Infalable on Faith and Morals?


#1

+JMJ

Ok I have always been taught that the Pope is infalable on Faith and Morals according to the council of Trent (I do not know if it was a different council but that is the one I think it is). But last night I at the bible study I atteneded I the priest (who was not in His habit :frowning: by the way) said that that particular thing was like a Genie’s lamp only confined to a little bit of space and even then it has its limitations. If this is true please let me know. If not please let me know where I can find this information to help other people like me with the same question.


#2

You are right. The Pope is infallible when speaking ex cathedra, from the chair of Peter, on the subject of faith and morals. Go to the Catholic Answers library and there is a section on the Church and Papacy.


#3

Don’t be mis-led into thinking the infallibility of the Pope is a relatively new belief (you mentioned the council of Trent). The belief has existed since the very beginning of Christianity.

Also, don’t let people give too narrow a definition of the infallibility because, while it is true the Pope is only infalible when speaking ex-Cathedra, the Magesterium of the Church also makes binding decisions that are also protected from error.

Not sure what your question actually is. :o


#4

Infallibility applies only to faith and morals. The ex Cathedra business can be confusing. A great deal of teaching is “infallible” that was never promulgated “ex cathedra” in the limited sense of that phrase a lot of people like to mean. All the articles of the Creed, for example, are infallible teaching.


#5

yes, the pope is infallible in matters of faith and morals when speaking in his official capacity as the shepherd of christ’s flock here on earth.

not only that, even the bishops, when acting together and in accordance with the pope, and exercising their moral authority, are collectively infallible

this means that though we may not understand a doctrine or teaching completely, we must still accept it, live according to it, strive to understand it, and rejoice in it. this is an important concept that can get us through many a confused time when we are tempted to place our opinion above the ruling of the church. wait on the lord and he will give understanding. remember, faith should seek understanding as the ancient adage goes, not the other way round
this doctrine of infallibility gives us moral certainty and helps us weather many a storm
by the way, i thought it was officially defined in the first vatican council in the 19th century. i remember coz i read that it was the reason the present polish national catholic church broke away from rome
pax cristus


#6

just to add,

just because the doctrine was officially defined in the first vatican council does not mean that popes were not infallible till then, they just did not know it. a proof is the fact that for 2000 yrs., the church has not made a single error in its teachings.
however, this doctrine only ensures that any doctrine defined ex cathedra will be infallible; the fact that a certain doctrine was not defined at a certain point in history when it was needed is not an argument against the doctrine
by the way, just because only ex cathedra statements are infallible does not give us license to reject all other teachings of the church- those too are to be accepted and obeyed as children would their parents
cheerio


#7

[quote=justinianplague]yes, the pope is infallible in matters of faith and morals when speaking in his official capacity as the shepherd of christ’s flock here on earth.

not only that, even the bishops, when acting together and in accordance with the pope, and exercising their moral authority, are collectively infallible
[/quote]

This is a very important distinction, and it must be understood properly before we can understand infallibility. The first example above is known as the extra ordinary Magisterium. This however is not the norm for authoritative teaching, hence the name extra ordinary.

The second example, that of the bishops in union with the pope teaching a common doctrine is known as the ordinary Magisterium. This is the most common form of Catholic teaching.

The key is to remember that both extra ordinary and ordinary Magisterial teachings are infallible and binding on all Catholics.


#8

of course, it seems that no one is infallible on spelling (infalable??). I-N-F-A-L-L-I-B-L-E infallible. just joking around with you :smiley:


#9

Tim Staples has done some good programs about Papal infallibility. He has had several people tell him that the Pope has only spoken infallibly a few times and that The Church as a whole has only used infallibility a few times. Simply not true. There are several ways that Pope and the Bishops make infallible declarations. I can’t remember all of them, but Tim Staples did some good radio programs about it.


#10

Mperea,

You have been given excellent answers to your questions. Follow the link that was given. Hats off to the fine Catholic posters on this thread.


#11

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