This is a late post for a late entry.
The Monday before Columbus Day Saint Andrew the Apostle Catholic Church in Clifton, Viringia held their second RCIA session of this year’s program. Unfortunately I missed half of the class and walked in as our instructor, Parocial Vicar Revrened Mark Mullaney, was getting into the meat of the Magisterium.
Father Mullaney already illustrated a graphic example of the Catholic understadning of the Deposit of Faith and its sources therein.
Apparently he worked his way through the chart and was now giving us the rundown on who and/or what is the Magisterium or Teaching Authority of the Church.
First and foremost the Magisterium consists solely of the Pope (Matthew 16:18-19). In oher cases the Magisterium can refer to the unified body of bishops who rule on a matter during a valid ecumenical council. But because the Pope has the final authority to rule on these matters, he must ultimately assent to the proclomation in order for it to be universally binding.
Fr. Mullaney also spoke on the context of this authority. By this point in the evening the class already heard why the Pop and the Church are infallibe, now he focused on what.
The Teaching Authority can only speak on the matters of faith and morals. At this infallibility is not yet required or exercised. For example, the Church can make a rules and laws concerning disciplines such as the liturgical calendar but this does become dogmatic or infallibe because it is subject to change. The Church can also make a statement concering a particular belief such as the Real Presence of Christ in the Most Blessed Sacrament. This is an infallible teaching.
There are a manner ways in which a teaching is deemed infallible. Two of the most obvious are extraordinary decree or ex cathedra, from the chair, in this Peter’s or ecumenical council. Next are Apostolic origin and historicity, which include matters such as the ordination of men alone and the affirmation of Christological commandments. All of the above must not, however, be contradicted by Sacred Scripture as the nature of God is one so must be His revelation.
After all of this Fr. Mullaney went on to speak about what defined faith and morals. Boiling it down, faith and morals are God’s jurisdiction alone. For example murder, fornication and sacralige are mortal sins. Eating on the Metro, not so much.
For next week (tonight) Fr. Kelly, our pastor, will speak to us about who God is. This should be good.