Traditional Church Teaching Can Never Contradict Itself

The Catholic Church will never change her irreversible dogma.

The pope's cathedra in the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome
The pope's cathedra in the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome (photo: Photo credit: ‘Tango7174’, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

The Catechism of the Catholic Church (94-100) says:

  • Thanks to the assistance of the Holy Spirit, the understanding of both the realities and the words of the heritage of faith is able to grow in the life of the Church…
  • What Christ entrusted to the apostles, they in turn handed on by their preaching and writing, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, to all generations, until Christ returns in glory.
  • “Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture make up a single sacred deposit of the Word of God” in which, as in a mirror, the pilgrim Church contemplates God, the source of all her riches.
  • “The Church, in her doctrine, life and worship, perpetuates and transmits to every generation all that she herself is, all that she believes.”
  • Thanks to its supernatural sense of faith, the People of God as a whole never ceases to welcome, to penetrate more deeply and to live more fully from the gift of divine Revelation.
  • The task of interpreting the Word of God authentically has been entrusted solely to the Magisterium of the Church, that is, to the Pope and to the bishops in communion with him. 

So will this timeless teaching, entrusted solely to the Magisterium of the Church, be changed someday? Will we soon have abortion on demand, forced veganism and married women priests?

Nope. Not gonna happen. Neither the pope nor any individual Christian has the right to change God's law. Though some of the external expressions of our faith have changed over the millennia, our core beliefs have never changed. At best, they were merely refined as in the case of the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception. And when they are thusly refined, they must pass the litmus test of having been believed at all times and in all places.

Further, if things were to change, how can we justify any aspect of God's law? If things were to change, how do iconoclasts justify the fact that the Catholic Church has produced billions of holy souls? How do iconoclasts justify the fact that they can't name a single individual who has been brought to great holiness using the very tortuous (…and torturous) theology they hope to impose on the rest of us?

How do iconoclasts justify the fact that there are countless Protestant groups, which more often than not, probably agree with many of their own beliefs? But these groups are dying out and many of those lost souls ultimately come back to the Catholic Church.

But let's look at this question in a different way―if the Catholic Church changes as they had hoped, what will happen to those of us who are orthodox in our theology? Where shall we go? Shall we form a “remnant” Church and thus be left alone? Hardly! The iconoclasts would simply hunt us down and whine until they got their way once again.

That's the problem with extremists―they're never extremist enough.

It'll be a bright, sun-shiny day in the Void before the Catholic Church changes irreversible dogma. Consider those who've tried to change us in the past 2000 years: Hitler, Stalin, Lenin, Trotsky, Pol Pot, Mao, Tito, Mussolini, Che Guevara, Ho Chi Minh, Deng Xiaoping, Plutarco Elías Calles, Kim Il-sung, Nicolai Ceausescu, Slobodan Milošević, Ataturk, Napoleon, Mohammad, Tamerlane, Madalyn Murray O'Hair, Genghis Khan, Attila the Hun, Caligula, Nero and Diocletian… among others. The world's worst monsters tried to destroy us. Now they and their minions and their narcissistic nightmares are gone—but we remain.

Jesus assures us that not even the Gates of Hell will conquer us. (Mat 16:18) Those who think they can force the Catholic Church to change to meet their standards are doomed to be relegated to the dustbins of history just like so many before them.

a young parishioner prays inside St. Thomas Catholic Church in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Church Membership Falls Below 50% (April 17)

America’s political divide grew a little wider this week with the announcement by leading Democrats in the House and Senate that they were introducing a bill to pack the Supreme Court by adding four more Justices. This week on Register Radio we talk to Register legal analyst Andrea Picciotti-Bayer about the implications for the high court and American culture. And then, church membership in the U.S. fell below 50% for the first time ever. What are the factors in play, and what does it mean for the Church going forward? We are joined by Register writer Jonathan Liedl.