Change of Doctrine vs Development of Doctrine


I would like to address the many times change has been confused with development. Some say development has led to doctrines to be different from the original from the Apostles. Protestants accept the doctrine of the Trinity as developed at the Council of Nicae in 325 AD. It was necessary to exclude the Arian heresy. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit share the same divine substance, yet this concept is not explicit in the Bible and neither is the word “Trinity”.

*"By development of doctrine, we mean that some divinely revealed truth has become more deeply understood and more clearly perceived than it had been before. Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, whom Christ promised to send to teach us, the Church comes to see more deeply what she had always believed, and the resulting insights find expression in devotion of the faithful that may have been quite uncommon in the Church’s previous history. The whole spectrum of Christology and Mariology has witnessed such dogmatic progress. Adoration of the Eucharist, therefore, is simply another, though dramatic, example of doctrinal development.

Always implied in such progress is that, objectively, the revealed truth remains constant and unchanged. But through the light of the Holy Spirit, the subjective understanding of the truth becomes more clear, its meaning becomes more certain and its grasp by the believing mind becomes increasingly more firm."*
The History of Eucharistic Adoration
Development of Doctrine in the Catholic Church by Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.


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