Can somebody disagree?

Regarding belief in Church teachings, what is required of the faithful Catholic is different with respect to whether we’re talking about Discipline, Doctrine, or Dogma.

If we’re talking about a Discipline, one may legitimately disagree with the Church’s position on it, and even voice his opinion without committing a sin. However, if the Discipline is binding, he must submit to it regardless of his opinion of it. If we’re talking about Doctrine, one may legitimately disagree with it, but may not voice his disagreement publicly, otherwise he commits a sin, but he may bear this disagreement in his heart without committing sin. However, he must submit to the Doctrine publicly, and in action, being obedient to the authority of the Church. If we’re talking about Dogma, one must agree to it fully in his heart, and may neither express disagreement with it publically nor even in the privacy of his own heart, otherwise he sins.

So the question here is, which category does the teaching your friend disagrees with fall into? I’m not an expert in which teachings fall into which categories. So, perhaps someone else who knows better than I do can help you with your list.

Note that the church is saying that all (which includes Catholics in the church) are bound to seek…

That means that the Church understands that Catholics are in a process of understanding and growing (as we all are).

Once understood, they are bound, but this is by choice. It is their right to embrace and keep it. And no one can force this upon someone.

This notion that once the truth is found, that we have the right, by an act of the will to embrace it is fundamental to the Catholic faith and the concept of good and evil.

If someone already possessed knowledge and understanding of ALL the Catholic faith and agreed with everything that has been written down and lived by all the faith by choice, that person would be very close to God indeed.

For the rest of us, it is a work in progress. I guess that is why we need the church to help us. I know I do. That is why I go every Sunday and listen and read the Saints, etc.

Too bad that some folks think they have to have it all perfect first and then miss out on the process of really learning the truth.

" That is what many of us try to do. For myself, I know that all things must trace back to the two great commandments of Love for we are told by Jesus that everything else is built on these two. "

James, yes that is the way to go. If we are not cultivating more love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness and self control along with embracing the beatitudes (etc) then all the arguments about doctrine and being the “one true church” are worthless. I believe clanging bells is how it is described.

I bet we could have a long discussion on a lot of things. Thanks for your reply. I think ideals are great but when they are burdens laid on people’s backs that are too heavy to carry they are no longer ideals but laws made up by pharisees.

Which one did THEY object to?

The passage you reference is 1 Co 13:1-13
1If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3*If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing…

I bet we could have a long discussion on a lot of things. Thanks for your reply. I think ideals are great but when they are burdens laid on people’s backs that are too heavy to carry they are no longer ideals but laws made up by pharisees.

An ideal is never a “burden”. It is a goal. We may or may not be able to reach that goal, but it remains the goal and not a burden. What CAN be a burden is a particular discipline that is (presumably) designed to help us toward the desired goal. In such cases the discipline must be privately evaluated (with the help of prayer and our confessor) relative to it’s benefits in our particular case. The discipline can still be highly desirable and useful to many so we should never publicly denigrate it. Mercy and love simply dictate that for a given individual, this is not the way to go at present.

That is my take on it.


A person may become Catholic and not believe ANY of these.

The Doctrine of the Catholic Church maintains that we are saved by the Grace of Christian Baptism, and by nothing else. The Church also teaches that “Baptism is the Sacrament of Faith.” Most Catholics are Baptized as infants, and the Faith of their Christian Baptism is imparted by their parents, their godparents, and the Catholic Community at large, all of whom profess the basic tenets of the Apostles’ Creed.

In the case of an adult convert (to whom your question seems to apply), personal faith is required - it cannot be imparted. Of course, this is generally implied by the very fact that an adult seeks Christian Baptism in the first place.

Faith is not the same as belief. We (as adult converts) need only have faith in the salvific Grace of our Christian Baptism. We don’t need to believe ANYTHING else.

OK, now my standard disclaimer (which really cheeses off some members of the Forum):
A person may remain a faithful Catholic (and not incur any sin whatsoever) while disbelieving any (or all) Catholic doctrines, provided that s/he:
[LIST]*]Recognizes that his/her disbelief is a personal fault that should be corrected
*]Makes a diligent, ongoing, and good-faith effort to correct this fault
*]Does not teach (by word or action) his disbelief as an alternative to authentic Catholic teaching.[/LIST]
These same conditions apply to a Catholic convert. I was that guy - I disbelieved Assumption and was on the fence about Immaculate Conception when I was received into the Church. I have since firmly reconciled myself to both doctrines.

The Filioque is not required, in fact, as a Ruthenian Catholic, we don’t have it in the Creed.

The Rosary is a private devotion and is not required.

I have a question, what objection could someone have about the Just War principal, unless they completely misunderstand it?

Complete understanding of Catholic doctrine is not required as a condition of salvation. So somebody can be completely wrong about this, and yet be saved.

We must as Catholics:1) adhere with submission of will and intellect to the teachings which either the Roman Pontiff or the College of Bishops enunciate when they exercise their authentic Magisterium, even if they do not intend to proclaim these teachings by a definitive act, and

  1. firmly accept and hold each and everything definitively proposed by the Church regarding teaching on faith and morals.

Dave, the Just War principal does not have to do with salvation.
I am trying to understand what objection could the OP might have about the Just War principal and I would like the answer from the OP. Thank you.

P.S. I’m thinking that the objection may be due to having a complete misunderstanding of the principal of Just War. .

I’m not exactly sure how the OP understands the “just war” principle, but my answer was intended to apply to whatever “teaching” the Church might advance. I realize that the “just war” principle is a theological opinion (mainly espoused by St. Thomas Aquinas) and is therefore is not even a doctrine of the Church. But, as a Saint and Doctor (THE Doctor) of the Church, Catholics are not exactly at liberty to publically dispute the teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas without good reason. We cannot simply say that “just war” is wrong because St. Thomas Aquinas was an idiot, or some such thing.

As a Saint and Doctor, the teachings of Aquinas occupy a (fairly high) place in the hierarchy of authority as espoused by Dr. Ludwig Ott. Even the Magesterium of the Church was compelled to table the teaching of Immaculate Conception (at Trent) until She could (centuries later) answer the philosophical questions raised by Aquinas. And these questions are specifically answered in the Church’s (eventual) teaching.

But, as I said, my answer is intended to be general in nature. Just War is one idea that may not exactly be a doctrine of the Church, but could be considered (to some extent) a teaching of the Church. It is not AS binding as doctrine, but we are not free to simply dismiss it because it is not doctrine.

But, as you say, it is good to understand what the idea really means (and what it does not mean).

In my opinion, in holding onto this teaching, the Church has affirmed its teaching authority, and the respect I have for it.

So, since individual opinions can clearly clash, what assurance do we have of truth? Either the Church has, and has always had, true teaching authority, or it never did. So, to the question of Church authority, the question will always be reduced to a simple few: did Jesus give it, did Jesus have the authority to give it, did Jesus offer assurance that it was good forever, and is Jesus always good to His word? If the answer to any of these is no, then the Church never had it. End of story.

sailor28 #32
I dissent on the church’s teaching regarding contraception. In holding onto this teaching the church has in many ways lost its teaching authority and respect. I do look to the church for guidance and direction but can not in good conscience obey everything the Magisterium says. Especially in regards to this teaching.

Pick and choose “Catholics” need to listen to Christ Himself: “if he refuses to hear even the Church let him be like the heathen and a publican.” (Mt 18:17). Even theologians have no authority to dissent from any teaching, and thus no real Catholics will try to place themselves above the Magisterium.


  1. Since conscience is not a god, but a judgment of the practical reason as Msgr Cormac P Burke (Law and Dissent, 1985) points out, "for the Catholic, there is never a conflict between the authority of the Church and conscience, because belief that Christ has given His Church authority to teach without error is part of his conscience, freely accepted. According to Canon 205, Catholics are those in full communion with the Church through the bonds of profession of faith, the sacraments and ecclesiastical governance.

"If one holds a personal opinion that a particular course of action seems licit – contrary to the Church’s teaching – he has a conflict within his own conscience. This is doubt or rejection of the divine guarantees of the certainty of the truths already present in his mind, to accommodate a contrary opinion. We now have a house divided against itself.

"He cannot escape the conclusion that his contrary opinion must be mistaken, as he would be acknowledging the accepted fact of the fallibility of conscience – it does not make truth. He then has to see where he has been mistaken, to reflect more deeply on the arguments for the Church’s teaching. If he feels that he is not mistaken, then he must conclude that Christ’s Church is mistaken and naturally his faith in Christ and His Church has started to collapse.

“He has no grounds then to believe in any truths – the sacraments (especially the Eucharist), or in Her worship or any other aspect of Her life. Such a Catholic needs the counsel of a faithful priest.”

Thus no one can in good conscience deny Christ’s authority as taught by His Magisterium in dogma or doctrine. That mandate from Christ means that those that do have tarnished their Catholicity and lost the respect of real Catholics.

  1. The reality is that the infallible teaching was clear in Casti Connubii, 1930, from Pius XI, after the Anglican denomination at the Lambeth Conference had scuttled the unanimity up to then of the Protestant consensus against contraception.

The majority of bishops and cardinals who were part of the Birth Control Commision also disagree with this teaching !!!

The reason for the Commission was only to examine the effects of the “Pill”.

“It is often said that Paul VI was himself in doubt about the doctrinal point at issue for some time and took a long while to make up his mind. However, Fr. Ermenigildo Lio told the present writer that the Pope assured him personally, at around the time *Humanae Vitae *was issued, that he had never at any stage been in doubt about the intrinsic evil of contraception. **The long time lapse was due only to the need to ponder carefully the precise manner in which this truth - which had already been authoritatively settled by Pius XI in Casti Connubii (1930) - could best be reaffirmed.”
See: Fr Brian Harrison, O.S., *Humanae Vitae And Infallibity *at

Not even a bishop or cardinal may dissent from doctrine in good faith.

I don’t understand what objection someone could have to Just War principal. Could you define what exactly your objection to the Just War principal?
Also, just to avoid confusion, what do you think the Just War principal is?

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