Proof the Catholic Church is the true Church?


#1

I’m Protestant, but thinking of converting to Catholicism. However, there are some things that bother me, and most of all is the history of doctrines changing over time. For example, pre-Vatican II, the Church was against religious liberty, but now it’s for it. And there’s also the whole thing about the death penalty as well, as well as head coverings…

How can the church’s teachings be infallible if they keep on changing?


#2

I am glad you asked:


#3

I can’t give you a very intelligent answer but I had the same concern and what I realized was the church didn’t change dogma that has been deemed infallible. Head coverings, fasting on lent etc are disciplines which can be changed. Teachings like the Assumption will never be changed.

I hope someone can elaborate on this. Basically the short answer is that there’s a difference between dogma and stuff which isn’t. The Church changed the latter. If I’m not wrong, lol.


#4

http://jimmyakin.com/dogma-doctrine-and-theology-what-are-they


#5

Certain teachings, like The Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, The Holy Trinity, The Immaculate Conception, that the Pope is the successor to St. Peter, that every Bishop in the Church can be traced back to Jesus’s Disciples (Apostolic Succession) and many other doctrines are considered core teachings—these are considered absolutely settled Dogma and essential to the Catholic Faith.

Some things are not essentials of the Faith. For example, Priestly Celibacy is a discipline, not a Dogma and can be changed without changing any of the core teachings of the Catholic Church. Priests were not always required to be celibate. There are a minority of Latin Rite Priests that are married (Usually these were High Church Protestant Ministers who converted and became Priests). In Catholicism, there are actually 24 Churches—the Roman Catholic Church being by far the largest. But there are Eastern Rite Catholic Churches that have their own Rites. In many of these Churches, Priests can be married (I am pretty sure in all of these Churches they cannot get married after they are Ordained though, much like the Eastern Orthodox Priests)


#6

Yes. Very good question.


#7

Some things can be changed and some things can’t be changed. Depends on what it is that is being considered to be changed.

See the links I posted above in a previous response.


#8

No infallible teachings have been changed. There are only a handful of teachings of the church that are infallible. Other things can be changed over time as more research and education go into them, or when something needs to be clarified. The teaching on the death penalty has simply been further developed. As a cradle catholic, I honestly have no idea where your idea about the church being against religious liberty pre-vatican II comes from.


#9

The dogmas taught by the Catholic Church are infallibly true, but not all teachings are dogma.

The Perpetual Virginity of Mary is dogma. It can’t be changed.
“No meat on Friday” is just a rule. It can be modified and exceptions made, and the Church could abolish it altogether.


#10

We are required to assent to dogma (infallible teachings which cannot error)and also required to assent to non-infallible teachings (which may have a very small possibility of error.) Then there are disciplines which we are obliged to give obedience to but disciplines can change.

More about infallible teachings:


#11

I would say there is more than a handful.


#12

most of all is the history of doctrines changing over time.

The Catholic Church simply doesn’t have a “history of doctrines changing over time,” if by changing you mean contradiction.

As Newman himself intimated, doctrine of a social or political character does not follow exactly the same course of development as pure dogma. It is not simply spun out of the original deposit of faith, but emerges with a certain irregularity according to the vicissitudes of history.


#13

There is no contradiction in doctrine in the death penalty or religious liberty.

Head coverings is a discipline and can change. Woman can still prudently cover their heads.


#14

Well since the Church hasn’t compiled a list of infallible teachings…


#15

Yea but even a teaching like the evil of abortion is infallible. From the time of the apostles throughout the whole history of the Church up to now…ecumenical councils, encyclicals, has declared abortion as intrinsically evil.


#16

It’s a common misconception in Catholic circles that these 5 points are accepted as fact. It is actually a Catholic belief of why Catholicism is “the one true Church”. But thats kind of where that ends.


#17

Because our blessed mother has only appeared to Catholics? Correct me if I’m wrong please.


#18

Do you have a list? I am sure many more would like to see it!


#19

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