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Part One

The dogmas of the faith

88

The Church’s Magisterium exercises the authority it holds

from Christ to the fullest extent when it defines dogmas, that is,

when it proposes, in a form obliging the Christian people to an

irrevocable adherence of faith, truths contained in divine Revela-

tion or also when it proposes, in a definitive way, truths having a

necessary connection with these.

89

There is an organic connection between our spiritual life

and the dogmas. Dogmas are lights along the path of faith; they

illuminate it and make it secure. Conversely, if our life is upright,

our intellect and heart will be open to welcome the light shed by

the dogmas of faith.

50

90

The mutual connections between dogmas, and their coher­

ence, can be found in the whole of the Revelation of the mystery of

Christ.

51

“In Catholic doctrine there exists an order or ‘hierarchy’

of truths, since they vary in their relation to the foundation of the

Christian faith.”

52

The supernatural sense of faith

91

All the faithful share in understanding and handing on

revealed truth. They have received the anointing of the Holy Spirit,

who instructs them

53

and guides them into all truth.

54

92

“The whole body of the faithful . . . cannot err in matters

of belief. This characteristic is shown in the supernatural apprecia­

tion of faith (

sensus fidei

) on the part of the whole people, when,

‘from the bishops to the last of the faithful,’ they manifest a univer­

sal consent in matters of faith and morals.”

55

93

“By this appreciation of the faith, aroused and sustained

by the Spirit of truth, the People of God, guided by the sacred

teaching authority (

Magisterium

), . . . receives . . . the faith, once for

all delivered to the saints. . . . The People unfailingly adheres to this

faith, penetrates it more deeply with right judgment, and applies

it more fully in daily life.”

56

50 Cf.

Jn

8:31-32.

51 Cf. Vatican Council I: DS 3016:

nexus mysteriorum; LG

25.

52

UR

11.

53 Cf.

1 Jn

2:20, 27.

54 Cf.

Jn

16:13.

55

LG

12; cf. St. Augustine,

De praed. sanct.

14, 27: PL 44, 980.

56

LG

12; cf.

Jude

3.

888-892

2032-2040

2625

114, 158

234

737

785

889