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Home : Viewpoints : Letters
12/21/2013 2:23:00 PM
He believed to understand
Portrayal of St. Anselm
Portrayal of St. Anselm

To the Catholic Sentinel:

In a recent Sentinel column, a theologian in Texas offers the phrase “faith seeking understanding,” then repeats a common error calling it, “St Anselm’s definition of theology.”

St. Anselm himself mentions Faith Seeking Understanding (Fides quaerens intellectum) only in the preface of his book.He does not call it his definition of theology.

We find instead (in Chapter 1) the following: “I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand (credo ut intelligam.”)

St. Anselm does not rely on intellect to find faith. He receives faith from God to follow Christ through established Catholic teaching. He uses reason to defend the Catholic religion against false doctrines.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church comes through the authority Jesus gave His Church to govern, guide and sanctify His people. The Catechism is the collection of our essential beliefs.

The Catechism is an ideal companion to the Bible and the Code of Canon Law in the formation of any Catholic.

I recommend the Catechism as a continual reference for every Catholic, and not just (as the Texas writer called it) “for neophytes.”

Ricardo Alcocer
Otter Rock

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