This is another offering from the larger work from which I earlier excerpted “The Three Levels of Magisterial Teaching.” As I said concerning that entry, this is a work in progress, being a section of a larger study on the various levels of magisterial teaching, the assent due to each, and where Vatican II fits into these categories.
Further explanations are needed here. The larger work focuses on ecumenism, specifically, the contents of Vatican II’s Unitatis Redintegratio (UR). Also, at the end of this piece I have put my complete bibliography, for one reason mainly, viz., some of the footnotes may not be entirely useful without the missing parts of the study. Those trying to figure out a reference may find the bibliography helpful. Please keep in mind that this is an academic paper. Many of the books referenced are not works I would recommend. In fact some of them are rubbish worthy of a good, old-fashioned book burning.
I could add to the collection of quotations on the authority of Vatican II the recent statement of Cardinal Biffi: ““John XXIII yearned for a Council that would achieve the renewal of the Church not through condemnations, but using the ‘medicine of mercy.’ By abstaining from reproving error, the Council would by this very means avoid formulating definite teachings that would be binding for all. And in fact, it held consistently to this initial direction.” (See “Before the Last Conclave: What I Told the Future Pope” by Sandro Magister.)
“…the magisterium ordinarium, is liable to be somewhat indefinite in its pronouncements and, as a consequence, practically ineffective as an organ.”
– P.J. Toner, “Infallibility” in the 1910 Catholic Encyclopedia Continue reading