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By Raymond de Souza, KHS, KofC, Church Militant, August 8, 2022

Unpacking a recent papal comment

During Pope Francis’ return flight from Canada, a journalist asked him about the possibility of a development in the Catholic Church’s teaching on contraception.

The pontiff replied:

This is something very timely. But know that dogma, morality, is always on a path of development but always developing in the same direction. To use something that is clear — I think I’ve said it other times here — for the theological development of a moral or dogmatic issue, there is a rule that is very clear and illuminating. It’s more or less what [St.] Vincent of Lérins did in the 10th century. He says that true doctrine, in order to go forward, to develop, must not be quiet; it develops “ut annis consolidetur, dilatetur tempore, sublimetur aetate [that it may be consolidated by the years, dilated by time, elevated by age].” That is, it is consolidated over time; it expands and consolidates and becomes always more solid, but always progressing. …

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