Questions about Papal Infallibility

Hello everyone, I’ve recently seen a video called “bizarre lost traditions of the Catholic Church” and in the video the speaker lists one “tradition” as being papal infallibility and the guy brought up several questions about papal infallibility.

[LIST=1]
*]When does the Pope become infalllible, at coronation, at birth, when he comes a priest etc.?
*]When the Pope apologizes for the mistakes of earlier administrations, how can those mistakes exist if the previous administration is infallible?
*]Is the pope infallible after retirement?
[/LIST]

I don’t know much about this subject, which is a shame, but bear in mind I’m Catholic and these are not my questions.

So help anybody?

He becomes infallible at his ordination to the Papacy.

However, the pope is only infallible on topics of Faith and Morals.

BUT, he can only be infallible on this subject when he is speaking “ex cathedra” which means “from the chair”. Other than that, anything he says outside this situation is not infallible.

ALSO, there have been only 2 infallible statements issued by the pope in this circumstance (The Immaculate Conception and the Assumption). Now, the pope has made plenty of other things infallible by declaring them so through the issuing of a Church council.

To me, it sounds like this person is naïve and refuses to actually look into Catholicism.

Another side note, those outside the clergy should really not know or even worry about the infallibility of the pope because when they do, chaos (like this person that made the comments) begins and the world goes crazy. We don’t need to know everything, which is hard to understand in todays society, I get that.

God Bless,

Bballer32

Those questions assume that papal infallibility is some kind of “ability” of the Pope. It is not. It simply means that if the Pope would try to proclaim something false ex cathedra, God would make sure that he would fail. Maybe he would lose a pen, maybe Cardinals would advise him not to do so, maybe he would be distracted by something else…

In a sense, it does limit the freedom of the Pope (I guess it could be compared with some kind of censorship). Thus, at any point, only the current Pope is infallible - future Popes or retired Popes are not. And infallibility only affects some rare pronouncements. Canonisations of saints might be the most common of them - and they do not happen every month… In other cases the Pope acts fallibly.

That should answer all three questions.

When does the Pope become infalllible, at coronation, at birth, when he comes a priest etc.?
When the Pope apologizes for the mistakes of earlier administrations, how can those mistakes exist if the previous administration is infallible?
Is the pope infallible after retirement?

A Pope is infallible when speaking ex cathedra as Pope. If he’s not yet become Pope, he isn’t a pope and therefore cannot make infallible statements. If he’s no longer Pope - as in retired, which is really rare - he’s no longer Pope. :shrug:

Infallible statements are exactly what they sound like - they cannot be wrong. The Holy Spirit protects us from fallacy and error. Therefore there cannot be a situation in which the infallible statements are found to be wrong. The Pope can apologize for other things - like the official pardon the Church gave Galileo hundreds of years after the fact - but not for infallible statements. There’s no reason he should.

This article for Catholic Answers should clarify everything for you!

catholic.com/tracts/papal-infallibility

May God bless you in abundance and for all eternity!! :slight_smile:

[LIST=1]
*]When does the Pope become infalllible, at coronation, at birth, when he comes a priest etc.?
*]When the Pope apologizes for the mistakes of earlier administrations, how can those mistakes exist if the previous administration is infallible?
*]Is the pope infallible after retirement?
[/LIST]

  1. He becomes empowered to pronounce infallibly, on matters concerning articles of faith ONLY, if he so chooses as soon as he becomes pope.

  2. Any pope may make mistakes. The ‘infallibility’ only applies to articles of faith - i.e. at the level of Jesus being the son of God, that sort of thing. If a pope issued a rule that all Catholics should wear red socks, another pope could revoke that rule as he saw fit without having any effect on ‘infallibility’.

  3. No.

So how about the encyclicals like Humana Vitae (pardon my latin) St. John Paul the great’s Charity and so many others. Is there something in the Catechism that mandates an ex cathedra declaration to make something officially infallible?

Well, a teaching is not necessarily infallible. But if something is stated that is sound and reasonable, there should be no reason why you wouldn’t follow it.

Teachings on sin especially are considered infallible because they deal with morals.

The question is a total red-herring, and a bit equivocal…
in-fallible; simply means unable to ‘fall’.

And as people have noted, the Pope is only infallible when making a proclamation ‘from the chair’, eg: ex-cathedra (from the chair of the cathedral)…

It’s not a ‘tradition’, really, but a logical inference anyway. The pope can not do something capable of making the Church of Jesus the Christ, to fall. So: If I say it that way, even a Protestant would agree – they would simply claim that the Pope isn’t part of the Church of Jesus Christ, and blah blah blah…

Once people realize there are technicalities involved, and good lawyers; the question becomes a whole lot less interesting. A negative charism is really just a statement of Faith about Jesus’ protecting his church, and a logical conclusion of Believing the pope in a position that if he were not infallible – could make the church fall – except that Jesus won’t allow it to happen.

So: The Pope can trip and fall just about any time he isn’t making an ex-cathedra statement.
Got it ? :stuck_out_tongue:

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