I continue my exchange with Mr. Gaffney.
He writes: "You equate "Sacred Tradition" erroneously with "Magisterium". One is a source of Revelation and the other is the ACTUAL LIVING TEACHERS who interpret that source for the Body Of Christ. An individual may be excommunicated and lose his office but the Magisterium never fails. NO NOT YOUR PILE OF CANONISTS AND CITATIONS BUT THE OFFICE! YOU DO NOT HAVE THE OFFICE! And, for courtesy sake, do not reply on my poem"
Reply: Sorry about the reply on your nice poem! As to your comment, the ACTUAL LIVING TEACHERS are expressing themselves through the solemnly approved tomes of canon law, moral theology, and dogmatic theology! The Church itself has taught that the hierarchy could defect. In such a case, those who hold on to the Traditional teaching remain the Church until the papacy and hierarchy can be restored by an imperfect general council, which was discussed by the pre-Vatican II theologians.
Read this again:"Mr. Gaffney seems to think that unless you are a pope or bishop you can not discern the teaching of the Magisterium. Why else would the Church solemnly approve tomes on dogmatic theology, moral theology, and canon law if not to explain to the faithful exactly what She wants them to believe? Why require all priests to be taught and tested on these tomes before they can graduate from the seminary and be ordained to the priesthood?Can you imagine if Ratzinger ("Pope" Benedict XVI) were to say, "Mary was not taken body and soul into Heaven", or "abortion is not murder" that any informed Catholic would not be able to immediately draw upon all the official teachings of the Church and determine that he was teaching error? Or do you (like many others) fall into papolatry? This is the un-catholic doctrine that the pope is a little god who can say "black is now white" and it becomes so! Taking the hypothetical one step further, Ratzinger says, "Your citations on the Church's past teachings on abortion are mistaken. You only think they teach it is murder, but only I have the authority to interpret Sacred Tradition, and I tell you they really teach that abortion is not sinful, not murder, but perfectly moral." Would any sane person accept this nonsense? We can never know what the Church teaches as one so-called pope says one thing, the next contradicts the last one and so on. The whole purpose of having a Magisterium is to have a clear authority so we can always know exactly what the Church teaches in all essential matters of Faith and Morals! Papolatry would leave us in a state of agnosticism where we can never be sure of what anything means because it is always subject to change, embellishment, or abolition."
The citations to the theologians and canonists EXPRESS THE TEACHING OF THE MAGISTERIUM!
A query for Mr. Gaffney: Are the words of consecration necessary to effectuate Transubstantiation? What does the Magisterium teach? How can you be sure that your answer is correct? Answer these three questions and we can proceed from there.