I was wondering what is the proper response to the accusation against papal Infall. of the three time deniel by Peter and the Peter going against the Idea of the lord being killed and getting a “Behind me Satan” rebuking? Thanks and God bless.
I’d ask if their objections also apply to Peter’s teaching of the faith, and of His scripture writings. Were these all false as well? Was Peter incapable of teaching and writing the true gospel?
Not everything a Pope teaches are does is infallible, in fact little is.
Statements by a pope that exercise papal infallibility are referred to as solemn papal definitions or ex cathedra teachings. These should not be confused with teachings that are infallible because of a solemn definition by an ecumenical council, or with teachings that are infallible in virtue of being taught by the ordinary and universal magisterium. For details on these other kinds of infallible teachings, see Infallibility of the Church.
According to the teaching of the First Vatican Council and Catholic tradition, the conditions required for ex cathedra teaching are as follows:
- "the Roman Pontiff"2. “speaks ex cathedra” (“that is, when in the discharge of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, and by virtue of his supreme apostolic authority….”)3. "he defines"4. "that a doctrine concerning faith or morals"5. “must be held by the whole Church” (Pastor Aeternus, chap. 4.) For a teaching by a pope or ecumenical council to be recognized as infallible, the teaching must make it clear that it is definitive and binding. There is not any specific phrasing required for this, but it is usually indicated by one or both of the following: (1) a verbal formula indicating that this teaching is definitive (such as “We declare, decree and define…”), or (2) an accompanying anathema stating that anyone who deliberately dissents is outside the Catholic Church. For example, in Munificentissimus Deus, Pope Pius XII’s infallible definition regarding the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, there are attached these words: "Hence if anyone, which God forbid, should dare willfully to deny or to call into doubt that which We have defined, let him know that he has fallen away completely from the divine and Catholic Faith."
An infallible teaching by a pope or ecumenical council can contradict previous church teachings, as long as they were not themselves taught infallibly. In this case, the previous fallible teachings are immediately made void. Of course, an infallible teaching cannot contradict a previous infallible teaching. Also, due to the sensus fidelium, an infallible teaching cannot be subsequently contradicted by the Catholic Church, even if that subsequent teaching is in itself fallible.
I’d add that I’m unclear if Peter was Pope at this time. Christ’s words to Peter to strengthen the brothers and feed/tend Christ’s sheep came after the resurrection. Even Christ making Peter the visible foundation of the Church upon which Christ would build and giving the keys to kingdom of Heaven seems to be looking to the future…not right then.