Holy Spirit, Magisterium and Laity


Do all Catholics get the Holy Spirit or just the Magisterium?


I’m not sure I understand the question; the Magisterium is not a group of people, it is Authoritative Teaching supported by the Tradition (written and oral) of the holy Church.

Catholics receive the Holy Spirit in the Sacraments, but most especially in Baptism and Confirmation.


Sorry, I must have gotten some bad info. In the RCIA class that I went to years ago, the instructor had said that the Magisterium was made up of the Pope, Cardinals, and Bishops at the Vatican.
He said that they were lead by the Holy Spirit and gave instruction to the laity. I asked if the laity were led by the Holy Spirit and he said “Well…yes,but we have to be worried about pride”. I didn’t pursue the matter anymore until now.

Thanks for the reply. I guess I had the wrong idea about what the Magisterium actually was.


No, you had the right idea; Matariel is wrong. In the western church, the “Magisterium” is a group of people, or, technically, offices occupied by poeple. And, yes, unfortunately, many teachers in the Catholic Church speak as if the “Magisterium” only has the guidance of the Holy Spirit. And you should have replied to your instructor that the “Magisterium” is not immune to pride.


Well that was rude of you, Alethiaphile. Magisterium is the Teaching Authority of the Church. Loosely, I guess you could refer to the bishops and the Pope as the Magisterium, but this seems awkward. My definition is correct.


While the Magisterium is made up of people each of whom is prone to pride and sin, it is nevertheless guaranteed the gift of being able to infallibly teach-without error- the Catholic faith. But the faithful are ensured that the HS will work in them as well-in fact we can’t even become Christian without His operating within us:

**1695 "Justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God,"13 "sanctified . . . [and] called to be saints,"14 Christians have become the temple of the Holy Spirit.15 This “Spirit of the Son” teaches them to pray to the Father16 and, having become their life, prompts them to act so as to bear "the fruit of the Spirit"17 by charity in action. Healing the wounds of sin, the Holy Spirit renews us interiorly through a spiritual transformation.18 He enlightens and strengthens us to live as “children of light” through "all that is good and right and true."19

1987 The grace of the Holy Spirit has the power to justify us, that is, to cleanse us from our sins and to communicate to us “the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ” and through Baptism:34**

Related to this is the sensus fidei, a supernatural endowment for all the faithful by which we are to come to know and agree with the truths of the faith for ourselves:

****91**All the faithful share in understanding and handing on revealed truth. They have received the anointing of the Holy Spirit, who instructs them53 and guides them into all truth.54

92"The whole body of the faithful. . . cannot err in matters of belief. This characteristic is shown in the supernatural appreciation of faith (sensus fidei) on the part of the whole people, when, from the bishops to the last of the faithful, they manifest a universal consent in matters of faith and morals."55

93 "By this appreciation of the faith, aroused and sustained by the Spirit of truth, the People of God, guided by the sacred teaching authority (Magisterium),. . . receives. . . the faith, once for all delivered to the saints. . . The People unfailingly adheres to this faith, penetrates it more deeply with right judgment, and applies it more fully in daily life."56**


The Magisterium is a teaching office that is exercised by people. We often speak of those who “make up,” as in “comprise,” the Magisterium, but it is not a committee. Rather, those who hold certain offices are able to *exercise *a magisterium.

At any rate, all Catholics receive the Holy Spirit in baptism, but not all receive the Spirit in a way that gives them spiritual authority and reliability therein.


Thanks to all. I think I have a better understanding now.


I said nothing rude. I stated the truth.


Well, the way you put it sounded rude; you dismissed me without even having a discussion.


This is about the most comprehensive answer.

As John Henry Newman noted, the Laity are very important to the church, without them, the clergy would look pretty silly.

The old paradigm of clergy teaching and laity learning is too limited and one dimensional. The “sensus Fidei” does safeguard the Faith as taught by the Magisterium.

One need only remember the Arian heresy and consider that it was the Magisterium that was led astray while the laity preserved the orthodox Faith, broadly speaking.


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