How does someone determine what exactly is Catholic Dogma?

Is there a particular methodology the Church uses to determine what exactly is Catholic Dogma? I know the Catechism is a great place to start, but what about Dogma that is declared since the Catechism was published? Also, it’s unclear to me whether Papal Bulls are Catholic Dogma or not.

Any help would be appreciated.


Just believe whatever the church tells you today.

Interesting advice from a former Roman Catholic to a practicing Roman Catholic. I interpret this as the need to believe as little children. That is good advice.

But for the sake of curiosity of this adult believer, I am looking for some guidelines on dogmatic determinations to help assist me as to what is to be believed as Dogma. I’m sure there are guidelines, I’m just looking for a bit more clarity when sharing my faith with my family and friends and others who may have questions.

Here’s some links I found (I’ve sometimes, as a convert, had the same dilemma. Priestly celebacy is a discipline, not a dogma, doctrines are dogma? etc. etc.). ( I couldn’t check this out, as I have a mac, and this is a word.doc, and I don’t have word :stuck_out_tongue: ) (pretty much the same as the first site)

hope this helps.

Web Site Provided: 90 The mutual connections between dogmas, and their coherence, can be found in the whole of the Revelation of the mystery of Christ. “In Catholic doctrine there exists an order or hierarchy 234 of truths, since they vary in their relation to the foundation of the Christian faith”

Official Vatican Web Site: 90 The mutual connections between dogmas, and their coherence, can be found in the whole of the Revelation of the mystery of Christ.51 "In Catholic doctrine there exists an order or hierarchy of truths, since they vary in their relation to the foundation of the Christian faith."52

The site gives me the impression that there are 234 dogmas proclaimed. That might be a misprint particularly since I counted 252 separate points in the link and the official Vatican web site doesn’t say 234.

(I know that was written with a negative intent, but)
This probably is a good answer, if it is taken honestly.

Every honest person cannot disagree with the Church, since the Church never changes you just agree with it today, yesterday and since Jesus’s time. Since the Church is perfect has never proclaimed a contradiction, then this is good advice.

It is much more Christian to follow than to determine one’s own personal preference and basically set oneself up as God by creating a Church.

No person has ever left the Catholic Church because of an honest reason or because of personal holiness but because of personal sin. These days usually it is a sexual sin that causes a person to leave but there are some who leave because of pride, greed, worldy desires and demonic influence.

In Christ,

Certain things must be believed with a supernatural faith. Any time a pope or ecumenical councils says you must believe something (or not believe something) or you are cut off from the faith, that is dogma.

Whenever they say it must be held by all the faithful (or not held ) or that certain practices are forbidden or mandated for all Catholics on moral grounds–these teachings are also infalliblie, but they are not considered dogma (rejecting them is the grave–possibly mortal–sin of error, but not of heresy). These are considered necessary for expounding or defending the faith and preventing the faithful from falling into impiety and sin. The most common teachings in this category are those concerning particular sin. For example, even if you don’t believe with a supernatural faith that contraception is a sin, but out of obedience to the Church you neither use it nor encourage it, that is sufficient.

On the other hand, if you obstinately choose not to believe with supernatural faith in transubstantiaton, you are cut off from the Communion of Saints.

An excellent starting place, if you are looking for a scholarly answer to this question, is The Sources of Catholic Dogma by Denzinger.

The last dogma defined was (to the best of my recollection) the Assumption. There have been numerous examples since of infallbile declarations that fall into the second category (that must be held, but are not dogmatic definitions): these include John Paul II’s solemn delcarations concerning the all male priesthood and the immorality of abortion and Pope Paul VI’s declaration concerning the immorality of contraception.

List of Dogmas

That is totally untrue. I left because my conscience is convinced that the claims of many Catholic doctrines are not supported by scripture or history.

Luther did’nt leave the church for any of your reasons.

What happens is that something becomes a widely-held belief through a natural process of talking and thinking and precedent. Then it is challenged, and the Pope or the bishops in conference are forced to make a ruling on it. Occasionally the matter is declared to be something so central to the faith that all Catholics must believe it, in which case it is a dogma. However that is rare. Normally the Pope will say somethign hedged around with qualifications which give support to the idea.

The anti-contraception campaign, for instance is not a dogma, however it is on the way to becoming one. A Catholic is bound to obey the pastoral teaching on this matter, but not to agree with it, nor is he probibited from discussing the merits of it.

The Assumption did not use to be a dogma, but is now. It was very widely beleived for centuries. In the 1950s the Pope decided that it was an essential of the faith. He did not of course “invent” the dogma, he declared an existing belief to be definitely true.

No dogmas have been declared since the catechism was published. However some very weighty statements, but sub-dogmatic, have been made.

You will be the first then to have ever left the Church for an honest holy reason. It is always sin, even if you will not admit it, would you like to discuss it, I will be happy to prove it.
Right now it sounds like pride but lets see…

Lets pick one doctrine and if I can support it from the Bible, will you repent and come back to the Church?
Will you accept my interpretation of the Bible?
If you agree to the two questions I will prove my point.
If not, I can also logically prove every point and show how your rejection of most any dogma amounts to denial of God.

Have you read any of Luthers writings? I would suggest you look up bondage of the will, which is quite evil.

In Christ

btw, I am quite sinful, I am not claiming I am perfect, just that Jesus’s Church is perfect. I honestly would like to talk and if you like feel free to PM me.

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