Teaching Authority: Magisterium vs. Theologians/Saints/Doctors

Pope Benedict XIV, Apostolica Constitutio, (About St. Gregory On Pilgramages to Jerusalem): “The Church’s judgment is preferable even to that of a Doctor renowned for his holiness and teaching.”

Pope Alexander VIII, Errors of the Jansenists, #30: “When anyone finds a doctrine clearly established in Augustine, he can absolutely hold and teach it, disregarding any bull of the pope.”

Pope Pius XII, Humani Generis, #21: ” It is also true that theologians must always return to the sources of divine revelation: for it belongs to them to point out how the doctrine of the living Teaching Authority is to be found either explicitly or implicitly in the Scriptures and in Tradition…This deposit of faith our Divine Redeemer has given for authentic interpretation not to each of the faithful, not even to theologians, but only to the Teaching Authority of the Church.”

Pope Pius XI, Ad Salutem: “(6) “and not-as some, who do not share the Catholic sense, have thought-as though the weight of Augustine’s word were to be set ahead of the very authority of the teaching Church… (20)We see how our Saint, for all his exalted genius, humbly submitted his judgment to the authority of the Church teaching. He knew that, as long as he did so, he would not swerve a finger’s breadth from Catholic doctrine.”

My Comment: The purpose of these quotes to show that those who attempt to overrule a Teaching of the Magisterium with an opinion of a certain group of Theologians or certain Doctor  etc., are mistaken. As one can see from the Pope Pius XII quote, the job of theologians is to explain how the teachings of the Magisterium are found in Scripture and Tradition. –For those who don’t already know, the Magisterium is the Teaching Office of the Church. It cannot err because it teaches with the very Authority of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is exercised by the Pope when teaching or explaining a Doctrine revealed by our Lord to the Church’s faithful.


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