Vatican ONE: Condemns Anyone Challenging Continuity of Church Teaching?


[Fresh from consideration in the “How Is This Papal Bull Infallible” thread:]

The FIRST Vatican Council lists as one of its infallible canons the following:

  1. If anyone says that it is possible that at some time, given the advancement of knowledge, a sense may be assigned to the dogmas propounded by the Church which is different from that which the Church has understood and understands: let him be anathema

I would propose that this clear canon “anathematizes” anyone who would even claim it is possible that Church teaching does not or has not maintained its continuity.

Exhibit A: Is the Second Vatican Council’s teaching on “no salvation outside the Church” continuous with all that came before it?

I would submit that a Catholic must, with the assent of faith, declare that YES, it has to be continuous with all that came before, since Vatican ONE infallibly teaches that no one can say otherwise…

Thoughts or comments? Applications to other examples?



Doctrine develops, it does not change so I see no “challenge”, except perhaps from some of those outside of the Church. :shrug:

Isn’t that what this is all about? Responses to Some Questions Regarding Certain Aspects of the Doctrine on the Church


*]In what areas may a person differ with the Church without being heretical?
*]In areas where differences with Church teaching are considered heretical, what is the range of Church response short of declaring an opinion anathema?
*]What are some examples from history of differences furthering the ‘development’ of Church doctrine short of being declared anathema?[/LIST]
I ask these questions because some Reformers are under the impression that the Church tyrannically suppresses all differences of opinion and that Her motives for doing so are to maintain power. Obviously I don’t agree with this error. What history can people bring to this misperception?


Didn’t the controversies over grace between the Thomists and the Molinists result in theology being developed about such things with neither side being branded as being heretical?


I guess my original question is really focused on trying to see whether this Vatican One Canon teaches what I think it teaches–that is contrary to the Catholic faith for someone to say it’s possible that the Church could or has changed its teaching in a way that conflicts with earlier Catholic teaching,

Now, I know that many Protestants like making this claim, but I was also thinking that it applies to particular factions of Catholics who have concluded for various reasons that today’s Magisterium is not in continuity with “yesterday’s” Magisterium on many issues.

The example I offered deals with what is known as the “Feeneyite” view of "no salvation outside the Church’.

But, these forums are home to some very brilliant readers–so…

Your take?

Does the Canon seem to apply to all those who say the Church “changed its teaching” (meaning in the realm of infallible–chaning what should be “unchangeable”), or not?



The Catholic teaching has not changed and the Feeneyite view is wrong!

What has developed is our understanding of who exactly is a member of the Catholic Church.

In centuries past people would have understood Catholic teaching to infer that that would only mean Formal members.

Just because that was many people’s opinion of what constituted the Catholic Church–Feeney included–does not meant that that is what the Catholic Church dogmatically taught and defined.

So when the CAtholic Church’s teaching DEVELOPED to include Informal members as well as Formal members it was not a CHANGE in Catholic teaching–only a change in what people THOUGHT was Catholic teaching.

You are quite correct–the teaching of the Catholic church developed and is continuous–but what has been dogmatically taught and defined does not change!

Maybe how some without the authority of the Catholic Church’s Magisterium infer what is taught may change but what is REALLY taught never changes!!


I believe that evolution fulfills that criteria. I also think that believe in Evolutionism is NOT compatible with the Catholic faith, and is in fact, heresey.


I found Karl Josef von Hefele’s take on Pius IX’s actions at Vactican 1 to be enlightening.



I don’t think it’s very helpful…



I had hoped not to seem to be trying to hijack your thread. I apologize if I did.

Actually, my post was in response to what Ani Ibi posted. Specifically, the unquestionable instances of tyrannical suppression of differing opinions by Pius IX during Vatican I. She asked for historical sources and I thot, “what better than an eyewitness?”



Frnate–I believe I owe you an apology. I mistook your link for something unfriendly to the Catholic faith.

I am sorry for doing so–I will indeed take a look at this!




I can’t read it. It appears to be an advert to buy Hefele’s book. In any case I started a new thread on the questions I asked.

When has disagreement furthered the development of doctrine without being deemed heretical?


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