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Protopresbyter Michael Pomazansky
Orthodox dogmatic theology

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The sources of dogmas.

On what are dogmas founded? It is clear that dogmas are not founded on the rational conceptions

of separate individuals, even though these might be Fathers and Teachers of the Church,

but, rather, on the teaching of Sacred Scripture and on the Apostolic Sacred Tradition. The truths

of faith which are contained in the Sacred Scripture and the Apostolic Sacred Tradition give the

fullness of the teaching of faith which was called by the ancient Fathers of the Church the “catholic

faith,” the “catholic teaching” of the Church. (In such phrases the wordcatholicmeansuniversal” as

referring to the Church of all times, peoples, and placeswhere there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor

uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free, but Christ is all and in all” (Col. 3:11). A celebrated definition

of “catholic” in the early Church was given by St. Vincent of Lerins, the 5th century monastic Father of Gaul, who in

his Communitorium says, “Every care should be taken to hold fast to what has been believed everywhere, always,

and by all. That is truly and properly 'catholic' as indicated by the force and etymology of the name itself, which

comprises everything truly universal” (ch. 2, Fathers of the Church edition, p. 270). The name of “catholic” has been

kept from early times in the “Roman Catholicchurch, but the teaching of the early Church has been preserved in the

Orthodox Church, which even to this day can be and still is calledcatholic.” In many places in this book, Father

Michael will be contrasting the teaching of Roman Catholicism and the true catholic or Orthodox teaching.) The

truths of Scripture and Tradition, harmoniously fused together into a single whole, define the

catholic consciousness” of the Church, a consciousness that is guided by the Holy Spirit.

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