Lumen Gentium


If one does not understand what the magisterium means by the various means with which they make know their mind and intent, eg. within documents that have been promulgated, then you need not rely upon private interpretation as your rule of faith, as your norm for determining Catholic doctrine. We have a living magisterium, which means Catholics have two-way communication at their disposal.

Ask the magisterium what they mean to teach as certain teaching (sententia certa), and what they mean to teach as *de fide dogma, *and what they mean to make binding as ecclesiastical discipline.

Catholics are not permitted to simply remain in ignorance about these matter, or voluntary doubt, dismissing the Acta Apostolicae Sedis of the Roman Pontiff as if it were nothing that need be listened to or because you lack understanding about what it means. Seek understanding of the mind and intent of the Roman Pontiff through the institutions of the Church. St. Thomas Aquinas calls it a sin to neglect to know what one is bound to know.

There are three pastors in my “chain of command” : 1) my parish pastor, 2) my diocesan bishop, and 3) Pope Benedict XVI. These and only these are my superiors in all things religious. Others may have derived authority from these, and when they exercise that authority I am bound to submit to them as well. I am bound to obey and submit to my leaders (cf. Heb 13:17). If I don’t know what I am bound to know, I have an obligation to overcome that ignorance by asking my leaders questions. It is certainly NOT traditional Catholic teaching to use one’s private interpretation of past writings to determine Catholic doctrine or discern that which binds me. Instead, the authority to interpret that which binds my soul belongs only to the Divinely authorized pastors of my soul, because they are my superiors by God’s providence.

The proximate norm for Christian doctrine and discipline is not “clever or convincing explanations” but instead, even according to pre-Vatican II Catholic teaching, the proximate norm for Christian doctine and discipline is AUTHORITY.

St. Thomas Aquinas affirmed:

obedience is a special virture, and its specific object is a command tacit or express, because the superior’s will, however it become known, is a tacit precept, and a man’s obedience seems to be all the more prompt, forasmuch as by obeying he forestalls the express command as soon as he understands his superior’s will.” *Summa Theologica, *IIb, 104, 2]

Thus, when one seeks to authentically understand the mind and intent of the Roman Pontiff and submits to it, they are virtuous. If they seek instead to quibble over words and contend against what they know to be the mind and intent of the Roman Pontiff, then they lack virture.

This is precisely what St. Pius X was getting at in his allocution against dissidents:

"If one loves the Pope, one does not stop to ask the precise limits to which this duty of obedience** extends**… one does not seek to restrict the domain within which he can or should make his wishes felt; one does not oppose to the Pope’s authority that of others, however learned they may be, who differ from him. For however great their learning, they must be lacking in holiness, for there can be no holiness in dissension from the Pope. " (Pope St. Pius X, allocution of 18 November, 1912, AAS vol. 4 (1912), 693-695. Selection from p. 695)

This isn’t hard…even a child can understand the Baltimore Catechism, No.4: “we should have the very greatest respect for the opinions and advice of the Holy Father on any subject. We should not set up our limited knowledge and experience against his, even if we think we know better than he does


Nonetheless, what I’ve described above has been asserted by me many times in response to dissent, whether those dissenting claim to be “progressives” or “traditionalists.”

It seems that those who WANT to dissent, will always rationalize why their opinion is dogma, and their dissent is “legitimate,” and the living magisterium simply needs to change their mind and agree with them.

What the holy monk Thomas a’Kempis wrote many centuries ago seems forever true …


IT IS a very great thing to obey, to live under a superior and not to be one’s own master, for it is much safer to be subject than it is to command. Many live in obedience more from necessity than from love. Such become ***discontented and dejected on the slightest pretext; they will never gain peace of mind unless they subject themselves wholeheartedly for the love of God. ***

Go where you may, you will find no rest except in humble obedience to the rule of authority. Dreams of happiness expected from change and different places have deceived many.

Everyone, it is true, wishes to do as he pleases and is attracted to those who agree with him. But ***if God be among us, we must at times give up our opinions for the blessings of peace. ***
Furthermore, who is so wise that he can have full knowledge of everything? Do not trust too much in your own opinions… while one’s own opinion may be good, refusal to agree with others when reason and occasion demand it, is a sign of pride and obstinacy.

I found this interesting in an 1846 Catechism:

Q. Is it a great sin to refuse submission to a general Council?

A. It is the greatest act of criminal pride and presumption, accompanied by the awful guilt of heresy or schism, or both. We call it extremely criminal, as well as irrational; because the man who will not submit, prefers his own single opinion*—and this in a matter, regarding which he is neither qualified nor authorized to judge—*to the deliberately formed decision of an immense assemblage of the best qualified, and most competently authorized, legitimate judges.

Who are you to judge whether the Magisterium is ‘faithfully expounding upon the historical deposit of Faith’?

Even the bishops as individuals do not have the magisterial ability to teach infallibly on matters of faith and morals; it is only when they speak with one voice that we are to follow their authority. This happened with Vatican II, and true faithfulness commands that we trust that the Holy Spirit was at work in the Council just as in the others before it.

As others have said, it is quite curious that one might call himself a “traditionalist,” while in actuality he is refusing to submit his own intellect and will to the requirements of faith, just as a modernist would… :rolleyes:. There’s a certain measure of pridefulness in much ‘traditional’ Catholicism, when many believe that somehow they know the Tradition of the Church better than those established by Christ to protect and interpret it!

From the Catholic Encyclopedia:

Closer study of the living magisterium will enable us to better understand the splendid organism created by God and gradually developed that it might preserve, transmit, and bring within the reach of all revealed truth, ever the same, but adapted to every variety of time, circumstances, and environment. Properly speaking, this magisterium is a teaching authority; it not only presents the truth, but it has the right to impose it, since its power is the very power given by God to Christ and by Christ to His Church. This authority is called the teaching Church. The teaching Church is essentially composed of the episcopal body, which continues here below the work and mission of the Apostolic College. It was indeed in the form of a college or social body that Christ grouped His Apostles and it is likewise as a social body that the episcopate exercises its mission to teach. Doctrinal infallibility has been guaranteed to the episcopal body and to the head of that body as it was guaranteed to the Apostles, with this difference, however, between the Apostles and the bishops that each Apostle was personally infallible (in virtue of his extraordinary mission as founder and the plenitude of the Holy Ghost received on Pentecost by the Twelve and later communicated to St. Paul as to the Twelve), whereas only the body of bishops is infallible and each bishop is not so, save in proportion as he teaches in communion and concert with the entire episcopal body.

Vatican 2 did not define anything at all.

What it said therefore HAS to be taken in the light of tradition, which includes all the other councils.

When Vatican 2 agrees with the other councils, we should obey. When it does not, we should not.

I am not saying it doesn’t, but caution needs to be taken in the documents, as the wording in some of them can be misleading.

To give one example, all this stuff about ‘active participation’ is nonsense. The English translation is incorrect, what it really means is ‘actual participation’. Big difference.

This is not disobedience (although I do not deny that there are some who call themselves traditionalists who are). But as Vatican 2 did not define anything, we are entitled to use the brains God gave us.

Originally Posted by TNT
Gee, Dave

What, exactly am I held to believe in VATII. that was not already believed everywhere and by all historical Catholics? A good example would help.

Still waiting…
What we have so far are 3 evasive sermons…err homilies on the Progressive’s Universal mantra…SHUT UP & OBEY… which in any future posts on that point I shall simply use the term Zombieism.


A good example would help.
To which we get:



Most of us who love the Church and the Holy Father, have already self-educated with regard to the sixteen documents of V-II. If you think it is a simple matter to pull a particular phrase or chapter out of pages and pages of these documents to satisfy someone who is only casually interested, then all I can say is believe everything within them, after you do your own homework. These were promulgated from the Authority of the Magisterium, assisted by 2500 Bishops in Communion with the Holy Father, and Dave fully explained to you why we give religious assent to them.

Could it be any clearer? :confused:

Your question to Dave seemed somewhat disingenuous, so perhaps he did not believe an answer would satisfy you.

It also occurred to me that some people have a life outside of CA, and if they do not come here within an hour of your question, it is assumed they are ignoring it. Sometimes it is just not possible to return until a day or so later.

Honestly, I’ve not seen so many non-answers in long time.
What is it that proves to you I have not read Vat II’s 16 Doc’s?
Nevermind don’t answer that one until we struggle thru the 1st request.
There was no lack of responses…just no specific answer…at all.


Of course Vatican II would have no binding power unless a true pope confirmed it. The question is this…did a true pope confirm the Council? And would a true pope have confirmed such a council?

Paul VI did issue the Novus Ordo Missae…he changed the rites of ordination and consecration of a bishop that were just defined less than 20 years earlier by Pius XII in Sacramentum Ordinis. It might seem absurd to you…but that’s only because it may very well be true.



Obedience is the highest of the moral virtues…but it is subordinate to the theological virtues of Faith, Hope, and Charity. Charity is of course the greatest of the theological virtues.

A little ironic that he was able to change it because of Sacramentum Ordinis.

If I am not mistaken, Pius XII did a tiny rearranging of the Rite for Episcopal Consecration himself. But I’ll have to check that out.

Of course Vatican II would have no binding power unless a true pope confirmed it. The question is this…did a true pope confirm the Council? And would a true pope have confirmed such a council?

And Gorman, your subtle inference is? That the Council was not confirmed by a “true” pope? Sounds like the old argument from Genesis 3, “Did God really tell you not to eat …?”

Consider that I took the bait in order to respond momentarily, but I believe if you go back and read Itsjustdave’s posts, the answer has already been given.

The essential matter and form for validity were determined in Sacramentum Ordinis. Those forms were abandoned. Yes, they could change, but not in substance. They changed in substance…if words still have meaning.

I apologise for not reading your earlier post correctly-somehow I thought it had the Ordination of priests somewhere along with the bishops-hence my first sentence -you are entirely right with respect to that of bishops.

But I am not sure of what you mean by change in substance. Do you believe that it is defective?

I just stumbled across another example. I can’t find it online, but if you have Denzinger’s Sources of Catholic Dogma there is a decree by Pope Clement VIII in 1595 which specifically declares them to be valid.

What excatly do you dissent with from Vatican II?

You are bound to assent to Lumen Gentium, which is what the OP asserted was not binding. In fact you are to assent to each and every Constitution, Declaration, and Decree, every Acta Apostolicae Sedis promulgated by Pope Benedict XVI, congruent with his mind and intent.

…What we have so far are 3 evasive sermons…err homilies on the Progressive’s Universal mantra…

I’m sorry that you can so easily discard St. Pius X’s as a “progressivist” allocution against dissent.

What forms were abandoned? The forms to “confer” a deacon a priest, or a priest a bishop or the form of the Sacrament of Holy Orders (received only once in one’s lifetime)?

Rach620;1802897]You’re right, whosebob. To discard the promulgations of Vatican II because it was an ecumenical council and nothing was infallibly *defined *is to fall into the same error as dissenting theologians who preach heterodoxy in “the spirit of Vatican II.” At both ends of the spectrum you’re ignoring the fact that the Holy Spirit was at work in the Council, and, like it or not, as a faithful Catholic you are called to be obedient to the Magisterium, which spoke infallibly as a universal body at the Council.

Hey Rach, I was watching a show earlier on EWTN about this very subject: “What Went Wrong with Vatican II – The Catholic Crisis Explained.” The guest was the author Dr. Ralph McInerny, a professor at Notre Dame University. The following encapsulates it:


[/font]I consider myself to be an orthodox Catholic, and am honestly baffled by the ease with which many “traditionalists” dismiss Vatican II as wrong/false/misguided, etc. We are to believe that the Holy Spirit was at work at this Council just as it was at every Council which came before. To say otherwise is, in my mind, far from ‘traditional’ orthodoxy.

Totally agree…:thumbsup:

The problem is indeed not with the Council itself, for it has arguably born good fruit (witness the Church in Latin America and Africa), but with those who have misinterpreted its message.

I humbly agree. :thumbsup:

The following, which, as far as I can tell, (like you mentioned) was already believed. However, I have not read all 16 documents. Have you by chance?

Even so shouldn’t Vatican II be binding on all Catholics i.e. accepted as a dogmatic council with the intent of infallibly reaffirming the traditional faith unhesitatingly, as one person put it? From what little I have read on this thread, that seems to be the 64000 dollar question.

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