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Old 26th February 2006, 06:43 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 12,577
Default Is it approved by the Church?

This question, in one form or another, comes up repeatedly.
The problem with that question is that the Church is the people of God. We are all a part of the Church. So what does it mean to say that something is approved by the Church?

The Magisterium can teach, but it cannot approve.
The temporal authority of the Church rests with the Bishops and the Pope. An individual Bishop may give some kind of approval, such as an Imprimatur. But such a designation is not infallible and does not represent more than a limited assertion by a Bishop that there are no clear doctrinal or moral errors in a book or article.

the term 'Church approval' is often misused. Many ideas or books or devotions are said to have Church approval, when they do not. They may have the approval of a Bishop. But such approval does not constitute approval by the universal Church.

What an odd question for a Christian to ask.
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Old 27th June 2006, 12:04 AM
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Default Re:Is it approved by the Church?

Ronconte - in response to your original post. I see where you are taking this. The church may have varying opionions on certain levels. Here is a good example. A certain Cardinal, Bishop or Archbishop mentioned on CNN that the church's stance on condoms had changed for those with HIV/AIDS. However, until it reaches the highest level with the Holy Father Pope Benedict it is just an opinion and not official policy. Some Reverends, Bishops and etc. may have made commentary on policy changes but, until it reaches the zenith it doesn't have the seal of approval yet.
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Old 27th June 2006, 01:37 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 12,577

It is not true that a teaching of an individual Bishop is not the teaching of the ordinary Magisterium.

25. Among the principal duties of bishops the preaching of the Gospel occupies an eminent place. 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. (Lumen Gentium).

Any individual Bishop can and should be continually teaching under the ability and authority of the ordinary Magiterium. But that ordinary Magisterium is fallible.

The terms 'official policy' and 'seal of approval' are not used by the Church to describe it teachings. Teachings of the Magisterium are either infallible or non-infallible (or else not teachings of the Magisterium at all).

It is not necessary for a teaching to have been taught by the Pope in order for it to fall under the ordinary Magisterium.

In addition, much of what any Pope teaches also falls under the ordinary Magisterium.

Ron Conte
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