Category Archives: Magisterium

Why neither the Pope, nor the body of Bishops, can commit heresy

A valid Pope can never commit the sin of apostasy, or heresy, or schism, because God positively and absolutely prevents it. See my previous article: Can a Pope commit the sin of heresy? By the grace of God, and by … Continue reading

Gallery

Birth Control and Church Authority

This post is an analysis of the theology in an article by Dr. Gary Gutting, professor of philosophy at Notre Dame University. The article was published in the New York Times: Birth Control, Bishops and Religious Authority (15 Feb 2012). … Continue reading

Gallery

Is it heresy to reject the teachings of Vatican II?

I’m not convinced that nothing was taught by Vatican II under Conciliar infallibility. However, given the premise that all Vatican II doctrines were proposed non-infallibly, can it be a heresy to reject any particular teachings of Vatican II? Typically, a … Continue reading

Gallery

Jeff Mirus’ Grave Doctrinal Errors on Infallibility

Dr. Jeff Mirus has a Ph.D. in Intellectual History from Princeton University (1973). Although his degree studies focused on the history of the Church, he does not have a degree in theology. Even so, like any other layperson in the … Continue reading

Gallery

Heresy and the Priestly Ordination of Women

Dogma The teachings of the Catholic Faith are found in three sources: Sacred Tradition, Sacred Scripture, and the Magisterium. The Magisterium teaches from Tradition and Scripture, and also from natural law; but all the teachings of natural law are also … Continue reading

Gallery | 2 Comments

Latin Translation Error in Unam Sanctam

The document Unam Sanctam was issued by Pope Boniface VIII in November of 1302. It remains an important magisterial document because it teaches that the Church as two types of authority: 1. the spiritual authority (usually called the Magisterium or … Continue reading

Gallery

The Next Liberal Pope and the Ordination of Women Deacons

I would like to cover two related topics in this post: (1) What will happen when, eventually, a liberal Pope is elected, and, (2) Does the Church have the authority to ordain women to the deaconate. On the first point, … Continue reading

Gallery | 8 Comments

Natural Law and the Catholic Faith

There are three pillars of truth in the Roman Catholic Faith: 1. Tradition 2. Scripture 3. Magisterium The Magisterium (the living teaching office of the Church) teaches from Tradition and Scripture. All the teachings of the Magisterium are found, explicitly … Continue reading

Gallery

A little boasting about my parish priests

I’m in my 50’s and I’ve been Catholic for my whole life. I’ve attended very many Masses, and heard very many sermons (some good, some not so good). I have moved from one place to another, from time to time, … Continue reading

Gallery

Contra Cardinal Ratzinger on Levels of Assent

The Magisterium is one authority (and ability) given to the Church by the Holy Spirit. But since the Magisterium teaches either infallibly or non-infallibly, we can divide the Magisterium, conceptually, into two types of exercises of that authority: 1. infallible … Continue reading

Gallery

The death of the Virgin Mary

The non-infallible ordinary Magisterium teaches that Mary died and was resurrected from the dead, prior to her Assumption. The infallible sacred Magisterium teaches that Mary was assumed into Heaven, with body and soul united (alive). 1. infallible teachings require the … Continue reading

Gallery | 2 Comments

To what extent may a faithful Catholic disagree with the Pope?

When the Pope or a Council or the Universal Magisterium teaches infallibly, the faithful are required to give the full assent of faith (what I term ‘sacred assent’). Infallible teachings of the Magisterium are guaranteed by the Holy Spirit to … Continue reading

Gallery

All Are Not Welcome

Are all persons welcome to become members of the Catholic Church? No. In order to be a member of the Catholic Church, you must believe what the Catholic Church teaches. If you believe that Jesus is the Son of God, … Continue reading

Gallery

Can a Pope commit the sin of heresy?

There are really only two possible answers to this question. Either a Pope is able to fall into heresy, or he is not able. But some persons have claimed that a Pope can fall into heresy privately, but not in … Continue reading

Gallery

When is a teaching infallible? Must all infallible teachings be manifestly evident?

Canon law 749 n. 3 states: “No doctrine is understood as defined infallibly unless this is manifestly evident.” This Canon raises a question concerning the interpretation of teachings of the Magisterium. Must it be manifestly evident that a teaching has … Continue reading

Gallery

Anathema, Excommunication, and Heresy

The term ‘anathema’ originally referred to things that were offered to God (Catholic Encyclopedia, Anathema). Anything offered to God was therefore cut off from the one who made the offering. In offering something to God, the person may no longer … Continue reading

Gallery

Saint Thomas on Heresy

Saint Thomas Aquinas in the Summa Theologica: On the contrary, Augustine says against the Manichees [Cf. De Civ. Dei xviii, 1]: “In Christ’s Church, those are heretics, who hold mischievous and erroneous opinions, and when rebuked that they may think … Continue reading

Gallery

Against Catholic Fundamentalism – 1 – Private Interpretation of Scripture

There is a certain false teaching, spreading among many Catholics, which claims that the Church prohibits us from interpreting Scripture. They call this the ‘private interpretation’ of Scripture. They say that we must wait for the Magisterium to tell us … Continue reading

Gallery

Is it Church teaching or Personal Opinion?

One of the theological problems that plagues the faithful in the present time is an over-simplification of the Catholic Faith. This problem is particularly prevalent in Catholic sources online (blogs, discussion groups, personal devotional websites, etc.). There is a strong … Continue reading

Gallery

Faithful Dissent from magisterial teaching

In the world today, there is so much unfaithful dissent that some Catholic have begun to think that all dissent is contrary to the Faith. The unfaithful dissent includes undermining the authority of the Bible, contradicting the Bible, claiming that … Continue reading

Gallery