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Decrees of Vat. Ecum. Council I

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  • SESSION 3 : 24 April 1870 - Dogmatic constitution on the catholic faith
    • Chapter 4. On faith and reason
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Chapter 4. On faith and reason

    The perpetual agreement of the catholic church has maintained and maintains this too: that With regard to the source, With regard to the object, Now reason,

but reason

    Even though faith is above reason, there can never be any real disagreement between faith and reason, since God cannot deny himself, nor can truth ever be in opposition to truth. Therefore we define that every assertion contrary to the truth of enlightened faith is totally false34. Furthermore the church which, Hence all faithful Christians Not only can faith and reason never be at odds with one another but they mutually support each other, for Hence, so far is the church from hindering the development of human arts and studies, that in fact she assists and promotes them in many ways. For Nor does the church forbid these studies to employ, each within its own area, its own proper principles and method: For the doctrine of the faith which God has revealed is put forward Hence, too,that meaning of the sacred dogmas is ever to be maintained which has once been declared by holy mother church, and there must never be any abandonment of this sense under the pretext or in the name of a more profound understanding.

May understanding, knowledge and wisdom increase as ages and centuries roll along, and greatly and vigorously flourish, in each and all, in the individual and the whole church: but this only in its own proper kind, that is to say, in the same doctrine, the same sense, and the same understanding36.




29 Rm 1, 20



30 Jn 1, 17



31 i Cor 2, 7-8, 10



32 Mt 11, 25



33 2 Cor 5, 6-7



34 See Lateran council V, session 8 (see above p. 605).



35 See Col 2, 8



36 Vincent of Lerins, Commonitorium (Notebook), 28 (PL 50, 668).






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