As a Protestant the idea of the church being infallible was new to me. I have been studying and really come to some understanding on how the Church can claim this. It has been giving me peace to learn these things and to learn about the Catholic Church in general, but I have gotten somewhat hung up on pope Honorius and how this relates. Is there official church teaching on how exactly his statements weren’t infallible?
Three important facts re Pope Honorius I.
In *The Teaching Church Yesterday and Today *(Chap 3), in The Teaching Church in Our Time, Daughters of St Paul, 1978, Fr Robert I. Bradley,S.J., looks at the “case of Honorius”, and writes:
“That Honorius was expected to be infallible by his fellow bishops is itself perhaps the most telling fact of all, for that fact alone puts in true historical perspective this truly providential event. **Providential, for there were two other facts incidental to this event, in the light of which we can only say that it was a felix culpa.
"**The **first **is that Honorius was formally condemned by the Third Council of Constantinople, not for teaching heresy (in the same way, for instance as Arius or Nestorius had been condemned), but for being negligent in teaching the truth. (This negligence occurred when he approved of an ambiguous formula, which the Monothelites took advantage of).
"The second fact is that the condemnation itself, although it was initiated and passed by an Ecumenical Council, was not considered as truly effective until it was ratified by the Bishop of Rome. The authority, therefore, whereby Honorius stands condemned is the authority of John IV, Honorius successor. The power and prestige of the Papal teaching office thus stood after the incident in exactly the same place where it had stood before: it was still the ultimate judge of doctrine, the center of consensus, the Rock of the Church. That that Rock could be a ‘scandal’ was a salutary reminder to the whole Church – and to the Popes themselves – that the Papacy had always been and would be through all time to come simply Peter written large.” [My bold].
The church is infallible, people in the church with the exception of two times are very falliable.