It's been argued and fought over ever since - hence even people that call themselves Christians can't agree on it. There's thousands of versions of this 'truth' - even liberal Christians can't agree. The particular dumped 'truths' we've been talking about where imposed on the laity by decree from a man claiming infallibility - for god's sake.
Sorry if the point I'm about to make has been made already, but new pages appear on this thread faster than I read them, so I thought I'd give up on ever catching up to the end.
You keep talking about papal infallibility, but don't seem to really understand what it means - despite at one point quoting from the Wikipedia article on the topic.
Papal infallibility was formally promulgated as doctrine, it must be remembered in 1870. The bishops who defined the doctrine were not simpletons, whatever you may think of their beliefs, and they were conversant with Church history.
What this means is that even the most dogmatic amongst them was fully cognizant of the fact that a doctrine defined in some form like 'the Pope is infallible and everything he says is therefore correct' would be self-evidently contradictory, since they all knew in some detail the theological disputes of the past between different Popes. Clearly, popes are sometimes wrong - this is a fact no theologian would deny.
The doctrine of infallibility, then, does not apply to every idle thought expressed by a Pope. It does not, even, apply to most of their deeply held and forcefully expressed beliefs. To be considered infallible, a doctrine has to be expressed in a certain form, often with the explicit declaration that you're going to hell if you doubt this fundamental fact. The actual wording used in one of the very few examples of an infallible doctrine promulgated since the concept's formal definition (by Pius XII, in 1950) goes:
quote:"By the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own authority, we pronounce, declare, and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma(...)
You keep talking about the Church changing its mind about 'core truths', and they may well have done so, but I'm not sure you've given any convincing any examples. Limbo is a doctrine the church has argued over what centuries - in what sense is it 'core' to Catholic belied?
The things that Catholics themselves argue to be their core truths, as taken from the Nicene Creed, still seem pretty steady 1,700 years later:
quote:We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of all things seen and unseen.
And in one Lord, Jesus Christ the Son of God, begotten of the Father, the only-begotten, that is, of the essence of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of the same being as the Father, through whom all things came to be, both the things in heaven and on earth, who for us humans and for our salvation came down and was made flesh, becoming human, who suffered and rose again on the third day, ascended into heaven, who is coming to judge the living and the dead.
And in the Holy Spirit.
The catholic and apostolic church condemns those who say concerning the Son of God that “there was a time when he was not” or “he did not exist before he was begotten” or “he came to be from nothing” or who claim that he is of another subsistence (hypostasis) or essence (ousia), or a creation (ktistos), or changeable (alloiōtos), or alterable (treptos).
That's not so easy a question to answer. Probably the last indisputibly 'infallible' statement was the one I quoted the intro to by Pius XII, which dictates that Mary "was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory" after finishing her work here on earth. This one we can be confident of its infallibility, since the Pope not only announced by the authority of Jesus and the apostles, but accompanied it with the following anathema:
quote:Hence if anyone, which God forbid, should dare willfully to deny or to call into doubt that which we have defined, let him know that he has fallen away completely from the divine and Catholic Faith.
John Paul II may also have taught an infallible doctrine, that women could not be ordained as priests, but this case is not so clear, since he wasn't as explicit about it. He answered the question as to whether the inadmissability of women priests was part of the Deposit of Faith in the affirmative. Opponents of female priests argue this makes it infallible, since the Deposit of Faith is by definition the infallible teachings of the Church, while supporters of female ordination protest that a teaching can't be considered infallible without going through all the forms.
And do you disagree with what he said
I don't believe in God or heaven, so it's hard to agree with the church on what happened to Mary when she died!
I have given several examples of the church changing its mind over what was once hard and fast fact as preached in its churches and schools. The fact that Vatican accademics have squabbled over some of them, is irrelevant. If you just take the limbo fantasy, it was hammered into Catholic parents that you must baptise your newborn quickly or risk it never finding everlasting happiness. That was definately a core belief - it was a heaven or not event for everyday Catholics.
Changing its mind over what was taught in some of its churches and schools. Only some, because the church has always housed quite a diversity of opinion. And limbo is something Catholics have argued about amongst themselves for a long time.
I went and did a bit of reading about the church's 'abandonment' of limbo, and as far as I can see, it has not officially been abandoned. I had a readthrough of the Vatican's pronouncement on Limbo from 2007. It's quite a long read, full of obscure theological wrangling, but the key point is that it concludes thusly:
quote:Our conclusion is that the many factors that we have considered above give serious theological and liturgical grounds for hope that unbaptised infants who die will be saved and enjoy the Beatific Vision. We emphasise that these are reasons for prayerful hope, rather than grounds for sure knowledge. There is much that simply has not been revealed to us
The church has not cast limbo away. They've simply clarified that they're still not sure.
Sorry that is incomplete by a very long margin and would define anyone calling themselves a Christin. To be a Catholic you have to buy into the whole 'tradition' which is defined by the Catechism. An extraordinary work of fiction
Two interesting things to note about the Catechism:
1. It doesn't mention Limbo 2. It admits that the Church's understanding of the faith it preaches will grow over time as believers think things through more.
I can witness to the fact that limbo was a universal teaching in UK and Ireland and I would guess Continental Europe too.
Obviously that's not true, as you haven't been to every place in which Catholic doctrine was taught. I don't recall being taught anything about limbo in Catholic school (though it's of course possible I've just forgotten).
In fact I doubt that there was any church teaching something different anywhere until latterly when it was de facto dumped. If you know of anywhere but in the Vatican's corridors where this was different, I'd like to know of it.
Obviously I can't point to some specific example of a priest's teachings somewhere in the world, but I can point out that The Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma by Ludwig Ott, published in 1952 - a very popular book designed to quickly summarise Church dogma for the "busy working priest" (not my words) - discussed various plausible (from a Catholic viewpoint) ways in which unbaptised infants could nevertheless go to heaven.
The church HAS cast limbo away. It's the practical effects on the ground that matters, not these clever men in dresses thinking deeply about their supernatural fantasies. Before the change parents where told that their child was destined for everlating nowhere, that they would never meet up with him again and that he couldn't even share a graveyard with them. Now all that has been done away with. And the guys in purple know exactly the same as they did before the change of policy - ie nothing.
But of course in practice 'in towns and villages around the globe' the doctrine of limbo is certainly still being taught. Do you think that priests who believe in an idea are going to stop teaching it, when the Vatican's top theologians are unwilling to give a clear answer? There has been no sudden change on this issue.
On the contrary, it suddenly changed on the 19th April 2007 with the publication of .
Allow me to fill in the bit missing at the end of that sentence. The document in question was "The Hope of Salvation for Infants Who Die without Being Baptized." That was the one that I quoted a few posts ago. The one that concludes that there is hope unbaptised children might be able to go to heaven, but no certainty.
So let's review - prior to 19th April 2007:
- the Pope (Benedict) had often said he rejected the doctrine of limbo (since long before he became Pope) - common textbooks on Catholic dogma taught alternatives to limbo - the Catechism of the Catholic Church didn't mention limbo.
Then, on 19th April 2007, the Vatican published a document declaring that they did not know if limbo exists!
As a result, none of the above changed, and Catholic clergy are still permitted to teach about limbo if they like, because it is a teaching not condemned by the Church,
All these facts have already been explained, but if you're only interested in how events are framed by headline writers then I'm done.