Evangelicals and Fundamentalists commonly say the Bible is infallible. I wish they’d stop. It’s a misconstrual of the word.
“Fallible” means able to make a mistake or able to teach error. “Infallible” means the opposite: the inability to make a mistake or to teach error.
When we use these words, we use them regarding an active agent–that is, we use them about someone making a decision that either may or may not be erroneous (in which case that someone is fallible) or that definitely cannot be erroneous (in which case that someone is infallible).
Put another way, the active agent is alive and capable of making decisions. A human being is an active agent. Normally human beings are fallible. In a few instances (the pope when speaking ex cathedra, the bishops united with the pope when speaking through an ecumenical council) human beings may act infallibly.
But a rock never is infallible. Nor is it fallible. It is neither because it makes no decision about anything. Ditto for a plant. No sunflower ever made the right decision–or the wrong decision; in fact, no sunflower ever made any decision, properly speaking.
The same can be said of a book. No book, not even the Bible, is capable of making a decision. Thus it would be wrong to say that the Bible is infallible or fallible–such terms shouldn’t be used about it or about any other book.
The proper term to use, when we are saying that the Bible contains no error, is “inerrant.” The Church teaches that everything the Bible asserts (properly understood, of course) is true and therefore without error.
“Inerrant” would not be the word to use about, say, the pope. A pope may act infallibly in carefully prescribed circumstances, but he is not inerrant. To say that he is inerrant is to say that he contains no error, but every pope does.
So far as I know, John Paul II is not a mathematical whiz. Like the rest of us, he no doubt harbors misconceptions about certain elements of mathematics. Put another way, he probbly holds to some mathematical errors. If so, that alone would demonstrate that he is not inerrant.
(Postscript: Some might say, of the Bible, that the book itself is not infallible but that the term is properly used of the Bible because the devout reading of it makes the reader infallibly choose the right understanding of the text. The simple disproof of this is that there are more than 30,000 disparate Protestant denominations.)