Papal infallibility question

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?

I don’t think so. Well done.

Looks in order.

Chiefsinner #1
Infallibility cannot be used to change existing doctrines or proclaim new ones.

Your summary is good with the proviso that the Pope, or an Ecumenical Council approved by the Pope, can and has proclaimed dogmas or doctrines infallibly which were not so proclaimed previously. Such definitions can authoritatively settle questions which were formerly disputed.

Vatican I defined the very dogma of the infallibility of the Pope in Pastor Aeternus:
Chapter 3.
“On the power and character of the primacy of the Roman Pontiff
9. Therefore, faithfully adhering to the tradition received from the beginning of the Christian faith, to the glory of God our savior, for the exaltation of the Catholic religion and for the salvation of the Christian people, with the approval of the Sacred Council, we teach and define as a divinely revealed dogma that when the Roman Pontiff speaks EX CATHEDRA, that is, when, in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church, he possesses, by the divine assistance promised to him in blessed Peter, that infallibility which the divine Redeemer willed his Church to enjoy in defining doctrine concerning faith or morals. Therefore, such definitions of the Roman Pontiff are of themselves, and not by the consent of the Church, irreformable.”
ewtn.com/library/COUNCILS/V1.HTM#6

Answer by David Gregson of EWTN on Nov-22-2002:
“You are correct in stating that **the Pope exercises his charism of infallibility **not only in dogmatic definitions issued, ex cathedra, as divinely revealed (of which there have been only two), but also in doctrines definitively proposed by him, also ex cathedra, which would include canonizations (that they are in fact Saints, enjoying the Beatific Vision in heaven), moral teachings (such as contained in Humanae vitae), and other doctrines he has taught as necessarily connected with truths divinely revealed, such as that priestly ordination is reserved to men. Further details on levels of certainty with which the teachings of the Magisterium (either the Pope alone, or in company with his Bishops) may be found in Summary of Categories of Belief.”

This is true, but just to make sure nobody is confused - the key-word is “proclaimed.” A newly-proclaimed doctrine has always been believed, but we just now got around to proclaiming it (and, usually, giving it a very precise definition so that nobody can misconstrue what is being proclaimed). The Church usually proclaims only beliefs in which some dispute or misunderstanding has arisen, so there’s a lot that nobody has ever questioned that has not needed to be formally proclaimed (yet).

What I understand from this point is everything has to be in line with what the church fathers believed. For instance, Assumption of Mary it was always believed by the early church but formally defined in the year 1950 by by Pope Pius XII.

I also missed a point that s Infallibility only applies to free acts of the pope and not to acts under torture.

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