The Unanimity of the Magisterium

Imported from another thread where we were veering off-topic.

I would say that Councils do work on unanimity, but you haven’t accepted the Church definition of “unanimous”.

I would be interested to hear how to account for heresiarchs. Are they members of the Magisterium whilst within the Church? When condemned and excommunicated? In schism, are they members of the College of Bishops?

For a while in the 3rd-4th century, a significant plurality of the College taught that Christ is a creature of God and denied His divinity.

Up until the Council of Chalcedon, a significant plurality of the College taught that Christ had one nature, not two.

In the year 1054, a huge chunk of the College denied that the Holy Spirit proceeds through the Son, and they continue to teach against this.

The Council of Trent condemned a large number of heresies. Many bishops of the College clung to those Reformed propositions - but a universal magisterium must be unanimous?

After the First Vatican Council, many denied the Immaculate Conception and Papal Infallibility. Some were Catholic bishops! Infallible Magisterium, how?

The unanimity is expressed in whatever the Church finally rules on and declares.

But we are talking about the Ordinary Magisterium, which doesn’t need the Church to rule or declare (I think you mean define), because it is the Church, exercising her teaching authority through the normal means.


So, our definition is provided: “absolute unanimity” vs. “moral unanimity” which, NCR says, suffices for the Fathers, and transitively, for the Ordinary Magisterium. 9 out of 10 apologists agree:

I wasn’t aware that you’ve posted an official declaration of the Church on the meaning of “unanimous”. Please share!

Hence the need for a council and a teaching of the extraordinary magisterium.

Again: council == extraordinary magisterium.

And they left the Church.

You don’t seem to have a point that stands up to the witness of history…?

Are you doing this on purpose? A council is an expression of the extraordinary magisterium. You made claims (in the other thread) about the ordinary magisterium, which I countered. Why are you asking questions about the one, when I made an assertion about the other?

No, you’re not. You’re talking about councils, and therefore, about expressions of the extraordinary magisterium.

This is getting tedious. It’s mentioning a teaching of the extraordinary magisterium by the Council of Trent.

Let’s look at the Ray article:

Again, he’s talking about something different than what you’re talking about. He’s talking about things that “are not under the obligation of faith”. In other words, things that aren’t doctrinally binding.

You skimmed the article so fast you didn’t even realize you cherry-picked Leo XIII’s document and not Steve Ray, whose article has practically nothing to do with your quote, except for precisely defining “unanimous consent” in a way that you reject.

Now, I sincerely apologize for putting an emphasis on Councils in my chronology, but the focus was not meant to be on the Council but on the Bishops of the College who taught the heresies thereby condemned. What I meant to say, was that e.g. Arius and his bishops were members of the College of Bishops whilst teaching contrary doctrine. They were eventually condemned, but that’s the point: the Magisterium every once in a while has to amputate part of itself to stay healthy. There will always be heresiarchs within the Church who deny doctrine, but the Ordinary Magisterium works because of moral unanimity, some deviation is tolerated.

Hence my reference to “the Ray article” and not Steve himself. That’s the best response you have to my objection? Grasping at straws, friend…

And they were corrected via a teaching of the extraordinary magisterium. You still haven’t demonstrated your point, and I suggest that perhaps – given that you haven’t been able to do so, and since you continue to conflate “ordinary” and “extraordinary” – this conversation is going nowhere. :wink:

Let’s take a 300 square mile area in the Byzantine Empire. The period is AD 280 through 300. 50 bishops have jurisdiction here. They are members of the College. 30 of these bishops are Arians. They promulgate encyclicals to all their brother bishops and all priests in their dioceses, that Christ is a creature. 20 of the bishops are orthodox, and they formally, universally teach that Christ is divine, consubstantial with the Father. The situation at this time is the same across the whole Christian world.

What has the Ordinary Magisterium taught?

Fast forward to 1975. Ngô Đình Thục is a validly consecrated bishop in good standing with the Roman Catholic Church. He consecrates a few bishops without a papal mandate. They are Palmarians and Sedevacantists. Some members of the Catholic College of Bishops are now openly teaching that Pope Saint Paul VI is a heretic and that Vatican II is a pack of lies.

What is the Ordinary Magisterium teaching?

It hasn’t. That’s why a council was called to refute the error, and as a result, the extraordinary magisterium explicitly issued doctrinal teaching to correct the error of these bishops.

How is he simultaneously a sedevacantist and a ‘bishop in good standing’?

There’s no doctrinal teaching of the magisterium here that is being disputed. On one hand, you have illicit ordinations. On the other, you have wild accusations.

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