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Sunday, June 21, 2015

Laudato Si binding on all Catholics according to Lumen Gentium

Over at the Catholic Herald UK, an article in the blog section entitled "No Catholic is free to dissent from the teaching of Laudato Si" references Lumen Gentium section 25 as proving Pope Francis' Laudato Si is in fact binding on every Catholic.

Here it is...

25. Among the principal duties of bishops the preaching of the Gospel occupies an eminent place.(39*) For bishops are preachers of the faith, who lead new disciples to Christ, and they are authentic teachers, that is, teachers endowed with the authority of Christ, who preach to the people committed to them the faith they must believe and put into practice, and by the light of the Holy Spirit illustrate that faith. They bring forth from the treasury of Revelation new things and old,(164) making it bear fruit and vigilantly warding off any errors that threaten their flock.(165) Bishops, teaching in communion with the Roman Pontiff, are to be respected by all as witnesses to divine and Catholic truth. In matters of faith and morals, the bishops speak in the name of Christ and the faithful are to accept their teaching and adhere to it with a religious assent. This religious submission of mind and will must be shown in a special way to the authentic magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, even when he is not speaking ex cathedra; that is, it must be shown in such a way that his supreme magisterium is acknowledged with reverence, the judgments made by him are sincerely adhered to, according to his manifest mind and will. His mind and will in the matter may be known either from the character of the documents, from his frequent repetition of the same doctrine, or from his manner of speaking.
Although the individual bishops do not enjoy the prerogative of infallibility, they nevertheless proclaim Christ's doctrine infallibly whenever, even though dispersed through the world, but still maintaining the bond of communion among themselves and with the successor of Peter, and authentically teaching matters of faith and morals, they are in agreement on one position as definitively to be held.(40*) This is even more clearly verified when, gathered together in an ecumenical council, they are teachers and judges of faith and morals for the universal Church, whose definitions must be adhered to with the submission of faith.(41*)And this infallibility with which the Divine Redeemer willed His Church to be endowed in defining doctrine of faith and morals, extends as far as the deposit of Revelation extends, which must be religiously guarded and faithfully expounded. And this is the infallibility which the Roman Pontiff, the head of the college of bishops, enjoys in virtue of his office, when, as the supreme shepherd and teacher of all the faithful, who confirms his brethren in their faith,(166) by a definitive act he proclaims a doctrine of faith or morals.(42*) And therefore his definitions, of themselves, and not from the consent of the Church, are justly styled irreformable, since they are pronounced with the assistance of the Holy Spirit, promised to him in blessed Peter, and therefore they need no approval of others, nor do they allow an appeal to any other judgment. For then the Roman Pontiff is not pronouncing judgment as a private person, but as the supreme teacher of the universal Church, in whom the charism of infallibility of the Church itself is individually present, he is expounding or defending a doctrine of Catholic faith.(43*) The infallibility promised to the Church resides also in the body of Bishops, when that body exercises the supreme magisterium with the successor of Peter. To these definitions the assent of the Church can never be wanting, on account of the activity of that same Holy Spirit, by which the whole flock of Christ is preserved and progresses in unity of faith.(44*)But when either the Roman Pontiff or the Body of Bishops together with him defines a judgment, they pronounce it in accordance with Revelation itself, which all are obliged to abide by and be in conformity with, that is, the Revelation which as written or orally handed down is transmitted in its entirety through the legitimate succession of bishops and especially in care of the Roman Pontiff himself, and which under the guiding light of the Spirit of truth is religiously preserved and faithfully expounded in the Church.(45*) The Roman Pontiff and the bishops, in view of their office and the importance of the matter, by fitting means diligently strive to inquire properly into that revelation and to give apt expression to its contents;(46*) but a new public revelation they do not accept as pertaining to the divine deposit of faith.(47*)



In Christ,

Julie @ Connecticut Catholic Corner 



  1. I thought this too, at first. But I read LG to suggest Catholics are bound when the Pope talks sense about the deposit of faith to Catholics. When he rides off into the sunset of disputed scientific matters on his personal hobby horse as the self-appointed guru for all mankind, I have to question if LG covers that.

  2. Julie, why did you not take note of the sentence immediately preceding your first highlighted portion? The operative phrase is right there: "in matters of faith and morals". That of course sets the context for everything else. Since LS does not touch on faith and morals but rather junk science, it falls very much outside the bounds of infallibility. We are most free to disagree with it.

  3. If everything the pope says is binding then we would be in a ridiculous state. The Church is not ridiculous.

  4. Hey there Bear, I agree with you about "his personal hobby horse", but what is to be done when our own Bishops are now pushing this stuff on us? As an RCIA teacher and sometimes CCD teacher, I KNOW what is coming and it makes me ill.


    Hi Janet.
    About the "in matters of faith and morals" you mentioned, I wasn't ignoring it because of #15 in Laudato Si, that says this was being ADDED to the Church's social justice teaching- which IS part of our official "faith and morals" teaching.

    "15. It is my hope that this Encyclical Letter, which is now added to the body of the Church’s social teaching, can help us to acknowledge the appeal, immensity and urgency of the challenge we face. I will begin by briefly reviewing several aspects of the present ecological crisis, with the aim of drawing on the results of the best scientific research available today, letting them touch us deeply and provide a concrete foundation for the ethical and spiritual itinerary that follows. I will then consider some principles drawn from the Judaeo-Christian tradition which can render our commitment to the environment more coherent. I will then attempt to get to the roots of the present situation, so as to consider not only its symptoms but also its deepest causes. This will help to provide an approach to ecology which respects our unique place as human beings in this world and our relationship to our surroundings. In light of this reflection, I will advance some broader proposals for dialogue and action which would involve each of us as individuals, and also affect international policy. Finally, convinced as I am that change is impossible without motivation and a process of education, I will offer some inspired guidelines for human development to be found in the treasure of Christian spiritual experience."

    Does that not mean this is officially part of "faith and morals" when a Pope says he wants it added- especially in light of Lumen Gentium #25??

    I hate this encyclical (Laudato Si) but I don't want to wrongly oppose Catholic authority, that is why I am asking these questions.


    Dymphna- good point!! :)

    In Christ,

    Julie @ Connecticut Catholic Corner

  5. I would think it takes more than a one-liner to make something a matter of faith and morals.

  6. He can't just make binding teaching out of thin air. It has to be built on already-established doctrine. The most he can say is that we must not waste and be good stewards. He cannot pronounce "global warming" to be authentic Catholic teaching for there is no precedent in Tradition for that.

  7. .... questionable "science" is not authentic magisterium, Julie.

    The apprehension of those who, "..don't want to wrongly oppose Catholic authority," is too often what is being used to keep folks from engaging logic and following the Faith as it has always been taught. Fear, even the fear of being disobedient, enables abuse and can shift the Church to teach that which goes against what She actually holds to be true in Her doctrine.

  8. You also ask, Julie, what to do because you "see" what's coming and point out that even Bishops are pushing this stuff. Well, this stuff is precisely the stuff that Louie Verrechio was trying to point out when examining portions of VII documents that you noted previously on your blog. Stuff, that is, that is not in line with what the Church has always taught. (This new venture into junk 'science' is really new.)

    It is precisely knowing and understanding the Faith as it has always been taught and the nature of true obedience required of Catholics that comes into play in these situations. I understand that you don't want to be disobedient. Louis Verrechio and other traditional Catholic societies do not want to be disobedient. Faithful Catholics want to obey the Church. But obeying the Church means obeying that which She has always taught and that which is truly binding - not that which is foisted upon the flock by way of legalese and fear tactics that attempt to associate change-agency and social-engineering with Catholic teaching.

  9. Wrong science is not apart of the magisterium, Yes, one can be a good Catholic and oppose Laudato Si's UN talking points.


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Thank you and God bless...

Julie @ Connecticut Catholic Corner

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