Catholic Church teaches concerning her authority in matters of faith and morals

Theology: General Works | St. Jerome Biblical Guild

Vol 15 Issue 20 ~ Editor: Rev. Fr. Courtney Edward Krier
May 14, 2022 ~ Saint Boniface, opn!
Dear Reader:

Recently a topic of confusion has been encountered again. This concerns that of what the Catholic Church teaches concerning her authority in matters of faith and morals and what the Church allows to be taught as far as a matter that is not yet decided or may be believed but does not have to be believed, or is erroneous and forbidden.

When the Church Magisterium (Pope and bishops in communion with him and upholding the Catholic Faith) was functioning prior to the establishment of the Conciliar Church of Vatican II, the Catholic Church had instituted the Holy Office and the Ordinaries (Bishops set over a diocese) themselves would assign knowledgeable priests to review and determine whether what one had written, before publication, was contrary to Catholic Faith and Morals, not necessarily that it was certainly true—and there was usually a subscript to the granting of the Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur, such as:
The nihil obstat and imprimatur are official declarations that a book or pamphlet is free of doctrinal and moral error. No implication is contained therein that those who have granted the nihil obstat and imprimatur agree with the contents, opinions or statements expressed.
Of Mary there is never enough is a quote from Saint Louis Marie de Montfort. To praise and sing her praises, to have a devotion to her, to recognize her position in the work of Redemption, to make sure we pray her Rosary, wear her Brown Scapular, join her Confraternities, etc., these should be promoted. The approved apparitions and those messages the Church has accepted as valid are worthy to be known.
There are some, though, who depart from True Devotion to Mary. To contend with people who argue over who is correct about the life of Christ and Mary as one chooses Mary of Agreda, another Anna Catherine Emmerich or Maria Valtorta and any other visionary is miserable. They miss the point that these writings are the subjective visions of these persons, not Divine Revelation. What is worse, many of these disputants never even read the Gospels; which being Scripture, is Divine Revelation, that is, what one must believe in order to be saved as a Catholic. They are sometimes like those rejecting Baptism in voto: They interpret Scripture not according to the Catholic Church, they select—like Protestants—texts that support their hypothesis, find a Doctor of the Church (e.g., Saint Gregory Nazianzen) who speaks about baptism and take his words out of context, all the while rejecting every other Doctor of the Church, as well as all the other Church teachings (Papal and Conciliar), and all other examples that contradict their non-Catholic position, then tell anyone who does not accept their innovative heresy that unless one accepts the error one is not Catholic. How tragic that their faith is totally in their error to the rejection of the Catholic Faith and salvation. Like Our Lord’s words concerning the Pharisees one can only say: Let them alone: they are blind, and leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into the pit. (Matt. 15:14) That is, they demand others to accept their erroneous opinion as a matter of Faith, which error is outside the purview of the Faith: you cannot believe in error.
Certainly I agree with Sister Mary Amatora, O.S.F, a frequent visitor to my natural family, that the 1950s seemed to usher in a great Marian Age—and certainly many Catholics are grateful as they attached themselves to the Blue Army and other Marian Movements at the time helping them to understand the situation of the times. But I don’t remember any of these movements promoting Mary as an end in itself. In truth, most recognized and emphasized that they, like Saint Louis Marie de Montfort, saw Mary leading the faithful to Her Son and repeating the only Scripturally recorded words Mary says once Her Son begins His Public Life: Whatever He [Christ] says, do! Today there are so many movements profiting off Mary as an end of itself that their followers must believe that Mary, not Christ, will save them. I received one book that even made Mary the fourth person of the Godhead.
Theologically speaking, and according to the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, Mary received her privileges—the Immaculate Conception, Perpetual Virginity, Assumption, etc.,—not of being Mary as of herself, but because God freely chose her to be the Mother of the Christ, the Eternal Word Incarnate and bestowed these prerogatives upon her. There cannot be a cult of Mary that is divorced from and not subject to her Divine Son.
But today it seems these various movements con Catholics into believing Mary will save them by magic if they can convince a Protestant in the Vatican to consecrate Russia and everything will change—well this man did and nothing has changed. What is the true message of Fatima? (1) cease offending God because He is already so much offended, (2) Pray, (3) Do penance and sacrifice for the conversion of poor sinners. In no sense would Mary contradict herself, having told Saint Bernadette at Lourdes—if we accept her words—: I cannot promise you happiness in this life, but only in the next.
But, as I have already mentioned in the past, because the faith is not being taught, Catholics have adopted the J-h’s Witnesses’ Millenarism that they will have a thousand year reign of ruling over the world in an earthly paradise instead of the reality that is repeated every time the Apostles’ Creed is professed: From thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. On Sundays the Church repeats the same in the Nicene Creed. This means that when Christ returns, it will be for the final judgment, not to begin an earthly paradise. Catholics look forward to heaven and life everlasting.
Let us honor Mary this month by listening to her Divine Son, by reading—since we are able—the Word of God, particularly the Gospels in which we read the Life of Christ and His Mother.
As always, enjoy the readings provided for your benefit.—The Editor

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