Doctrinal Development

I’m not sure where else to post this, so I’m going to go with this subforum.

I was very impressed with Newman’s Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine. How do the Eastern Orthodox differ with Catholicism regarding doctrinal development?

What is the perspective of Eastern Catholics on doctrinal development?

Oops – meant to put this in Eastern Catholicism. Also asked a related question on schism and the papacy in Eastern Catholicism subforum but lost the thread or looks like it may have been deleted.

“Doctrinal development” is a genteel way of saying “innovation”. Even the Church of Rome has not accepted Newman’s thesis in principle, even if they have done so in practice, with the first Vatican Council declaring that the bishop of Rome has the power to make infallible declarations ex cathedra, and that it is necessary to hold that the virgin Mary was assumed bodily into heaven, to have a sound catholic faith.

[quote=Indifferently] “Doctrinal development” is a genteel way of saying “innovation”. Even the Church of Rome has not accepted Newman’s thesis in principle, even if they have done so in practice, with the first Vatican Council declaring that the bishop of Rome has the power to make infallible declarations ex cathedra, and that it is necessary to hold that the virgin Mary was assumed bodily into heaven, to have a sound catholic faith.
[/quote]

I do not want to derail this thread but I do want to correct your points that the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Papal infallibility are not recent innovations as you describe them…just for the record.

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But Roman Catholics were free to not believe them for 1900 years.

[quote=Indifferently] Quote:

Originally Posted by concretecamper

I do not want to derail this thread but I do want to correct your points that the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Papal infallibility are not recent innovations as you describe them…just for the record.

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But Roman Catholics were free to not believe them for 1900 years.
[/quote]

Not true. Church Councils are not in the business of creating doctrine. The Church proclaims and, if needed because of the times, clarifies existing Church teaching.

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The earliest references that can be found date to the 2nd and 3rd centuries. How much development happened in those first couple of centuries is hard to know.

ncregister.com/blog/jimmy-akin/the-assumption-of-mary-12-things-to-know-and-share

Yes and no. Remember, an ex cathedra pronouncement or the documents of an Ecumenical Council are of the Extraordinary Magisterium. Once something is nailed down like that, then it’s no longer optional. Makes sense, right?

However, there is also the Ordinary and Universal Magisterium which teaches things that are taught universally by the bishops in union with the pope throughout the world, and these things must be believed, as well.

I suspect that the Immaculate Conception and Assumption fell into the latter category previously and the former category now.

I am curious, when did the obligation of “these things must be believed” first come into practice? Did it come from one of the early counsels? Is it based it based in scripture?

Were people ever forced or compelled to believe any and all particular dogmas before they were baptized? Were they forced to deny their own consciences? Or was that development of doctrine something that took centuries?

Thanks :slight_smile: I have never had that one explained to me , and in all honesty have never thought about it up until now.

Regarding doctrine we don’t accept development. We claim to hold the Faith as it was handed down to us by the Apostles. We do accept the development of non-faith related practices, however. Such as hesychism, the Divine Liturgy (St. John Chrysostom adapted St. Basil’s liturgy whom I believe adapted St. James’ liturgy. That this is happening hundreds of years later isn’t an issue for us) and the like.

I would back what Catholic posters are saying regarding Ecumenical Councils - that their job is not to create new doctrine but to confirm what was always believed. This is one reason we have not needed an Ecumenical Council in the East, the need to confirm has not been there (The closest we came was the Synod of Jerusalem which concluded that yes, Calvinism is heretical).

My guess is that some of these doctrines (such as the perpetual virginity or the assumption of Mary) were believed by the Apostles themselves.

Forced to believe? Well, I suspect that if one did not believe them, one simply did not get baptized by choice or was not allowed to be baptized until the matter was firmly believed.

After some lengthy debates on this subject, I think at least a few EO are willing to admit or acknowledge that doctrine DOES develop as long as it does not ADD to the faith.

That’s probably a difficult line to draw, but at least it’s better than saying that the Orthodox are unwilling to accept ANY new understanding of the faith.

Right the creed was/is mandatory in belief and many of the early church fathers would require those to be baptized to understand this first.

For those seeking baptism into the Church these days, are they asked these questions and whether or not they believe them in good conscience?

I was baptised as a child so when I went thru RCIA I was never asked whether I believed a,b, or c…

Are catechumens asked these questions? Are people turned away and denied baptism if they cant, in good conscience, say they believe various dogmas?

What kind of real honest scrutiny are those who are seeking and asking for baptism put under?

TIA

All questioning aside, is there any indication that they did? Im just trying to find out how far back various doctrines and dogmas can be documented…and when, humans being humans, various thoughts and idea first started their germination.

Thanks … :slight_smile:

Thanks Nine_Two,

I always appreciate the Orthodox view on various subjects.

I had someone once explain a big difference between the East and the West in these terms

The East (Orthodox) are comfortable living the Mystery of the Incarnation.
The West (Catholic) needs to deliniate every bit of this and that of the Mystery…

There is something very Divine about living the approach that the Orthodox takes…The Catholic very can be something of a mill stone around the neck of it’s adherents…

From Sacred Scripture, that was even happening in the days of Our Lord… :blush:

Do they now have an infallible authority? Or then was this merely an opinion?

:confused:

Someone once told me many things about the Orthodox also. :confused:

That is a GREAT question. :thumbsup:

Who is infallible? Does the institutional Catholic Church declare itself as infallible? When, if ever, does human weakness/ego ever infiltrate teaching? Can a man’s ego, even if he is pope, ever push the Spirit aside?

Does the Spirit always protect the Western Church from error? (I think of Arroyo’s interview with Ratzinger’s interview in these terms)…

In clear conscience I ask these questions. I know the Lord is Lord enough to answer them, but the Lord and His Bride are not one and the same. He is clear about that, too. :slight_smile:

First was the “someone” you spoke to infallible. and if not why should this even be worth the time of day?

How do we apply the above to this fellow?

The someone I spoke to was sincere in their question so the idea of being their infallible doesnt matter…

Does the Church so quickly dismiss someone who is asking a sincere question of conscience?

That would be sad… :frowning:

Does the Church have that hard of a time answering a sincere question?

Gary if you could point me in a direction that I could point this person’s question, it would be appreciated. :slight_smile:

I know they are open to the Lord’s Wisdom and how He would answers their concerns. :slight_smile:

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