The answers below (albeit simplified) are those that would most commonly be given by Roman Catholic theologians.
The Universal Ordinary Magisterium
What is it?
It is just a fancy Latin way of talking about the teaching authority of the universal episcopate.
Who is it?
All the Church's bishops in communion with the Pope.
How does it function?
It functions through the common everyday teaching of the bishops - who although dispersed throughout the world - propose in unison that a particular proposition is to be believed as divinely revealed (de fide credenda
) or as definitively to be held (de fide tenenda
How does it proclaim infallible teaching?
It does so through the common daily teaching of the bishops, i.e., through what Cardinal Ratzinger called "non-defining acts" (see the CDF Doctrinal Commentary on the Professio Fidei
), which are proposed diachronically and not merely synchronically.
How does it proclaim infallible teaching without issuing magisterial statements?
It does so by the constancy with which the teaching in question is proposed, and by the level of importance ascribed to the teaching by the bishops throughout the centuries.
Give 2 or 3 examples of the Universal Ordinary Magisterium functioning.
1. All male priesthood (see Ordinatio Sacerdotalis
2. Intrinsic evil of procured abortion (see Evangelium Vitae
3. Intrinsic evil of euthanasia (see Evangelium Vitae