Does the Catholic Church have 100% of the truth?

Does the Catholic Church have 100% of the truth? The 100% fullness of the truth? I thought we did. I’ve been troubled somewhat by a recent comment here that had me thinking.

Here’s how I’m looking at it, and please clarify or correct me if needed.

The Catholic Church is the Church, and has the whole ‘pie’ so to speak. Now, non-Catholic churches may have some of the truths, or even many of the truths, but it’s only a portion of the pie. They do not have all of the truths together, like we do.

The comment I’m referencing says the *the ‘Church’ encompasses all believers, not just its ‘Catholic wing’. The ‘Church’ is the Body of Christ, it is not the Catholics. * I do not see Catholics as a ‘wing’, but as the one true Church, and other non-Catholic Christians are more of the ‘wings’, to use that person’s word.

I see the Church as being Catholic, and non-Catholic Christians as broken off pieces of the Church. Although they’ve ‘broken off’, we still retain the fullness. They take some truths with them, but not the whole thing. I wish I could paint a better word picture of how it looks in my head!

Am I right, or am I missing some pieces or explanation? Thanks so much. I asked a shorter version of this question in AAA but did not receive any answer. (awhile back)

I do think you’re on the right track with your thought process. The Catholic Church is the one, true Church founded by Jesus, on his Apostles and contains the fullness of Truth. We do believe Truth is found in non-Catholic religions/denominations, but there is only one place where you will find the fullness of that Truth. The Deposit of Faith was entrusted to the Apostles and their successors who have been safeguarding it and teaching it throughout the history of the Church. I hope this helps.

Hmm. My understanding is the Church is the Body
therefore every body else would be wings?

I’ve never heard anyone speak of the Church
as just a parcel, portion or wing except Protestants
in denial.

If the Church has the fullness of truth, why don’t they PREACH it?:confused: Instead of simply exhorting the congregation to “be kind to each other”

I’m not certain any human institution could contain 100% of the Truth.

I think that’s a good way of looking at it, but I would keep in mind that it’s really an analagous way of looking at things. You don’t want to look at it too mechanically.

Jesus is the Truth. That’s why we can say the Catholic Church has the fullness of Truth. I wouldn’t necessarily go around assigning percentage points, though (e.g. Catholics have 100% of the truth, Orthodox have 95% of the truth, Lutherans have 80%, etc., etc.). I think you could get into trouble going that route.

The Catholic Church does not claim to know all truth, but claims to possess the fullness of truth. Fullness = filled to capacity, full.

Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me. (John 14:7)

Jesus is truth incarnate. He fills the one, holy catholic and apostolic Church. Every other Church has less than the fullness. Every other Church has something lacking. Every other Church lacks some truth and therefor lacks some of He who is truth - Jesus Christ.

We call the other Churches denominations. De-nominate means to give up a name or to take another name. All other Churches have given up the name Catholic and have taken a new name. Catholic means universal - the other Churches are no longer universal. They are something other than universal, less than universal.

The Catholic Church is universal. It is not a denomination.


Hilaire Belloc, in his book The Great Heresies, said it best - "There is no such thing as a religion called “Christianity”(more…)

God bless!

I agree with all of the above.

Let’s just pretend for a nanosecond that the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church founded but our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ DIDN’T have the fullness of truth… If that impossiblility were somehow true; the Catholic Church would still have more truth than ANY other Christian community could ever dream of having.

The RCC has the fullness of the truth. While all Church’s may have SOME truth they do not have all.

Like the Sacraments, many have one, some 2 but not all. And so on and so on.

So because a Church has truth, does not mean it has the fullness of the truth.

For some reason or another people don’t want to hear the fulless of the truth, just the truth they choose to accept.

So they scout around for a church to feed their needs. If they can’t find one they also can start their own.

Its called pick and choose the truth that suits you I guess.:shrug:

Probally because people know we have the fullness of truth, that is why we are there, we don’t forget that.

But when in anger etc through daily life we do forget to be kind to eachother:D

Hmmm, we must attend different parishes. :slight_smile: Our priests reference the scripture and Church teachings, in addition to loving each other (which is in Scripture and in Church teachings).

Thankfully, the Church, while filled with humans, is not an earthly institution, but a heavenly one on earth. :slight_smile: Humans might be wrong, but God is not.

Thank you all for your answers and clarification. It sets my heart at ease.

extra ecclesiam nulla salus

but to follow St. Aquinas

We must seek truth wherever it may be found.

That being said, what we must do is incorporate Truths found outside the Church so that we may receive a better, fuller understanding.

Are there truths outside of the Catholic Church, that we do not have? Are they in other churches? Like what? Or does the Church hold all the truths?

I want to make a small clarification. This seems to be expressed in some of the other posts, but just wanted to state it explicitly. While the Church does possess the fullness of the truth, what that means is that the Church professes 100% of the revealed truth. We humans can only know truth to the extent that God has revealed it to us. Therefore, the Church, as the Bride of Christ founded by Jesus upon the rock of St. Peter, and which Jesus promised to lead into all truth and that the gates of hell would not prevail against it, can faithfully and fairly claim to preserve and teach 100% of the truth that has been entrusted to it by God. However, there are many, many elements of truth that God has not seen fit to reveal to us and which remain a mystery.

For example, God has revealed that those who die in friendship with Him, but yet remain in a state of impurity must go through a purification process that involves some type of pain/suffering/loss, and the Church refers to this purification process as “purgatory” (which derives from the Latin word “purgatio” which literally means “cleansing”). However, it has not been revealed to us exactly how this process works (what is involved, how “long” it takes, if there is a discernable time element, as we perceive time, to it at all, etc.), only that it exists. So it is fair to say that the Church possesses the fullness of the truth regarding purgatory, but that is different than saying that the Church proclaims all that there is to know about purgatory. I hope that makes sense.

St. Thomas Aquinas was heavily influenced by Aristotle, Maimonides, and Al Ghazali. (Greek, Jew, Muslim) He found Truths in each of them and incorporated it into the Church

Point being that does the Church have all the Truths? No. We are still discovering them. Is the Church near perfect, closer to having all the Truths than all others? Yes.

I guess, a good answer imo would be that there are partial imperfect seeds of truth found elsewhere that are made perfect when brought into the Church and incorporated, allowed to grow within Her fertile soils.

Thank you very much. That makes great sense to me. Bless you.

You are quite welcome! I’m glad I could be of help to you. God bless.

I am confused by the definition of “The Church”. Are we talking about a body knowledge given to us by God? Or are we talking about the humans who administer the church? At he beginning it sounds like you are talking about a body of knowledge handed to us. Then later is sounds like you are talking about humans by using the verbs teach and preserve. Does this mean “the church” (meaning ordained adminsitrators) have never taught anything incorrectly? At one time it was a heresy to believe the earth revolved arount the sun. Now it is not. At one time it was a serious sin eat meat on any Friday. Now it is not. Yet “the Church” contains 100% truth?

robertmidwest #19
I am confused by the definition of “The Church”.

The dogma and doctrine which She teaches through Her Popes infallibly to the whole Church has already been protected by Christ from error in installing His first Pope as **Christ established His Church **with four promises to St Peter:
“You are Peter and on this rock I will build My Church.” (Mt 16:18)
“The gates of hell will not prevail against it.”(Mt 16:18)
I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of heaven.” ( Mt 16:19)
“Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven.” (Mt 16:19) [Later, also to the Twelve Apostles].

**Sole authority: **
“Strengthen your brethren.” (Lk 22:32)
“Feed My sheep.”(Jn 21:17).

So God the Son, the Christ, has ensured that dogma and doctrine on faith and morals taught to the whole Church in His Name by His Popes magisterially are “bound in heaven” by Himself, and not open to error. Fantasizing won’t help us to know or follow His truth.

The Church is "the pillar and bulwark of the truth” (1 Tim 3:16).

“We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error” (1Jn 4:6).

At one time it was a heresy to believe the earth revolved arount the sun. Now it is not. At one time it was a serious sin eat meat on any Friday. Now it is not. Yet “the Church” contains 100% truth?

The inability to understand what Christ has instituted in the Magisterium is clarified by Fr Harrison.

It is good that attacks on the Magisterium of Christ’s Church should be exposed as Fr Brian Harrison points out at:
“In the case of Rome’s 17th-century insistence on geocentrism, we have a teaching which: (a) was promulgated only in disciplinary documents, not in formally doctrinal ones; (b) was never promulgated directly and personally by any Pope, only indirectly, through the instrumentality of the Vatican Congregations of the Index and the Holy Office; © was endorsed by the papacy for only 141 years (1616-1757); (d) was never greeted with the emphatic and morally unanimous endorsement of the world’s Bishops, only a respectful acquiescence; and (e) never in any case affected the concrete lives and destinies of any more than a handful of professional scientists such as Galileo.”

It was not part of dogma nor doctrine.

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