A follow-up note to my ongoing annoyance with statements I’ve heard from instructors teaching RCIA classes (see earlier post, Just an encyclical?): I’ve been researching the doctrinal nature of The Gospel of Life by the late John Paul II. Here’s what the Vatican says about it.
The encyclical is presented with great doctrinal authority: It is not only an expression, like every other encyclical, of the ordinary magisterium of the pope, but also of the episcopal collegiality which was manifested first in the extraordinary consistory of cardinals in April 1991 and subsequently in a consultation of all the bishops of the Catholic Church, who unanimously and firmly agree with the teaching imparted in it (No. 5). (Quoted from The Vatican’s Summary of Evangelium Vitae on the Priests for Life website. The summary was released by the Vatican on March 30, 1995 along with the encyclical.)
Just an encyclical. Indeed! Give me a break. And a catechist who knows what he’s doing. Oy ve.