[This is intended as a reflection on, rather than polemic against, Jess's recent post, "The virtues of simplicity?"]
It is a criticism of Rome oft repeated, that She is too keen to extend, refine, and define Her doctrine; that Her magisterium is too exacting; that Her teaching is too complex; that Her theology is too elaborate.
This kind of talk, I am ashamed to say, had much traction with me while I was considering conversion. It is very tempting to believe that anything that appears to depart from the pretended simplicity of the ‘primitive’ New Testament Church – much peddled by Protestants – is somehow a betrayal of the Apostolic Faith.
Nothing could be further from the Truth. The elaboration of Holy Mother Church’s doctrine, its careful cultivation and refinement unto perfection, is a glorious fruit of Her faith, and Her thirst for knowledge. She is much hated for this; She is even more hated for daring to say to the world, “This is Truth” – according to that mandate which Our Lord has given Her, from which She cannot deviate.
Protestantism, and indeed every other false religion, condemns Her on the one hand for daring to define Supernatural truth so clearly, and then turns around and says to any poor sap thirsting for the Gospel, “Supernatural truth? Oh just love; isn’t it obvious? Work out the rest for yourself.” Which amounts to saying, You’re damned.
The Church says, “All you that thirst, come to the waters: and you that have no money make haste, buy, and eat: come ye, buy wine and milk without money, and without any price. ” (Isaiah 55:1)