Friday, July 16, 2010

Answer to Doctrinal Quiz Show, Third Edition... and special Grand Prize!

Well, I have clearly proven that I am not infallible when it comes to writing the DQS questions! Sorry for the confusion, and yet I guess I should have known that was coming, as I did make the wording vague and tricky, on purpose. 
The question was: How many doctrines of the Catholic Church are taught infallibly?
The (incorrect) answer I expected to get: "Two doctrines have been taught infallibly: the Immaculate Conception of Mary, and the Bodily Assumption of Mary, both of which were declared ex cathedra by a pope."
The real answer: We can’t give an exact number, because ex cathedra pronouncements are only one type of infallibility.
To elaborate, there is actually more than one kind (or level) of infallibility in the Church. The Magisterium (i.e., the teaching authority of the Church) can exercise infallibility in two basic ways: 
1. The "extraordinary Magisterium"  
2. The "ordinary and universal Magisterium"
The exercise of the "extraordinary Magisterium" is the one we hear about most.  This is when the Pope acts on his own, pronouncing and defining doctrine ex cathedra, or "from the Chair" of Peter. This has happened at least twice, with the Marian doctrines mentioned above. (These doctrines were already true before the pope declared them, by the way. Popes do not ever "make up" new doctrines.)
The exercise of the "ordinary and universal Magisterium" is less obvious but more common. It is the teaching of the whole body of bishops, in union with the pope. When the bishops and pope speak and teach definitively on something (for example in an ecumenical council) they are teaching infallibly. The day-to-day teachings of the Church, confirmed and reaffirmed throughout the centuries, fall into this category of infallible teachings. "God exists" would be one such infallibly taught doctrine (pretty basic and general!), as would the prohibition of abortion and contraception (never has the Church sanctioned either one). 
(Read more about infallibility from the a document of Vatican II here. And for those who really want to dive in, read more detail on infallibility here.)
My point in even asking the question was to make clear that an ex cathedra pronouncement (extraordinary Magisterium) is not the only kind of infallibility on the block, and definitely not the most common. Many dissident, unfaithful "Catholics" will use the bogus argument that "the pope only declared two things infallibly!" to justify their rejection of a hundred other Catholic truths.

Now, on to the real reason you are here... 

The Bubble Awards!! 

(Some have earned more than one award, and all have earned at least one, even some who did not participate. I was feeling extremely generous this time around, since I complicated the question and messed with your heads.)

The Excellent Knowledge of Chronology by a Not-Quite Catholic Award goes to Karen! And a special bonus comes with this award: You get to become Catholic in two days! {wild applause from the blogger ladies!}

The You Are an Award Hog; Isn't a National Award Enough for You? Award goes to Jenny! She also gets the Little Miss Catholic Smarty Pants Award for making good points and distinctions, as well as the Suck-Up Award for her final comment.

The Hey, That's a Good Answer and You are Pretty Much Right (and Your Dad Must be a Hit at Parties) Award goes to Adrienne!

The Sarcastic But Lovable Catholic Daughter Award goes to Cecily! (I taught her everything she knows... about sarcasm.)

The De-Lurking Award goes to My Heart Exults! Welcome out from the shadows, and please keep frequenting the Bubble!

The Giving the Wrong Answer I Was Looking For Award goes to Beth!  (Impressive!)

The That's a Great Way to Think About it Award (eerily similar to Adrienne's award, but without the dad part) goes to Callmemama!

The Best Use of a Pop-Culture Reference Award goes to Grace In My Heart!

The Unintentionally Making Leila Feel Guilty for Posing a Confusing Question, But Giving it the Old College Try Anyway Award goes to Wheelbarrow Rider and Rebecca!

The Well-Catechized Catholic Husband Award goes to two non-participants: the husbands of Ann and Karen! 

The Never Say Die Award goes to those contestants who came back twice, three times, and even FOUR times (cough, TW, cough) to comment! These passionate players are: TCIE (missed the last DQS, was the first to answer this time... way to come back!), Kaitlin, Barbie, Brenda, Jenny, Lauren, Shannon, Ann and Tridentine Wife! (And a special shout-out to old friends but first time participants, Barbie and Brenda, who also get the Where Have You Been? Award.)

The Sew, I Knew You Would Be Upset About That, But I Hoped You Would Remember That I Will Always Give You An Award Because You Are Sew Award goes to Sew!

The Very Thoughtful and Impressive Answers, But I Had Written Out The Awards Last Night Before Your Answers Came on the Scene, So I Don't Have Enough Time to Give You Clever, Detailed Awards or Else I Will Never Be Able to Publish This Post Award (a.k.a. the Latecomers Award) goes to Little JoAnn, Bonnie, Allie, Mrs. Blondies, Mrs. Mike, Joseph's Mommy, and Lisa!

And now... the GRAND PRIZE WINNER, for actually guessing the GRAND PRIZE is... Amazing Life!!!!  She has won an ergonomically-correct, waste-reducing exfoliating body cleanser with a hole in it!  Holey Soap, congratulations!!!! (For a testimony of how that soap works, click here!)

Thanks again, everyone, for playing Doctrinal Quiz Show!!!  See you next time, with a better formulated question!


  1. Ahhh, the JOY of defeat. Whew! I'm so glad I was late! Ha!

    Thanks, dear!

  2. P.S. Though I knew the correct answer, I could NEVER have explained it so perfectly! Soooo, in appreciation, I am presenting you with the "Knowing Things in Meticulous Detail So I Don't Have To" award.

  3. Yay! My first award! I never win anything. Haha! My husband says thanks for his award too! :)

  4. wow----you take Catholic doctrine to a whole new level. And I even hang out with seminarians!

  5. (Hanging my head in shame)...I read the quiz and about half of the comments (at the time I was reading) and was attempting to come up with some witty explanation about the question being tricky because of semantics (dogma vs. doctrine or something like that -which turns out wasn't even the case), but it was late in the afternoon and I just didn't have any Catholic mojo left and I decided better to not call myself out as a fool (because I didn't know the answer) and just not comment. (Takes a breath) maybe I can get an award for the longest run on sentence or something like that? Catholics and lawyers seem to be good at that. (No offense to fellow Catholics or lawyers, I am just calling it like I see them). I will sharpen up my skills and try to be in test taking order for the next quiz. Thanks for keeping us on our toes! :)

  6. I LOVE MY AWARDS!!! Whoo hoo!! Way better then my work award!!

  7. I can't stop laughing over here!!!!!!

    I can't beleive my sassy pants won the GRAND PRIZE!!!!!

    I will adore my ergonomically-correct, waste-reducing exfoliating body cleanser with a hole in it! Yippee!!! Some holey cleaning is right around the corner :)

    By the way, I complained to my husband that I never win anything . . . he has been winning all kinds of food from the tabs off the BK drinks and he gave it to his parents, everytime (2 x) I got one to scratch I choose the wrong one, so I will be bragging about this victory soon ;)

  8. I'm so happy Amazing Life won the super awesome grand prize. Thanks for the latecomers award! I love that Sew has her own categories and required award.

  9. I was actually coming on here to post this:

    "The Speedy Gonzales Award goes to Sew Infertile, for her quick response like last time! Secondary award for being the second commenter, commenting on her first comment. By the way, Sew will always get an award, just because she is Sew. I think that is, well, wholly fitting. ;)"

    Because I thought you forgot my award! I know, I'm emotional today and started getting emotional, but then Blondie saved you from my antics. :)

  10. Really I don't even care if I don't earn it, I still want it! LMBO!!! hahahaha

  11. Is this like t-ball where everyone gets an award?

    You can call this what you want, but I’m officially renaming it to “How to Stump A Bunch of Catholics Quiz Show.”

    I loved the answer, by the way. I learned a lot.

  12. Woo-hoo! My dad is a hoot, but aren't all dads? I thought being corny, punny and cheesy were the most important qualities for being a good dad.

    Also, if I didn't love the unique names of all the awards and reading the reasons for each, I might accuse you of embracing a pretty progressive/modern liberal approach to making a contest by eliminating competition and making everyone a winner. ;)

  13. I feel completely left out...I missed your original post! Shoot. Don't worry...I will come back with a vengeance! Mostly I just miss getting an award :(

  14. Speaking of missing, if you decide to give away Krispy Kremes, I demand to be notified.

  15. Lol at the awards... especially Jenny's!

  16. Love the awards! Bummed I missed the game! :) Next time! haha

  17. Oh MAN! I JUST had a discussion about extra/ordinary Magisterium with someone a few weeks ago, but ASSumed you meant how many times the *Pope* has spoken "from the chair"...which is a rare occurrence. But as you said, this is only one type of infallible teaching.

    *hangs head in shame*

  18. AHA! I knew it! I deleted that part of my answer b.c I thought it would be too confusing... kept thinking "Well, we can talk about 'ex cathedra' but we can also talk about the other 'layers' of infallibility... " Thanks for making me feel a little bit knowledgeable here, haha.

  19. Of course, the pope did not speak 'ex cathedra' for the Arian heresy (actually did not know the pope had only spoken twice in that regard)... but clearly the pope and bishops were excercising infallibility from day one (Peter resolving the dispute between Jewish customs and Gentiles in the book of Acts, etc).


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