Doctrine v. Dogma


What is the difference between doctrine and dogma?



Hey Cleo,

I came across this the other day when wondering the same thing:

(From THIS ROCK Magazine):

"Before trying to defend dogma, we should know what it is and is not. There should be a solid understanding of two terms: doctrine and dogma. While sometimes used interchangeably they are not, strictly speaking, identical. Doctrine is Church teaching in all of its forms. It can refer to the whole of revelation or the deposit of faith. The word dogma comes from the Greek word meaning “to seem.” A dogma is a doctrine that has been expressly taught by the magisterium––either by conciliar or papal definition––to have been divinely revealed and contained in the Word of God, therefore requiring the belief of all Catholics.

"The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “The Church’s magisterium exercises the authority it holds from Christ to the fullest extent when it defines dogmas, that is, when it proposes truths contained in divine Revelation or also when it proposes in a definitive way truths having a necessary connection with them” (88). All dogma is doctrine, but not all doctrine is dogma.

“Stated in a more general fashion, dogmas are infallible statements of truth given by the Church to guide the faithful in the Christian life. “There is an organic connection between our spiritual life and the dogmas,” the Catechism explains. “Dogmas are lights along the path of faith; they illuminate it and make it secure. Conversely, if our life is upright, our intellect and heart will be open to welcome the light shed by the dogmas of faith” (89).”

-God bless


By golly, i just learned something today…I can go to bed now!

I often wondered, but never dug far enough to find out.

Thanks for the info!


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