Membership of the Church: Part IV – Schism & Excommunication

Introduction In the first three parts of this series, we have seen that: The Catholic Church is a perpetually visible society which must therefore consist of members whose identity is discernible by the senses;The sacrament of baptism is necessary and sufficient for constituting an individual as both a subject and a member of the Catholic …

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Pope Honorius and Roberto de Mattei IIIb: Magisterial Heresy? Trust in the Church

“Have they forgotten who these Romans are, whose faith was praised by the Apostle himself, and in whom 'error cannot find access’?”St Cyprian [1] This essay continues my response to Professor Roberto de Mattei’s call for the Catholic world to “unite […] on the basis of the Tradition of the Church.”[2] Throughout this series I …

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Pope Honorius and Roberto de Mattei IIIa: Magisterial Heresy? The Rule of Faith

“How many examples are there in theology of problems that seem unsolvable, simply because they start from badly-posed questions.” Dom Paul Nau OSB[1] This essay continues my response to Professor Roberto de Mattei’s call for Catholics to rally around the Church’s tradition and to form a “new more compact front for orthodoxy.”[2] To this end, …

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How the ordinary magisterium expresses itself – Chapter IIIa of Fr J.M.A. Vacant’s nineteenth-century work on the magisterium

Chapter III of Vacant's work is long, and so the WM Review is publishing it in two parts. This first part addresses the express teaching of the ordinary magisterium, and the second will consider its implicit and tacit teaching acts. This part also describes the ways in which the Church makes use of natural sciences …

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The organs and instruments of the ordinary magisterium – Chapter II of Fr J.M.A. Vacant’s nineteenth-century work on the magisterium

The WM Review continues our translation and publication of this nineteenth work on the ordinary magisterium. As we already noted, the author J.M.A. Vacant was the initial director of the Dictionnaire de Théologie Catholique and was a seminary professor. This short work was awarded the prize for the theological competition in La Controverese, judged by …

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The Ordinary and Universal Magisterium of the Church – Chapter I of nineteenth-century work on the magisterium by J.M.A. Vacant

We are pleased to present another section from this study by J.M.A. Vacant, in which he addresses the concept and the authority of the ordinary and universal magisterium. We previously published Chapter VI of this work, on the Pope's personal exercise of this magisterium. Fr Vacant was a professor of the Major Seminary of Nancy, …

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Membership of the Church: Part III – public profession of the true faith

In this part we will examine the second condition of membership, that of public profession of the true faith. In the part one of this series, we saw that the Catholic Church could be defined as: “The society of men who, by their profession of the same faith, and by their partaking of the same sacraments, make …

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