3rd level of Church teaching -- examples?


#1

According to Fr. Robert Levis of EWTN:

l. If it is a teaching proclaimed by the extraordinary magisterium, a good Catholic must assent under pain of heresy.

  1. If it is a teaching proclaimed by the ordinary magisterium, e.g.
    the 10 Commandments, a good Catholic must assent under pain of
    serious sin.

  2. If it is a teaching seriously proclaimed by the magisterium in a
    non-infallible way, on a non-infallible topic, a good Catholic
    must assent under pain of sin, possibly mortal.

My question is, what would be some examples of #3? And of them, the denial of which ones would be mortally sinful, and the denial of which ones would be venially sinful? Thanks in advance.


#2

[quote=DavidJoseph]My question is, what would be some examples of #3? And of them, the denial of which ones would be mortally sinful, and the denial of which ones would be venially sinful? Thanks in advance.
[/quote]

The Minnesota bishops’ recent teaching about the immorality of lowering state taxes by shutting down necessary government services to the poor would be an example of non-infallible magisterial teaching, denial of which would be a venial sin.

Bishop Botean’s teaching about the grave immorality of participation in the Iraqi war would be an example of non-infallible magisterial teaching whose violation would be a mortal sin.

In both cases, the teaching only binds the subjects of the respective bishops.


#3

[quote=DavidJoseph]My question is, what would be some examples of #3? And of them, the denial of which ones would be mortally sinful, and the denial of which ones would be venially sinful? Thanks in advance.
[/quote]

Eating meat on Friday during Lent.


#4

l. Solemn infallible teaching (eg. Immaculate Conception, canon of Bible)

  1. Ordinary universal infallible teaching (eg. inerrancy of Scripture, inability to ordain women as priests)

  2. Ordinary teaching (doctrinal, not infallible), also called sententia certa (certain teaching).

Examples of type three include:

  1. Mary’s role as Mediatrix/co-redemptrix.
  2. With Christ and the Apostles General Revelation concluded
  3. Christ’s human soul possessed the immediate vision of God from the first moment of its existence.
  4. Christ’s human knowledge was free from positive ignorance and from error.

There’s a bunch more listed in Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma by Dr. Ludwig Ott.


#5

As for mortal sin versus venial sin, any sin can be mortal if one acts from malice of God’s will.

Yet, it’s difficult to list mortal sins versus venials sins, because there are objective and subjective elements involved. For a sin to be mortal, three things must be present: 1) grave matter, 2) full advertence of the mind, 3) perfect constent of the will.

There is sin that is mortal… there is sin that is not mortal.” (1 John 5:16-17, NRSV)

“When the will sets itself upon something that is of its nature incompatible with the charity that orients man toward his ultimate end, then the sin is mortal by its very object . . . whether it contradicts the love of God, such as blasphemy or perjury, or the love of neighbor, such as homicide or adultery. . . . But when the sinner’s will is set upon something that of its nature involves a disorder, but is not opposed to the love of God and neighbor, such as thoughtless chatter or immoderate laughter and the like, such sins are venial” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1856, St. Thomas Aquinas, STh I-II,88,2)

Rejecting sententia certa (certain teachings) of the Catholic Church is not heresy or schism, but is sinful disobedience, and can be mortal depending upon voluntary malice for the divine will. Canon law binds all Catholics, and directs us to give our religious submission of mind and will to all Catholic doctrines taught by the authentic magisterium. (canon 750, Lumen Gentium 25) It’s a sin against charity to not submit to the lawful pastors in matters within their scope of authority, an authority given to them by God. It is just as sinful to disobey civil laws established by lawful authority, also given by God. All such sinful defiance of lawful authority is contary to Scripture…

Heb 13:17 “Obey your prelates, and be subject to them. For they watch as being to render an account of your souls; that they may do this with joy, and not with grief. For this is not expedient for you.

For more, see Ad tuendam fidem - John Paul II and the - Professio fideiDoctrinal****Commentary by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger.


#6

Thanks, y’all. Now I have a second question. I’ve been dealing with some traditionalists at my parish (I attend an indult Tridentine Latin Mass parish). Some believe that Protestants aren’t Christians. And they claim Catholics should have nothing to do with Protestants unless it’s a question of trying to convert them. For example, they think it would be a sin for a Catholic to attend the wedding of 2 Protestants at a Protestant church. This type of thing goes against what Vatican II taught about ecumenism. Of course, the Church is and will always be against false ecumenism, but these people seem to hold ideas on ecumenism that are far stricter than the Church’s teachings. So which level teaching might they be violating?


#7

[quote=DavidJoseph]So which level teaching might they be violating?
[/quote]

Ecumenical councils teach with the extraordinary magisterium, so by Fr. Levis’ list that would be category 1.


#8

Ok then … but then again, they aren’t against ecumenism per se – they just seem to have the wrong idea about just what is considered false ecumenism. Would these people still be considered to be committing heresy (objectively speaking)?

Also, while I know Vatican II referred to Protestants as separated brethren, has the Church ever really come right out and said that Protestants are Christians and that those who disagree are anathema? I ask this because the people in question might ask it.


#9

[quote=DavidJoseph]Ok then … but then again, they aren’t against ecumenism per se – they just seem to have the wrong idea about just what is considered false ecumenism. Would these people still be considered to be committing heresy (objectively speaking)?
[/quote]

They would seem to be rejecting the authority of the Pope regarding what forms of ecumenism are licit, so that might be schism more than heresy.

[quote=DavidJoseph]Also, while I know Vatican II referred to Protestants as separated brethren, has the Church ever really come right out and said that Protestants are Christians and that those who disagree are anathema? I ask this because the people in question might ask it.
[/quote]

I don’t know about theology, but according to canon law, a Christian is someone who has been baptized using water in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. That includes some Protestants and excludes others.


#10

[quote=DavidJoseph]Thanks, y’all. Now I have a second question. I’ve been dealing with some traditionalists at my parish (I attend an indult Tridentine Latin Mass parish). Some believe that Protestants aren’t Christians.

[/quote]

Pope St. Stephen I established that baptism by heretics are not necessarily invalid. So, if they are validly baptized, they are Christian. Yet, just like Catholics, they may be Christians who have fallen from grace, but they are rightly called Christians just the same.

According to Dr. Ludwig Ott (pre-Vatican II), Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, "Even if it be unworthily received, valid Baptism imprints on the soul of the recipient an indelible spiritual mark, the Baptismal Character, and for this reason, the Sacrament cannot be repeated (DE FIDE) D 852, 867" (pg. 355). And, "Baptism can be validly administered by anyone (DE FIDE)." (pg. 358). Consequently, it depends upon what they mean by “aren’t Christian” as to whether they are denying these *de fide *dogmas or not.

And they claim Catholics should have nothing to do with Protestants unless it’s a question of trying to convert them. For example, they think it would be a sin for a Catholic to attend the wedding of 2 Protestants at a Protestant church. This type of thing goes against what Vatican II taught about ecumenism. Of course, the Church is and will always be against false ecumenism, but these people seem to hold ideas on ecumenism that are far stricter than the Church’s teachings. So which level teaching might they be violating?

It CAN be a sin to attend Protestant services. Yet, it is not necessarily a sin. Catholics are prohibited from giving “countenance to false a Christianity.” Yet, John Paul II affirmed that participation in liturgical services of non-Catholic Christians can be "praiseworthy in certain situations" (Ecclesia de Eucharistia, number 30).

This is Catholic doctrine (sententia certa, not *de fide *dogma). So, I’d say they may be teaching contrary Catholic doctrine.

I’ve had the same discussions with SSPXers. See more here:
**Attending Protestant Services - **View


#11

[quote=Catholic2003]The Minnesota bishops’ recent teaching about the immorality of lowering state taxes by shutting down necessary government services to the poor would be an example of non-infallible magisterial teaching, denial of which would be a venial sin.

Bishop Botean’s teaching about the grave immorality of participation in the Iraqi war would be an example of non-infallible magisterial teaching whose violation would be a mortal sin.

In both cases, the teaching only binds the subjects of the respective bishops.
[/quote]

So your soul can be in peril in one diocese, but not in the next one?

Excepty in extreme cases, I think Bishops dilute their authority by addressing specific policy/political issues. Wouldn’t we be better off if they did more to better educate their flocks, e.g., about exactly what the Just War theory means?
Maybe I shouldn’t judge but I’ve been appalled how many Catholics I know who seemed to figure, “We’re good guys, Saddam is a rotten dictator so it’s a just war.”


#12

[quote=didymus]So your soul can be in peril in one diocese, but not in the next one?
[/quote]

You can even be excommunicated in one diocese, but not in the next one, for the very same action, e.g., being a member of CTA or SSPX.


#13

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.