Understanding the dogma of the Catholic Church was something I struggled with as a Protestant. It didn’t make sense to me and honestly, I thought the Catholic Church just kind of made things up as they felt like it. Then, I began to really study the Catholic Faith. It was then I began to understand the beauty of the Church, her history and her Truths.
I love how Mark Miravalle explains dogma:
“A dogma is a teaching of the Catholic Church that has been formally defined – either by the Pope in a formal (called ex cathedra, or “from the chair”) statement or by a Church-wide council of bishops held in union with the Pope – as true and binding for all believers. Besides formal definition, the other essential thing about dogma is that they must originate, either explicitly or implicitly, in divine revelation: whether as found in the Bible or in the oral teachings given by Jesus and passed on through the Church since its beginning. In other words, the Pope can’t just wake up one morning, declare that Jesus is from the planet Zebulon, and have that declaration suddenly become a new dogma of the Faith. It doesn’t work that way. Dogmas are rooted in existing truths of revelation; the Church does not invent new ones.”
Such a simple explanation for a sometimes very confusing topic!
Note: This post may contain affiliate links, please read my full disclosure here.