7
CHRISTIAN REVELATION GIVEN ONCE FOR ALL

It is the special office of the Church, as a Divine teacher, to continually unfold, develop and illustrate (explicare, evolvere *) the doctrines contained in the deposit of revelation which she has received from Christ. This she does especially in her Councils by her definitions of faith. In these definitions the Church does not propose to the faithful any new truths, but -- guided by the infallible assistance of the Holy Ghost -- recalls more distinctly to their remembrance, and more fully explains certain portions of the original deposit. Hence it happens that from time to time that certain truths which, because revealed, were always of faith, objectively, or regarded in themselves, being de fide quoad se, become subjectively, through the Church's definition and proposition, formal dogmas of Catholic faith -- de fide quoad nos -- and as such claim the belief of all Christians. In other words: certain truths -- which, as forming part of the revealed deposit, and consequently of the integral Christian faith revealed to the Apostles -- were always believed implicitly by the faithful, come in course of time to be believed by them explicitly.

The following quotation from a writer in the Dublin Review will serve to illustrate the matter treated of in this Chapter.


* See the Bulls of Pius IX., Ineffabilis and Aeterni Patris.

 

 

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