Faith in the True Magisterium

Each and every valid Roman Pontiff, from Peter to Francis and beyond has the divinely-conferred charism of truth and never failing faith. A Pope is necessarily the valid Roman Pontiff who is accepted by the body of Bishops as the successor of Peter. Every teaching of every Pope is either infallible, with no possibility of error, or non-infallible, with no possibility of grave error. And every teaching of every Ecumenical Council is infallible, without exception.

The Church has two swords, the teaching authority and the temporal authority. The Church therefore has authority over doctrine and discipline. And each Pope has this dual authority. While teachings can never err gravely, decision on discipline and judgments of the prudential order, which fall under the temporal authority, can be infallible — these decisions are termed “dogmatic facts” — or non-infallible. And the non-infallible decisions of the temporal authority are also kept free from grave error, that is, free from any error that would be spiritually grave, or that would harm the Church or the path of salvation.

The Church is indefectible. She can never go astray, lead astray, or be taken over by evil, by evil forces, by the devil, by the Antichrist, by the false prophet, or by any type of conspiracy or evil organization.

The Pope is indefectible. Even if the Pope should happen to sin gravely, personally, his teachings are no less reliable, nor are his decisions on discipline any less reliable. And the gift of truth and never failing faith means that no Pope has ever, and no Pope can ever teach material heresy or commit formal heresy.

The body of Bishops is indefectible, but only as a body, not individually. They have a similar charism of truth and never-failing faith, only as a body, and only as long as they remain in communion with the Pope, and as long as they accept the Pope as their head.

The truths of the Catholic faith are based on Sacred Tradition, Sacred Scripture, and the Magisterium. These are the three pillars of truth. The Church is able to teach from natural law, and She teaches and interprets the natural law just as divine law, with the same surety of judgment and understanding.

The infallible teachings of the Church require the full assent of faith, under pain of heresy and automatic excommunication. The non-infallible teachings of the Church require more than mere respect; they require the religious submission of will and intellect.

The teachings of Pope Francis contain no grave errors. The teachings of the recent Popes contain no grave errors. The Church has not been infiltrated by evil, nor by modernism, nor by any other harmful thing. She remains the spotless Bride. The teachings of the Second Vatican Council are infallible. There has never been found any errors in those teachings.

Whoever rejects the teachings of Pope Francis or of the Second Vatican Council commits the sin of schism. Whoever rejects the teaching of any Ecumenical Council commits the sin of heresy. Whoever accuses any Pope, throughout the history of the Church, of heresy commits the sin of heresy. These sins of heresy or schism are either material or formal. Whoever accuses any Pope of apostasy, heresy, or schism, or of idolatry, sacrilege, or blasphemy contradicts the dogmatic teaching of Vatican I and commits at least material heresy, as well as schism.

Whatever Pope Francis teaches, we should accept. Whatever the body of Bishops teaches, with the approval of the Pope, we should accept. We should not denigrate any Pope. We should not accuse any Pope of grave sin. It is particularly sinful to use the mass media to spread accusation against Popes and Councils to many persons, and to lead others into these same grave sins.

Are you a faithful traditionalist or conservatives priest? If you think that any Pope has ever, or can ever teach or commit heresy, you are not so faithful. Too many persons on the right in the Church have erred by putting their trust in particular leaders, instead of the Magisterium.

Ronald L. Conte Jr.

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2 Responses to Faith in the True Magisterium

  1. Guest says:

    > The body of Bishops is indefectible, but only as a body, not individually. They have a similar charism of truth and never-failing faith, only as a body, and only as long as they remain in communion with the Pope, and as long as they accept the Pope as their head.

    I’ll need theological citation here. I am convinced that no pope would ever fall into heresy nor the bishops on communion with him will. I still see it as theoretical possibility that the majority of bishops can follow someone who is not pope, because they falsely believe he’s pope, and so also fall into errror. I’ll need a citation rather than an argument from incredulity. I’m willing to close my mind to the possibility if you can cite the indefectability of the majority of bishops sans pope.

    The Church built on Peter can never fail.

    • Ron Conte says:

      The teaching on the never failing faith of the Pope is from Vatican I. The fathers were interpreting Luke 22:32, the words of our Lord, who says that he prays for Peter that his faith will not fail, but then that Peter confirms his brethren, which I interpret to mean that his brethren the Bishops cannot fail. {22:32} But I have prayed for you, so that your faith may not fail, and so that you, once converted, may confirm your brothers.” And that is the best citation.

      Then there is the indefectibility of the Church. If Peter goes astray, the Church has defected, since he is the head, as you yourself said. But if the other Apostles go astray as a body, then the Church has also defected, as the Church is not led by Peter alone, but by Peter leading the other Apostles.

      I don’t know of a citation on the body of Bishops, though.
      Here are the citations on Peter’s faith:

      Edited to add a quote from Ludwig Ott: “The totality of the Bishops is infallible, when they, either assembled in general council or scattered over the earth, propose a teaching of faith or morals as one to be held by all the faithful. (De fide).”

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