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“Salus animarum supemus lex esto” — the salvation of souls … must be the supreme law in the Church.” Canon Law (1752)

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The Fullness of Truth

and the Magisterium of the Holy Catholic Church

The "Spirit of Truth" (St. John 15.26)


Question 15 of the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

  • To whom is the Deposit of Faith entrusted?

    "The Apostles entrusted the Deposit of Faith to the whole of the Church. Thanks to its supernatural sense of faith the people of God as a whole, assisted by the Holy Spirit and guided by the Magisterium of the Church, never ceases to welcome, to penetrate more deeply and to live more fully from the gift of Divine Revelation."

    Editor's Commentary

    Truth does not change. The amplitude, however, of what remains to be definitively true is always latently deficient. It is possible either to elicit more (analytically) from the truth we possess, or to acquire (historically) further dimensions of the truth yet to be predicated of it subsequent to the present.

    Simply put, we never possess the entirety of truth about anything whatever.

    This is not to say that what we hold to be true is deficient, but merely incomplete relative to all truthful statements than can and will be predicated of it, such that what is true of it is exhaustively stated and nothing further truthful can be stated relative to it. The complete truth about any existent encompasses too many aspects to be exhausted simply because its existence in time will never be totally enacted until the end of time — and more can predicated of anything than what is predicable of it at this moment in time and in moments past.

    This does not mean that what is true about it will ever cease to be true (we cannot abolish what is true, nor will what is true ever be not-true). It simply means that the totality of the truth has yet to be explicated, has yet to unfold, because the conditions that continue to define it have not yet historically culminated in the plenitude of the truth concerning it, of that which is, and will be, true relative to it in all time. The culmination of all truth pertaining to it only obtains in that final and definitive facticity beyond which nothing further can be stated about it in both time and place. What remains to be truthfully stated about it is continually explicated in time.

    For this reason the Magisterium of the Church continues to be open to the discernment given it by the Holy Spirit — Who is the
    "Spirit of Truth" (St. John 15.26) and "Who will teach you all truth" (St. John 16.13). More remains true to be said than what has already been said. The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, cannot be stifled, and as long as the Church endures on Earth will continue, as Jesus promised, to lead it continually, in all truth, into the fullness of truth until that truth culminates in the blinding reality of the Parousia, or the Second Coming of Christ, when this world will pass away, and all within it. Only then will the fullness of truth be realized, for no more could possibly be said of, predicated of, what has reached its culmination in time and passed into eternity.


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