How do I explain infallibility to people? I guess in laymans terms?

I ask because how do I dispute historically corrupted Pope’s or Popes who committed heresy?



I explained it to a friend a little while ago something like this…

Jesus uses infallibility as a way to protect His Bride from corrupt fallible men.
Popes have been corrupt and fallible - but they are prevented by the Holy Spirit from introducing their error into official Church teaching.

If anyone can point to a heretical ex-cathedra pronouncement, or to a heresy introduced into an official Church council…then they have a case against infallibility.
If all they can do is say “Pope so and so was a bad guy” - that doesn’t cut it.


[quote=josephdavid]How do I explain infallibility to people? I guess in laymans terms?


Start by exploring the problem. What good is an inerrant book if people interpret it in error? For example, what good is the inerrant teaching of the bible on the Trinity when some people interpret the bible as teaching that there are not actually three Persons in one God? Inerrant truth is of no value without the added ability to teach the truth infallibly.

You can also consider the situation if there were no infallibility. In that case, the Church would have been going downhill, losing truth and adding error, ever since the Apostles were taught the fullness of truth. Without infallibility, after the Apostles the deposit of faith has been slowly slipping away.

And then consider the authority of the Church to bind and loose heaven itself. Can the Church possibly bind heaven to error? Of course not. Therefore, there must be some guarantee that God will not allow the Church to bind heaven to error. That guarantee is simply the guarantee of infallibility.


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