I have been confused and upset by certain posters in the Traditionalist Section of this board who bring up Church documents from the ancient centuries and claim that THESE documents contradict what is being taught today in the Catholic Church.
The NFP thread is an example of this, although it has happened many times in that Section with other doctrines and dogma. Someone will use the writings of a very ancient Pope to prove that the current Pope is “wrong” and that we should return to the “true teachings” of the Church.
Could someone please explain how the Catholic Church incorporates the teachings of the past when they pronounce dogma for the present?
I remember reading that the Catholic Church is a “growing Church,” not a static church. As our leaders are given more understanding of the Kingdom of Christ, they adjust teachings. The Magisterium continually reviews the dogma, doctrine, doctrines and devotions of the Church, and makes sure that everything is up-to-date.
Is this correct? How does it work in practice? How does the Church avoid contradicting itself (as they apparently have in this NFP question)?
How do we know when a Pope is just stating his personal opinion, not Church dogma? E.g., the current Pope has made it perfectly clear that he dislikes rock music. Does this mean that there should be no “rock music” in the Mass?
How about these “contradictions” that that traditionalists find; e.g., someone has found a Pope who seems to be saying that ANY attempt to delay or space pregnancy,even using NFP, is a grave sin.
And how about the teaching that the TLM is the REAL Mass, and the NO is an “experiment?”
Why is it that people have to be looking all over the place, including the past, for the “truth” rather than just obeying what our Holy Father and Church currently teaches?
I guess I’m just too simple–if my Bishop says it, I believe it, and that settles it! Of course, the traditionalists would label me a “Protestant-thinking Catholic.” They tell me that we should all dig into the documents and be prepared to spot errors in the Catholic Church.
Am I wrong or foolish to be in submission to my CURRENT Church teachings? Should I spend more time digging into the past and finding reasons to distrust the current leadership and teachings in the Church?
I feel like some Catholics play “Pick a Pope.” They find a Pope that seems to agree with them, and try to convince everyone that this particular Pope taught the Final Truth, even if he lived back in the 5th Century.
I feel like I’m back in the Protestant Church. It’s not a good feeling.
Thank you for any information about this topic.