Does the Magisterium of the Catholic Church hold equal power with the Pope in decision and statement making? Are they the Catholic Church's 'think-tank'? Do they advise the Pope on matters spiritual, or does the Pope advise them? Why don't we ever hear about them ie.' The Magisterium are working on the Latin Vulgate today and came upon what appears to be some insightful new revelation'.

Can the Pope make decisions against what the Magisterium says, or do they all have to be in agreement for any statement to be made, in public, or a binding statement from 'the chair'.


2 Answers 2


What is Magisterium
Magiterium is the Teaching Authority.

CCC 93 "By this appreciation of the faith, aroused and sustained by the Spirit of truth, the People of God, guided by the sacred teaching authority (Magisterium),. . . receives. . . the faith, once for all delivered to the saints. . . The People unfailingly adheres to this faith, penetrates it more deeply with right judgment, and applies it more fully in daily life."

Who is "the Magisterium"?
The Magisterium is the Pope and the Bishops with Him.

CCC 100 The task of interpreting the Word of God authentically has been entrusted solely to the Magisterium of the Church, that is, to the Pope and to the bishops in communion with him.

Please see also Catechism of the Church CCC 85-87 The Magisterium of the Church.

From this and the references, you will get answers and clarification to your post.


The Magisterium is not a group of people at all. The Magisterium is the authority that the Catholic Church claims, derived from the authority given to the apostles, to interpret Scripture and Sacred Tradition so as to maintain the true faith:

The task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God, whether in its written form or in the form of Tradition, has been entrusted to the living, teaching office of the Church alone. Its authority in this matter is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ.

(Dei Verbum, the Second Vatican Council's Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation, chapter 10, section 2; quoted in Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 85)

This teaching authority is vested in the hierarchy of the Church; paragraph 85 continues:

This means that the task of interpretation has been entrusted to the bishops in communion with the successor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome.

In other words, the Pope, and the bishops who are in communion with him (that is, who recognize him as the supreme head of the Church on Earth and who accept his doctrinal statements) together act (at the prompting of the Holy Spirit) to explain to the People of God what the revealed truths of the Christian faith are, by interpreting Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition. When the Pope, or the bishops acting in an ecumenical (church-wide) council led by the Pope, declare that something is dogma, they do so in virtue of the Magisterium which they exercise, inherited from the apostles.

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