Magisterium Creep


“Yesterday I asked him whether Our Lord had more than one nature. He said: ‘Just as many as you say, Father.’ Then again I asked him: ‘Supposing the Pope looked up and saw a cloud and said ‘It’s going to rain’, would that be bound to happen?’ ‘Oh, yes, Father.’ ‘But supposing it didn’t?’ He thought a moment and said, “I suppose it would be sort of raining spiritually, only we were too sinful to see it.’”

Rex Mottram on Papal Infallibilty


Blessed John Cardinal Newman worried at the time of Vatican I that infallibility maximalists would seek to make infallible every jot and tittle said or written by a Pope.  Cardinal Newman meet Bishop Sorondo:


Father Joseph Fessio, SJ, the founder of Ignatius Press who obtained his doctorate in theology under Joseph Ratzinger prior to his elevation to the pontificate, told LifeSiteNews, “Neither the pope nor Bishop Sorondo can speak on a matter of science with any binding authority, so to use the word ‘magisterium’ in both cases is equivocal at best, and ignorant in any case.” Fr. Fessio added, “To equate a papal position on abortion with a position on global warming is worse than wrong; it is an embarrassment for the Church.”

The conference, “In Dialogue with Laudato Si’: Can Free Markets Help Us Care for Our Common Home?” was held at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross with over 200 attendees including members of the media, professors, and students of the Pontifical Universities.

The controversy was sparked when in his address Bishop Sorondo spoke of “global warming” saying that in Laudato Si “for the first time in the Magisterium” Pope Francis “denounces the scientifically identifiable causes of this evil, declaring that: ‘a number of scientific studies indicate that most global warming in recent decades is due to the great concentration of greenhouse gases released mainly as a result of human activity.’” He repeated the point later, saying, “faith and reason, philosophical knowledge and scientific knowledge, are brought together for the first time in the pontifical Magisterium in Laudato Si’.”

These points were contradicted in the presentation by Acton Institute founder and President Father Robert Sirico who said it is “important to underscore the distinction between the theological dimension of Laudato si’ and its empirical, scientific, and economic claims.” He explained, “The Church does not claim to speak with the same authority on matters of economics and science… as it does when pronouncing on matters of faith and morals.”

Quoting the Compendium of Catholic Social Doctrine to support his point, Fr. Sirico said: “Christ did not bequeath to the Church a mission in the political, economic or social order; the purpose he assigned to her was a religious one.  . . . This means that the Church does not intervene in technical questions with her social doctrine, nor does she propose or establish systems or models of social organization. This is not part of the mission entrusted to her by Christ” (CCSD 68).

Go here to read the rest.  Pope Francis specializes in less than half baked opinions of everything under the Sun, usually factually challenged.  Attempts to graft them on to the Magisterium merely makes the Magisterium look ridiculous.  Saint Augustine had the number of men  like  Bishop Sorondo long ago:

“It not infrequently happens that something about the earth, about the sky, about other elements of this world, about the motion and rotation or even the magnitude and distances of the stars, about definite eclipses of the sun and moon, about the passage of years and seasons, about the nature of animals, of fruits, of stones, and of other such things, may be known with the greatest certainty by reasoning or by experience, even by one who is not a Christian. It is too disgraceful and ruinous, though, and greatly to be avoided, that he [the non-Christian] should hear a Christian speaking so idiotically on these matters, and as if in accord with Christian writings, that he might say that he could scarcely keep from laughing when he saw how totally in error they are. In view of this and in keeping it in mind constantly while dealing with the book of Genesis, I have, insofar as I was able, explained in detail and set forth for consideration the meanings of obscure passages, taking care not to affirm rashly some one meaning to the prejudice of another and perhaps better explanation.

With the scriptures it is a matter of treating about the faith. For that reason, as I have noted repeatedly, if anyone, not understanding the mode of divine eloquence, should find something about these matters [about the physical universe] in our books, or hear of the same from those books, of such a kind that it seems to be at variance with the perceptions of his own rational faculties, let him believe that these other things are in no way necessary to the admonitions or accounts or predictions of the scriptures.”


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  1. It’s my fault that I honestly want, or wish that in some way, obscure though it might be, all of these actions of our pontiff would draw the middle of the road to the Church. Conversion might happen. Call it naive I suppose. I guess it’s just that I want to believe that something very good will come about from his pontificate.

    Wishful thinking. (?)

  2. I am glad you said that Philip- we have to hang on. Paul’s letter to the Romans 8:28 – “We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.”

  3. Anzlyne.

    I was being honest.
    I think it’s a bit of denial on my part.
    I’m sure of it.
    Praying for him is all I can do.

  4. Why is it liberal progressives think that THIS Pope is infallible, but his two predecessors were NOT?
    Lord Jesus, please send this man back to Argentina!

  5. 🙂 Philip I do try to trust and lean on God –and trust that all will work according to His Will— but as I have said elsewhere: makes you think about being a pepper
    The combination of president and pope seem to add electricity to the apocalyptic prophecies.

  6. This is a week of awaiting JOY.
    It is JOY that fuels the heart to move forward even in the face of hurricane winds.
    As many have said earlier, I hope this storm passes soon.

  7. Below is a quote by Edward Norman from a recent article by Maureen Mullarkey which is most apropos.

    “A religion . . . which becomes preoccupied with the material fate of mankind and neglects it unique understanding of human transcendence, and which regards itself as most cogently expressed in movements for social advance, will cease to relate to the spiritual needs of humanity. The interior life of man is not social. Wisdom recognizes the loneliness of the creature in the cold realities of the creation, and it sees that what most afflicts the human soul is not susceptible to merely human consolation.”

  8. This is the end result of decades of the Church hierarchy taking sides on matters that allow divergent views amongst Catholics. St. JPII’s imprudent, even irresponsible, anti-death penalty positions and Benedict XVI taking sides on the global warming issue helped set the table for this to a significant extent. Now Pope Francis is taking this to an extreme his predecessors would never dream of. But we acknowledge, if we are honest with ourselves, the table had been set. And I believe Pope Francis is very aware of that.

  9. “The interior life of man is not social.”

    The development of the interior life does lead to social involvement, inasmuch as love wishes to serve. It’s a response that has created numerous Saints.

    I agree that souls are the highest concern.
    God the Father has given His Son you and me.
    We are God’s gifts. He wishes not to loose any of what the Father has given Jesus.
    The Pope’s concern, priority, is souls.
    It seems that soul’s are coming in second to the “saving the planet,” mantra. Unfortunate.

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