On Sep 5, 2006, at 1:54 PM, jef.murray wrote:
> This is simply because Catholicism, unlike Christian fundamentalism,
> does not insist that all truth is contained in scripture.
This much is true, after a fashion. More specifically, the Church
does not (as the Apostles and the Church Fathers did not) treat
Scripture and Tradition as two separate things, but rather as one
whole deposit of Faith, with the latter guiding the right
interpretation of the former.
> In Catholicism, there is ongoing revelation through the teachings
> of the
> church (e.g., encyclicals and other documents approved by the church
> Magesterium) and through the writings and teaching of saints
> throughout the ages.
This is false. The Church has always taught that Revelation was
completed with the death of the last Apostle:
From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
"There will be no further Revelation
66 "The Christian economy, therefore, since it is the new and
definitive Covenant, will never pass away; and no new public
revelation is to be expected before the glorious manifestation of our
Lord Jesus Christ."
What DOES continue through the Church, as guided by the Holy Spirit,
is the discernment and interpretation of deposit of Faith with which
Christ entrusted His Church. Again from the CCC:
"Yet even if Revelation is already complete, it has not been made
completely explicit; it remains for Christian faith gradually to
grasp its full significance over the course of the centuries."
The Church does recognize the validity of SOME private revelations,
e.g. validated Marian apparitions, but the key word is PRIVATE: they
are not binding in any way on the faithful. CCC:
"67 Throughout the ages, there have been so-called "private"
revelations, some of which have been recognized by the authority of
the Church. They do not belong, however, to the deposit of faith. It
is not their role to improve or complete Christ's definitive
Revelation, but to help live more fully by it in a certain period of
history. Guided by the Magisterium of the Church, the sensus fidelium
knows how to discern and welcome in these revelations whatever
constitutes an authentic call of Christ or his saints to the Church.
Christian faith cannot accept "revelations" that claim to surpass or
correct the Revelation of which Christ is the fulfillment"
> The Catholic world looks for understanding of
> complex situations through prayer and discernment. And its
> understanding of God's revelations to man can and does change over
> time, albeit generally in nuance, not in the basic tenets of the
True. The Church refers to this as development (i.e., of
understanding, and so of doctrine). The classical analogy is of a oak
growing from an acorn, but being at all times an oak; it does not
suddenly become a beech, and thus change.
Off topic, I know, but I don't want a fairly serious error to stand