Infallibility Disproven?


#1

Hey all,
I am corresponding with an Evangelical friend of mine who goes by the pen name of Tim Cross. In the next window, I will post the e-mail he recently sent me and three others in these forums to prove to us that Infallibility is a false doctrine.

After that, I will post my e-mail response to him. I invited Tim to join us here, so I hope he will stop in and introduce himself soon. PLEASE be aware that, while his e-mail is very confrontational, he wrote it this way at my request for the information he had been hinting at, which he said he had found to disprove infallibility. Underneath it, I think you can see his Christian charity in the personal comments to the four of us. Please welcome him with respect and he will respond in kind. Tim is a sincere Christian and willing to admit when he is wrong (as he recently did regarding whether sola Scriptura is taught in Scripture). I have the upmost respect for him, but unfortunately, while I will respond to much of his e-mail in private, the take is too large for the four of us alone.

Should he leave feeling that this list adequately proves infallibility, he intends to post on his site as an outreach to Catholics. So please be diligent in responding. And please, do as I asked from Tim, and provide documention for your material when possible.


#2

Actually, it is up to the one making the accusation to prove it right. HE should be producing the documentation, not us. :wink:


#3

Actually, you’re correct. This thread originally was going to contain his letter, but I’m going to cut it down to only the pieces that make a legitimate complaint against infallibility AND which provide documention. Tim, if you are reading, you may respond with points from your letter as you find the ducumentation. Nobody here wants to avoid a tough issue, but we mustn’t waste our time on many points which might be goose chases.

"Infallibility means what it says. 99.9% is not infallible. Only 100%qualiifies. To apply as infallible all the words spoken by the popes over the centuries, according to Catholic historians, would add roughly another 150 volumes to our one-volume Bible. There is no way to absorb all the things spoken ex cathedra by popes. Further, as you will see, there are MAJOR contradictions between popes supposedly each speaking ex cathedra.

If I told you, “You cannot trust a thing I say. They’re all lies, and
this is the gospel truth.” What would you do with such a statement? With the popes, we run into the same type of situation except in reverse. They say, “You can trust everything I say, but as you will discover, neither my life nor my words back up my statements, but you must believe them anyway.” Bottom line: they cannot be trusted.

Concerning Papal Infallibility:

  1. Let me start with what I consider to the strongest statement against papal infallibilty by none other than Pope John XXII (1324 A.D.) a. He called the doctrine of “papal infallibility” the “work of the
    devil.” See: Bull "Qui Quorundam” That one statement alone, spoken by a pope, supposedly ex cathedra, should once for all disprove papal infallibility. It cannot simultaneously be true and papal infallibility be true. Logically, it would break all the laws of logic and common sense. It is also a direct contradiction of Pope Pius IX who, at Vatican I, said that anyone deny papal infallibility was lost and doomed to hell. Earlier, Pope Adrian VI (1523) said a similar thing: “It is beyond question that he (pope) can err even in matters touching the faith.”

b. Further, Pope John XXII declared Pope Nicholas III guilty of heresy for supporting the Franciscan lifestyle of simplicity and poverty. Pope John XXII in a bull, “Cum Inter Nonnullos” (1323), in order to justify his luxuriant lifestyle, in opposition to the Franciscans, stated that Christ and the apostles were wealthy men and to deny this would be heresy punishable by death. This of course denies both the words of Jesus and Peter. Jesus said “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no where to lay his head.” ( Matthew 8:20)
Peter, told a paralytic, “Silver and gold have I none, but what I do
have I give you: in the name of Jesus rise up and walk.” (Acts 3:6).

Popes Have Added New Conditions to Salvation:

Remember the words of Paul in Galatians 1:8,9 “But even if I or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!”

  1. Pope Boniface VIII in the bull, “unam sanctam” (1302) made obedience to the pope a new condition of salvation. [so much for Gal. 1:8,9!] In a recent worldwide poll, if I am not mistaken, upward of 90% of all Catholics do not believe this.

  2. The Council of Trent, 7, General 4, states that there is “no
    salvation apart from accepting the laws of the Catholic
    Church.”–whatever happened to; “Believe on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved.”? (Romans 10:9)

  3. The Catholic church has added to Paul’s conditions for salvation (Eph. 2:8,9…salvation by grace through faith). Now only must one receive Christ by grace through faith, but onemust also be baptized, and “observe the commandments (of the church)” --Vatican II

  4. Pope Sixtus V (1585) was so arrogant that he decided to rewrite much of the Bible by both adding to and deleting sections from the Bible. In a papal bull “Aeternus Ille” he declared his new Bible to be true and that it must be obeyed. Anyone failing to obey it was to be excommunicated from the church. Bible scholars and theologians were appalled. Thankfully he died shortly after that. His Bible was quietly set aside and was never used. Most of the copies were destroyed although a copy of it still remains in the Bodleian Library at Oxford


#4
  1. Pope Paul IV in his bull, “cum nimis abbsurdum” forced all Jews to slave status and rag merchants. He burned all copies he could find of the Talmud.

  2. Golda Meier, former prime minister of Israel, in her autobiography, quoted what Pope Pius X had said, “We cannot prevent the Jews from going to Jerusalem, but we could never sanction it…The Jews have not recognized our Lord. We cannot recognize the Jews.” To this date, the Vatican still has not recognized Israel’s right to exist.

  3. The Vatican strongly supported Hitler and following the war were responsible for helping thousands of former SS soldiers and war criminals escape to other countries, including Adolph Eichmann. Sam Donaldson, in May 5, 1994 on the TV show, Prime Time Live, documented this. The Vatican tried to deny it, but the evidence was too overwhelming. Numerous books have been written document this. *

The Catholic Church, with Papal blessing, has knowingly tried to change the Word of God and deceive the laity.

  1. I know these are strong words, but would you please get your
    Catholic Bible and read Exodus 20:1-17, where God gives Moses the Ten Commandments. Now, go to your Catholic Catechism and read what are very clearly listed as “The Ten Commandments.” [You can also go online at, [url=“http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/ccc_toc.htm”]http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/ccc_toc.htm*, and read the Ten Commandments as listed in the official Catholic Catechism.] Did you notice anything missing from the Catholic version of the Ten Commandments? Actually, under papal authority and the Vatican Counsel, the second commandment has totally been deleted from the Ten Commandments and the 10th commandment, about coveting, has been divided into two parts to make it appear that there are still Ten Commandments.—I know this is shocking. I
    could hardly believe it when I first heard about it. It was not until I
    went online and read it for myself that I became convinced.
    What does the real second commandment say? It says, “You shall not make yourself a carved image or any likeness of anything in heaven or on earth beneath or in the waters under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them…” (Exodus 20:3-4, New Jerusalem Bible, Catholic edition). Why would the church remove this commandment? I think you know
    better than I.—Because idolatry has become the major sin of the Catholic Church. to be saved. Worldwide, there are thousands of shrines to Mary, but by comparison relatively few to Jesus.

Spencer, Nick, Ryan, and Chris…in no way do I doubt your sincerity, and I respect immensely your tenacity in defending what you have believed to be true. I hope and pray that you will weigh carefully what I have written. I know you’re each deep thinkers. I don’t see how any thinking person, in light of clear evidence to the contrary, could continue to maintain the infallibility and moral character of the popes. If popes are not infallible, if this has been a horrible trick foisted upon millions upon millions of sincere but uninformed Catholics, then neither are many other Catholic doctrines, which depend solely on things spoken ex cathedra by popes, true.
Is every single fact I presented in his email true? To my knowledge, yes. If I am wrong, please let me know. If I am right, then you must account to God if you keep defending the indefensible. We as teachers will be held more accountable. I am not attacking any of you personally, but I seriously challenge the Catholic notion of infallibility and papal succession. I believe they’re a farce as history clearly shows. Immoral popes. Popes excommunicated. Multiple popes at one time. Popes contradicting popes…I think the FACTS are undeniable. If you can
rationalize these facts and still defend these doctrines I’ll be amazed and greatly saddened.

P.S…I believe the Catholic church will go to any extreme to cover up
and hide these facts, and will deny them as fabrications. I come back to
one that is beyond contestation and undeniable: did the Catholic Church
remove one of the Ten Commandments? Yes or No?–The answer is, "Yes."
Point made!


#5

I want to thank you for the time you put into compiling the
list you sent. It was definitely a comprehensive list, which I have printed
out to attend to point-by-point. Needless to say, the task of answering
every charge on the list would be a daunting one, but since your e-mail
makes clear that you intend to post this on your website for the Catholic
community at large, I have decided to handle it this way:

I will post the contents of your list at the Apologetics section of the
Catholic Answers forum, where Nick, Ryan, Chris, and I kick around ideas
from time to time. I will respect your privacy and not post your e-mail, of
course. I think you will find this a preferable way to present your
information as you will be laying it out for literally thousands of devout
Catholics to read. I will probably e-mail you personally with a few main
points as I get to them, though.

Two problems I have with your e-mail, though. One, is that I’m surprised
that, after the extent to which you researched, you failed to cite sources
for over ninety-percent of the facts. As for myself, I will answer any
charge for which I can find documentation, but I won’t bother with those
that could be just Protestant propaganda. If you want to re-send with
documention, I’d be happy to take some of the items more seriously. I could
send you a comprehensive list of “Protestant heresies”, but I would be
insulting your intelligence to do so without providing the sources for
these.

The second problem is that much of your list definitely shows that we had
some rascals in the seat of Peter from time to time. Unfortunately, as we
have both discussed, infallibility is not impeccability, so simply to show
that a pope had illigetimate children or mistresses doesn’t deny the
doctrine. We readily admit there were some real sinners, yet fortunately
the Holy Spirit kept them from condoning their own behavior by changing
doctrine to suit it. For instance, while popes may have had mistresses,
none have ever declared extra-marital sex proper. When I post to the
forums, I will delete much of what doesn’t pertain to our discussion.

Now, if you are truly sincere about wanting to hear the Catholic response to
these objections, I do expect that you would do the proper thing and visit
the forum to join in the discussion with the four of us and the many other
Catholics who post there. I will admit that the entire list is much to
developed for me to hit every point quickly. Yet, you obviously want to
have a fair hearing for your material. Please visit
forums.catholic.com/forumdisplay.php?f=20, where I will start a
thread entitled “Infallibility Disproven?”. My own screen name is
"awfulthings9". Please introduce yourself when you come. I will type an
introductory note to let everyone know how respectful you are and they will
great you in kind. Should I see that you have not chosen to join us at the
forums or to document your more controversial points (some of which I am
having trouble locating on the web), I will take that as an indication that
you aren’t really interested in hearing the Catholic viewpoint.


#6

Awful,

You may want to explain to your friend what infallibility is and what it isn’t as he seems to have a distorted view of the what the Church means by infallibility.

For example:
"8. Pope Paul IV in his bull, “cum nimis abbsurdum” forced all Jews to slave status and rag merchants. He burned all copies he could find of the Talmud.

  1. Golda Meier, former prime minister of Israel, in her autobiography, quoted what Pope Pius X had said, “We cannot prevent the Jews from going to Jerusalem, but we could never sanction it…The Jews have not recognized our Lord. We cannot recognize the Jews.” To this date, the Vatican still has not recognized Israel’s right to exist.

  2. The Vatican strongly supported Hitler and following the war were responsible for helping thousands of former SS soldiers and war criminals escape to other countries, including Adolph Eichmann. Sam Donaldson, in May 5, 1994 on the TV show, Prime Time Live, documented this. The Vatican tried to deny it, but the evidence was too overwhelming. Numerous books have been written document this. *"

have nothing to do with Papal infallibility.


#7

I have explained and he does know. Part of the obstacles in our conversatins has been when Timothy uses straw men to argue against doctrine. He “forgets” our official definition of it and argues against, for instance, impeccability. I am trying to only post what is a direct attack on the definition. I will give him the benefit of a doubt and assume he’s not trying to be tricky, but only got a little too zealous in his hunt for material.


#8

Oh, apologetics if so much fun!

The antagonist asserted:

Let me start with what I consider to the strongest statement against papal infallibilty by none other than Pope John XXII (1324 A.D.) a. He called the doctrine of “papal infallibility” the “work of the devil.” See: Bull "Qui Quorundam” That one statement alone, spoken by a pope, supposedly ex cathedra, should once for all disprove papal infallibility.

Hmmmm…here’s Quia Quorundam by John XXII. I don’t see the quotation that he asserts is there. Perhaps he can find if for us? It seems to me that the antagonist has not even read Quia Quorundam. He is certainly not quoting from it, although his use of quotation marks seems to imply that he is quoting John XXII–a rather deceptive tactic I must say.

John XXII, Quia quorundam (1324)
franciscan-archive.org/bullarium/qquor-e.html

On the contrary, what John XXIII rejected was the assertions of a sect within the Franciscan Order who called themselves “the Spirituals.” The Spirituals erroneously held that their interpretation of the rule and lifestyle of Saint Francis, especially in the matter of practicing poverty, was the the only legitamite way to follow Jesus Christ. In holding to this erroneous view, they asserted that approval of their disciplinary rule by earlier popes was a matter pertaining to faith and morals; and since the disciplinary rule was equal to the Gospel (in their erroneous view), no subsequent Pope could change or revoke it. The above decree from John XXII refuted this Spiritualist assertion. Thus, a pope could (and sometimes might have to ) modify an earlier pope’s legislation or revoke it. This pertains to matters of discipline, not faith and morals. Thus, John XXII is not even discussing the object of papal infallibility.

We can go through each of his assertions in a similar way. But if he really is seeking truth rather than simply thrusting out a buckshot of poorly researched accusations, he ought to come to this forum to discuss each one individually. If he does, his polemic will crumble under the weight of its own distortions.


#9

[quote=awfulthings9]I have explained and he does know. Part of the obstacles in our conversatins has been when Timothy uses straw men to argue against doctrine. He “forgets” our official definition of it and argues against, for instance, impeccability. I am trying to only post what is a direct attack on the definition. I will give him the benefit of a doubt and assume he’s not trying to be tricky, but only got a little too zealous in his hunt for material.
[/quote]

Your going to have a tough time dealing with him if he consistently resorts to straw men in order to defeat your position. Be patient and pray for him. If you remain lovingly logical you will get your point across whether he acknowledges it or not.


#10

[quote=itsjustdave1988]Oh, apologetics if so much fun!

The antagonist asserted:

Hmmmm…here’s Quia Quorundam by John XXII. I don’t see the quotation that he asserts is there. Perhaps he can find if for us? It seems to me that the antagonist has not even read Quia Quorundam. He is certainly not quoting from it, although his use of quotation marks seems to imply that he is quoting John XXII–a rather deceptive tactic I must say.
[/quote]

I don’t see anything even remotely close to the quotation given by Timoth (?) in the document either. I bet he got this information from a anti-Catholic website or book and ran with it.


#11

Further, Pope John XXII declared Pope Nicholas III guilty of heresy for supporting the Franciscan lifestyle of simplicity and poverty. Pope John XXII in a bull, “Cum Inter Nonnullos” (1323), in order to justify his luxuriant lifestyle, in opposition to the Franciscans, stated that Christ and the apostles were wealthy men and to deny this would be heresy punishable by death.

Likewise, John XXII’s Quum inter nonnullos can be read here:

John XXII, Quum inter nonnullos (1323)**
franciscan-archive.org/bullarium/qinn-e.html

Where did he state that they were wealthy men? Where did he declare Pope Nicholas III guilty of heresy?

On the contrary, what John XXII is refuting is the heretical claim which asserted that Christ and His disciples owned nothing and they had no right to any possessions.

It is astonishing how the antagonist would accept such rubbish uncritically, then pass it on as if it were true (ie. false witnessing), without doing a simple verification as to what John XXII really stated. :rolleyes:


#12

[quote=awfulthings9]Concerning Papal Infallibility:

  1. Let me start with what I consider to the strongest statement against papal infallibilty by none other than Pope John XXII (1324 A.D.) a. He called the doctrine of “papal infallibility” the “work of the
    devil.” See: Bull "Qui Quorundam” That one statement alone, spoken by a pope, supposedly ex cathedra, should once for all disprove papal infallibility.
    [/quote]

I just looked up this document and did not find any such quote, trying many different wordings. Looks like his argument sunk while leaving the dock.


#13

[quote=itsjustdave1988]Likewise, John XXII’s Quum inter nonnullos can be read here:

John XXII, Quum inter nonnullos** (1323)
franciscan-archive.org/bullarium/qinn-e.html

Where did he state that they were wealthy men? Where did he declare Pope Nicholas III guilty of heresy?

On the contrary, what John XXII is refuting is the heretical claim which asserted that Christ and His disciples owned nothing and they had no right to any possessions.

It is astonishing how the antagonist would accept such rubbish uncritically, then pass it on as if it were true (ie. false witnessing), without doing a simple verification as to what John XXII really stated. :rolleyes:
[/quote]

It was infinitely easier to pass off such deception before the internet.


#14

Recent e-mail to Evangelical Timothy Cross:

Timothy,

Did you, um, actually read “Qui Quorundam”? Or did you just get that
information off a fanatic anti-Catholic website???

I just read it. The part you quoted - that Pope John XXII said that “papal
infallibility” is the “work of the devil” doesn’t even appear in it.
Someone just made that up and put quote marks around it to make it look
genuine.

Hmmm.

I think that is shedding a lot of light on your list.

By the way, they’re having a lot of fun with your list at the forums. I’ll
post any e-mails to me there for them, but I hope to see you there in
person.

God bless.


#15

Oh and the whole Hitler’s Pope thing. That’s tired, worn out nonsense. Pius XII and the Jews, A Question of Judgment, Pius XII and the Jews (check all four parts). Really, that’s a load of nonsense and he has no right to be pretending it is true.

Note that Golda Meir, who he quotes, also says (check first link):

“We share the grief of the world over the death of His Holiness Pius XII. . . . During the ten years of Nazi terror, when our people passed through the horrors of martyrdom, the Pope raised his voice to condemn the persecutors and to commiserate with their victims” (Golda Meir, Israeli representative to the U.N. and future prime minister of Israel).

As for the Ten Commandments-- yes, there are multiple conventions of using them. He references the Catechism for the Ten Commandments. Wouldn’t he be suprised to see this:

ARTICLE 1
**THE FIRST COMMANDMENT **

I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them.3 It is written: "You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve."4

The different conventions are merely that, different conventions. I believe Eastern Catholics use the other convention, but I’m not sure about that.


#16

As for the commandment issue, our friend Timothy says:

papal authority and the Vatican Counsel, the second commandment has totally been deleted from the Ten Commandments and the 10th commandment, about coveting, has been divided into two parts to make it appear that there are still Ten Commandments.—I know this is shocking. under

What is shocking is that this guy provides a link to the catechism but never read it for himself.

You should show him the following sections of the catechism:

ARTICLE 1
THE FIRST COMMANDMENT

I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before me. [size=2]**You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them.**3 [/size]It is written: "You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve."4
Idolatry

2112 …These empty idols make their worshippers empty: "Those who make them are like them; so are all who trust in them."42 God, however, is the "living God"43 who gives life and intervenes in history.

2113 Idolatry not only refers to false pagan worship. It remains a constant temptation to faith. Idolatry consists in divinizing what is not God. Man commits idolatry whenever he honors and reveres a creature in place of God, …

*IV. “YOU SHALL NOT MAKE FOR YOURSELF A GRAVEN IMAGE . . .”

2129 The divine injunction included the prohibition of every representation of God by the hand of man. *Deuteronomy *explains: "Since you saw no form on the day that the Lord spoke to you at Horeb out of the midst of the fire, beware lest you act corruptly by making a graven image for yourselves, in the form of any figure. . . . "66 It is the absolutely transcendent God who revealed himself to Israel. “He is the all,” but at the same time "he is greater than all his works."67 He is "the author of beauty."68

2130 Nevertheless, already in the Old Testament, God ordained or permitted the making of images that pointed symbolically toward salvation by the incarnate Word: so it was with the bronze serpent, the ark of the covenant, and the cherubim.69

2132 The Christian veneration of images is not contrary to the first commandment which proscribes idols. Indeed, “the honor rendered to an image passes to its prototype,” and "whoever venerates an image venerates the person portrayed in it."70 The honor paid to sacred images is a “respectful veneration,” not the adoration due to God alone:

Religious worship is not directed to images in themselves, considered as mere things, but under their distinctive aspect as images leading us on to God incarnate. The movement toward the image does not terminate in it as image, but tends toward that whose image it is.71

It seems rather clear to me that our Church has simply grouped the below commands into one commandment:
a.) [font=Arial]You shall have no other gods before me. [/font]
and
[font=Arial]b.) You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them.3 [/font]


#17

I’ve sent him a bunch of responses, and he usually checks his stuff around 9:00. I’ll keep you posted.


#18

[quote=awfulthings9]Hey all,
[/quote]

[size=1]I am corresponding with an Evangelical friend of mine who goes by the pen name of Tim Cross. In the next window, I will post the e-mail he recently sent me and three others in these forums to prove to us that Infallibility is a false doctrine.

After that, I will post my e-mail response to him. I invited Tim to join us here, so I hope he will stop in and introduce himself soon. PLEASE be aware that, while his e-mail is very confrontational, he wrote it this way at my request for the information he had been hinting at, which he said he had found to disprove infallibility. Underneath it, I think you can see his Christian charity in the personal comments to the four of us. Please welcome him with respect and he will respond in kind. Tim is a sincere Christian and willing to admit when he is wrong (as he recently did regarding whether sola Scriptura is taught in Scripture). I have the upmost respect for him, but unfortunately, while I will respond to much of his e-mail in private, the take is too large for the four of us alone.

Should he leave feeling that this list adequately proves infallibility, he intends to post on his site as an outreach to Catholics. So please be diligent in responding. And please, do as I asked from Tim, and provide documention for your material when possible.## There is a logical problem in attemping to prove or disprove it - the instances called upon for that purpose (Liberius, Gelasius I, Honorius I, etc.) can always be intepreted in a way which does not contradict the dogma, just as they can be interpreted in a way which does. [/size]

So the disprover and the asserter are left where they were - if there is to be a meeting of minds, infallibility is not the means to bring it about, because the asserter & the disprover won’t convince one another; the nature of what they are debating, means they can’t; not without change of theological position in some ways; for instance, by re-interpreting infallibility so that it is understood as compatible with positions which would otherwise have been understood as incompatible with it.

Infallibility can’t be proved - or disproved; the facts of history are not what is decisive: the interpretative connections one makes between:
[list]
*]facts of history as known to the Catholic
*]facts of history as known to the other
*]what the Catholic believes
*]what the other believes
*]the Catholic’s philosophical position
*]the other’s philosophical position
[/list]are decisive. All those things have to overlap perfectly, if a doctrine or dogma of which the credibility can be affected by historical data & the interpretation of them is involved.

The trouble with history is, that it is a plenum of details: the Catholic may not make a connection between the letter of the Patriarch of Constantinople to Leo I in 454, canon 6 of Nicea 1, Canon 28 of Chalcedon, the letter signed by the British bishops in 313, and the condemnation of the Caroline Books in 794; but an Orthodox or Protestant Christian may well do so. To see what arguments based on history are not convincing to the person one is talking to, one has to know the history in its context, both as it was, and as that person sees it: to know only one’s own position, is not enough.

ISTM that all one can do is show why the CC holds to PI - this may suggest to a non-Catholic that there are ways of understanding the Christian faith he had not yet fully appreciated. I think that could apply to us too, if in a different way.

Hope this helps ##


#19

[quote=awfulthings9]I’ve sent him a bunch of responses, and he usually checks his stuff around 9:00. I’ll keep you posted.
[/quote]

Is it possible to see his comments in full, and in context ?

FWIW, I sometimes think that Catholic rebuttals are too summary, and not detailed enough - they may satisfy the Catholic doing the rebutting, but that doesn’t mean they satisfy the recipients.

ISTM that Catholic rebuttals of refutations of PI - for instance - don’t give enough weight to what often bothers Protestants a lot - the “oddness” of having Popes of bad moral character being qualified to speak infallibly. Protestantism does not make the radical separation between moral character & fitness for a position in the Church that RCism makes or (equally important, if one is an outsider to RC things) is thought to make. They see what the NT says about the qualifications required in deacons and pastors, notice that these qualifications have sometimes been conspicuous by their absence from the lives of Catholic bishops, and are not convinced by Catholic claims for the uniquely Christian status of the RCC. This refusal to make that radical separation, is connected with Protestant understanding of what the Christian Church is.

It might be helpful to quote what has been said about the qualifications for being in the RC clergy - that might conceivably do something to bridge the gap between Catholic & Protestant assertions (and impressions, on all sides, about what is or is not asserted) of what is required in the ministry.

Which is why the RC appeal to Papal authority is not convincing - anyone can wave a big stick and threaten dire penalties for non-compliance: but that is not distinctively Christian. The Pope’s followers claim authority for him: but so do the followers of all sorts of people. The mere claim is no evidence of its validity. IOW - it needs something additional to itself, something to back it up, something (given that we are talking about fitness to act as a Christian pastor in the Church which is Christ’s & not man’s) which supports the claim of Catholics that the authority of the Pope is from Christ. For if it is, it will have His character - it will be humble, not self-assertive; the servant of all, not their lord as men think of lords; heavenly, not earthly-minded; and so on. It will be righteous, gracious.

That’s why the “bad popes” are a convincing argument against PI in particular & their own fitness to be the supreme shepherds of the flock of Christ: if the overall tone of a man’s life is not godly - bearing in mind the daily falls to which all are liable by virtue of being incompletely regenerated human beings - the notion that he can be the especial and uniquely qualified judge of what is according to the will of the Holy Spirit, does not make sense.

Religious disagreements are about meaning, and where there are different people, with different ideas, who are capable of understanding things in different ways, there will be the possibility of disagreement & misunderstanding. ##


#20

[quote=awfulthings9]"Infallibility means what it says. 99.9% is not infallible. Only 100%qualiifies.
[/quote]

I see this kind of nonsense all the time. People who are vehemently opposed to a particular Catholic doctrine, who nonetheless know how it should work, which is different than the way the Church says it does work.

I can imagine some crank telling a roomful of physicists “The Theory of Relativity means what it says. Everything is relative.”


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