Started by Instaurare omnia, November 26, 2022, 01:47:58 PM
QuoteA working hypothesis. There are two ways in which doctrine develops:(1) When something virtually revealed is drawn out explicitly (usually with the help of philosophical insight). (eg) From the Biblical confession of Jesus as Son of God, Son of Man, Word, Lord and Christ, we confess him as one person in two natures.(2) When the Church makes a judgment on a contemporary matter by applying principles (not always revealed), she subsequently comes to greater clarity about what is a matter of principle and what is accidental to the situation.(eg) A lot of stuff that 19th century popes taught about the relation of the church and the state, democracy, etc. It takes time to disambiguate true political principles from what is accidental to the political situation of the time.Also, it's important to note that "Doctrine develops" is not itself a teaching of the Church, but rather an observation about how the Church has, in fact, taught.In neither case does the truth in question change or develop, nor do we light on new truths. Truth is unchanging, and the deposit of faith was closed with the death of the last apostle. What changes and develops is the clarity with which the Church teaches the truth.So, the difference between (1) and (2) is that in (1) we start with something that is divinely revealed (though it may be combined with something that is not).(2) is different because it involves non-revealed truths that the Church teaches, for which it lacks the negative guarantee of infallibility, even while the Church is teaching in the midst of a particular historical context. Hence the need for a kind of "development"But even here, "development" does not mean that what used to be true is true no longer.