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In Catholic teaching, a doctrine infallibly taught by the Pope.
The truth must come from Christ’s public revelation through either of two sources:
» Sacred Scripture» Sacred Tradition
The revelation can be:
» Explicit, such as Christ’s incarnate life, death and resurrection.
» Implicit, such as the Blessed Virgin’s Assumption into heaven.
A Catholic dogma may be presented to the faithful in either of two ways.
» Solemnly, in an ex cathedra announcement, such as the definition of the Immaculate Conception.
» Ordinarily, in the perennial exercise of the Church’s Magisterium, such as the constant teaching on the malice of taking innocent human life.
A dogma is a smaller subset of Catholic teaching than a doctrine. All dogmas are doctrines, but only some doctrines are dogmas.
CCC 88 “The Church’s Magisterium exercises the authority it holds from Christ to the fullest extent when it defines dogmas, that is, when it proposes, in a form obliging the Christian people to an irrevocable adherence of faith, truths contained in divine Revelation or also when it proposes, in a definitive way, truths having a necessary connection with these.”
CCC 89 “There is an organic connection between our spiritual life and the dogmas. Dogmas are lights along the path of faith; they illuminate it and make it secure. Conversely, if our life is upright, our intellect and heart will be open to welcome the light shed by the dogmas of faith.”
The acceptance of Catholic dogma is necessary for salvation of the faithful.
From the Greek and Latin dogma, declaration or decree.
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