Question about "journeying" church

Pope Francis has said that the Church is a “journeying” church. I have also heard that the Truth continues to be unfolded over time.

If this is true, does it make it possible that the Church has taught error previously and must correct itself later, as the Truth continues to be unfolded?

Doctrine never stops developing (growing).

That’s not the same as changing. Doctrine never fundamentally changes. You are the same person that you were as a baby (you are certainly not a different person). You have grown (developed). You have changed in outward appearance, but you are fundamentally the same person.

Our understanding of doctrine increases over time. It’s like math - we begin with arithmetic and move on to algebra. Everything we knew about math (arithmetic) is still true, but we understand math more fully (but not yet as fully as we could). We go on to trig and calculus and beyond, but everything we learned before remains true and unchanged.

Math is still developing, and will probably never stop developing. But math doesn’t change. One plus one will always equal two. The square root of two will always be irrational. Nobody will ever come along and say, “opps - we got that whole square root thing wrong.”

It’s the same for doctrine.

just wanted to say that I love this analogy.

to add on to that. 500 years ago, we hadn’t discovered most of the periodic table of elements, now we have. and we might discover new things in the future. they may yet be more truth revealed from god

Thanks. I majored in math in college, so it’s near and dear to my heart.

to add on to that. 500 years ago, we hadn’t discovered most of the periodic table of elements, now we have. and we might discover new things in the future. they may yet be more truth revealed from god

FWIW, we haven’t even discovered every element on the periodic table. There are elements so rare (francium (87), astatine (85)) that they have never been found naturally, and it would be practically impossible to find them naturally (there is probably less than a gram of either element at any given time on our planet). But, even before we had the ability to create minute quantities in sophisticated laboratories, we knew these elements existed and we had a pretty good idea of what their properties are.

It’s the periodic table that told us that. There were “holes” at 85 and 87. The atomic number tells us how many protons an element has. We knew that elements with 85 and 87 protons must exist, but we had never observed them.

It annoys me when fiction (such as the film, “Man of Steel”) states that some alien object (like the hull of Superman’s capsule) is made of an unknown element. There are no unknown elements anywhere in the universe. No element can have half of a proton. There can only possibly be one element between iron (26 protons) and nickel (28 protons), and that element is cobalt (27 protons). It’s impossible to have an element between iron and cobalt with 26.5 protons.

Thanks David.

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