faith and morals

how to understand when catholics say that the church has never changed its teachings on faith and morals?

faith, i can see, doctrine and dogma has never really altered too much, only developed

i have a few things abour morals though

for example, popes used to say that nfp was the lesser of 2 evils, compared to long periods of abstinence, now nfp is regularly promoted as proper birth control for legitimte reasons.

popes used to say that women serving at the altar was evil, now altar girls are permitted.

popes used to say that women couldn’t sing in the choir because it was forbidden for them to exercise a role, now it’s fine.

popes spoke out against women wearing pants and shortening skirt lengths, now it seems to be fine.

not going to mass in a headcovering was scandalous, now it’s not required

other activities were considered immoral, gymnastics, public swimming, sports of various kinds, now pretty much everyone does them.

my understanding was these were cultural things or disciplines and can be changed but it seems a bit extreme to go from them being basically evil to no problem. it would also make sense if it was just tradition but it seems to be more than that. previous condamnations always to include some moral aspect of why it shouldn’t be done. any insight would be appreciated.

Church teachings have never been changed. That is how to understand it.

Does God command something that is good or is it good because He commanded it? In other words, is it good for goodness sake rather than an authoritarian order to gain heavenly rewards or done as thanks for something done for you. Most Christians change biblical commands of what is “right” or “good” to fit their present culture. Since Christians will claim Old Testament laws no longer apply, I’ll give 2 New Testament examples. Women no longer remain silent and most no longer shave their head or wear a head covering in church. I realize it sounds trivial but a person died for picking up sticks on the Sabbath. 1 John 2:15 states “Do not love the world or the things in the world” and Romans 12:2 implies restrictions from unnecessary worldly temptations like school dances, parties, tv, movies, extravagant homes, cars, vacations, clothes and dining…yet we are becoming more lax as our culture matures. However, if God’s word is never changing, these laws should be followed today in both thoughts AND actions otherwise it seems believers base some of their morals similar to secularists that is, by cultural inspiration rather than divine inspiration. I would think a theist uses their own innate moral compass to decide if Satan is the evil one and God is the good one rather than by just having faith in a book revealing the answer. I determine if something is “good” based on reality, reason, evidence and empathy rather than a commandment from a deity. I am willing to accept a world in which we create our own meaning and treat one another based on these 4 attributes. We decide what is right and wrong through our own ethical intuitions and others we are in conversations with and to say we need a higher supernatural power with evidential biblical immorality is an insult to our dignity as a human race.

i’m sorry, i don’t think i follow.

ok granted, church teaching themselves perhaps not but whether or not certain things were moral or evil have definitely changed a bit.

I’m agreeing with you to church hypocrisy ( see Matthwe 7:3-5) as Hebrews says Jesus is the same today, yesterday and tomorrow and Malachi 3:6 says God does not change or change His mind depending on the version. If so, then the instructions for woman to be silent in church, shave their heads if they don’t wear head coverings as mentioned in the forged Pauline epistles then they should be followed today.
Or are you following the Pope’s culturally inspired “laws”? It appears the church changes the teachings to conform to our culture to keep parishioners from leaving the church. Sound reasonable?

not true, you see many changes from the beginning of the bible to the end

Teachings has not been altered, just upgraded.

Faith and Morals vrs Customs and Disciplines and “change”

angell1. Here is a mnemonic I have given to others and they have found it helpful.

Think of a “Boombox”.

On the top of that boombox is a switch that has AM FM CD.

Now just think of the FM and CD part. The capitalization of FM and CD are mine so don’t go looking for them in the Catechism (as you won’t find them). They are just a memorizing-help device.

FM and CD

FM stands for Faith and Morals. These are unchanging but the Church may give us deeper penetration of these same teachings over time. That is called “development of doctrine”.

These Faith and Moral teachings never change. Sometimes it is called “The Deposit of Faith” or “Fidei Depositum.” These Faith and Moral teachings came (sometimes explicitly, sometimes in seed form) right from Jesus and His Apostles and are zealously guarded by the Holy Spirit (through the Catholic Church in an order that God has chosen).

An example of a Faith and Moral teaching is the actual bodily Resurrection of Jesus.

CD stands for Customs and Disciplines. Customs and Disciplines MAY and often DO change. These may be for Church governance or our own benefit.

An example of a Customs and Disciplines teaching is the Friday DISCIPLINE (as is evident from the “discipline” in Friday “discipline”).

Catholics in the Latin Rite used to hold that we could have no flesh meat on Fridays. That has now CHANGED (I honestly don’t know about the Eastern Rites). We now MAY abstain from flesh meat on Fridays OR we can substitute what we personally feel is a different disciplinary measure (there are exceptions like Fridays during Lent).

Maybe five years from now it will change again.

Our parish has “changing disciplines” too. Last year the first Mass may have began at 7:30 AM on Sunday at our Parish. This year the first Mass on Sunday might be at 8:00 AM. This is a disciplinary change and everyone has these type of “changes”.

FM - Never change
CD - Can and often DO change over time

Hope this helps you.

The next and related issue is HOW can you tell if these are merely customs and disciplines or faith and morals? Perhaps I will try to tackle that tomorrow or in a few days but a lot of the answer can be found in the Vatican I and Vatican II documents.

I’m not sure of the examples you cite (perhaps you can give quotes and I will try to address those issues as well). Remember to take actual quotes in an official capacity–not merely what some theologian might say about what he/she says the Pope thinks. You can give yourself some background by beginning at CCC 74 and reading on in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

God bless.

Cathoholic

Then the bible has contradictions, thus it is fallible so who knows what to believe. This is why we are left with our own innate morals to decide what is good and bad, right or wrong. We don’t need a deity to know good health, pain free, and life are preferable to poor health, pain and death. We start with these objective morals and then use reality, reason, evidence and empathy to mold our values to determine the consequences. If we referred to the bible for guidance slavery would still be ok as it is never abolished in both the Old and New Testament as well as stoning unruly kids, gays, heretics, rapists and the rape victim if she doesn’t scream loud enough. I’m sure you used your own innate morality to determine Satan is the bad one and God is the Good one instead of putting your faith and reason upon the ancient authors of the bible unless of course God/Jesus/ or the Holy Spirit revealed themselves to you directly.

What if you don’t believe Christ is divine and Satan is a myth created to control behavior through fear? Then what’s?

Then the bible has contradictions, thus it is fallible so who knows what to believe. This is why we are left with our own innate morals to decide what is good and bad, right or wrong. We don’t need a deity to know good health, pain free, and life are preferable to poor health, pain and death. We start with these objective morals and then use reality, reason, evidence and empathy to mold our values to determine the consequences. If we referred to the bible for guidance slavery would still be ok as it is never abolished in both the Old and New Testament as well as stoning unruly kids, gays, heretics, rapists and the rape victim if she doesn’t scream loud enough. I’m sure you used your own innate morality to determine Satan is the bad one and God is the Good one instead of putting your faith and reason upon the ancient authors of the bible unless of course God/Jesus/ or the Holy Spirit revealed themselves to you directly.

What if you don’t believe Christ is divine and Satan is a myth created to control behavior through fear? Then what’s?

Every time you doubt, something I have never done, BTW, pick up a grass straw or a leaf, could we make one by our own knowledge? No. So it is a very logical conclusion to say that God do exist. And if we believe in God we must believe in Satan. But it is very important to understand that we shall not WORSHIP Satan. He do exist, as the evil force, but God are the good and loving force and will win in the end. And how do we know God will win? Love and understanding is always stronger then evil ever can be.

If both good and bad would be a myth or just a good story we would know it by now. There are all evidence that say: God is real. Science can not explain God, but everything do not need a scientific explanation. Some may ask “what evidence” and for a good reason. I do understand that it can be hard to have faith sometimes and even impossible some other times. So what evidence? Do you think a lie would last for 2000 years? People was not stupid then, they saw with their own eyes what Christ did do. They saw that He did die, and keep in mind that those who did witness that where not what we today call Christians. Why would they lie? Behind every lie is a need or goal to not tell the truth. They did not gain anything. If the only people who would have seen Christ die had been his disciples we would have a problem with what really did happen, but those who did see it where Roman soldiers who had no interest to tell “a good story”. And what make the truth even more true is what did happen after the Crucifixion. If it all would have been a lie we would most likely have only The Old Testament and a Jewish faith. But truth will ALWAYS win. It was not a well staged “show”, it was the truth.

Many say that The Bible is “full” of contradictions. And sure, there are a few, but anyone who read The Bible more then once will understand that what may be a “contradiction” is only a small error in translating The Bible. Furthermore, there are NO contradictions in The New Testament. Four Gospels tell the same story, almost word to word. But this is not enough for some people, but there is more. If someone would argue that The Bible and above all The Gospels are fiction there is too many historical events to back up The Gospels. When all these factors are glued together there is all evidence we need. For every “ah, that can’t be true, I don’t believe you” there is two or more passages that will overthrow arguments against The Truth. And you see my friend, what I do right now, writing this answer is the last and most reliable evidence in the whole chain. Me and all others who right now, at this very moment are spreading The Gospels are the evidence. Do you think that I am so stupid and so childish that I would be lying to people about this? Why would I do it? What would I gain? Nothing, absolutely nothing what so ever.

The truth my friend, is what it is, namely the TRUTH. So go back and read The Bible, and if you can, compare it with history-books, maps of Israel as it was 2000 years ago, and you will come, eventually, or right a way to the final conclusion, it must be true. I hope you will find what you look for, and be aware of Satan, He is clever, and smarter then we often think, but Satan who is the night, the very darkness, will face the daylight, and fall as all evil in this world will so have faith also in what you can’t see or argue either way. Faith is to believe in the truth, and God is as true now as He was in the beginning of time.

All the things you listed as having changed are not and never have been part of the Church’s teaching. They are, as explained in posting #8, customs and disciplines, which are subject to change. However that does not mean they are inconsequential. We are bound to do our best to follow the customs and disciplines of the Church when they are in effect. It is similar to deciding which side of the road to drive on. In some countries they drive on the right side, and in some countries they drive on the left. It is a somewhat arbitrary distinction. Yet the consequences of driving on the wrong side of the road can be lethal.

Both. It is our understanding of the nature of God that He is the author of good. There is no higher definition to which God’s goodness can be compared. There are “alternate” definitions made by various people. Hitler thought the extermination of the Jews was a good thing. We now see that his innate idea of good was flawed. And so we do not even trust our own sense of good and evil completely on its own. We depend on what God has shown us through His Church for the most accurate understanding of “good”.

I determine if something is “good” based on reality, reason, evidence and empathy rather than a commandment from a deity. I am willing to accept a world in which we create our own meaning and treat one another based on these 4 attributes. We decide what is right and wrong through our own ethical intuitions and others we are in conversations with and to say we need a higher supernatural power with evidential biblical immorality is an insult to our dignity as a human race.

How does this individualistic and personal interpretation of good and evil preclude the development of someone like Hitler, as mentioned above?

No, it isn’t even factual. There are lots of examples of when the Church’s teaching is contrary to popular culture. Far from conforming to culture, the Church’s teaching is found to be leading culture. One only has to look at the Church’s continued teaching of the evil of abortion, despite the tendency of modern cultures to accommodate it.

This might be more appropriately applied to some protestant churches that subscribe to the concept of Sola Scriptura (only scripture). But the Catholic Church has always taken scripture along with tradition to guide the Church. We understand the bible to be a collection of books written for different purposes for different times. One cannot casually pick out verses here and there and say how they apply. Not without a great deal of study. So the apparent “contradictions” are not so much a problem for a Catholic as you make them out to be. In any case, the evolving field of bible study does not directly impact the unchanging nature of the Church’s teaching on faith and morals, which was your original question.

Do you agree the Vatican is correct in abolishing codom use in AIDS infested countries? I had the experience of watching babies and toddlers suffer and die from AIDS in the late 80’s as a medical student. As far as abortion, God killed pregnant woman in a "global"flood, genocide commands to Joshua and threatened pregnant woman to be ripped open in Hosea 13:16. How does one worship such a being beside having Fear?

When did the Vatican abolish condom use? How could they? Last I check they have no authority to create legislation in any of those countries, nor have they tried.

Given the false accusations made, there is nothing to agree or disagree with.

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