The Dogma of Compassion as the New Profession of Faith

October 9, 2023

In his letter to the Romans, St. Paul urgently reminds his brethren and faithful to not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God what is good and acceptable and perfect.[1] St. Paul’s urgent appeal to his fellow brethren about presenting themselves as a living sacrifice before Jesus Christ stresses the importance of developing an intimate relationship with Christ as a pathway toward proper worship and adoration of Him.

The pathway to Christ is further magnified in St. Paul’s letter to the Corinthians where he makes the distinction between Adam who became a living soul and Christ who became a life-giving spirit.[2] He continues this distinction where the first came from dust-the earth and the second man came from heaven. Though we bear the image of the man from dust because of our physical nature, we also bear the image of the man from heaven.[3] This entire discourse reminds us that we cannot inherit the kingdom of God solely on our human condition. We are called to conform to the condition of the Divine, we were made to reflect the image of God as sons and daughters.

If the reality of our human existence is meant to reflect the reality of God as Father, Lord, and Creator, then our human condition is called to imitate this reality and renounce the human capacity to sin and embrace the reality of Jesus Christ as the way, the truth, and the light.[4] The resurrection came to destroy the power of sin and death that had held man spiritually ransomed for centuries and by the singular sacrificial event of Jesus’ crucifixion sin and death are conquered and destroyed through Jesus’s death.

As living disciples of Jesus Christ and hence disciples of his Word our own hermeneutic of human living reflects both the humanity and divinity of Jesus Christ where the Incarnation serves as the definitive and distinctive sign of Christian faith.[5] If one were to recognize the visible and understandable value of our inherent identity with Jesus Christ it would seem that our human actions would be directed toward a sensus fidei of our adherence and assent to the Christian faith established by Jesus Christ.  

The Catechism explicates the sensus fidei to mean the whole body of the faithful cannot err in matters of belief. This characteristic is shown in the supernatural appreciation of faith-sensus fidei on the part of the whole people, when, from the bishops to the last of the faithful, they manifest a universal consent in matters of faith and morals.[6] And here lies the assent of a renewed movement to define dogma based on personal experience and faith based on personal human accommodation.

The dogma of experience is rooted in an accommodation of disordered human compassion over conversion to Jesus Christ in essence, we prefer an Adamic way of living versus an Incarnate way of living. This endemic new way of living has provided a pathway to redefine for example marriage as no longer being between one man or one woman, the multiplicity of supposed genders instead of the natural biological reality that there is only male and female and that the sin of adultery and fornication is no longer viewed as an impediment to the reception of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist.

St. Paul reminds us that we are called to proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord and thus by our baptism we are to imitate Him.[7] The Church’s instinct of faith in relation to the Sensus Fidei Fidelium requires us to assent to the way of the Cross and not to disordered human compassions that disregard the basic tenet of our human anthropology and created children of God. Hence, the distinctive premise of Catholicism and thus the Catholic faith is to address our human brokenness and the fact that we need redemption and not perverse human accommodations.  

The structure of human sin and its proclivity to manifest itself in the most abhorrent way reveals our human weakness that needs redemption and conversion. We are in constant need of spiritual preparation as the Catechism reminds us concerning the reception of grace:

God’s free initiative demands man’s free response, for God has created man in his image by conferring on him, along with freedom, the power to know him and love him. The soul only enters freely into the communion of love. God immediately touches and directly moves the heart of man. He has placed in man a longing for truth and goodness that only he can satisfy. The promises of “eternal life” respond, beyond all hope, to this desire:[8]

When the Creed is recited, it does not propose an accommodation of the human condition at the expense of renouncing God. On the contrary, the Creed proposes that we love God our Father in heaven more than our own sins. Authentic Christian compassion is rooted in the Cross, in his death, Jesus defeated sin and death and opened the gateway to heaven for us to freely embrace if we so choose. The mark of a genuine synod leads the faithful to the cross and not away from it.


[1] Rom 12:2

[2] 1 Cor 15:45

[3] Ibid, 15:46

[4] Jn 14:6

[5] CCC 463

[6] CCC 92

[7] Phil 2:5-10

[8] CCC 2002

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