There really is nothing new under the sun. A condemnation of ‘resourcement’ by St. Vincent Lerins from the 5th century.

Chapter 7.

How Heretics, craftily cite obscure passages in ancient writers in support of their own novelties.

[19.] This condemnation, indeed, seems to have been providentially promulgated as though with a special view to the fraud of those who, contriving to dress up a heresy under a name other than its own, get hold often of the works of some ancient writer, not very clearly expressed, which, owing to the very obscurity of their own doctrine, have the appearance of agreeing with it, so that they get the credit of being neither the first nor the only persons who have held it. This wickedness of theirs, in my judgment, is doubly hateful: first, because they are not afraid to invite others to drink of the poison of heresy; and secondly, because with profane breath, as though fanning smouldering embers into flame, they blow upon the memory of each holy man, and spread an evil report of what ought to be buried in silence by bringing it again under notice, thus treading in the footsteps of their father Ham, who not only forebore to cover the nakedness of the venerable Noah, but told it to the others that they might laugh at it, offending thereby so grievously against the duty of filial piety, that even his descendants were involved with him in the curse which he drew down, widely differing from those blessed brothers of his, who would neither pollute their own eyes by looking upon the nakedness of their revered father, nor would suffer others to do so, but went backwards, as the Scripture says, and covered him, that is, they neither approved nor betrayed the fault of the holy man, for which cause they were rewarded with a benedictionon themselves and their posterity. Genesis 9:22

Link

Modernism v. Neo-modernism and ‘Resourcement’

Link  An excellent article which required some concentration to understand, but it is well worth it.

Modernism is the idea that there are no eternal truths, that truth is the correspondence of the mind with one’s lifestyle (adaequatio intellectus et vitae), and that, therefore, old dogmas must be abandoned and new beliefs must arise that meet ‘the needs of modern man’. This is a radical denial of the traditional and common sense notion of truth: the correspondence of the mind with reality (adaequatio intellectus et rei), which is the basis of the immutability of Catholic dogma.

No, the post-conciliar theological principle is neo-modernism, and the theology that is based on it is known as the nouvelle theologie.  It is the idea that old dogmas or beliefs must be retained, yet not the traditional ‘formulas’: dogmas must be expressed and interpreted in a new way in every age so as to meet the ‘needs of modern man’.  This is still a denial of the traditional and common sense notion of truth as adaequatio intellectus et rei (insofar as it is still an attempt to make the terminology that expresses the faith correspond with our modern lifestyle) and consequently of the immutability of Catholic dogma, yet it is not as radical as modernism.  It is more subtle and much more deceptive than modernism because it claims that the faith must be retained; it is only the ‘formulas’ of faith that must be abandoned–they use the term ‘formula’ to distinguish the supposedly mutable words of our creeds, dogmas, etc. from their admittedly immutable meanings.  Therefore, neo-modernism can effectively slip under the radar of most pre-conciliar condemnations (except Humani generis, which condemns it directly) insofar as its practitioners claim that their new and unintelligible theological terminology really expresses the same faith of all times.  In other words, neo-modernism is supposed to be ‘dynamic orthodoxy’: supposedly orthodox in meaning, yet always changing in expression to adapt to modern life (cf. Franciscan University of Steubenville’s mission statement).  

Take extra ecclesiam nulla salus as a clear example of a dogma that has received a brutal neo-modernist re-interpretation: they claim that the old ‘formula’ that “there is no salvation outside the Church” must be abandoned; rather it is more meaningful to modern man to say that salvation is not in, but through, the Church;  people who are not in the Church may still be saved through the Church; thus, to them the dogma that “there is no salvation outside the Church” means that there is salvation outside the Church.  Hence see Ven. Pope Pius XII condemning those “reduce to a meaningless formula the necessity of belonging to the true Church in order to gain eternal salvation.” (Humani generis 27).

 To achieve this end, they employ the technique of ‘resourcement’, the neo-modernist strategy of fishing for the few dubious, questionable, or idiosyncratic teachings of some Fathers of the Church and other authoritative writers, and gather them into a massive, heterodox theological argument against the traditional understanding of the faith (which they like to relativize by giving it names such as “Counter-Reformation” Theology, “Tridentine” Theology, or “Scholastic” Theology, instead of just admitting that it is Catholic Theology plain and simple).  This technique accomplishes three things that go hand-in-hand: (a) offers a refutation of traditional Catholicism, (b) defends an interpretation that meets the needs of modern times, and (c) gives it a semblance of being traditional, because it appears to be based in the Fathers et al.  This type of argument is used, for example, by Von Balthasar in his nearly heretical book, Dare We Hope that All Men be Saved? to ‘prove’, not that Hell does not exist (that is a dogma), but that it is empty.  But this technique and its neo-modernistic underpinnings is not only practiced in almost all of these men’s writings; it is also defended in theory by many of them, particularly in Von Balthasar’s daring little book, Razing the Bastions, where he demonstrates that “Tridentine” theology must be rejected in our times because it is ‘boring’.

Some, again of the many, Papal pronouncements condemning religious indifferentism.

“Now We consider another abundant source of the evils with which the Church is afflicted at present: indifferentism. This perverse opinion is spread on all sides by the fraud of the wicked who claim that it is possible to obtain the eternal salvation of the soul by the profession of any kind of religion, as long as morality is maintained. Surely, in so clear a matter, you will drive this deadly error far from the people committed to your care. With the admonition of the apostle that ‘there is one God, one faith, one baptism’ may those fear who contrive the notion that the safe harbor of salvation is open to persons of any religion whatever. They should consider the testimony of Christ Himself that ‘those who are not with Christ are against Him,’ and that they disperse unhappily who do not gather with Him. Therefore ‘without a doubt, they will perish forever, unless they hold the Catholic faith whole and inviolate.’ Let them hear Jerome who, while the Church was torn into three parts by schism, tells us that whenever someone tried to persuade him to join his group he always exclaimed: ‘He who is for the See of Peter is for me.’ A schismatic flatters himself falsely if he asserts that he, too, has been washed in the waters of regeneration. Indeed Augustine would reply to such a man: ‘The branch has the same form when it has been cut off from the vine; but of what profit for it is the form, if it does not live from the root?” (Pope Gregory XVI, “Mirari Vos”, 1832 A.D.)

“It is impossible for the most true God, who is Truth Itself, the best, the wisest Provider, and the Rewarder of good men, to approve all sects who profess false teachings which are often inconsistent with one another and contradictory, and to confer eternal rewards on their members. For we have a surer word of the prophet, and in writing to you We speak wisdom among the perfect; not the wisdom of this world but the wisdom of God in a mystery. By it we are taught, and by divine faith we hold one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and that no other name under heaven is given to men except the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth in which we must be saved. This is why we profess that there is no salvation outside the Church… It is clear that contempt of the Church’s authority is opposed to the command of Christ and consequently opposes the apostles and their successors, the Church’s ministers who speak as their representatives. He who hears you, hears me; and he who despises you, despises me; and the Church is the pillar and firmament of truth, as the apostle Paul teaches. In reference to these words St. Augustine says: ‘Whoever is without the Church will not be reckoned among the sons, and whoever does not want to have the Church as mother will not have God as father’.” (Pope Leo XII, “Ubi Primum”, 1824)

We must mention and condemn again that most pernicious error, which has been imbibed by certain Catholics, who are of the opinion that those people who live in error and have not the true faith, and are separated from the Catholic unity, may obtain life everlasting. Now this opinion is contrary to Catholic Faith, as is evident from the plain words of Our Lord (Mt. 18:17; Mk. 16:16; Lk. 10:16) as also from the words of St. Paul (e.g. Acts 20:28-30) and of St. Peter (2 Pt. 2:1). To entertain opinions contrary to this Catholic Faith is to be an impious wretch.” (Bl. Pope Pius IX)

The Papal Bulls which confirm the doctrine of EENS

There is indeed one universal church of the faithful, outside of which nobody at all is saved, in which Jesus Christ is both priest and sacrifice. His body and blood are truly contained in the sacrament of the altar under the forms of bread and wine, the bread and wine having been changed in substance, by God’s power, into his body and blood, so that in order to achieve this mystery of unity we receive from God what he received from us. Nobody can effect this sacrament except a priest who has been properly ordained according to the church’s keys, which Jesus Christ himself gave to the apostles and their successors. But the sacrament of baptism is consecrated in water at the invocation of the undivided Trinity — namely Father, Son and holy Spirit — and brings salvation to both children and adults when it is correctly carried out by anyone in the form laid down by the church. If someone falls into sin after having received baptism, he or she can always be restored through true penitence. For not only virgins and the continent but also married persons find favour with God by right faith and good actions and deserve to attain to eternal blessednes. ( IV Lateran Council 1215)

 

“Urged by faith, we are obliged to believe and to maintain that the Church is one, holy, catholic, and also apostolic. We believe in her firmly and we confess with simplicity that outside of her there is neither salvation nor the remission of sins, as the Spouse in the Canticles (Sgs. 6:8) proclaims: ‘One is my dove, my perfect one. She is the only one, the chosen of her who bore her,’ and she represents one sole mystical body whose Head is Christ and the head of Christ is God (1 Cor. 11:3). In her then is one Lord, one faith, one baptism (Eph. 4:5). There had been at the time of the deluge only one ark of Noah, prefiguring the one Church, which ark, having been finished to a single cubit, had only one pilot and guide, i.e., Noah, and we read that, outside of this ark, all that subsisted on the earth was destroyed.” (Pope Boniface VIII, “Unam Sanctam”, 1302 A.D.)

“[The Holy Roman Catholic Church] firmly believes, professes, and proclaims that those not living within the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics cannot become participants in eternal life, but will depart ‘into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels’ (Matt. 25:41), unless before the end of life the same have been added to the flock; and that the unity of the ecclesiastical body is so strong that only to those remaining in it are the sacraments of the Church of benefit for salvation, and do fastings, almsgiving, and other functions of piety and exercises of Christian service produce eternal reward, and that no one, whatever almsgiving he has practiced, even if he has shed blood for the name of Christ, can be saved, unless he has remained in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church.” (Council of Florence, c. 1441 A.D.)

Some, of the many, sources confirming the immutability of Dogma.

“God is not man that he should speak falsely, nor human, that he should change his mind. Is he one to speak and not act, to decree and not fulfill?” (Num. 23:19)

“Christ is the teacher and the exemplar of all sanctity, and to His standard must all those conform who wish for eternal life. Nor does Christ know any change as the ages pass, ‘for He is yesterday and today and the same forever. (Hebrews xiii, 8)” (Pope Leo XIII, “Testem Benevolentiae Nostrae”, 1899 A.D.

“Let what you heard from the beginning remain in you. If what you heard from the beginning remains in you, then you will remain in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that he made us: eternal life. I write you these things about those who would deceive you.” (St. John, 1 Jn. 2:24-26)

“Whoever teaches something different and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the religious teaching is conceited, understanding nothing, and has a morbid disposition for arguments and verbal disputes. From these come envy, rivalry, insults, evil suspicions, and mutual friction among people with corrupted minds, who are deprived of the truth, supposing religion to be a means of gain.” (St. Paul, 1 Tm. 6:3-5)

“‘Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you have been taught, whether by word or by our letter.’ From this it is clear that they did not hand down everything by letter, but there was much also that was not written. Like that which was written, the unwritten too is worthy of belief. So let us regard the tradition of the Church also as worthy of belief. Is it a tradition? Seek no further.” (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church, c. 400 A.D.)

“The Holy Spirit was not promised to the successor of Peter that by the revelation of the Holy Spirit they might disclose new doctrine, but that by His help they might guard sacredly the revelation transmitted through the Apostles and the deposit of faith, and might faithfully set it forth.” (First Vatican Council)

“For the Church of Christ, watchful guardian that she is, and defender of the dogmas deposited with her, never changes anything, never diminishes anything, never adds anything to them; but with all diligence she treats the ancient documents faithfully and wisely; if they really are of ancient origin and if the faith of the Fathers has transmitted them, she strives to investigate and explain them in such a way that the ancient dogmas of heavenly doctrine will be made evident and clear, but will retain their full, integral, and proper nature, and will grow only within their own genus – that is, within the same dogma, in the same sense and the same meaning.” (Pope Pius IX, “Ineffabilis Deus”, 1854 A.D.)

Note that even a so-called “new” dogma (e.g. the Immaculate Conception of Mary), is not really new. Rather, it has always been part of the deposit of faith, but it is simply put forth in a more explicit manner. As Pope Pius XI has stated, “For the teaching authority of the Church, which in the divine wisdom was constituted on earth in order that revealed doctrines might remain intact forever, and that they might be brought with ease and security to the knowledge of men, and which is daily exercised through the Roman Pontiff and the Bishops who are in communion with him, has also the office of defining, when it sees fit, any truth with solemn rites and decrees, whenever this is necessary either to oppose the errors or the attacks of heretics, or more clearly and in greater detail to stamp the minds of the faithful with the articles of sacred doctrine which have been explained. But in the use of this extraordinary teaching authority no newly invented matter is brought in, nor is anything new added to the number of those truths which are at least implicitly contained in the deposit of Revelation, divinely handed down to the Church: only those which are made clear which perhaps may still seem obscure to some, or that which some have previously called into question is declared to be of faith.” (Pope Pius XI, “Mortalium Animos”, 1928

“If anyone says that it is possible that at some time, given the advancement of knowledge, a sense may be assigned to the dogmas propounded by the Church which is different from that which the Church has understood and understands: let him be anathema.” (First Vatican Council)

“Urge them never to allow themselves to be deceived and led into error by men who have become abominable in their pursuits. These men attempt to destroy faith on the pretext of human progress, subjecting it in an impious manner to reason and changing the meaning of the words of God. Such men do not shrink from the greatest insults to God Himself, who cares for the good and the salvation of men by means of His heavenly religion.” (Pope Pius IX, “Qui Pluribus”, 1846 A.D.)

The Immutability of the Dogmas . Joseph Prachensky S.J. A beautiful analogy.

‘The obligation to believe what God says is a natural duty, it is a natural law dictated by the common sense of reason which the creator has deposited in every human soul. The Church only enforces this law which existed before She herself existed, because from all eternity it is a truth that the creature is bound to believe the word of the Creator. If the Church allows no denial or doubt, no alteration or misconstuction of any of her dogmas it is because the veracity of the Son of God who has revealed these truths is attacked when any of her doctrines is denied or doubted.

These dogmas are so many fixed stars in the firmament of the Holy Church. They cannot be reached by the perversity and frivolity of man. He may close his eyes against them and deny their existence, he may represent them and look at them through glasses stained with the colour of every prejudice; but he cannot do away with them altogether nor change in any way their natural brightness and brilliancy. Like the stars that deck the vault of Heaven, they are to give light and not receive light from human reason. They are the word of God and what God says is the truth that cannot be made untruth. The mind that receives the truth is enlightened thereby; the mind that denies it is darkened or corrupted. ‘

From ‘The Church of the Parables and True Spouse of the Suffering Saviour’

 

St. Vincent Lerins on the Immutability of Dogma

But the Church of Christ, the careful and watchful guardian of the doctrines deposited in her charge, never changes anything in them, never diminishes, never adds, does not cut off what is necessary, does not add what is superfluous, does not lose her own, does not appropriate what is another’s, but while dealing faithfully and judiciously with ancient doctrine, keeps this one object carefully in view—if there be anything which antiquity has left shapeless and rudimentary, to fashion and polish it, if anything already reduced to shape and developed, to consolidate and strengthen it, if any already ratified and defined, to keep and guard it. Finally, what other object have Councils ever aimed at in their decrees, than to provide that what was before believed in simplicity should in future be believed intelligently, that what was before preached coldly should in future be preached earnestly, that what was before practised negligently should thenceforward be practised with double solicitude? This, I say, is what the Catholic Church, roused by the novelties of heretics, has accomplished by the decrees of her Councils,— this, and nothing else—she has thenceforward consigned to posterity in writing what she had received from those of olden times only by tradition, comprising a great amount of matter in a few words, and often, for the better understanding, designating an old article of the faith by the characteristic of a new name.

So the dogmas can be shaped and refined, consolidated and strengthened but not changed. With the appearance of each specific heresy or novelty, the dogmas of the faith were refined by holy men in order to combat the heresy, and clarify the Catholic Church’s teaching on the point. These holy men carefully weighed and measured each word to ensure that the original meaning of the dogma was not corrupted or debased.

The Church once regarded dogma as being so important that She preferred to sunder the Church and divorce Herself from the Eastern Church rather than compromise on the Filioque. One famous Catholic commentator has written that the Filioque dispute is arcane and irrelevant and that the differences should be pasted over and the Churches reconciled. Frankly, I think this comment insults the intelligence, wisdom and sanctity of the holy men who must have debated and argued the point for years and shed tears over the final outcome of their deliberations.

The Filioque dispute is not arcane or irrelevant and has far -reaching implications as can be seen from this article by James Larson:-http://www.waragainstbeing.com/partiii

Link

The article is very dense and a difficult read for those not trained in philosophy (like me) but I attach this excerpt which, in my view, says it all really.

“Eastern Orthodoxy does not deny the importance of the humanity of Christ in the salvific sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross. In other words, Christ’s Humanity is integral to their view of the act of Redemption. It does, on the other hand, profoundly devalue the centrality of Christ’s Sacred Humanity in the process of our sanctification and deification. This “bypassing” of Christ’s Humanity is intimately related to the denial of the Filioque – the Catholic doctrine that the Holy Spirit is sent by the Father and the Son (Latin: Filioque).

In the Catholic view the Holy Spirit is sent by both Father and Son in order to enable us to imitate Christ in His birth, life, passion, death, and resurrection. The Way of our humanity is the Way of Christ’s Humanity, working out our salvation in imitation of Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is thus in a spiritual sense truly “incarnate”: sent by the God-Man Jesus Christ in order to form us into the likeness of the Man-God Jesus Christ. The Filioque is therefore absolutely integral to this incarnational work of the Holy Spirit.

It is otherwise with the Eastern Orthodox. Their denial of the Filioque enables the Holy Spirit to be “liberated” from this connection to the Sacred Humanity of Christ in order to that He might become what some Orthodox writers have been so bold as to call the “Soul of the World.” The Holy Spirit, having been liberated from the necessity of working through the Humanity of Christ, thus becomes the source of those Divine Energies which are in creation from the beginning, and are the object and source of our Divine communication, sanctification, and deification.

Eastern Orthodox writers are therefore right in claiming that the rejection of the Filioque is the axis around which revolve all the significant differences between Eastern and Latin Rite theology and spirituality. Ultimately, while accepting the salvific fact of the Incarnation, it rejects or bypasses its meaning in regard to our salvation and deification. The Holy Spirit, sent by Christ in order to form us into His likeness, is deflected by Dionysian-Palamite theology into a type of Gnostic-Pantheistic Esotericism. And at the end of this road of ascending gnosis, we also find that our own humanity has also been bypassed. There, in this Heaven of Orthodoxy, we find no personhood as we know it, no love, no thought, no truth, no purity, and no prayer, but only a Divine Darkness beyond all being, essence, and naming. In other words: the negation of all that we now consider human.

With a Heaven like this, Who needs a Hell?

We need also mention that this liberation of the Holy Spirit from the Incarnation also has immense effects upon Eastern Orthodox positions in reference to all sorts of other Catholic doctrines: rejection of purgatory; rejection of the doctrines of the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption; rejection of Transubstantiation; rejection of the Catholic doctrine on Original Sin; rejection of the Papacy, rejection of the Church’s teaching on contraception and divorce. If the ultimate road to union with the Divine is rooted in negation of everything that we can possibly affirm, then ultimately truth itself becomes a victim, and all doctrine and dogma are swallowed up in that darkness which is the apophatic God of Eastern Orthodox theology.

Finally, we need also mention that there has always existed in Eastern Orthodoxy, as a sort of minority, a “counter-Palamite” theology which to various degrees distances itself from Palamism, and is much closer to Catholic theology. We can do no greater service to such persons than to simply invite them home.

Authored by: James Larson – © 2008

June 13th. Feast of Saint Anthony. Behold the Cross of the Lord!

Popular tradition maintains that this little prayer was given by St. Anthony to a poor woman who was troubled by temptations. It has been popular prayer amongst Franciscans for centuries. Pope Sixtus V, a Franciscan himself, had the prayer carved at the base of the obelisk, which he erected in St. Peter’s Square in Rome in 1585.
Ecce Crucem Domini!
Fugite partes adversae!
Vicit Leo de tribu Iuda,
Radix David! Alleluia!
Behold the Cross of the Lord!
Be gone all evil powers!
The Lion of the tribe of Judah,
The root of David has conquered! Alleluia!

St. Vincent of Lerins on the Epistle to the Galations 1:8-10

Commonitory by St. Vincent of Lerins.

Link

Chapter 8.

Exposition of St. Paul’s Words, Gal. i. 8.

[21.] When therefore certain of this sort wandering about provinces and cities, and carrying with them their venal errors, had found their way to Galatia, and when the Galatians, on hearing them, nauseating the truth, and vomiting up the manna of Apostolic and Catholic doctrine, were delighted with the garbage of heretical novelty, the apostle putting in exercise the authority of his office, delivered his sentence with the utmost severity,Though we, he says, or an angel from heaven, preach any other Gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. Galatians 1:8

[22.] Why does he say Though we? Why not rather though I? He means, though Peter, though Andrew, though John, in a word, though the whole company of apostles, preach unto you other than we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. Tremendous severity! He spares neither himself nor his fellow apostles, so he may preserve unaltered the faith which was at first delivered. Nay, this is not all. He goes on Even though an angel from heaven preach unto you any other Gospel than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. It was not enough for the preservation of the faith once delivered to have referred to man; he must needs comprehend angels also. Though we, he says, or an angel from heaven. Not that the holy angels of heaven are now capable of sinning. But what he means is: Even if that were to happen which cannot happen—if any one, be he who he may, attempt to alter the faith once for all delivered, let him be accursed.

[23.] But it may be, he spoke thus in the first instance inconsiderately, giving vent to human impetuosity rather than expressing himself under divine guidance. Far from it. He follows up what he had said, and urges it with intense reiterated earnestness, As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other Gospel to you than that you have received, let him be accursed. He does not say, If any man deliver to you another message than that you have received, let him be blessed, praised, welcomed,— no; but let him be accursed,[anathema] i.e., separated, segregated, excluded, lest the dire contagion of a single sheep contaminate the guiltless flock of Christ by his poisonous intermixture with them.

Chapter 9.

His warning to the Galatians a warning to all.

[24.] But, possibly, this warning was intended for the Galatians only. Be it so; then those other exhortations which follow in the same Epistle were intended for the Galatians only, such as, If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit; let us not be desirous of vainglory, provoking one another, envying one another, etc.; Galatians 5:25 which alternative if it be absurd, and the injunctions were meant equally for all, then it follows, that as these injunctions which relate to morals, so those warnings which relate to faith are meant equally for all; and just as it is unlawful for all to provoke one another, or to envy one another, so, likewise, it is unlawful for all to receive any other Gospel than that which the Catholic Church preaches everywhere.

[25.] Or perhaps the anathema pronounced on any one who should preach another Gospel than that which had been preached was meant for those times, not for the present. Then, also, the exhortation, Walk in the Spirit and you shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh, Galatians 5:16 was meant for those times, not for the present. But if it be both impious and pernicious to believe this, then it follows necessarily, that as these injunctions are to be observed by all ages, so those warnings also which forbid alteration of the faith are warnings intended for all ages. To preach any doctrine therefore to Catholic Christians other than what they have received never was lawful, never is lawful, never will be lawful: and to anathematize those who preach anything other than what has once been received, always was a duty, always is a duty, always will be a duty.

[26.] Which being the case, is there any one either so audacious as to preach any other doctrine than that which the Church preaches, or so inconstant as to receive any other doctrine than that which he has received from theChurch? That elect vessel, that teacher of the Gentiles, that trumpet of the apostles, that preacher whose commission was to the whole earth, that man who was caught up to heaven, 2 Corinthians 12:2 cries and cries again in his Epistles to all, always, in all places, If any man preach any new doctrine, let him be accursed. On the other hand, an ephemeral, moribund set of frogs, fleas, and flies, such as the Pelagians, call out in opposition, and that to Catholics, Take our word, follow our lead, accept our exposition, condemn what you used to hold, hold what you used to condemn, cast aside the ancient faith, the institutes of your fathers, the trusts left for you by your ancestors and receive instead—what? I tremble to utter it: for it is so full of arrogance and self-conceit, that it seems to me that not only to affirm it, but even to refute it, cannot be done without guilt in some sort.

Chapter 10.

Why Eminent Men are permitted by God to become Authors of Novelties in the Church.

[27.] But some one will ask, How is it then, that certain excellent persons, and of position in the Church, are often permitted by God to preach novel doctrines to Catholics? A proper question, certainly, and one which ought to be very carefully and fully dealt with, but answered at the same time, not in reliance upon one’s own ability, but by the authority of the divine Law, and by appeal to the Church’s determination.

Let us listen, then, to Holy Moses, and let him teach us why learned men, and such as because of theirknowledge are even called Prophets by the apostle, are sometimes permitted to put forth novel doctrines, which the Old Testament is wont, by way of allegory, to call strange gods, forasmuch as heretics pay the same sort of reverence to their notions that the Gentiles do to their gods.

[28.] Blessed Moses, then, writes thus in Deuteronomy: If there arise among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams that is, one holding office as a Doctor in the Church, who is believed by his disciples or auditors to teach by revelation: well—what follows? and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder come to pass whereof he spoke,— he is pointing to some eminent doctor, whose learning is such that his followers believe him not only to know things human, but, moreover, to foreknow things superhuman, such as, their disciples commonly boast, were Valentinus, Donatus, Photinus, Apollinaris, and the rest of that sort! What next? And shall say to you, Let us go after other gods, whom you know not, and serve them. What are those other gods but strange errors which you know not, that is, new and such as were never heard of before? And let us serve them; that is, Let us believe them, follow them. What last? You shall not hearken to the words of that prophet or dreamer of dreams. And why, I pray you, does not God forbid to be taught what God forbids to be heard? For the Lord, your God, tries you, to know whether you love Him with all your heart and with all your soul. The reason is clearer than day why Divine Providence sometimes permits certain doctors of the Churches to preach new doctrines— That the Lord your God may try you; he says. And assuredly it is a great trial when one whom you believe to be a prophet, a disciple of prophets, a doctor and defender of the truth, whom you have folded to your breast with the utmost veneration and love, when such a one of a sudden secretly and furtively brings in noxious errors, which you can neither quickly detect, being held by the prestige of former authority, nor lightly think it right to condemn, being prevented by affection for your old master.

(Emphasis mine)

If any one preach to you a Gospel, besides that which you have received, let him be anathema. St. Paul. Galatians 1:9

Our Lord Jesus Christ , God Incarnate, NEVER EVER taught the doctrines of salvation by desire, blood or invincible ignorance. It is evident from St. Paul’s Epistle to the Galations that Our Lord Jesus Christ had already taught the doctrines of the Church he founded to the Apostles.

ARTICLE 2
THE TRANSMISSION OF DIVINE REVELATION

74 God “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth”:29 that is, of Christ Jesus.30 Christ must be proclaimed to all nations and individuals, so that this revelation may reach to the ends of the earth:

God graciously arranged that the things he had once revealed for the salvation of all peoples should remain in their entirety, throughout the ages, and be transmitted to all generations.31

I. THE APOSTOLIC TRADITION

75 “Christ the Lord, in whom the entire Revelation of the most high God is summed up, commanded the apostles to preach the Gospel, which had been promised beforehand by the prophets, and which he fulfilled in his own person and promulgated with his own lips. In preaching the Gospel, they were to communicate the gifts of God to all men. This Gospel was to be the source of all saving truth and moral discipline.”32

In the apostolic preaching. . .

76 In keeping with the Lord’s command, the Gospel was handed on in two ways:

orally “by the apostles who handed on, by the spoken word of their preaching, by the example they gave, by the institutions they established, what they themselves had received – whether from the lips of Christ, from his way of life and his works, or whether they had learned it at the prompting of the Holy Spirit”;33

in writing “by those apostles and other men associated with the apostles who, under the inspiration of the same Holy Spirit, committed the message of salvation to writing”.34 

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