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  #1  
Old 30th August 2010, 04:45 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Default magisteriumism

We've discussed this topic before. I'd like to go into some greater depth on the types of doctrinal errors associated with (what I'm calling) magisteriumism.

http://www.catholicplanet.com/RCC/ma...ism-heresy.htm

There are several commonly found errors among those who hold to this heresy:

1. The idea that the Magisterium is above Tradition and Scripture.
2. The idea that the Magisterium is above reproach or correction by the faithful.
3. The idea that the faithful can only learn the truths of the Faith from the Magisterium, not from Tradition or Scripture directly.
4. The idea that the teaching of the Church is nothing other than the teachings of the Magisterium.
5. The idea that the teachings of the Faith flow in one direction, from the Magisterium to the faithful.
6. The idea that development of doctrine is solely the work of the Bishops and the Pope, never the faithful.
7. The idea that the Magisterium is the Pope and the Bishops.
8. The idea that whenever the Pope and the Bishops act authoritatively, they exercise the authority of the Magisterium.
9. The idea that the teachings of the Magisterium are all explicitly taught in written documents.
10. The idea that the teachings of the Church are all found in the written documents of the Magisterium.
11. The idea that all of the teachings of the Church can be understood by the faithful.
12. The idea that any teaching of the Church can be found the internet or in the Catechism.
13. The idea that the teachings of the Church are separate from and above the teachings of the Saints, Doctors, Fathers, priests, theologians, and ordinary Catholics.
14. The idea that the Faith is not based at all on the private interpretation of Scripture by the faithful.
15. The idea that the Magisterium can teach other truths, which are outside of Tradition and Scripture.
16. The idea that everything taught by the Magisterium is true.
17. The idea that any dissent from what the Pope or Bishops teach is sinful unfaithful dissent.
18. The idea that any disobedience to what the Pope or Bishops decide is sinful unfaithful disobedience.
19. The idea that those loyal to the Magisterium should only believe what the Magisterium teaches, not their own interpretation or opinion.
20. The idea that the all the truths of the Faith can be known by those who are loyal to the Magisterium.
21. The idea that the Church on earth consists of the faithful following the Magisterium

Now mistakenly believing a few of the above errors would not necessarily be a material heresy. The above set of errors tends to accompany the heresy.

What is specifically material heresy is the exaltation of the Magisterium to the severe detriment of Tradition and Scripture, the claim that the Magisterium is always infallible, and those various claims that attempt to prevent the faithful from learning the Faith directly from Tradition and Scripture.
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Old 31st August 2010, 03:36 AM
Pontifex Pontifex is offline
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Originally Posted by Ron Conte View Post
We've discussed this topic before. I'd like to go into some greater depth on the types of doctrinal errors associated with (what I'm calling) magisteriumism.

http://www.catholicplanet.com/RCC/ma...ism-heresy.htm

There are several commonly found errors among those who hold to this heresy:

1. The idea that the Magisterium is above Tradition and Scripture.

Ron,

Isn't the concept of a Magisterium without the deposit of Faith in Scripture and Tradition completely self-contradictory.

If we take point one of your twenty-one points, one difficulty I see is that it is not always that evident which type of infallibility a teaching falls under, or whether a teaching falls under infallibility at all, hence the propensity for some people to rely 'only on the Magisterium' for thruths of the faith. And this could lead to another confusion for the faithful as to what type of assent they ascribe to a particular teaching of the Magisterium. If one confuses 'religious submission' the faithful must retain with respect to the teachings of the Ordinary Magisterium with the complete assent or fulness of faith one must hold with respect to the irreformable and irrevocable teachings of the Infallible Magisterium, then I can see the 'slippery slope' which can lead to the heresy of 'magisteriumism'.

But this seems notional in the sense that I do not see who suffers from this to the point of heresy in the same way that Protestants rely on 'Sola Scriptura' or the ultra-traditionalist 'catholic' heretics who make the error of exalting Tradition over Scripture and Magisterium as you point out so well.

Perhaps the only ones who sort of come close are the Sedevacanists who believe a Pope can teach infallibly, but claim that if a Pope does teach a false doctrine under the criteria of Papal Infallibility, then he is no longer a valid Pope and his “false” teaching will therefore not fall under Papal Infallibility.
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Old 31st August 2010, 12:01 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Isn't the concept of a Magisterium without the deposit of Faith in Scripture and Tradition completely self-contradictory.

They don't deny Tradition and Scripture, they just claim that the faithful cannot learn the faith directly from T and S. They only allow that the Magisterium can make use of TS.

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If we take point one of your twenty-one points, one difficulty I see is that it is not always that evident which type of infallibility a teaching falls under, or whether a teaching falls under infallibility at all, hence the propensity for some people to rely 'only on the Magisterium' for thruths of the faith. And this could lead to another confusion for the faithful as to what type of assent they ascribe to a particular teaching of the Magisterium. If one confuses 'religious submission' the faithful must retain with respect to the teachings of the Ordinary Magisterium with the complete assent or fulness of faith one must hold with respect to the irreformable and irrevocable teachings of the Infallible Magisterium, then I can see the 'slippery slope' which can lead to the heresy of 'magisteriumism'.

It is not much of a problem if it is not clear whether a teaching is infallible or not. We can look to Tradition and Scripture, and if T and S teach that same teaching, then we have much greater adherence to a non-infallible teaching; it is material dogma. I don't see how a mistake about whether a teaching is infallible or non-infallible would lead to Magisteriumism. The faithful, uncertain about the level of authority of a teaching can look to the Living Tradition by discussing the teaching with one another, by looking to the writings of the Saints, and can look to Scripture. This only strengthens all the teachings of the Magisterium.

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But this seems notional in the sense that I do not see who suffers from this to the point of heresy in the same way that Protestants rely on 'Sola Scriptura' or the ultra-traditionalist 'catholic' heretics who make the error of exalting Tradition over Scripture and Magisterium as you point out so well.

Perhaps the only ones who sort of come close are the Sedevacanists who believe a Pope can teach infallibly, but claim that if a Pope does teach a false doctrine under the criteria of Papal Infallibility, then he is no longer a valid Pope and his “false” teaching will therefore not fall under Papal Infallibility.

No, the Sedevacantists essentially reject the Magisterium, in the manner you describe. For they make themselves the judges over whether or not the Pope and the Magisterium has gone astray, based on their own understanding of Tradition.

There are some persons who adhere to magisteriumism to the extent of heresy. I've had discussions and arguments with such persons in the past.

But I think my description of this heresy is most useful as a remedy against the mere tendency to move in that direction.
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Old 31st August 2010, 02:13 PM
Pontifex Pontifex is offline
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It is not much of a problem if it is not clear whether a teaching is infallible or not. We can look to Tradition and Scripture, and if T and S teach that same teaching, then we have much greater adherence to a non-infallible teaching; it is material dogma. I don't see how a mistake about whether a teaching is infallible or non-infallible would lead to Magisteriumism. The faithful, uncertain about the level of authority of a teaching can look to the Living Tradition by discussing the teaching with one another, by looking to the writings of the Saints, and can look to Scripture. This only strengthens all the teachings of the Magisterium.



If one constantly confuses various Magisterium teachings and ends up lumping them all into 'teachings of the Infallible Magisterium'; then it is conceivable that this person will gradually consider the Magisterium in the light and manner in which you describe in your 21 points. But it seems to me that the first error towards this tendency is to first confuse the different levels of the Magisterium. If one sees infallible decisions everywhere, e.g. in all Church pronouncements, documents, etc. then this person will mistankenly provide a wrongful assent and consider these teachings as having the mark of the fullness of faith.

But to be a heresy, this would have to take on a severe form in someone's thinking whereby the Sacred Deposit of Faith would become subservient to the Magisterium, which is not the case.
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Old 31st August 2010, 02:58 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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If one constantly confuses various Magisterium teachings and ends up lumping them all into 'teachings of the Infallible Magisterium'; then it is conceivable that this person will gradually consider the Magisterium in the light and manner in which you describe in your 21 points. But it seems to me that the first error towards this tendency is to first confuse the different levels of the Magisterium. If one sees infallible decisions everywhere, e.g. in all Church pronouncements, documents, etc. then this person will mistankenly provide a wrongful assent and consider these teachings as having the mark of the fullness of faith.

If a person is confused such that he thinks that the Magisterium always teaches infallibly; this is material heresy. It contradicts the teaching of Vatican I and Vatican II on infallibility, including contradicting the Vatican I definition as to the criteria for papal infallibility.

But material heresy is not necessarily formal heresy. If he merely misunderstands, he is not a heretic.

If a person is confused such that he does not distinguish between the spiritual teaching authority (Magisterium) and the temporal authority (discipline; judgments of the prudential order), this is a serious doctrinal error, but perhaps this point by itself does not rise to the level of heresy.

Again, if he does not realize that he is contradicting magisterial teaching by denying that the Church has both types of authority (he views it as only the Magisterium), he is perhaps not guilty of any actual sin, except perhaps a venial sin of negligence in learning the Faith.

But what is most dangerous is when a Catholic misunderstand the correct teaching of the Church on this subject, on various of the 21 points, AND goes on to teach and 'correct' others, as if this set of errors were required belief. I've had discussions with persons like this also.

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But to be a heresy, this would have to take on a severe form in someone's thinking whereby the Sacred Deposit of Faith would become subservient to the Magisterium, which is not the case.

It does take that severe form in some persons.

When a Catholic merely misunderstands some of those 21 points, then he simply needs a better education in the Faith.
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Old 31st August 2010, 03:29 PM
Pontifex Pontifex is offline
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Originally Posted by Ron Conte View Post
We've discussed this topic before. I'd like to go into some greater depth on the types of doctrinal errors associated with (what I'm calling) magisteriumism.

http://www.catholicplanet.com/RCC/ma...ism-heresy.htm

There are several commonly found errors among those who hold to this heresy:


2. The idea that the Magisterium is above reproach or correction by the faithful.

Ron,

In what way can the faithful reproach or correct the Magisterium ?
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Old 31st August 2010, 03:49 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Ron,

In what way can the faithful reproach or correct the Magisterium ?

Reproach was not the right word to use. The infalllible teachings of the Magisterium need no correction. The non-infallible teachings may need some correction, for example, Avery Dulles' correction of the list of acts in Veritatis Splendor which are supposedly each and all intrinsically evil.

The faithful do participate in the work of the Magisterium, for example, the documents containing the infallible teaching of the Church on the Immaculate Conception, and on the Assumption, each refer to the role played by the faithful in reaching this dogmatic definition.

The faithful seek truths directly from Tradition and Scripture, truths not yet defined by the Magisterium, and in seeking truth the body of the faithful have the guarantee of the Holy Spirit, not of infallibility, but of fruitfulness in finding truth in Divine Revelation. From this fruit, the Magisterium often distills the wine of new magisterial decisions on doctrine.
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Old 31st August 2010, 06:54 PM
Pontifex Pontifex is offline
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Originally Posted by Ron Conte View Post
We've discussed this topic before. I'd like to go into some greater depth on the types of doctrinal errors associated with (what I'm calling) magisteriumism.

http://www.catholicplanet.com/RCC/ma...ism-heresy.htm

There are several commonly found errors among those who hold to this heresy:

6. The idea that development of doctrine is solely the work of the Bishops and the Pope, never the faithful.


7. The idea that the Magisterium is the Pope and the Bishops.

Ron,

Does this mean that non-ordained theologians are part of the Magisterium ? In what way ? Is the Magisterium a club of theologians ? Personnally, I don't see why a Pope may not consult with expert theologians in a particular field in order to expound a doctrine, even an infallible one.
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Old 31st August 2010, 08:44 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Ron,

Does this mean that non-ordained theologians are part of the Magisterium ? In what way ? Is the Magisterium a club of theologians ? Personnally, I don't see why a Pope may not consult with expert theologians in a particular field in order to expound a doctrine, even an infallible one.

The Magisterium is an ability exercised solely by the Pope and the Bishops. Priests, deacons, religious and the laity, including theologians, cannot exercise the Magisterium.

The Pope and the Bishops do frequently consult with theologians, and with priests, deacons, religious, and the laity.

The faithful, other than the Pope and the Bishops, cannot exercise the Magisterium, but they can participate (for example, by the consultation that you suggested).

You seem to be disagreeing, but I don't see where the disagreement lies.
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Old 31st August 2010, 09:28 PM
Pontifex Pontifex is offline
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You seem to be disagreeing, but I don't see where the disagreement lies.

Then there is no disagreement.
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