Help Me Refute This Book

I couldn’t find a forum specifically for this type of thing, but this was the closest thing I found.

Please give me historical citations for why this book is wrong. I’m arguing with a friend and he wants historical proof for why it’s wrong.

In the example about slavery it seems that they are equating not speaking on it with affirming it. Where are the documents that the Catholic Church advocated slavery?

So just because they came out strongly against it I the 19th century does not Meagan they changed from affirmation to condemnation

One thing I notice about this article is that there is no evidence for its claim about Catholics making up doctrines and projecting them back on the New Testament. It’s just assertion. I’ve noticed this about your typical self-satisfied secularist, they like to assert things without any attempt to substantiate what they’re saying with argument or evidence, and then they expect you to refute them. It’s lazy thinking and you should call it out before the discussion moves forward.

Here’s an article that would help, in fact it specifically refutes this book:

The review uses the word doctrine for various items which are not doctrines.

In my humble opinion, the first thing that has to happen is a clarification of Catholic terminology which is essential in any discussion involving “change”.

The article’s author, Peter Steinfels is all over the place with “church law”, “legitimate and illegitimate development in doctrine”, “well-founded change”, “language of the Mass,” and “adaptation to new knowledge or circumstances,” etc., etc.

As for Author John T. Noonan, Jr., another link to this same article gives the complete title for the book in a sidebar.

The Development of Catholic Moral Teaching

See thread “A Church That Can and Cannot Change” in the Sacred Scripture Forum.

It is possible, given the title, that “moral teaching” refers to something a tad different from the “Dogma” in article’s title and “doctrine” in the text, that is, when those two words are used properly when referring to how the visible Catholic Church operates on planet earth.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit