it is my understanding that the CCC like any other document from the CDF is a normative document, not an infallible one. Why is it then, where the CCC comes in conflict with other documents it is considered the more authoritive of the two documents, even if the other document is one that is infalible. (the sixth canon of the first council of Constantinople comes to mind)?
I think you need to lay out a lot more detail to get a decent answer.
[quote=But for Grace]it is my understanding that the CCC like any other document from the CDF is a normative document, not an infallible one. Why is it then, where the CCC comes in conflict with other documents it is considered the more authoritive of the two documents, even if the other document is one that is infalible. (the sixth canon of the first council of Constantinople comes to mind)?
I have to agree with Scott. You need to be a bit more specific.
Please tell me how the Catechism contradicts the Sixth Canon of the First Council of Constantinope (this is a link to the whole canon, I have included the first part below) which is…
There are many who are bent on confusing and overturning the good order of the church and so fabricate, out of hatred and a wish to slander, certain accusations against orthodox bishops in charge of churches. Their intention is none other than to blacken priests’ reputations and to stir up trouble among peace- loving laity. For this reason the sacred synod of bishops assembled at Constantinople has decided not to admit accusers without prior examination, and not to allow everyone to bring accusations against church administrators – but with- out excluding everyone. So if someone brings a private (that is a personal) complaint against the bishop on the grounds that he has been defrauded or in some other way unjustly dealt with by him, in the case of this kind of accusation neither the character nor the religion of the accuser will be subject to examination. It is wholly essential both that the bishop should have a clear conscience and that the one who alleges that he has been wronged, whatever his religion may be, should get justice.
sorry, it was late, I was asking more in general why people refer to the CCC over infalible documents. The first Council of Constantinople comes to mind, the second part of the sixth canon, specifically the note on heretics…
(We define “heretics” as those who have been previously banned from the church and also those later anathematised by ourselves: and in addition those who claim to confess a faith that is sound, but who have seceded and hold assemblies in rivalry with the bishops who are in communion with us.)
which compares with the CCC…
In fact, “in this one and only Church of God from its very beginnings there arose certain rifts, which the Apostle strongly censures as damnable. But in subsequent centuries much more serious dissensions appeared and large communities became separated from full communion with the Catholic Church—for which, often enough, men of both sides were to blame.” The ruptures that wound the unity of Christ’s Body—here we must distinguish heresy, apostasy, and schism—do not occur without human sin:
Where there are sins, there are also divisions, schisms, heresies, and disputes. Where there is virtue, however, there also are harmony and unity, from which arise the one heart and one soul of all believers.
"However, one cannot charge with the sin of the separation those who at present are born into these communities [that resulted from such separation] and in them are brought up in the faith of Christ, and the Catholic Church accepts them with respect and affection as brothers . . . . All who have been justified by faith in Baptism are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers in the Lord by the children of the Catholic Church."
"Furthermore, many elements of sanctification and of truth" are found outside the visible confines of the Catholic Church: “the written Word of God; the life of grace; faith, hope, and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit, as well as visible elements.” Christ’s Spirit uses these Churches and ecclesial communities as means of salvation, whose power derives from the fullness of grace and truth that Christ has entrusted to the Catholic Church. All these blessings come from Christ and lead to him, and are in themselves calls to “Catholic unity.”
Claim to hold a faith that is sound but holding assembly in rivalry to the bishops sounds very diffrent than “Christ’s Spirit uses these Churches and ecclesial communities as means of salvation”
But like I said this is just an example.
The 1983 Code of Canon Law contains the authoritative definition of heresy now in effect:
Canon 751 Heresy is the obstinate denial or doubt, after baptism, of a truth which must be believed by divine and catholic faith. Apostasy is the total repudiation of the christian faith. Schism is the withdrawal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or from communion with the members of the Church subject to him.
The canon from Constantinople I hasn’t been in force for quite a while now.
Looking up the footnotes from the CCC will indicate the authoritative sources for a given teaching. For CCC 819, they cite Vatican II:
*]273. Lumen Gentium 8 # 2.
*]274. Unitatis Redintegratio 3 # 2; cf. Lumen Gentium 15.
*]275. Cf. Unitatis Redintegratio 3.
*]276. Cf. Lumen Gentium 8.
Looks to me like the explication of the *Catechism *is a refinement of the statement of Constantinople, not a denial. The distinction between willful personal disobedience and heresy and being born into something is valuable. That is not to say that a heretical teaching is not heretical. Yet someone who holds a heretical teaching in good faith because he has been born to it bears a different level of responsibility and culpability from someone who throws over the truth.
This is typical of Catholic teaching, which attempts to see things and people in their best light rather than to construe them ungenerously.