That is to say, is all it says proven fact accepted by Catholics, or, if you are Catholic, can it be challenged or, some of it, completely declined?
It cannot be “challenged or completely declined” because it flows directly from Scripture, Tradition, and the Magisterium. Most statements are carefully referenced and include quotes from the Bible, Church Fathers and Papal encyclicals / Council documents.
Bl. John Paul II referred to it as “a sure norm for teaching the faith”.
Is there any specific fact or passage that you have in mind?
The CCC is a rounding out of Catholic teaching, not the teaching itself. Catholics are to believe all the Church teaches. The CCC merely explains that teaching. It’s why a new CCC is put out as needed–to make the Church’s teachings accessible to new cultures and times. Especially following Vatican II, a new CCC was warranted so people would have a firm grasp of what the Church has always taught in language moderns can understand. So no, the CCC itself isn’t infallible. But we do go by it in simple obedience knowing that it says nothing the Church hasn’t been saying for 2000+ years.
Is there a particular passage you wish to discuss or have clarified?
I am not really sure how you are using the word canon.
The catechism, like all catechisms, is a summary and synthesis of Catholic dogma, doctrine, ecclesial law, and disciplines in a format used for teaching.
The Catechism contains dogma and doctrine, which are infallibly defined, yes.
The Catechism also contains discplinary items, such as those ecclesial laws currently in canon law around fast and abstinence, etc. So, those are changeable, but teach what is currently the discipline.
The Catechism also contains sections on prayer and devotions. In some aspects they may have elements of doctrine or dogma, but are primarily instructive in nature since the catechism is simply a teaching tool.
The bit about Heaven , where it says that going there results in definitive happiness and the satisfaction of our deepest desires. That’s not in the Bible but I wonder if the Catholic Church views that as unrefutable doctrine? I love the idea (thinking about becoming a Catholic)
Some doctrines can be challenged but most of the time it never is because it has been challenged so many times but comes out true. Anything in the CCC that is Dogma can’t be challenged because it is that Dogma that makes us Christian/Catholic.
If you challenge it you still have to obey it. We can’t pick and choose what rules we follow.
Yes, that is “irrefutable doctrine”.
BENEDICTUS DEUS (On the Beatific Vision of God)
Pope Benedict XII
Apostolic Constitution issued in 1336
By this Constitution which is to remain in force for ever, we, with apostolic authority, define the following: According to the general disposition of God, the souls of all the saints who departed from this world before the passion of our Lord Jesus Christ and also of the holy apostles, martyrs, confessors, virgins and other faithful who died after receiving the holy baptism of Christ—provided they were not in need of any purification when they died, or will not be in need of any when they die in the future, or else, if they then needed or will need some purification, after they have been purified after death—and again the souls of children who have been reborn by the same baptism of Christ or will be when baptism is conferred on them, if they die before attaining the use of free will: all these souls, immediately (mox) after death and, in the case of those in need of purification, after the purification mentioned above, since the ascension of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ into heaven, already before they take up their bodies again and before the general judgment, have been, are and will be with Christ in heaven, in the heavenly kingdom and paradise, joined to the company of the holy angels. Since the passion and death of the Lord Jesus Christ, these souls have seen and see the divine essence with an intuitive vision and even face to face, without the mediation of any creature by way of object of vision; rather the divine essence immediately manifests itself to them, plainly, clearly and openly, and in this vision they enjoy the divine essence . Moreover, by this vision and enjoyment the souls of those who have already died are truly blessed and have eternal life and rest. Also the souls of those who will die in the future will see the same divine essence and will enjoy it before the general judgment.
Such a vision and enjoyment of the divine essence do away with the acts of faith and hope in these souls, inasmuch as faith and hope are properly theological virtues. And after such intuitive and face-to-face vision and enjoyment has or will have begun for these souls, the same vision and enjoyment has continued and will continue without any interruption and without end until the last Judgment and from then on forever.
Welcome to the journey to the Church. If we can help you in any way, just let us know.
It is best to read the whole section starting with paragraph 1023 to get a fuller expression of the Church’s thought about heaven and happiness. But yes, what else could it be except the ultimate fulfillment of happiness to be with God who is love, truth, beauty, mercy, joy, etc. for all eternity?
St. Thomas Aquinas, our Angelic Doctor taught this, by stating, "I wish to warn you that in disputations with unbelievers about articles of the Faith, you should not try to prove the Faith by necessary reasons. This would belittle the sublimity of the Faith, whose truth exceeds not only human minds but also those of angels; we believe in them only because they are revealed by God.
Yet whatever come from the Supreme Truth cannot be false, and what is not false cannot be repudiated by any necessary reason. Just as our Faith cannot be proved by necessary reasons, because it exceeds the human mind, so because of its truth it cannot be refuted by any necessary reason. So any Christian disputing about the articles of the Faith should not try to prove the Faith, but defend the Faith. Thus blessed Peter (1 Pet 3:15) did not say: “Always have your proof”, but “your answer ready,” so that reason can show that what the Catholic Faith holds is not false." (De Rationibus Fidei, 2)
Well, may be you do believe Thomas Jennings, but I thought it was still good to place for you and the others to read.
Our deepest desire - whether we acknowledge it or not - is to be with God. That’s been part of Church Tradition ever since St. Augustine’s famous “our hearts are restless” quote, but the idea dates back to Scripture itself; St. Paul alludes to it several times.
And the highest state of happiness is one that can be experienced in Heaven, not on Earth. This is stated as much at the end of the book of Revelation.
The same teaching has been reiterated several times in the Church’s history, in different forms. So, yes, it certainly is something that we (as Catholics) must hold to.
The Bible may not use the same specific words as those used in the Catechism, but the Bible certainly teaches the same thing. It uses the words “eternal life” many times in regards to heaven. Just do a Bible search on the word “eternal”. (Here’s a link to it if you need it. Just scroll down to where the gospels start. vatican.va/archive/ENG0839/KP.HTM )
The Bible speaks of being with God in heaven; seeing Him. (eg. Mt.5:8)
To be with God is to experience joy - the joy of God.
Mt. 25:23 His master said to him, Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master.’
1 John 3:2 Beloved, we are God’s children now; it does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.
And what is he , Jesus, like? Like the Father and the Holy Spirit who are love.
The CCC quotes Scripture to show references for what it teaches, but it draws on more than Scripture for Scripture is a part of Sacred Tradition, which is composed of the writings of the Early Church Fathers and the ordinary teaching of the Church. The Bible is the witness to the Church and its veracity, and vice versa. They go hand-in-hand because both teach the same things.
When does it say that in Revelation?
I’ve always understood the following passage in that way:
And I heard a great voice from the throne, saying: Behold the tabernacle of God with men: and he will dwell with them. And they shall be his people: and God himself with them shall be their God.
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes: and death shall be no more. Nor mourning, nor crying, nor sorrow shall be any more, for the former things are passed away.
(Revelation 21: 3-4)
This is an allusion to:
*And the Lord of hosts shall make unto all people in this mountain, a feast of fat things, a feast of wine, of fat things full of marrow, of wine purified from the lees.
And he shall destroy in this mountain the face of the bond with which all people were tied, and the web that he began over all nations.
He shall cast death down headlong for ever: and the Lord God shall wipe away tears from every face, and the reproach of his people he shall take away from off the whole earth: for the Lord hath spoken it.
(Isaiah 25: 6-8)
And the image of the feast or banquet as an occasion of happiness is found in many other passages, including
*He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love. *
(Song of Solomon 2: 4; I quote the KJV here because the Douay-Rheims has a slightly different translation.)
Of course, I could be reading too much into this…
The Book of Proverbs comes to mind, as well as the rest of the wisdom books of the Old testament. We believe that happiness is the knowledge of God, and knowledge of God is wisdom. He is the Eternal Wisdom. The Word.
Knowledge directs the intellect to understand or apprehend. If we want to conform our wills to be perfected by the divine intellect, we want Wisdom.
Wisdom (of Solomon) Chapter 3. It talks about the souls of the righteous in the Hand of God (heaven)…There they experience peace, love, grace, mercy, safety, no death, no suffering, God eternally watches over them (in other words: definitive happiness and satisfaction of their deepest desires).