I was asked to explain infallibility by a friend of mine and as I’m researching this I’m gettnig confused myself. It’s my understanding from another thread on this forum that (and in what I’ve read elsewhere) that only 3 infallible statements have ever been issued (The Assumption, the Immaculate Conception, and I can’t remember the other). My confusion is, if these are the only infallible statements, then how do we know that the Church’s teachings on biblical interpretation are true - the Real Presence, Baptismal regneration, etc. are correct and true? Is it because of Tradition? Is there a difference in the infallibility of Tradition and of papal declaration? Thank you so much for any help you can give me.
I think those are the only three infallible statements ever issued by the POPE. Church teachings in general, I’m not sure how many of those there are that are infallible exactly. They’re defined in councils of some sort, I think. Guys…?
All dogma has been declared infallibly. This is usually done by an ecumenical council and sometimes by the Pope. Here is a list of dogmas.
What the others said. Infalliblity is not just the Pope pontificating.
Sacred Scripture–Authoritative, binding and infallible.
Sacred Tradition–Authoritative, binding and infallible.
Church teaching through the ordinary and extraordinary magisterium–Authoritative, binding and infallible.
Infallibility is (pencils ready?) “an objective standard by which one may infallibly identify the true teachings of the Catholic Church.”
There are three such objective standards:
The ordinary Magisterium (“Magisterium” comes from the Greek word for "teaching.) The Church was commissioned by Christ to teach His message. The ordinary Magisterium is the teachings of the Catholic Bishops, world wide, under the supervision of the Bishop of Rome.
The extraordinary Magisterium. When issues are in dispute, they are sometimes settled by an Ecuminical Council – the Bishops meet (under the authority of the Bishop of Rome) and resolve the issues.
The Pope (the Bishop of Rome) speaking Ex Cathedra (as the Church.)
Any teaching that meets one of these three objective standards may be accepted as a true teaching of the Catholic Church. It is without error and binding on all the faithful.
This probably won’t help you, Elzee, its just my aimless philosophizing, but my view is that we don’t KNOW it is true. In fact, some of it is probably wrong. It is the closest we can get to the truth, and we are able to assert this as a result of tradition. :twocents:
[quote=Sowndog]This probably won’t help you, Elzee, its just my aimless philosophizing, but my view is that we don’t KNOW it is true. In fact, some of it is probably wrong. It is the closest we can get to the truth, and we are able to assert this as a result of tradition. :twocents:
That’s not quite the Church’s postion. If you struck the words, “In fact, some of it is probably wrong,” you’d be a lot closer to the Catholic position.
You say, “We don’t KNOW” – we accept on faith. And what we learn is limited by our human intellects.
Thank you all so much. Genesis315 I love the Catholicbridge site. This is a new one to me. God bless!