The 1998 Doctrinal Commentary and the Papal Magisterium

In recent days—which is to say, in the wake of the Holy Father’s comments on the plane ride back from Mexico—we have noticed some worried analyses, the thrust of which is that the Magisterium is in jeopardy. Fr. John Hunwicke has reposted some comments he wrote after the explicitly non-magisterial statement on the Church’s relations with the Jews. Likewise, Fr. Ray Blake has offered some thoughts about the Magisterium under the Holy Father.

It seems to us that Cardinal Ratzinger’s Doctrinal Commentary on the so-called concluding formula of the Professio Fidei required by Ad tuendam Fidem as relevant than ever. Obviously, Cardinal Ratzinger was writing in a very different context; however, the Doctrinal Commentary offers some precision in thinking about the Magisterium, including any given pope’s teachings, that is helpful to sort out situations like the Holy Father’s statements on Zika virus and contraception.

Just a thought.