The Catholic Magisterium with Dr. John P. Joy

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Course Lecturer: Dr. Joy currently serves as Senior Theologian to the Bishop and Coordinator of Marriage and Family Ministries for the Diocese of Madison. Prior to this, he taught ethics at La Lumiere School in La Porte, Indiana, where he was appointed chair of theology and philosophy. He holds degrees from Ave Maria College (Michigan), the International Theological Institute (Austria), and the University of Fribourg(Switzerland); he is the co-founder and president of the Albertus Magnus Center for Scholastic Studies; his publications have appeared in Antiphon, New Blackfriars, and the Seminary Journal; and he is the author of On the Ordinary and Extraordinary Magisterium from Joseph Kleutgen to the Second Vatican Council, Studia Oecumenica Friburgensia, 54 (Münster: Aschendorff, 2017).

Course Description: In this ten-part series of lectures, Dr. Joy explores the wide-ranging topic of the magisterium in great depth and detail. Along the way he weighs in on many current controversies relating to the magisterium, including how many times the pope has spoken infallibly “from the chair of St. Peter” (ex cathedra), the degree of authority of the documents of Vatican II, the possibility of error in authoritative documents of the magisterium, and the question of whether a pope can be a heretic.

Course Outline:

1. The Biblical and Historical Foundation for the Magisterium

2. The State of the Question in Catholic Theology Today

3. The Ordinary and Universal Magisterium of the Church

4. The Object of the Magisterium

5. Papal Canonizations and the Minor Censures.

6. The Infallible Magisterium of the Roman Pontiff

7. Disputed Questions on Papal Infallibility

8. The Infallible Magisterium of Ecumenical Councils

9. The Non-Infallible Magisterium of Popes, Councils, and Bishops

10. Can a Pope Be a Heretic?

11. How to Evaluate Documents of the Magisterium

***Support: Although Dr. Joy has graciously agreed to do these lectures free of charge, please consider donating to him at St. Albert the Great Center for Scholastic Studies. These are tax-free donations and are greatly appreciated. Visit: