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Frequently Asked Questions
regarding
THE MAGISTERIUM.


Q. 1. Can you explain to me, what is the Magisterium of the Catholic Church?

A. 1. The Magisterium of the Catholic Church is defined in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, # 85 to 87, where it states:

"The task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God, whether in its written form or in the form of Tradition, has been entrusted to the living teaching office of the Church alone. Its authority in this matter is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ." This means that the task of interpretation has been entrusted to the bishops in communion with the successor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome." "Yet this Magisterium is not superior to the Word of God, but is its servant. It teaches only what has been handed on to it. At the divine command and with the help of the Holy Spirit, it listens to this devotedly, guards it with dedication and expounds it faithfully. All that it proposes for belief as being divinely revealed is drawn from this single deposit of faith." "Mindful of Christ's words to his apostles: "He who hears you, hears me", The faithful receive with docility the teachings and directives that their pastors give them in different forms." [C.C.C. # 85-87]

The Magisterium of Catholic Church teaches the faithful as follows:

a) Solemn Magisterium: is Church teaching which is used only rarely by formal and authentic definitions of councils or Popes. This includes dogmatic definitions by councils or Popes teaching "ex cathedra".

b) Ordinary Magisterium: this second form of Church teaching is continually exercised by the Church especially in her universal practices connected with faith and morals, in the unanimous consent of the Fathers and theologians, in the decisions of the Roman Congregations concerning faith and morals, in the common sense of the Faithful, and various historical documents, in which the faith is declared.



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