My name is Matthew, and this is my first post here on CAF. I’m a protestant (Baptist specifically–have mercy!) who has been considering the Catholic faith. I’ve been going through various apologetic issues, and feel like I have a pretty good grasp of Catholic theology and philosophy, but there is one area that is somewhat of a sticky point for me.
The watershed issue to which I am referring is this: “Have dogmas, doctrines, and morality in general of the Catholic church remained the same throughout history, or have they been changed?”
In my studies on this topic so far, I have come across accusations that the Church changed stances on issue in particular–slavery. Councils listed by the author that supported slavery were:
Council of Jena 517 (Of which I can find no reference in my searching)
Toledo IV 633
I’ve read what few articles of Toledo IV I can find, and it seems, on a cursory examination, to be somewhat against slavery at best, and ambivalent at worst.
Anyway, onto the main topic of my question. As far as I can tell, none of these councils are part of the main 21 ecumenical councils. I know something declared by an ecumenical council in which the bishops agree is infallible, but what about these local councils? My point being, even if a local council happened to support an immoral act, would it be infallible doctrine or dogma of the church?
I hope this question makes sense, and I apologize for any typos or mistakes; I am getting ready to leave for University classes and I wrote this in a great hurry.