Infallible only Twice?


#21

The OP asked for doctrines that have been infallibly defined by “the Church”. Given that it didn’t limit the question to ex cathedra declarations by the Holy Father, I’m thinking that it also includes the teachings of the ordinary Magesterium.

Is not the list of the canon of Sacred Scripture the subject of infallible teaching by the ordinary Magesterium?

I was under the impression that the list of things that must be believed with divine and catholic faith is rather extensive.


#22

LUMEN GENTIUM

“This religious submission of mind and will must be shown in a special way to the authentic magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, even when he is not speaking ex cathedra; that is, it must be shown in such a way that his supreme magisterium is acknowledged with reverence, the judgments made by him are sincerely adhered to, according to his manifest mind and will.”

~Dogmatic Constitution on the church #25


#23

Theologians have no authority to determine what is infallible and what is not, because they are not infallible.

Unless a papal teaching is missing one of the four
requirements I mentioned earlier, then it is infallible.

The First Vatican Council’s dogma of papal infallibility falls under the infallibility of an Ecumenical Council, not under papal infallibility.

The First Vatican Council had no authority until the Pope approved it. It therefore falls under the authority of the Pope
If there was an error in one of the doctrines of the Council that the Pope approved, then obviously the Pope was not infallible when he approved it.

Other candidates for papal infallibility that are sometimes suggested:
Evangelium Vitae’s three pronouncements against murder, abortion, and euthenasia.
Pope Boniface VIII Papal Bull, Unam Sanctum.
Pope Leo XIII, Providentissimus Deus, n. 20.
JP2’s statement against on the priestly ordination of women.
Pope Benedict XII on the beatific vision of God.
There may be others.

Thousands of others.
Unless a teaching of the Pope is missing one of the four requirements set out by Vatican I and repeated in Vatican II, it is infallible. We don’t need theologians to give their approvals. That is why Vatican I gave the clear teaching, so we would not need their faulty opinions.

All Vatican I and II did was clarify when the Pope was authentically teaching for the Church, and they limited the teaching to more or less explicitly defining something.
But, actually even the ordinary teachings of the Popes are infallible, when they are not specifically defining something.
Because both councils say Catholics must accept
"religious assent of the mind and heart" the ordinary teachings of the Pope. But, if the Pope were wrong in ordinary teachings, then the whole Church would be in error. But, that would be impossible, because of the promises of Jesus.
Therefore even the ordinary teachings of the Pope are infallible.


#24

**“Catholic scholars are totally untrustworthy”

**Someone said that was a ridiculous statement that I made. OK, name a single Catholic Scholar in whom I can trust everything he teaches to be true.

I can’t. Everything he teaches must be held against the teaching of the magisterium.

Even the saintly doctors of the Church said they submitted all they taught to the authority of the Church, because they did not know for certain if their own teachings were error free.

Another example. There is not a single Catholic scholar in this country who even knows the most basic Catholic Church teaching, which is that the primary duty of all priests and bishops is the proclamation of the Gospel.
Not one of these scholars has any idea what the Church means by “proclamation of the Gospel”. In other words, when the apostles went to proclaim the Gospel, these scholars have no idea what the apostles taught and preached, even generally.
And we must remember, that this Gospel was so extensive that the apostles could not remember it all. Jesus had to send the Holy Spirit to bring to mind all that Jesus told them.

Now, if not a single Catholic scholar knows what the Church means by the proclamation of the Gospel to all, then how in the world can I trust anything they teach.

This is the essential reason for the loss of faith for millions of Catholics after Vatican II. Catholic scholars totally mis-interpreted what the Church meant when she taught the primary duty of priests and bishops is the “proclamation of the Gospel to all”. They are totally lost.
The reason they are totally lost regarding this teaching is because the ONLY way to learn the meaning is to study ONLY what the Popes teach , especially starting with Pope Paul VI, and what the Popes approve as teaching, such as the Catechism and the General Directory for Catechesis.
As soon as a scholar starts to study other scholars interpretation of this teaching, they will be lost.

I wish there was one scholar who at least got this teaching correct. But, I have not found a single one.


#25

Of course theologians are not infallible, but there is no infallible list of infallible papal teachings. Also, I note that your comments on the subject are also not infallible. So the faithful do not know and have no definitive way of knowing which teachings fall under papal infallibility in every case.

Pope John Paul II distinguished between solemn definitions of the Pope by himself, and solemn definitions of Ecumenical Councils. So also does every text on the subject of infallibility make that distinction, including Lumen Gentium n. 25. You are stating what is and is not infallible as if your decision on the subject were infallible. What I’m saying is that we cannot be certain in every case which teachings fall under infallibility, and which type of infallibility that may be.

But you are putting forward your own opinion, as if it carried weight. It is not true that the faithful have no need of theologians. Nor is it true that the faithful can immediately determine on their own which teachings fall under infallibility. It is still something of an open question as to which teachings are infallible.

Ordinary teachings of the Pope are those teachings which do not meet all of the conditions that you mention, as dogmatically defined by Vatican I. The claim that such teachings are infallible contradicts the dogmatic definition of Vatican I that requires all conditions to be met for a teaching to be infallible. Therefore, the ordinary teachings of the Popes are non-infallible. This non-infallible non-irreformable teaching authority has been taught by JP2 and by then Cardinal Ratzinger, head of the CDF.

The claim that even the ordinary teachings of the Pope are infallible, even when short of all of the required conditions for infalibility, is a claim that contradicts the dogma taught by Vatican I.

The religious submission of will and intellect required for non-infallible teachings is a lesser standard than the full assent of faith required for infallible teachings. The lesser standard applies because ordinary non-infallible teachings are subject to the limited possibility of error, but never to such an extent as to lead the faithful away from salvation.


#26

Take a look at these two links from the Vatican:

The Holy Spirit Assists the Roman Pontiff

and

The Successor of Peter Teaches Infallibly



#27

Of course my comments are not infallible. So what good is it if Catholics have no way of knowing which teachings are infallible? If theologians are not infallible and can’t agree, and if another teaching of the Pope on what is infallible cannot be certain to be infallible, then what is the good of the teaching in Vatican I to begin with?

The purpose of Vatican I and II is to make clear to** ordinary Catholics when the Pope is teaching with authority, so that we know what is true**. It is not difficult. There are only four points.
Unless one of these requirements is missing the Pope is teaching infallibly. What is so hard about that?

It is not hard at all.

It is the dissident theologians and scholars and ordinary Catholics who don’t want to accept the teachings of Jesus Christ who try to make matters obscure. Such as the foolish statement, so ofter repeated, that even good Catholics believe it, that the Popes only taught infallible twice. That is total absolute nonsense.

Pope John Paul II distinguished between solemn definitions of the Pope by himself, and solemn definitions of Ecumenical Councils. So also does every text on the subject of infallibility make that distinction, including Lumen Gentium n. 25. You are stating what is and is not infallible as if your decision on the subject were infallible. What I’m saying is that we cannot be certain in every case which teachings fall under infallibility, and which type of infallibility that may be.

Sure we can distinguish about the types of infallibility, but they are all teachings on infallibility.

What I’m saying is that we cannot be certain in every case which teachings fall under infallibility

Sure we can. That is why Vatican I and Vatican II make gave the teachings in the first place. They made it easy enough that any Catholics can understand them. If we all had to go through theologians, then we would be stuck. Because they are not infallible.
What can’t you understand?
When the Pope
(1) intends to teach and he defines
(2) by virtue of his supreme authority (simply means teaching as head of the Church or “ex cathedra”)
(3) a matter of faith and morals
(4) to the whole Church,

What parts don’t you understand?

Vatican I made this easy enough so we can bypass the theologians who are constantly in error. Vatican I did not want us dependent on them.

It is still something of an open question as to which teachings are infallible.

Amazing.
I have never had any trouble when I read the Pope’s encyclicals. They write them for a reason. And that is to clear up errors. They don’t write them to cause more confusion.

Ordinary teachings of the Pope are those teachings which do not meet all of the conditions that you mention, as dogmatically defined by Vatican I. The claim that such teachings are infallible contradicts the dogmatic definition of Vatican I that requires all conditions to be met for a teaching to be infallible.

Not at all. Vatican I and Vatican II did not say that ONLY those teachings meeting those requirements are infallible.

Therefore, the ordinary teachings of the Popes are non-infallible. This non-infallible non-irreformable teaching authority has been taught by JP2 and by then Cardinal Ratzinger, head of the CDF.

No where does the Church teach the ordinary teachings of the Popes are non-infallible.  Neither Ratzinger nor JP2 ever taught such a thing.  

The religious submission of will and intellect required for non-infallible teachings is a lesser standard than the full assent of faith required for infallible teachings. The lesser standard applies because ordinary non-infallible teachings are subject to the limited possibility of error, but never to such an extent as to lead the faithful away from salvation.

Incorrect.  There is no such teaching of the Church, not anywhere.  Even if they lead the faithful to error, but not away from salvation, then Church would still be in error, which is impossible.

Let me explain. The Popes often taught over and over the immaculate conception, but it was only defined by the Popes supreme authority as being part of divine revelation in 1854.

The previous teachings were repeated over and over enough to know what the Popes were teaching clearly, but they were ordinary teachings, since they were not explicitly defined as part of divine revelation.
Since all Catholics had to believe these ordinary teachings, then they were taught infallibly, other wise the whole Church would be in error.

The Popes have never been in error even in their ordinary teachings.

Take the encyclical "The Splendor of Truth"
It was intended for the whole Church, and the Pope was teaching as head of the Church.
There are many, many clear explicit teachings of the Pope in that encyclical. Since it is intended for all the Church, since many are clearly defined, and others are clearly taught, then they all fall under the definition of infallibility.
It doesn’t matter that they are not new teachings. Infallible teachings are never absolutely new. They are still given in an infallible manner.
That is why there are no errors in the teaching of the encyclical.


#28

So all encyclicals are infallible? :confused:

When was this first taught? Did any of the early Church councils teach it? Did the early Church believe it? Did the majority of early Church Fathers teach it?


#29

dcdurel,

The current Pope has published a book as a private theologian. So did the previous Pope. Therefore, the work of theologians is not to be treated with disdain. You reject the work of theologians on the topic of theology, but you are making theological assertions.

Pope John Paul II and Cardinal Ratzinger both taught that the Magisterium sometimes teaches non-infallibly.

"In order to understand the limits of theological pluralism, it is necessary to distinguish it clearly from the unity of faith, which depends totally on revealed truth. With respect to the non-infallible expressions of the authentic magisterium of the Church, these should be received with religious submission of mind and will."
Address Of The Holy Father John Paul II To The Bishops From The United States Of America On Their ‘ad Limina’ Visit (Thursday, 15 October 1988)

“The theologian would accordingly be totally free to raise doubts or reject the non-infallible teaching of the Magisterium particularly in the case of specific moral norms.”
[Cardinal Ratzinger, prefect of the Congregation For The Doctrine Of The Faith, Instruction On The Ecclesial Vocation Of The Theologian, n. 33.; criticizing the rejection of non-infallible teachings of the Magisterium.]

“The preceding considerations have a particular application to the case of the theologian who might have serious difficulties, for reasons which appear to him wellfounded, in accepting a non-irreformable magisterial teaching.”
[Cardinal Ratzinger, prefect of the Congregation For The Doctrine Of The Faith, Instruction On The Ecclesial Vocation Of The Theologian, n. 28.]

Therefore, the Church does teach that the ordinary teachings of the Magisterium are non-infallible and non-irreformable.

The rest of your post above is a series of baseless assertions:
"Not at all… No where does the Church teach… Incorrect. There is no such teaching…"
These assertions contradict the teaching of the Magisterium. In addition to the quotes above, the dogma of papal infallibility of Vatican I, reiterated by Vatican II, requires that all conditions be met for a papal teaching to be infallible. The claim that teachings of the Pope, which are short of that set of criteria, are still infallible directly contradicts the dogmatic teaching of Vatican I: “If anyone, God forbid, should presume to contradict this our definition, let him be anathema.” First Vatican Council, Pastor Aeternus, chap. 4.

You think that the teaching of the Magisterium is always infallible, and you think that you are only believing what the Magisterium infallibly teaches, and so you are uncorrectable, not realizing that you are making many mistakes in what you say.

Examples of errors in papal teachings:

John XXII taught that the the blessed will enjoy the beatific vision only after the general resurrection and final judgment.

A number of Popes successively taught that ensoulment occurs at various lengths of time after conception.

Pope John Paul II in Veritatis Splendor taught that slavery is intrinsically evil.


#30

Eek…This has turned into a rather tangled mess here at the end, so I’ll be bowing out shortly. Just wanted to address this first:

It seems to me that determining infallibility and making an infallible statement are two different things. Determining whether or not a statement by a previous pope is infallible or not is not a matter of “can do” or “can’t do” for theologians, as if they either have the special charism or don’t. It’s a matter of correctly or incorrectly assessing the qualfications for infallible statements and then making a pronouncement accordingly.

Now. Precisely because this “power” (that all human beings have) is not protected under the charism of infallibility, it is possible for a given theologian to err in his assessment? Yes! It is. However…That’s why we have things like the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. If the matter is critical enough, we look to the congregation to settle the matter once and for all. The congregation is not an ecumenical council and it is not the pope. However, it is a group of the Church’s finest theologians who, from what I understand, taking pains-taking steps to ensure accuracy in all their pronouncements. (For obvious reasons.)

Regarding priestly ordination:

Prepared by the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
Approved for Publication by His Holiness Pope John Paul II

John Paul II

October 28, 1995

Responsum ad Dubium Concerning the Teaching Contained in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis

Dubium: Whether the teaching that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women, which is presented in the Apostolic Letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis to be held definitively, is to be understood as belonging to the deposit of faith.

Responsum: In the affirmative.

This teaching requires definitive assent, since, founded on the written Word of God, and from the beginning constantly preserved and applied in the Tradition of the Church, it has been set forth infallibly by the ordinary and universal Magisterium (cf. Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium 25, 2). Thus, in the present circumstances, the Roman Pontiff, exercising his proper office of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32), has handed on this same teaching by a formal declaration, explicitly stating what is to be held always, everywhere, and by all, as belonging to the deposit of the faith.

The Sovereign Pontiff John Paul II, at the Audience granted to the undersigned Cardinal Prefect, approved this Reply, adopted in the ordinary session of this Congregation, and ordered it to be published.

Rome, from the offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, on the Feast of the Apostles SS. Simon and Jude, October 28, 1995.

Joseph Card. Ratzinger
Prefect

Tarcisio Bertone
Archbishop Emeritus of Vercelli
Secretary

The Congregation hereby informs us that the teaching that the priesthood is to be reserved to men alone has been infallibly put forth by the ordinary magisterium of the Church (…with a quick refence to Vatican II. I love that…LOL)

Then, Pope John Paul came along afterwards and essentially said, “Hey, in case you didn’t notice, or somehow weren’t aware…” His statement was not an ex cathedra pronouncement simply because one cannot infallibly define what has already been infallibly defined. Know what I mean, Gene?

“In this case, an act of the ordinary Papal Magisterium,** in itself not infallible**, witnesses to the infallibility of the teaching of a doctrine already possessed by the Church.” (Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as head of the CDF, Oct. 1995)

The Congregation has spoken. The matter is settled.

Unless a papal teaching is missing one of the four
requirements I mentioned earlier, then it is infallible.

Well…Yes.

The thing is that there are only two statements in the history of the Church by popes that are *not *missing one of those four (the Council groups them into three) qualifications apparently. Those on the Assumption and the Immculate Conception of Mary.

All other statements by the pope may be “in the exercise of his office as shepherd and and teacher as all Christians” (Vatican I), but they are not a matter of the pope “defin[ing] a doctrine…” (Vatican I). “Defining” is the key word there. Translate the word “Infallibly declare once and for all.”

When the pope teaches Christians in his ordinary Magisterium, he does not do so wafflingly. It’s not as if he stands around, going, “Uh…Well…My opinion on this matter would be that,uhhh…” However, there is a reason why we distinguish ex cathedra statements from all others. Because they alone are protected by the charism. All other statements are not.

The First Vatican Council had no authority until the Pope approved it. It therefore falls under the authority of the Pope
If there was an error in one of the doctrines of the Council that the Pope approved, then obviously the Pope was not infallible when he approved it.

…Hmm…Kind of a chicken or the egg scenario here. I understand what you’re getting at with what you’re saying above. But, again, we have to make the proper distinctions: a papal ratification of an ecumenical council is a matter of papal “prerogative” or administrative authority, to be precise. It’s not an ex cathedra exercise in that the pope himself is not defining dogma. The council is.

Therefore even the ordinary teachings of the Pope are infallible.

They’re not. Do you understand the reason why? It all comes down to that third clause of the Pope intending to “define” (or “infallibly declare”).

Peace be with you,

SK


#31

This thread certainly has turned into a mess from my original question. I didn’t realize it was so complicated.

Let me summarize what I’ve learned:

Councils are Infallible, so is Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition, as well as Papal Pronouncements so long as they meet certain criteria.

The only two Papal Pronouncements that are expressly infallible are the one’s dealing with the Blessed Virgin.

However, the pope defines things that are infallible through other means, such as Scripture or Tradition or a Council.

Thanks for all the help, the additional debate has been interesting too


#32

That’s the thing. I don’t think it’s really as complicated as we’re making it. LOL. Such is the nature of life on these threads sometimes, though…

Let me summarize what I’ve learned:

Councils are Infallible, so is Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition, as well as Papal Pronouncements so long as they meet certain criteria.

The only two Papal Pronouncements that are expressly infallible are the one’s dealing with the Blessed Virgin.

Bingo.

However, the pope defines things that are infallible through other means, such as Scripture or Tradition or a Council.

Not entirely sure what you mean by this?

Peace,

SK


#33

What I mean is that the infallibility of the doctrine comes not from the papal pronouncement, but the source material the pope is clarifying, Tradition, Scripture or a Council. I believe this is the case with ordination of women. The pope ended debate on an infallible teaching of Sacred Tradition.


#34

Ok, that’s what I thought you might mean…

No. When it comes to ex cathedra statements (the two on Mary we’ve already spoken of), while all Revelation is intertwined in one way or another and ultimately has one single Source (God) and is one single message, the infallbility in papal ex cathedra statements is directly by virtue of the pope’s office. He has spoken infallibly on Mary’s Assumption and Immaculate Conception because he is the pope, not because he pointed to an infallible statement from a council, for example.

This is not to say that the pope “makes up his own stuff” in regards to ex cathedra statements. There is always some basis for the statement in Tradition or Scripture or whatever. It’s the final unequivocal “so that there is no doubt among the faithful” declaration that is made by the pope and is done so by virtue of his office, not by anything else.

That help?

SK


#35

Please enlighten me. Is it correct to say that only the Immaculate Conception and Assumption were the dogmas that had been defined through the exercise of papal infallibility and the rest were defined by Councils?


#36

=SilentKnight;3844463]

No. When it comes to ex cathedra statements (the two on Mary we’ve already spoken of), while all Revelation is intertwined in one way or another and ultimately has one single Source (God) and is one single message, the infallbility in papal ex cathedra statements is directly by virtue of the pope’s office. **He has spoken infallibly on Mary’s Assumption and Immaculate Conception **because he is the pope, not because he pointed to an infallible statement from a council, for example

.
But why isn’t Pope John Paul’s declaration on women priests an infallible ex cathedra definition? According to what was posted it is binding forever on the entire Church.

Responsum ad Dubium Concerning the Teaching Contained in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis

Dubium: Whether the teaching that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women, which is presented in the Apostolic Letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis **to be held definitively, **is to be understood as belonging to the deposit of faith.

Responsum: In the affirmative.

This teaching requires definitive assent, since, founded on the written Word of God, and from the beginning constantly preserved and applied in the Tradition of the Church**, it has been set forth infallibly** by the ordinary and universal Magisterium (cf. Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium 25, 2). Thus, in the present circumstances, **the Roman Pontiff, **exercising his proper office of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32), has handed on this same teaching by a formal declaration, explicitly stating what is to be held always, everywhere, and by all, as belonging to the deposit of the faith.

T


#37

Councils teach infallibly only when pronouncing solemn definitions of doctrine. On other matters, such as discipline, they are fallible, and when teaching without a solemn definition, they are non-infallible.

Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition are entirely infallible in all that they teach.

Papal infallibility only applies to solemn definitions that meet the conditions specified by Vatican I and reiterated by Vatican II>

It is not tenable to claim that the only two Papal pronouncements that are infallible are the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption, because the current Pope, prior to becoming Pope and writing as a theologian, gave a partial list of infallible papal definitions including ones other than those two.

The infallible teachings of Tradition and Scripture are independent of the Pope; these teaching are infallible even if the Magisterium has not mentioned the particular teaching at all.

To all participants in this thread:
Be advised that there are a number of posts in this thread containing false assertions, and severely distorted explanations, on the subject of infallibility, and presenting these ideas as if they were Church teaching.

A discussion group such as this one is not a good place to learn the teaching of the Church, since inevitably many contrary opinions will be expressed, each one claiming to be Church teaching.


#38

Yes.

SK


#39

Right. But pay attention to the wording of what was posted. The paragraph from the CDF under “Responsum: In the affirmative” informs us that the teaching was already delivered infallibly by the ordinary magisterium of the Church. All Pope John Paul did was essentially say, “Hey. In case you guys didn’t notice, or weren’t already aware…”

One cannot infallibly define what has already been infallibly defined. The teaching is infallible. It just wasn’t infallibly defined by Pope John Paul. It had already been defined before him. He then simply highlighted this fact in a formal, public way with “Ordinatio Sacerdotalis”.

Follow me?

SK


#40

Ron,

Good clarifying post other than the underlined section, I believe. You’ll have to cite your source for that one.

I’ve already posted an exact quote from Ratzinger stating that JPII’s declaration in “Ordinatio Sacerdotalis” was “not in itself infallible” (this if for no other reason than because it had already been defined by the Church) and yet this declaration was one of the ones on your list in post 15 as having been suggested by then Cardinal Ratzinger to be infallible.

Obviously, it’s one or the other. Because of the contradiction there, I question the rest of your list as well until I can peruse it for myself. :wink:

SK


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