Ex Cathedra statements


#1

Why is there not a formal list from the Vatican on ex cathedra statements by our former Popes?

I have searched and two theologens agreed on 7 statements, others agree on 9.

Its kind of funny to me that we claim infalliblity (which I believe) but really cant go directly to those infallible statements, and teach why these statements were made.


#2

Hey John Paul III,
First off, when you take office (hence the screen name), why don’t you make that your first formal publication.
Seriously, though, I don’t know the answer to why the Vatican hasn’t published this list. It seems like it would eliminate a lot of the confusion and debate over some things
But, would mind posting the seven agreed-upon doctrines and the two contested ones. I’m just curious to see how those lists shape up, but I’m too lazy to do the research you’ve already done.
God bless,
S.L.A.


#3

The Church hasn’t put out an official list of infallible statements yet because the Church doesn’t know which statements should be on that list. As soon as the Holy Spirit gives us that knowledge, I’m sure the official list will be promulgated.

Until then, the Church has issued the following canon law:

Canon 749 §3 No doctrine is understood to be infallibly defined unless this is manifestly demonstrated.

Thus, the only papal statements which the faithful are bound to treat as ex cathedra are Ineffabilis Deus and Munificentissimus Deus.


#4

It seems generally accepted that there have been two ex cathedra statemsents: the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption.

As to theologians coming up with a list; a lot of theologians have accepted Limbo as the answer to where babies who have not been baptized before death go; and the Church has never taken an official postion on it; it may now be doing so in the reverse (that Limbo is no longer accepted as a theological construct).

so I would not get too tangled up in how many theologians follow which list.


#5

[quote=otm]It seems generally accepted that there have been two ex cathedra statemsents: the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption.

As to theologians coming up with a list; a lot of theologians have accepted Limbo as the answer to where babies who have not been baptized before death go; and the Church has never taken an official postion on it; it may now be doing so in the reverse (that Limbo is no longer accepted as a theological construct).

so I would not get too tangled up in how many theologians follow which list.
[/quote]

Add papal infalliblilty to that list otm…like you I don’t get wrapped up in this. The Church is free from teaching error in matters of faith and morals. So, what does the Church teach about faith, and what does she teach about morals?


#6

Here are the other five to get to the list of seven:[list]
*]Pope Leo I’s “Tome to Flavian”
*]Pope Agatho’s decision on the two wills in Christ
*]Pope Benedict XII’s Benedictus Deus
*]Pope Innocent X’s Cum Occasione
*]Pope Pius VI’s Auctorem Fidei[/list]


#7

“The only two ex cathedra pronouncements in 2,000 years have been the dogmas of the Immaculate Conception (1854) and the Assumption (1950).”

Catholicism for Dummies; Rev. John Trigilio Jr., PhD, ThD, Rev. Kenneth Brighenti, PhD; Wiley Publishing Inc.; Indianapolis, Indiana; 2003


#8

what are all nine?


#9

So if the only statements made ex cathedra are the assumption and immaculate conception what are we to call the other statements that the theologians JP3 refers to are listing?

Are they doctrine or tradition? Can they change?


#10

[quote=Sugar Ray]So if the only statements made ex cathedra are the assumption and immaculate conception what are we to call the other statements that the theologians JP3 refers to are listing?
[/quote]

They are typically referred to as the authentic Magisterium of the Church. “Authentic” sounds better than “fallible” or “non-infallible”.

[quote=Sugar Ray]Are they doctrine or tradition? Can they change?
[/quote]

They are doctrine. They can only change if they are wrong, which isn’t very likely.


#11

Ok Catholics believe that the Eucharist is the actual real pressence of Christ flesh and blood. We are also taught that this can only be done by a Catholic Preist or Orthodox Priest, even though the Anglican church teaches this truth, they are not actually participating in the true Eucharist because their priesthood is not in line with the Church, likewise for the Lutherans.

So if the Church through the Pope can be infallible why is this statement of faith not an infallible statement?

The only thing I can think of is this teaching is from Jesus Christ, and the Immaculate Conception was taught later through tradition and was not a concentrated focus in the biblical teachings of that day, perhaps because it was common knowledge or later through theologens gained support from the Church and the Pope.


#12

[quote=John Paul III]Ok Catholics believe that the Eucharist is the actual real pressence of Christ flesh and blood. We are also taught that this can only be done by a Catholic Preist or Orthodox Priest, even though the Anglican church teaches this truth, they are not actually participating in the true Eucharist because their priesthood is not in line with the Church, likewise for the Lutherans.

So if the Church through the Pope can be infallible why is this statement of faith not an infallible statement?

The only thing I can think of is this teaching is from Jesus Christ, and the Immaculate Conception was taught later through tradition and was not a concentrated focus in the biblical teachings of that day, perhaps because it was common knowledge or later through theologens gained support from the Church and the Pope.
[/quote]

Keep in mind that there are three forms infallible statements can take: ex cathedra (literally "from the chair; a definition given by the Pope); daoctrine defined through a council and, if the Pope is not present at the council, ratified by him; and the third, which is the continual magisterial teaching of the church (such as the issue of abortion; not defined or declared by either a Pope or a council, but continually taught by the Church from the earliest times).

Or perhaps I should not say three forms, but three ways an infallible statment could be made.

There was much discussion as to whether or not John Paul 2’s statement about the impossibility of ordaining women was ex cathedra; and although some have tried their mightiest to say it is (some taking the position that it is, and prove it is not, almost), the generally accepted answer to that is that it is simply a statement confirming a 2000 year held truth; that is, the statement is infallible, but not because of an ex cathedra statement, but because it has been a continually held truth since the beginning of the Church.


#13

[quote=otm]Keep in mind that there are three forms infallible statements can take: ex cathedra (literally "from the chair; a definition given by the Pope); daoctrine defined through a council and, if the Pope is not present at the council, ratified by him; and the third, which is the continual magisterial teaching of the church (such as the issue of abortion; not defined or declared by either a Pope or a council, but continually taught by the Church from the earliest times).

Or perhaps I should not say three forms, but three ways an infallible statment could be made.

There was much discussion as to whether or not John Paul 2’s statement about the impossibility of ordaining women was ex cathedra; and although some have tried their mightiest to say it is (some taking the position that it is, and prove it is not, almost), the generally accepted answer to that is that it is simply a statement confirming a 2000 year held truth; that is, the statement is infallible, but not because of an ex cathedra statement, but because it has been a continually held truth since the beginning of the Church.
[/quote]

That is the best answer I have ever gotten about infallibility.

I found this reference from a Catholic site,

Matt. 26:70-72; Mark 14:68-70; Luke 22:57; John 18:25-27 - Peter denied Christ three times, yet he was chosen to be the leader of the Church, and taught and wrote infallibly.

Here the Catholic site says that Peter taught and wrote infallibly, now prior to your answer I have had a hard time in this teaching because it seems that the Church has spoken ex cathedra only 9 times or less.

Again thanks for your solid answer!


#14

Catholic 2003,

I thought doctrine could never change? For example the teaching on the trinity can never change yet it is not supported by an ex cathedra statement.

What am I missing?


#15

[quote=Sugar Ray]So if the only statements made ex cathedra are the assumption and immaculate conception what are we to call the other statements that the theologians JP3 refers to are listing?

Are they doctrine or tradition? Can they change?
[/quote]

they are doctrinal statements; doctrine does not change (as in reverse, or go off on a tangent), but doctrine can be nuanced; that is, we can come to a fuller understanding of what the doctrine menas.

A prime example is the issue of “outside the church there is no salvation”; the nuance is that salvation is through Christ, and how Christ achieves that is not necessarily limited to being baptized Catholic.


#16

[quote=John Paul III]Ok Catholics believe that the Eucharist is the actual real pressence of Christ flesh and blood. We are also taught that this can only be done by a Catholic Preist or Orthodox Priest, even though the Anglican church teaches this truth, they are not actually participating in the true Eucharist because their priesthood is not in line with the Church, likewise for the Lutherans.
[/quote]

Just to be clear, Lutherans can’t participate in the Eucharist because they don’t believe in it, and Lutheran priests, unlike Anglican, are no longer part of Apostolic succession.

They don’t believe in transubstantiation, however. Unless they changed something since I left.


#17

[quote=Sugar Ray]Catholic 2003,

I thought doctrine could never change? For example the teaching on the trinity can never change yet it is not supported by an ex cathedra statement.

What am I missing?
[/quote]

The teaching on the trinity comes from the early ecumenical councils, e.g., Constantinople I and Nicaea I.

Dogma is infallible doctrine that cannot change. Doctrine by itself is a generic term. For example, you can talk about “false doctrine” without being contradictory.


#18

[quote=otm]they are doctrinal statements; doctrine does not change (as in reverse, or go off on a tangent), but doctrine can be nuanced; that is, we can come to a fuller understanding of what the doctrine menas.

A prime example is the issue of “outside the church there is no salvation”; the nuance is that salvation is through Christ, and how Christ achieves that is not necessarily limited to being baptized Catholic.
[/quote]

That second paragraph is very interesting, because some of the best people in my extended family are Presbytarians. But how does this relate to confession before a priest? Can mortal sins be forgiven a Presbytarian way?

Very curious…


#19

[quote=CSN]That second paragraph is very interesting, because some of the best people in my extended family are Presbytarians. But how does this relate to confession before a priest? Can mortal sins be forgiven a Presbytarian way?

Very curious…
[/quote]

The Church doesn’t answer every last detail of the questions that paragraph causes, but the Church holds that while it is much harder for one who does not have access to the Sacraments to gain Heaven, it is by no means impossible.
Keep in mind that they are baptized, and the Church recognizes they are baptized; so they are members of the Catholic Church, but not sharing in full membership.

All of which is not most artfully stated. Read the CCC.


#20

[quote=Sugar Ray]Catholic 2003,

I thought doctrine could never change? For example the teaching on the trinity can never change yet it is not supported by an ex cathedra statement.

What am I missing?
[/quote]

The Church’s understanding of a particular doctrine can deepen, become enhanced, clearer by the grace of God, as He chooses to reveal such wisdom to Her, and so future popes/councils can issue their ‘new’ insights with the faithful. While it appears to the unknowing the council is ‘changing’ doctrine it really is just explaining it in the new light it just received.

The infallibility part means the Church could never reverse itself on doctrine as all doctrine is based on Truth. Truth today can never be un-True tomorrow. That’s why the Church does not have it within Her authority to ordain women and or support artificial birth control.


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