Authority Caveats?

We know the Church was given authority by Jesus in the “whatever you bind on earth . . .” verses. However, that is obviously not unlimited. For example, the Church couldn’t say, “We declare that all humans–past, present, and future–are hereby saved, and all are going to heaven.”

It would seem there are some limits on authority. Has the Church ever addressed this issue?

Thank you

I’m not sure what you’re asking.

Has the Church outlined or acknowledged the boundaries of its authority?

Thank you

Church teachings on faith and morals needs to be obeyed.

Disciplinary rules need to be obeyed. (Fasting and meatless days during Lent).

I’m sure others can explain much better…

Jesus gave certain authorities, but Jesus still saves when people confess and repent- aka by ordinary means as explained by divine revelation. There is still a required response to the redemption victory.

Only God can choose to save by extraordinary means when one does not repent. Jesus did not give the apostles that authority, only to bind and loose by way of confession and repentance.

The past, present, and future narrative is from the once saved, always saved viewpoint. Catholics have never believed that as a truth of Christianity. It was invented sometime after the reformation.

We focus on the bible without making inferences- Matthew 16, Matthew 28, John 20, Acts 2, etc. as well as sacred tradition which can be traced to the beginning of the church.

Thanks for the response. That helps some.

NOTE: Some users in this forum have been rude and argumentative in the past, therefore I have blocked them. So I may not see all of the responses you see. I am here asking sincere questions as I make my way towards Catholicism. Some users in this forum attack anyone who dares to ask a difficult question.

Thank you

Blessings Auctoris,

Don’t have the authority to set out/arrange that a person predestined to

heaven end up in hell or to set out/arrange that a person predestined to

grace end up in heaven. – Every predestined to heaven MUST end up in

heaven and every predestined to grace** MUST **end up in hell.

There is **NO **other alternative.

With other words. Don’t have the authority to alter God’s predestinations.


That’s downright Calvinist. :wink:

Thank you


That is exactly what I was thinking!

Blessings Auctoris,

The Catholic Church affirms predestination as a ***de fide dogma ***(the **highest level **of binding theological certainty).


THE CATHOLIC DOGMA. – The predestination of the elect

Consequently, the whole future membership of heaven, down to its minutest details, has

been IRREVOCABLY FIXED FROM ALL ETERNITY. Nor could it be otherwise. For if it

were possible that a predestined individual should after all be CAST INTO HELL or that

one not predestined should in the end REACH HEAVEN, then God would have been

MISTAKEN in his foreknowledge of future events; He would **NO LONGER **be omniscient.

God’s unerring foreknowledge and foreordaining is designated in the Bible by the beautiful

figure of the “Book of Life” (liber vitæ, to biblion tes zoes). This book of life is a list which

contains the names of ALL THE ELECT and admits NEITHER ADDITIONS NO ERASURES.

(2) The second quality of predestination, the DEFINITENESS of the number of the elect,

follows NATURALLY from the first. For if the eternal counsel of God regarding the

predestined is UNCHANGEABLE, then the number of the predestined must likewise be


CANCELLATIONS.** Anything indefinite in the number would eo ipso imply a lack of

certitude in God’s knowledge and would DESTROY His omniscience.

Furthermore, the very nature of omniscience demands that not only the abstract number

of the elect, but also the individuals with their names and their entire career on earth,

should be present before the Divine mind from all eternity. End quote Emphasize added.

What is Catholic view on predestination?

This is an often confusing and difficult subject to address.

The bottom line is that the Catholic Church does teach that the ELECT ARE PREDESTINED,

while concomitantly, free will is respected so that God is not involved with coercion.

The best way to explain this is that God has foreknowledge of ALL those that would RESPOND to his gift of self.

While He wills all to be saved (cf. 1 Timothy 2:3), NOT ALL accept Him (also, John 1:11-12).

In addition to this foreknowledge, God also has provided **ALL THE GRACE NECESSARY **for those to be saved.

In this way, He has DETERMINED their salvation: by INSURING it.

So, in the end, God not only knows who will be saved, He “saw to it” that they were saved,

and respected the free will of those who were not. End quote. Emphasize added.

CCC 1994 “… It is the opinion of St. Augustine that "the justification of the wicked is a

greater work than the creation of heaven and earth," because "heaven and earth will pass

away but the salvation and justification of the elect … will not pass away. …”



Thank you, I understand. I just find the emphasis on predestination to be unnecessary. God exists outside of time. He has seen all free choice before they happened. Therefore, free will and predestination are not in conflict. When you take a perspective outside of time, the tension dissolves. That’s the problem with open theists. Their perspective is stuck inside time.


Blessings Auctoris,

There are two main Catholic views on election and predestination

a. Thomism [after Thomas Aquinas (1225 – 1274)].
Thomism teaches UNCONDITIONAL ELECTION. – God is the one who choose the elects.

The election and predestination based on God’s UNCONDITIONAL decision.

b. Molinism [after Luis de Molina (1535 – 1600)].
Molinism teach CONDITIONAL ELECTION. – The individuals decide they want to be elected or don’t.

The election and predestination based on God’s CONDITIONAL decision.



If it’s unconditional, is there a way in this life to know if one is elect or not?

Actually, Jesus put no limits on the authority He granted His Church. It is humans that have tried to limit the Church’s authority. If you believe in Jesus, and believe He founded a Church, and believe He is with it until the end of the age, and believe the Holy Spirit will guide it into all truth, why do you believe it would attempt to loose something Jesus wants bound?

Blessings Mackbrislawn,

Even our ability that we are able to receive God’s gift of faith is God’s gift.

To freely accept the GIFT OF FAITH, “THE WILL IS PREPARED BY THE LORD.” – Canon 4 of the Council of Orange (529 AD); John 6:44-45.


a. BELIEF ……. (Unconditional BELIEF in what God says.)

b. HOPE ……… (Unconditional TRUST in God.)

c. CHARITY …. (Unconditional LOVE for God.)

Two Canons from the Sixth Session of the Council of Trent:

CANON XV.-If any one saith, that a man, who is born again and justified, is bound of faith

to believe that he is assuredly in the number of the predestinate; let him be anathema.

CANON XVI.-If any one saith, that he will for certain, of an absolute and infallible certainty,

have that great gift of perseverance unto the end,-unless he have learned this by special

revelation; let him be anathema.

According to the Council of Trent, if we have learned by from God’s special revelation, we

can be certain of an absolute that we are among God’s ELECT.

The question is: How anyone can be sure that he has God’s special revelation that he is among the ELECT?

We cannot sit on an armchair and wait to hear God’s deep voice and say: “John my son you are among my ELECT.”

God puts his special revelations into our hearts and our spirits.

God’s special revelation from our hearts and our spirits goes to our brains and we can be

certain of an absolute that we are among God’s ELECT.

Now how this is happen? When we feel God’s gift of faith in our hearts and our spirits and

we have “Unconditional BELIEF in what God says,” we have “Unconditional TRUST in

God” and our hearts burning with “Unconditional LOVE for God and others,” we have a

thanks-full heart for God for our salvation and we have faith to believe it, then we can be

sure we have God’s special revelation and we can be certain of an absolute that we are among God’s ELECT.



Does God give a private revelation to all of the elect?

You should read those canons again :wink:

Peace and God Bless

The Church has the guidance of the Holy Spirit. There is your answer.

]Does God give a private revelation to all of the elect?

Blessings Mackbrislawn,

Good question.

The Word of God explains it.

Rom.8:14, 16; (Ignatius Catholic Study Bible)

“For all who are led by the Spirit of God, are sons of God.

It is the Sprit himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God.”

“Likewise the Spirit helps in our weakness; …”

The promise of the Holy Spirit.

John 14:16, 26;
“I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor, to be with you forever …

you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.

The Counselor, the Holy Spirit … will teach you all things, …”

1 Cor.3:16;
“Do you not know that you are God’s temple and the Spirit of God dwells in you?”

1 Cor.6:19;
“Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, …”

In above Mackbrislawn you see the answer for your question.

God via the Holy Spirit gives private revelations to all of the elect and we receive these private revelations via our spirits.

This is not a onetime event, this is a continues event throughout all our Christian life.

Without this continues communication we could not co-operate with the grace of God.

At the point when we born again the line of communication between God and us is restored.

Without this line of communication we would remain spiritually dead.

Unfortunately some Christian doesn’t know this line of communication with God.

This doesn’t mean unknowingly they don’t communicate with God.

In fact they communicate with God without knowing it.



Good. Now, about the non-elect? Does God let them know?

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