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RETICENCE ON CERTAIN DOCTRINES - Francis J. Connell
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Author:  Admin [ Thu May 03, 2007 1:45 pm ]
Post subject:  RETICENCE ON CERTAIN DOCTRINES - Francis J. Connell

THE AMERICAN ECCLESIASTICAL REVIEW, (Indeterminate date).


RETICENCE ON CERTAIN DOCTRINES

Question: Does the Church ever observe a prudential silence regarding certain doctrines in order to avoid adverse criticism and opposition from non-Catholics?

Answer: In the performance of her magisterial duty the Church is not swayed by worldly prudence. Her divinely granted commission binds her to teach the whole deposit of Christian faith without compromise and without any minimizing of the sacred truths entrusted to her care. It is true, with the passing of the centuries it may become unnecessary to emphasize certain revealed doctrines that were formerly stressed, because there is no longer any opposition to these doctrines. Thus, nowadays the Church does not have to devote much time or energy to the doctrine that Jesus Christ possessed a real physical body, though in the early centuries this tenet had to be emphasized because of the peculiar notion of the Docetists. But it is very different to say that the Church is induced by the fear of non-Catholic opposition to “soft-pedal” certain doctrines. Certain individual Catholics may be guilty of such a weakness, but the Church in her official capacity teaches her doctrine in the manner and to the extent required for the spiritual welfare of souls, irrespective of the hatred and antagonism that may be roused on the part of her enemies.

FRANCIS J. CONNELL, C.SS.R.

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