[quote="GodHeals, post:12, topic:311813"]
Thank you for your help. Here are my direct questions if there are any short answers! It seems the more I learn about Catholicism, the more I learn nothing is simple : )
What Church writing says scriptures are error free on faith & morals ONLY, not science & history?
We often hear scripture is error free based on faith and morals. I am not sure when in history this teaching or theory came into place. Or has it always been in place?
My guess is that in the early Church the scientific aspect of the scripture might have been taken literal by some of the Church Fathers, but not sure history so much.
God Bless You,
As far as quotes:
Here it will to be out of place to caution the reader against the error about which I warned him in the first book. Let no one think that, because the Psalmist says, He established the earth above the water (Ps 136:6; 24:2), we must use this testimony of Holy Scripture against these people who engage in learned discussion about the weights of the elements. They are not bound by the authority of our Bible, and, ignorant of the sense of these words, they will more readily scorn our sacred books than disavow the knowledge they have acquired by unassailable argument or proved by the evidence of experience.
The statement by the Psalmist can with good reason be understood figuratively.
[St. Augustine of Hippo, *De Genesi ad litteram, 2, 1, 4]
“If it happens that the authority of Sacred Scripture is set in opposition to clear and certain reasoning this must mean that the person who interprets Scripture does not understand it correctly. It is not the meaning of Scripture which is opposed to the truth, but the meaning which he has wanted to give to it. That which is opposed to Scripture is not what is in Scripture but what he has placed there himself, believing that this is what Scripture meant.”
[St. Augustine of Hippo, *Letter 143, 7]
If there were a real proof that the Sun is in the center of the universe, that the Earth is in the third heaven, and that the Sun does not go round the Earth, the Earth round the Sun, then we should have to proceed with great circumspection in explaining passages of Scripture which appear to teach the contrary, and rather admit that we did not understand them than declare an opinion to be false which is proved to be true. But, as for myself, I shall not believe that there are such proofs until they are shown to me. Nor is it a proof that, if the Sun be supposed at the center of the universe and the Earth in the third heaven, everything works out the same as if it were the other way around. In case of doubt we ought not to abandon the interpretation of the sacred text as given by the holy Fathers.
[St. Robert Bellarmine, *Letter from Cardinal Bellarmine to Cardinal Foscarini regarding Galileo's first hearing (1615), 3]
The question of the literary forms of Genesis chs. i-xi is, the Commission declares, a much more obscure and complex one. These literary forms are quite unlike those of classical or modern literature. Hence one cannot deny or affirm the historical character, en bloc, of these chapters, without forcing them into categories to which they not belong. We may concede that they do not contain history in the classical or modern sense, but the state of our knowledge at present is not such as to allow us to give a positive solution to the problems they set. Further study is necessary.
To state simply that these narratives do not contain history as we know it, might easily give the impression that they do not contain history in any sense--whereas they do in fact relate in simple and figurative language adapted to uncultured minds the fundamental truths that underlie the “economy of salvation” and give a popular description of the origins of the human race and the Chosen People.
“Letter of the Pontifical Biblical Commission to Cardinal Suhard, Archbishop of Paris,” 16 January 1948, AAS 40 (1948): 45-47] Denz. 3864
“Since everything asserted by the inspired authors or sacred writers must be held to be asserted by the Holy Spirit, it follows that the books of Scripture must be acknowledged as teaching firmly, faithfully and without error that truth which God wanted put into sacred writings for the sake of our salvation.” [Vatican II, *Dei verbum, #11]
We cannot say: creation or evolution, inasmuch as these two things respond to two different realities. The story of the dust of the earth and the breath of God, which we just heard, does not in fact explain how human persons come to be but rather what they are. It explains their inmost origin and casts light on the project that they are. And, vice versa, the theory of evolution seeks to understand and describe biological developments. But in so doing it cannot explain where the “project” of human persons comes from, nor their inner origin, nor their particular nature. To that extent we are faced here with two complementary--rather than mutually exclusive--realities.
[Cardinal Josef Ratzinger, *In the Beginning: A Catholic Understanding of the Story of Creation and the Fall (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1995), p. 50.