J: First of all my friend, I am not anti_Catholic. The word is a bit harsh as it forments hatred, but let me assure you that i am not an anti-Catholic. My wife in fact is a Catholic.
BFHU: I apologize, I did not in any way mean to imply that you were anti-Catholic. And I also did not mean anti Catholic people but people who are anti-the-Catholic-Church. They truly believe the Catholic Church is leading people astray and they trust the misinformation they have been taught about the Catholic Church without making sure it is true.
The errors of the “Reformation” had begun to confuse the faithful to such an extent that the declaration of the Immaculate Conception of Mary needed to be clearly and finally proclaimed. So this was done in 1859 in oppostition to the heresy that Mary was a sinner.
J: the basis of the “Reformation” movement is only the Bible. So are you saying that the Bible has erred in its teaching as this has confused the Catholic faithful?
BFHU: Not at all. Protestant interpretation of the Bible is in error. And based on these errors the Catholic Faithful became confused so the Church clearly states what is to be believed by Catholic Christians based on the authentic and historic Christian Faith. This is especially true in England and America where the culture has been more influenced by Protestantism than by Catholicism.
For instance, it has always been believed that marriage is between one man and one woman. We have no dogma on this but it is foreseeable that in the not too distant future we may need to make a dogmatic declaration of this doctrine because of the confusion our culture is injecting into the minds and hearts of the faithful. The date of that dogmatic declaration, if it becomes necessary, will not be the date it was first believed that marriage is between a man and a woman, but the date it was dogmatically defined. There is a big difference.
J: marriage between man and woman only is emphatically taught by the Scriptures as the only way to go.
BFHU: Yes you are correct it is clearly taught in scripture. But we are beginning to have Protestant churches accepting homosexual marriage. And the whole culture is pressing towards this acceptance by everyone. Many people of good will become confused by the cultural assertions of discrimination and unfairness and begin to wonder if maybe the Bible is wrong or the Church’s teaching is wrong. The English Protestant Church in America (Episcopalian) ordained an active homosexual a bishop!
J. Marriage between a man and a woman in the Biblical context, is a dogma.
BFHU:I agree it must be believed but a dogma in the Catholic Church is a juridical proclamation from the Holy See. It is more than just an interpretation of Sacred Scripture. It has more authority because it comes from the official and final teaching of the Church.
J. It is unbelievable that the Catholic church does not have any stand on this yet… that marriage is only between a man and a woman
BFHU: You are misunderstanding me. The Catholic Church does have a stand on this and has always had a stand on it. The Catholic Church has always taught that marriage is between a man and a woman. This has never been seriously questioned for 2000 years of the Church’s existence. But, today, that is no longer the case. Our culture is mounting an aggressive attack upon this belief. And they are making headway among those without faith, which is not as surprising as the fact that they are beginning to convince or at least confuse many people who are Christian. If this heresy begins to make serious inroads of confusion and acceptance among the baptized THEN the Church will issue the teaching as a DOGMA. This makes the teaching absolute, binding, forceful, with no more debate or calling it into question by anyone who is a faithful Catholic.
The purpose of defining a teaching or belief as a dogma of the faith is NOT to propose something new, or change anything at all. Its purpose is to END HERESY.
J: Again, this is not an apple to apple comparison, marriage between man and woman is scriptural while immaculate conception is not.
BFHU: I was not saying the two teachings were equivalent scripturally. I was trying to use a modern example to explain why Catholic teachings are made dogmatic at dates late in history. The immaculate conception of Mary had always been a tenent of the Historic Christian Faith. But when the heresy first arose that Mary was a sinner (1500’s) the Church did nothing. But after the heresy had been around for 300 years the Catholic Faithful were beginning to fall prey to this heresy and so in 1859 the Catholic Church dogmatically defined the Immaculate Conception of Mary once and for all.
The Doctrine of the Holy Trinity was defined as Dogma at the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D. Nearly 300 years after Jesus died. The Church did not invent the Doctrine of the Trinity , for the very first time, at the Council of Nicea. The Church made it a Dogma and clearly defined it in response to the Arian heresy that denied the divinity of Christ. It was not a new belief; it was defined dogamatically to stem the tide of heresy.