Did the Catholic Church Change?

Q. I had a discussion yesterday with a Protestant friend of mine and I was maintaining my belief that the Catholic Church has not changed its doctrine. But he mentioned that ST Irenaeus was clearly for the doctrine of election and so was the Catholic Church and this doctrine changed years after to what we believe today that Jesus died for everyone.

A. The fact that a Saint, even one as great as St. Irenaeus, taught something does not mean their teaching was infallible or that it is what the Church taught. Besides this,all kinds of heresies were taught for centuries by Catholic Heretics. But these were opposed by the Pope and the Magesterium. Ask your friend for the citation or where it can be found that the Church taught limited atonement, predestination and/or the doctrine of election. I do not believe she will be able to prove it.
The Sacred Scripture:

I Tim 2:3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 5For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all men—the testimony given in its proper time.

So Timothy either lied, or this scripture is not infallible, or God was impotent to do His part to atone for all men. None of these are good choices.

The Catholic Church has always taught that NOT everyone will BE saved but as far as I know it has never taught that Christ died only for the elect. So, I would love to have your friend try to prove the contention that the Church has changed her doctrines.

Q. My friend was very clear that since the doctrine of the Catholic Church changed, that its not the same Catholic Church that I believe in. I had no answer to this and I really hope that I do find the answer

A. The Catholic Church has NOT changed. Our understanding of the teaching of the apostles has deepened and developed over the centuries. Just like an acorn planted in the earth grows into a giant tree. It did not become a different tree but the giant oak looks very different than an acorn. The Catholic Church never changed. Your friend contends that it has. He says he has proof that is has but this proof needs to be presented so that we can all judge for ourselves. We cannot just take his word for it.


2 Responses

  1. The catholic church has changed. It used to have priests that were married as a norm until the 13th century and it then became to expensive to look after their widows.

    It also used to ban Usary until the Medici clan showed how it could use borrowed money to finance itself and become rich.

    It used to think that the universe was built in 6 days until geologists and biologists proved that this was not possible.

    It used to think that the earth was the centre of the universe until Gallileo showed them that it isn’t.

    I don’t think it is us looking at the tree I think it is the tree trying to show itself how it wants to be seen, rather than how it is.



  2. Steven,
    The Catholic Church still has priests that are married. They just can’t become bishops and they can’t get married after they are ordained.

    I really don’t know about the usury issue but I think that interest on loans is very different than the usuary condemned in Scripture. That was more along the lines of a loan shark, very uncharitable. Catholic Encyclopedia-Usury

    The Church simply took Genesis at its word. And by the way, we Catholics can believe God created in six literal days or take another view, as long as we are clear that GOD created the universe and all that is in it, in a short time or over a long period of time.

    Copernicus was the first to theorize that the sun was the center. The Church sponsored Galileo. He was not censured b/c of his new theory. Truth does not threaten the Church. He was censured b/c of his attitude and deep disrespect of the pope.

    Let me just say that there are many many lies and distortions floating around about the Church founded by Jesus Christ. Our Enemy is the inspiration for them all. I would like to recommend that in the future when you hear something bad about the Catholic Church, no matter how much you trust the source, that you research the issue and find out what the Catholic Church says about it. Then you will be in a much better position to make an informed judgement.

    The first to present his case seems right, till another comes forward and questions him. Proverbs 18:17

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