Friday, September 15, 2023


I think Cardinal Designate Prefect for the Dicastery of the Doctrine of the Faith, Archbishop Fernandez, was a bit too honest and transparent about the Doctrine of Pope Francis, evidently only known to a few people, in which he had to clarify or obfuscate the truth he spoke by being more opaque about what Pope Francis wants to do to the Church with synodality. 

This is an excellent catechesis on the teaching office of the pope and it does not appear to me to be right wing or left wing, but rather truly orthodox. It is this kind of orthodoxy which is very pastoral and allows individual Catholics and others of good will, to understand the doctrines of the Church and by the power of the Holy Spirit to apply God’s truths to their (our) lives. 

Catholic pastoral theology is not to find loopholes to evade Divine Truth and the implications of God’s grace for our live but rather to convict us and set us on the path of life, eternal life.

Solum Magisterium?


Carter said...

Father, this article from crisis leaves one wondering a few things about the author. 1. does he understand how the deposit of faith is handed on? 2. Is he being protestant level of dense or is he simply trying to nitpick something which is not incorrectly stated? 3. Further, the author seems to go nowhere in this article but rather bounces around Dei Verbum a little and either doesn't know Dei Verbum very well or willfully chooses to leave out teachings from Dei Verbum that would correct his understanding.

Let's start with #2. We have for centuries referred to the Papal Magisterium. To use those two words is really no different than saying the doctrine of the Holy Father...or teachings of the Holy Father or the doctrinal explanations of the Holy Father etc. It is rather obvious that when the Fernandez is referring to the doctrine of the Holy Father he is referring to the magisterium or body of teachings which the Holy Father produces. All bishops have a Magisterium, however, all of their Magisteriums are subject to the judgment of the Holy Father. The Papal Magisterium is the only Magisterium that cannot be judged by others. There is a long line of ecumenical councils and canon law making this readily apparent. The Pope is judged by no one. Further, everyone knows that the authentic teachings of the Holy Father are synonymous with the Church's teachings. For infallibly comes to the Church through Peter. That cab be stated in this way, The Church is infallible because Peter is infallible. You cannot say that peter is infallible because the church is infallible. This is clearly stated in the Canons of Vatican 1 and repeated in lumen gentium. Further, what is often called the teachings of the popes...or Papal doctrine falls under what Dei Verbum 10 says "This teaching office...explaining it faithfully in accord with a divine commission" is the explaining of and further development of the doctrines contained in the deposit of the faith. They are often called papal doctrines because they arent worded exaclty like sacred scripture or the way the Church Fathers spoke on such things....they are truly the expressions of the popes handing on the deposit of the faith. Given that the teachings of the Church and Teachings of the popes are the same thing, then it is absurd to be concerned with Fernandez's statement and the author's whole article shouldn't even be written.

Carter said...

#1. The Church teaches us how the deposit of Faith has been handed down...namely by and through the authority of the Church...see Dei Verbum. It was the Church who hands on the written and unwritten revelation of God. It is the authority of the Church who determines which books are part of the Canon of scripture. Obviously, the Church has the authority to determine which elements are divine and which are not. Dei Verbum 10 is clear that the authentic interpreter of Tradition and scripture is the living teaching office of the Church. To say that this teaching office is not above the Word of God is a refutation to protestants and their like that claim the Church can teach something contrary to the deposit of Faith, i.e. solum magisterium. Given that limitation, it is important to note that it is this teaching office that has given us the scriptures and sacred tradition.

Carter said...

3. The author tries to use Dei Verbum to say that a) the Pope doesn't have his own doctrinal Magisterium and b) that this doctrinal magisterium is somehow solum magisterium and therefore has less authority than or below scripture. However, to claim that papal doctrine, which has been easily seen as nothing other than the papal magisterium, the author fails to deal with the logical issues arising from the relationship of the papal magisterium to sacred tradition or sacred scripture. It was the papal magisterium that determined which books are sacred scripture and the papal magisterium is the sole authentic interpreter of scripture and tradition. See Dei Verbum 10. Further the Author attempts to claim that scripture is the supreme rule of Faith, however Dei Verbum 21 teaches that the supreme rule of Faith includes Sacred Scripture along with Sacred Tradition. Further, Dei Verbum 10 teaches that sacred tradition, sacred scripture and the teaching authority are so intimately joined that one cannot stand without the other and that each in its own way under the action of the Holy Spirit contribute effectively for the salvation of souls. The author then proceeds to claim that Fernandez referring to papal doctrine is akin to solum magisterium...however that doesn't follow from what Fernandez says and it also doesn't take into account that it is the Church's papal magisterium that has gifted the books of the Bible to the world and all the necessary Sacred Traditions. What any reasonable Catholic would understand is that the papal magisterium cannot contradict sacred scripture or sacred tradition because God has implemented the magisterium for the sake of guarding, handing on and faithfully expounding the deposit of faith. The holy fathers "doctrine" or "teachings" have this charism which is defined in Vatican 1. The teaching about the papal magisterium serving...guarding etc. is for all of us below the Pope to understand that when he teaches, we must understand that these teachings in fact fit into those limitations. This set of limitations corrects and prevents us from thinking that the Pope could teach there are 10 persons in God rather than 3. In other words, it prevents us from thinking and fearing that the pope will ever be able to teach something contrary to the deposit of the faith. But these limitations do not give any of us the license to judged the doctrinal magisterium of the Pope.

Carter said...

Again, the author fails to see how this wasnt a case of solum magisterium and that Fernandez didnt state anything incorrectly when referring to the doctrine of the hloy father It simply shows the author is not very familiar with the history of the Church, or her expressions about such things. Such a conclusion is easily seen from ecumenical councils and even canon law. I would be happy to expound on any of these points or respond to any questions about them.