Bravo! Historical Catalogue of Erring Popes; Magisterialism, R.I.P.

In an excellent piece penned nearly twenty years ago, Fr. Chad Ripperger, PhD describes a widespread contemporary error in “conservative” Catholic circles that he terms magisterialism:

Magisterialism is a fixation on the teachings that pertain only to the current magisterium. Since extrinsic tradition has been subverted and since the Vatican tends to promulgate documents exhibiting a lack of concern regarding some of the previous magisterial acts, many have begun ignoring the previous magisterial acts and listen only to the current magisterium.

…The standard of orthodoxy was shifted from Scripture, intrinsic tradition (of which the magisterium is [only] a part) and extrinsic tradition (which includes magisterial acts of the past, such as Pius IX’s Syllabus of Errors), to a psychological state in which only the current magisterium is followed. Neo-conservatives have fallen into this way of thinking i.e. the only standard by which they judge orthodoxy is whether or not one follows the current magisterium.[1]

The problem with such a mindset is perhaps clearer now than it has been for a few centuries, and may need no demonstration.

But just in case someone is looking for a really, really good one…

Kwasniewki offers another tour de force over at OnePeterFive:

Lessons from Church History: A Brief Review of Papal Lapses

If we had a “crash course” for understanding the current crisis in the Church, this would be on the required reading list.


[1] Ripperger’s full article is well worth the read here, and is included with updates and edits in his book Topics on Tradition, which we recommend here.

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