How do we know that the Church has infallible authority?


This post was moved from a thread on praying to the saints, where it posed questions that were off topic.


Well what comes to mind for me is if we believe that the Church is guided by the Holy Spirit, then we have to accept that if the Holy Spirit is speaking to Peters successors, then it has to be truth, not half truths, and we all know the Holy Spirit is infallible.

And for the Purgatory bit, this might help.


how does anyone know anything that is true about Jesus?

They know because the church tells them so.

And why does the church get it right?

because the church was built on peter and the apostles who Jesus said “the Holy Spirit will lead you into all truth”.

Jesus gave the church he established and the apostles who led it authority and guranteed that authority with the holy Spirit.

If you don’t believe that then you don’t believe the holy spirit is strong enough to accomplish it and you don’t believe in jesus who yes did give it that authority.


But it really all comes down to faith - one simply has faith that this is all correct. Otherwise, it is just more circular reasoning and is no different than most other religions.


It’s not circular reasoning.

These are the steps that could be followed:

  1. Accept that the Gospels were written by men who were witnesses to the life of a very Charismatic Person. They tried to record the events of their time accurately.

  2. Among the things they witnessed was the commissioning of the 12 and the headship given to Peter. Along with a promise of infallibility when binding and loosing things on earth.

  3. Among the things they witnessed was the resurrection, ascension, and pentecost.

  4. This authority was passed from apostle to bishops and Peter to the popes.

  5. This authority, in a couple councils of bishops, and with the approval of some popes identified the Bible as inerrant and inspired by God.

  6. The commissioning is recorded in the Bible but is not from the Bible but from the mouth of the Son of God. The Bible does not contradict what God has done.


Jesus fulfilled many Prophecies in the old testament. Josephus mentions Jesus in historical writings. There are other Historical writings mentioning Jesus. The Word of God is infallible not the Church. The Church is the Body of believers or Christians as they were called at Antioch in the Book of Acts. Jesus says " blessed are they that have not seen and YET have Believed" JN20:28. Not that we go by blind faith. The Old Testament is fulfilled in the New Testament and the New Testament is revealed in the Old Testament. Lots of History which makes the Bible exciting. Has lots of little details (such as dates , mistakes made by God’s people, lineages)which proves to me it’s Authenticity. We are all in need of a Savior and that Person is God revealed to us in the flesh(Incarnate). God came to save sinners. He loves us enough to give His Begotten Son (Jesus).




To solve this problem, we can’t use the Bible as The Bible, but we can use it as a history book. If the Gospels we have now have the same words as the original, and if that original was historically accurate, then we can have a solid faith that Jesus really did entrust the keys to St. Peter.


Do you mean to say you believe the Bible is infallible because the contents of it are also mentioned in historical documents?!:eek:

I guess that makes Godzilla infallible too, since he is mentioned in many venues… :shrug:

And upon which historical document do you base this assertion? Or maybe Godzilla told you that?

Where did you get this idea about the old and new testaments?

Let’s see. Here you are saying that mistakes were made in the Bible, which proves it is authentic. Above you say that the church is not infallible. Doesn’t if follow that, if the Church made mistakes, she must also be Authentic? :shrug:

Gosh. If mistakes are a testimony to authenticity and infallibity, then we are ALL infallible, aren’t we?

Well, mikezieg8, I sincerely hope you hang around here and learn some things. :thumbsup:


The circular reasoning comes in at the first step. How can we accept the Gospels without the authority of the Church? But if the authority of the Church must be established before the Bible can be accepted, you cannot use the Bible to confirm the authority of the Church. If you accept the Gospels as the first step, why not the whole Bible? Then the whole argument that the Church is needed to estblish the Bible falls apart.
The question asked is how the authority of the Church can be established, except on its own say so, so that we then can have a Bible to refer to?


If we had an original (which we don’t) and the original was in English (which it wasn’t)…

and if that original was historically accurate,

which we have no way of knowing…

then we can have a solid faith that Jesus really did entrust the keys to St. Peter.

That is the bottom line - faith.


But so what? It’s always been that way!

People who were alive when the apostles first preached either believed that Jesus gave them authority or they didn’t.

They weren’t there when He gave them authority,

but them not being there doesn’t mean it didn’t happen!

and just because they weren’t there when He gave them authority doesn’t negate the validity of faith!

I wan’t there when He rose from the dead.

No Protestant was, either!

The reason the Protestant view is utterly without merit is there weren’t any Protestants in 35AD saying “I believe in 80% of what you disciples say about Jesus but I just don’t believe He gave you discples any authority”.

That is ludicrous!

How many people in 35AD said that to the disciples?

What it really boils down to is this: what are the chances that all those people in the 1st century were wrong for believing that the disciples did have authority?

Which faith would you rather bet your soul on?

Paul bet his soul on the disciples having authority. He wasn’t there when Jesus gave them authority. He didn’t hear Jesus speak those words. He didn’t see Jesus rise from the dead.

Protestants if they really believed in Sola Scriptura would follow the example of Paul–hold fast to the traditions that he gave–and among those traditions were the oral teachings of those disciples before the scriptures were written SPEAKING of when Jesus gave them authority.

Many people don’t believe truth just because it is truth–they believe whatever they want to believe.

It really is amazing how Satan uses the same old thing he has used ever since Adam and Eve to lead people to Hell. That is pride!

Adam and Eve didn’t listen to the oral–not scriptural word of God either.

They listened to Satan and believed what they wanted to believe–they chose what they wanted to believe–that was their “False Faith”.

Faith can be false!

If you ever wonder whether your faith is false just ask yourself "Is it based on the authority of yourself or other men or what you have taught by other men–or is it based on what some men were orally taught by God Himself?

If it really is taught by God Himself the way that you will know it is true–and will know that Those men really do have authority will be by the fruit of it.

Did Jesus not say “You will know them by their fruits”?

Ask yourself this "Did the fruits of the early church–the fruits of the church that was martyred many times over for its belief–did those fruits come from a church that Erroneously believed in the authority of the disciples, apostles, and bishops or did it come from a church that really did believe in an Authority that was true?

Your soul is at stake! Believe in the Catholic Church. The early martyrs didn’t believe in the faith of First Protestant church. It didn’t exist!


Do we believe in a church for salvation? I would rather believe in Jesus and you should too.


If you did you would believe in the church he said to believe in :smiley:

On a more serious note, where do people outside the church make decisions on truth? If authority does not lie with the church, who holds it?


False distinction. On the road to Damascus, Jesus didn’t ask Saul “why do you persecute my Church?”, he asked “why do you persecute me?” and “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.”


Ah, so the church died for our salvation and through its blood we are healed. :rolleyes:


So those who trust in the church don’t trust in Christ? You and Jesus have a good thing going, just you and him. We don’t need the body of Christ. Is that what the Bible says? No one can have God as their Father without having the Church as their mother. This even works in protestant circles. The church is what helps us grow in Christ. OTher believers pray for us, where hear the pastors sermons, and attend Sunday school.


I am not saying the church is not necessary and we should certainly obey the elders in authority. I am saying that only belief in Christ through faith is needed for salvation. Belief in the authority of the RCC and the papacy is not needed for salvation and totally absent from scripture.


I can accept that answer. I don’t think that one should chose to be catholic unless they can in good concious submit to the authority of the RCC and the Pope. Why else would one be Catholic?


But that is not even an accurate statement. Matthew 28:19-20 show that belief in His church as the messengers of the Gospel is a commission of Christ Himself.

But that answer only goes so far. It implies a belief in an errant doctrine of Sola Fide, that one can be saved by faith alone, and that is not correct.

One of my problems with n-C teachings is that they seem to oversimplify Christianity when the Word of God really does paint a far more complex picture than what I hear and see in their preaching and teaching.

Johnny, I fully agree with you that no one should become Catholic unless they can in good conscience embrace all its teachings. That’s one reason that you are in RCIA even now. :slight_smile:


It is not an either/or kaycee. There is only one church, it is His Body. He is the Head. They two are not separate from one another. Those who reject the Church have rejected the Head, or tried to chop off the head, maybe?

Most Protestants have been raised with Sola Scriptura, and really don’t know the identity of the pillar and bulwark of the truth. They also are taught to believe that the HS will guide them into all truth, so that whatever they think the scripture means, that is what is true.

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