Monday, August 19, 2013

Lumen Fidei #15: Technical Jargon

From # 36: Theology also shares in the ecclesial form of faith; its light is the light of the believing subject which is the Church. This implies, on the one hand, that theology must be at the service of the faith of Christians, that it must work humbly to protect and deepen the faith of everyone, especially ordinary believers. On the other hand, because it draws its life from faith, theology cannot consider the magisterium as something extrinsic, a limitation of its freedom, but rather as one of the internal, constitutive dimensions, for the magisterium ensures our contact with the primordial source and thus provides the certainty of attaining to the word of Christ in all its integrity.

In other words, theology as a discipline must serve the ordinary believer and work with the magisterium, not against it. I almost didn't share this quote because 1) it's too fracking long and 2) I thought only me and my fellow armchair theologians would appreciate it. I decided to share it because it needs to be said.

The Magisterium is not the enemy. We're all in this together. The Magisterium contains the collective wisdom of thousands of well-educated men and women accumulated over centuries. When we say "the Church teaches X," we are referring to this well of knowledge. It really shouldn't be cast aside like it's worthless or rebelled against like it's always wrong. At the very least, it deserves a fair hearing and thoughtful (prayerful) consideration. God gave us the Magisterium. The Holy Spirit leads the Magisterium. You can't just ignore the Magisterium.

If you want to read more of this series of reflections on Pope Francis' first encyclical, visit here.

Jesus giving the keys to Peter

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