8.8.15

What is the rule of faith for someone living under members of the Magisterium that teach error and heresy ?

"The Binding Force of Tradition", Fr. Chad Ripperger, 2013, pp. 26-33:
The rule of faith, formulated by Vatican I [is]:
"divine and catholic faith is all those things to be believed which are contained in the written word of God or tradition and proposed by the Church either by the solemn judgement or by the ordinary universal Magisterium" (Vatican I, Dei Filius, C. 3).
...Since God reveals Himself and this is the primary rule, the primary rule is expressed and passed on by the secondary rule, which is the active tradition ...

The active tradition possesses a unity of two aspects. The first is what we call the proximate rule of faith which is the current living Magisterium. But the current and living Magisterium passes to us the object, the tradition taken in the broad sense, i.e. Scripture and tradition in the more restrictive sense [- the remote rule].

By tradition 'in the more restrictive sense', we understand ... definitions and teachings of the prior Magisterium, which would include the formulation of revelation in the symbols or creeds, as well as the Deposit of Faith, i.e. those things necessary for salvation. It would also include all the other monuments which have the current Magisterium as their guard and as their promoter...

[St. Paul refers to the Apostles as 'the custodians of the Mysteris of God' (I Cor. 4: 1-2). Being a custodian entails two essential functions:

(1) to pass on and make available what was given, as St. Paul says, 'I have passed on to you, first what I also received'. In this respect, the Magisterium is not permitted to block the passing on of doctrines. The very nature of the Magisterium is to pass on or be an instrument of tradition..

(2) they are to pass on what they have received, not their own teachings or their own alterations of the teachings of Christ.]
[Joao here: Vatican I teaches that, in the case of the Pope: "The Holy Spirit was promised to the successors of Peter not so that they might, by his revelation, make known some new doctrine, but that, by his assistance, they might religiously guard and faithfully expound the revelation or deposit of faith transmitted by the apostles" (Session 4, Chapter 14]
Yet, ... we need to consider a very difficult question, viz. what happens when a particular member of the Magisterium, including the Pope, is discordant or deviates from the remote rule. When Vatican I was formulating the doctrine on papal infalibility, it had to deal with several historical cases in which Popes had taught things that were erroneous or heretical. Among other cases, [Pope] Martin I, along with the third [ecumenical] Council of Constantinople condemned the Monothelitism of Pope Honorius I. Also, there is the example of the condemnation of Nicolaus I who held that aside from the Trinitarian formula one could simply baptize 'in nomine Christi'. Sometimes Popes disagree on particular issues such as was the case with Caelestinus III and Innocent III who disagreed over issues pertaining to the Pauline privilege.

The historical reality of Papal error and heresy forces us to consider what is the rule of faith for someone living under members of the Magisterium that are teaching error and heresy.

... the secondary rule only remains as a rule as long as it is commensurate with the primary rule, which of course is God... We do not have a direct contact with God who is the primary rule. Therefore, if the proximate rule lapses, logically we are forced to fall back upon the remote rule since (a) it contains the judgements and teachings of the previous Magisterium which are commensurate with the primary rule and (b) it contains the Deposit of Faith, i.e. the revealed knowledge which God passed onto the Apostles.

... [This] does not allow us to stand in judgement of the Magisterium, as if we were to become the new proximate rule. On the other hand ... ignorance of the primary rule does not suffice and so we are not allowed to simply follow a member of the Magisterium blindly or ignorantly. We are bound to know those things necessary for salvation, which are contained in Scripture and tradition. Therefore, since tradition also contains the teachings and definitions of the Magisterium, we are to rest upon the prior Magisterial judgements in matters which are necessary for salvation.

In other words, if a Magisterial member teaches us something which is clearly contrary to the tradition of the Church (the remote rule), we are to ignore that particular teaching and pray for him. People tend to do that instinctively, i.e. it is part of the sensus fidelium to reject a rule which is manifestly contrary to the remote rule, i.e. we have often heard a bishop say that the issue of women's ordination is still open to discussion, whereas Pope John Paul II manifested in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis that the teaching that women cannot be priests is irreformable by virtue of the ordinary infallible Magisterium. When we hear bishops saying that it is still open to discussion we must fall back on the remote rule, which is the teaching of Pope John Paul II and the entire tradition regarding the matter.


2 comentários:

Maieh disse...

Thank you for this post!

Fr PJM disse...

Very good.
Dom Prosper Guéranger, Abbot of Solesmes

“When the shepherd turns into a wolf, it falls to the flock first to defend itself. Doctrine normally flows from the Bishops down to the faithful people, and subjects should not judge their chiefs. But, in the treasure of Revelation, there are certain points that every Christian necessarily knows and must obligatorily defend” (L’année liturgique - Le temps de la septuagesime, Tours: Maison Mame, 1932, pp. 340-341).