Sunday, March 27, 2011

"Just goes to show why you can't trust any magisterium"

Why not?  What alternative is there?

You certainly trust the engineering magisterium to make you reliable cars and trains and airplanes, not to mention buildings and roads and ships.  You trust the medical magisterium to diagnose and treat illnesses and injuries.

Oh, but maybe you mean we should only heap a larger than average portion of skepticism on people who attempt to understand and teach about Scripture and the Faith.

How does that pertain exclusively to Catholics?  Because we actively use the term "magisterium" in reference to a facet of part of our Church?  Then let every bishop and theologian be called Pastor or Brother or Evangelist, or just call him by his name, and let him continue his job.

Because the Magisterium tries to teach others on the grounds that it has read more or has understood more of the Bible?  Then let farmers and factory workers give up their trades to learn Hebrew and Greek.  But there's no pulling themselves up by their bootstraps; they would be trusting the magisteria of linguistics and history.  Can that be allowed?

Obviously it can.  Most who criticize the Magisterium for existing don't have day jobs that are in competition with the teaching authority of the Church, although the ones who did would be hypocrites and should also be approached with great caution because of the conflict of interest.

But where does that leave us?  Back where we started:  trust no teaching authority farther than you can throw it.  Read the Bible if you can, try to figure out how it applies to your life if you have the time and wit.  But don't listen to a bishop, and if you want to be consistent, don't listen to your pastor, because you can always listen to the Holy Spirit for yourself, whatever the Holy Spirit told someone else who reads Scripture be damned.

No thanks.  I'd rather be consistent in yielding to actual experts while they're acting in good faith in their field of expertise, especially when the alternative to Jesus guaranteeing indefectability is tens of thousands of traditions each claiming "No, we're extracted directly from the Gospels and Acts; it's all those guys over there who have it wrong."

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