In another thread on this Board, a poster made the following statement:
God established the papacy to uphold the teachings of the Church, not for a pope to make his own rules and command us to obey. It is absolutely our duty to know when the Pope is leading the Church into error, and then it is our duty not to obey.
I consider myself a well-informed Catholic. I’veread a lot of books, not just the Apologetic books, but several of the Catholic classics (e.g., Imitation of Christ). My diocese has a good, conservative Bishop, and I attend a parish with an excellent RCIA program and other Adult Formation opportunities. I’ve attended several of the Catholic Family Conferences.
But this post confuses me. Is this “correct?” Is this what a typical Catholic believes? Should I believe it?
Some of you who have read my other posts know that for me, the Christ-given authority is what led me to believe that the Catholic Church is indeed, the Church of Jesus Christ, the Original Christian Church.
Perhaps I am just confused, but to me, this post sounds like what I used to do in evangelical Protestantism, namely, decide if a pastor was in error, and then refuse to obey him, which usually meant joining another church.
How am I to “know” if the Pope is leading us into error? Who is the authority that I should listen to?
I’ve heard of GIRM and Canon Law. Should I, as a layperson, read and study these with the same attention that I give the Scriptures and the Catechism, and use these texts to decide if the Pope is leading us into error?
But–waaah!–I don’t have the authority and knowledge to do this–do I!!!
Please help me understand! Thank you.