Ever Wonder why Catholics believe certain things and worship the way they do? Where did the Catholic beliefs and practices come from?
The Catholic Church draws not only from what was written down in the Bible but also from Tradition as handed down to us through the apostles and safeguarded to this day by the Church. This teaching authority or teaching office of the Church is called the Magisterium. Most Protestant churches believe in sola scriptura (Latin for scripture alone or scripture only). Catholics believe that our faith draws on three elements, Tradition, Scripture and Magisterium. (You will find these words on the CSS Logo)
If you are a CSS student you know that Catholic Scripture Study International is more than a Bible Study, it is a faithful source for Catholic Catechesis. Each lesson incorporates teachings from the Catechism along with Papal teachings and Saint quotes and students are given the opportunity to discover the basis for the teachings of the Catholic Church.
From my very first CSS class I realized that despite being well catechized, I was learning truths about my faith than I was unaware of. I was excited about what I was learning and I wanted to share it with everyone. I kept thinking that the faithful Catholic who comes to Church every Sunday needs to know these teachings. They need to know and understand the richness and beauty of their Church, the Holy Roman Catholic Church.
After speaking with my pastor, he gave permission for a weekly post in our parish bulletin and so began the series called Ever Wonder. These are just simple little facts about our faith that hopefully, will not only be informative, but also prompt you to dig deeper. We’re going to begin exploring these beliefs and at times expand on them. Look for more in the weeks to come and learn more about your faith.
Sandra Bennett Fountain
CSS Executive Director
If our beliefs come from the Bible and the teachings of the apostles, why does the Church make changes?
To answer that question, we need to know the difference between dogma and canon.
Dogma/Doctrine never changes. When the Church defines dogma it exercises the authority it holds from Christ to proclaim the revealed teachings of Christ. The faithful are obliged to believe these truths or dogmas.
Canon law or the rules of the Church can and do change in order to provide norms for good order in the visible society of the Church.
Want to know more?
More from the Catechism of the Catholic Church–
CCC 88 The Church’s Magisterium exercises the authority it holds from Christ to the fullest extent when it defines dogmas, that is, when it proposes, in a form obliging the Christian people to an irrevocable adherence of faith, truths contained in divine Revelation or also when it proposes, in a definitive way, truths having a necessary connection with these.
Glossary: CANON LAW: The rules (canons or laws) which provide the norms for good order in the visible society of the Church. Those canon laws that apply universally are contained in the Codes of Canon Law. The most recent Code of Canon Law was promulgated in 1983 for the Latin (Western) Church and in 1991 for the Eastern Church (The Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches).