|“(That faith is Catholic) which is everywhere, which is always, which is by all people believed.”|
Many questioned St. Vincent’s counsel on seeking the church’s interpretation of the Bible. They felt the canon of the Scripture was complete and sufficient in and of itself. St. Vincent responded to their doubts with this explanation: “Because owing to the depth of holy Scripture, all do not accept it in one and the same sense. But one understands its words in one way, another differently, so that the Bible seems to be capable of as many interpretations as there are interpreters. Thus it is very necessary that the rule for the right understanding of the prophets and apostles should be framed in accordance with the standard ecclesiastical and Catholic interpretation.”
In St. Vincents’s opinion, doctrine was not static. He thought doctrinal development brought greater clarity to the truth without warping it. Comparing Christian truth to a seed growing into a plant, he believed it could evolve over time so as long as the inner reality remained unchanged.
Today, Pope Francis cites St. Vincent when addressing the major changes occurring in society. He uses a passage from the Commonitorium: “The doctrine of the Christian religion should follow the law of progress, so that it may be consolidated by years, developed by time and made more sublime by age.”
Website: Loyola Press http://loyolapress.com/saints.htm#