Difference between Catholic infallibility and the infallibility of other religions

Ok, this thread didn’t seem to get any traction on the Non-Catholic Religion page, so I will ask here because this is something that has been causing me great anxiety :eek:

So one of the things us Catholics use as a source to show we are the one true faith is the concept of Papal Infallibility and the infallibility of the Magesterium.

Islam has a similar concept though called Ismah

This basically means that the Imams, who are like clergy are considered infallible in matters of religion.

Obviously these are two contrasting religions so one of them is not infallible…so how do we decide?

What are the differences between the two?

And then some Jewish sects teach that certain Rebbes are infallible. I made a thread about it here

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?p=12626567

How do we refute this and say our infallibility is the true infallibility?

The miracles of the Church is a good start.

If any religion could be shown objectively to be infallible, then there would not be so many religions, and so many non-believers.

In the case of the Old Testament, the text sometimes is self contradictory, even on the same page. It obviously was written over a period of centuries, and by a variety of writers who were not contemporaneous with each other. How could such a thing be interpreted in a way that the interpretation could be considered to be “infallible”? People today, thousands of years later, can’t even agree on the meaning of some of the more archaic words.

Which brings up another problem, the bible has been translated and re-translated so many times, that no particular translation can escape the suspicion that it is “fallible”, or at least not a precise conveyance of the original meaning.

So, in the case of Catholicism, my understanding is that infallibility relies on the divine inspiration of a particular person, at a particular point in time. Such an inspiration would be very difficult to prove as being the one truth, when it contradicts the inspirational edicts of the leader of another group.

So, the best one could really say, is that the proclamation of one religious leader resonates and is used as guidance for the adherents of that religious group. The group therefore declares those proclamations as being infallible by virtue of their particular religious traditions, and the personal faith of the adherents.

Ben Sinner #1
this is something that has been causing me great anxiety
Islam has a similar concept though called Ismah

This basically means that the Imams, who are like clergy are considered infallible in matters of religion.
Obviously these are two contrasting religions so one of them is not infallible…so how do we decide?

What are the differences between the two?

There is no need for any anxiety whatsoever, as there is only one God, and His only Son, Jesus of Nazareth, redeemed the world by His suffering and death by crucifixion, and His Resurrection – after founding His Church based on St Peter and the Apostles. He then sent the Third person of the Holy Trinity, the Holy Spirit, to strengthen them and enable them to perform many miracles. The facts of Jesus own miracles were recorded by His own Apostles who were present – Saints Matthew and John were companions of Christ, and Saints Mark and Luke lived in constant contact with His contemporaries.

His miracles “were so frequent, the eyewitnesses so numerous, and the evidence so stark, that not even Christ’s enemies disputed the fact of their occurrence. Instead they ascribed them to the power of the devil, or defied Him to perform another one in His own favour.” (See Mt 12:24; 27:39-42; Jn 11:47). Apologetics and Catholic Doctrine, Sheehan/Joseph, Saint Austin Press, 2001, p 104].

No “concept”, which is an idea, can substitute for God the Son and His Church. Christ conferred infallibility on His Magisterium in teaching doctrine and dogma to the whole Church on faith and morals as follows:
All four promises to Peter alone:
“You are Peter and on this rock I will build My Church.” (Mt 16:18)
“The gates of hell will not prevail against it.”(Mt 16:18)
“I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of heaven." ( Mt 16:19)
“Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven.” (Mt 16:19) [Later also to the Twelve].

**Sole authority: **
“Strengthen your brethren.” (Lk 22:32)
“Feed My sheep.”(Jn 21:17).

No other religious founder claimed to be God and proved it – not Mohammed of Islam, not in Hinduism, not in Buddhism, not in Taoism, not in Confucianism. The vast gulf between Catholicism and any other religion is that the Catholic Church has been founded by a Divine Person who lived with a human and divine nature and claimed to be God, proving that claim by His Resurrection. While God leads us through His Church, others fashion their own beliefs and morals.

Christ promised that HIS Church, the Catholic Church, (the oldest living Christian Church on Earth) would never teach error. He sent the Holy Spirit to protect it under the guidance of the Pope, St. Peter, being the first one. HE did not promise 50,000 denominations or any other man made belief the same thing. God Bless, Memaw

It all comes back to Jesus - a real, historical person whom you can investigate - presently incarnate in the Church - speaks to us through the Bible - fully God and fully human. Jesus is the place to start when you’re talking to a non-Christian. If Jesus was who He said He was, then all other religions are wrong.

Find Jesus, look at the evidence for who He was and is, and you’ll find peace with your question.

Sounds a lot like relativism to me.

Sam43232 #6
It all comes back to Jesus - a real, historical person whom you can investigate - presently incarnate in the Church - speaks to us through the Bible

Provided the reality is accepted that the Bible is known only through the authorisation and definition as the Word of God by Christ’s Catholic Church , and further, that He speaks to us through the Magisterium of His Church.

Originally Posted by epan
So, the best one could really say, is that the proclamation of one religious leader resonates and is used as guidance for the adherents of that religious group. The group therefore declares those proclamations as being infallible by virtue of their particular religious traditions, and the personal faith of the adherents.

To which TxGodfollower (of no religion) comments in #7:

Sounds a lot like relativism to me.

Precisely, for those who reject the reality of the factual historicity of Jesus of Nazareth, His Life and the foundation of His Catholic Church with His Magisterium through St Peter.

I can’t believe that no one has posted this yet, so here goes; the pope is only “infallible” in the matters of faith and morals. There has only been two times when the pope has explicitly invoke his authority in such matters, the doctrines of the Assumption and Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. There are statements by councils that are considered to be infallible, such as doctrine concerning the true presence of Christ in the Eucharist. The popes nor the bishops ever seem to be concerned with the charisma of infallibility; it seems to be something that is particular to Catholics posting on internet discussion forums (also included is the so called Just War Theory). Infallibility is, to me, much ado about nothing. If you read the declarations about the Assumption and the Immaculate Conception, you will see that they lack specific detail and proclaim the same thing that the Church proclaimed about the subject for hundreds of years. It isn’t anything new and it isn’t anything earth shattering. It just makes it “official.”

Infallibility covers more than the two you mentioned above! Faith and Morals are more than just the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption! When canonizing a saint it is Infallible, The Teaching Magisterium of the Church is Infallible. We Catholics need to study up on the full meaning of Infallibility. God Bless, Memaw

:wink:

Timothysis #9
Infallibility is, to me, much ado about nothing.

That adequately sums up the grave errors displayed here.

For none other than Christ’s Magisterium has infallibly taught:
Pastor Aeternus (Ecumenical Council Vatican I, Pastor Aeternus)
“Chapter 3.
On the power and character of the primacy of the Roman Pontiff

8. Since the Roman Pontiff, by the divine right of the apostolic primacy, governs the whole Church, we likewise teach and declare that he is the supreme judge of the faithful [52], and that in all cases which fall under ecclesiastical jurisdiction recourse may be had to his judgment [53]. The sentence of the Apostolic See (than which there is no higher authority) is not subject to revision by anyone, nor may anyone lawfully pass judgment thereupon [54]. And so they stray from the genuine path of truth who maintain that it is lawful to appeal from the judgments of the Roman pontiffs to an ecumenical council as if this were an authority superior to the Roman Pontiff.
9. So, then, if anyone says that the Roman Pontiff has merely an office of supervision and guidance, and not the full and supreme power of jurisdiction over the whole Church, and this not only in matters of faith and morals, but also in those which concern the discipline and government of the Church dispersed throughout the whole world; or that he has only the principal part, but not the absolute fullness, of this supreme power; or that this power of his is not ordinary and immediate both over all and each of the Churches and over all and each of the pastors and faithful: let him be anathema.”

Answer by David Gregson of EWTN on Nov-22-2002: **
“You are correct in stating that the Pope exercises his charism of infallibility not only in dogmatic definitions issued,
ex cathedra
, as divinely revealed (of which there have been only two), but also in doctrines definitively proposed by him, also ex cathedra, which would include canonizations (that they are in fact Saints, enjoying the Beatific Vision in heaven), moral teachings (such as contained in Humanae vitae), and other doctrines he has taught as necessarily connected with truths divinely revealed, such as that priestly ordination is reserved to men. Further details on levels of certainty with which the teachings of the Magisterium (either the Pope alone, or in company with his Bishops) may be found in Summary of Categories of Belief.”

The three levels of teaching are:
1) Dogma – infallible (Canon #750.1) to be believed with the assent of divine and Catholic faith.
2) Doctrine – infallible (Canon #750.2) requires the assent of ecclesial faith, to be “firmly embraced and held”.
3) Doctrine – non-definitive (non-infallible) and requires intellectual assent (“loyal submission of the will and intellect”, Vatican II, Lumen Gentium 25), not an assent of faith. [See the Explanatory Note on ATF by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith*]

I did not say that there are only two infallible teachings; I said that there are only two instances of a pope, declaring dogma that are considered infallible. I did NOT say that there has not been dogma declared by councils and such that are not considered infallible. The question of infallibility today usually involves the pope himself speaking from the Chair of Peter declaring something pertaining to faith and morals. In recent history there are only two instances of this happening, in 1854 and 1950.

Yeah, that’s just wonderful.

Do you honestly think that any pope is going to one day declare something out of the blue and totally out of left field? The Assumption of Mary goes back to the early days of the Church but wasn’t declared until 1950 and even then, it was a very basic declaration that left as many doors open as possible. We don’t need everything to be declared infallibly in order to retain it as part of the faith.

By stating “Infallibility is, to me, much ado about nothing”, Timothysis in #9 has exposed the fallacy of Protestants and that of some Catholics an error which none other than the revered Fr John A, Hardon, S.J., has categorized as failing to see that “In the years to come the Church’s prerogative of teaching the truth and teaching it infallibly will be seen as one of God’s greatest gifts to modern man.

“For it is not only Catholics or Catholicism or Christians who benefit from the access they have to truth in a world that is groping for the truth and wandering in uncertainty. But the whole human race benefits from the continued presence on earth of Christ, who is the Truth, teaching the truth through His Church, and thus leading mankind back to the God from whom it came and from whom it was made.” The Teaching Church In Our Time, in How Infallible Is The Teaching Church?, Daughters of St Paul, 1978, p 119-120].

Sigh My comment was directed at those Catholics both here at CAF and in the pew who have this fanaticism about papal infallibility much like the obsession over the so-called Just War Doctrine. Tell me, how often do you hear the pope, bishops or even parish priests go on about infallibility?

Those two Dogmas were declared Infallible at that time because of the influence the Protestant Reformation was having on so many who were being pressured to leave the Catholic Church. and these were being denied by the Protestants. The Church, (Holy Spirit), wanted all to know they were true beliefs and had to be held forever. God Bless, Memaw

If I could give you seven hundred thumbs up on your post, I would.

The protestant reformation was pressuring Catholics to leave the Church in 1950? As I said before, the Assumption of Mary goes back to the early days of the Church, so I don’t quite see how its declaration had anything to do with protestants, especially since it was declared in 1950, 400 years after Martin Luther. The Immaculate Conception was declared in 1854 before Vatican I which defined papal infallibility, so I wonder if the idea of it being “infallible” was even of interest to anyone at the time?

Re JoeFreedom #17, 8/1/15 [re post #4]

If I could give you seven hundred thumbs up on your post, I would.

Thank you, Joefreedom. The truth is what we all need.

Infallible means cannot fail. It is defined as the “Inability to err in teaching revealed truth”. It has more to do with not being able to teach error than it does with declaring truth.

Same deal with the concept of Magisterium. The Magisterium safeguards against error more than it interprets and proclaims truth.

We are of God. Whoever knows God listens to us, and he who is not of God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. (1 John 4:6)

-Tim-

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