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  #31  
Old 7th May 2007, 01:52 AM
Justin Angel Justin Angel is offline
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Cool Humanae Vitae

Ron, you say that an encyclical is not an infallible statement. I take it you mean that an encyclical
like Humanae Vitae is not a dogmatic statement. For Pope Pius lX did make an infallible statement in his
Encyclical 'Ineffabilis Deus': "The most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instant of her conception...was
preserved free from all sin." When I referred to Humanae Vitae as an "infallible statement" I meant that
the document contained an 'ex cathedra' definition;that would be article 14. I am aware that there
are segments which are not specifically teachings but just observations. Indeed, infallible teachings
of the universal magisterium are difficult to isolate in a given document such as this encyclical. And
certainly the entire document is not infallible. Pardon my abstract assertion which was equivocal I own.

I acknowledge that the teachings of the universal magisterium are diffuse and held by bishops around the world.
And, of course, the UM does not write encyclicals. Indeed, Pope Paul Vl wrote 'Humanae Vitae'. But article 14
is an instance of the constant universal magisterium of the pope and the bishops united against the conventional
forms of birth control. Article 14 is a definitive judgment passed by the Holy Father affirming the magisterium's position
and Church teachings against abortion, sterilization, and contraception. Since the theological commission could not produce
a statement in this matter with the force of a "certain and definitive judgment", the pope gave it in this instance.
His intention to give a definitive teaching on birth control is made manifest in article 6.

It appears that the encyclical contains an intrinsically infallibe pronouncement,an instance of papal infallibilty,
as solemnly defined by the Vatican l Council in the Constitution 'Pastor Aeternus'. A solemn form of papal teaching is
not the only form which satisfies the conditions of an 'ex cathedra' definition by the pope. In his thesis 'Humanae Vitae e
Infallibilita', Fr. Lio relies on primary and official documents to show that Vatican l Council also means a doctrinal statement
counts as an infallible definition provided that the pope makes it clear that it must be held by the whole Church, and provided
also that the statement directly and conclusively pronounces sentence. Pope Paul intended to put an end to any uncertainty
and controversy there may have been about the moral doctrine in question. He affirmed secondary doctrinal truths which were
theologically certain (and still are) by virtue of its constant teaching by popes and bishops around the world as definitively
to be held. 'Ex cathedra' definitions are envisaged by Vatican l Council as including doctrines which are to be held with
theological certainty. Pope Paul is affirming what moral teachings are to be held with theological certainty and acknowledged
and adhered to by the Church.

I am not learned enough to pass a verdict on the question of the 'ex cathedra' status of 'Humane Vitae',
but I am open to the possibility that it is an infallible document. Can it be that a pope can speak infallibly in
a document which is not entirely infallible and thus non-infallible? If so, then the document itself would remain
non-infallible. But if not, then how does one respond to Father Lio's thesis and assertions?
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  #32  
Old 7th May 2007, 02:13 AM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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There are a number of errors in what you are saying.

Indeed, infallible teachings of the universal magisterium are difficult to isolate in a given document such as this encyclical.

An isolated teaching in one particular document cannot ever be infallible, in and of itself, under the UM. By definition, a teaching becomes infallible under the UM when it has been taught universally by the Pope and Bishops. Usually, this involves successive generations of Popes and Bishops. So any one document or paragraph is not going to be infallible under the UM.

But article 14 is an instance of the constant universal magisterium of the pope and the bishops united against the conventional forms of birth control.

No, it is not. It is an instance of the Pope teaching a particular doctrine. The Bishops did not write that encyclical. One could cite Humanae Vitae, along with many other instances of Popes and Bishops teaching this same doctrine, in order to conclude that the teaching is infallible under the UM. But no one document by itself makes something infallible under the UM.

'Ex cathedra' definitions are envisaged by Vatican l Council as including doctrines which are to be held with theological certainty

The above statement is not at all true. In fact, it seems to extend infallibility far beyond the definition given by Vatican 1. Theological certainty occurs at the level of pious opinion, when one is certain in one's own mind of an idea which is still fallible. To equate an infallible ex cathedra definition with an idea which is only theologically certain is absurd.

1. infallible teachings, i.e. dogmas
2. non-infallible teachings, i.e. doctrines
3. fallible theological opinion

Fr. Lio's arguments rely on an extension of papal infallibility beyond what any other theologians or Bishops or Popes have stated. In my opinion, this is not a tenable position.

The teaching against contraception is infallible under the UM, but not under papal infallibility.


Ron
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  #33  
Old 8th May 2007, 07:25 AM
Justin Angel Justin Angel is offline
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Default Humanae Vitae

Thank you, Ron. Your last statement confirms a question I had asked myself.
By the way, can you recommend a good book on the Magisterium which is
both comprehensive and accessible to a layperson?
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  #34  
Old 8th May 2007, 12:21 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin Angel View Post
Thank you, Ron. Your last statement confirms a question I had asked myself.
By the way, can you recommend a good book on the Magisterium which is
both comprehensive and accessible to a layperson?

There isn't one.

I have some articles here:
http://www.catholicplanet.com/TSM/index.htm
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  #35  
Old 8th May 2007, 02:21 PM
Justin Angel Justin Angel is offline
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Default Book on the Magisterium

Ron, I just checked amazon.com and discovered a book by Francis A Sullivan,
'Magisterium:Teaching Authority in the Catholic Church' in paperback. Are
you familiar with this book or the author?
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  #36  
Old 8th May 2007, 04:59 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin Angel View Post
Ron, I just checked amazon.com and discovered a book by Francis A Sullivan,
'Magisterium:Teaching Authority in the Catholic Church' in paperback. Are
you familiar with this book or the author?

I've heard of him. I don't agree with some of the things he says about the Magisterium. I think that it is more of a speculative theology book than anything else.
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