What are the minimum MUST beliefs in Catholicism?

Hi, I am engaged in explaining the Catholic Faith a bunch of non-catholic christians on youtube.

I’m curious, what would be the minimum doctrines/teachings one has to believe as a Catholic?

I ask this so I can narrow it down to my non-catholic brethren to which I am explaining my Catholic faith to.

We’re having a discussion tonite and I would like to be able to help them see the doctrines one must believe as a Catholic and show the Biblical truths of them. (I already warned them not every teaching is found in Scripture, but I would show them those that are supported by Scripture).

That way I can clear any confusion and keep it simple.

To keep it simple you can use the Nicene or Apostles creeds but even in these creeds, many Christians interpret the wording differently. :shrug:

Peace!!!

Here is a list of every doctrine that has been defined as true by either a Church Council or an ex cathedra papal pronouncement: theworkofgod.org/dogmas.htm

I’m only 99% convinced myself (as of this very moment) but I think the minimum that one has to believe is:

  1. Peter and the keys (Matthew 16:19 and whether it truly references Isaiah 22:22 and is applicable solely to Peter and not as Peter in representation of all the apostles) - fundamental to the authority of the Church

  2. The real presence in the Eucharist (John 6:53)

  3. Holy Spirit will guide into all truth (John 14:26)

  4. Invisible vs Visible Church (1 Tim 3:15 - church is the pillar and foundation of truth - how can an invisible pillar support the Truth?)

Number 1 and 3, I believe, are the most fundamental. Any church teaching or dogma must inevitably be narrowed down to these things, no matter what it is. If, in the Church, the magisterium and Pope are the God-appointed methods of determining Church teaching and the Holy Spirit is guiding the church into all truth, every other objection is moot.

You must believe all church dogmata…

But doesn’t it all boil down to the infallibility of the Holy Spirit guiding the Church into all truth and the authority of Peter…I’m realizing that IF I believe those two things, I am forced to believe the others, without debate. Any debate on any doctrine can be resolved by holding firm to them, eh? :shrug:

well… as a christians in general, we are all called to believe all the truths of the church no matter what. Not fully submitting does not mean you are granted exemptions. :slight_smile:

Catholics are expected to accept all Church doctrine - everything a Pope or Ecumenical Council has ever taught. Most Catholics are not aware of most of this teaching, and that’s OK; the idea is that they would accept it if made aware.

However, there is no particular doctrine that you must believe as a condition of being Catholic. If you find yourself in a legitimate crisis of faith, you do not incur sin, and you remain a Catholic in good standing, provided:
[LIST]*]You realize your disbelief is a personal flaw that should be corrected.
*]You make a sincere and ongoing effort to correct your disbelief.
*]You do not teach that your disbelief is really the truth.[/LIST]

Lots of Catholics (and even Saints) have experienced a crisis of faith. It’s how you handle it that counts.

The Tridentine Creed is more complete, though not a formal creed like the Nicene or Apostles:

No, that’s not what I meant. I meant that if I believe those two things, I MUST (logically speaking) accept that the Church has the fullness of the Truth and that although I may not fully understand some doctrines, those doctrines must also be accepted as truth, not fabrication, and that in time, in faith, through prayer and study the reasoning behind them, I would come to understand them…make sense!!! Not saying that one can just “not submit” and enter the Church (or remain in the Church).

I’ve struggled with this very concept for several months now and it was finally put to rest in another thread I started a few weeks ago :slight_smile:

I’m afraid that it truly is all or nothing. I am reminded of a bit of advice an older priest gave me. "When debate or reason do not resolve the issue ( ie Trinity ) submit to the teaching AUTHORITY of the Church. For without the authority there is only chaos.

I actually think a better approach would be to discuss the issue of authority with them, because that’s what it really comes down to in the end. Either the Church is guided by God or it’s not. If it is, then if we reject a teaching of the Church, then ultimately we’re rejecting God. If it’s not though, why believe or trust anything the Church teaches at all? See what I mean? It’s really an all or nothing package.

Everything else, all the hard and confusing teachings, falls into place if someone can accept the Church’s authority. That’s really the best way to simplify things.

:thumbsup: And 30-40K Protestant denominations to show for it!

I actually think a better approach would be to discuss the issue of authority with them, because that’s what it really comes down to in the end. Either the Church is guided by God or it’s not. If it is, and we reject a teaching of the Church, then ultimately we’re rejecting God. If it’s not though, why believe or trust anything the Church teaches at all? See what I mean?

Everything else, all the hard and confusing teachings, falls into place if someone can accept the Church’s authority. That’s really the best way to simplify things I think.

I have to agree with the virtually absolutist view. If you want to be a member, accept their interpretation and rules. If not, it’s probably best to look elsewhere or go it alone.

John

I could be wrong, but you may want to look into the perpetual virginity of Mary. I feel like I read once upon a time that this was considered something that Catholics must believe.

The Nicene Creed is a good overall summary of what we believe. The teachings of the Church is what we are aiming to believe in… It comes… I have not been disappointed yet…Truth comes from God, not from ourselves. We don’t lean on our own understandings…

2,000 years of Christians coming into belief of these things since apostolic times… remember this…

You have to believe that Christ passed on the salvific mission to Peter and the apostles, and that they in turn pass it on to their future apostles, and that the gates of Hell will not overcome this Church. That’s it.

There’s a large list of other things that you have to believe, but they’re all derived from that. Once you accept that, the rest is like a line of dominoes. Although in the real world people pick and choose things even within Catholicism, it’s internally inconsistent and incoherent to supposedly believe that the Church is protected by the Holy Spirit and yet not accept her dogmas.

I figured out a long time ago that authority is the bedrock issue. Given that many Protestants and non-Catholics think they believe the Creed(s), they do not use the same definitions we do and so I am not sure that using them would lead to clarity.

The ten commandments.
The sacraments.

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