I wanted to know if my understanding of Papal infallibility is correct or wrong…
Infallibility does not mean that a pope is incapable of sin. All popes are human and therefore sinners.
Infallibility does not mean that the pope is inspired. Papal infallibility does not involve any special revelation from God.
A pope learns about his faith in the same way that anyone else does–he studies.
Infallibility cannot be used to change existing doctrines or proclaim new ones. It can only be used to confirm or clarify
what has always been taught. The teachings of Christ cannot change. As the Scripture says, “Jesus Christ is the same
yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).
Infallibility does not mean that a pope cannot err when he speaks as a private teacher. As a man he is fallible and
capable of error.
Infallibility does not guarantee that a pope will officially teach anything. However, when he does teach he is protected. If
he decides to teach the truth, the Holy Spirit allows it. If he decides to teach error, either knowingly or unknowingly, the Holy
Spirit will stop him.
**Infallibility is not something that endows a pope with divine powers, but rather it is a gift of the Holy Spirit that protects the Church from the human frailties of a pope. **
Surely such a protection was implied when Jesus said to His disciples, “He who
hears you hears me” (Luke 10:16).
The First Vatican Council taught that three conditions must be met in order for a pronouncement to be considered infallible:
The pope must speak ex cathedra (from the chair of Peter) in his official capacity.
The decision must be binding on the whole Church.
It must be on a matter of faith or morals.
The first two conditions can be reasonably deduced from Matthew 16:19: “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven,
and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” The
acts of binding and loosing in the context of the verse would by necessity be something more than casual remarks. The
passage begins with Jesus saying, “You are Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church” (16:18). The acts of binding or
loosing would have to be official and meant for the whole Church.
The third condition stems from the obvious fact that Christian teaching is primarily a matter of faith and morals. Christianity’s
main objectives have always been getting people to heaven (faith) and teaching them how to live here on earth (morals).
Infallibility is also extended to the college of bishops when they, as a body, teach something in union with the pope. Collegial
authority is usually exercised in an ecumenical council just as it was at the Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15:1-29).
Upon leaving the earth Jesus’ final command to His apostles was to make disciples of all nations, “teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age” (Matthew 28:20)
Am I Missing anything?