Is the ban on contraception a doctrine or a dogma?
Is the ban on murder and abortion a dogma?
I understand that a doctrine is a teaching of the Church, but a dogma is a defined teaching. I still kind of dont get this, so can anyone provide some examples of doctrines that are not dogmas please.
I would consider the Church’s teaching on contraception to be part of the Deposit of Faith or infallible by default because it is very clear that there are for sure times when the entirety of the bishops taught unitedly on the issue with certitude. It has not been declared infallible ex cathedra though by the Pope, but its binding on Catholics either way.
The doctrine against contraceptives is based on dogmas of the Catholic Church, so to deny the authenticity of its teaching even though its not dogmatically defined requires the person to deny dogmatic teachings of the Catholic Church.
So if it is doctrine, not dogma…as per the definitions earlier on the thread of both…does that mean the ruling on it can be changed by a pope or council if they choose to? The doctrine on it can be altered?
The confusion and misunderstanding above can deprive many readers and friends of the real teaching of Christ through His Church, and we all have a grave obligation to offer the truth and re-evangelise.
The question of doctrine and dogma:
From Vatican I (Pastor Aeternus), for infallibility to be exercised the Pope must teach
(a) ex cathedra (from the Chair of Peter), that is as Shepherd and Teacher of all Christians,
(b) speaking with Peter’s apostolic authority to the whole Church,
© defining a doctrine of faith and morals.
So the Pope’s ‘ex cathedra’ definitions may be either of revealed dogma, to be believed with divine faith, or of other truths necessary for guarding and expounding revealed truth. Vatican Council II and the post-conciliar Magisterium have explicitly affirmed that both ecclesial and papal infallibility extend to the secondary doctrinal truths necessary for guarding and expounding revelation. Thus *Humanae Vitae *(Encyclical) against contraception, and *Ordinatio Sacerdotalis *(Apostolic Epistle) on male-only priests, contain infallible doctrinal definitions, to remove all doubt.
Vatican II (Lumen Gentium, 25) reaffirms this teaching: “The Roman Pontiff, head of the college of bishops, enjoys this infallibility in virtue of his office, when, as supreme pastor and teacher of all the faithful – who confirms his brethren in the faith (cf. Lk 22:32) – he proclaims in an absolute decision a doctrine pertaining to faith or morals.”
Thus, no dogma has to be affirmed, nor anyone anathematized, nor the word “define” or “definition” be used for an infallible papal teaching – only that the Pope is handing down a certain, decisive judgment that a point of doctrine on faith or morals is true and its contrary false.
The three levels of teaching are:
**1) Dogma **– infallible (Canon #750.1) to be believed with the assent of divine and Catholic faith.
2) Doctrine – infallible (Canon #750.2) requires the assent of ecclesial faith, to be “firmly embraced and held”.
3) Doctrine – non-definitive (non-infallible) and require intellectual assent (“loyal submission of the will and intellect”, Vatican II, Lumen Gentium 25), not an assent of faith.
Vatican II, reiterated the teaching of Vatican I on papal infallibility, and its documents are readily available [from the EWTN Library (http://www.ewtn.com/vlibrary/search.asp, or the Vatican Library) for anyone with the will to know what Christ’s Church is teaching, like most of the documents of Vatican I, and the papal documents before and since Vatican II.
Also, through Google, you can easily access Vatican documents especially *Pastor Aeternus *of Vatican I, and *Lumen Gentium *of Vatican II.