Seeking help


#1

Good day all. I am writing seeking assistance in understanding of the infallibility of the pope. Particularly

To be infallible they must be issued by the pope himself in his own name according to the conditions already mentioned as requisite for ex cathedra teaching.

as described at
newadvent.org/cathen07790a.htm#IIIB.

Does this imply that pope is “perfect” as Christ was?

Thanks,

prjct


#2

I couldn’t read your link so hopefully I am answering what you are asking. Infallibility does not imply perfection. It is a charism given to the pope whereby he will correctly proclaim Catholic doctrine. This is guaranteed when he speaks with his authority as the successor of Peter intending to bind the whole Church to a teaching on faith and morals. It does not mean the pope can’t sin or he can’t make a mistake in forcasting the stock market.

It should be noted that the writers of scripture had a divine charism of divine inspiritation of which they were infallible. Yet similarly it did not mean they were not sinners. Paul himself said “the good that I would do I do not, while the EVIL that I would not do I do.”. Interpruation of scripture, i.e. infallibility is a lesser charism than divine inspiration.

Blessings


#3

No, it implies more that the pope is “perfect” as the writers of Scripture were. That is, when communicating and interpreting God’s revelation, they are guided by the Holy Spirit so that they may not commit error in that task. That doesn’t mean that popes (1) are without sin, (2) are infallible in everything they say, (3) always teach clearly and forcefully, or (4) uphold the office and duties of the papacy well.


#4

Thank you both for your prompt reply.

I really did not mean to ask if the pope was perfect as Christ was and not a sinner…bad use of words…sorry. My reference to the popes “perfection” was wondering the events that continue to lead to the Churches belief that man, much less the Church, is infallible when I have been taught the only infallible being is God.

What I meant to ask, recognizing that “Every one hath his proper gift [charisma] from God; one after this manner, and another after that” (I Cor 7:7)

is the popes infallibility based upon Scripture or Tradition (with a capital T?

Thanks &

God Bless


#5

What I meant to ask, recognizing that “Every one hath his proper gift [charisma] from God; one after this manner, and another after that” (I Cor 7:7)
There are many gifts but one Spirit, the gift of being led to all truth is ONLY guaranteed to the leaders of His Church, not to you and I.

[quote=prjct] is the popes infallibility based upon Scripture
[/quote]

Yes

[quote=] Mt 16: 13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? 14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. 15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? 16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. 18 And I say also unto thee,** That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.**
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Jesus establishes Peter as the leader of His Apostles and gives the keys to Peter alone.

[quote=] Jn 14: 16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; ,** 17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. ** 18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
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[quote=] Jn 14: 26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, ,** he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. ** 27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
[/quote]

Jesus establishes that His Church shall be led to all truth.

[quote=prjct] or Tradition (with a capital T?
[/quote]

Scripture is Tradition.


#6

My reference to the popes “perfection” was wondering the events that continue to lead to the Churches belief that man, much less the Church, is infallible when I have been taught the only infallible being is God.

actually, it is God being infallible through the pope - kinda’ like when people perform miracles. it’s not the people performing them, but rather God working through them. no catholic thinks the pope is infallible by his own power - that would be heresy! like the blessed virgin mary, all wonder we see in the pope comes from the glory of God working through them. that said, there’s no telling how much any given pope will cooperate with God. he could be a giant schmuck and never teach anything correctly - all that’s guranteed is that he won’t teach anything INcorrectly and bind the church to it.

here’s a better explaination (catholic.com/library/papal_infallibility.asp) - if you still have questions after reading, please ask…this is one of my favorite topics!

RyanL


#7

I think Papal Infalibility is easy if one realizes we are applying infalibility to the Holy Spirit and an office, not a man. Protestants claim infalibility everytime they use the tired line that “I pray for the Holy Spirit to come to me and lead me into all truth while reading scriptures.” Of course, according to their reasoning, they will say they can interpret scripture correctly because they have the Holy Spirit leading them. (Never mind they sound like Mormons).

Papal infalibility goes along this line except we have 2000 of the Holy Spirit leading us into all truth. By the way, it was the Holy Spirit that lead the pope to infalibly declare what books would be in the Bible.

Joshua


#8

Continued thanks to all who have helped me better understand this…I have been doing further research these past few days and have come across many things that I continue to scratch my head over and will share many over time as I systematically determine their truth…

Tom - you said -

There are many gifts but one Spirit, the gift of being led to all truth is ONLY guaranteed to the leaders of His Church, not to you and I.

I have found the word truth written over 150+ times throughout the old & new testaments and have not found one Scripture that that says being led to all truth is ONLY guaranteed to the leaders of His church…

examples…

Ps 119:43 says -
Never take the word of truth from my mouth, for I hope in Your judgments

1 Tim 2: 3-4 says

3This is good, and it pleases God our Savior, 4who wants everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

2 John 1: 1-2 says

…but also all who have come to know the truth-- 2*because of the truth that remains in us and will be with us forever.

Can you clarify where this teaching is taught within Scripture?

Also - you say that Scripture is Tradition. Is this the Roman Catholic belief of Sola Ecclesia or Regula Fidei belief of the early church?

Ryan, Thanks for your offer of continued assistance…I found the information at the weblink you posted very informative.

I am studying a Bibliology and Hermeneutics course and the topics of apostolic succession, ex cathedra, infallibility, magisterial authority, and more are being introduced and I am sure I will have many more questions.

Thanks &

God Bless,

prjct


#9

i think you may have misunderstood tom (or perhaps tom misspoke). we are all lead to Truth by the Holy Spirit (through prompting toward faith), but the only ones to whom this “particular” promise has been extended are the bishops in communion w/ the pope. the “particular” promise is as follows: when a matter is declared authoritatively decided concerning faith or morals, it is done with the full creibility of God. that, i believe, is what tom meant by “all truth”. while we are all lead to Truth by the Holy Spirit to one extent or another, this does not mean that when you think you are being led, you actually are being led by the Holy Spirit. that promise is the “particular” promise. does that help?

RyanL


#10

Ryan,

Thanks for your thoughts insight.

Forgive me if I seem naive… but the only ones in your reply is what I am unclear of………

I cannot find Scripture that says the promises of God and the complete guidance of the Holy Spirit, including the prompting toward faith, are available to a "chosen few,” much less specifically bishops who are in communion w/ the pope.

I have been taught that God has made some of us apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers, etc. and that all truth is available to all who choose Christ, regardless of who we are or what

I am I being misinformed or am I misunderstanding the truth of the Gospels?

Can you steer me toward Scripture that specifically provides clarity to my wondering?

Thanks &

God Bless.


#11

opps…for clarity…

are or what “profession” we partake in.

Am I being misinformed or am I misunderstanding the truth of the Gospels?

Sorry for the haste in my post…

God Bless


#12

prjct,

i am pleased beyond words that you are earnestly seeking answers, and not attacking what you don’t believe/understand. i consider you a true brother in Christ Jesus.

i understand what you are saying, and i hope i can provide some help. i attend baptist church with my wife (a baptist) after mass every sunday, and i know that the preacher is a man who is earnestly led by God. unfortunately, he is not led in “all truth”, as can be evidenced both by the disharmony of the protestant denominations and even his lack of unity with traditional baptist teachings. in fact, there are other “Godly” people in our baptist bible-study who disagree with the preacher about matters of faith and morals. but how can this be, if they are indeed led by God? as the Holy Spirit is not the author of confusion, but of Truth, all of these “led by God” preachers and laity cannot possibly be guarenteed the “fullness of truth”. so what gives? are we all in fact guarenteed to be led to the “fullness of truth” by the Holy Spirit? or is there such a thing as heresy, perpetuated by earnest men who believe they are being led? how are we to know? did Christ leave us to read a book in the dark by ourselves, or is there a pillar and bulwark of truth to which we can turn, assured by God Himself that we could trust it? could we, on our own, be deceived, or even deceive ourselves? does the bible tell us what to do?

here is a link to a biblical explaination that i believe should help. really, only question 1 is pertanent, but the other questions could help future objections.
catholic.com/thisrock/2002/0202sbs.asp

let me know if these scriptures help,
RyanL


#13

oh!

it would also help to read matt 16:18 in conjunction with isaiah 22:22, and matt 18:18 in conjunction with deu 17:8-13. these show the “shadow of things to come”, and what the Holy Spirit, the divine author of scripture, was thinking when these scriptures were penned. the coincidences are far too striking to dismiss.

RyanL


#14

Ryan,

Thank you again for your insights and help. I am studying the Scriptures you suggested and as a result am reading a variety of opinions, commentaries and historical information about what these particular Scriptures meant when they were written and what truth that can be extracted from them. As you might imagine the opinions and commentaries are many and I am enjoying them.

In my studies, of these Scriptures and a Theology class I am taking, I am learning much about the early church, it’s leaders, it’s divisions, etc., and am on a mission to learn who was the first pope. Like opinions & commentaries, there is much differing information about this and I look forward to hearing yours and others thoughts on this bit of history.

Thanks for your willingness to share and provide clarity.

God Bless


#15

[quote=prjct] There are many gifts but one Spirit, the gift of being led to all truth is ONLY guaranteed to the leaders of His Church, not to you and I.

I have found the word truth written over 150+ times throughout the old & new testaments and have not found one Scripture that that says being led to all truth is ONLY guaranteed to the leaders of His church…
[/quote]

The bend in your thinking occurs over the word “guaranteed.” While you and I may receive the truth, discern the truth, share in the truth – the scriptural warrant or “guarantee” arises from those passages where specifically the Apostles alone and Peter are entrusted with a unique charism, such as in John 20:21-23, or 21, or Mt 16:18 where the “thou” form indicates that it is personally to Peter alone that the Keys are given. You and are led into all truth insofar as we are in communion with the Church to which the promise has been made.

Just as Jesus had a physical body when he walked as a man among us, so today, his mystical Body, the Church has a physical body.

examples…

Ps 119:43 says -
Never take the word of truth from my mouth, for I hope in Your judgments

1 Tim 2: 3-4 says

3This is good, and it pleases God our Savior, 4who wants everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

2 John 1: 1-2 says

…but also all who have come to know the truth-- 2*because of the truth that remains in us and will be with us forever.

Indeed, these examples affirm that we are all priviliged to share in the truth. They do not guarantee that we will. The guarantee is to the Church that the gates of the netherworld will not prevail . . . .

Can you clarify where this teaching is taught within Scripture?

For me the teaching is manifested by the classical texts from John, Matthew, and Luke which support the Petrine primacy but are emphasized in Our Lord’s great high priestly prayer that “they all might be one.”

Also - you say that Scripture is Tradition. Is this the Roman Catholic belief of Sola Ecclesia or Regula Fidei belief of the early church?

Scripture IS Tradition. It was not until the late 4th Century that the Church codified the table of contents of the New Testament (Councils of Hippo & Carthage in 393 & 398). Hundreds (if not thousands) of texts were circulating in the Church: “gospels,” “acts,” “epistles” – some of them still extant. Only 27 books made the cut. So, while the Church had, say, I Timothy in the year 275 A.D., and valued it as “scripture,” the Church did not have the assurance of its value as “inspired writing” until the matter was settled in council and ratifed by Rome. It was not until the Protestant reformation that the idea of sola Scriptura emerged, and that “the book” acquired a life of its own, separate from the Church.

The idea of *“sola Ecclesia” *makes perfect sense when one understands that the Church is the matrix from which Scripture arose and that she is commissioned with safeguarding the Word of God. Sola Ecclesia only sounds horrific if you have a degraded view of the Church as if the Church can be divorced from Scripture (as I myself did in my deep Protestant, anti-Catholic days).


#16

[quote=prjct]* am on a mission to learn who was the first pope. * Not sure what you mean by “who was the first Pope.” You can say without hesitation, “Mission accomplished.”

We trace the papacy to Peter, scripturally, historically and charismatically but the word “Pope”, and even the fully developed understanding of Petrine primacy and papal authority as we now understand them, did not arise immediately (although they were very early).

Development of doctrine is one of the sidebars to papal infallibility. The Church cannot *create *doctrine nor develop a doctrine in contradiction of Scripture but as our understanding of doctrine matures, it is promulgated “infallibly” for the enrichment of all the faithful.
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#17

[quote=prjct] Tom - you said - There are many gifts but one Spirit, the gift of being led to all truth is ONLY guaranteed to the leaders of His Church, not to you and I.
I have found the word truth written over 150+ times throughout the old & new testaments and have not found one Scripture that that says being led to all truth is ONLY guaranteed to the leaders of His church…
[/quote]

You need to keep Scripture in context. To whom is Jesus addressing when He says the Holy Sprit will lead them to all truth? It is the 11 Apostles (Judas had already left) during the last supper discourse. He only promises these 11 (and by Apostolic succession their successors) that the Holy Spirit will lead them to all truth. Now the Holy Spirit indeed comes to each of us, but as I previously posted there are many gifts, the gift of being led to all truth is ONLY guaranteed to His Church’s leaders.
No, we are not “all led to truth” (because we do not all follow His will) if that were the case there would not be over thousands of different churches all proclaiming they have the real truth. The Holy Spirit does indeed dwell in each of us however we are not guaranteed to be led to all truth. There is only one truth, the only group promised by Jesus to be led to all truth are the Apostles, after His death and resurrection.


#18

[quote=prjct] 1 Tim 2: 3-4 says 3This is good, and it pleases God our Savior, 4who wants everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

[quote=] 1 Tim 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the commandment of God our Saviour, and of Christ Jesus our hope: 2 To Timothy, his beloved son in faith. Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father, and from Christ Jesus our Lord.
[/quote]

This epistle is directed to an individual, the leader of a specific Church, not to the general public, and the Church at that time followed the Apostles as their leaders.

[quote=] 1 Tim 2: 1 I desire therefore, first of all, that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men: 2 For kings, and for all that are in high station: that we may lead a quiet and a peaceable life in all piety and chastity. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour, 4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
[/quote]

Absolutely correct, that is His will, to have all men be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. Why would you disagree with that? It is His will, does it mean all men are indeed saved? Of course not, does it mean all men come to knowledge of the truth? Of course not. If you follow His Catholic Church you will be led to all truth, which is His will.
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#19

[quote=prjct] 2 John 1: 1-2 says

…but also all who have come to know the truth-- 2*because of the truth that remains in us and will be with us forever.

[quote=] 2 John 1:1 The ancient to the lady Elect, and her children, whom I love in the truth, and not I only, but also all they that have known the truth, 2 For the sake of the truth which dwelleth in us, and shall be with us for ever. 3 Grace be with you, mercy, and peace from God the Father, and from Christ Jesus the Son of the Father; in truth and charity. 4 I was exceeding glad, that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father. 5 And now I beseech thee, lady, not as writing a new commandment to thee, but that which we have had from the beginning, that we love one another.

1 “The ancient”… That is, the ancient bishop St. John, being the only one of the twelve apostles then living.
[/quote]

Again, whom is this from and to whom is it written? It is from an Apostle to another Apostle. And every Christian Church of that day was in harmony, or was corrected by the Church leaders, who were led to all truth.
[/quote]


#20

[quote=prjct] Can you clarify where this teaching is taught within Scripture?
[/quote]

Certainly.

[quote=] Matthew 28:16 And the eleven disciples went into Galilee, unto the mountain where Jesus had appointed them. 17 And seeing them they adored: but some doubted. 18 And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. 19 Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.

18 “All power”… See here the warrant and commission of the apostles and their successors, the bishops and pastors of Christ’s church. He received from his Father all power in heaven and in earth: and in virtue of this power, he sends them (even as his Father sent him, St. John 20. 21) to teach and disciple, not one, but all nations; and instruct them in all truths: and that he may assist them effectually in the execution of this commission, he promises to be with them, not for three or four hundred years only, but all days, even to the consummation of the world. How then could the Catholic Church ever go astray; having always with her pastors, as is here promised, Christ himself, who is the way, the truth, and the life. St. John 14.
[/quote]

[quote=] Luke 24:33 And rising up, the same hour, they went back to Jerusalem: and they found the eleven gathered together, and those that were staying with them, 34 Saying: The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon. 35 And they told what things were done in the way; and how they knew him in the breaking of the bread.

36 Now whilst they were speaking these things, Jesus stood in the midst of them, and saith to them: Peace be to you; it is I, fear not. 37 But they being troubled and frightened, supposed that they saw a spirit. 38 And he said to them: Why are you troubled, and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? 39 See my hands and feet, that it is I myself; handle, and see: for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as you see me to have. 40 And when he had said this, he shewed them his hands and feet.

41 But while they yet believed not, and wondered for joy, he said: Have you any thing to eat? 42 And they offered him a piece of a broiled fish, and a honeycomb. 43 And when he had eaten before them, taking the remains, he gave to them. 44 And he said to them: These are the words which I spoke to you, while I was yet with you, that all things must needs be fulfilled, which are written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.

45 Then he opened their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures.

46 And he said to them: Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise again from the dead, the third day: 47 And that penance and remission of sins should be preached in his name, unto all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 And you are witnesses of these things. 49 And I send the promise of my Father upon you: but stay you in the city till you be endued with power from on high. 50 And he led them out as far as Bethania: and lifting up his hands, he blessed them.

49 “The promise of my Father”… that is, the Holy Ghost, whom Christ had promised that his Father and he would send, John 14. 26, and 17. 7.
[/quote]

[quote=] John 14:16 And I will ask the Father, and he shall give you another Paraclete, that he may abide with you for ever. 17 The spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, nor knoweth him: but you shall know him; because he shall abide with you, and shall be in you. 18 I will not leave you orphans, I will come to you. 19 Yet a little while: and the world seeth me no more. But you see me: because I live, and you shall live. 20 In that day you shall know, that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.

16 “Paraclete”… That is, a comforter: or also an advocate; inasmuch as by inspiring prayer, he prays, as it were, in us, and pleads for us.
16 “For ever”… Hence it is evident that this Spirit of Truth was not only promised to the persons of the apostles, but also to their successors through all generations.
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