Recent Posts

Thursday 18 December 2014

Is The CCC Infallible?

Someone asked me a question which led to another question and so on. The nature of the Catechism of the Catholic Church is this.

In matters of the re-statement of doctrine and dogma, already clarified by councils, encyclicals and the Doctors of the Church in the past, the CCC is infallible as a secondary source quoting infallible sources.

In matters of commentary on lesser topics, not involving doctrine or dogma, the CCC is one more resource text, like the Roman Catechism, or the Catechism of the Council of Trent, and the Baltimore Catechism, in that these books are compendiums of Catholic teaching. Some things, such as changes in Church practice, like the listing of certain Canons which may have been changed over the years in revisions, would be reflected in the newer catechism. The CCC is a secondary resource using primary material in giving the universal Church a compendium of the teachings of the Church.

When I say it is a secondary resource, I mean that the truths expressed in the CCC regarding doctrine and dogma are all found elsewhere, such as in the Scriptures, encyclicals and council documents.

However, the CCC is part of the ordinary teaching of the Catholic Church and part of the expression of the collegiality of the bishops, as explained by Joseph Ratzinger. It is also a resource book for the entire Church, and for all the bishops of the Church. No one can ignore it.

Here is the statement of St. John Paul II on the CCC. "The Catechism of the Catholic Church, which I approved June 25th last and the publication of which I today order by virtue of my Apostolic Authority, is Sacred Scripture, the Apostolic Tradition, and the Church's Magisterium. I declare it to be a sure norm for teaching the faith and thus a valid and legitimate instrument for ecclesial communion." Fidei Depositum