W. H. Marshner
In today’s world especially since the advent of Modernism, it is insufficient to simply define the authority of the pope and leave the faithful to follow his teachings. It is unfortunately fashionable to deny that Church teachings are to be taken literally, fashionable in other words, to retain the precise wording of dogmatic formulations while interpreting them in purely symbolic or metaphorical terms. Therefore, a further defense is necessary, a defense which is at times technical, but nonetheless indispensable: it is the defense that Church teachings mean what they say. And in order to appreciate the ways in which dogma is under attack today—some of them quite subtle—and to meet those attacks, we must begin by taking special pains to be fully clear about exactly what dogma is.