DOCTRINAL AUTHORITY OF THE CHURCH AND THE FAITHFUL
Magisterium of the Church and the Partaking of the Faithful in its Exercise
Keywords:Ex Cathedra, Faith and Morals, Infallibility, Ordinary and Extra-ordinary Magisterium, Teaching Authority
The Roman Pontiff, Episcopal conferences and individual bishops have the faculty to teach with authority in matters of faith and morals. This authority comes from the authority of Jesus, who during His earthly ministry, taught with the authority of the Father. This authority was passed to St Peter and to other apostles and continues to be exercised through the apostolic succession. The magisterial activity has ordinary and extra-ordinary modes of exercise. The Roman Pontiff is protected with the gift of infallibility when he exercises his supreme teaching authority as the head of the universal Church and the successor of Peter. The faithful is not entirely devoid of participation in the teaching authority of the Church. They partake in the doctrinal authority through infallibilitas in credendo and sensus fidei fidelium. Therefore, the doctrinal authority in the Church is not exclusively limited to the Hierarchical Church but is open to the Church as a whole.
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Pope Pio IX, Dogmatic Constitution Pastor Aeternus, Citta’ del Vaticano: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1870, ch. 4; also in DS 3074.
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