How can the Church reconcile the teaching that the magisterium is a servant of the Word of God (“Magisterium verbum Dei ministrant”) and not above that Word (“non supra verbum Dei”), as Dei Verbum states (§10), with the presumption, as recently expressed in an interview with Edward Pentin by Cardinal-designate Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernández, that Pope Francis has a
particular charism…a unique charism,…a living and active gift, which is at work in the person of the Holy Father…[not only] for safeguarding the deposit of faith… [but also for] the doctrine of the Holy Father.
Fernández’s claim is puzzling. It is one thing to claim that the magisterium has a charism relating to the mission of preserving infallibly the Faith once for all delivered to the Church (Jude 1:3); it is quite another to claim that the pope himself has a charism that safeguards his own doctrine.
We may summarize one account of the presumption that the pope has a unique charism that safeguards his own doctrine with the following syllogism: “What the papal magisterium teaches with the assistance of the Holy Spirit must be true; but the papal magisterium teaches X. Therefore, X must be true.” This is an a priori argument that purports to be the basis for trusting in the promise of Christ that the Spirit of truth will guide the Church into the fullness of truth (John 16:13).
Continue reading at Crisis Magazine