AUTHORITY OF THE CHURCH
BASIC R.C. BELIEF
Popes and bishops, as lawful successors of the Apostles, have power from
Christ to teach, sanctify and govern the faithful. Because it is a perfect
spiritual society, the Church has authority over spiritual things and over
temporal things that are connected with the spiritual.
Dr. Ott, FUNDAMENTALS OF CATHOLIC DOGMA, "Theology, like faith, accepts as
its source of knowledge Holy Writ and Tradition (remote rules of faith) and
also the doctrinal assertions of the Church (proximate rule of faith) -
this latter means the day by day teaching ministry of the Church through
the magisterium . . the teaching authority of the Church in the pope and
the bishops united with the pope. It is designed to take things from
scripture and tradition and apply them in a living way, hence its being
called the proximate rule of faith."
POST VATICAN II
In recent years, the importance of the layman is being emphasized in
Catholic circles. However, authority of clergy over the laity is still
Traditional R.C. thought paved the way for the claims of temporal power of
the Pope during the Middle Ages. Although these claims are now down-graded,
the Pope still exerts as much political power today as he can.
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