"Ordinary and Universal Magisterium"?


#1

According to Lumen Gentium: Dogmatic Constitution on the Church 25:

Although the individual bishops do not enjoy the prerogative of infallibility, they nevertheless proclaim Christ’s doctrine infallibly whenever, even though dispersed through the world, but still maintaining the bond of communion among themselves and with the successor of Peter, and authentically teaching matters of faith and morals, they are in agreement on one position as definitively to be held.

How does this apply to individual doctrines, since it clearly is the case that there few doctrines, especially the more controverisal ones (like women’s ordination), where we can say all the world’s bishops are in agreement.

When we speak of a “universal” magisterium, is this a moral universaility or an absolute one? ANd where can I find documentation to clarify this?

Please, no one cite former-Cardinal Ratzinger’s response to Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, or his Commentary on the Profession of Faith, as these do not in fact answer this question, but just repeat what Lumen Gentium said.

Thanks! :cool:


#2

And on that same note, how can we know when there is even a given moral universaility on a given doctrine? Can’t the Popes be fallible when they claim that such-and-such doctrine is a teaching of the Ordinary Magisterium, when they themselves are not making ex cathedra statements?


#3

[quote=Sacramentalist]According to Lumen Gentium: Dogmatic Constitution on the Church 25:

How does this apply to individual doctrines, since it clearly is the case that there few doctrines, especially the more controverisal ones (like women’s ordination), where we can say all the world’s bishops are in agreement.

When we speak of a “universal” magisterium, is this a moral universaility or an absolute one? ANd where can I find documentation to clarify this?

Please, no one cite former-Cardinal Ratzinger’s response to Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, or his Commentary on the Profession of Faith, as these do not in fact answer this question, but just repeat what Lumen Gentium said.

Thanks! :cool:
[/quote]

It is really a non issue. It says that when a Bishop teaches in accord with the successor of Peter and the Magisterium of the Catholic Church, he teaches infallibly. Not because he is infallible but because what he teaches is an infallible teaching of the magisterium. It also holds the other way. When he is at odds with the successor of Peter or the Magisterium of the Catholic Church, he cannot claim that the teaching is infallible.


#4

Brother Rich:

That’s not what it says at all.

It’s one thing to speak incorrectly, another to speak infallibly. I’m correct when I say “I think, therefore I am.” I’m not infallible when I do so, however.

The Holy Father declared that the ban on women’s ordination was infallible, although he himself did not make an ex cathedra statement on the subject. He claimed that the teaching was already infallible by virtue of the Ordinary Magisterium, and that he was just reiterating this.

My point is: How can he (and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith which confirmed this intepretation) possibly know this, when there is no such thing as a doctrine upon which every single Catholic bishop agrees on?


#5

See this thread for more discussion on this subject.


#6

[quote=Sacramentalist]When we speak of a “universal” magisterium, is this a moral universaility or an absolute one? ANd where can I find documentation to clarify this?
[/quote]

From Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone, Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith:

Moreover, when speaking of the need to verify the actual consent of all the Bishops dispersed throughout the world or even of the whole Christian people in matters of faith and morals, it should not be forgotten that this consent cannot be understood only synchronically, but also diachronically. This means that a morally unanimous consent embraces every era of the Church, and only if this totality is heard does one remain faithful to the Apostles. “If in some quarter”, the wise Cardinal Ratzinger observes, “a majority were to be formed in opposition to the faith of the Church in other times, it would not be a majority at all”.


#7

A book by Richard R. Gaillardetz “By What Authority” doesn’t cover individual doctrines or teachings, but it does a good job of differentiating between the levels of surety in the magisterial teachings.


#8

[quote=Sacramentalist]Brother Rich:

That’s not what it says at all.

It’s one thing to speak incorrectly, another to speak infallibly. I’m correct when I say “I think, therefore I am.” I’m not infallible when I do so, however.

The Holy Father declared that the ban on women’s ordination was infallible, although he himself did not make an ex cathedra statement on the subject. He claimed that the teaching was already infallible by virtue of the Ordinary Magisterium, and that he was just reiterating this.

My point is: How can he (and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith which confirmed this intepretation) possibly know this, when there is no such thing as a doctrine upon which every single Catholic bishop agrees on?
[/quote]

I’m only refering to an Ordinary in his own diocese.

As far as the Pope goes he operates on several different levels. For the Holy Father to speak from the ordinary Magisterium is simply saying that from all the information available to him nothing indicates that the Church has ever held otherwise.

Those who do not hold to what the Church teaches on these matters of the magisterium simply teach error.


#9

Perhaps you should revisit the Commentary on the Profession of Faith, which gives many cites other than Lumen Gentium.

Three of the 4 cites in Paragraph 6 are other than Lumen Gentium

  1. The second proposition of the Professio fidei states: “I also firmly accept and hold each and everything definitively proposed by the Church regarding teaching on faith and morals.” The object taught by this formula includes all those teachings belonging to the dogmatic or moral area,13 which are necessary for faithfully keeping and expounding the deposit of faith, even if they have not been proposed by the Magisterium of the Church as formally revealed.
    Such doctrines can be defined solemnly by the Roman Pontiff when he speaks ‘ex cathedra’ or by the College of Bishops gathered in council, or they can be taught infallibly by the ordinary and universal Magisterium of the Church as a “sententia definitive tenenda”.14 Every believer, therefore, is required to give firm and definitive assent to these truths, based on faith in the Holy Spirit’s assistance to the Church’s Magisterium, and on the Catholic doctrine of the infallibility of the Magisterium in these matters.15 Whoever denies these truths would be in a position of rejecting a truth of Catholic doctrine16 and would therefore no longer be in full communion with the Catholic Church.
    13 Cf. Paul VI, Encyclical Letter Humanae Vitae, 4: AAS 60 (1968), 483; John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Veritatis Splendor, 36-37: AAS 85 (1993), 1162-1163.
    14 Cf. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, 25.
    15 Cf. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution Dei Verbum, 8 and 10; Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Declaration Mysterium Ecclesiae, 3: AAS 65 (1973), 400-401.
    16 Cf. John Paul II, Motu proprio Ad tuendam fidem (May 18, 1998).

In the examples in section 11, the paragraph concerning the male-only priesthood states that this doctrine is part of the Magisterium, not because the bishops are in agreement but because it is “founded on the written word of God…”.

A similar process can be observed in the more recent teaching regarding the doctrine that priestly ordination is reserved only to men. The Supreme Pontiff, while not wishing to proceed to a dogmatic definition, intended to reaffirm that this doctrine is to be held definitively,32 **since, founded on the written Word of God, constantly preserved and applied in the Tradition of the Church, it has been set forth infallibly by the ordinary and universal Magisterium.**33 As the prior example illustrates, this does not foreclose the possibility that, in the future, the consciousness of the Church might progress to the point where this teaching could be defined as a doctrine to be believed as divinely revealed.


#10

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