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Old 3rd November 2006, 12:28 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Default Is it a Heresy to Believe that the Ordinary Magisterium is Infallible?

Is it a Heresy to Believe that the Ordinary Magisterium is Infallible?
http://www.catholicplanet.com/CMA/he...allibility.htm

To summarize the article, yes, it is.

Some conservative Catholics imagine that heresy only occurs among liberal Catholics, but in truth there are some heresies among conservatives as well. One of these is the idea that the Ordinary Magisterium is infallible, or that it can never err on matters of faith and morals.

This heresy usually takes the form of belief that the Pope cannot err even in the ordinary Magisterium, and that the individual Bishops cannot teach under even the Ordinary Magisterium (OM), except to merely repeat what the Pope has taught.

It is heretical to say that the individual Bishops cannot exercise the OM, because it removes from them their Apostolic authority as successors of the Apostles. It also deprecates their ordination to the Episcopate, in virtue of which they are the successors to the Apostles.

The particular idea that the Pope always teaches infallibly, or that the always teaches infallibly when teaching on faith and morals is heretical because it contradicts the infallible dogma taught by the First Vatican Council, which clearly set out 5 criteria for a Pope to teach infallibly:

1. the Roman Pontiff
2. speaks ex cathedra (that is, when in the discharge of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, and by virtue of his supreme apostolic authority….)
3. he defines
4. that a doctrine concerning faith or morals
5. must be held by the whole Church

So then, should anyone, which God forbid, have the temerity to reject this definition of ours: let him be anathema.

Therefore, anyone who claims that the Pope teaches infallibly even when all of these conditions are not met is contradicting this definition and falls under the penalty of the anathema.

This is a fairly common heresy today. I've read statements from priests, theologians with Ph.D.s, and lay leaders which teach this heresy as if it were a doctrine.

In truth, the Magisterium teaches infallibly only in three ways,
1) solemn definitions of the Roman Pontiff,
2) solemn definitions of Ecumenical Councils, and
3) the ordinary universal magisterium;
and all other teachings of the Magisterium are ordinary and non-infallible, and are subject to the possibility of error, even on matters of faith and morals, but never to such an extent that any error, or set of errors, could lead the faithful away from the path of salvation.

In truth, the individual Bishops are the successors to the Apostles, just as the Pope is the successor to Peter, and each has the ability and authority to exercise the Magisterium according to their proper role in the Church.



Ron Conte
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Old 3rd November 2006, 09:55 PM
Joan
 
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"....and all other teachings of the Magisterium are ordinary and non-infallible, and are subject to the possibility of error, even on matters of faith and morals, but never to such an extent that any error, or set of errors, could lead the faithful away from the path of salvation." My state's Catholic Conference voting guide, most Catholic authorities, teachers, writers, social service, the Catholic culture of my world--present as if it were an infalllible teaching that capital punishment must be abolished and condemned. It is presented in the same breath, on the same list, and with equal force as the condemnation of abortion. Elective Abortion is intrinsically evil, is that correct? Intuitively, and in the overall impact observable on society, I cannot say the same for capital punishment. Intuitively, and at a very deep level, I believe that capital punishment is a social ill, open to abuse, requiring mercy, justice and vigilance to pre-empt abuses and tyranny; but it may be a necessary evil to protect innocent victims and to preserve a society from utter degeneracy, having a salutary effect. Is this dissent from the teachings of the Magisterium, the writings and teachings of the Pontiff also actually heretical? If the Pope, the Magisterium, the local Episcopal authorities, and the Catholic Social Teachings all agree, is dissent on the issue of capital punishment heresy?
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Old 3rd November 2006, 10:59 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joan View Post
My state's Catholic Conference voting guide, most Catholic authorities, teachers, writers, social service, the Catholic culture of my world--present as if it were an infalllible teaching that capital punishment must be abolished and condemned. It is presented in the same breath, on the same list, and with equal force as the condemnation of abortion. Elective Abortion is intrinsically evil, is that correct? Intuitively, and in the overall impact observable on society, I cannot say the same for capital punishment. Intuitively, and at a very deep level, I believe that capital punishment is a social ill, open to abuse, requiring mercy, justice and vigilance to pre-empt abuses and tyranny; but it may be a necessary evil to protect innocent victims and to preserve a society from utter degeneracy, having a salutary effect. Is this dissent from the teachings of the Magisterium, the writings and teachings of the Pontiff also actually heretical? If the Pope, the Magisterium, the local Episcopal authorities, and the Catholic Social Teachings all agree, is dissent on the issue of capital punishment heresy?

The Church has always taught that capital punishment is NOT intrinsically evil and can be moral in certain circumstances. God requred the Jews of the OT to give the death penalty for certain offenses. Therefore, it can never be said to be always evil or intrinsically evil.

Direct and voluntary Abortion is intrinsically evil and is always immoral.

You are right that the death penalty is subject to possible misuse and abuse, and may not be the right answer in a given circumstance. But it cannot be said to be always immoral. It would be heretical to say that the death penalty is intrinsically evil and always immoral.

You are not actually dissenting from Church teaching.

Although Pope John Paul II tried to make the case that society has reached a point where perhaps we can dispense with the death penalty, or that it would in any case be rare, his judgment on this point is of the prudential order, and so is not a required belief.

Some liberal Catholics oppose the death penalty more for political ideological reasons, than for reasons of faith.

Speaking in general, one can dissent from teachings of the ordinary magisterium if the dissent is based on more authoritative teachings of Tradition, Scripture, or Magisterium. So you can dissent from a teaching of your local Bishop, in some circumstances. One can even dissent faithfully from the ordinary teaching of a Pope or Council, under some conditions.

See my article: Sacred Assent, Ordinary Assent, and Faithful Dissent http://www.catholicplanet.com/TSM/assent-dissent.htm

Ron
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