Minimum Requirements



Are their ‘minimum requirements’ for being a Catholic? Are we obligated to believe everything taught from the pulpit? Where are we allowed to have honest dissent? Where are we required to have an accordance of belief?




Catholics are required to believe what the Catholic Church teaches on faith and morals. Catholics must give assent to even those dogmas and doctrines which he or she does not understand or has not yet learnt for whatever reason, just because the Magisterium of the Church teaches them. This entails having faith that the Church cannot err – is infallible – on all matters of faith and morals. Any dissention here risks engaging in heresy and sin, and in general shows a lack of faith in the Church’s infallibility, of which we are, again, required to have faith. This is one of the big things which distinguishes Catholics from other Christians.

“From the pulpit,” we are required to believe only insofar as it squares with what the Church teaches. Individual priests are not infallible.

“Honest dissent” does take place, but never regarding what the Magisterium of the Church declares on faith and morals. It refers mostly to particular “events” in society/history, which the pope may have a particular view on but which is outside of the boundaries of the Magisterium. I may sharply disagree with Pope Benedict XVI on whether or not the U.S. should send more troops to Iraq, but I may not disagree with him that Mary is the Queen of Heaven. In the latter case I would not even be disagreeing with Benedict; I would be disagreeing with the Catholic faith, as taught throughout the ages. (The pope, when speaking on the Catholic faith, is just communicating what the Church has always taught.)


This is not directed at you motoeric because I cannot judge your motives for asking, but this question always grates on me.

Why are people always looking for the minimum???:confused:

Are there other equally crucial areas in life besides religion where people are looking just to get away with the minimum and make up the rest as they go along?

Jesus tells us to be perfect as our heavenly Father (that is, God) is perfect. We should shoot for the top and where we fail, God will help us to keep on seeking the goal.


One application…

It was 1854 and Pope Pius IX issued the famous Bull Ineffabilis. Ineffable means sacred, it means divine, it means transcendent. This bull, this document that came out of the Pope is even called ineffabilis deus, God’s ineffable declaration. It says this, quote:

“Mary was preserved by Immaculate Conception when conceived in her mother’s body and was miraculously free from pollution of sin inherited from Adam. She was in soul and body holy, sinless, stainless, undefiled, pure innocence,” end quote…It later continues…"Accordingly by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit through the Pope for the honor of the holy and undivided Trinity for the glory and adornment of the Virgin Mother of God, for the exaltation of the Catholic religion by the authority of Jesus Christ our Lord, of the blessed Apostles, Peter and Paul, and by our own…that is our own blessed Apostles…we declare, pronounce and define that the doctrine which holds the Most Blessed Virgin Mary in the first instance of her conception by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of Original Sin. This is a doctrine revealed by God and therefore to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful,” end quote.

The same Pope, Pius IX, stated how serious an issue it is to reject this dogma. And I quote, “Hence, if anyone shall dare which God forbid to think otherwise than has been defined by us, let him know and understand that he is condemned by his own judgment, that he has suffered shipwreck in the faith, that he has separated from the unity of the Church and that furthermore by his own action he incurs the penalties established by Law if he should dare to express in words or writing or by any other outward means the error he thinks in his heart,” end quote.

Do you agree?


Yes, Absolutely, completely, with my whole heart, and every fiber of my being. I would gladly be put to death to defend the truth of the Immaculate Conception of our Blessed Mother.


This is always my question too… especially when they ask… what do I need to be saved? Like it is some grocery list… what is the least I can do to go to heaven??? Let’s see… Yep I said the sinners prayer, yep I publicly gave my testimony, tithed…check, OK, I’m good to go… I don’t get it either


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