List of Infallable papal proclamations

Does anyone know where I can find a summary of recognized infallable papal statements? I realize that there may be some from this papacy that are not yet defined, but if anyone knows of a website or book, that would be very helpful. Thanks

There is no agreement among theologians as to which are the teachings defined under papal infallibility, nor has the Magisterium decided upon such a list. Such a list does not exist.


As far as I know there are only two, both concerning Mary.

At least that is what I had been taught. The defined dogmas were the Assumption, and the Immaculate Conception.

Other than that, the Church relies on the infallibility of the Magestarium.

A lone Raven

*Ineffabilis Deus *and Munificentissimus Deus are the two documents that are accepted by nearly all as infallible.

However, the apostolic letter of John Paul II Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, where the Great Pontiff declares that the Church has no authority to grant priestly ordination to women, is also infallible to some, toes the line to others.

In a Dubium et Responsum, the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Prefect says:

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.

this can be found at, a blog discussing the infallibility of this document.

The then-Prefect bases his decision on the following statement within Ordinatio Sacerdotalis:

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. Lk 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.

This can be found at the same website, although it is a quote from the papal document.

So, as stated in previous posts, there is no official list of infallible documents, although I wouldn’t mind seeing one just to see if OS is on it!


“A 1998 commentary by Cardinal Ratzinger and Cardinal Bertone, the leaders of the CDF, listed a number of instances of infallible pronouncements by popes and by ecumenical councils, but explicitly stated that this was not meant to be a complete list.” (wikipedia)

I’ve not found a copy of that commentary yet.


Does this mean we can’t know for sure which statements are infallable? And if that’s the case, how can we reject, say, semipelagianism since that was condemned via the pope’s “authoritative” stamp on the Council of Orange?

Yeah…as someone who has been interested in Catholicism, it bothers me that there is not a consensus on which papal and conciliar pronouncements are infallible. many of the arguments against Protestants are rooted in Protestantism’s lack of certainty (e.g. “How are you certain which books go in the bible?”; “How are you certain your interpretation is correct?”)

How can Catholics have certainty about which teachings are infallible? (Also, how do Catholics have certainty about doctrines prior to the papal/conciliar pronouncements that are infallible?)


1 Tim3:15 The Church is the Pillar and Foundation of Truth. If something is True, then it is infallible.

It is not correct doctrine to say that everything that is true is infallible. The Magisterium has many true teachings in its ordinary non-infallible teachings which are true but non-infallible.

If all that is true is infallible, then all that is non-infallible would have to be false. This contradicts the teaching of the Magisterium which requires the religious submission of will and intellect to non-infallible teachings.

Infallibility offers the faithful the gift of the charism of certain truth. Whereas the non-infallible teachings are also mostly true, but they do not have the charism of certain truth, but are reliable and generally true.


“This contradicts the teaching of the Magisterium which requires the religious submission of will and intellect to non-infallible teachings.”

Besides the lack of an “infallible list of infallibility”, I find the statement quoted above to be an equally disturbing element to my faith.

Why am I obligated to submit my will and intellect to fallible HUMAN teachings? What purpose can this serve except to establish the power of those in the Church? How can something be true if it’s not infallible? If it’s not DEFINITIVE truth, then it’s just theory, and not truth. The very definition of something being “true” means that it can be nothing else, hence it is by definition, Infallible.

These are questions I’m raising in RCIA that no one can seem to answer.

We know what teachings are infallible, because the Pope will speak ex-cathedra.

Only one infallible statement has been made in the past 100 years.

They are extremely rare.

Ok well then is there a list of statements “generally considered” to be infallable? Or maybe a list of all statements considered infallable by anyone (that is, including disputed ones)?

Get a copy of Denzinger’s The Sources of Catholic Dogma. Dogma is the highest level of Catholic doctrine.

Mark Wyatt

It utterly amazes me that the Catholic Church claims to be infallible, but even here in this forum, no one even can say with certainty which teachings are infallible. Go to Denzinger’s, Ratizinger and Bertone says there is not complete list, 1Tim3:15-the Church is the pillar and foundation of the truch(Catholics will say ONLY the Roman Catholic Church). When a tribunal grants a declaration of nullity to a marriage that never existed in the first place, is that an infallible decision of the Church. If it is, then are these 3 people (or even sometimes 1 person) infallible and speak for the whole Church. If not, then we have thousands of people going to hell because then these people with annulments are remarrying, when in fact they are still married to their first spouse and thus commiting adultery.

Dominus Vobiscum

The Holy Spirit gives the gift of the Magisterium to the Church in two ways.

  1. the infallible Sacred Magisterium which has the charism of certain truth
    This includes papal infallibility, the solemn definitions of

  2. the non-infallible Ordinary Magisterium, which has a different charism, one which protects even the non-infallible teachings from errors that would lead one away from the path of salvation.

So, we are required to believe the ordinary non-infallible teachings because, even though there is the possibility of error, such errors can reach to the extent that most or all ordinary teachings would be in error, nor to such an extent as to lead one away from the path of salvation. If a set of teachings might have errors, but never to the extent that, by following such teachings, you would lose salvation, then we should follow those teachings in order to reliably obtain salvation.

Only one infallible statement has been made in the past 100 years.

I disagree. There are a number of papal statements which clearly meet the criteria for papal infallibility. Although this is a matter of some dispute among theologians, I think it is clear that there is more than one in the last 100 years.

When a tribunal grants a declaration of nullity to a marriage that never existed in the first place, is that an infallible decision of the Church.

Not true. Decisions of the temporal authority of the Church are never infallible, even when made by a Pope or a Council.


Okay, perhaps you had a slip in thought pattens here.

A defintion of infallible is : “incapable of error : UNERRING”

So what you equivocally said was : “True but with Error”. That is exceptionally illogical.

My logic that “if something is true, then it is infallible” - still stands. It hasn’t been defeated.

Now as regards the “True Church of Jesus Christ” (the Catholic Church) Noone has ever satisfactorily shown me, that the Church has ever taught error. Usually the person attempt to do so, has a complete mis-interpretation of the facts, or an incomplete understanding, or he/she binds up the declaration within boundaries of time.

The Magisterium has many true teachings in its ordinary non-infallible teachings, teachings which are true but non-infallible.

Infallible does not mean without error.
Any member of the faithful can say something that is without error, but still not infallible: e.g. 2 + 2 = 4.

Infallibility is a charism, a gift of the Holy Spirit, which guarantees that a teaching is certainly true, apart from any evaluation as to what is being said. In other words, it is true because it is taught under papal infallibility, or because it is a solemn defintion of an Ecumenical Council, or it falls under the ordinary universal Magisterium.

Such teachings have a ‘charisma veritatis certum’ (charism of certain truth).

Ordinary teachings are generally true, but may contain errors on matters that are not essential to salvation; in other words, ordinary teachings have a different charism, one which prevents these teachings from containing – not any errors whatsoever – but errors which would lead one away from the path of salvation.

Teachings of the Ordinary Magisterium, even when true, are not taught with the charism of infallibility, and so may contain errors, to a limited extent.

This statement: if something is true, then it is infallible
contradicts the teaching of the Church which limits infallibility to only certain teachings, not all teachings that happen to be true. It also contradicts the teaching of the Church that only the Pope can teach, by himself, infallibly. Certainly some of what you have said in your life is true, yet you cannot exercise the charism of infallibility.


The Catholic Church is only to make infallible doctrines when there is a midst of unclarity among the faithful.

The Catholic Church should not have to make infallible documents on stuff that people should already know based on natural law that is written on their hearts and can be found out with a good conscience.

This might help and after looking through it, it perfectly proves the Church trustworthy:

**The Pope the Man is not infallible, only his office or word on doctrine.


The problem is that people are somehow under the misapprehension that infallibility is the most important feature of the Church. It ain’t–it’s a wonderful charism, but not necessary in the strictest sense. What is important is authority. That authority resides in a living Church. There is no list of infallible teachings, because there is no need for one.

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