doctrine? he is human, and has free will , but when it comes to matters of faith and doctrine is he always infallible?
Correct. Since he is human, he is peccable however. Looking at history, some Popes were downright, well, bad. But they preserved the Truth. None never deviated from the Truth.
Infallibility is when he speaks on matters of faith and morals (which encompasses aspects of doctrine in both.)
This whole subject is very well treated at
It is important to remember that the pope’s authority to teach and our obligation to abide with his teaching is not to be confused with his infallibility, which only applies in some cases.
If he intends to make an infallible statement concerning faith and morals and follows the correct formula, then yes, his teaching is infallible.
Keep in mind, that he can also offer his opinion on a matter without making an infallible pronouncement.
It’s my understanding that the number of infallible papal statements over the past 2,000 years is estimated to be only between two and seven. Obviously, the pope teaches on matters of faith and morals daily; therefore, not EVERYTHING the pope says is infallible.
Hope this helps. :tiphat:
The Pope exercises the charism of infallibility whenever he, as supreme pastor and teacher of the faithful, proclaims by a definitive act a doctrine pertaining to faith or morals.
This means that numerous documents and statements he makes are infallible. Including the teachings contained within the Catechism of the Catholic Church. And teachings comprise about 80 - 90% of the CCC.
Any papal encyclical, moto propio, letter etc, including concilior documents which meet the above criteria are by definition infallible.
E.g., Ordinatio Sacerdotalis teaches that the Church has no authority to ordain women. That statement is a doctrine of the Church which has been handed down from the Apostels. The Pope simply put it in writing because so many were challenging it. It is infallible as it meets the above criteria.