Which part of Magisterium teachings/pope words do catholics have to belief in?

I personally think, that the church and/or the pope only have absolute authority in matters of morality and faith. Regarding other topics i consider error possible.

Correct or wrong?

As an example:
vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/encyclicals/documents/hf_ben-xvi_enc_20090629_caritas-in-veritate_en.html
“Economic activity cannot solve all social problems through the simple application of commercial logic. This needs to be directed towards the pursuit of the common good, for which the political community in particular must also take responsibility. Therefore, it must be borne in mind that grave imbalances are produced when economic action, conceived merely as an engine for wealth creation, is detached from political action, conceived as a means for pursuing justice through redistribution.”

This entire passage consists of statements regarding the effects/outcomes of certain setups of society or suggestions what should be done.

With the first i agree, economic activity cannot solve all social problems. Though this might also cross into faith topic, because “solving all social problems” somehow reminds one of “salvation from evil” and that of course cannot be achieved by any way (e.g. economic activities) except through God.

Then follows advice, that since all social problems cannot be solved by the market, the government must intervene. With that i disagree to some extent, mainly because i think neither market nor market + government can solve all social problems. Therefore it is just a choice of lesser evil and that therefore from “market cannot solve all social problems” it cannot be concluded that government will be of much help, it could also be made worse that way. So in this “This needs to be directed” the church does not say anything about faith or morality, but offers opinion regarding the social/economic problem, whether government interference in general is capable of lessening social problems or not.

First part of nextsentence is similar to the first sentence, yes grave imbalances arise from economic action aimed for wealth increase. But grave imbalances arise from lots of social or specifically economic actions, thats the point about a sinful world, you have imbalances aka injustice all over the place and often arising without ill intent or even without perceivable cause.

The second part of the sentence is then again political advice, because here the advice is that when selecting between the two evils “economic detached from political action” and “economic action bound by political action, conceived as a means for pursuing justice through redistribution” the later should be chosen. Again this is socio-economic advice and to some extent i disagree, mainly due to the time this was written (2008/2009), too much market on a general scope was not the problem then and today at most too much market in some very specific areas. And i dislike this passage mainly because implicitely this whole passage could be understood by casual readers as a suggestion, that the removal of social imbalances and of (social) injustice can be achieved through state action.

Now the main part of the document discusses the problem, that without God economic actors will not be beneficial for mankind, which of course i have to follow, because its a question of faith what man can achieve without God.

So, is this something i have to confess and repent?

Hi Carn and welcome to the forums!

Your question is, “Which part of Magisterium teachings/pope words do catholics have to belief in?” The short answer is…All of it, when it comes to issues of doctrine and dogma.

After that, concerning social or societal issues, it is a matter of intellect. However, one must keep in mind that the Holy See views all issues from a point of view concerning social justice, following Christ’s command to “…love one another.”

Realistically, all social problems will not be resolved through business and government. We cannot expect that all of humanity will be motivated simply by love of neighbor. What the Holy See is pointing out is what motivates people. The desire for wealth detracts from the need for starving people to eat, the unemployed to work, other needy people to obtain the care that they need.

Then again, from the Magisterial point of view, if everyone would heed Christ’s command to “…love one another,” then many of those social ills would be remedied through both business and government.

To understand more completely I recommend reading Pope Benedict XVI’s encyclical, Deus Caritas Est, or God is Love. In it the Pope outlines the churches social teachings, as well as personal understandings of love.

God bless and again, welcome.
Subrosa

Thanks for the nice words, but

i do not understand, whether my disagreement that calling the man-controlled state to correct the defincies of man-controlled market is a “must” thing, is acceptable or not.

Yes, but the state does not make the people more charitable or make them love another. He writes some rules and then imprisons people not following that rules. That could also backfire in terms of justice, so i cannot take the advice, that political action is a must.
Of course in some situations it might be good regarding social justice, but i cannot accept it as a must.

And while the desire for wealth might distract from the need to feed the starving, first in many countries there are no starving people, second where people are starving the actual help that would be efficient would include military action with unlikely outcome and third the desire to be the great politician who ended poverty and tamed the cruel and evil markets is in my eyes far more likely to distract people from realy helping the poor.

About Deus Caritas Est, the most crucial point is not explained there:
" this presupposes an even more radical question: what is justice?

Building a just social and civil order, wherein each person receives what is his or her due, is an essential task which every generation must take up anew. "

So what is “his or her due”?

All Catholics are bound to ahdere to all the teachings in the “Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition” (dark green cover).
This is complete and easist to follow.
The Catholic Church is not a salad bar, and we can not pick and choose what we want to believe or adhere to.

In the footnotes of the CCC you will find the more lengthy basis for the teachings of the Church.
When reading Papal Encyclicals etc off the Vatican web site, one must be careful to read in its entirty to insure complete understanding.

“SUBSIDIARITY” (CCC #1883, 1885, 1894, 2209) must always be part of the political equation.

From the conclusion of Statement on Vatican web site against - Liberation Theology:
" The intense concern of the Church, the bride of Christ, for the needs of mankind, their joys and their hopes, their pains and their struggles, is nothing other than the great desire to be present to them in order to enlighten them with the light of Christ, and join them all to Him, their only Savior.
It can never mean that the Church is conforming to the things of this world, nor that she is lessening the earnestness with which she awaits her Lord and the eternal Kingdom. " [35]
vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_19840806_theology-liberation_en.html

From the CCC you will find that the Church can only be involved in politics when the Salvation of Souls require it, or for the fundamental rights of ALL men, and ONLY in accord with the Gospel.
The Church teaches us, and it is our responsibilty to act and vote correctly, and to correctly participate in the political process.

Jesus commanded each of us to Love our Neighbors, and to help the poor.
He did not say that the government should do this for us.

Lastly - - CCC 2411 Contracts are subject to commutative justice which regulates exchanges between persons and between institutions in accordance with a strict respect for their rights. Commutative justice obliges strictly; it requires safeguarding property rights, paying debts, and fulfilling obligations freely contracted.
Without commutative justice, no other form of justice is possible.
One distinguishes commutative justice from legal justice which concerns what the citizen owes in fairness to the community, and from distributive justice which regulates what the community owes its citizens in proportion to their contributions and needs. "

When reading the CCC you will also find that the Church opposes socialism and communism.
Neither Jesus or the Church has ever advocated the re-distribution of wealth that would violate the 10th commandment - Coveting thy Neighbor’s goods or the capital sin of Envy, or violate the Commandment not to Steal.

Did is say so?

I said, that in matters of faith and morals church teaching must be followed.
My problem is regarding teaching in other areas and what exactly is teaching. Do not set up strawmen.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magisterium#Levels

From that it seems to mean, that if a bishop says anything (!!!) regarding any (!!!) subject, catholics should attempt “to submit with intellect and will”.

Well, i just scanned through a 30 page publication of german bishops regarding the financial crisis. In it, if i understand correctly, they conclude that the crisis was caused by market failure and the state not regulating the market enough.

To my opinion this is first wrong, second the bishops did not conclude this by reading the bible or studying catholic teaching but by listening to some economic experts (with whom i disagree and to their opinion im certainly not bound as catholic) and third is has as far as i can say nothing whatsoever to with faith or moral aspects, as it is a purely economic question about the cause.
Why should i listen to the bishops in these things if i have good reasons to assume that the economists they listened to are wrong?

Yes, but the state does force people to help their neighbors.

This does not say anything about a critical aspect, that the commutative justice can be in conflict with distributive justice. Because in any contract the state comes up as a third party and takes his share unasked and on his own terms. Catholic teaching, at least the CCC, as far as i know, do not define anything more, so in principle christians could be of different opinion, how much the state can take in the name of distributive justice.

But some bishops offer opinions regarding that. In another publication of german bishops i read something worded close to a demand, that any 3 year old child must have access to a state financed kindergarten (maybe even younger age, i did not read entire context).

I am not allowed as catholic to have a different opinion?

Considering that according to my opinion the core of socialism and communism is the abolishment or drastic limitation of private property rights and that the church does not definitivly say what the limits of distributive justice are, i do not see that communism is definitely opposed - the laudest applause to the parts of popes speech regarding social justice in german parliament were from communists and socialists.
The pope himself does oppose it, but some bishops seem to be blind that their contempt for capitalism is an endorsement for socialistic tendencies somehow those bishops (and many other people) miss that capitalism is nothing but a consequence of private property rights and communism nothing but one form of the absence of these.

But these disagreement of mine is purely regarding economic matters.

The Church maybe not, but i am highly sceptical about that for german bishops. In german politics its normal by politicians to stir envy vs the rich to gather votes. Never heard a bishop complaining publically about that. In some texts i read - espacially in those of the pope - between the lines there are words against that. But with some bishops i have the impression that they do not mind the envy.

Hopefully, this will help…

catholicplanet.com/TSM/assent-dissent.htm

It is long…but here is the intro…

Sacred Assent, Ordinary Assent, and Faithful Dissent

Authority

The authority of the Church is divided into the Temporal Authority and the Spiritual Authority.

The Temporal Authority is the ability and authority of the Church to make decisions and judgments about practical matters. The Temporal Authority of the Church does not teach, it decides. The Temporal Authority of the Church is always fallible, never infallible.

The Spiritual Authority of the Church is also called the Magisterium; it is the ability and authority of the Church to teach the truths found within Divine Revelation. Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture form one Sacred Deposit of Faith, also called the Deposit of Divine Revelation. The Magisterium is divided into the infallible Sacred Magisterium and the non-fallible Ordinary Magisterium.

he Ordinary Magisterium is exercised when the Magisterium teaches without the guarantee of certain truth found in its infallible Sacred Magisterium. The Ordinary Magisterium is non-infallible, but its teachings have the guidance of the Holy Spirit to the extent that the ordinary non-infallible teachings of the Magisterium can only err to a limited extent. They cannot err to such an extent that the errors would lead someone away from the path of salvation. The teachings of the Ordinary Magisterium have the charism of salvific truth.

The Magisterium only teaches infallibly under certain conditions. Whenever those conditions are lacking, then its teaching falls under the non-infallible Ordinary Magisterium. Some teachings are first taught under the non-infallible Ordinary Magisterium, then eventually they are taught under the infallible Sacred Magisterium. Some development of doctrine may occur along the path from being taught non-infallible to being taught infallibly.

Ok…

"Criteria for Faithful Dissent

The requirements for any dissent to be faithful are as follows:

  1. the teaching from which one dissents must be a non-infallible teaching, which is not essential to the path of salvation (ordinary non-infallible teachings are protected by the Holy Spirit from errors that would lead one away from the path of salvation)"

The amount of state interference in the free market economy and especially the amount that is so massive, that its in itself immoral, is probably not something essential to the path of salvation and i do not know about any infallillibe teaching in that regard.

“2. the dissenter must be faithful to the infallible teachings of Sacred Tradition, Sacred Scripture, Sacred Magisterium, and also generally faithful to the non-infallible teachings of the Ordinary Magisterium.”

I assume for the moment that i can check this.

“3. the basis for dissent must be a teaching of greater authority within the teachings of the Magisterium, or within Sacred Tradition or Sacred Scripture.”

You shall not steal.

Meaning if some stupid politicians says “oh, we must increase taxes, because realy our society is so injust and the state is too weak to mend it.” and the bishops politely applause while the state part of gdp is at 50% not counting all regulations in peace time, im not sinning if i’m quite unhappy about the bishops, because if 50% is still not enough for the state to do what has to be done, then taking more will not bring any good results and taking without any positive effect is stealing.

Such is NOT a recommended source…I do not suggest using that site.

Catechism:

III. THE SOCIAL DOCTRINE OF THE CHURCH

2419 "Christian revelation . . . promotes deeper understanding of the laws of social living."199 The Church receives from the Gospel the full revelation of the truth about man. When she fulfills her mission of proclaiming the Gospel, she bears witness to man, in the name of Christ, to his dignity and his vocation to the communion of persons. She teaches him the demands of justice and peace in conformity with divine wisdom.

2420 The Church makes a moral judgment about economic and social matters, "when the fundamental rights of the person or the salvation of souls requires it."200 In the moral order she bears a mission distinct from that of political authorities: the Church is concerned with the temporal aspects of the common good because they are ordered to the sovereign Good, our ultimate end. She strives to inspire right attitudes with respect to earthly goods and in socio-economic relationships.

2421 The social doctrine of the Church developed in the nineteenth century when the Gospel encountered modern industrial society with its new structures for the production of consumer goods, its new concept of society, the state and authority, and its new forms of labor and ownership. The development of the doctrine of the Church on economic and social matters attests the permanent value of the Church’s teaching at the same time as it attests the true meaning of her Tradition, always living and active.201

2422 The Church’s social teaching comprises a body of doctrine, which is articulated as the Church interprets events in the course of history, with the assistance of the Holy Spirit, in the light of the whole of what has been revealed by Jesus Christ.202 This teaching can be more easily accepted by men of good will, the more the faithful let themselves be guided by it.

2423 The Church’s social teaching proposes principles for reflection; it provides criteria for judgment; it gives guidelines for action:

Any system in which social relationships are determined entirely by economic factors is contrary to the nature of the human person and his acts.203

2424 A theory that makes profit the exclusive norm and ultimate end of economic activity is morally unacceptable. The disordered desire for money cannot but produce perverse effects. It is one of the causes of the many conflicts which disturb the social order.204

A system that “subordinates the basic rights of individuals and of groups to the collective organization of production” is contrary to human dignity.205 Every practice that reduces persons to nothing more than a means of profit enslaves man, leads to idolizing money, and contributes to the spread of atheism. "You cannot serve God and mammon."206

2425 The Church has rejected the totalitarian and atheistic ideologies associated in modem times with “communism” or “socialism.” She has likewise refused to accept, in the practice of “capitalism,” individualism and the absolute primacy of the law of the marketplace over human labor.207 Regulating the economy solely by centralized planning perverts the basis of social bonds; regulating it solely by the law of the marketplace fails social justice, for "there are many human needs which cannot be satisfied by the market."208 Reasonable regulation of the marketplace and economic initiatives, in keeping with a just hierarchy of values and a view to the common good, is to be commended.

IV. ECONOMIC ACTIVITY AND SOCIAL JUSTICE

2426 The development of economic activity and growth in production are meant to provide for the needs of human beings. Economic life is not meant solely to multiply goods produced and increase profit or power; it is ordered first of all to the service of persons, of the whole man, and of the entire human community. Economic activity, conducted according to its own proper methods, is to be exercised within the limits of the moral order, in keeping with social justice so as to correspond to God’s plan for man.209

2427 Human work proceeds directly from persons created in the image of God and called to prolong the work of creation by subduing the earth, both with and for one another.210 Hence work is a duty: "If any one will not work, let him not eat."211 Work honors the Creator’s gifts and the talents received from him. It can also be redemptive. By enduring the hardship of work212 in union with Jesus, the carpenter of Nazareth and the one crucified on Calvary, man collaborates in a certain fashion with the Son of God in his redemptive work. He shows himself to be a disciple of Christ by carrying the cross, daily, in the work he is called to accomplish.213 Work can be a means of sanctification and a way of animating earthly realities with the Spirit of Christ.

2428 In work, the person exercises and fulfills in part the potential inscribed in his nature. The primordial value of labor stems from man himself, its author and its beneficiary. Work is for man, not man for work.214

Everyone should be able to draw from work the means of providing for his life and that of his family, and of serving the human community.

2429 Everyone has the right of economic initiative; everyone should make legitimate use of his talents to contribute to the abundance that will benefit all and to harvest the just fruits of his labor. He should seek to observe regulations issued by legitimate authority for the sake of the common good.215

2430 Economic life brings into play different interests, often opposed to one another. This explains why the conflicts that characterize it arise.216 Efforts should be made to reduce these conflicts by negotiation that respects the rights and duties of each social partner: those responsible for business enterprises, representatives of wage- earners (for example, trade unions), and public authorities when appropriate.

2431 The responsibility of the state. "Economic activity, especially the activity of a market economy, cannot be conducted in an institutional, juridical, or political vacuum. On the contrary, it presupposes sure guarantees of individual freedom and private property, as well as a stable currency and efficient public services. Hence the principal task of the state is to guarantee this security, so that those who work and produce can enjoy the fruits of their labors and thus feel encouraged to work efficiently and honestly. . . . Another task of the state is that of overseeing and directing the exercise of human rights in the economic sector. However, primary responsibility in this area belongs not to the state but to individuals and to the various groups and associations which make up society."217

2432 Those responsible for business enterprises are responsible to society for the economic and ecological effects of their operations.218 They have an obligation to consider the good of persons and not only the increase of profits. Profits are necessary, however. They make possible the investments that ensure the future of a business and they guarantee employment.

2433 Access to employment and to professions must be open to all without unjust discrimination: men and women, healthy and disabled, natives and immigrants.219 For its part society should, according to circumstances, help citizens find work and employment.220

2434 A just wage is the legitimate fruit of work. To refuse or withhold it can be a grave injustice.221 In determining fair pay both the needs and the contributions of each person must be taken into account. "Remuneration for work should guarantee man the opportunity to provide a dignified livelihood for himself and his family on the material, social, cultural and spiritual level, taking into account the role and the productivity of each, the state of the business, and the common good."222 Agreement between the parties is not sufficient to justify morally the amount to be received in wages.

2435 Recourse to a strike is morally legitimate when it cannot be avoided, or at least when it is necessary to obtain a proportionate benefit. It becomes morally unacceptable when accompanied by violence, or when objectives are included that are not directly linked to working conditions or are contrary to the common good.

2436 It is unjust not to pay the social security contributions required by legitimate authority.

Unemployment almost always wounds its victim’s dignity and threatens the equilibrium of his life. Besides the harm done to him personally, it entails many risks for his family.223

IV. ECONOMIC ACTIVITY AND SOCIAL JUSTICE

2426 The development of economic activity and growth in production are meant to provide for the needs of human beings. Economic life is not meant solely to multiply goods produced and increase profit or power; it is ordered first of all to the service of persons, of the whole man, and of the entire human community. Economic activity, conducted according to its own proper methods, is to be exercised within the limits of the moral order, in keeping with social justice so as to correspond to God’s plan for man.209

2427 Human work proceeds directly from persons created in the image of God and called to prolong the work of creation by subduing the earth, both with and for one another.210 Hence work is a duty: "If any one will not work, let him not eat."211 Work honors the Creator’s gifts and the talents received from him. It can also be redemptive. By enduring the hardship of work212 in union with Jesus, the carpenter of Nazareth and the one crucified on Calvary, man collaborates in a certain fashion with the Son of God in his redemptive work. He shows himself to be a disciple of Christ by carrying the cross, daily, in the work he is called to accomplish.213 Work can be a means of sanctification and a way of animating earthly realities with the Spirit of Christ.

2428 In work, the person exercises and fulfills in part the potential inscribed in his nature. The primordial value of labor stems from man himself, its author and its beneficiary. Work is for man, not man for work.214

Everyone should be able to draw from work the means of providing for his life and that of his family, and of serving the human community.

2429 Everyone has the right of economic initiative; everyone should make legitimate use of his talents to contribute to the abundance that will benefit all and to harvest the just fruits of his labor. He should seek to observe regulations issued by legitimate authority for the sake of the common good.215

2430 Economic life brings into play different interests, often opposed to one another. This explains why the conflicts that characterize it arise.216 Efforts should be made to reduce these conflicts by negotiation that respects the rights and duties of each social partner: those responsible for business enterprises, representatives of wage- earners (for example, trade unions), and public authorities when appropriate.

2431 The responsibility of the state. "Economic activity, especially the activity of a market economy, cannot be conducted in an institutional, juridical, or political vacuum. On the contrary, it presupposes sure guarantees of individual freedom and private property, as well as a stable currency and efficient public services. Hence the principal task of the state is to guarantee this security, so that those who work and produce can enjoy the fruits of their labors and thus feel encouraged to work efficiently and honestly. . . . Another task of the state is that of overseeing and directing the exercise of human rights in the economic sector. However, primary responsibility in this area belongs not to the state but to individuals and to the various groups and associations which make up society."217

2432 Those responsible for business enterprises are responsible to society for the economic and ecological effects of their operations.218 They have an obligation to consider the good of persons and not only the increase of profits. Profits are necessary, however. They make possible the investments that ensure the future of a business and they guarantee employment.

2433 Access to employment and to professions must be open to all without unjust discrimination: men and women, healthy and disabled, natives and immigrants.219 For its part society should, according to circumstances, help citizens find work and employment.220

2434 A just wage is the legitimate fruit of work. To refuse or withhold it can be a grave injustice.221 In determining fair pay both the needs and the contributions of each person must be taken into account. "Remuneration for work should guarantee man the opportunity to provide a dignified livelihood for himself and his family on the material, social, cultural and spiritual level, taking into account the role and the productivity of each, the state of the business, and the common good."222 Agreement between the parties is not sufficient to justify morally the amount to be received in wages.

2435 Recourse to a strike is morally legitimate when it cannot be avoided, or at least when it is necessary to obtain a proportionate benefit. It becomes morally unacceptable when accompanied by violence, or when objectives are included that are not directly linked to working conditions or are contrary to the common good.

2436 It is unjust not to pay the social security contributions required by legitimate authority.

Unemployment almost always wounds its victim’s dignity and threatens the equilibrium of his life. Besides the harm done to him personally, it entails many risks for his family.223

@Bookcat

Where is the part saying that raising taxes when state already has a share of 50% is an article of faith?

I only see some parts which could be interpreted as requiring a minimum wage and a direct call to pay social security contributions required by legitimate authority. Nothing else, especially not that the church is a good arbiter to decide, what amount of taxes or contributions that legitimate authorities should require.

You know what realy funny is?
I just randomly guessed that catholic bishops in germany would applaud raising taxes, when state has a share of 50%. Had no proof, that they actually do, because i do not care what catholic bishops advice on economic politics. But it was a save guess:
focus.de/politik/deutschland/herbstvollversammlung-bischoefe-fordern-hoehere-steuern_aid_555496.html
“Bishops demand higher taxes”

is the title or something like that.

The german state in 2010 directly through taxes and other payments controlled 46% of money flow and i might be sinning if disagree with the bishops call for more taxes?
Would it be at 56% ok or at 75% ok?

“Which part of Magisterium teachings/pope words do catholics have to belief in?”

All.

“For such is the nature of faith that nothing can be more absurd than to accept some things and reject others.” - SATIS COGNITUM, ON THE UNITY OF THE CHURCH, ENCYCLICAL OF POPE LEO XIII, JUNE 29, 1896

That we are to pay just taxes…such has been from the beginning part of Christian morality…
(even in the New Testament)

(there can though be various things that go into some particular tax questions that one can discuss with an orthodox moral theologian)

As to whether the State should raise a tax or not…that would seem to me to be a prudential judgment that the Magisterium of the Church per se does not get into…

I do not know anything about the what certain Bishops said or did not say. Or about the economic -tax system there.

If there is an “opinion” of a Bishop on some matter of raising a tax…well that may be just that. While we respect the Bishop it may not be that one may disagree respectfully with his opinion.

One can give Jimmy Akin a call on Thru’s show for more light on the matter…he will be more versed on this area than I. (I will listen)

But what a bishop says can be part of the ordinary magisterium of the church. How can one classify which of a bishops words, that are about suggestions how someone should act (e.g. in that case parliament members should vote for higher taxes), are “opinion” and which part of teaching?

@wayman

You missed “/pope words”. Popes (and bishops) say many things. According to what i know both what popes and bishops say can be part of the magisterium. How to discern those?

The way things are said…the kind of document they are in…their being repeated …the nature of the thing etc.

If the Bishop says “all Catholics ought to support such and such sport team cause it is his team” well one knows where he is coming from and what he means there to actually say. Or he says " Well in my opinion taxes should be higher" …context plays much into things. If he says “All Catholics must oppose this tax that is for the purpose of paying for abortion” well…that too is clear.

And if he is a Bishop of somewhere else…not your Bishop (and you are not in his area) well some things are only going to be thus directed at his flock. (As to conferences of Bishops read Cardinal Ratzinger).

Practical matters of politics or economics are often going to fall to the prudential judgment of elected leaders and lay persons. There can be lots of discussion or various views here. Of course there can be moral issues that the Bishops may weigh in on.

And for example we follow the Encyclicals etc of the Pope. Understanding them as he understands them and intends them. Not how say the media takes them etc.

Again this is not my area of expertise. I think one though would need to --with the readiness of following what one ought–take it in a case by case basis.

I suggest you give Jimmy Akin a call on Thursday. Use some cheap method since it seems you are in Germany…and tell them where you are calling from and you will get on the show first :slight_smile:

The way things are said…the kind of document they are in…their being repeated perhaps …the nature of the thing etc.

If the Bishop says “all Catholics ought to support such and such sport team cause it is his team” well one knows where he is coming from and what he means there to actually say. Or he says " Well in my opinion taxes should be higher" …context plays much into things. If he says “All Catholics must oppose this tax that is for the purpose of paying for abortion” well…that too is clear.

And if he is a Bishop of somewhere else…not your Bishop (and you are not in his area) well some things are only going to be thus directed at his flock. (As to conferences of Bishops read Cardinal Ratzinger).

Practical matters of politics or economics are often going to fall to the prudential judgment of elected leaders and lay persons. There can be lots of discussion or various views here. Of course there can be moral issues that the Bishops may weigh in on.

And for example we follow the Encyclicals etc of the Pope. Certainly they are part of the Ordinary (at least) Magisterium of the Pope. Understanding them as he understands them and intends them. Not how say the media takes them etc (and one can of course misunderstand them oneself too…one must understand things in the right way…in the way the “Church” …the “Pope” understands it…not reading into it other ideas or theories. (such can be easy to do))

Again I suggest you give Jimmy Akin a call on Thursday…he may make more distinctions that I have not made or explain things better catholic.com/radio. Use some good cheap method since it seems you are in Germany…and tell them where you are calling from and you will get on the show first :slight_smile:

Lumen Gentium of the Second Vatican Council gets into some of these things.

vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_const_19641121_lumen-gentium_en.html

For example:

“25. Among the principal duties of bishops the preaching of the Gospel occupies an eminent place.(39*) 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,(164) making it bear fruit and vigilantly warding off any errors that threaten their flock.(165) 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. This religious submission of mind and will must be shown in a special way to the authentic magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, even when he is not speaking ex cathedra; that is, it must be shown in such a way that his supreme magisterium is acknowledged with reverence, the judgments made by him are sincerely adhered to, according to his manifest mind and will. His mind and will in the matter may be known either from the character of the documents, from his frequent repetition of the same doctrine, or from his manner of speaking.” (LG 25)

(this paragraph is within the context of a much wider elaboration…which needs to also be read).

In considering what and how something is proposed…some things are proposed more “tentatively” (again please give Jimmy Akin a call on Thur. for a more fuller exposition).

This too may be of some help in illustration.

priestsforlife.org/magisterium/bishops/04-07ratzingerommunion.htm

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