A "Dogma" is an article of faith which has been revealed by God, and which the Magisterium of the Holy Catholic Church has presented to be believed.
Since there seems to be confusion about what Catholics believe I thought this Lenten season would be a good time for us to review that which we must believe.
The following De Fide statements comprise "Our Catholic Faith without which it is impossible to please God" (The Council of Trent, Session V, explaining the correct interpretation of Hebrews 11: 6). These positive "articles of faith" have the function of fundamental principles which the faithful accepts without discussion as being certain and sure by virtue of the authority of God, Who is absolute truth (Council of the Vatican). They represent the mind of Christ as St. Paul says:
- 1 Cor. 2:16. But we have the mind of Christ.
- Hebrews 13:8. Jesus Christ yesterday, and today: and the same for ever.
Since Our Catholic Faith comes from God, they are not open for debate, and they are not reversible.
The Christian is called to adhere to Christ and His teaching integrally; the unity of faith is the dominant motif of divine revelation on which St. Paul insists energetically, when he writes:
- 1 Cor. 1:10. I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no schisms among you: but that you be perfect in mind and in the same judgement.
There is, then, no place for "pick and choose" in the truths proposed to the Faith of Christians by the Infallible Teaching Church for they are bound in Heaven by God Himself. If something is decreed on earth and is also bound in Heaven, that thing must be the truth. Otherwise, God is no longer the Truth, which is contrary to the Gospel:
- Matthew 16:19. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in Heaven.
The Catholic Church is infallible because it is :
- 1 Tim 3:15. the church of the living God, the pillar and the ground of the truth.
If a baptized person deliberately denies or contradicts a dogma, he or she is guilty of the sin of heresy and automatically becomes subject to the punishment of excommunication. And that also includes ccd teachers, rcia teachers, priests, sisters, bishops, cardinals, and yes, even the Pope.
And bloggers, too!
I. The Unity and Trinity of God
- God, our Creator and Lord, can be known with certainty, by the natural light of reason from created things.
- God's existence is not merely an object of rational knowledge, but also an object of supernatural faith.
- God's Nature is incomprehensible to men.
- The blessed in Heaven possess an immediate intuitive knowledge of the Divine Essence.
- The immediate vision of God transcends the natural power of cognition of the human soul, and is therefore supernatural.
- The soul, for the immediate vision of God, requires the light of glory.
- God's Essence is also incomprehensible to the blessed in Heaven.
- The divine attributes are really identical among themselves and with the Divine Essence.
- God is absolutely perfect.
- God is actually infinite in every perfection.
- God is absolutely simple.
- There is only one God.
- The one God is, in the ontological sense, the true God.
- God possesses an infinite power of cognition.
- God is absolute veracity.
- God is absolutely faithful.
- God is absolute ontological goodness in Himself and in relation to others.
- God is absolute moral goodness or holiness.
- God is absolute benignity.
- God is absolutely immutable.
- God is eternal.
- God is immense or absolutely immeasurable.
- God is everywhere present in created space.
- God's knowledge is infinite.
- God's knowledge is purely and simply actual.
- God's knowledge is subsistent.
- God knows all that is merely possible by the knowledge of simple intelligence.
- God knows all real things in the past, the present and the future.
- By the knowledge of vision, God also foresees the future free acts of rational creatures with infallible certainty.
- God's Divine Will is infinite.
- God loves Himself of necessity, but loves and wills the creation of extra-divine things, on the other hand, with freedom.
- God is almighty.
- God is the Lord of the heavens and of the earth.
- God is infinitely just.
- God is infinitely merciful.
- In God there are three Persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. Each of the three Persons possesses the one (numerical) Divine Essence.
- In God there are two internal divine processions.
- The Divine Persons, not the Divine Nature, are the subject of the internal divine processions (in the active and in the passive sense).
- The Second Divine Person proceeds from the First Divine Person by generation, and therefore is related to Him as Son to Father.
- The Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and from the Son as from a single principle through a single spiration.
- The Holy Ghost does not proceed through generation but through spiration.
- The relations in God are really identical with the Divine Nature.
- The Three Divine Persons are in one another.
- All the ad extra activities of God are common to the three Persons.