Thursday, March 23, 2006

Is Vatican II infallible? (Part 3 of 6)

A post submitted by Fr. 'Romanus' (edited by Don Paco).

How do we determine whether Vatican II defined anything infallibly? –-It would be explicit. The authority of the doctrinal statements is to be interpreted according to the usual theological norms. What is binding in Faith and Morals is what is declared as such.

The Announcement written by the Secretary General of the Council, Cardinal Pericle Felici, that precedes the Preliminary Explanatory Note (known as the Nota praevia) to Lumen gentium says:

Taking into account conciliar custom and the pastoral aim of the present council, this holy synod defines as binding on the Church only those matters of faith and morals which it openly declares to be such. The other matters which the synod puts forward as the teaching of the supreme Magisterium of the Church, each and every member of the faithful should accept and embrace according to the mind of the Synod itself, which is clear either from the subject matter or the way in which it is said, in accordance with the rules of theological interpretation.

Hence, if there are any extraordinary pronouncements, they will be explicitly declared as such. Everything else falls under the scope of the ordinary Magisterium.

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