Infallibility/Protection from teaching error question

I was looking at Judas Thaddeus’ thread about praying his private devotion and one of the responses got me wondering. The response said that priests are not infallible and can give faulty advice. My question is: isn’t the Magisterium made up of priests? When do they get the Holy Spirit’s protection from teaching error? This is just something that got me wondering.

Don’t get me wrong, I am a traditional Catholic, faithful to the Church and her teachings, I just got curious about when the Spirit’s protection from error kicks in. Thanks! Please go easy on me. I’m a newbie and usually super shy! Going out on a limb here with my question. Thanks! :slight_smile:

ewtn.com/library/ANSWERS/EXPLINFA.HTM

Peace

Great article! Thanks, hazcompat! This clears it up for me.

Welcome to the forums
Mary.

Thank you MaryT777!

As a Convert myself it takes time to learn all about the Faith, but its only by asking do we learn or by reading. Always if in doubt come to the Forum and you will get it straight, rather think in error, when its so simple just to ask.

Try and do a bit of reading every day, Lives of the Saints, Church Fathers, Catechism of the Catholic Church, get a simple one that is easy to use and read.

Let us as Converts pray across the miles together for a better understanding of the Church’s teachings and stay close to the Bride of Christ - The Church- if we follow her teachings the best as we can, it will bring us more happiness here on earth than you will know and in the next.

May Our Lady’s shawl be always around your shoulders.::signofcross:

Of course we need to be humble and realize that we in the forum can be wrong too.

To illustrate, many are taking it for granted that the priest in question may have erred when we only have Judas Thaddeus’ word for what occurred. We don’t know what was asked, what the answer actually was–we can’t even verify if anything was asked of a priest. Without validation some may be jumping to the conclusion that the priest was in error–but is that likely? And on what evidence or authority are some coming to that conclusion? We can all be mistaken.

In reality a priest is a better authority than a forum. If you doubt the priest then go back to the priest for clarification to see if you really understood what they said or if they can help you do further research to better understand them. Ask another priest if that doesn’t help, crack open a book, etc. But forums can be filled with opinions, mistakes, and replies based on emotion instead of reason.

I am not saying that you should NOT ask here too, but often forums can succumb to mob mentality and prove unreliable. I would suggest that when it comes to the important stuff, checking everything you read online, especially from a forum (yes, even what you read from me) with proper Church authority–preferably with help of a priest or religious or catechist.

Online where people are using avatars and pseudonyms is not a very smart way of validating what is very important, especially when eternal salvation is involved.

Let’s consider the most obvious examples of infallibility: namely, St. Peter when he wrote First and Second Peter, St. Paul when he wrote First and Second Corinthians, and so on and so forth. That is to say, we believe that they were divinely protected from error when they wrote those books … but that doesn’t mean that they couldn’t have been wrong at other times.

Just a quick response. ;):slight_smile:

Infallibility is very often misunderstood by Catholics especially after they are being challenged by non-Catholics on this issue. They may try to defend this doctrine but they also wondering what is it actually?

So it is important to know the context of infallibility. Basically it is on faith and moral. These will not change and can never change. The Church is protected by the charism of infallibility to guard this truth.

So please remember that not all teachings and advice by the clergies are infallible. I just browsed quickly on the said thread and I thought I found this. The OP there was asking whether he could pray by using the Islamic Tasbih format. The priest said he could, probably if it did not confuse him with his own faith. This advice obviously does not fall into the criteria of infallibility.

Or perhaps look at the priest point of view - it is not a sin to say a prayer of that nature. Beyond that whether the OP should go ahead with it, the priest’s advice is just like anybody else. Some say it is not advisable, some said don’t, some said yes provided you know what you are doing and that you don’t fall into the danger of syncretism. In other word, these are merely advice and some of them are merely common sense.

Another aspect of infallibility that is often talked about is about interpreting the scripture. Again, if we look into the centuries of how the scripture have been understood especially if they are used to support doctrines, perhaps all the important passages of the scripture have been made clear. Thus for that we can look into the Magisterium and the teaching of the Church, like the Catechism which is easily available. Good examples, passages that support the Eucharist and the Pope.

Good question though.

God bless.

And talking about priests, not all of them are expert or having enough experience in certain fields to be able to give good counselling. Some of them may be very experienced in certain areas but less in other. Many of our problems that we bring to our priest may not cover strictly on spiritual matters. Priest’s advise us correctly on spiritual matters, usually. Like whether it is a sin or not. Or how to go about following certian laws of the Church like the Sacraments or marriages and divorce. But there are many areas that concern parishioners which are unique, and a priest may not a know-all, even in spiritual matters sometimes, like delivery from demons, or exorcism or things like that.

=RonniSanMiguel;11042342]I was looking at Judas Thaddeus’ thread about praying his private devotion and one of the responses got me wondering. The response said that priests are not infallible and can give faulty advice. My question is: isn’t the Magisterium made up of priests? When do they get the Holy Spirit’s protection from teaching error? This is just something that got me wondering.

Don’t get me wrong, I am a traditional Catholic, faithful to the Church and her teachings, I just got curious about when the Spirit’s protection from error kicks in. Thanks! Please go easy on me. I’m a newbie and usually super shy! Going out on a limb here with my question. Thanks! :slight_smile:

“Infallibility” apples conditionally to Only the Pope

Then to the Magisterium [made up al ALL ofthe Bishops in Communion with the Pope"

and Then on ONLY matters of Faith beliefs and Morals.

It must be “clearly articulated” as being an Infallible pronouncement

However; EVERYTHING taught by the Pope and the Magisterium requires on Faith and Morals; requires assent of our minds and wills. Even if not "Infallibly defiened nd declared.

[QUOTE]Can. 748 §1. All persons are bound to seek the truth in those things which regard God and his Church and by virtue of divine law are bound by the obligation and possess the right of embracing and observing the truth which they have come to know.

§2. No one is ever permitted to coerce persons to embrace the Catholic faith against their conscience.

Can. 749 §1. By virtue of his office, the Supreme Pontiff possesses infallibility in teaching when as the supreme pastor and teacher of all the Christian faithful, who strengthens his brothers and sisters in the faith, he proclaims by definitive act that a doctrine of faith or morals is to be held.

§2. The college of bishops also possesses infallibility in teaching when the bishops gathered together in an ecumenical council exercise the magisterium as teachers and judges of faith and morals who declare for the universal Church that a doctrine of faith or morals is to be held definitively; or when dispersed throughout the world but preserving the bond of communion among themselves and with the successor of Peter and teaching authentically together with the Roman Pontiff matters of faith or morals, they agree that a particular proposition is to be held definitively.

§3. No doctrine is understood as defined infallibly unless this is manifestly evident.

Can. 750 §1. A person must believe with divine and Catholic faith all those things contained in the word of God, written or handed on, that is, in the one deposit of faith entrusted to the Church, and at the same time proposed as divinely revealed either by the solemn magisterium of the Church or by its ordinary and universal magisterium which is manifested by the common adherence of the Christian faithful under the leadership of the sacred magisterium; therefore all are bound to avoid any doctrines whatsoever contrary to them.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.