When asking a question like:

Why do Matthew,Mark and John not give narrative account of the Ascension?

Is it reasonable to equate "According to the Catholic Church" with "What do Catholics think" and therefore scope a question, not so much that it's expected that there be an official teaching. But there should be a teaching that that both members and magisterium find acceptable (nihil obstat sans imprimatur)

Half the time you'll get an answer from St. Jerome or some other ancient commentator rather than a papal bull. But, and I've been saying this for 8 years now, unless we're ordained and/or have a particular commission to preach or teach, we don't have the faculties to say what the Church says so it's always filtered through a potentially faulty interpretation.

So, and curiousdannii, makes this point repeatedly, which I agree with, but tend to annoy people when I bring it up. When the the Catholicism part seems superfluous to the question, but not to the questioner should we close those questions and goad users into writing something a little less doctrinaire than "According to the Catholic Church?" and if so, "According to what?"

1 Answer 1


In non-doctrinal issues, I believe the Church Fathers or something in these lines would suffice. No need to have the question tagged Catholicism every time. After all, the Church Fathers are recognized in various others denominations as valid sources of Christian information. They are equally recognized as saint in various denominations also.

The same is true of the Apostolic Era sources, etc.

When no official Catholic response is forthcoming from the Pope or teaching magisterium of the Church, one could simply tag questions as Apostolic Era, Church Fathers, etc. And leave out the Catholicism tag as it is not needed.

One should nevertheless avoid asking what Catholics think about such and such for it makes the question seem opinionated at best!

Catholic questions require Catholic answers!

In any case, I see see no harm in either phrase that you postulate. Both are good. I still prefer the first!

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    Unfortunately, this leaves the treasure trove of Chesterton's works I accumulated helping out the transcription process largely useless, even if he is one day canonized. I really think there is room for asking about an orthodox Catholic viewpoint outside of the official channels. But we'll see if other opinions arise here.
    – Peter Turner Mod
    Commented Feb 15, 2020 at 1:41
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    Chesterton will not be canonized. It seems his cause has been permanently placed on the shelf.
    – Ken Graham Mod
    Commented Feb 15, 2020 at 1:43
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    I'll bet you a burrito he is canonized by 2036
    – Peter Turner Mod
    Commented Feb 15, 2020 at 1:44
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    Good luck on that!
    – Ken Graham Mod
    Commented Feb 15, 2020 at 1:45
  • @PeterTurner Found this article about Chesterton canonization and what's lacking. Although I'm not Catholic, I support his canonization and would join a "cult" following him :-). How about C.S. Lewis? Would an Anglican who practically write within medieval Catholic worldview and who studiously avoided anything negative about the Catholic church ever have a chance for canonization? He probably has a bigger "cult", including his wife Joy who was attracted to him for his writings ! Commented Feb 15, 2020 at 19:55
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    @GratefulDisciple I'm a card carrying cult member chesterton.org!
    – Peter Turner Mod
    Commented Feb 15, 2020 at 20:57
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    @PeterTurner Wow. I'm glad that the lay apostolate seems to be flourishing. I especially like the Chesterton school network with the motto "Joyfully Catholic, Classical High Schools". I have a high regard for socratic great-books based education. I guess I need to become a member as well to put my money where my mouth is :-) Commented Feb 17, 2020 at 18:54

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