Sunday, June 20, 2010

What a Catholic Believes


1. Truths to be believed with divine faith:

De fide divina (a truth of divine faith): a truth which is contained in the Word of God, whether in written form (Sacred Scripture), or handed down orally (Sacred Tradition).

De fide divina et catholica (a truth of divine and catholic faith): a truth which is contained in the Word of God, whether in written form (Sacred Scripture), or handed down orally (Sacred Tradition), and which is proposed by the Church, whether through her solemn judgement or through her ordinary and universal Magisterium, as divinely revealed and as credenda (“to be believed”).

De fide divina et catholica definita (a truth of defined divine and Catholic faith): a truth which is contained in the Word of God, whether in written form (Sacred Scripture), or handed down orally (Sacred Tradition), and which is proposed by the Church, by her solemn judgement i.e., through her infallible magisterium, exercised in an extraordinary manner, whether in an ecumenical council or through the Roman Pontiff speaking ex cathedra, as divinely revealed and as credenda.

Fidei proxima (a truth that is proximate to the faith): a truth which, according to the almost unanimous consensus of theologians, is contained in the Word of God, whether in written form (Sacred Scripture), or handed down orally (Sacred Tradition).

2. Truths to be held with ecclesiastical faith:

De fide ecclesiastica (a truth of ecclesiastical faith): a truth which is not formally part of Divine Revelation, but which is infallibly proposed by the Church's Magisterium.

3. Truths to be held with religious assent of intellect and will:

Doctrina catholica (Catholic doctrine): a truth which is taught in the entire Church, but is not always infallibly proposed.

Theologicae certa (a truth that is theologically certain): a truth which was acknowledged “in the theological schools” as certain and having a necessary logical connection with Revelation; such connection may be virtual, or presupositive, or final.

Ita tenenda, ut contraria sit temeraria (a doctrine that is to be held, such that the contrary is temerary): a truth proposed by the Roman Congregations, which nevertheless does not enjoy the special approval of the Roman Pontiff.

4. Doctrines that are to be respected and revered:

Sententia communis, certa in theologia (a common doctrine, a doctrine that is certain in theology): a doctrine that is proposed “in the schools” by the common consensus of theologians (i.e., in pontifical faculties of theologians) as “well founded”.

Sententia pia (pious doctrine): a doctrine which is not theologically exact, but which communicates well the piety and sentiments of the faithful.

5. Opinions that are open to debate among experts:

Sententia communior (the more common opinion): an opinion that is usually favoured over its counterpart(s) by most theologians.

Sententia probabilis (probable opinion): an opinion which is not certain but which has a high level of probability.

Sententia probabilior (the more probable opinion): an opinion that is not certain but which is better founded than its counterpart(s).

Sententia tuta, sententia tolerata (safe opinion, tolerated opinion): an opinion which may be weakly founded or even altogether false, but which the Church has not, at least for the moment, deemed worthy of censure or condemnation.