Dogma is a divinely and definitively defined doctrine, which is either a part of Revelation or connected to it. It illuminates and secures our walk along the path of faith, so that we neither act erroneously nor commit sin, and, if we are upright, we can accept the dogmas of the Faith. Because not all doctrines are the same, there is an order or hierarchy of the truths of the Faith. However, dogma requires the Full Assent of Faith, just as the Universal Magisterium does. In a way, dogmas are like medicine: They are proclaimed when the faithful begin to doubt or deny a doctrine, so as to strengthen their faith and rid the Catholic Church of any doctrinal errors or heresies. The usual formula of a dogma is "pronounce, declare, and define", such as was used for the Immaculate Conception and Assumption of the Virgin Mary. The more ancient foruma is "If anyone shall not confess X, let him be anathema," with X being a dogma and anathema meaning excommunication.
Hierarchy of TruthEdit
Of Faith are truths defined by the Magisterium and contained in Revelation.
Example: Catholics obey and listen to Jesus Christ by obeying and listening to the Bishops.
Church Faith are truths defined by the Magisterium.
Example: The existence of God can be known by the light of reason.
Sententia Fidei Proxima:Edit
Opinions Proximate to the Faith are truths not defined by the Magisterium but held by theologians and saints.
Example: There are three classes of miracles.
Certain Opinions are truths not defined by the Magisterium but logically connected to the Faith.
Example: Mary is a redeemer with the Redeemer.
Over time, as the Church is led into all truths by the Holy Spirit, doctrines can climb up the hierarchy of truths. So, the Church's rejection of contraceptives was once Sententia Certa, since it was logical that human sexuality is procreative, but now the Church's rejection of contraceptives is De Fide, since it has been infallibly defined.
Examples of DogmaEdit
Canon of ScripturesEdit
The books of the Bible were defined and closed at the Council of Trent.
The formula of the Holy Trinity was formulated over time, often in response to heresies.
The infallibility of the Pope was defined at the First Vatican Council.
This is a list of all the Church's dogmas, which is continuously updated.