Authority of writings


I know there are papal bulls and other official writings and sayings in the RCC. How do these rank among each other? Is the Catechism above a Papal Bull? If you could please take a moment to list and rank the different writings that would be super. If they all rank the same please list them still for me thank you.


I’m a recent RCC convert, but my understanding through RCIA is that the Catechism represents fundamentally the teachings of the Church(and includes material drawn from Scripture (predominantly), councils, and papal encyclicals as well as theological works and canon law). So I would say if you want to know what the Church IS, the Catechism would be the best authority on the subject. Encyclicals then expound on this, while canon law operationalizes it.

All in my very limited view, and I hope somebody will see fit to correct me if I’m mistaken as you’ve asked a great question and I’d personally like to know the definitive answer as well.


Great question, I understand the requirements of infallibility but canons
The Ccc


When something is said to be inerrant (like the Catechism), it simply means that nothing is contained therin that goes against the teachings of the Church. This is different than infallibility.


That is a good question and I cannot answer it either. I think that perhaps the authority would be measured by the intention of the Pope who issues the Bulls, Encyclicals, etc. Sometimes Encyclicals may not be infallible in themselves, but are used to delineate information that is, for example John Paul II encyclical on the ordination or more correctly non-ordination of women to the priesthood.


Thanks to all who replied, this thread hasn’t gone unchecked even though I’ve only posted once (now twice!)


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