What is a dogmatic constitution?


This was my question that went unanswered in the “Ask an Apologist” forum

The only thing I’ve found so far is this:

see “apostolic constitution” at this website


…which says it’s the highest level authority teaching of a pope and a council.

But, it is dogma?


Not in and of itself. Ony the information in it that meets this definition found in the Catholic Encyclopedia;

But according to a long-standing usage a dogma is now understood to be a truth appertaining to faith or morals, revealed by God, transmitted from the Apostles in the Scriptures or by tradition, and proposed by the Church for the acceptance of the faithful. It might be described briefly as a revealed truth defined by the Church

,would be considered dogma.


The previous post generates more questions than answers.

The basic issue is, why call it “dogmatic” if there is no dogma in it? The other documents of Vatican II were “decrees” and they carried a lot of weight, too.

If there is dogma in it, for example, Dei Verbum, then exactly what is the dogma?..the entire thing? parts of it? what?

The Council and the Pope promulgated Lumen Gentium and Dei Verbum as “dogmatic” and, that, over 40 years ago. So, what did they really mean?

Dei Verbum contains a preliminary explanation in the first paragraphs that it contains “authoritative doctrine.” I’m so confused. Is there “non-authoritative” doctrine? What is “authoritative doctrine”?

This document, Dei Verbum, was the Pope and a general council of the Church making a statement and calling it “dogmatic” which has to be simply the adjectival form of the word dogma, which means it is binding and a matter of faith for all Catholics. …or so it seems.

closed #4

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