I wonder about the Doctrine of Papal Infallibility and why it was used only once, and on something relatively minor. Could some of the later Popes consider it unncessasary baggage?
All false as the supreme authority of the Pope in doctrinal teaching is known explicitly from Vatican I, Pastor Aeternus, Chapter 4, and Vatican II, *Lumen Gentium *25, to be that “definitions of the Roman Pontiff are of themselves, and not by the consent of the Church, irreformable.”
The three levels of teaching are:
**1) Dogma – infallible (Canon #750.1) **to be believed with the assent of divine and Catholic faith.
2) Doctrine – infallible (Canon #750.2) requires the assent of ecclesial faith, to be “firmly embraced and held”.
3) Doctrine – non-definitive (non-infallible) and requires intellectual assent (“loyal submission of the will and intellect”, Vatican II, *Lumen Gentium 25), not an assent of faith. [See the Explanatory Note on ATF by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith]
**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.” [My underlining]