The supreme degree of participation in the authority of
Christ is ensured by the charism of
extends as far as does the deposit of divine Revelation; it also
extends to all those elements of doctrine, including morals, without
which the saving truths of the faith cannot be preserved, explained,
The authority of the Magisterium extends also to the spe
cific precepts of the
because their observance, de
manded by the Creator, is necessary for salvation. In recalling the
prescriptions of the natural law, the Magisterium of the Church
exercises an essential part of its prophetic office of proclaiming to
men what they truly are and reminding them of what they should
be before God.
The law of God entrusted to the Church is taught to the
faithful as the way of life and truth. The faithful therefore have the
to be instructed in the divine saving precepts that purify
judgment and, with grace, heal wounded human reason.
of observing the constitutions and decrees conveyed
by the legitimate authority of the Church. Even if they concern
disciplinary matters, these determinations call for docility in
In the work of teaching and applying Christian morality,
the Church needs the dedication of pastors, the knowledge of
theologians, and the contribution of all Christians and men of good
will. Faith and the practice of the Gospel provide each person with
an experience of life “in Christ,” who enlightens him and makes
him able to evaluate the divine and human realities according to
the Spirit of God.
Thus the Holy Spirit can use the humblest to
enlighten the learned and those in the highest positions.
25; CDF, declaration,
79 Cf. CIC, can. 213.