2 burning questions, Papal infallibility, Protestants receiving sacrament of Recon


#1

Hello there,

I have two burning questions that I’d really like answered. Also, could you supply me with document links, or generally references as I will take this back to the group in which it came up.

Am I correct in understanding that whenever a Pope is talking about something to do with faith and morals that he is infallible? So for example, is he infallable when he proclaims something to do with faith and morals at say, a wednesday audience, or World Youth Day? The reason I ask is that I was told that the Pope has to say he is making an infallable statement, and that this has only been done 3 times in the last 150 years.

Am I correct in understanding that Protestants cannot receive the sacrament of reconcilliation, unless they proclaim their belief in the Catholic Church and intend to be confirmed? In other words you cannot be reconciled to God and His Church if you are not in His Church. So to clarify, can baptized protestants just dabble and “try” reconcilliation? Also is this a matter for the priest to discern, and as such is a fuzzy area to definitively say yay or nay?

thanks so much
God Bless


#2

Hello again,

I’ve done a ton of searching for this answer, and wouldn’t you know I find it ( I think) after I post the question. In one thread on women priests it says that JP2 defined this ex cathedra:

I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful.

Definition of Ex Cathedra:

Quote:
"We teach and define that it is a dogma Divinely revealed that the Roman pontiff when he speaks ex cathedra, that is when in discharge of the office of pastor and doctor of all Christians, by virtue of his supreme Apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine regarding faith or morals to be held by the universal Church, by the Divine assistance promised to him in Blessed Peter, is possessed of that infallibility with which the Divine Redeemer willed that his Church should be endowed in defining doctrine regarding faith or morals, and that therefore such definitions of the Roman pontiff are of themselves and not from the consent of the Church irreformable."
Vatican Council, Sess. IV, Const. de Ecclesiâ Christi, c. iv:
So is this the complete answer to my question about infallable statements being made only 3 times in the last 150 years? Two being Marian, one defining papal infallibility.


#3

THE POPE IS INFALLIBLE WHEN HE SPEAKS ON A MATTER OF FAITH AND MORALS AND DEFINES SOMETHING THAT IS NECESSARY FOR SALVATION—WHEN HE SPEAKS DEFINITIVELY—THESE STATEMENTS (EX: IMMACUALTE CONCEPTION , ASSUMPTION ) ARE INFALLIBLE IN AND OF THEMSELVES–THI IS AN EXERCISE OF THE EXTRA ORDINARY MAGISTERIUM–HOWEVER THE POPE CAN REPEAT SOMETHING THAT IS ALREADY INFALLIBLE–THIS IS THE ORDINARY MAGISTERIUM OR AT LEAST AN ASPECT OF IT–THE ORDINARY MAGISTERIUM CAN BE INFALLIBLE IF A TEACHING IS TAUGHT (ON FAITH AND MORALS) OVER A CONSTANT PERIOD OF TIME–SOMETIMES IT IS HARD TO DETERMINE WHEN AND IF A DOCTRINE IS INFALLIBLE BY VIRUTE OF THE ORDINARY MAGISTERIUM–THAT IS WHY, AT TIME WE NEED THE EXTRA ORDINARY MAGISTERIUM TO CLARIFY–THE BASIC POINT IS THAT WHEN THE POPE SPEAKS AND HE DEFINES A MATTER ON FAITH AND MORALS HE SPEAKS INFALLIBLY–RECONCILIATION–THE CHURCH HAS SET UP CERTAIN “RULES” FOR CONVERTS–SUCH AS RCIA , ETC–IF THE PERSON TRULY BELIEVES IN THE CATHOLIC FAITH THEN HE WILL FOLLOW THESE RULES–AND ONE IS TO COMPLETE THE RCIA PROGRAM PROFESS YOUR FAITH AND THEN GO TO CONFESSION, COMMUNION ETC–SO ONE MAY NOT DABBLE–TO ME IT WOULD BE DISOBEDIENT AND SHOW A LACK OF FAITH-


#4

THE CHURC DOENT LIST HOW MANY EXTRA ORDINARY INFALLIBLE STATEMENTS THERE ARE—BUT AS I SAID EARLIER THE CHURCH IS INFALLIBLE(CAN BE INFALLIBLE) BY VIRTUE OF THE ORDIANRY MAGISTERIUM–SOMETHING DOESNT HAVE TO BE FORMALLY DEFINED TO BE INFALLIBLE–EXAMPLE–BIRTH CONTROL–IT IS DISPUTED BY SOME THEOLOGIANS IF HUMANE VITAE(AT LEAST THE PORTION ON BIRH CONTROL) IS EXTRA ORDINARILY INFALLIBLE --HOWEVER EVEN IF IT ISNT --THE TEACHING ON BIRTH CONTROL IS STILL INFALLIBLE BECAUSE IT IS A MATTER OF FAITH AND MORALS THAT HAS BEEN TAUGHT OVER ACONSTANT PERIOD OF TIME-SO AT THE VERY LEAST IT IS INFALLIBLE BY VIRUTE OF THE ORDINARY MAGISTERIUM—


#5

There are set formulas for defining infallibility in a Papal Bull (the declaration of infallible doctines, aka dogmas, if proclaimed by the pope, usually are set forth in bulls, the strongest form of a papal declaration). The dogma is clearly defined in the bull. Take, for example, the bull of Boniface VIII “Unam Sanctam”, in which the supreme authority of the Roman Pope is defined:

[quote=Boniface VIII, “Unam Sanctam”]…we declare, we proclaim, we define that it is absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff.
[/quote]

and another example from Pius XII who defined the Dogma of the Assumption

[quote=Pius XII, “Munificentissimus Deus”]…by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own authority, we pronounce, declare, and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma: that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory
[/quote]

Infallibility may also be claimed by a general council of bishops in union with the pope, in which the definition of the dogma follows a similar formula to the declarations above.

Papal infallibility only works under a certain set of conditions.

1.) The Pope is only infallible if he speaks on matters of Catholic faith and morals. Which means he can’t tell the world “Everyone should give me money or you will go to hell”, and be right.

2.) The Pope must officially declare that he is teaching infallibly by speaking ex cathedra, or from the chair (the chair of Peter). This is a symbol that the pope is teaching with the authority conferred on Peter by Christ which is passed down to each successing bishop of Rome. There are certain and set methods of officially declaring an infallible teaching, as demostrated before.

3.) There must be a spiritual punishment, known as anathema, attached to the teaching if it is to be infallible. For example:

[quote=Pius XII, Munificentissimus Deus]Hence if anyone, which God forbid, should dare willfully to deny or to call into doubt that which we have defined, let him know that he has fallen away completely from the divine and Catholic Faith.
[/quote]

4.) The Pope must intend for the teaching to apply to the whole Church, not certain people or places. Thus, infallibility cannot be used to target individuals or nations.

5.) The teaching which is being preached infallibly cannot contradict prior official Church teachings.

By the way, John Paul’s declaration on women priests is not ex cathedra; the issue is a matter of discipline and practice, not faith and morals. Nevertheless, it is nearly impossible for that decision to be reversed, so the practical effects of the declaration are pretty much the same as a true ex cathedra statement.

Hope this helps.


#6

Thanks Fidei Defensor,

Tell me this though, Fidei Defensor, or someone else, are homilies or public speaches by the Pope always ex cathedra? i.e. infallable proclamations, when something in the homily has to do with faith and morals. I have never noticed contradictions, nor do I think I will, but am I to understand that these proclamations are always infallable?

thanks


#7

[quote=Josip]Hello there,

I have two burning questions that I’d really like answered. Also, could you supply me with document links, or generally references as I will take this back to the group in which it came up.

Am I correct in understanding that whenever a Pope is talking about something to do with faith and morals that he is infallible? So for example, is he infallable when he proclaims something to do with faith and morals at say, a wednesday audience, or World Youth Day? The reason I ask is that I was told that the Pope has to say he is making an infallable statement, and that this has only been done 3 times in the last 150 years.

Am I correct in understanding that Protestants cannot receive the sacrament of reconcilliation, unless they proclaim their belief in the Catholic Church and intend to be confirmed? In other words you cannot be reconciled to God and His Church if you are not in His Church. So to clarify, can baptized protestants just dabble and “try” reconcilliation? Also is this a matter for the priest to discern, and as such is a fuzzy area to definitively say yay or nay?

thanks so much
God Bless

[/quote]

Suggested reading:
catholic.com/thisrock/2001/0109bt.asp

catholic.com/library/Papal_Infallibility.asp

catholic.com/library/Women_and_the_Priesthood.asp

On confession for non-Catholics (3rd question):
catholic.com/thisrock/1998/9810qq.asp


#8

Just an FYI, the inability of the Church to ordain women is NOT an Ex Cathedra statement, but it IS an infallible teaching. There are three kinds of Infallibility: Papal, Ordinary (Council of Bishops), and Universal Ordinary (constant public teaching from day one by all bishops in union with the Pope, but not necessarily in a Council). The ordaination of women falls under the third kind of infallibility, and the writing in question by JPII was merely to REMIND people of this, not to set forth any kind of new pronouncement.

Incidently, the Messiahship of Jesus and His founding of the Church is ALSO under this last kind of Infallibility, so it’s not a “weak” infallibility by any stretch. In fact, the Papal Infallibility is the most limited of the three in most ways because it can’t trample on things that were previously defined by the other two, which is a LOT of stuff. JPII didn’t have the authority to speak in a novel way on the matter of ordination of women even if he wanted to.


#9

Hahahaha, I clicked on this thread because when I read the title, I though it said …, Paypal infallibility, … and I was like “What? Am I not supposed to use PayPal?” Oops. :o

Eamon


#10

Men being priests is not a matter of discipline and practice. The constitutive element of the Sacrament of Holy Orders is a validly baptized Catholic male. No pope, council or bishop can change this any more than they can change the element of water for Baptism or bead and wine for Holy Eucharist. The discipline side of the priesthood is whether or not the male is married, depending on which Rite you are talking about.

Maranatha,
Hans


#11

THE ONLY THING i WOULD ALSO ADD IS THAT I DONT THINK THERE HAS TO BE SPIRITUAL PUNISHMENTS IN THE STATEMENT–I COULD BE WRONG ABOUT THAT BUT, I DONT REMEBER READING THAT IN VATICAN I OR BY ANY OTHER RESPECTED THEOLOGIAN–AREYOU SAYING THAT IF THE POPE DEFINES A MATTER FOR ALL THE FAITHFUL TO BELIEVE BUT DOESNT ATTACH A SPIRITUAL PENALTY IN THE STATEMENT THEN IT IS NOT INFALLIBLE??–I COULD BE WRONG BUT I DONT THINK IT IS ABSOLUTLEY NECESSARY—CHECK THAT PLEASE-(I MEAN ALMOST ALWAYS IF NOT ALWAYS THERE IS A PUNISHMENTS–EX: IMMACUALTE CONCEPTION, ASSUMPTION ETC–BUT I DONT THINK IT IS NECESSARY IN THE SENSE THAT IT WOULD NEGATE THE INFALLIBILTY OF THE TEACHING)


#12

The conditions for Protestants to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation are described in canon 844 §4:

Canon 844 §1 Catholic ministers may lawfully administer the sacraments only to catholic members of Christ’s faithful, who equally may lawfully receive them only from catholic ministers, except as provided in §§2, 3 and 4 of this canon and in can. 861 §2.

§2 Whenever necessity requires or a genuine spiritual advantage commends it, and provided the danger of error or indifferentism is avoided, Christ’s faithful for whom it is physically or morally impossible to approach a catholic minister, may lawfully receive the sacraments of penance, the Eucharist and anointing of the sick from non-catholic ministers in whose Churches these sacraments are valid.

§3 Catholic ministers may lawfully administer the sacraments of penance, the Eucharist and anointing of the sick to members of the eastern Churches not in full communion with the catholic Church, if they spontaneously ask for them and are properly disposed. The same applies to members of other Churches which the Apostolic See judges to be in the same position as the aforesaid eastern Churches so far as the sacraments are concerned.

§4 If there is a danger of death or if, in the judgement of the diocesan Bishop or of the Episcopal Conference, there is some other grave and pressing need, catholic ministers may lawfully administer these same sacraments to other christians not in full communion with the catholic Church, who cannot approach a minister of their own community and who spontaneously ask for them, provided that they demonstrate the catholic faith in respect of these sacraments and are properly disposed.

§5 In respect of the cases dealt with in §§2, 3 and 4, the diocesan Bishop or the Episcopal Conference is not to issue general norms except after consultation with the competent authority, at least at the local level, of the non-catholic Church or community concerned.


#13

Interesting note. Marriage among clergy is not an infallibly taught practice, but a traditional discipline that has served us well.


#14

[quote=Josip]Thanks Fidei Defensor,

Tell me this though, Fidei Defensor, or someone else, are homilies or public speaches by the Pope always ex cathedra? i.e. infallable proclamations, when something in the homily has to do with faith and morals. I have never noticed contradictions, nor do I think I will, but am I to understand that these proclamations are always infallable?

thanks
[/quote]

The short answer is: no. By making an ex cathedra statement, the pope is acting in his public capacity as Universal Pastor of the Church, not in his private capacity as a mere theologian, which any priest can do. An ex cathedra statement is always written down in a formal document, usually a Papal Bull or Apostolic Constitution, with the pope clearly DEFINING an issue of faith/morals to be dogma (indisputable Catholic belief). The pope does this by invoking the authority of Almighty God, of Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and of his own authority as Vicar of Christ, after which he states the definition of the dogma. Immediately after the definition comes the anathema. (See my previous post. Almost all ex cathedra statements closely adhere to the style used by Pius XII, with very little variation.) A homily or radio address made by the pope is generally not ex cathedra, unless, of course, the pope reads the document containing the ex cathedra statement to the people for the first time and it is broadcast over the radio/TV.

Hope this helps.


#15

Why is it necessary to have or declare this doctrine at all since it drives many away from the church? Wasn’t it declared in 1880 or somesuch? Why after 1800 years without the doctrine was it announced, opening the church to ridicule from it’s enemies? And how can the doctrine be reconciled with the principle of free will, that every man, Pope or not, has the ability, to turn from the Holy Spirit and reject the truth? Of all doctrines of the church this one concerns me the most; troubles me the most.

And as an aside – does anyone know of a mass in Ft. Lauderdale, Boca Raton area where the Priest can preach? I have a Protestant wife and she is right in saying that the services are dry and she doesn’t learn much.


#16

[quote=Josip]Hello there,

Am I correct in understanding that whenever a Pope is talking about something to do with faith and morals that he is infallible? So for example, is he infallable when he proclaims something to do with faith and morals at say, a wednesday audience, or World Youth Day? The reason I ask is that I was told that the Pope has to say he is making an infallable statement, and that this has only been done 3 times in the last 150 years.

thanks so much
God Bless

[/quote]

RE: Papal Infallibility

The following two related papal documents explain infallibility as it pertains to the Pope, bishops and the Magisterium.

DOCTRINAL COMMENTARY ON THE CONCLUDING FORMULA OF THE PROFESSIO FIDEI

AD TUENDAM FIDEM


#17

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