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Saturday, 15 December 2012

On the difference between doctrines, dogmas and visions for teaching truth

There is a huge confusion among even traditional Catholics concerning doctrine, dogma and private revelations.

I have seen this on recent comments concerning the question of hell.

Private visions and revelations are for the faithful. These may or may not be approved by the Church.

Those writings which are considered worthy to be read are not infallible.

The doctrine and dogmas of the Church are infallible statements and beliefs.

To build our house of faith and knowledge on private revelations is not only dangerous, but a wrong.

When the Church honours a saint on the calendar, that does not mean that the writings of that saint are infallible. Most saints, writings have been approved as without errors. However, visions from God, as excellent as these are, do not take the place of the teachings of the Catholic Church as taught from Scripture and Tradition.

To base an argument on visions is not apologetics. And the missionary activity we are all involved in as baptised Catholics demands that we know the teaching of the Church from the Creed, the Fathers of the Church and the long 2,000 year history of Catholicism.

To not study the faith has dire consequences for the adult Catholic.

It is anti-intellectualism to base arguments on visions and revelations. To be anti-intellectual is laziness and possibly sinful.

The great apparitions of Mary, Our Mother, which are approved, gave us nothing new in the way of Revelation. Mary merely emphasized what was already the teachings of the Catholic Church.

This is important.

Catholicism is based on reason and revelation, and that revelation ended with the last book of the Bible.

If, as an adult, you are using visions in order to convert, stop.

If you are arguing from a basis of visions, stop.

Learn to argue your faith from the CCC and other sources. Challenge yourself and others to think.

God made us to think. Read, learn, act, pray.