Definition or meaning of "Magisterium"?(It is not distinct from "Hierarchy")
#1
I ask this in response mainly to newschoolman reply to Bishop Williamson's blog. Is there no distinction whatsoever between the Magisterium of the Church, which extends outside time and space being a share of God's Own Divine Authority, and the Divinely Founded and Created Offices of the Pope and Bishops of Catholic Dogma?

Stating this, I will say, I disagree with His Excellency on Truth and Authority being capable of separation. Truth, God, is the Author of all things, therefore Authority (as to it's original or traditional meaning) cannot be separated either from Truth or Good and this also goes for the order of nature as well as the Supernatural Order of Grace.
These are fine distinctions, for even many Bible translations often mistranslate the word, using "Authority" and "Power" interchangeably. Now just think of the difference and distinction of meaning between those two English words. This is why Latin is needed for doctrinal clarifications and vernacular languages will usually corrupt meaning and understanding. Two great schisms of the East are due to translations error from what I've read.
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#2
While I won't presume to speak for +W, I will say this.  It seems to be the case there is a divergence of allegience.  Certainly, Catholics should have allegiance to truth and authority: we know the truth by the authority, and we obey the authority because it teaches the truth.

However, let's say for a moment that it was difficult to discern the truth and the authority did not help.  Note this isn't a perfect example, but an illustration.

Let's say I have always authoritatively said, "hot dogs are evil".  And Rush Limbaugh believes me and is convinced that hot dogs are evil.  Then one day I say, "Beef hot dogs are good".  And I leave it at that.  Rush says, "But, wait a minute, you said hot dogs were evil, but now you're saying beef hot dogs are good.  I was always led to believe that all hot dogs are evil because your previous statement seemed absolute".

Then, Rush and Al Franken get in an argument.  Al says, "clearly this is a development of his belief, and it may have been that he just more clearly discerned which particular hot dogs are evil - the non-beef ones".  But Rush argues back, "No, he said hot dogs are evil.  That is clearly comprehensive and he said it with authority.  He must have gotten a screw loose or something, or the beef producers paid him off."

And, I still say nothing to help clarify it, but I do say: "You still need to obey"

Al says, "I am obedient to your authority!" Rush says "I am obedient to the truth you taught!"

And, still I say nothing except "you need to obey and understand my words in light of all discourse on hot dogs past"

Al says, "I do, but since you haven't said how, I creating reasoning and arguments on my own and say it's the truth so I can justify obeying your authority!"  Rush says "I do, but since you haven't said how, I don't see how they can be reconciled, so I stick with the first statement because no one denies there is some truth in there, so I stick with the truth that is best understood and that is how I am obedient"

Al is the Neo-Catholic, Rush is the Traditional Catholic.  Both want to obey, both want the truth.  However, both are in a predicament as to how to proceed because they have received no guidance on how to proceed.  They are told to obey authority and hold the truth, but there is no clarity given.  So, since the human mind wants to obey and wants the truth, people are forced to kind of choose - not the truth vs. authority - but on how to proceed.

We've all lost out, Neo-Catholic and trads alike, because unlike the Modernists and Liberals we want to be good Catholics - we want obedience and truth.  However, one chooses the path of obedience to get to the truth, and the other chooses the path of truth to get to obedience.  At the end, only the authority can straighten this out.  That is why the dialogue between Rome and the SSPX is so very important, and the final word will most likely have to be the Pope's.  So, pray for B16.

And the answer to the hot dog question is: all hot dogs are evil, but beef hot dogs taste good.  But you wouldn't have known that had I, the authority, not told you.
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#3
(06-03-2009, 03:18 AM)QuisUtDeus Wrote: While I won't presume to speak for +W, I will say this.  It seems to be the case there is a divergence of allegience.  Certainly, Catholics should have allegiance to truth and authority: we know the truth by the authority, and we obey the authority because it teaches the truth.

However, let's say for a moment that it was difficult to discern the truth and the authority did not help.  Note this isn't a perfect example, but an illustration.
See, this is what I think is the very problem. You talk as if authority itself is a person or persons. That's only true with God, for only God is one and the same with His Attributes. This is where the modern English language destroys theological debate, for it give the words multiple meanings many of which are very distinctive, such as the case with the word "authority".
I think authority is the most misunderstood virtue/attribute out there. Too many people don't even think of it as an attribute but rather a person or persons.
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#4
QuisUtDeus Wrote:And the answer to the hot dog question is: all hot dogs are evil, but beef hot dogs taste good.  But you wouldn't have known that had I, the authority, not told you.
No, no, the real answer is that all hot dogs could and ought to be good, but they're not good as they presently are. Hey, Quis, how about Italian or Polish sausage instead, made with organic pastured pork, no nitrates, msg, etc, that is?
And is that a real argument Al and Rush had? Hey, watch out, they might sue you.
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#5
(06-03-2009, 04:19 AM)GodFirst Wrote:
(06-03-2009, 03:18 AM)QuisUtDeus Wrote: While I won't presume to speak for +W, I will say this.  It seems to be the case there is a divergence of allegience.  Certainly, Catholics should have allegiance to truth and authority: we know the truth by the authority, and we obey the authority because it teaches the truth.

However, let's say for a moment that it was difficult to discern the truth and the authority did not help.  Note this isn't a perfect example, but an illustration.
See, this is what I think is the very problem. You talk as if authority itself is a person or persons. That's only true with God, for only God is one and the same with His Attributes. This is where the modern English language destroys theological debate, for it give the words multiple meanings many of which are very distinctive, such as the case with the word "authority".
I think authority is the most misunderstood virtue/attribute out there. Too many people don't even think of it as an attribute but rather a person or persons.

Authority comes from God, but it is exercised by persons.  That's what I mean by "the authority did not help" - the persons who have the authority are not exercising it.

It seems to me the failure of authority is not one of heresy, but of omission - to provide and promote a clear Catholic understanding.  The authority is there, but it isn't being exercised.  It may not really be of omission, though.  It may just be that it needs to be figured out.  But, for me personally it's hard to see that it's not of omission when I see all the nuttiness that goes on in liturgies....  Really, there is something that can be done like yesterday in practices even if the theological explanations aren't fully developed.

Really, I think it will come down to a Pope, hopefully B16, putting his foot down and giving an authoritative discernment before the debate comes even close to being over.  The bishops are no help, and are, in fact, some of the problems as one bishop and another bishop sometimes give conflicting interpretations at least by their actions.
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#6
(06-03-2009, 04:34 AM)GodFirst Wrote:
QuisUtDeus Wrote:And the answer to the hot dog question is: all hot dogs are evil, but beef hot dogs taste good.  But you wouldn't have known that had I, the authority, not told you.
No, no, the real answer is that all hot dogs could and ought to be good, but they're not good as they presently are. Hey, Quis, how about Italian or Polish sausage instead, made with organic pastured pork, no nitrates, msg, etc, that is?

Italian sausage always wins.  Polish is a good second.

Quote:And is that a real argument Al and Rush had? Hey, watch out, they might sue you.

It's as real and as important as most arguments those two have.  Being a Paleo-Con, I'm not a big fan of either.  I doubt they'll sue me, I have no money.  :laughing:
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#7
(06-03-2009, 02:57 AM)GodFirst Wrote: I ask this in response mainly to newschoolman reply to Bishop Williamson's blog. Is there no distinction whatsoever between the Magisterium of the Church, which extends outside time and space being a share of God's Own Divine Authority, and the Divinely Founded and Created Offices of the Pope and Bishops of Catholic Dogma?

Stating this, I will say, I disagree with His Excellency on Truth and Authority being capable of separation. Truth, God, is the Author of all things, therefore Authority (as to it's original or traditional meaning) cannot be separated either from Truth or Good and this also goes for the order of nature as well as the Supernatural Order of Grace.
These are fine distinctions, for even many Bible translations often mistranslate the word, using "Authority" and "Power" interchangeably. Now just think of the difference and distinction of meaning between those two English words. This is why Latin is needed for doctrinal clarifications and vernacular languages will usually corrupt meaning and understanding. Two great schisms of the East are due to translations error from what I've read.

Nothing I have read indicates any separation between the truthes of revelation and the authority of the teaching apostolate (as a whole).

Quote:A Manual Of Catholic Theology, Based On Scheeben's “Dogmatik”
Joseph Wilhelm, D.D., PHD. And Thomas B. Scannell, D.D.

[pp 16-49]

CHAPTER II.
THE TRANSMISSION OF REVELATION.

SECT. 7.—The Protestant Theory and the Catholic Theory concerning the Mode of transmitting and enforcing Revelation.


DIVINE Revelation, although destined for all men in all times and places, has not been communicated to each individual directly and immediately. Certain means have been appointed by God for this purpose. Catholics and Protestants, however, hold diametrically opposite views as to what these means are. We shall first state both theories, and then develop and prove the Catholic theory.

I. The Protestant theory takes two different forms, both alike opposed to the Catholic theory. According to the older Protestants, Holy Scripture, the divinely written document of Revelation, together with an interior illumination of the Holy Ghost, is the sole means whereby Revelation asserts itself to the individual. All other institutions or external means of communicating Revelation are the work of man, coming violently between Revelation and Faith, and destroying the supernatural character of the latter. Modern Protestants, however, admit the existence of other means of transmission besides Holy Writ itself, but they deny that such means are ordained by God and participate in the Divine character of Revelation; while some even go so far as to deny the supernatural character of Holy Scripture. Revealed truth is handed down by purely human witnesses, whose authority depends, not on the assistance of the Holy Ghost, but on their natural abilities and industry. Both forms protest — the one in the name of Christian, the other in the name of natural, freedom — against the notion of a Revelation imposing itself authoritatively on mankind; and they also protest against any living and visible authority claiming to be established by God and to have the right to impose the obedience of Faith.

II. The Catholic theory is a logical consequence of the nature of Revelation. Revelation is not simply intended for the comfort and edification of isolated individuals, but as a fruitful source of supernatural knowledge and life, and a sovereign rule of Faith, thought, and conduct for all mankind as a whole, and for each man in particular. God wills that by its means all men should be gathered into His kingdom of holiness and truth, and should obtain, by conformity to His Will, the happiness which He destines for them, at the same time rendering to Him the tribute of glory which is His due. Revelation is especially intended to be a principle of Faith, leading to an infallible knowledge of revealed truth, and also to he a law of Faith, by submitting to which all men may offer to God the most perfect homage of their intellect. Hence it follows that God should provide efficient means to enable mankind to acquire a complete, certain, and uniform knowledge of revealed truth, and to secure to Himself a uniform and universal worship founded on Faith. This exercise of God's Jus Majestatis over the mind of man is rightly insisted upon by the Vatican Council against the rationalistic tendencies of the day. Moreover, God could not cast upon the world the written document of His revealed Word, and leave it to an uncertain fate. Had He done so, the purposes of Revelation would have been completely frustrated. The only efficient mode of transmitting Revelation with authority is that the Word of God, after having once been spoken, should be continually proposed to mankind by His authorized envoys, and promulgated in His name and power as the principle and rule of Faith. These envoys are called the Teaching Body; their functions are called the Apostolate.

Thus, according to the Catholic theory, there is a means of transmitting Revelation distinct from Revelation itself and its written document; and this means, having been instituted by God, detracts in no way from the dignity of Revelation, but rather safeguards it. Other means of transmission, such as Scripture and history, are by no means excluded; they are, however, subordinate to the one essential and fundamental means.

SECT. 8.—Further Explanation of the Catholic Theory.

I. The promulgation of revealed truth, being an act of God as Sovereign Lord of all creatures, must be made in the name of His sovereign authority and by ambassadors invested with a share of that authority. Their commission must consist of an appointment emanating from God, and they must be armed with the necessary credentials and the power of exacting Faith from those to whom they are sent. Thus qualified, the promulgation may be technically described as official, authentic, and authoritative: official, because made by persons whose proper office it is to publish — like heralds in human affairs; authentic, because with the commission to promulgate there is connected a public dignity and authority, in virtue of which the holder guarantees the truth of his utterances, and makes them legally credible — as in the case of public witnesses, such as registrars; authoritative, because the holder of the commission is the representative of God, invested with authority to exact Faith from his subordinates, and to keep efficient watch over its maintenance.

II. A threefold Divine co-operation is required for the attainment of the end of Revelation: the promulgation must be made under Divine guarantee, Divine legitimation and Divine sanction. The object of the Apostolate is to generate an absolute, supernatural, and Divine certainty of the Word of God. Moreover, the promulgating body claims a full and unconditional submission of the mind to the truths which it teaches. But this certainty could not be produced, and this submission could not be demanded, except by an infallible body. The intrinsic and invisible quality of infallibility is not enough to convey the authenticity and authority of the Apostolate to the knowledge of mankind — some external mark is required. Christ proved the authority of His mission by miracles, and then instituted the Apostolate. His words and works were sufficient evidence for those who actually witnessed them. For us some other proof is necessary; and this may be either some special miracle accompanying the preaching of the Gospel, or the general moral miracle of the continuity and efficiency of the Apostolate. This subject will be treated at greater length in the treatise on Faith. The sanction of the Apostolate consists in the rewards and punishments reserved hereafter for those who accept or reject its teaching, and is the complement of its authority. Submission to Revelation is the fundamental condition of salvation, and consequently submission to the Apostolate, which is the means of transmitting Revelation, must be enforced by the same sanctions as submission to Revelation itself.

III. The act of promulgation must be a teaching (magisterium), and not a mere statement; this teaching must witness to its identity with the original Revelation, i.e. it must always show that what is taught is identical with what was revealed; it must be a “teaching with authority” — that is, it must command the submission of the mind, because otherwise the unity and universality of the Faith could not be attained.

IV. The subject-matter of the Apostolate is co-extensive with the subject-matter of Revelation. It embraces, besides the truths directly revealed, those also which are intimately connected and inseparably interwoven therewith (cf. § 5). Divine Faith cannot indeed be commanded in the case of truths not directly revealed by God; nevertheless the Teaching Body, the living witness and ambassador plenipotentiary of the Word of God, must, when occasion requires, be empowered to impress the seal of authenticity on subordinate truths also, for without this power the object of the Apostolate would in many cases be thwarted. The Church exercises this power when authoritatively passing judgment on dogmatic facts (facta dogmatica), or applying minor censures to unsound propositions.
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#8
From the same source:

Quote:SECT. 10.— Organization of the Teaching Apostolate — Its Relations with the two Powers and the two Hierarchical Orders instituted by Christ.

The usual place to treat of the Organization of the Teaching Apostolate is in the treatise on the Constitution of the Church. For our present purpose, however, which is to show to whom and in what manner belongs the right to expound and propose Revelation, it will be sufficient to give a clear notion of the two hierarchical powers.

I. The power to teach is vested by right, as well as by the institution of Christ, in those same dignitaries who are appointed to be the instruments of the Holy Ghost for the communication of His grace to mankind (potestas ordinis) and who are the representatives of Christ for the government of His kingdom upon earth (potestas jurisdictionis): in a word, the Apostolate belongs to the Hierarchy. But the Apostolate is not only intimately connected with the two above-named functions of the Hierarchy: it is also itself an hierarchical function. As such, its value and importance depend on the rank held by the members of the Hierarchy by right either of ordination or of jurisdiction. The Apostolate is not, however, an independent hierarchical function. It springs from and forms an essential part of the other two. To enlighten the mind with heavenly truth and to generate Faith are acts belonging to the very nature of the Power of Orders, inasmuch as in this way the gifts of the vivifying Spirit are dispensed. And the same may be said of the Power of Jurisdiction, for the noblest part of this power is to feed the flock of Christ on Faith, and so to guide it to salvation.

II. We have already distinguished two functions of the Apostolate : (1) the authentic witnessing to the doctrine of Christ, and (2) the authoritative enforcement of it. The first element belongs to the Power of Orders, the second to the Power of Jurisdiction.
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#9
From the Encyclical, "Divini illius magistri," December 31, 1929:

Quote:Denz. 2204  But in the first place, in a more pre-eminent way education pertains to the Church, namely, because of a twofold title in the supernatural order which God conferred upon her alone; and thus by an entirely more powerful and more valid title than any other title of the natural order.

The first reason for such a right rests on the supreme authority of the magisterium and on the mission which the divine Founder of the Church bestowed upon her in those words: "All power is given to me in heaven and on earth. Going therefore teach ye . . . even unto the consummation of l the world" [ Matt. 28:18-20]. Upon this magisterium Christ the Lord conferred immunity from error, together with the command to teach His doctrine to all; therefore, the Church "has been established by her divine Founder as the pillar and foundation of truth, to teach all men the divine faith, to guard its deposit given to her whole and inviolate, and to direct and fashion men in their public and private actions unto purity of morals and integrity of life, according to the norm of revealed doctrine." *

The second reason for the right arises from that supernatural duty of a mother, by which the Church, most pure spouse of Christ, bestows upon men a life of divine grace, and nurtures and promotes it by her sacraments and precepts. Worthily then does St. Augustine say: "He will not have God as father, who would not be willing to have the Church as mother." *
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#10
(06-03-2009, 03:38 PM)lamentabili sane Wrote: From the Encyclical, "Divini illius magistri," December 31, 1929:

Quote:Denz. 2204   But in the first place, in a more pre-eminent way education pertains to the Church, namely, because of a twofold title in the supernatural order which God conferred upon her alone; and thus by an entirely more powerful and more valid title than any other title of the natural order.

The first reason for such a right rests on the supreme authority of the magisterium and on the mission which the divine Founder of the Church bestowed upon her in those words: "All power is given to me in heaven and on earth. Going therefore teach ye . . . even unto the consummation of l the world" [ Matt. 28:18-20]. Upon this magisterium Christ the Lord conferred immunity from error, together with the command to teach His doctrine to all; therefore, the Church "has been established by her divine Founder as the pillar and foundation of truth, to teach all men the divine faith, to guard its deposit given to her whole and inviolate, and to direct and fashion men in their public and private actions unto purity of morals and integrity of life, according to the norm of revealed doctrine." *

The second reason for the right arises from that supernatural duty of a mother, by which the Church, most pure spouse of Christ, bestows upon men a life of divine grace, and nurtures and promotes it by her sacraments and precepts. Worthily then does St. Augustine say: "He will not have God as father, who would not be willing to have the Church as mother." *

LS, forgive me for my intrusion, but I must be lost. What exactly are you concluding from these texts? Are you saying that the totality of the Magisterium cannot promulgate a teaching that is damaging to faith and morals and, because of the Magisterium's authoritative symbiotic relationship with the Church's hierarchy, it must be obeyed in all things? Would this include the non-infallible Ordinary Universal Magisterial teachings promulgated by the Second Vatican Council? And if so, would you then conclude that there is no licit separation in the name of opposition to a Magisterial teaching that is contributing to the damage of faith and morals?

Or are you saying that the damaging Magisterial teaching facilitates licit opposition?
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