Tag Archives: dogma

The promise made by Christ: error won’t prevail

I read a recent post by my friend and fellow blogger Webster Bull’s article “Richard III and the Contemporaneity of Christ” on the Il Sussidiario (the post was first published on Bull’s blog, Witness, a few weeks ago). Webster asks a great question: how do we know the Church has gotten Christ correct? That is, do we have confidence that the Church hasn’t given the faithful a wrong teaching about the person of Jesus and the Gospel?

Well the Church relies on use of natural reason and the coherence of Divine Revelation to authentically pass on knowledge of God’s plan of salvation. Theologians, priests, catechists and the like don’t define the tenets of the Faith; we hear the sound teaching of saints like Augustine, Bonaventure, Aquinas, Ratzinger, but they are not the ones who define what is to believed. Only the Church through the communio that exists between sacred Scripture, Tradition and the Magisterium, gives what is to be believed and how to live the Christian life. In divine revelation, the Lord told us, actually He promised us, that the Holy Spirit will preserve all that He (Jesus) preached and the historical reality we know as the Church: the gates of hell will not prevail against the Church, that is, error will not destroy the Truth. This historical reality, this guided companionship, this sacrament, this icon is what is known as the Church. So what was truth in the 1st century is also true (with some development since the first days) in the 21st. Hence, the contemporaneity of Christ. Christ is not a past event, He is a present reality. This theological datum is expressed in the Plus, we Catholics believe that one piece of Scripture interprets another, and all of Scripture speaks of Christ and the plan of salvation; the same is true for the dogma of the faith.

In one of his letters, Saint Jerome said that he follows no one but Christ and those in communion with Him, that is, with the chair of Peter. So, I don’t think it is possible for the Church to teach anything but the truth of Christ that is free from ideology. But we also need to use our reason –in light of magisterial teaching– to determine if error could be taught by some theologian because we know that some theologians are their own magisterium and wedded to their opinion alone when it comes to dogma or doctrine.

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Archbishop Dolan on 60 Minutes

TM Dolan1.jpg60 Minutes aired Morely Safer’s interview with Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan tonight. Watch Safer on Dolan.

This is a profile of a man who is interesting and does interesting things. He’s affable, joyable, personable, cigar smoking with an eloquent defense of Catholic dogma and belief.

If you want to know more about what the “American Pope” thinks gay marriage, politics, etc, watch 60 Minutes Overtime.
Morely Safer comes at the interview with what I and others will call a secular, modernist viewpoint and is dismissive of the Archbishop without objectivity nor does he evoke from the Archbishop a clarity of thought. Safer, 79, freely admits that as a man and as a Jewish he wants to know more because “these type of men” are good company. Good. I agree. But I had hoped that Safer would have done a better job getting at substantive theological and philosophical foundations of the Catholic Church.
60 Minutes opened a few interesting doors into the person and ministry of the Archbishop of NY. But the report also veered into sentimentality that is thin as gruel. One does not have to sell church! Clear Catholic teaching is not based on polls and trends. Truth stands on its own two feet.

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About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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