else might happen, this course could not ultimately fail him.

As the years passed it became more and more clear to me the firm stuff my father’s faith was made of. Diagnosed at the young age of 61 with Alzheimer’s Disease, he turned to prayer and his rock-solid marriage. He stood firmly grounded in his faith and accepted the suffering he foresaw. Now when he prayed the rosary it was always the sorrowful mysteries, every single day.

Back to my two groups. Dad needed to fit in with us Faithful Catholics, of course. But, er… He didn’t agree with the pope sometimes. Dad disagreed with JPII’s statements about economic policy and nuclear disarmament. Having majored in international affairs and Russian, I was familiar with the issues. While I knew most of my professors would agree with JPII’s views on these matters, I knew Dad didn’t. But… How could this faithful Catholic possibly disagree with the pope, my hero? The cognitive dissonance was painful.

The dilemma lay in the back of my mind for years; I could no more let it go than make sense of it. The strength and beauty of my father’s faith only became more apparent as the final sufferings of his life intensified. It had rarely been necessary to think about it much when we had a pope that most of us Faithful Catholics found it easy to agree with, even when he wasn’t speaking authoritatively. But this could change, and what such a change might mean bore some contemplation. I realized that agreeing with the pope on matters that do not touch faith and morals is no litmus test for faithfulness. The simple fact that most Faithful Catholics DID agree with everything John Paul II said did not prove that such complete acceptance — on statements in no way authoritatively delivered — is mandatory.

Maybe I was a little ahead of my peers in coming to this conclusion. Maybe most of us had been lulled by the good fortune that the only pope we could remember was one with whom we shared a worldview. But given the staggering number of papal interviews, speeches and statements made, recorded, and translated in modern times, it is no surprise that a faithful Catholic might disagree with the pope’s statements on non-essential matters like foreign policy. And that didn’t need to rock my faith. Only fear had caused it to do so. I was afraid for anything to shake up the neat, tidy lines I’d drawn. But with deepening faith comes the loss of fear. The Faith is bigger than diplomacy, economics, and foreign policy. We need not fear to disagree with a pontiff on such matters, because no such temporal matter can alter the truth of what the Church has taught and handed on for centuries.

The main theme of Cardinal Wuerl’s article is that, in recent times at least, there has always been dissent, and there probably always will be. True enough, and perhaps a balm for people concerned that the sky is falling because there’s been so much doctrinal dissent in recent years. However, Cardinal Wuerl goes on to note the various currents of papal “dissent” he’s witnessed in his adult life. While he could perhaps be applauded for taking seriously the dissent from authoritative teachings like Humanae Vitae, I stop clapping as soon as I see that he equates such dissent with disagreeing with John Paul I’s habit of smiling a lot. Something is amiss.

Whenever Cardinal Wuerl is described in the press or elsewhere, you can be sure the word “teacher” is going to come up eventually. He has, whatever else one might notice about him, a remarkable gift for explaining points of faith. That’s why I was shocked to read in his article the conflation of the “doctrinal, pastoral, canonical, … [and] simply matters of clerical vesture.” Careful as he is to categorize the different types of “dissent” he’s enumerating, he fails to make clear the serious difference for the faithful person who disagrees with the mind of the Church on a matter of doctrine and one who disputes a change in the vesture of bishops. Apparently, it’s all one and the same. Didn’t Jesus say, “The dissenters you will always have with you”? We just have to put up with them.

How unfortunate that Cardinal Wuerl put aside the opportunity he opened up for himself: to catechize the faithful about the duties we owe the Holy Father, to outline carefully the meaning of the term “dissent,” and even to discuss areas where the faithful may legitimately demur from a statement of the pope, including our responsibility to consider such matters with prayer and a firm footing in Catholic teaching.

Looking back on the lack of content in my own Catholic education, I’ve always hoped we’d start giving something more to our people today. On this issue, my husband and I have carefully made clear for our children the reverence, honor and love due the Holy Father. We have also helped our older children understand what the word “dissent” truly means – and what it does not. I had hoped our bishops, by this day and age, would be doing the same.

What are we afraid of?

41 thoughts on “Disagreement and Dissent: the Devil’s in the Details”

  1. What makes people think they know the difference between disagreement with a Pope and dissent from Church teaching? Who are we to know and determine what Church teaching is apart from the authoritative, living magisterium? The Pope included. If Pope Francis and the authoritative, living magisterium say we need to open Holy Communion to the divorced and remarried, because this is the way of mercy, who are we to say we cannot? Isn’t this where our submission to authoritative teaching becomes a make or break issue? If we say the Pope and the authoritative, living magisterium are in error, aren’t we using our own judgement to say so? and isn’t this the antithesis of being Catholic? I’m thinking that if it’s up to me and my Bible to determine whether or not the Pope is right or wrong I may as well be a Baptist or a Presbyterian.

    • The problem with using the phrase “me and my Bible” is that such isn’t at all how Catholics have EVER dealt with issues of Dogma and Doctrine. The whole Tradition, coming from the Deposit of Faith handed down to the Apostles by Our Lord Himself, is considered along with the documents from all Popes, Councils, Saints, Fathers and Doctors. Any pronouncement or teaching considered now or in the future must pass the test of being in accord with Tradition. “Me and my Bible” is a caricature of how the Faith has been known and developed by the Church for twenty centuries.

    • If Pope Francis and the authoritative, living magisterium say we need to open Holy Communion to the divorced and remarried, because this is the way of mercy, who are we to say we cannot?

      Is there any limit to the Pope’s authority to change Church teaching?

      • To answer your question: “JESUS”.

        “Thou shall not commit Adultery” – GOD’s Commandment
        Ex 20:14 ; Deut 5:18.

        “Thou shall not covet thy Neighbor’s wife” – GOD’s Commandment
        Ex 20:17 ; Deut 5.20.

        JESUS about divorce and remarriage – Mk 10:6-12; Mt 5:32.

        JESUS about adultery, mercy, and required repentance – “Go and Sin NO more” Jn 8:11.

        Teaching regarding homosexual acts:
        Gen 19:1-29; Rom 1:24-27; 1 Cor 6:9-10; 1 Tim 1:10; Jude 1:7

        1 Cor 11:27-30 about condemnation for receiving Holy Communion unworthily.

        CCC: ” 81 Sacred Scripture is the speech of God as it is put down in writing under the breath of the Holy Spirit.
        And [Holy] Tradition transmits in its ENTIRETY the Word of God which has been
        entrusted to the apostles by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit.
        It transmits it to the successors of the apostles so that,
        enlightened by the Spirit of truth,
        they may faithfully preserve, expound and spread it abroad by their preaching. “

        AGAIN – “… Spirit of truth, they may faithfully preserve , expound and spread it… ” – NOT change it to suit secular desires of the day.

      • Limit to Pope’s authority to change Church teaching ? YES.

        In the history of the Church, we know that there have been at least 12 corrupt Popes including Alexander VI who was a Borgia and fathered Lucrezia, and Benedict IX who was a Playboy.
        And these 12 may not be the last.
        The Holy Spirit let us know in Sacred Scripture that all the Apostles were sinners (all but one repented).

        This tells us that Popes, Bishops, Priests (and the rest of us) are not without sin.
        With the exception of the Blessed Mother, none of us is without sin.

      • Limit to Pope’s authority YES – – CCC 81.
        “… Spirit of truth, they may faithfully preserve , expound and spread it… ”
        – NOT CHANGE IT to suit secular desires of the day.

        Please read my other postS for a more detailed explanation.

  2. What makes people think they know the difference between disagreement with a Pope and dissent from Church teaching?

    Natural reason does. It is so important that we be able to tell the difference, that we have ways to know whether our objections constitute dissent or not. And one need not be a theologian to figure this out. The well-formed man in the pew, 99% of the time, can know this.

  3. I’ve been thinking about the logic of Catholicism in relation to this issue of the living magisterium, and it seems that the current interpretation of most Catholic defenders actually implies that the Catholic faith could be or become anything by definition or redefinition. For who could gainsay a novel doctrine and with what? Anyone pointing to any past text, no matter how authoritative, could simply be charged with not interpreting it correctly and according to the mind of the (current) church. And anyone pointing to any other text to defend his interpretation of the first would be open to the same charge. They already do this with texts such as the Council of Florence, which not a soul within the hierarchy today defends as it is plainly written, and forget the Syllabus of Errors. If the Living Magisterium alone interprets what is and is not Tradition and the sense that Tradition has, then the words themselves can be (re)defined to mean anything the current pontiff says. He could literally find a fourth person in the Trinity, and we’d all have to sit here and say, “how interesting that we misunderstood the word ‘three’ for so long in so many places.” 12 Things to Know and Share about the Fourth Person of the Trinity….

    And it isn’t just a recent dilemma stemming from Vatican II. Even Vatican I’s declaration–about holding to the meaning of the doctrines in the sense that “they have been and are held“–can be read in this way. For the pope could say that such-and-such is how they are held (by him), and therefore such-and-such is how they were held. So if you’re interpreting past documents contrary to this (contrary to him), you’re interpreting them incorrectly. Again, what could anyone say against him? That some council or encyclical or scripture passage says differently? According to whom? You, little man? No, no, no. It is the Church alone that has the right to determine what is and is not the true meaning of her teachings and true Tradition, and she says X. One era’s modernism thus becomes another’s mercy and they’re all “true” Catholicism….

    This positivist approach must be false due to its offence against reason, but it does seem to be the absurd logical conclusion of what many Catholic defenders actually hold today. It’s why they aren’t traditionalists: for them, there simply is no tradition other than what the church presently says.

    • You fail to acknowledge the role of the Holy Spirit in guiding the Church. The Church would have collapsed thousands of years ago if it was not truly guided by the Holy Spirit. If you ever doubt that the Holy Spirit is guiding the Church, just look at Church history. The Church survives not because of good popes, good priests, good people, or even good saints, but survives inspite of the fallible and subjective reason of its members because it is ultimately led the light of the Holy Spirit. Everything else comes after the fact.

      • That is NOT saying that we should all nod in agreement when the pope says something dumb like, “Climate-justice is the issue of our time!”

      • You are certainly right that the church is guided by the Holy Spirit.

        But consider that there is a well-established theological teaching among the approved Catholic theologians of the last five centuries that even popes can teach (and have taught in certain cases) heresy. And further that there are certain procedures by which such a pope in this eventuality is to be deposed through a council called for that purpose. This, by the way, has been held by men, all of whom defended in detail the church’s and pope’s infallibility. But if this is correct, then it doesn’t suffice to say that the church is guided by the Holy Spirit, for she could be guided unto a bad pope who teaches falsely and who is later deposed. Perhaps as a chastisement. Now, my point here isn’t about bad popes at all. We don’t have the authority to do anything about them anyway. Rather my point is about the objectivity and knowability of tradition. This teaching about the deposition of popes implies that there must be some objective, external means by which someone (at a minimum the other bishops) can tell if what is being taught is really of the faith or not. After all, it is an apostolic faith, an historic faith, with objective texts and acts and customs. We can’t, after all, change the past and pretend none of that exists. Not even God can do that.

        The clamoring for communion for the divorced and remarried is but a sign of the problem: the denial of objective sources of the faith. For it is a part of Catholic tradition that such a communion is absurd, and texts can be cited to this end. Yet before our very eyes are princes of the church proposing it, dismissing thereby these objective theological sources contrary to their false teaching. Something is surely amiss.

        But we know what is amiss. The sources of Catholic theology have been minimized.

        At one time it was customary to defend theological reasonings using the ten sources. They were called the Loci Theologici (by Melchior Cano) and have been followed explicitly from his time, around the Council of Trent, and implicitly from the beginning. They included not only the church directly, but scripture and tradition, councils, the popes, the fathers, the scholastics and doctors, even philosophy and history. These sources had certain degrees of authority and were cited as authoritative in the manuals of theology. One would have to have a spectacular and iron-clad argument to override one of these authorities, if they could at all. This was held until the middle of the 20th century. Today very little is cited other than Vatican II and some other recent documents. And even then the texts are often vague and very open to conflicting interpretations. This being the case, the Kaspers have a point: it isn’t an infallible dogma that a person who has been divorced and remarried is in a state of mortal sin at this very moment. So technically he might be able to receive communion. Rather the teaching against this particular practice derives from other, lesser authorities: the historic customs or laws of the church or the teachings of eminent moral theologians. So (the Kaspers might plausibly argue), seeing that these lesser Catholic authorities are ignored regarding so much else (and they are), why follow them on this particular point???

        I will not be surprised if they argue this at the upcoming synod, and that it gets approved by the pope. For it almost makes sense. Catholicism has been minimized to what is contained in the last 40-odd years, and the tradition against communion for the divorced and remarried doesn’t necessarily spring directly from any of that. It’s hard to defend the historic faith when all you have is Contemporary Catholic Minimalism.

        Unless the church returns to a “Full Frequency” Catholicism, in which its objective traditional sources are once again cited as authentic and authoritative (although in varying degrees) it will be unable to make a case against the Kaspers of the world and against their travesties of theological reasoning.

        But to return to your point, since the church is guided by the Holy Spirit, our best course as little people with no authority on these matters may be to simply pray to that same Holy Spirit for an increase in wisdom among those whose duty it is to guide the church on earth so that the faithful will not be led into sin and error, that twofold darkness into which we all are born.


        • “For it is a part of Catholic tradition that such a communion is absurd, and texts can be cited to this end.”

          Just as absurd as annulling marriages for the rich and powerful and in effect allowing them to divorce should the need arise. This problem has been brewing for hundreds of years. Personally I think the Kasperites are just trying to come up with a solution to the hypocrisy of declaring marriage ‘indissoluble’ and then turning around and handing out easy annulments like get out of jail free cards.

          • Two wrongs do not make a right. I don’t imagine the Kasperites are too concerned with hypocrisy, being who are they are and yet promoting what they do.

          • So how do you patch the cracks that have already been created by granting annulments? The capitulations that were given to kings and queens hundreds of years ago have become so commonplace that the ‘indissolubility of marriage’ claim is becoming a laughing stock. But the Church is too proud to admit the error.

            The Kasperites may be wrong to want to sweep it all under the rug and call it ‘mercy’, but at least they see the problem. Saying that the current practice is plain and reasonable is a joke.

          • “Capitulations” to kings and senators have been going on forever. It is the way of fallen men who bow down to worldly power. In general, the vox populi understand the inherent inequities in how the rich and powerful are treated versus the man on the street. This is something that Pope Francis is apparently concerned about, hence his frequent exhortations on the subject of social justice for the poor.
            However, I am not sure that annulments are commonplace, as you aver. Do you have statistics to show that? I believe divorce and remarriage without annulment is probably more common than divorce and remarriage with annulment. In general, I find those who are very opposed to annulments are those who are not very knowledgeable about them.
            I also find that those who go through the annulment process, respecting the Church’s judgment on such matters, often find it a painful, drawn out, but ultimately cleansing experience.
            Would you agree that the foundational problem is not annulment, but the basic misunderstanding and rejection of holy matrimony? People today are entering into marriages with little or no understanding of the duties, privileges and sacrifice of marriage. The emphasis is on rings, parties, dresses, venues, honeymoons. Childbearing is deferred and limited. It is this failure of transmitting the Catholic Faith to the people that has more bearing on marriage and the family than that some powerful people have been granted perhaps fraudulent annulments.

          • I agree that the “foundational problem is the misunderstanding and rejection of holy matrimony.” But that is only because what the Church currently teaches is a contradiction. The Church says, “marriage is indissoluable” and then turns around and advises people wishing to end their marriage, “seek an annulment.” What is an ‘annulment’ but a blessing for divorce? Far from being cleansing, all parties involved normally lose respect for the authority of the Church. They conclude that the Church is unable to provide valid sacramental (i.e. indissoluable) marriages in the first place, as long as the same Church can declare a marriage null and void at any time.

            By providing annulments, the Church is failing to provide the married assurance that their marriages are in fact valid, and validating the skepticism of those who beleive that the Church does not mean what it says.

            Full disclosure: my parents (far from being rich and powerful), after 15 years of marriage that produced three children were granted an annulment. The Church in effect told the entire family that they had been living a lie for the last 15 years. Not suprisingly, my parents and siblings have all left the Church.

          • First, I am sorry to hear of your family’s misfortune, and especially that the faith of your parents and siblings has not survived it. I’m sure you keep them in your prayers. May I ask, do you feel their faith would’ve survived a divorce (and remarriage(s)) without an annulment? Would your parents have stayed together without the annulment being granted, do you think? If so, you are surmising that their faith would have survived, too? That it was the annulment alone that caused your family to leave the Catholic Church?
            I believe you misunderstand annulments, the process, and the Church’s teaching. The occasional abuse of the annulment process should not be cause for dissenting from the Church’s teaching on the matter. This is exactly what the modernists are doing. They disagree with Church teaching on the matter of communion for the divorced and remarried, so seek to subvert the teaching by forsaking it in practice.
            If, as we agree, the foundational issue is a rejection and ignorance of holy matrimony, then the focus should be on clear teaching and practice, including the process of annulments.

          • It doesn’t take personal experience to see the hypocrisy of the situation. When high profile figures (Ted Kennedy) get annulments the masses think, “The Church has a different set of rules for the rich and powerful.” When the Church tries to rectify this by giving peasants the same privilege, the masses think, “What’s so indissoluble about marriage?” There is no ‘educating’ our way out of it.

            If an annulment is always an option, than no Catholic marriage is ever really indissoluble.

            The only solution that I can see is for the Church to say, “If you get divorced, you can never re-marry.” That seems the most basic interpretation of the gospel. Once the loop-hole is introduced it becomes the thoroughfare.

          • And yet you are the one who brought up personal experience to bolster your position. You dissent from Church teaching on annulments, then?

          • I was not trying to bolster my position with my own experience. I was just confessing that my position is not completely unbiased.

            I disagree with the practice. The Churches ostensible teaching on marriage is that it cannot be dissolved. The embarassing fact is that marriages are dissolved everyday. The exception has become the rule.

          • “The exception has become the rule.” So you say. It would be helpful to provide evidence.
            Interesting that you say you disagree with the “practice” of annulments. But not as a teaching of the Church? Again, this is the modernist position.

          • Go read the comments under the article provided by Leo Wong (15 Myths About Annulment) for evidence. One person testified that in their parish 131 out of 131 annulments applied for were granted. There are other testimonies just as shocking. They do a better job than I could of explaining how, because a civil divorce is required to file for annulment, the tribunals assume that the marriages that are brought to them are already irretrievably broken.

            BTW, ‘modernist’ is SO old-fashioned.

          • That is hearsay, isn’t it? Shocking personal testimonies do not a trend make.
            I had no idea that the term ‘modernist’ is “SO old-fashioned.” What is the more appropriate term in this apparently post, post, post-modern age?

          • The testimonies contain statistics. Or you can google them for yourself. A quick search…and viola…from Catholic World Report: “58,322 declarations of nullity (2007 statistics in the Vatican Secretariat of State’s Statistical Yearbook of the Church)”…
            It might be a small percentage of total marriages but it still sends the message loud and clear, “The Church Dissolves the Indissoluble”

            Unfortunately, the term used for todays ‘modernist’, cafeteria Catholic, that beleives they can decide what is true better than the Church can, is: ‘typical’.

          • An excellent article. It is balanced, and though it acknowledges the problem with excessive declarations of nullity, it also points to the over-arching issues at play: Lack of proper catechesis, immaturity, marriages contracted with non-Catholics, decline of Catholic practice, co-habitation and so on.
            It seems you would throw out an eminently valid Church teaching and practice because at this point in history, under these particular circumstances, in a few particular countries, the granting of annulments is excessive. Do you not see that this is the exact type of reasoning that drives the progressives, modernists (however you choose to describe them) to abandon Church teaching on communion for the divorced/remarried?

          • “Nothing to see here, move along everybody” is not reasoning at all. I don’t agree with the Kasperites. I don’t agree with the deniers either. A Church divided cannot stand. Hypocrisy needs to be addressed.

          • While I am all for defending the Church, there comes a time when denying that a scandal is occuring right undeneath our noses actually hurts our credibility and our cause.

          • All that article clearly shows is that the Pharisees (they call them lawyers now-a-days) are back in charge. It’s ridiculous that we should have to play all these word games and study volumes of cannon law just to figure out if a marriage that took place in the Church is valid.

        • I believe that good arguments can be made by referring to sources since Vatican II. For example, Cardinal Mueller’s chapter “On the Indissolubility of Marriage and the Debate concerning the Civilly Remarried and the Sacrements,” in the book Remaining in the Truth of Christ, has a section on “The Testimony of the Magisterium in the Present Day.” If the First Things review of Cardinal Kasper’s Mercy is at all just, the Kasper side will be hard put to make a convincing theological case.

          But Kasper’s influence shows that reason is not the point. The ostensible appeal is to the heart. That from the heart can come forth things that defile man may be understood this year or experienced in future years.

          • You’re probably right. It has been a few years since I’ve bought any recently written Catholic books, so I’m not up on Remaining in the Truth of Christ.

            And no, reason is not the point. But some sort of reason is given, even if only to say it is not the reason!

  4. Cardinal Wuerl publically supports the Mortal Sin of SACRILEGE against the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ – allowing those who choose to continue living in the state of Mortal Sin to receive Holy Communion.
    This is in violation of Church teaching.
    1 Cor 11:26-30.
    CCC: 2120
    Code of Canon Law: 915

    ” Discipline Regarding the Denial of Holy Communion to Those Obstinately Persevering in Manifest Grave Sin ”

    JESUS taught about the need for repentance; and to “Go and Sin No More” Jn 8:11.

    It is not Pastoral, Merciful, or Charitable to approve, condone, or affirm anyone in a serious sinful lifestyle.

  5. Literate persons can KNOW the difference between disagreement with a Pope and dissent from Church teaching – by reading BOTH of the following.

    1) Sacred Scripture which contains the speech of God (CCC 81);
    2) “Catechism of the Catholic Church, second edition” (aka CCC).

    These are from the Magisterium, and the two (2) most important books in the Catholic Faith.

    ” The Catechism of the Catholic Church, which I approved … and the publication of which I today order by virtue of my Apostolic Authority,
    is a statement of the Church’s faith and of catholic doctrine,
    attested to or illumined by Sacred Scripture,
    the Apostolic Tradition, and the Church’s Magisterium.
    I declare it to be a sure norm for teaching the faith and thus a valid and legitimate instrument for ecclesial communion. “ Pope John Paul II, CCC pg 5.

    (The CCC was promulgated as part of the Apostolic Constitution. The correct copy has a dark green cover and was approved and promulgated in Aug., 1997.
    It can also be found on the Vatican web site.)

    CCC: 133 The Church “forcefully and specifically exhorts all the Christian faithful. . . to learn the surpassing knowledge of Jesus Christ,
    by frequent reading of the divine Scriptures.
    Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ. ”

    For more info on the CCC included quotes from Popes John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and Francis go to: “What Catholics REALLY Believe SOURCE”


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