The biggest problem today in the Catholic Church is the ignoring by theologians and scholars, even orthodox Catholics, even holy and saintly Catholics, of the leadership of the Popes in matters they don’t understand. This ignoring by even orthodox or “conservative” Catholics in the teachings of the Popes on subjects they don’t understant is why Catholics don’t go to mass, why they don’t practice their faith, why they divorce and remarry and why they are generally ignorant on the basic teachings of God.
Popes Paul VI and John Paul II have taught over and over that Jesus is the center of everything, that Jesus handed down all saving truth in His Gospel. They emphasize this Gospel over and over. Not only is all saving truth contained in this Gospel, and NOT the bible, but they teach the fullness of what God wanted to reveal about Himself is handed down in this Gospel. Notice it is NOT in the bible, but in the Gospel that God has revealed the fullness of truth about Himself. And the apostles were appointed to continue the proclamation of this Gospel, which contains "all saving truth" till the end of time.
The problem today, is even saintly Catholics don’t know what the Popes mean by the word Gospel. They don’t know what the content of this Gospel is. They don’t
what the meaning of the central point of the Gospel is.
They don’t know because Catholic scholars in this country for at least a hundred years have limited the meaning of the word Gospel to the “written words and deeds of Jesus” as the Catholic Encyclopedia falsely taught. Even saintly Father Hardon taught the Gospel was simply the four written Gospels, in his dictionary.
Therefore when the Popes teach that the primary duty of bishops and priests is the proclamation of the Gospel to all, the bishops and priests are lost to that meaning, since they have been trained to learn from theologians and scripture scholars, who teach that the Gospel is primarly the written words and deeds of Jesus in the four gospels.
And since the bible is not clear about any teaching, then everyone’s thinking is not clear, thus confusion.
The only way to understand what the Popes mean by the word “Gospel” is to study how they use the word in their encyclicals and in the documents they authorize, and to totally ignore the Catholic scholars and theologians in this country on this subject, since they are the cause of the problem.
Starting with the present, it is Pope Paul VI’s “Evangelization in the modern world” and continued by Pope John Paul II in his encyclicals and in the General Directory for Catechesis, which He authorized and promoted and in the new Catechism that we can overcome the false idea that the Gospel is primarily what is written.
In all these teachings of the Popes they define how to proclaim the Gospel and the content of the Gospel.
It is clearly evident that by the word Gospel they mean what Jesus taught to the apostles and what these apostles taught and preached. No where do the Popes limit the meaning of the Gospel to primarily what is written. In fact, they teach that the Gospel is contained fully in what the apostles taught and preached and only certain elements of the Gospel were written in the four gospels.
And since no where does the bible claim to be a summary of this Gospel the apostles taught and preached, then we cannot rely on the bible for the answer. Also, the basic reasons Protestants can’t agree on the anything, is because they look for the Gospel that the apostles taught and preached and no where does the bible claim to present it, or even a summary of it.