The middle school youth will come to a better understanding of the teaching authority of the Church, called the Magisterium. They will also learn how the pope and bishops continue to teach and instruct the faithful.
“And so I tell you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18). Christ, the head of the Church, proclaimed that the Church would be build upon Peter – the Rock. In doing this, Jesus also gave authority to Peter and later to the apostles to forgive sins. Jesus also gave “the keys of the kingdom” to Peter as a sign that he would have authority over the Church.
In addition to Jesus giving authority to Peter, He also gave authority to the other apostles. Jesus entrusted the apostles with the leadership of the Church communities and charged them with the obligation to pass on and preserve the faith. The apostles then passed on this office and authority by ordaining bishops to follow after them. Together, the pope and the bishops make up the Magisterium of the Church. The Magisterium is the teaching authority of the Church. The Magisterium, guided and protected from error by the Holy Spirit, gives us certainty in matters of doctrine. We come to be better understand Scripture, Tradition, and doctrine through the guidance of the Magisterium. The Catechism states:
The mission of the Magisterium is linked to the definitive nature of the covenant established by God with his people in Christ. It is this Magisterium’s task to preserve God’s people from deviations and defections and to guarantee them the objective possibility of professing the true faith without error. Thus, the pastoral duty of the Magisterium is aimed at seeing to it that the People of God abides in the truth that liberates. To fulfill this service, Christ endowed the Church’s shepherds with the charism of infallibility in matters of faith and morals (890).
When we look at Scripture or Tradition, there are many things that must be taken into account: the original language, culture, traditions of the people, translation, etc. The Magisterium is the teaching authority that helps guide us to understand these things so we can better understand Scripture.