Morals and Alexander VI

I don’t know if Alexander VI wrote any encyclicals or not but if it was about morals this guy didn’t have any. Ifhe wrote anything like that is it infallible ? Does the Holy Spirit protect against that? Was this the guy who tortured his Cardinals ? Is he linked with any Nihil Obstat if that’s correct.

Your opinion.


Not everything a Pope writes is infallible just because the Pope wrote it. In fact, most things aren’t. Exercising infallibility requires the intent to bind the universal Church on a matter of faith and morals.

Alexander wrote several things prior to becoming pope. I don’t know what he wrote while pope.

The charism of infallibility protects the Church from error.


Would it matter if he was? Nihil Obstat is not an exercise of infallibility.

Alexander died in 1503, and printing press was just getting going in the late 1400s. The first Index Librorum Prohibitorum wasn’t until around 1529, so the mechanism surrounding permission to print, permissible and prohibited books, was in its infancy or not yet in existence during Alexander’s time.

I suggest that you read about Alexander, you have some ideas that are a little off.

Well he was a Borgia after all :smiley: I think the claim of ‘infallibility’ only appeared in the 1800s. The behaviour of previous popes is one of the biggest sources of increduility in relation to Catholicism, particularly because of the infallibility claim. They frequently meddled in secular affairs and in some cases were clearly more interested in wielding earthly power than worrying about the spiritual welfare of their followers.

In my opinion, the Catholic Church would gain more credibility by abandoning the claim to infallibility.

This isn’t accurate.

Papal Infallibility was defined dogmatically in Vatican Council I. That does not mean it “only appeared in the 1800s”. All dogmas are part of the deposit of faith, which means it is from the Apostles.

The Church is not at liberty to do so. Dogmas of the faith are not things that can change.

It is important to remember that the church has never claimed that a pope is infallible in his actions.

Any definitive teaching on faith and morals handed down by Alexander VI would have been protected by infallibility just as any Pope would have had. It’s not the man; it’s the office.

That said, Alexander VI is best known for dividing the known world between Portugal and Spain during the Age of Discovery. Hardly anything protected by the charism of infallibility.

The notion of infallibility clearly does not stem from the apostles. Paul had occasion to correct Peter, just as Christians should correct the pope today. There is no basis for ex cathedra in scripture:

Paul’s correction of Peter did not involve infallibility, and neither does it disprove it. It was a matter of behaviour, not teaching.

Any Pope can behave badly and can and ought to be corrected.

This is not what infallibility is about.

And further, it can be shown from the Scriptures that Peter was rendered infallible at least twice, and possibly up to four times.

OK ¶ 1 answers what I’m getting at. * It’s not the man but the office* So his actions as a man do not matter. He or anyone else. What about this encyclical Francis wrote about the earth? Is it nihil obstat or infallible? If not I question it.

There is no solid basis for the infallibility of the papacy in scripture, not unless you are prepared to take scripture out of historical context to suit church dogma.

"Mt. 16:17-10 “you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my church…” could simply mean Peter was the foundation, the start of the church. There is nothing to imply any of Peter’s authority was ‘passed on’ or inherited somehow by an institution.

It is an encyclical, so as such, requires us to assent to it. However, unless he has defined a teaching in it to be definitively held by the faithful, and such an intent is manifestly evident, then no, as a document, it is not infallible. It does NOT mean we can just disregard it, as it does constitute an expression of the Church’s Magisterium.

As for nihil obstat, well, that’s obvious. It’s been published on the Pope’s own authority, so obviously, nothing stands in the way (which is what nihil obstat means).

Yes there is, but even if there wasn’t, that does not disturb us. Catholics do not go by Scripture alone. But as I said, there is Scriptural basis for Papal infallibility. It’s called the Keys.

Scripture contains at least one infallible Papal encyclical. It’s called 1 Peter.

Again, it can be shown from Scripture that Peter himself was rendered infallible at least twice. Not merely infallible, but inerrant, which we don’t even claim for present Popes.

And yes, we will not find Scripture that says, “Popes are infallible when blah blah.” We develop the doctrine from a reasoned reading of Scripture, the application of logic, and the understanding of the early Fathers. We believe in papal infallibility because it is the only reasonable conclusion to draw.

Clearly, we disagree.

Which has absolutely nothing to do with infallibility.

except for Matthew 16:18-20 and Luke 10:16… among others.

what about it?

What do you think nihil obstat means?

Does it define a dogma?

IDK I’ve looked at a little of it. And heard about it. So that doesn’t say much. Does it define a dogma? I would not know. If I am right a doctrine has to become a dogma. Mariology hasn’t been raised to the level of dogma has it? It’s doctrine and optional. But it works for me. As for the Nihil Obstat, I’ve seen it a few times when a Bishop says, I find no errors here.

Well it sounds like he was indeed a Nepot. But I didn’t know it was claimed that he became Pope via simony. I’ve heard many disavow Alexander VI for some reason. The article you point to doesn’t say anything about morals being off though. As I would expect it might not. Others never told me their sources.

Modern historians, some very much not Catholic, give a more kindly account of Alexander VI than the largely English Protestant historians of times past gave him.

Nepotism was, of course, his greatest flaw. But it wasn’t that strange in his time.

Vatican I clarified what had always been there.

In my opinion, the Catholic Church would gain more credibility by abandoning the claim to infallibility.

Many have the opinion that the Catholic Church should stop teaching absolute truth, and go with relativism.

It’s already been said, Paul corrected Peter for his behavior, not his teaching. How Peter could be teaching while hiding is beyond me.

There is no basis for ex cathedra in scripture:

You mean the Latin term is not in scripture. Peter wrote two infallible ex cathedra books, and there dozens of scriptures indicating Peter’s role as leader of the Apostles. What is not in scripture is the anti-Catholic definition and it’s not the same definition as historical Christianity.

Maybe you have an infallible document you can cite that takes scripture out of context, or contains errors in faith and morals.
Matthew 10:20 for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
Luke 12:12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that very hour what you ought to say.”
Jesus tells His apostles it is not they who speak, but the Spirit of their Father speaking through them. If the Spirit is the one speaking and leading the Church, the Church cannot err on matters of faith and morals.
Matt. 16:19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
For Jesus to give Peter and the apostles, mere human beings, the authority to bind in heaven what they bound on earth requires infallibility. This is a gift of the Holy Spirit and has nothing to do with the holiness of the person receiving the gift.
Matthew 18:17 If the member refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. 18 Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
The Church (not Scripture) is the final authority on questions of the faith. This demands infallibility when teaching the faith. She must be prevented from teaching error in order to lead her members to the fullness of salvation.
John 11:48 If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and destroy both our holy place[h] and our nation.” 49 But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all! 50 You do not understand that it is better for you to have one man die for the people than to have the whole nation destroyed.” 51 He did not say this on his own, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus was about to die for the nation, 52 and not for the nation only, but to gather into one the dispersed children of God. 53 So from that day on they planned to put him to death.

Some non-Catholics argue that sinners cannot have the power to teach infallibly. But in this verse, God allows Caiaphas to prophesy infallibly, even though he was evil and plotted Jesus’ death. God allows sinners to teach infallibly, just as He allows sinners to become saints. As a loving Father, He exalts His children, and is bound by His own justice to give His children a mechanism to know truth from error.
There are several more scriptures on this matter.

"Mt. 16:17-10 “you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my church…” could simply mean Peter was the foundation, the start of the church. There is nothing to imply any of Peter’s authority was ‘passed on’ or inherited somehow by an institution.

The rise of the Church, all things considered, was a greater miracle than the Resurrection itself. Since the canon of the Bible wasn’t completed until 397 , without apostolic succession there would be no authority to do so. Unless, of course, you are going by the latest anti-Catholic definition, plus a revised version of early church history.

No doctrine is optional. Even teachings promulgated by the ordinary magisterium that do not rise to the level of dogma are still binding on the faithful.

“Mariology hasn’t been raised to the level of dogma” isn’t a properly constructed phrase; there is no doctrine or dogma called “Mariology.” There are, however, four dogmas that pertain to our Lady: Mother of God, Perpetual Virginity, Immaculate Conception, and Assumption. Mariology is a branch of religious study or thought that deals with our Lady; it’s not a body or dogma or doctrine.

Yes, the charges of nepotism are not without merit. He placed his children, notably is son Cesare in high positions of power. The charge of simony may be true as well, but just in case you’re getting there, simony does not invalidate a papal election.

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