The concept of total magisterium advanced by Fr Stacpoole in his article of December 15 and applied to Cardinal Wojtyla's teaching on contraception appears to me to be a dangerous delusion with no foundation in Catholic doctrine since the Council of Basle.
It is said to consist of Petrine teaching, Conciliar doctrine and the statements of Bishops' Conferences throughout the world. This makes nonsense of the position of the Pope.
He is head of the Episcopal College, which can never act without him; he is the only person who can call a General Council and approve its decrees he is the centre of unity and truth in the Church.
Whatever he teaches about advice and learning and experience, he teaches with a unique authority, that is the papal magisterium. If it could be put in an equation it reads: Petrine magisterium + Conciliar doctrine + Statements of Episcopal Conferences = Petrine magisterium.
You can draw your own conclusions from that.
(Fr) Denis Find Dungannon, Co. Tyrone. The parish of the Sacred Heart, Caterham, Surrey, will be celebrating its centenary in 1979. Any of your readers who are former parishioners and who would like to join us in our celebrations should write to me and I will send a programme of events.
We are also looking for old photographs and documents — letters or baptismal certificates signed by Canon Roe or Canon Cooksey — former parish priests — to display in our centenary exhibition.
Needless to say, if such treasures were lent to us we would take the greatest care to return them in good condition.
(Fr) C. P. Scarborough Parish priest, Sacred Heart 37 Whyteleafe Road