Saturday, July 12, 2008

Litany of Heresies #9

Claiming that the Catholic Church referenced in the Creed somehow refers to “all the churches.”

Initially, the absurdity of this claim is clear. Considering that the Apostles’ Creed is often dated from the first or second century and the Nicene Creed was formally promulgated in 325 (and later modified in 381), it is utterly impossible for these statements of the faith to have any reference whatsoever to sects which arose over a millennium later.

Not only is the above proposition impossible by virtue of historical fact, any attempt to conceive of the Creed’s articles differently than what was meant by the early Church is formally condemned:

[The proposition is condemned that] The chief articles of the Apostles' Creed did not have the same sense for the Christians of the first ages as they have for the Christians of our time.[1]

To assert that Catholics reciting the Creed can somehow profess faith in “other churches” also introduces another internal inconsistency. How can a Catholic profess to believe in the faith of a non-Catholic church? It is impossible, for it is only the Catholic Church and no other which, “sojourning on earth as an exile, is necessary for salvation”[2] and provides the “the fullness of Christ's salvific mystery.”[3] Therefore, proclaiming belief in any church which professes beliefs opposed to that of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church is to de facto reject what the Church teaches about itself. As such, the instruction on this point was incorrect.

[1] Decree of the Holy Office approved by Pope Pius X, Lamentabili Sane §62.
[2] Second Vatican Council, Lumen Gentium (Dogmatic Constitution of the Church) §14.
[3] Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Dominus Iesus §16.

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