The Catholic Church is inspired


#1

I am currently debating with a Church of Christ pastor. I said the Catholic Church is not, nor claims to be inspired (in the sense that the Bible is inspired). I distinguished between inspiration and infallibility. He proceeded to quote from Pius the IX:

"Wherefore, in humility and fasting, we unceasingly offered our private prayers as well as the public prayers of the Church to God the Father through his Son, [font=Arial]that he would deign to direct and strengthen our mind by the power of the Holy Spirit. In like manner did we implore the help of the entire heavenly host as we ardently invoked the Paraclete. Accordingly, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, for the honor of the Holy and undivided Trinity, for the glory and adornment of the Virgin Mother of God, for the exaltation of the Catholic Faith, and for the furtherance of the Catholic religion, by the authority of Jesus Christ our Lord, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own:[/font]
“We declare, pronounce, and define (the doctrine of the immaculate conception)….”

Pius IX, [font=Arial]Ineffabilis Deus (1854)[/font]

How should I respond to this? I looked up the word inspire in the dictionary and it means* to affect *(which is how I would apply it to the Bible) and it can also mean to guide which is how I would assume Pius IX is using it. Would this be accurate reasoning or are there other ideas?

Thanks and Peace,
Michael


#2

Why isn’t the Catholic Church inspired? It’s God’s pillar of truth is it not?


#3

[quote=J.W.B.]Why isn’t the Catholic Church inspired? It’s God’s pillar of truth is it not?
[/quote]

Exactly. It may not be inspired in the sense that it generates new public revelation (it does not), but it’s definitely inspired when teaching about the public revelation that has been passed down from the the apostles.


#4

Therefore I would be correct with my initial argument:

inspire “means* to affect *(which is how I would apply it to the Bible) and it can also mean to guide which is how I would assume Pius IX is using it.”

To J.W.B., I made the very important distinction that the Church is not inspired “in the sense that the Bible is inspired.”

And to Genesis315, you confirm that Pius IX’s use of inspire is as I thought,* to guide*?


#5

[quote=michaelgazin]Therefore I would be correct with my initial argument:

inspire “means* to affect *(which is how I would apply it to the Bible) and it can also mean to guide which is how I would assume Pius IX is using it.”

To J.W.B., I made the very important distinction that the Church is not inspired “in the sense that the Bible is inspired.”

And to Genesis315, you confirm that Pius IX’s use of inspire is as I thought,* to guide*?
[/quote]

Yes, I would definitely say it means to guide. The Church does not claim the Immaculate Conception just popped into Pius IX’s head.


#6

The CC is not inspired - its dogmatic utterances are protected by what is called negative assistance: that is, they are saved from saying what it is formally erroneous.

This is not to say that what they teach they cannot be added to.

Only the Scriptures are positively inspired.

Inspiration is a quality of revelation - the definition of the IC , and the Bull defining it, were not revealed **if by that is meant, **that they were newly added to the deposit of faith which comes to us from the Apostles - the IC is revealed, precisely because it was part of that deposit already: the Pope has no competence to reveal new truths, since the deposit of faith is complete. His business, like that of the other bishops, is to discern what does belong to that deposit, and what does not. Dogmas draw on what has been revealed in this deposit - they are not able to add to it; for this would be to preach a different faith from that of the Apostles. So dogmas have to come from what is already given; they can’t be tacked on to it - if a doctrine in the Apostolic Faith, it cannot be taught as Catholic, or made a dogma. Dogmas can be discerned - like Saints: neither is made by the Church, but both are recognised by it.

Individuals can be moved to do something for the Glory of God & the good of Christ’s Church: these motions from the Spirit of God are called inspirations. Since the Pope was not being moved to be the author of a part of the Bible :slight_smile: this sort of inspiration - a motion from God to do good - is meant. Inspiration to write a part of the Bible, is a special application of this Divine motion - it is different from all other inspirations, because it is a gift for the making of the Church in her beginnings: the Bible therefore has a canonical character which later writings lack. ##


#7

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