Purgatory, AAA, and "religious assent"


Could you give me a list of some things you consider to only require religious assent and not faith? I ask because it became clear to me while reading this AAA thread on Purgatory that perhaps I was unclear in this area. Here is the first sentence, which uses the phrase:

The Church’s teaching on purgatory is a doctrine of the Church. It is not an optional belief. All Catholics are to accept this teaching and adhere to it with religious assent (CCC 892).

I was not really expecting to see that phrase at the end of that sentence. If you are unsure what might be meant by “religious assent” please refer to the Vatican II document LG 25, partially quoted here:

  1. Among the principal duties of bishops the preaching of the Gospel occupies an eminent place.(39*) For bishops are preachers of the faith, who lead new disciples to Christ, and they are authentic teachers, that is, teachers endowed with the authority of Christ, who preach to the people committed to them the faith they must believe and put into practice, and by the light of the Holy Spirit illustrate that faith. They bring forth from the treasury of Revelation new things and old,(164) making it bear fruit and vigilantly warding off any errors that threaten their flock.(165) Bishops, teaching in communion with the Roman Pontiff, are to be respected by all as witnesses to divine and Catholic truth. In matters of faith and morals, the bishops speak in the name of Christ and the faithful are to accept their teaching and adhere to it with a religious assent. This religious submission of mind and will must be shown in a special way to the authentic magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, even when he is not speaking ex cathedra; that is, it must be shown in such a way that his supreme magisterium is acknowledged with reverence, the judgments made by him are sincerely adhered to, according to his manifest mind and will. His mind and will in the matter may be known either from the character of the documents, from his frequent repetition of the same doctrine, or from his manner of speaking.



Religious assent, as they have used it is synonymous with “faith”.

There is no difference. I think Peggy Frye’s response is spot on and she documents it very well. Did you read all the links that she gave?

My own studies of this can be found at
Biblical and Jewish Traditional Beliefs About Purgatory


Yes, I have read them. I think you are right that “religious assent” is being used by Peggy Frye as synonymous with “faith” in that sentence. I was taught to view them as different things, so it made me wonder if most people do not view them as separate. I would have called Purgatory a “de fide” type of thing if asked off the cuff, so I was surprised to see it categorized in a lessor category. You are right, she probably does not mean that category to be a lessor category.

But, if there is a lessor category called religious assent, what goes in it? Fix had a nice link, but it didn’t actually give examples for that particular category (it does for other categories). Uh, here is the link he gave in some other thread.


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