Doctrine Begs for Change: Why Are We So Afraid of This?

Doctrine is the foundation of all Catholic belief, practice and ritual. Isn’t it time to attend to doctrine and its transvaluation, broadening our understanding of doctrine beyond Trent and even beyond Vatican II?

At the Vatican Synod on the Family, some bishops drew a distinction between doctrine and discipline, but conservatives among the synod fathers said any change in discipline implies a change in doctrine.

I would agree with our conservative brothers that any change in discipline does imply a change in doctrine…doctrine which is sorely in need of change.

The words “change, update, reform” as regards discipline trigger fear in our conservative brothers. These same words trigger fear in many of our moderate and liberal sisters and brothers when the word “doctrine” is mentioned, as if doctrine should be frozen in time or the Church will fall apart.

Yet doctrine is the foundation of all Catholic belief, practice and ritual. Isn’t it time to attend to doctrine and its transvaluation, broadening our understanding of doctrine beyond Trent and even beyond Vatican II?

Or don’t we trust the doctrine and its gold beneath the accumulated dusty clay of ages past?

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