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Kay wrote:

Hi, guys —

I am studying the Magisterium of the Church and I have some questions that I just can't seem to find an answer for or do not understand.

  • What are the five Church doctrines that are classified as infallible?
  • And, how is the authority of the Pope and bishops limited today?

Thank you.

Kay

  { What are the five doctrines that are infallible and how is the Pope and bishop's authority limited? }

Eric replied:

Hi, Kay —

There are many, many more than five infallible doctrines in the Church. For help I'd consult the book Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma by Ludwig Ott. (TAN Books)

[Hard cover from TAN|Used Soft cover|On Amazon]

The authority of bishops, including the Pope, is limited in that they cannot define anything which contradicts what has been infallibly defined before, or is inconsistent with Apostolic Tradition.

Bishops, individually, cannot define anything new as infallible, but in council and in union in the Pope and each other, they can. Also, they cannot define anything that is not a matter of faith or morals.

The job of the Pope and bishops is to guard and clarify the teaching of the Apostles. They cannot go beyond that deposit of faith entrusted to the Apostles, but they do have the authority, through the Holy Spirit, to interpret the deposit of faith and set boundaries on our understanding of it.

Of course, all are bound by God's law, but no human power can judge the Pope.

Eric

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