from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Roman Catholic Church The authority to teach religious doctrine.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. the teaching office or authority of the Roman Catholic Church.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In alchemy, a magistral; the philosopher's stone.
- n. An authoritative statement or doctrine; a magistery.
DONAHUE: The term magisterium is the actual term that is used in the Catholic Church to describe the pope in communion with the bishops as the teaching authority.
He defines the term magisterium as "a domain where one form of teaching holds the appropriate tools for meaningful discourse and resolution" and the NOMA principle is "the magisterium of science covers the empirical realm: what the Universe is made of (fact) and why does it work in this way (theory).
The magisterium is the anchor of the Bark of Peter.
Hence, for practical purposes and in so far as the special question of infallibility is concerned, we may neglect the so called magisterium ordinarium ( "ordinary magisterium") and confine our attention to ecumenical councils and the pope.
He dismisses Fitzmyer as not speaking for the magisterium, which is true enough, but when Mike asks him about how he views the Protestant doctrine, whether he still regards the Protestant view as a legal fiction, where does Sungenis go to define the Protestant view?
What bothers me almost more than Martini's now open dissent from the magisterium is the offensive implications of his purple passages.
Catholics believe that the magisterium is the magisterium; and evangelicals ought to believe that the plain sense of Scripture is the plain sense of Scripture, not just in one thorny place but across the whole of the New Testament, from which I glean the exaltation of woman to her just position as equal with man in dignity before God, but NOT sexual indifferentism, and not the dissolution of order within marriage and within the Church.
It isn't uncommon to refer to the "magisterium" of one pope and the "magisterium" of a different Pope as a reference to what they specifically taught.
In this context the word "magisterium" is ambiguous for it can mean the office and authority to teach, which is the first and proper meaning, or as an analogous meaning, the content of the teaching.
None of us have a corner on truths about God--not even those with scriptures or a "magisterium".