Wikatechesis for December 9th, 2009 - Canonization of Saints

December 9, 2009

275px-Saints_of_the_Catholic_ChurchFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

One Catholic website states that “There are over 10,000 named saints and beati from history, the Roman Martyology and Orthodox sources, but no definitive head count”.[5] The Catholic Church teaches that it does not, in fact, make anyone a saint. Rather, it recognizes a saint.[6] In the Church, the title of Saint refers to a person who has been formally canonized (officially recognised) by the Catholic Church, and is therefore believed by this church to be in Heaven.

Rev. Alban Butler, published Lives of the Saints in 1756, containing 1,486 saints. The work, edited by Father Herbert Thurston, S.J. and British Author Donald Attwater, contains the lives of 2,565 saints.[7]

Also, by this definition there are many Catholics believed to be in Heaven who have not been formally declared as saints (most typically due to their obscurity and the involved process of formal canonization) but who may nevertheless generically be referred to as saints. All in Heaven are, in the technical sense, saints, since they are believed to be completely purified and holy.[8] Unofficial devotions to uncanonized individuals take place in certain regions.[9] Sometimes the word “saint” is used to refer to Catholics still sojourning here on earth.[10]

In his book, Saint of the Day, editor Leonard Foley, OFM, says this of saints: “[Saints'] surrender to God’s love was so generous an approach to the total surrender of Jesus that the Church recognizes them as heroes and heroines worthy to be held up for our inspiration. They remind us that the Church is holy, can never stop being holy and is called to show the holiness of God by living the life of Christ.” [11]

In the Catholic Church, some persons bear the stigmata, interpreted as the wounds of the Crucifixion and Passion of Jesus Christ, given as a sign of extreme holiness or sainthood.[12] St. Francis of Assisi is the most notable example of a saint bearing the stigmata in Catholicism.[13]The abbreviation for the title ‘Saint’ is usually the contraction “St”.

In his book, Making Saints: How the Catholic Church Determines Who Becomes a Saint, Who Doesn’t and Why, author Kenneth Woodward notes the following:

A saint is always someone through whom we catch a glimpse of what God is like — and of what we are called to be. Only God ‘makes’ saints, of course. The church merely identifies from time to time a few of these for emulation. The church then tells the story. But the author is the Source of the grace by which saints live. And there we have it: A saint is someone whose story God tells.[14]

The veneration of saints, in Latin, cultus, or the “cult of the saints”, describes a particular popular devotion to the saints. Although the term “worship” is often used, it is intended in the old-sense meaning to honor or give respect (dulia). Divine Worship is properly reserved only for God (latria) and never to the saints.[15] They can be asked to intercede or pray for those still on earth,[16] just as one can ask someone on earth to pray for them.

A saint may be designated as a patron saint of a particular cause or profession, or invoked against specific illnesses or disasters, sometimes by popular custom and sometimes by official statements of the Magisterium.[17] Saints are not thought to have power of their own, but only that granted by God. Relics of saints are respected in a similar manner to holy images and icons. The practices of past centuries in venerating relics of saints for healing is taken from the early Church.[18]

Recently, for example, a man from the United States claimed in 2000 that Venerable John Henry Newman interceded with God to cure him. The American, Jack Sullivan, asserted that after addressing Newman he was cured of spinal stenosis in a matter of hours. In 2009, a panel of theologians of late concluded that Sullivan’s recovery was the result of his prayer to Newman. According to the Catholic Church, to be deemed a miracle, “a medical recovery must be instantaneous, not attributable to treatment, disappear for good.”[19]

Once a person has been declared a saint, the body of the saint is considered holy.[20] The remains of saints are called holy relics and are usually used in churches. The saints’ personal belongings may also be used as relics.[20] Some of the saints have a symbol that represents their life.

In Church tradition, a person that is seen as exceptionally holy can be declared a saint by a formal process, called canonization. Formal canonization is a lengthy process often taking many years, even centuries.[21]

The first step in this process is an investigation of the candidate’s life, undertaken by an expert. After this, the report on the candidate is given to the bishop of the area and more studying is done. It is then sent to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in Rome.[22]

If the application is approved, the person may be granted the title of “Venerable”.[22] Further investigations may lead to the candidate’s beatification and given title of “Blessed.”[22] At a minimum, two important miracles are required to be formally declared a saint. These miracles must be posthumous. [22] Finally, when all of this is done the Pope canonizes the saint.[22]

^ Hawley, John Stratton, ed. Saints and Virtues, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987. p. 239
^ Coleman, John A. S.J. “Conclusion: after sainthood”, in Hawley, John Stratton, ed. Saints and Virtues Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987. pp 214-217
^ Hawley, John Stratton, ed. Saints and Virtues Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987. page 239
^ Babb, Lawrence A. “Sathya Sai Baba’s Saintly Play”, in Hawley, John Stratton, ed. Saints and Virtues Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987. pp 168-170
^ All About Saints at Catholic Online (USA) FAQs- Saints and Angels
^ The Catechism of the Catholic Church From the Knights of Columbus website
^ http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,862347,00.html
^ What is a saint? Vatican Information Service, 29 July 1997
^ Folk_saint from Citizendium
^ Catechism of the Catholic Church (Second Edition)
^ Saint of the Day edited by Leonard Foley, OFM, (Cincinnati: St. Anthony Messenger Press, 2003), xvi. ISBN 0-86716-535-9
^ Stigmata at Catholic Online (USA)
^ St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Encyclopedia on New Advent.org
^ Kenneth Woodward, Making Saints: How the Catholic Church Determines Who Becomes a Saint, Who Doesn’t and Why (New York: Touchstone/Simon and Shuster, 1996) ISBN 0743200292
^ Scully, Teresita Do Catholics Worship Mary? on American Catholic.org
^ The Intercession of the Saints on Catholic.com
^ Patron Saints from Catholic Encyclopedia (1913) on Wikisource.org
^ Acts 19:11-12
^ Jenna Russell, “Marshfield man’s prayer an answer in sainthood query,” The Boston Globe April 28, 2009, B1,4.
^ a b Relics Catholic Encyclopedia on NewAdvent.org
^ Table of the Canonizations during the Pontificate of His Holiness John Paul II on Vatican.va
^ a b c d e How Stuff Works

Wikatechesis for December 4th, 2009 - Catholic Liturgical Calendar

December 4, 2009

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Catholic Church liturgical year

The Catholic Church sets aside certain days and seasons of each year to recall and celebrate various events in the life of Christ. In its Roman Rite the liturgical year begins with Advent, the time of preparation for both the celebration of Jesus’ birth, and his expected second coming at the end of time. This season lasts until 24 December (Christmas Eve). Christmastide follows, beginning with First Vespers of Christmas on the evening of 24 December and ending with the feast of the Baptism of Jesus. Lent is the period of purification and penance which begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Maundy Thursday. The Maundy Thursday evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper marks the beginning of the Easter Triduum which includes Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday. These days recall Jesus’ Last Supper with his disciples, death on the cross, burial and resurrection. The seven-week liturgical season of Easter immediately follows the Triduum, climaxing at Pentecost. This last feast recalls the descent of the Holy Spirit upon Jesus’ disciples after the Ascension of Jesus. The rest of the liturgical year is commonly known as Ordinary Time.[1]

There are many forms of liturgy in the Catholic Church. Even putting aside the many Eastern rites in use, the Latin liturgical rites alone include the Ambrosian Rite, the Mozarabic Rite, and the Cistercian Rite, as well as other forms that have been largely abandoned in favour of adopting the Roman Rite. Of this rite, what is now the “ordinary” or, to use a word employed in the Letter of Pope Benedict XVI accompanying the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, the “normal” form is that which developed from the Second Vatican Council to the present day, while the form in force in 1962 is authorized as an extraordinary form of the Roman Rite without restriction in private celebrations and under certain conditions in public celebrations. The liturgical calendar in that form of the Roman Rite (see General Roman Calendar of 1962) differs in some respects from that of the present ordinary form, as will be noted below, and also from the earlier General Roman Calendar of Pope Pius XII, the still earlier General Roman Calendar of 1954 and the original Tridentine Calendar. These articles can be consulted with regard to the Roman-Rite liturgical year before 1962.


Main article: Advent

From the Latin adventus, “arrival” or “coming”, the first season of the liturgical year begins four Sundays before Christmas and ends on Christmas Eve. Traditionally observed as a “fast”, its purpose focuses on preparation for the coming of Christ. Although often conceived as awaiting the coming of the Christ-child at Christmas, the modern Lectionary points the season more toward eschatological themes—awaiting the final coming of Christ, when “the wolf shall live with the lamb” (Isaiah 11:6) and when God will have “brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly” (The Magnificat, Luke 1:52)—particularly in the earlier half of the season. This period of waiting is often marked by the Advent Wreath, a garland of evergreens with four candles. Although the main symbolism of the advent wreath is simply marking the progression of time, many churches attach themes to each candle, most often ‘hope’, ‘faith’, ‘joy’, and ‘love’.

Color: Violet, but on the third Sunday of Advent, Gaudete Sunday, Rose may be used instead.

During this season, the Roman Catholic Church typically omits the “Gloria in Excelsis” during Mass, but retains it for the Mass celebrating a feast. The word “Alleluia” is not banned, as in Lent, but the 1962 form of the Roman Rite a Gradual is used instead of an Alleluia and verse, except on Sunday.


Main article: Christmastide

The Christmas season immediately follows Advent. The traditional Twelve Days of Christmas begin with Christmas Eve on the evening of December 24 and continue until the feast of Epiphany. The actual Christmas season continues until the Feast of the Baptism of Christ, which in the present form of the Roman Rite is celebrated on the Sunday after 6 January. In the 1962 form, this feast is celebrated on 13 January, unless 13 January is a Sunday, in which case the feast of the Holy Family is celebrated instead.[2] Until the suppression of the Octave of the Epiphany in the 1960 reforms, 13 January was the Octave day of the Epiphany, providing the date for the end of the season.

Color: White or Gold.

Ordinary Time or Time after Epiphany

Main article: Ordinary Time

“Ordinary” comes from the same root as our word “ordinal”, and in this sense means “the counted weeks”. In the Roman Catholic Church and in some Protestant traditions, these are the common weeks which do not belong to a proper season. In Latin, these seasons are called the weeks per annum, or “through the year”.

In the current form of the Roman Rite adopted following the Second Vatican Council, Ordinary Time consists of 33 or 34 Sundays and is divided into two sections. The first portion extends from the day following the Feast of the Baptism of Christ until the day before Ash Wednesday (the beginning of Lent). It contains anywhere from three to eight Sundays, depending on how early or late Easter falls. The main focus in the readings of the Mass is Christ’s earthly ministry, rather than any one particular event. The counting of the Sundays resumes following Eastertide, however, two Sundays are replaced by Pentecost and Trinity Sunday, and depending on whether the year has 52 or 53 weeks, one may be omitted.

In the 1962 form of the Roman Rite, the Time after Epiphany has anywhere from one to six Sundays. As in the current form of the rite, the season mainly concerns Christ’s preaching and ministry, with many of his parables read as the Gospel readings. The season begins on 14 January[3] and ends on the Saturday before Septuagesima Sunday. Omitted Sundays after Epiphany are transferred to Time after Pentecost and celebrated between the Twenty-Third and the Last Sunday after Pentecost according to an order indicated in the Code of Rubrics, 18, which also states that, if there are not enough Sundays in the year to accommodate them all, then those for which there is no room are omitted.

Color: Green


Main article: Septuagesima

Until the 1969 reform of the Roman Missal and General Calendar, the two-and-a-half-week period before Lent formed a pre-Lenten season called Septuagesima, the Latin word for “seventieth”. The season of Septuagesima thus remains in the 1962 form of the Roman rite as well as in some Protestant calendars. It is a transition from the first part of the season per annum[4] to the season of Lent, and a preparation for the fasting and penance which begin on Ash Wednesday. Although most of the Divine Office remains the same as during the season per annum, certain customs of Lent are adopted, including the suppression of the “Alleluia”, the replacement of the Alleluia at Mass with the Tract and the Gloria is no longer said on Sundays.

In the post-1969 form of the Roman Rite, there is no intermediary season between Ordinary Time and Lent.

Color: Violet

Lent and Passiontide

Main articles: Lent, Passiontide, and Holy Week

Lent is a major penitential season of preparation for Easter. It begins on Ash Wednesday and, if the penitential days of Good Friday and Holy Saturday are included, lasts for forty days, since the six Sundays within the season are not counted.

In the Roman Rite the Gloria in Excelsis Deo and the Te Deum are not used in the Mass and Liturgy of the Hours respectively, except on Solemnities and Feasts, and the Alleluia and verse that usually precede the reading of the Gospel is either omitted or replaced with another acclamation.

Lutheran churches make these same omissions.

As in Advent, the deacon and subdeacon of the 1962 form of the Roman Rite do not wear their habitual dalmatic and tunicle (signs of joy) in Masses of the season during Lent; instead they wear “folded chasubles”, in accordance with the ancient custom.

In the 1962 form of the Roman Rite, the last two Sundays in the season of Lent are called the First and Second Sundays in Passiontide, and in all Masses of the last two weeks the Gloria Patri is omitted at the Entrance Antiphon.[5] The veiling of crucifixes and images of the saints with violet cloth, which was obligatory in 1962 is left to the decision of the national bishops conference in the later form of the Roman Rite. In all forms, the readings begin to focus even more on the Passion of Christ.

The last week of Lent is called Holy Week.

In the Roman Rite, feasts that fall within that week are simply omitted, unless they have the rank of Solemnity, in which case they are transferred to another date. The only solemnities inscribed in the General Calendar that can fall within that week are those of St. Joseph and the Annunciation.

Color: violet. In some traditions, rose may be used on the 4th Sunday of Lent, called Laetare Sunday in the Roman Rite. Red is used for Palm Sunday in this rite (but only for the blessing of the palms in its 1962 form). In the traditional form of the Palm Sunday liturgy, before the reforms of 1955, violet was used in the Roman rite both for the blessing of palms and procession and for the subsequent Mass.

Easter Triduum

Main article: Easter Triduum

The Easter Triduum consists of Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday.[6]

It begins on the evening before Good Friday with Mass of the Lord’s Supper, celebrated with white vestments,[7] which often includes a ritual of ceremonial footwashing. In other traditions also a footwashing ritual is observed. It is customary on this night for a vigil involving private prayer to take place, beginning after the evening service and continuing until midnight. This vigil is occasionally renewed at dawn, continuing until the Good Friday liturgy.

During the day of Good Friday Mass is not celebrated in the Catholic Church. Instead a Celebration of the Passion of the Lord is held in the afternoon or evening. It consists of three parts: a Liturgy of the Word that includes the reading of the account of the Passion by John the Evangelist and concludes with a solemn Universal Prayer. Other churches also have their Good Friday commemoration of the Passion. The color of vestments varies: no color, red, or black are used in different traditions. Colored hangings may be removed. Lutheran churches often either remove colorful adornments and icons, or veil them with drab cloth. The service is usually plain with somber music, ending with the congregation leaving in silence. In the Roman Catholic, some Lutheran, and High Anglican rites, a crucifix (not necessarily the one which stands on or near the altar on other days of the year) is ceremoniously unveiled. Other crucifixes are unveiled, without ceremony, after the service.

Holy Saturday commemorates the day during which Christ lay in the tomb. In the Roman Catholic Church, there is no Mass on this day; the Easter Vigil Mass, which, though celebrated properly at the following midnight, is often celebrated in the evening, is an Easter Mass. With no liturgical celebration, there is no question of a liturgical color.

The Easter Vigil is held in the night between Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday, to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. See also Paschal candle. The liturgical color is white, often together with gold. In the Roman Rite, during the “Gloria in Excelsis Deo” the organ and bells are used in the liturgy for the first time in 2 days, and the statues, which have been veiled during Passiontide, are unveiled. In Lutheran churches, colors and icons are re-displayed as well.

Easter season

Main article: Easter

Easter is the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection. The date of Easter varies from year to year, according to a lunar-calendar dating system (see computus for details). In the Roman Rite, the Easter season extends from the Easter Vigil through Pentecost Sunday. In the 1962 form of the rite, this season includes also the Octave of Pentecost, so Eastertide lasts until None of the following Saturday.

In the Roman Rite, the Easter octave allows no other feasts to be celebrated or commemorated during it; a solemnity, such as the Annunciation, falling within it is transferred to the following Monday. If Easter Sunday or Easter Monday falls on 25 April, the Greater Litanies, which in the 1962 form of the Roman Rite are on that day, are transferred to the following Tuesday.[8]

Ascension Thursday, which celebrates the return of Jesus to heaven following his resurrection, is the fortieth day of Easter, but, in places where it is not observed as a Holy Day of Obligation, it is transferred to the following Sunday.[9]

Pentecost is the fiftieth and last day of the Easter season. It celebrates the sending of the Holy Spirit to the Apostles, which traditionally marks the birth of the Church, see also Apostolic Age.

Color: Gold or white, except on Pentecost, on which the color is Red.

Ordinary Time, Time after Pentecost, Time after Trinity, or Kingdomtide

Main articles: Ordinary Time and Kingdomtide

In the Roman rite, Ordinary Time resumes after the Easter Season, either on Pentecost Monday or (in the 1962 form of the rite) the following Monday, and ends on the Saturday before the First Sunday of Advent. The first Sunday after Pentecost is Trinity Sunday. In the ordinary form of the Roman Rite, the Sundays of Ordinary Time resume their numbering at the point that will make the last of the series the thirty-fourth. In the 1962 form the Sundays are numbered as “Sundays after Pentecost”. The Eastern Orthodox and some Protestants also count Sundays from Pentecost, but some Protestants instead number them from Trinity Sunday.

Feasts during this season include:

* In the Catholic and some Anglican traditions the feast of Corpus Christi occurs eleven days after Pentecost, but is sometimes transferred to the following Sunday.
* Also in the Catholic tradition, Friday in the third week after Pentecost is the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
* Most Western traditions celebrate All Saints’ Day on November 1 or the Sunday following. The liturgical color is White. The following day, November 2, is All Souls’ Day.
* Saints Days are observed by Lutherans and include the apostles, Virgin Mary and noteworthy figures in the Christian faith. The Confession of St. Peter [Week of Prayer for Christian Unity starting on January 18]. Conversion of St. Paul ended week of prayer on [January 25]. Martin Luther King, Jr., renewer of society, martyr [January 15], Presentation of Our Lord and Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary [Candlemass] on [February 2]. Joseph, Guardian of Jesus St Joseph Day on [March 19], Annunciation of Our Lord [March 25], Visit of Mary to Elizabeth Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary on [May 31].
* Lutherans also celebrate St John the Baptist or the Beheading of St John the Baptist on [June 24], St Mary Magdalene, Apostle [July 22], St. Mary, Mother of Our Lord or the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary on [August 15], Holy Cross Day [September 14], Francis of Assisi, renewal of the Church St. Francis of Assisi on [October 4], and the Holy Innocents, Martyrs [December 28].
* Among the Lesser Feasts and Commemorations on the Lutheran liturgical calendar include Anthony of Egypt, renewer of the church St Anthony of Egypt on [January 17], Henry, Bishop of Uppsala, martyr St Henry of Uppsala on [January 19], Timothy, Titus and Silas, missionaries St Timothy, St Titus and St Silas Day on [January 26], Ansgar, Bishop of Hamburg, missionary to Denmark and Sweden St Ansgar Bishop on [February 3], Cyril, monk and Methodius, bishop, missionaries to the Slavs St Cyril and St Methodius Day on [February 14], Gregory the Great, Bishop of Rome St Gregory the Great on [March 12], Patrick, bishop and missionary to Ireland St Patrick’s Day on [March 17], Olavus Petri, priest and Laurentius Petri, Bishop of Uppsala, renewers of the church on [April 19], Anselm, Bishop of Canterbury St Anselm, Bishop on [April 21], Catherine of Siena, theologian St Catherine of Siena Day on [April 29], Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria St Athanasius, Bishop on [May 2], Monica, mother of Augustine St Monica, mother of St Augustine on [May 4], Erik, King of Sweden St Erik of Sweden on [May 18], Boniface, Bishop of Mainz, martyr [St Boniface, Martyr] on [June 5], Basil the Great, Gregory, Bishop of Nyssa and Gregory. Bishop of Constantinople St Basil the Great, St Gregory of Nyssa and St Gregory of Nazianzus on [June 14], Benedict of Nursia St Benedict Day on [July 11], Birgitta of Sweden, renewer of the Church St Birgitta of Sweden Day on July 23], Anne, mother of the Virgin Mary St Anne, Mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary on [July 26], Dominic, founder of Orders of Preachers St Dominic Day on [August 8], Augustine, Bishop of Hippo St Augustine of Hippo on [August 28], Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage St Cyprian, Martyr on [September 16], Teresa of Avila, teacher of the Church St Teresa of Avila Day on [October 15], Martin de Porres, renewer of society St Martin de Porres Day on [November 3], Martin, Bishop of Tours St Martin of Tours Day on [November 11], Elizabeth of Hungary, renewer of society St Elizabeth of Hungary Day on [November 17], Lucy, Martyr [St Lucy] Santa Lucia Day on [December 13].
* There are many other holy days on the Lutheran calendar Evangelical Lutheran Worship, 2006.
* Some traditions celebrate St. Michael’s Day (Michaelmas) on September 29.
* Some traditions celebrate St. Martin’s Day (Martinmas) on November 11.
* In the Roman Rite Christ the King is celebrated on the last Sunday before Advent or, in its 1962 form, on the last Sunday in October. The Feast of Christ the King is observed by Lutherans.
* In some Protestant traditions, especially those with closer ties to the Lutheran tradition, Reformation Sunday is celebrated on the Sunday preceding October 31, commemorating the purported day Martin Luther posted the 95 Theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg. The liturgical color is Red, celebrating the Holy Spirit’s continuing work in renewing the Church.
* Many traditions treat the final few weeks of Ordinary Time as having a distinctive focus on the coming of the Kingdom of God, so that the liturgical year turns full circle by anticipating one of the predominant themes of Advent. In the ordinary form of the Roman Rite, the final three Sundays have such an eschatological theme, though without any change in designation for those Sundays. In the extraordinary form, the Gospel for the Last Sunday after Pentecost, Matthew 24:15-35, likewise concerns the end of the world, and ties in to the beginning of the new liturgical year as the Gospel for the next Sunday, the first Sunday of Advent, is the same discourse as related in Luke 21:25-33. Some other denominations, however, change the designation and sometimes also the liturgical colour. For example, the Church of England uses the term “Sundays before Advent” for the final four Sundays and permits red vestments as an alternative. The term “Kingdomtide” is used by a number of denominations, among them the United Methodist Church and the Christian Church - Synod of Saint Timothy. In the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod (LCMS), this is known as the “Period of End Times,” and red vestments are worn on the first and second Sundays.

Assumption of Mary

Main article: Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Observed by Roman Catholics and some Anglicans on August 15, which is the same as the Eastern and Orthodox feast of the Dormition, the end of the earthly life of the Virgin Mary and, for some, her bodily Assumption into heaven, is celebrated. The Roman Catholic teaching on this feast was defined as dogma on November 1, 1950 by Pope Pius XII in the Papal Bull, Munificentissimus Deus.

In other Anglican and Lutheran traditions, as well as a few others, August 15 is celebrated as St. Mary, Mother of the Lord.

Color: white


1. ^ Barry, One Faith, One Lord (2001), p. 116
2. ^ Code of Rubrics included in the 1962 Roman Missal, 72
3. ^ 1960 Code of Rubrics incorporated in the 1962 Roman Missal, 77
4. ^ “The season per annum runs from 14 January to none of Saturday before Septuagesima Sunday” (Code of Rubrics, 77
5. ^ 1960 Code of Rubrics, 428
6. ^ General Norms for the Liturgical Year and the Calendar, 19
7. ^ Holy Thursday Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper, 44
8. ^ 1960 Code of Rubrics, 80
9. ^ General Norms for the Liturgical Year and the Calendar, 7 and 25
10. ^ Sparrow, Anthony and John Henry Cardinal Newman. A Rationale upon the Book of Common Prayer of the Church of England, Oxford, UK

Wikatechesis for December 3rd, 2009 - Papal Infallibility

December 3, 2009

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Papal infallibility is the dogma in Catholic theology that, by action of the Holy Spirit, the Pope is preserved from even the possibility of error[1] when he solemnly declares or promulgates to the universal Church a dogmatic teaching on faith or morals as being contained in divine revelation, or at least being intimately connected to divine revelation. It is also taught that the Holy Spirit works in the body of the Church, as sensus fidelium, to ensure that dogmatic teachings proclaimed to be infallible will be received by all Catholics. This dogma, however, does not state either that the Pope cannot commit sin in his own personal life or that he is necessarily free of error, even when speaking in his official capacity, outside the specific contexts in which the dogma applies.

This doctrine was defined dogmatically in the First Vatican Council of 1870. According to Catholic theology, there are several concepts important to the understanding of infallible, divine revelation: Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and the Sacred Magisterium. The infallible teachings of the Pope are part of the Sacred Magisterium, which also consists of ecumenical councils and the “ordinary and universal magisterium”. In Catholic theology, papal infallibility is one of the channels of the infallibility of the Church. The infallible teachings of the Pope must be based on, or at least not contradict, Sacred Tradition or Sacred Scripture. Papal infallibility does not signify that the Pope is impeccable, i.e., that he is specially exempt from liability to sin.

In practice, popes seldom use their power of infallibility, but rely on the notion that the Church allows the office of the pope to be the ruling agent in deciding what will be accepted as formal beliefs in the Church.[2] Since the solemn declaration of Papal Infallibility by Vatican I on July 18, 1870, this power has been used only once ex cathedra: in 1950 when Pope Pius XII defined the Assumption of Mary as being an article of faith for Roman Catholics. Prior to the solemn definition of 1870, Pope Pius IX, with the support of the overwhelming majority of Roman Catholic bishops, had proclaimed Immaculate Conception an ex cathedra dogma in December 1854.

Conditions for papal infallibility

Pope Pius XII, who exercised ex cathedra infallibility in 1950 to establish the Marian Dogma of Assumption.Statements by a pope that exercise papal infallibility are referred to as solemn papal definitions or ex cathedra teachings. These should not be confused with teachings that are infallible because of a solemn definition by an ecumenical council, or with teachings that are infallible in virtue of being taught by the ordinary and universal magisterium. For details on these other kinds of infallible teachings, see Infallibility of the Church.

According to the teaching of the First Vatican Council and Catholic tradition, the conditions required for ex cathedra teaching are as follows:

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” (Pastor Aeternus, chap. 4)
For a teaching by a pope or ecumenical council to be recognized as infallible, the teaching must make it clear that the Church is to consider it definitive and binding. There is not any specific phrasing required for this, but it is usually indicated by one or both of the following:

a verbal formula indicating that this teaching is definitive (such as “We declare, decree and define…”), or
an accompanying anathema stating that anyone who deliberately dissents is outside the Catholic Church.
For example, in 1950, with Munificentissimus Deus, Pope Pius XII’s infallible definition regarding the Assumption of Mary, there are attached these words:

Hence if anyone, which God forbid, should dare willfully to deny or to call into doubt that which We have defined, let him know that he has fallen away completely from the divine and Catholic Faith.

An infallible teaching by a pope or ecumenical council can contradict previous Church teachings, as long as they were not themselves taught infallibly. In this case, the previous fallible teachings are immediately made void. Of course, an infallible teaching cannot contradict a previous infallible teaching, including the infallible teachings of the Holy Bible or Holy Tradition. Also, due to the sensus fidelium, an infallible teaching cannot be subsequently contradicted by the Catholic Church, even if that subsequent teaching is in itself fallible.

In July 2005 Pope Benedict XVI asserted during an impromptu address to priests in Aosta that: “The Pope is not an oracle; he is infallible in very rare situations, as we know.”[3]

It is the opinion of the majority of Catholic theologians that the canonizations of a pope enter within the limits of infallible teaching. Therefore, it is considered certain by this majority of theologians, that such persons canonized are definitely in heaven with God. However, this opinion of infallibility of canonizations has never been definitively taught by the Magisterium. Other theologians, even those of earlier times, refer to this majority opinion, as a “pious opinion, but merely an opinion”.[citation needed] Before the height of Middle Ages, saints were created not by the Bishop of Rome, but by the bishops of the local dioceses, confirming or rejecting the acclamation of the people calling for declaration of sanctity of a particular Christian person who died “in the odour of sanctity”. In Catholic teaching, diocesan bishops do not in themselves possess the charism of infallibility (but do so when gathered in ecumenical council), leaving these early Church canonizations without certainty of infallibility.

Ex cathedra

The only ex cathedra application of papal infallibility since its solemn declaration has been for the Marian Dogma of Assumption in 1950. This painting of the Assumption is by Rubens, 1626.See also: Roman Catholic Dogma
In Catholic theology, the Latin phrase ex cathedra, literally meaning “from the chair”, refers to a teaching by the pope that is considered to be made with the intention of invoking infallibility.

The “chair” referred to is not a literal chair, but refers metaphorically to the pope’s position, or office, as the official teacher of Catholic doctrine: the chair was the symbol of the teacher in the ancient world, and bishops to this day have a cathedra, a seat or throne, as a symbol of their teaching and governing authority. The pope is said to occupy the “chair of Peter”, as Catholics hold that among the apostles Peter had a special role as the preserver of unity, so the pope as successor of Peter holds the role of spokesman for the whole church among the bishops, the successors as a group of the apostles. (Also see Holy See and sede vacante: both terms evoke this seat or throne.)

Scriptural support for infallibility of the Pope

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Supporters of the church doctrine claim that their position is historically traceable to Scripture, specifically the following passages:

John 1:42, Mark 3:16 (”And to Simon he gave the name “Peter”, “Cephas”, or “Rock”)
Matthew 16:18 (”thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it”; cf. Matthew 7:24-28, (the house built on rock)
John 21:15-17 (”Feed my lambs.”/”Feed my sheep.”) (stated three times)
Luke 10:16 (”He that heareth you, heareth me; and he that despiseth you, despiseth me; and he that despiseth me, despiseth him that sent me.”)
Luke 22:31-32 (”confirm thy brethren”)
Acts 15:28 (”For it hath seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to us, …”) (”the Apostles speak with voice of Holy Ghost”)
Matthew 10:2 (”And the names of the twelve apostles are these: The first, Simon who is called Peter,…”) (Peter is first.)
Matthew 16:19 (”whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven”) (Also used to defend the sacrament of Confession)
Ludwig Ott points out the many indications in Scripture that Peter was given a primary role with respect to the other Apostles: Mark 5:37, Matthew 17:1, Matthew 26:37, Luke 5:3, Matthew 17:27, Luke 22:32, Luke 24:34, and 1 Corinthians 15:5 (Fund., Bk. IV, Pt. 2, Ch. 2, §5).

Primacy of the Roman Pontiff

Supporters of the pope outside the United Nations in 2008 with a banner quoting Matthew 16.Doctrine-based religions evolve their theologies over time, and Catholicism is no exception: its theology did not spring instantly and fully formed within the bosom of the earliest Church.

The doctrine of the Primacy of the Roman Bishops, like other Church teachings and institutions, has gone through a development. Thus the establishment of the Primacy recorded in the Gospels has gradually been more clearly recognised and its implications developed. Clear indications of the consciousness of the Primacy of the Roman bishops, and of the recognition of the Primacy by the other churches appear at the end of the 1st century. L. Ott[4]

Pope St. Clement of Rome, c. 99, stated in a letter to the Corinthians: “Indeed you will give joy and gladness to us, if having become obedient to what we have written through the Holy Spirit, you will cut out the unlawful application of your zeal according to the exhortation which we have made in this epistle concerning peace and union” (Denziger §41, emphasis added).

St. Clement of Alexandria wrote on the primacy of Peter c. 200: “…the blessed Peter, the chosen, the pre-eminent, the first among the disciples, for whom alone with Himself the Savior paid the tribute…” (Jurgens §436).

The existence of an ecclesiastical hierarchy is emphasized by St. Stephan I, 251, in a letter to the bishop of Antioch: “Therefore did not that famous defender of the Gospel [Novatian] know that there ought to be one bishop in the Catholic Church [of the city of Rome]? It did not lie hidden from him…” (Denziger §45).

St. Julius I, in 341 wrote to the Antiochenes: “Or do you not know that it is the custom to write to us first, and that here what is just is decided?” (Denziger §57a, emphasis added).

Catholicism holds that an understanding among the Apostles was written down in what became the Scriptures, and rapidly became the living custom of the Church, and that from there, a clearer theology could unfold.

St. Siricius wrote to Himerius in 385: “To your inquiry we do not deny a legal reply, because we, upon whom greater zeal for the Christian religion is incumbent than upon the whole body, out of consideration for our office do not have the liberty to dissimulate, nor to remain silent. We carry the weight of all who are burdened; nay rather the blessed apostle PETER bears these in us, who, as we trust, protects us in all matters of his administration, and guards his heirs” (Denziger §87, emphasis in original).

Many of the Church Fathers spoke of ecumenical councils and the Bishop of Rome as possessing a reliable authority to teach the content of Scripture and tradition.

Theological history

Middle Ages

In the Middle Ages and the Renaissance the doctrine of papal infallibility first developed.

The first theologian to systematically discuss the infallibility of ecumenical councils was Theodore Abu-Qurrah in the 9th century.

Several medieval theologians discussed the infallibility of the pope when defining matters of faith and morals, including Thomas Aquinas and John Peter Olivi. In 1330, the Carmelite bishop Guido Terreni described the pope’s use of the charism of infallibility in terms very similar to those that would be used at Vatican I.

Dogmatic definition of 1870

The infallibility of the pope was thus formally defined in 1870, although the tradition behind this view goes back much further. In the conclusion of the fourth chapter of its Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Pastor aeternus, the First Vatican Council declared the following, with bishops Aloisio Riccio and Edward Fitzgerald dissenting:[5]

“ We teach and define that it is a dogma Divinely revealed that the Roman pontiff when he speaks ex cathedra, that is when in discharge of the office of pastor and doctor of all Christians, by virtue of his supreme Apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine regarding faith or morals to be held by the universal Church, by the Divine assistance promised to him in Blessed Peter, is possessed of that infallibility with which the Divine Redeemer willed that his Church should be endowed in defining doctrine regarding faith or morals, and that therefore such definitions of the Roman pontiff are of themselves and not from the consent of the Church irreformable.
So then, should anyone, which God forbid, have the temerity to reject this definition of ours: let him be anathema. (see Denziger §1839).

— Vatican Council, Sess. IV , Const. de Ecclesiâ Christi, Chapter iv

According to Catholic theology, this is an infallible dogmatic definition by an ecumenical council. Because the 1870 definition is not seen by Catholics as a creation of the Church, but as the dogmatic revelation of a Truth about the Papal Magisterium, Papal teachings made prior to the 1870 proclamation can, if they meet the criteria set out in the dogmatic definition, be considered infallible. Ineffabilis Deus is an example of this.

William Gladstone publicly attacked Vatican I, stating that Roman Catholics had “forfeited their moral and mental freedom”. Cardinal Newman famously responded with his Letter to the Duke of Norfolk. In the letter he shows that conscience, which is supreme, is not in conflict with papal infallibility—though he toasts “I shall drink to the Pope if you please-still, to conscience first and to the Pope afterwards”.[6] He stated later that “the Vatican Council left the Pope just as it found him”, satisfied that the definition was very moderate, and specific in regards to what specifically can be declared as infallible [7]

Lumen Gentium

The Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, which was also a document on the Church itself, explicitly reaffirmed the definition of papal infallibility, so as to avoid any doubts, expressing this in the following words:

“ This Sacred Council, following closely in the footsteps of the First Vatican Council, with that Council teaches and declares that Jesus Christ, the eternal Shepherd, established His holy Church, having sent forth the apostles as He Himself had been sent by the Father;(136) and He willed that their successors, namely the bishops, should be shepherds in His Church even to the consummation of the world. And in order that the episcopate itself might be one and undivided, He placed Blessed Peter over the other apostles, and instituted in him a permanent and visible source and foundation of unity of faith and communion. And all this teaching about the institution, the perpetuity, the meaning and reason for the sacred primacy of the Roman Pontiff and of his infallible magisterium, this Sacred Council again proposes to be firmly believed by all the faithful. ”

Instances of papal infallibility

It is incorrect to hold that doctrine teaches that the Pope is infallible in everything he says. In reality, the invocation of papal infallibility is extremely rare.

Catholic theologians agree that both Pope Pius IX’s 1854 definition of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, and Pope Pius XII’s 1950 definition of the dogma of the Assumption of Mary are instances of papal infallibility, a fact which has been confirmed by the Church’s magisterium [2]. However, theologians disagree about what other documents qualify.

Regarding historical papal documents, Catholic theologian and church historian Klaus Schatz made a thorough study, published in 1985, that identified the following list of ex cathedra documents (see Creative Fidelity: Weighing and Interpreting Documents of the Magisterium, by Francis A. Sullivan, chapter 6):

“Tome to Flavian”, Pope Leo I, 449, on the two natures in Christ, received by the Council of Chalcedon;
Letter of Pope Agatho, 680, on the two wills of Christ, received by the Third Council of Constantinople;
Benedictus Deus, Pope Benedict XII, 1336, on the beatific vision of the just prior to final judgment;
Cum occasione, Pope Innocent X, 1653, condemning five propositions of Jansen as heretical;
Auctorem fidei, Pope Pius VI, 1794, condemning seven Jansenist propositions of the Synod of Pistoia as heretical;
Ineffabilis Deus, Pope Pius IX, 1854, defining the immaculate conception; and
Munificentissimus Deus, Pope Pius XII, 1950, defining the assumption of Mary.
For modern-day Church documents, there is no need for speculation as to which are officially ex cathedra, because the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith can be consulted directly on this question. For example, after Pope John Paul II’s apostolic letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis (On Reserving Priestly Ordination to Men Alone) was released in 1994, a few commentators speculated that this might be an exercise of papal infallibility (for an example, see [3]). In response to this confusion, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has unambiguously stated, on at least three separate occasions [4] [5] [6], that Ordinatio Sacerdotalis was not an ex cathedra teaching, saying that the content of this letter has been taught infallibly by the ordinary and universal magisterium.

The Vatican itself has given no complete list of papal statements considered to be infallible. A 1998 commentary on Ad Tuendam Fidem, written by Cardinals Ratzinger (the later Pope Benedict XVI) and Bertone, the prefect and secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, listed a number of instances of infallible pronouncements by popes and by ecumenical councils, but explicitly stated that this was not meant to be a complete list.[citation needed]

The number of infallible pronouncements by ecumenical councils is significantly greater than the number of infallible pronouncements by popes.

Opposition to the doctrine of papal infallibility

Various scripture and history-based arguments

Those opposed to papal infallibility provide various arguments, such as those cited by Geisler and MacKenzie[8] with proof texts for papal infallibility being contended against.[9]

White[10] and others disagree that Matthew 16:18 refers to Peter being the Rock, based on linguistic grounds, and their understanding that his authority was shared. They argue that in this passage Peter is in the second person (”you”), but that “this rock” is in the third person, referring to Christ, (the subject of Peter’s truth confession in the verse 16, and the revelation referred to in v. 17), and who is uniquely and explicitly affirmed to be the foundation of the church.[11] Certain Catholic authorities, such as John Chrysostom and St. Augustine, are cited as supporting this understanding, with Augustine stating, “On this rock, therefore, He said, which thou hast confessed. I will build my Church. For the Rock (petra) is Christ; and on this foundation was Peter himself built.”[12], an interpretation which the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1992) also allows.[13]
The “keys” in the Matthean passage and its authority is understood as primarily or exclusively pertaining to the gospel.[14]
The prayer of Jesus to Peter, that his faith fail not, (Luke 22:32) it is not seen as promising infallibly to a papal office, which is held to be a late and novel doctrine.[15]
While recognizing Peter’s significant role in the early church, and initial brethren-type leadership, it is contended that the Book of Acts manifests him as inferior to the apostle Paul in his level of contribution and influence, with Paul becoming the dominant focus in the Biblical records of the early church, and the writer of most of the New Testament (receiving direct revelation), and having authority to publicly reprove Peter.(Gal. 2:11-14)
Geisler and MacKenzie also see the absence of any reference by Peter referring to himself distinctively, such as the chief of apostles, and instead only as “an apostle,” or “an elder” (1Pet. 1:1; 5:1) as weighing against Peter being the supreme and infallible head of the church universal, and indicating he would not accept such titles as the Holy Father.
The Roman Catholic claim that the Lord’s commission to Peter to “feed my lambs” in John 21:15ff requires infallibility is seen to be a serious overclaim for the passage.
The argument based on the revelatory function connected to the office of the high priest Caiaphas, (Jn. 11:49-52) which holds that this establishes a precedent for Petrine infallibility, is rejected, based (among other reasons), on the Catholic-acknowledged position that there is no new revelation after the time of the New Testament, inferred by Rev. 22:18[16]
Likewise, it is also held that a Jewish infallible Magisterium did not exist, though the faith yet endured, and that the Roman Catholic doctrine on infallibility is a new invention.[17][18]
The promise of papal infallibly is seen violated by certain popes who spoke heresy (as recognized by the Roman church itself) under conditions which, it is argued, fit the criteria for infallibility. [19][20]
Regarding the first ecumenical council at Jerusalem, Peter is not seen being looked to as the infallible head of the church, with James exercising the more decisive leadership, and providing the definitive sentence.[21] Nor is he seen elsewhere being the final and universal arbiter about any doctrinal dispute about faith in the life of the church.[22]
The conclusion that monarchical leadership by an infallible pope is needed and existed, is held as unwarranted on scriptural and historical grounds. Rather than appeal to an infallible head, the scriptures are seen as being the infallible authority.[23][24] Rather than an infallible pope, church leadership in the New Testament is understood as being that of bishops and elders, denoting the same office.[25][26] (Titus 1:5-7)
It is further argued that the doctrine of papal infallibility lacked universal or widespread support in the bulk of church history, contrary to the claims made by Vatican 1 in first promulgating it,[27] and that substantial opposition existed from within the Catholic church, even at the time of its official institution, testifying to its lack of sculptural and historical warrant.[28] [29][30]

Internal opposition to the doctrine of papal infallibility

Following the first Vatican Council, 1870, dissent, mostly among German, Austrian, and Swiss Catholics, arose over the definition of Papal Infallibility. The dissenters, holding the General Councils of the Church infallible, were unwilling to accept the dogma of Papal Infallibility, and thus a schism arose between them and the Church. Many of these Catholics formed independent communities in schism with Rome, which became known as the Old Catholic Churches.

A few present-day Catholics, including priests and bishops, refuse to accept papal infallibility as a matter of faith, such as the theologian Hans Küng, author of Infallible? An Inquiry, and historian Garry Wills, author of Papal Sin. A recent (1989–1992) survey of Catholics from multiple countries (the USA, Austria, Canada, Ecuador, France, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Peru, Spain and Switzerland), aged 15 to 25 showed that 36.9% accepted the teaching on papal infallibility, 36.9% denied it, and 26.2% said they didn’t know of it. (Source: Report on surveys of the International Marian Research Institute, by Johann G. Roten, S.M.)

Many scholars within the Church consider the Cadaver Synod an anomaly, something that stands entirely outside Church experience and which, therefore theologically speaking, never happened.

Historical objections to the teachings on infallibility often appeal to the important work of Brian Tierney, Origins of Papal Infallibility 1150-1350 (Leiden, 1972). Tierney comes to the conclusion, “There is no convincing evidence that papal infallibility formed any part of the theological or canonical tradition of the church before the thirteenth century; the doctrine was invented in the first place by a few dissident Franciscans because it suited their convenience to invent it; eventually, but only after much initial reluctance, it was accepted by the papacy because it suited the convenience of the popes to accept it”.[31] (See also Ockham and Infallibility). The Rome-based Jesuit Wittgenstein scholar Garth Hallett argued that the dogma of infallibility was neither true nor false but meaningless; see his Darkness and Light: The Analysis of Doctrinal Statements (Paulist Press, 1975). In practice, he claims, the dogma seems to have no practical use and to have succumbed to the sense that it is irrelevant.

In the nineteenth century, before the 1870 definition, two catechisms in use in Ireland explicitly denied the doctrine of Papal Infallibility. In answer to the question of whether the pope was infallible they suggested that such an idea was a Protestant invention made to discredit Roman Catholics. After the formal declaration of the Pope’s Infallibility by Pius IX, this question and answer were quietly dropped in subsequent editions, with no explanation for the change. [32]

It is also argued that since the apostle Peter himself was not regarded as infallible in the Bible, and was corrected—albeit in a matter regarding his personal behavior and failure to live by his own teachings—by the apostle Paul (referenced in Galatians 2:11), that it makes little sense to regard current popes as infallible.

The Catholic priest August Bernhard Hasler provides a detailed analysis of the First Vatican Council, and how the passage of the infallibility dogma was orchestrated.[33] Roger O’Toole identifies the distinctive contributions of Hasler as follows:[34] ”

It weakens or demolishes the claim that Papal Infallibility was already a universally accepted truth, and that its formal definition merely made de jure what had long been acknowledged de facto.
It emphasizes the extent of resistance to the definition, particularly in France and Germany.
It clarifies the ‘inopportunist’ position as largely a polite fiction and notes how it was used by Infallibilists to trivialize the nature of the opposition to papal claims.
It indicates the extent to which ’spontaneous popular demand’ for the definition was, in fact, carefully orchestrated.
It underlines the personal involvement of the Pope who, despite his coy disclaimers, appears as the prime mover and driving force behind the Infallibilist campaign.
It details the lengths to which the papacy was prepared to go in wringing formal ’submissions’ from the minority even after their defeat in the Council.
It offers insight into the ideological basis of the dogma in European political conservatism, monarchism and counter-revolution.
It establishes the doctrine as a key contributing element in the present ‘crisis’ of the Roman Catholic Church.”
Additional voices of opposition are compiled in such works as, Roman Catholic opposition to papal infallibility, (1909), by W. J. Sparrow Simpson.[35]

Position of Eastern Orthodox tradition

The dogma of Papal Infallibility is rejected by Eastern Orthodoxy. Orthodox Christians hold that the Holy Spirit will not allow the whole Body of Orthodox Christians to fall into error[36] but leave open the question of how this will be ensured in any specific case. Eastern Orthodoxy considers that the first seven ecumenical councils were infallible as accurate witnesses to the truth of the gospel, not so much on account of their institutional structure as on account of their reception by the Christian faithful.

Furthermore, Orthodox Christians do not believe that any individual bishop is infallible or that the idea of Papal Infallibility was taught during the first centuries of Christianity. Orthodox historians often point to the condemnation of Pope Honorius as a heretic by the Sixth Ecumenical council as a significant indication. However, it is debated whether Honorius’ letter to Sergius met (in retrospect) the criteria set forth at Vatican I. Other Orthodox scholars[37] argue that past Papal statements that appear to meet the conditions set forth at Vatican I for infallible status presented teachings in faith and morals are now acknowledged as problematic (e.g. Exsurge Domine).

Positions by Protestant churches

Anglican churches

The Church of England and its sister churches in the Anglican Communion, having seceded from the Roman Church centuries ago, reject papal infallibility, a rejection given expression in the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion (1571):

XIX. Of the Church. The visible Church of Christ is a congregation of faithful men, in which the pure Word of God is preached, and the Sacraments be duly ministered according to Christ’s ordinance, in all those things that of necessity are requisite to the same. As the Church of Jerusalem, Alexandria, and Antioch, have erred, so also the Church of Rome hath erred, not only in their living and manner of Ceremonies, but also in matters of Faith.
XXI. Of the Authority of General Councils. General Councils may not be gathered together without the commandment and will of Princes. And when they be gathered together, (forasmuch as they be an assembly of men, whereof all be not governed with the Spirit and Word of God,) they may err, and sometimes have erred, even in things pertaining unto God. Wherefore things ordained by them as necessary to salvation have neither strength nor authority, unless it may be declared that they be taken out of holy Scripture.


John Wesley amended the Anglican Articles of Religion for use by Methodists, particularly those in America. The Methodist Articles omit the express provisions in the Anglican articles concerning the errors of the Church of Rome and the authority of councils, but retain Article V which implicitly pertains to the Roman Catholic idea of papal authority as capable of defining articles of faith on matters not clearly derived from Scripture:

V. Of the Sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures for Salvation. The Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation; so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man that it should be believed as an article of faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation…

Reformed churches

Presbyterian and Reformed churches also strongly reject papal infallibility. The Westminster Confession of Faith [7] which was intended in 1646 to replace the Thirty-Nine Articles, goes so far as to label the Roman pontiff “Antichrist”; it contains the following statements:

(Chapter one) IX. The infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself: and therefore, when there is a question about the true and full sense of any Scripture (which is not manifold, but one), it must be searched and known by other places that speak more clearly.
(Chapter one) X. The supreme judge by which all controversies of religion are to be determined, and all decrees of councils, opinions of ancient writers, doctrines of men, and private spirits, are to be examined, and in whose sentence we are to rest, can be no other but the Holy Spirit speaking in the Scripture.
(Chapter Twenty-Five) VI. There is no other head of the Church but the Lord Jesus Christ. Nor can the Pope of Rome, in any sense, be head thereof; but is that Antichrist, that man of sin, and son of perdition, that exalts himself, in the Church, against Christ and all that is called God.
[edit] Evangelical churches
Evangelical churches do not believe in papal infallibility for reasons similar to Methodist and Reformed Christians. Evangelicals believe that the Bible alone is infallible or inerrant. Most evangelical churches and ministries have statements of doctrine that explicitly say that the Bible, composed of the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament, is the sole rule for faith and practice. Most of these statements, however, are articles of faith that evangelicals affirm in a positive way, and contain no reference to the Papacy or other beliefs that are not part of evangelical doctrine.

Infallibility and temporal dogma at Vatican I

According to Raffaele De Cesare:

The first idea of convening an Ecumenical Council in Rome to elevate the temporal power into a dogma, originated in the third centenary of the Council of Trent, which took place in that city in December, 1863, and was attended by a number of Austrian and Hungarian prelates. [38]
However, following the Austro-Prussian War, Austria had recognized the Kingdom of Italy. Consequently, because of this and other substantial political changes: “The Civiltà Cattolica suggested that the Papal Infallibility should be substituted for the dogma of temporal power …” [39]

Moritz Busch’s Bismarck: Some secret pages of his history, Vol. II, Macmillan (1898) contains the following entry for 3 March 1872 in pp. 43-44.

Bucher brings me from upstairs instructions and material for a Rome despatch for the Kölnische Zeitung. It runs as follows: “Rumours have already been circulated on various occasions to the effect that the Pope intends to leave Rome. According to the latest of these the Council, which was adjourned in the summer, will be reopened at another place, some persons mentioning Malta and others Trient. [...] Doubtless the main object of this gathering will be to elicit from the assembled fathers a strong declaration in favour of the necessity of the Temporal Power. Obviously a secondary object of this Parliament of Bishops, convoked away from Rome, would be to demonstrate to Europe that the Vatican does not enjoy the necessary liberty, although the Act of Guarantee proves that the Italian Government, in its desire for reconciliation and its readiness to meet the wishes of the Curia, has actually done everything that lies in its power.”
^ “infallibility means more than exemption from actual error; it means exemption from the possibility of error,” P. J. Toner, Infallibility, Catholic Encyclopedia, 1910
^ Erwin Fahlbusch et al. The encyclopedia of Christianity Eradman Books ISBN 0802824161
^ “Pope Has No Easy “Recipe” for Church Crisis”, Zenit, 29 July 2005, retrieved 8 July 2009[1]
^ Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, Bk. IV, Pt. 2, Ch. 2, §6.
^ “CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Vatican Council”. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15303a.htm.
^ Letter to the Duke of Norfolk in The Genius of John Henry Newman: Selections from His Writings. Ed. I. Ker. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990.
^ Stanley Jaki in Newman’s Challenge p. 170
^ What Think Ye of Rome? Part Four: The Catholic-Protestant Debate on Papal Infallibility, Christian Research Journal, Fall 1994, page 24
^ John Harvey Treat, Johann Augustus Bolles, G. H. Houghton Butler, The Catholic faith, or, Doctrines of the Church of Rome contrary to scripture and the primitive church, pp. 480ff
^ James Robert White, Answers to Catholic Claims, 104-8; Crowne Publications, Southbridge, MA: 1990
^ petra: Rm. 8:33; 1Cor. 10:4; 1Pet. 2:8; lithos: Mat. 21:42; Mk.12:10-11; Lk. 20:17-18; Act. 4:11; Rm. 9:33; Eph. 2:20; 1Pet. 2:4-8; cf. Dt. 32:4, Is. 28:16
^ Augustine, “On the Gospel of John,” Tractate 12435, The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers Series I, Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1983, 7:450, as cited in White, Answers to Catholic Claims, p. 106
^ Catechism of the Catholic Church, pt. 1, sec. 2, cp. 2, para. 424
^ John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, p. 1105; Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1960
^ Ibid, Treat, Bolles, and Butler, pp. 479
^ Ibid, Geisler and MacKenzie
^ White, A Response to David Palm’s Article on Oral Tradition from This Rock Magazine, May, 1995
^ A Response to an Argument for Infallibility
^ Richard Frederick Littledale, Plain reasons against joining the Church of Rome, pp. 157-59
^ E.J.V. Huiginn, From Rome to Protestantism”, The Forum, Volume 5, p. 111
^ F. F. Bruce, Peter, Stephen, James and John, 86ff; Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1979
^ Peter De Rosa, Vicars of Christ: the Dark Side of the Papacy
^ E.J.V. Huiginn, From Rome to Protestantism”, The Forum, Volume 5, pp. 111-113
^ White, Of Athanasius and Infallibility
^ James White, A Response to an Argument for Infallibility
^ White, Exegetica: Roman Catholic Apologists Practice Eisegesis in Scripture and Patristics
^ Ibid., Treat, Bolles, and Butler, pp. 486ff
^ Harold O. J. Brown, Protest of a Troubled Protestant, New Rochelle, NY: Arlington House, 1969; p. 122
^ Williston Walker, A History of the Christian Church, 3d ed. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1970; p. 67
^ E.J.V. Huiginn, From Rome to Protestantism”, The Forum, Volume 5, pp. 109-110
^ p. 281, as cited in John E. Lynch’s review of the work, in Church History, Vol. 42, No. 2. (Jun., 1973), pp. 279-280, at p. 279.
^ Salmon, George (1914) The Infallibility of the Church John Murray pp.26-27
^ Hasler, August Bernhard (1981). How the Pope Became Infallible: Pius IX and the Politics of Persuasion. Doubleday.
^ Roger O’Toole, Review of “How the Pope Became Infallible: Pius IX and the Politics of Persuasion” by August Bernhard Hasler; Peter Heinegg, Sociological Analysis, Vol. 43, No. 1. (Spring, 1982), pp. 86-88, at p. 87.
^ http://www.archive.org/stream/oppositioninfall00sparuoft/oppositioninfall00sparuoft_djvu.txt
^ Encyclical of the Eastern Patriarchs of 1848
^ Cleenewerck, Laurent. His Broken Body: Understanding and Healing the Schism between the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches. pp. 301-30
^ De Cesare, Raffaele (1909). The Last Days of Papal Rome. Archibald Constable & Co.. p. 422.
^ De Cesare, Raffaele (1909). The Last Days of Papal Rome. Archibald Constable & Co.. p. 423.
[edit] References
Bermejo, Luis (1990). Infallibility on Trial: Church, Conciliarity and Communion. imprimi potest by Julian Fernandes, Provincial of India. ISBN 0-87061-190-9.
Chirico, Peter. Infallibility: The Crossroads of Doctrine. ISBN 0-89453-296-0.
The Last Days of Papal Rome by Raffaele De Cesare (1909) London, Archibald Constable & Co.
Gaillardetz, Richard. By What Authority?: A Primer on Scripture, the Magisterium, and the Sense of the Faithful. ISBN 0-8146-2872-9.
Hasler, Bernhard (1981). HOW THE POPE BECAME INFALLIBLE: Pius IX and the Politics of Persuation. Translation of Hasler, Bernhard (1979) (in German). WIE DER PAPST UNFEHLBAR WURDE: Macht und Ohnmacht eines Dogmas,. R. Piper & Co. Verlag.
Küng, Hans. Infallible?: An inquiry. ISBN 0-385-18483-2.
Lio, Ermenegildo (in Italian). Humanae vitae e infallibilità: Paolo VI, il Concilio e Giovanni Paolo II (Teologia e filosofia). ISBN 88-209-1528-6.
McClory, Robert. Power and the Papacy: The People and Politics Behind the Doctrine of Infallibility. ISBN 0-7648-0141-4.
O’Connor, James. The Gift of Infallibility: The Official Relatio on Infallibility of Bishop Vincent Gasser at Vatican Council I. ISBN 0-8198-3042-9 (cloth), ISBN 0-8198-3041-0 (paper).
Powell, Mark E. Papal Infallibility: A Protestant Evaluation of an Ecumenical Issue. ISBN 978-0-8028-6284-6.
Sullivan, Francis. Creative Fidelity: Weighing and Interpreting Documents of the Magisterium. ISBN 1-59244-208-0.
Sullivan, Francis. The Magisterium: Teaching Authority in the Catholic Church. ISBN 1-59244-060-6.
Tierney, Brian. Origins of Papal Infallibility, 1150-1350: A Study on the Concepts of Infallibility, Sovereignty and Tradition in the Middle Ages. ISBN 90-04-08884-9.

DFWCatholic.org Launches Wikatechesis

December 2, 2009

MCKINNEY, TX (MetroCatholic) - DFWCatholic.org marks the season of Advent 2009 with the launch of an exciting new program titled WikatechesisWikatechesis utilizes free content available from Wikipedia under a Creative Commons Attribution - ShareALike License in order to help catechise Catholics.  The goal is to help educate readers so they become better formed Catholics.  It is important for all Catholics to know their faith, not only in order to defend their faith from attacks, but ultimately to become more holy while on earth.  Each publishing day, DFWCatholic.org will publish a new topic under its Wikatechesis heading.  Now that DFWCatholic.org is formatted for touch mobile devices, what a great way to catechise yourself while on the go.

Wikatechesis for December 2nd, 2009 - Magisterium

December 2, 2009

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This article is about a teaching authority of the Roman Catholic church.

The Magisterium is the “teaching authority of the Roman Catholic Church”[1]. The word is derived from Latin magisterium, which originally meant the office of a president, chief, director, superintendent, etc. (in particular, though rarely, the office of tutor or instructor of youth, tutorship, guardianship) or teaching, instruction, advice.[2]

In the Roman Catholic Church the word “Magisterium” refers to the teaching authority of the church. This authority is understood to be embodied in the episcopacy, which is the aggregation of the current bishops of the Church, led by the Bishop of Rome (the Pope), who has authority over the bishops, individually and as a body, as well as over each and every Catholic directly. According to Catholic doctrine, the Magisterium is able to teach or interpret the truths of the Faith, and it does so either non-infallibly or infallibly (see chart below).

“The task of interpreting the Word of God authentically has been entrusted solely to the Magisterium of the Church, that is, to the Pope and to the bishops in communion with him.”[3]

Source and criteria

The Catholic Church teaches that Jesus Christ, “the Word made Flesh” (Gospel of John 1:14), is the source of divine revelation. The Catholic Church bases all of its infallible teachings on sacred tradition and sacred scripture. The Magisterium consists of only all the infallible teachings of the Church, “Wherefore, by divine and Catholic faith all those things are to be believed which are contained in the word of God as found in Scripture and tradition, and which are proposed by the Church as matters to be believed as divinely revealed, whether by her solemn judgment or in her ordinary and universal Magisterium.” (First Vatican Council, Dei Filius 8.) However, the criteria for the infallibility of these two functions of the sacred magisterium are different. The sacred magisterium consist of both the Extraordinary solemn dogmatic decrees of the Pope and ecumenical councils, and the Ordinary and Universal Magisterium.

The Second Vatican Council states, “For this reason Jesus perfected revelation by fulfilling it through his whole work of making Himself present and manifesting Himself: through His words and deeds, His signs and wonders, but especially through His death and glorious resurrection from the dead and final sending of the Spirit of truth.” (Dei Verbum, 4). The content of Christ’s divine revelation, as faithfully passed on by the Apostles, is called the Deposit of Faith, and consists of both Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition (as John 21:25 states, “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.”).

The teachings of popes are believed by Catholics to be infallible when - and only when - they are speaking ex cathedra.

The infallible teachings of the ecumenical councils consist of the solemn dogmatic, theological or moral definitions as contained in declarations, decrees, doctrines and condemnations (traditionally expressed in conciliar canons and decrees) of councils consisting of the pope and the bishops from all over the world.

A teaching of ordinary and universal magisterium is a teaching of which all bishops (including the Pope) universally agree on and is also considered infallible.

Teacher: Level of Magisterium: Degree of certitude: Assent required:
1. Pope ex cathedra Extraordinary (and universal) Infallible Full Assent of Faith
2. Bishops, in union with Pope, defining doctrine at General Council Extraordinary (and universal teaching of the Church) Infallible Full Assent of Faith
3. Bishops proposing definitively, dispersed, but in unison, in union with Pope Ordinary and universal teaching of the Church Infallible Full Assent of Faith
4. Pope Ordinary Fallible Religious submission of intellect and will
5. Bishops Ordinary Fallible Religious submission of intellect and will

Historical development

While the Magisterium of the Catholic Church is well-defined today, it has not always been so clear a doctrine. Until the formal pronouncements in the 19th century, the subject of teaching authority in the Church was a matter of disagreement and confusion, and indeed, the concept of papal infallibility still remains controversial in some Catholic circles.

Early Church

Bishops as authority
The most basic foundation of the Magisterium, the apostolic succession of bishops and their authority as protectors of the faith, was one of the few points that was rarely debated by the Church Fathers. The doctrine was developed by Ignatius of Antioch (and others) in the face of Gnosticism, expounded by others such as Irenaeus, Tertullian, Cyprian, Ambrose, and Augustine, and by the end of the second century AD was universally accepted by the bishops.[7]

Some of the first problems began to arise, however, with the increasing worldliness of the clergy. Criticism arose against the bishops, and an attempt was made to have all bishops drawn from the ranks of monastic communities, whose men were seen as the holiest possible leaders. However, there had also developed in the Church a Roman sense of government, which insisted upon order at any cost, and this led to the phenomenon of the “imperial bishops,” men who had to be obeyed by virtue of their position, regardless of their personal holiness, and the distinction between “man” and “office.”[8]

However, this understanding was not universally accepted. One of the most famous critics of the episcopal corruption was the influential theologian Origen. Throughout his life, many of Origen’s writings were considered to be questionably orthodox, and he seemed to espouse the idea of a teaching authority based on theological expertise rather than, or at least along with, apostolic succession.[9]

Other early disagreements

Another early disagreement in the Church surrounding the issue of authority manifested itself in Montanism, which began as a movement promoting the charism of prophecy. Montanism claimed, among other things, that prophecies like those found in the Old Testament were continuing in the Church, and that new prophecies had the same authority as apostolic teaching. The Church, however, ruled that these new prophecies were false and not authoritative, and condemned Montanism as a heresy.[10]

Medieval period

Perceptions of teaching authority in the Middle Ages are hard to characterize because they were so varied. While there arose a keener understanding and acceptance of papal primacy (at least in the Western Church), there was also an increased emphasis placed on the theologian as well as numerous dissenters from both views.

Papal primacy and teaching authority

Throughout the Middle Ages, support for the primacy of the pope (spiritually and temporally) and his ability to speak authoritatively on matters of doctrine grew significantly. Two popes, Innocent III (1198-1216) and Boniface VIII (1294–1303), were especially influential in advancing the power of the papacy. Innocent asserted that the pope’s power was a right bestowed by God, and developed the idea of the pope not only as a teacher and spiritual leader but also a secular ruler. Boniface, in the papal bull Unam Sanctam asserted that the spiritual world, headed on earth by the pope, has authority over the temporal world, and that all must submit themselves to the authority of the pope to be saved.[11]

In the medieval period, statements of this papal power were common in the works of theologians as well. In the late Middle Ages, Domingo Bañez attributed to the Pope the “definitive power to declare the truths of the faith,” and Thomas Cardinal Cajetan, in keeping with the distinction made by St. Thomas Aquinas, drew a line between personal faith manifested in theologians and the authoritative faith presented as a matter of judgment by the pope.[12]

Papal infallibility

It is important to note that the acceptance of papal authority did not include an acceptance of the doctrine of papal infallibility, a later development. In fact, there was a certain amount of resistance to this doctrine during the medieval period.[citation needed] In the Decretum of Gratian, a 12th century canon lawyer, the pope is attributed the legal right to pass judgment in theological disputes, but he was certainly not guaranteed freedom from error. The pope’s role was to establish limits within which theologians, who were often better suited for the full expression of truth, could work. Thus, the pope’s authority was as a judge, not an infallible teacher.[13]

Other opponents of the doctrine include Pope John XXII (1316–1334), who rejected the doctrine because he did not want to be bound to the teachings of previous popes[citation needed], and St. Thomas More, who pronounced that church councils were the only authoritative and inerrant means of settling disputes.[citation needed] The doctrine began to visibly develop during the Reformation, leading to a formal statement of the doctrine by St. Robert Bellarmine in the early 17th century, but it did not come to widespread acceptance until the 19th century and the First Vatican Council.[11]


Other concepts of teaching authority gained prominence in the Middle Ages, as well, however, including the concept of the authority of the learned expert, an idea which began with Origen (or even earlier) and still today has proponents. Some allowed for the participation of theologians in the teaching life of the church, but still drew distinctions between the powers of the theologian and the pope or bishop; one example of this view is in the writing of St. Thomas Aquinas, who spoke of the “Magisterium cathedrae pastoralis/pontificalis” (Magisterium of the pastoral or pontifical chair) and the “Magisterium cathedrae magistralis” (Magisterium of a master’s chair). Others held more extreme views, such as Godefroid of Fontaines, who insisted that the theologian had a right to maintain his own opinions in the face of episcopal and even papal rulings.

Either way, the theologian began to play a more prominent role in the teaching life of the church, as “doctors” were called upon more and more to help bishops form doctrinal opinions. Illustrating this, at the Council of Basle in 1439, bishops and other clergy were greatly outnumbered by doctors of theology.

Despite this growth in influence, popes still asserted their power to crack down on those perceived as “rogue” theologians, through councils (for example, in the cases of Peter Abelard and Beranger) and commissions (as with Nicolas of Autrecourt, Ockham, and Eckhart). With the coming of the Reformation in 1517, this assertion of papal power came to its head and the primacy and authority of the papacy over theologians was vigorously re-established. However, the Council of Trent re-introduced the collaboration between theologians and council Fathers, and the next centuries leading up to the First and Second Vatican Councils were generally accepting of a broader role for the learned in the Church, although the popes still kept a close eye on theologians and intervened occasionally.[14]

Council of Constance (1414–1418)

Another significant development in the teaching authority of the Church occurred from 1414 to 1418 with the Council of Constance, which effectively ran the Church during the Great Schism, during which there were three men claiming to be the pope. An early decree of this council, Haec Sancta, challenged the primacy of the pope, saying that councils represent the church, are imbued with their power directly by Christ, and are binding even for the pope in matters of faith.[15] This declaration was later declared void by the Church because the early sessions of the council had not been confirmed by a pope, but it demonstrates that there were still conciliar currents in the church running against the doctrine of papal primacy, likely influenced by the corruption seen in the papacy during this time period.

Vatican Councils and their Popes

Pius IX and Vatican I
The groundwork for papal primacy was laid in the medieval period, and in the late Middle Ages, the idea of papal infallibility was introduced, but a definitive statement and explanation of these doctrines did not occur until the 19th century, with Pope Pius IX and the First Vatican Council (1869-1870). Pius IX was the first pope to use the term “Magisterium” in the sense that it is understood today, and the concept of the “ordinary and universal Magisterium” was officially established during Vatican I. In addition, this council defined the doctrine of papal infallibility, the ability of the pope to speak without error “when, acting in his capacity as pastor and teacher of all Christians, he commits his supreme authority in the universal Church on a question of faith or morals.”[16]

Pius XII and Paul VI

Later, Pope Pius XII took the concept of the newly defined Magisterium even further, stating that the faithful must be obedient to even the ordinary Magisterium of the Pope, and that “there can no longer be any question of free discussion between theologians” once the Pope has spoken on a given issue.[17] Additionally, he proposed the understanding of the theologian as a justifier of the Magisterium, who ought not be concerned with the formulation of new doctrine but with the explanation of what has been set forth by the Church.

Pope Paul VI agreed with this view, and in a speech to the International Congress on the Theology of Vatican II, he described the theologian as a sort of middleman between the Church and the faithful, entrusted with the task of explaining to the laity why the Church teaches what she does.[18].

Postconciliar era

The debate concerning the Magisterium, papal primacy and infallibility, and the authority to teach in general has not lessened since the official declaration of the doctrines. Instead, the Church has been torn by arguments; at one end there are those with the tendency to regard even technically non-binding papal encyclicals as infallible statements and, at the other, are those who refuse to accept in any sense controversial encyclicals such as Humanae Vitae and who consider the dogma of papal infallibility to be itself a fallible pronouncement. The situation is complicated by changing attitudes toward authority in an increasingly democratic world, the new importance placed on academic freedom, and new means of knowledge and communication. In addition, the authority of theologians is being revisited, with theologians pushing past the structures laid out for them by Pius XII and Paul VI and regarding themselves purely as academics, not in the service of any institution.[19]

See also
Sacred Tradition
Catechism of the Catholic Church
Roman Curia
^ Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary
^ Lewis and Short
^ Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd ed. 1997, pt. 1, sect. 1, ch. 2, art. 2, III [#100]
^ Archbishop Michael Sheehan, Apologetics and Catholic Doctrine, revised by Fr. Peter Joseph ISBN 1-901157-14-8, Saint Austin Press, 2001
^ Code of Canon Law, can. 749-754
^ Lumen Gentium n. 25
^ Congar, Yves. “A Brief History of the Forms of the Magisterium and Its Relations with Scholars.” Readings in Moral Theology: The Magisterium and Morality. Ed. Charles E. Curran and Richard A. McCormick. New York: Paulist Press, 1982. p. 315.
^ Olsen, Glenn W. “The theologian and the Magisterium: the ancient and medieval background of a contemporary controversy.” Communio 7.4 (1980): p. 310.
^ Eno, Robert B. “Authority and Conflict in the Early Church.” Eglise et Theologie 7.1 (1976): 49.
^ Eno, Robert B: p. 47.
^ a b Collins, Paul: p. 26.
^ Congar, Yves: p. 321.
^ Olsen, Glenn W: pp. 313-136.
^ Congar, Yves: pp. 318-322.
^ Collins, Paul: p. 34.
^ Congar, Yves: p. 324
^ Congar, Yves: p. 325.
^ Congar, Yves: p. 327.
^ Congar, Yves: pp. 326-328.
^ a b c d e Gould, Stephen Jay. Rocks of Ages: Science and Religion in the Fullness of Life. [New York: Ballantine Books. ISBN 034545040X.
^ Steering Committee on Science and Creationism, National Academy of Sciences (1999). "Science and Creationism: A View from the National Academy of Sciences". NAS. http://newton.nap.edu/openbook/0309064066/html/R9.html. Retrieved 2007-11-16.
[edit] Books
Boyle, John (1995). Church Teaching Authority: Historical and Theological Studies. University of Notre Dame Press. ISBN 0-268-00805-1.
Gaillardetz, Richard (2003). By What Authority?: A Primer on Scripture, the Magisterium, and the Sense of the Faithful. ISBN 0-8146-2872-9.
Gaillardetz, Richard (1997). Teaching With Authority: A Theology of the Magisterium in the Church. Theology and Life Series, vol. 41. Liturgical Press. ISBN 0-8146-5529-7.
Gaillardetz, Richard (1992). Witnesses to the Faith: Community, Infallibility, and the Ordinary Magisterium of Bishops. Paulist Press. ISBN 0-8091-3350-4.
Sullivan, Francis (2003). Creative Fidelity: Weighing and Interpreting Documents of the Magisterium. Wipf & Stock Publishers. ISBN 1-59244-208-0.
Sullivan, Francis (1983). The Magisterium: Teaching Authority in the Catholic Church. Paulist Press. ISBN 0-8091-2577-3 (paper), ISBN 1-59244-060-6 (Wipf & Stock 2002 reprint).
Gerard Mannion, Richard Gaillardetz, Jan Kerkhofs, Kenneth Wilson (eds.), Readings in Church Authority - Gifts and Challenges for Contemporary Catholicism, Ashgate Press, 2003; 572pp
The Canonical Safeguarding of the Word of God by Jaime B. Achacoso, J.C.D., Philippine Canonical Forum, Volume II, January-December 2000.
Tradition and Living Magisterium Article in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia

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