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Truth of the Matter

Magisterium of the Catholic Church

Edge Night Outline

Goal of this Night

The goal of this Edge Night is to teach the middle school youth about the Magisterium of the Catholic Church as the office that safeguards the truth and is the teaches and instructs the faithful.

CORE PREPARATION

We always recommend full preparation for any Edge Night. This night, however, will require you to be ready to answer questions about some of our beliefs as Catholic Christians. Read through the “Fact or Opinion” activity (Handout A on page 74) and be prepared to answer questions that may arise. Read through the Catechism of the Catholic Church and other resources (100 Things Every Catholic Teen Should Know from Life Teen) to better prepare for this session.

About this night

The word Magisterium refers to the teaching authority of the Church. The Magisterium is made up of the pope and the bishops who are in communion with the pope and the Roman Catholic Church. The role of the Magisterium is to teach or interpret the truths of the faith. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “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” (100). The Magisterium teaches us in matters of faith and morals, as well as guides us in the interpretation of Scripture. We cannot ignore the Magisterium because their authority comes from Jesus Christ.

Begin this night with a fun icebreaker that involves the youth safeguarding an item from being taken. The Proclaim will introduce the Magisterium, the role of the Magisterium and the importance of looking to the Catholic Church for answers to our questions. During small group, the youth will be challenged to understand the need for a teaching authority for knowing what is truth. The Closing Prayer is from the Liturgy of the Hours. This is a universal prayer of the Church and connects us to the Liturgy and brings them into the prayer of the Catholic Church.

BEFORE THE NIGHT

Create a video to show during the Edge Night of various people, young and old, answering a few questions about where they learned a particular fact or skill. Begin by asking the person his/her favorite subject in school. Second, ask the person being interviewed where they learned the most about that particular subject or skill. Third, ask the person being interviewed, where he/she believes the one who taught him/her learned that knowledge or skill. You can follow up by asking where he/she thinks the person who taught him/her was taught, etc. Prepare and edit the film as needed.

Parental Notice

Tonight we discussed the Magisterium of the Catholic Church, the teaching authority of the Church. The Magisterium is made up of the pope and bishops who are in communion with him. The role of the Magisterium is to authoritatively teach on all matters concerning the doctrines and truths of the Christian Faith. The Magisterium teachings are considered infallible only in areas of faith and morals. Infallible means to teach without error. In all matters of faith and morals, the Holy Spirit protects and guides the Magisterium in their decision because of the promise that Christ made that the gates of hell shall not prevail against the church. Many people question why the Catholic Church does not “change with the times.” What we believe today was given to us through Jesus Christ. We hold that what Jesus taught is truth yesterday, today and tomorrow. The Magisterium also guides us to properly interpret and understand the Sacred Scriptures. As a family, have a copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church available at the house. As questions arise, turn to the Catechism to understand what the Catholic Church teaches and why she teaches it. You could also read information about the faith on www.lifeteen.com. Here are some questions for the ride home:

1. Why is it important to turn to the Catholic Church for matters of faith?

2. What is the difference between truth and opinion?

3. Can the truth change?

Environment

Set the room up to resemble a classroom. Use large butcher paper to make either a chalkboard or dry erase board at the front of the room. Hang posters with the Ten Commandments, Beatitudes and various prayers as one might see in a theology classroom. If you have desks available, set them up. If not, use tables and chairs to create the classroom atmosphere.

Supplies List

• “Truth or Opinion” (Handout A )

• Print out of Liturgyof the Hours fromwww.ebreviary.com

• Pens/pencils

• Copies of the Catechism of the Catholic Church

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