What is the source of authority in the church?
I know they are one and the same…but isn’t it more accurately the Holy Spirit?
From Lumen Gentium:
- Among the principal duties of bishops the preaching of the Gospel occupies an eminent place. For bishops are preachers of the faith, who lead new disciples to Christ, and they are authentic teachers, that is, teachers endowed with the authority of Christ, who preach to the people committed to them the faith they must believe and put into practice, and by the light of the Holy Spirit illustrate that faith. They bring forth from the treasury of Revelation new things and old, making it bear fruit and vigilantly warding off any errors that threaten their flock. Bishops, teaching in communion with the Roman Pontiff, are to be respected by all as witnesses to divine and Catholic truth. In matters of faith and morals, the bishops speak in the name of Christ and the faithful are to accept their teaching and adhere to it with a religious assent.
- Bishops, as vicars and ambassadors of Christ, govern the particular churches entrusted to them by their counsel, exhortations, example, and even by their authority and sacred power, which indeed they use only for the edification of their flock in truth and holiness, remembering that he who is greater should become as the lesser and he who is the chief become as the servant. This power, which they personally exercise in Christ’s name, is proper, ordinary and immediate, although its exercise is ultimately regulated by the supreme authority of the Church, and can be circumscribed by certain limits, for the advantage of the Church or of the faithful. In virtue of this power, bishops have the sacred right and the duty before the Lord to make laws for their subjects, to pass judgment on them and to moderate everything pertaining to the ordering of worship and the apostolate.
The pastoral office or the habitual and daily care of their sheep is entrusted to them completely; nor are they to be regarded as vicars of the Roman Pontiffs, for they exercise an authority that is proper to them, and are quite correctly called “prelates,” heads of the people whom they govern. Their power, therefore, is not destroyed by the supreme and universal power, but on the contrary it is affirmed, strengthened and vindicated by it, since the Holy Spirit unfailingly preserves the form of government established by Christ the Lord in His Church.
It’s Jesus all right.
18: And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
19: Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
20: teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age."
[quote=Catholic2003]From Lumen Gentium:
…they are authentic teachers, that is, teachers endowed with the authority of Christ, who preach to the people committed to them the faith they must believe and put into practice, and by the light of the Holy Spirit illustrate that faith…the Holy Spirit unfailingly preserves the form of government established by Christ the Lord in His Church.
So is it both? Christ has the authority, gives it to the Church and the Holy Spirit preserves that authority?
[quote=st_felicity]So is it both? Christ has the authority, gives it to the Church and the Holy Spirit preserves that authority?
The authority comes from Christ. The Holy Spirit protects the Church in her use of that authority. For example, the charism of infallibility protects the Church from falling into error. Also, the Holy Spirit guides the selection of bishops and the Pope.
Does the scripture John 16:13-15
13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is to come. 14 He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.
have any relevance to the above church documents?
Protestants would generally reply “Scripture.” How do we respond?
[quote=Learner]Does the scripture John 16:13-15
have any relevance to the above church documents?
I would suggest looking up these verses in the New Jerome Biblical Commentary or some other good Catholic bible commentary. I don’t have any at hand or I would do it for you.
Our belief is that Christ is the authority. This is where, according to our faith, the Church derived its authority.
There is another necessary component, and that is a body of believers. Without our beliefs there wouldn’t be a Church because nobody would have passed it on. Remember the person who believes in Christ will do great works, greater than some of His own miracles.
[quote=BBachman]Protestants would generally reply “Scripture.” How do we respond?
If “Scripture” is one’s final authority, at the very least it should say as much. It doesn’t. See reason #1 here:
In fact, the Bible points to the church, not the Bible, as the final authority in Mt 18:15-18 for example:
‘If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. . . . But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you. . . . If he refuses to listen . . . tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector’ (Mt 18:15-17).
And please remember: To lead someone into heresy is a grievous sin against your brother according to Galatians 5:19-21.
What authority determined which Scriptures were inspired by the Holy Spirit? Last I checked Jesus didn’t throw down the Bible fully printed and published from Heaven.
Lets take a look at some statements regarding the authority of Peter and the Apostles, plus why they had to have passed down the authority.
21Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
Here the authority to absolve and retain sins is given to the Church.
2 Peter 1: 19-21
19And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 20Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. 21For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
The Church authority is given to preserve the truth which Jesus was put on earth to witness to. Peter realized the danger of having everybody interpret scripture for their own purposes, imposing their own throughts and prejudices throughout it.
17Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. 18And I tell you that you are Peter,c] and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hadesd] will not overcome it.e] 19I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will bef] bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will beg] loosed in heaven.” 20Then he warned his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Christ.
Obviously speaking in the Jewish tradition to where keys and binding and loosing stand for legal terms. To have the keys is to take care of the earthly kingdom while Christ is in Heaven. To bind and loose also represent the authority of the Church to decide not only matters of dogma, but the absolution and retaining of sins as well.
Many other verses as well point to this authority and I don’t have room to place all of them.
So, if one is looking for a generic answer, it is “the Church” with a capital “C.” However, that is a very loaded answer that assumes a great deal, much liked “you are justitifed by faith.” The Church is the authority, but what is the meat and potatoes behind that authority? I assume it is Scripture and Tradition, that could all be lumped together as one single deposit which catholics call “Tradition.” So, the source of authority for Christianity is the Church, but the Church does not act on its own, but rather acts as the spirit-filled/inspiried guardian and interpreter of Tradition (Scripture and Tradition). Do I have it right?