If the Church/Pope claim to be absolutely infallaible, why has it altered teachings/contradicted itself?

Recently I’ve read about how Pius XI apparently declared a teaching of Leo XIII as an “evil opinion”, and about how Francis’s new teachings and assertions are somewhat radical (allowing unrepentant, public adulterers to receive the Holy Eucharist). The passage about Leo XIII and Pius XI was actually written by a Catholic priest who seems to be highly educated towards the faith; it seemed to me like he was acknowledging that the Church has changed its teachings/contradicted itself.

The Roman Catholic Church prides itself on being correct on every last one of its claims and teachings (and from what I understand, the Church uses this as a primary basis for its “validity”). The Pope is traditionally seen as being absolutely infallible in all of his teachings. Yet here we see blatant examples of apparent contradictions in the Catholic Church. We see Pius IX not merely altering Catholic teachings from what Leo XIII asserted…we see him absolutely condemning his teachings and calling them evil. Even today, Francis is now going against previously “solid” Church teachings.

So…shouldn’t the fact that the Catholic Church has ever changed its teachings or has ever had contradictions render the Church as invalid – considering it insists that it has never changed its teachings?

Interested in hearing the Catholic defense of these points

Oh, you are being very vague. Can you tell us specifically what doctrine she has changed?

Only the pope’s ex catherdra teachings on faith and morals are seen as infallible:
9. Therefore, faithfully adhering to the tradition received from the beginning of the Christian faith, to the glory of God our savior, for the exaltation of the Catholic religion and for the salvation of the Christian people, with the approval of the Sacred Council, we teach and define as a divinely revealed dogma that when the Roman Pontiff speaks EX CATHEDRA, that is, when, in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church, he possesses, by the divine assistance promised to him in blessed Peter, that infallibility which the divine Redeemer willed his Church to enjoy in defining doctrine concerning faith or morals. Therefore, such definitions of the Roman Pontiff are of themselves, and not by the consent of the Church, irreformable. (First Vatican Council, Session 4, First Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Chapter 4, paragraph 9)

Just a short note.

A Pope’s opinion is not infallible.

Pope Francis did not say that practicing adulterors can receive Holy Communion. As is often the case, pretty much of the Pope’s statements can be mistakenly and erroneously simplified by the media and commentators without reading and studying the full statements and their context.

It was a misquote and certainly not the only one.

:thumbsup:

Well, whoever the author is, he is quite poorly educated if he said what you contend.

Blessed Pius IX was Pope from 1846-1878. Pope Leo XIII was Pope from 1878-1903. Pius could not change what Leo taught because Pius was already dead; his death was the occasion of Leo’s election.

The Church teaches that both too much and too little are wrong, so sometimes needs to correct in a different direction than previously. The result look like a contradiction, but is not.

just one slight correction Father,the original post says Pius XI, not that I am saying this is true, because there is no context or any quotes to go off of, but I don’t think you are talking about the same pope

The quote originally says Pius XI. I believe the poster made a mistake later on when he wrote Pius IX.

Thank you for pointing out that there is reference to Pius XI in the first and third paragraph. The numbers do change in the post…I was focused on the reference to Pius IX in the second paragraph and, seeing Pius throughout assumed that the references were uniformly to the same Pope Pius.

Relative to Pius IX in the second paragraph, he is chronologically before Leo XIII.

What’s your source for this and what are you talking about. Please be specific

To test that

Do you have a specific example in the last 2000 years, where a teaching (doctrine/dogma) from a pope on faith or morals (must be in those 2 areas) and that teaching has been declared a (doctrine/dogma) for the entire Church to believe, THEN that teaching (doctrine/dogma) was later overturned or discredited?

Not so, and that has never been so.

conditions for papal Infallibility have been specifically defined by the Church.

[LIST=1]
*]
[LIST]
*]we teach and define as a divinely revealed dogma that
[LIST]
*]when the Roman pontiff speaks EX CATHEDRA,
[LIST]
*]that is, when,
[LIST=1]
*]**in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, **
*]**in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, **
*]**he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole church, **
[/LIST]

[/LIST]

*]he possesses,
[LIST]
*]by the divine assistance promised to him in blessed Peter,
[/LIST]

*]that infallibility which the divine Redeemer willed his church to enjoy in defining doctrine concerning faith or morals.
*]Therefore, such definitions of the Roman pontiff are of themselves, and not by the consent of the church, irreformable.
[/LIST]

[/LIST]

[/LIST]
papalencyclicals.net/Councils/ecum20.htm

Here’s your chance. WHERE?

Where? Be specific

There is nothing to refute. You gave no examples, and no references.

I have asked two parish priests a similar question to the one you raise here. I was very concerned that the Pope’s press interviews, a number of his homilies, writings, opinions, and off the cuff remarks are at odds with established Catholic teaching and belief. Apparently other parishioners have raise these exact same concerns.

Both priests have assured me emphatically! that Catholic doctrine has not been changed! It takes a whole lot more than a Pope voicing his opinions on climate change, recycling and sustainable living, ownership of stock in weapons manufacturers, immigration policy, divorce and remarriage and the like for Catholic doctrine to change.

Like the one priest said, the Catholic Church is almost 2,000 years old – change doesn’t happen all that quickly in an institution with that number years of history. The Church takes the long view. And even a Pope is entitled to his own opinions. I suppose I could ask a third parish priest, but I thought two was enough. I would get the same answer!

Do not fret. Be at peace.

As was already mentioned, a pope’s opinions aren’t infallible, and only on very specific occasions is he infallible. If he were to say Indian curry is better than all other foods, it wouldn’t be true simply because he says it is. It’s still true, but that statement wouldn’t count as infallible.

In the early church, and in Scripture, John 15:26, it was taught that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father. It is now taught that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and from the Son.
For a while, it was taught that the Blood was shed for all. However, it has been changed back to the previous teaching that the Blood was shed for many. But I heard a priest say at Mass recently that the Blood was shed for all.

Balaco.
I might suggest that you are confusing the word infallible with the word impeccable. Karl Keating’s book, Catholicism and Fundamentalism, The Attack on the Roman Church by Bible Christians" (I think that is the title, I might be a little off), gives a good explanation of infallibility. My understanding is that infallible means the Church (and the Pope), guided by the Holy Spirit, will not teach error in matters of faith and morals. (Papal opinions about economics, world affairs, and other matters are personal opinion as other posters have cited)

Infallible means not preaching error. Impeccable means one is absolutely right (or correct). They are quite different.

Keating gives a very interesting example. It is, if the pope were infallible in mathematics (I think he used trigonometry for an example) and you gave the pope an examination with twenty five questions, how many correct answers will the pope have to write down and remain infallible.
His answer - 0
Keating went on to say that the Holy Spirit would guide the pope to not put down an incorrect answer (error). But if the pontiff didn’t do his homework, he might not know the right answer. An answer sheet with twenty five blanks in the answer block might not get a passing grade, but it did not contain an an erroneous answer. Hence it could be considered infallible.
I found Mr. Keating’s explanation interesting. As to future developments in matters of faith and morals, that is, I believe, the purview of revelation, something the church believes is ongoing.
One caveat - I cite Mr. Keating’s writing from memory, I am not looking currently at the text. It is what I took away from my reading.

Popes are not walking encyclopedias.
They have opinions, and in general, are often misquoted or have their words twisted, sometimes, even by the members of the church.
Don’t fall into the trap of picking apart everything Pope Francis says.
The prince of lies would LOVE us to continue to do this.
:frowning:

Someone needs to learn the difference between opinions, disciplines, and doctrines.

Infallibility only applies to the latter.

The Roman Catholic Church prides itself on being correct on every last one of its claims and teachings (and from what I understand

, the Church uses this as a primary basis for its “validity”).Are you sure you’re a Catholic bro because you are all kinda wrong on this one. Infallible doctrines may develop as they come to be better understood, but they never change. Disciplines can and do change from time to time. Opinions are just that and nothing more. Popes may disagree about all kinds of non doctrinal stuff, but that doe not invalidate infallibility when he speaks on matters of faith and morals.
Is It a Doctrine or a Discipline?

The Pope is traditionally seen as being absolutely infallible in all of his teachings. Yet here we see blatant examples of apparent contradictions in the Catholic Church. We see Pius IX not merely altering Catholic teachings from what Leo XIII asserted…we see him absolutely condemning his teachings and calling them evil. Even today, Francis is now going against previously “solid” Church teachings

.:rolleyes: Again? Really?
Is Pope Francis a Heretic? Part I
Is Pope Francis a Heretic? Part II
What Did Pope Francis Change About Communion for Divorced Catholics?
Is it Prudent to Allow Divorced and Remarried Catholics to Receive Communion?
Sounds of Silence

So…shouldn’t the fact that the Catholic Church has ever changed its teachings or has ever had contradictions render the Church as invalid – considering it insists that it has never changed its teachings?

Let me know when that happens and we’ll talk but I wouldn’t hold your breath.:slight_smile:

Oh and I’d suggest that you go back and ask your n-C “witness” to defend the following article of mine.

Who REALLY Preaches “A Different Gospel”?

On the first point:
“I, John Smith, am the son of Robert Smith.”
“I, John Smith, am the son of Robert Smith and Jane Smith who was born Jane Jones.”
Does the second statement contradict the first or does it merely expand upon the first?

On the second point:
I think you mistake variations in terminology for contradictions in doctrine.
“The Blood was shed for many” does not contradict “The Blood was shed for all”.

If a math student writes down nothing for an exam of 25 questions, he gets an F.

the second statement may be false, while the first statement is true. Further the Orthodox do not accept the filioque. They say that the holy Spirit proceeds from the Father. (full STOP).
Secondly, many and all mean two entirely different things.
Many Americans are Muslims is totally different from
All Americans are Muslims

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