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Cardinal-designate Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernández, Pope Francis

By Eduardo Echeverria, Crisis Magazine, Sept. 15, 2023

Eduardo Echeverria is Professor of Philosophy and Systematic Theology at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit. He earned his doctorate in philosophy from the Free University in Amsterdam and his S.T.L. from the University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) in Rome. …

Archbishop Victor Fernández’s claim about a “doctrine of the Holy Father” runs the risk of collapsing all distinction between the magisterium and its normative sources, such as Scripture and Tradition.

Eduardo EcheverriaHow 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 …

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