Infallible Teachings


#1

I have tried for several years to locate a list of the infallible teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. Does any one know of an official list of the infallible teachings?


#2

Do you want all infallible teachings or just the infallible teachings made by popes ex cathedra? There’ve been 21 ecumenical councils of the Catholic Church, and many infallible teachings came from those councils.


#3

Why sure. :smiley:

And while we’re rustling that up, would you mind providing me a list of every doctrine that appears in the Bible? Since it’s all written down, it should be easy for to do…:slight_smile:


#4

Yes, a summary of all the infallible teachings of the Catholic Church is called the Catechism of the Catholic Church.


#5

I’m not sure if I’m correct (not being infallible myself) but I also believe that the CCC (Catechism), Bible, and all the other parts of the ordinary magesterium etc. contain the teachings until ‘now’.

IOW, the Pope could further define another infallible teaching in the future that is not ‘specifically given’ right now. . .but which could be found ‘implicitly’ in the Bible or the Deposit of Faith. It could never be something completely ‘new’ like a ‘quad God’. For example (though this is pushing it a bit), even though JP2 in his encyclical announced that the Church had no authority to ordain women as priests, Benedict XVI (or a future Pope) may choose to make an ex cathedra announcement of this or may make a further even more detailed encyclical statement which even more specifically defines the teaching.

Any ‘infallible’ teaching of the Church is one which has been known and taught since Jesus and the apostles, but has either not been fully understood until ‘later’ (the Trinity itself as Three Divine Persons in One God was not more fully understood until ‘after’ the apostles) or has been taught, has been ‘questioned’ due to people becoming exposed to heresy which teaches ‘against’ it, and thus has to be formally proclaimed in order to combat the heresy.

Sine heresy is still continuing and attacking the Church, there are probably going to be more occasions where She will have to defend her teachings, or so I would think. If I’m wrong, I’m sure someone will let me know!


#6

You are correct. Doctrine is not infallibly defined until violated.

Someone tomorrow may well come up with a novel popular and dangerous heresy which requires dogmatic definition but which we today would consider silly.

Thus, a 5th century Catholic who knew precisely what the canon of Scripture was and part of a Church where no serious person argued for the insertion of fiction into it would think it odd that the canon need to be dogmatically defined, since no one in their right mind argued against it, whereas by the 16th century the Reformation heresy engine extended even to butchering the Bible, thus necessitating dogmatic definition of something the Church hadn’t questioned in 1,000 years.


#7

I find it confusing to understand the subtle differences between infallibility related to ex-cathedra and ecumenical proceedings, and infallible by the Ordinary and Universal Magisterium of the Church. I can recommend an excellent book called Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma by Dr. Ludwig Ott.

It is a classic referenced by many clergy, it describes each teaching, the source of the teaching, and where it derives it’s infallibility from; or if not infallible, the source of its teaching.


#8

You can wait for another 1000 years and never get your list, no one really knows all the infallible teachings, there’s intense debate over what qualifies and what doesn’t as infallible. It really depends on the Catholic scholar, priest, or layman you ask.


#9

That’s news to me! Who specifically is debating this? You cannot just make vague generalisations. What doctrine in particular is under debate as to whether its infallible or not.


#10

Since infallibly for the pope was declared dogmatically in 1870 does that mean all popes before this time did not have this authority?


#11

I read the question as about the infallible teachings of the Catholic Church not the very small portion of teachings by Popes, even less so for the microscopic portion of those made Ex Cathedra.


#12

Well I can suggest the teaching that women cannot become priests. JPII put forth a letter saying this.

[quote=John Paul II in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis]Although the teaching that priestly ordination is to be reserved to men alone has been preserved by the constant and universal tradition of the Church and firmly taught by the magisterium in its more recent documents, at the present time in some places it is nonetheless considered still open to debate, or the Church’s judgment that women are not to be admitted to ordination is considered to have a merely disciplinary force. Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which pertains to the Church’s divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry of confirming the brethren (cf. Luke 22:32) I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful
[/quote]

Found at catholic.com/library/Women_and_the_Priesthood.asp

Some say the language used here “I declare that…” makes it church teaching and thereby infallible. Others say the opposite.

This is to me an example. Can anyone else clarify whether it’s in dispute or not?


#13

As I understand it, Doctrine and Dogmas are infallible. i.e. the Trinity, The Assumption, Jesus true God and True Man, etc. It is a short list. Seven maybe.

I do not understand the Catechism is infallible. It is only a tool for teaching and guiding the faith, a “sure norm”. Even the Bible is in-errant, not infallible, since it needs to be explained by an authority. That is where the doctrine and dogmas come in.

Fine points, I trust I have them correct.


#14

It’s not in dispute and has not been in dispute except “in some places” by some people who didn’t get the Churches prior teaching, or simply didn’t like it. The Pope didn’t make it infallible Doctrine it always has been.


#15

Notice to all participants on this thread, don’t been roped in by ja4’s trolling. He believes that Sacred Tradition and the teachings on infallibility are the “speculations of men”, and is not really interested in learning anything about Catholic Teaching. His goal is to get Catholics to confront the Magesterium and hold them accountable for their 'false teachings".


#16

Just the infallible teachings made by popes ex cathedra and also those made by the 21 ecumenical councils of the Catholic Church.


#17

Honestly, the Catechism is the best source for the teachings of the Church. There is nothing in the Catechism which will change significantly - it is not like other Christian communities which not only alter doctrines, but actually reverse them with time. All the teachings of the Catechism are bound upon the Catholic faithful.
Why, exactly, do you want a list of the infallible teachings?

Phil


#18

To ignore it, apparently.

What is truly wanted here is for the Pope to claim something absurd in an infallible fashion so as to make non-Catholics feel better.

That is the only conclusion one can come to given that no one who has asked for such a list has lifted a finger to refute one item on it.

Instead, we see claims that no lists have been provided, or that those which have are not the “right” list, or that those lists “prove” nothing, since the non-Catholics agree with it.

Has there been a less serious thread?


#19

You know what, my friend? You are probably right. But I have to admit that my answers to the requests for a list were not particularly organized or clear. I think there is room for improvement in communicating why there is no list - dont you agree?
Instead of abandoning the thread, lets put together some brief, yet accurate statements in anticipation of the next time someone asks this question. OK?

Q1: Is there a list of the infallible teachings of the CC produced by the CC?
A1: Not really a list. The CC has been around for almost 2000 years and various teachings of the popes and councils over the years have produced a considerable amount of information that is infallible. So a “list” wouldnt quite describe the volume of information. In addition, except in rare circumstances, a teaching is not declared as “infallible” when it is pronounced. Lastly, the Church, acting in its infallible capacity, has not produced a report of its “infallible teachings”. Probably the closest thing to such a report would be the entire Catechism of the CC. Contained within it are the teachings of the Church over its entire history - gathered, edited and condensed - in a format that an average adult can comprehend. Infallible teachings like the Nicene Creed are included and analyzed at length. Scripture quotes are included as are references to relevent official Church councils and papal encyclicals. It is described as the “sure norm” of the faith in it’s introduction by Pope JPll who called for it to be written. From its pages one could certainly produce a shorter, selective list of “infallible” teachings, and some have done this in various texts and on various websites. Those lists, however, are not “official” statements produced by the Church.

OK, whatdaya think?


#20

A1: Not really a list. The CC has been around for almost 2000 years and various teachings of the popes and councils over the years have produced a considerable amount of information that is infallible. So a “list” wouldnt quite describe the volume of information. In addition, except in rare circumstances, a teaching is not declared as “infallible” when it is pronounced. Lastly, the Church, acting in its infallible capacity, has not produced a report of its “infallible teachings”. Probably the closest thing to such a report would be the entire Catechism of the CC. Contained within it are the teachings of the Church over its entire history - gathered, edited and condensed - in a format that an average adult can comprehend. Infallible teachings like the Nicene Creed are included and analyzed at length. Scripture quotes are included as are references to relevent official Church councils and papal encyclicals. It is described as the “sure norm” of the faith in it’s introduction by Pope JPll who called for it to be written. From its pages one could certainly produce a shorter, selective list of “infallible” teachings, and some have done this in various texts and on various websites. Those lists, however, are not “official” statements produced by the Church.

OK, whatdaya think?

I like it, but this was also brought up in a related thread and didn’t make much headway with the OP. In essence, the answer boiled down to, “There is no comprehensive official list, nor can there be, but the Nicene Creed, Dr Ott’s list of “de fide” statements, and the Catechism provide enough details of Catholic dogma for serious inquiry and refutation attempts.”

I think your response is quite reasonable, very accurate, and we’ll have to see the responses to it.

Meanwhile,

Q2:

Is the Pope infallible?

A: The Pope is infallible (protected from error by the Holy Spirit) only when teaching ex cathedra on a matter of faith and morals. The Pope is wise and correct on many issues beyond those within the realm of faith and morals, but not infallible. Infallibility is a function of the papal office, not the person, and is a result of Christ’s promise that the gates of Hell would not prevail against his Church.


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