A Few Words On The Authentic
Notion of Church Authority

The Pope Speaks...


" For a community based essentially on shared adherence to the Word of God and on the resulting certainty of living in the truth, authority for determining the content to be believed and professed is something that cannot be renounced. However, this does not entitle one to hold that the pronouncements and doctrinal decisions of the Magisterium call for irrevocable assent only when it states them in a solemn judgment or definitive act, and that, consequently in all other cases one need only consider the arguments or reasons employed.

In the Encyclicals, 'Veritatis Splendor' and 'Evangelium Vitae', as well as in the Apostolic Letter 'Ordinatio Sacerdotalis', I wished once again to set forth the constant doctrine of the Church's faith with an act confirming truths which are clearly witnessed to by Scripture, the Apostolic Tradition, and the unanimous teaching of the Pastors. These declarations, by virtue of the authority handed down to the successor of Peter to 'confirm the brethren' (Luke 22:32), thus express the common certitude present in the life and teaching of the Church.

It therefore seems urgently necessary to recover the authentic concept of authority, not only from the formal juridical standpoint, but more profoundly, as a means of guaranteeing, safeguarding and guiding the Christian community in fidelity to and continuity with Tradition, to make it possible for believers to be in contact with the preaching of the Apostles and with the source of the Christian reality itself "



In the above words, Pope John Paul II explodes the false concept of Church authority promoted by liberal dissenters who have deceived many by popularizing the falsehood that Catholics need believe only doctrines proclaimed infallibly "Ex Cathedra" or in a dogmatic definition by an Ecumenical Council. The fact is that the Church teaches many truths belonging to the "Deposit of Faith" or necessarily connected with it that need not to be infallibly proclaimed to be infallibly taught and which also require belief on the part of those who wish to be faithful Catholics.




Dissent from the Magisterium... is not compatible with being a good Catholic.
- Pope John Paul II -