Papal Infallible


#1

If one pope says something infallible and then another pope comes along and says the exact opposite infallible, who is the most infallible? or who is right? adn what happens when this happens?


#2

It’ll never happen, the Holy Spirit guarantees it. No such thing as contradictory infallible statements will ever happen. Jesus doesn’t contradict Himself, neither does His body the Church give conflicting messages in its authoritative teaching.

Either one of the statements won’t be infallible, or the statements will be meant in such a way that they don’t contradict one another.

Take as an example the whole ‘outside the Church there is no salvation’ thing. The statement is perfectly true, but for a proper understanding depends, and always has depended, on a broader interpretation of what it means to be ‘inside the Church’ than some people think.


#3

If one pope says something infallible and then another pope comes along and says the exact opposite infallible, who is the most infallible? or who is right? adn what happens when this happens?

Let me explain ‘infallibility’ to you, through the Catechism.

In order to preserve the Church in the purity of the faith handed on by the apostles, Christ who is the Truth willed to confer on her a share in his own infallibility. By a “supernatural sense of faith” the People of God, under the guidance of the Church’s living Magisterium, "unfailingly adheres to this faith."417

890 The mission of the Magisterium is linked to the definitive nature of the covenant established by God with his people in Christ. It is this Magisterium’s task to preserve God’s people from deviations and defections and to guarantee them the objective possibility of professing the true faith without error. Thus, the pastoral duty of the Magisterium is aimed at seeing to it that the People of God abides in the truth that liberates. To fulfill this service, Christ endowed the Church’s shepherds with the charism of infallibility in matters of faith and morals. The exercise of this charism takes several forms:

891 “The Roman Pontiff, head of the college of bishops, enjoys this infallibility in virtue of his office, when, as supreme pastor and teacher of all the faithful - who confirms his brethren in the faith he proclaims by a definitive act a doctrine pertaining to faith or morals. . . . The infallibility promised to the Church is also present in the body of bishops when, together with Peter’s successor, they exercise the supreme Magisterium,” above all in an Ecumenical Council.418 When the Church through its supreme Magisterium proposes a doctrine "for belief as being divinely revealed,"419 and as the teaching of Christ, the definitions "must be adhered to with the obedience of faith."420 This infallibility extends as far as the deposit of divine Revelation itself.421

892 Divine assistance is also given to the successors of the apostles, teaching in communion with the successor of Peter, and, in a particular way, to the bishop of Rome, pastor of the whole Church, when, without arriving at an infallible definition and without pronouncing in a “definitive manner,” they propose in the exercise of the ordinary Magisterium a teaching that leads to better understanding of Revelation in matters of faith and morals. To this ordinary teaching the faithful "are to adhere to it with religious assent"422 which, though distinct from the assent of faith, is nonetheless an extension of it.

As you can see, there is no possible way that the charism of infallibility can be made to teach ‘one truth’ by one pope, and the ‘exact opposite’ by another.

So. . . it will not happen.

I don’t mind ‘what if’ scenarios in fiction, for example, so if in the ‘fictional’ way this happened (the only way it happen), fictionally speaking, if Pope Z came along and started teaching that the Trinity was the Dynamic Duo. . .prepare for the end of the world, tout de suite.


#4

This might prove helpful, what Canon Law says…

Can. 749 §1. By virtue of his office, the Supreme Pontiff possesses infallibility in teaching when as the supreme pastor and teacher of all the Christian faithful, who strengthens his brothers and sisters in the faith, he proclaims by definitive act that a doctrine of faith or morals is to be held.

§2. The college of bishops also possesses infallibility in teaching when the bishops gathered together in an ecumenical council exercise the magisterium as teachers and judges of faith and morals who declare for the universal Church that a doctrine of faith or morals is to be held definitively; or when dispersed throughout the world but preserving the bond of communion among themselves and with the successor of Peter and teaching authentically together with the Roman Pontiff matters of faith or morals, they agree that a particular proposition is to be held definitively.

§3. No doctrine is understood as defined infallibly unless this is manifestly evident.

Can. 750 §1. A person must believe with divine and Catholic faith all those things contained in the word of God, written or handed on, that is, in the one deposit of faith entrusted to the Church, and at the same time proposed as divinely revealed either by the solemn magisterium of the Church or by its ordinary and universal magisterium which is manifested by the common adherence of the Christian faithful under the leadership of the sacred magisterium; therefore all are bound to avoid any doctrines whatsoever contrary to them.

Can. 752 Although not an assent of faith, a religious submission of the intellect and will must be given to a doctrine which the Supreme Pontiff or the college of bishops declares concerning faith or morals when they exercise the authentic magisterium, even if they do not intend to proclaim it by definitive act; therefore, the Christian faithful are to take care to avoid those things which do not agree with it.

Can. 753 Although the bishops who are in communion with the head and members of the college, whether individually or joined together in conferences of bishops or in particular councils, do not possess infallibility in teaching, they are authentic teachers and instructors of the faith for the Christian faithful entrusted to their care; the Christian faithful are bound to adhere with religious submission of mind to the authentic magisterium of their bishops.

§2. It is likewise for the bishops and, according to the norm of law, the conferences of bishops to promote this same unity and to impart practical norms according to the various needs and opportunities of the circumstances; they are to be attentive to the prescripts issued by the supreme authority of the Church.


#5

Has never happened and can ever happen in the future…if it were about to happen then the Holy Spirit would see to the Pontiff’s demise or allow others to get to him to do it themselves.

Remember John Paul I — maybe he was getting ready to do something (like making an infallible decree on the priesthood say letting ordained priests to marry or ordain women…we just don’t know)- he expired only after a month or so and very suddenly—Then comes John Paul II to issue the correct statement on the priesthood “Ordinatio Sacardotalis” though this document was not issued under the charism of infallibility it still carries with it the weight of infallibility as it re-iterates Church teaching from day one.

Ken


#6

Ken, I know you’re probably just playing around with a hypothetical “what if” but I wonder if this sort of comment above is damaging and unhelpful in that it may foster conspiracy theories. I reckon there are enough of those floating around here already… :slight_smile:
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#7

I don’t have a conspiracy if that is what you are suggesting.


#8

Can. 752 Although not an assent of faith, a religious submission of the intellect and will must be given to a doctrine which the Supreme Pontiff or the college of bishops declares concerning faith or morals when they exercise the authentic magisterium, even if they do not intend to proclaim it by definitive act; therefore, the Christian faithful are to take care to avoid those things which do not agree with it.

Can. 753 Although the bishops who are in communion with the head and members of the college, whether individually or joined together in conferences of bishops or in particular councils, do not possess infallibility in teaching, they are authentic teachers and instructors of the faith for the Christian faithful entrusted to their care; the Christian faithful are bound to adhere with religious submission of mind to the authentic magisterium of their bishops.

§2. It is likewise for the bishops and, according to the norm of law, the conferences of bishops to promote this same unity and to impart practical norms according to the various needs and opportunities of the circumstances; they are to be attentive to the prescripts issued by the supreme authority of the Church.

So are we saying that in situations covered by these canons subsequent Popes and Bishops might authentically teach something in contradiction?


#9

Nope, wasn’t suggesting anything about you.


#10

Ok, thanks! I was just making sure.


#11

The conspiracy theory already exists as per John Paul I.

All I was saying is that God will see to the demise or failure of any Pope who desires to issue an ex-cathedra statement that is contrary to the Catholic Faith.

Ken


#12

What is sad to me is this… That there is no Pope rigth now. I mean, you have to be Catholic to be Pope right? I mean, I don’t see how the Pope can go and worship with non-Catholics when past Pope condemned it.

Pope Benedict XV :

It is illicit for Catholics in any way to assist actively or take part in sacred worship of non-Catholics (c. 1258,)

And what is with John Paul II kissing the Islamic Koran back in 1999? In the Koran they don’t even believe in Christ’s divinity.

Not only is he directly contradicting Pope Benedict XV. But isn’t that breaking the 1st commandment as well?


#13

Good grief. :frowning:


#14

The key issue here is the definition of ‘active’ and ‘taking part’. Remember the Apostles went to synagogue every Sabbath in Acts, so merely being present isn’t enough to break the commandment.

Even praying together doesn’t - didn’t Benedict last year pray in a mosque? You can bet He wasn’t praying to Allah!

And since when does a kiss mean JP2 is worshipping a false idol? I must worship my parents a heck of a lot then!

In certain cultures (including, possibly, the Middle East) a gift is kissed, to not kiss it is an insult to the giver - kind of like in our culture if I give you a gift and you toss it straight in the bin. JP2 most assuredly didn’t subscribe to Islamic beliefs, Muslims knew it and the whole world did as well, in fact it was a Muslim Turkish assasin who tried to kill him, but there’s no call for needless rudeness in dealing with those of another faith even when you disagree.


#15

I’m in partial agreement up until the Koran issue.

Why was he so adamant about pleasing them?

I don’t see how it could have been interpreted in any positive way. Obviously, he didn’t believe their message, but it didn’t send out very good signals.

I mean, no Muslim would kiss the Bible, even if another Muslim gave it to him and kissing gifts is part of his culture.

Also, we aren’t in the same circumstances as the apostles. They were all ethnic Jews, and at that time the Church’s culture and presence wasn’t crystallized.

The way to discern these things is by their fruits. The apostles converted thousands and thousands.

Today, 13% of French Catholics go to Church.


#16

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