Understanding infallibility

The infalibility of the Pope throughout the ages doesn’t stand up to facts and history.

How strange that you have learned nothing from the quotes you gave and the facts that Christ established His Supreme Vicar with His authority to teach which even the gates of hell could not prevail over.

Was the Pope infalible when he declared earth was the center of the universe when he was clearly wrong?

Typical of the fantasies so readily swallowed – no Pope has so defined and science is not part of the infallibility conferred by Christ who is so readily rejected.

Also, were the Popes that wanted to prevent Christians from having Bibles in their languages infalible when the Bible clearly instructs Christians to study God’s Word?

Such lack of knowledge is very unfortunate. This poster wouldn’t have a Bible if the Catholic Church had not given it to the world.

As Jesus of Nazareth did not write anything and founded His Church on Simon Peter with primacy and infallibility, His followers wrote the New Testament and His Church infallibly declared which writings in both the Old and New Testaments are the inspired Word of God, and no others. These writings are without error.

BTW, Protestants lack seven books of the O.T., which is why most fail to believe in Purgatory and prayer for the departed, because they lack the authority of Christ through His Catholic Church.

From the earliest times popes and councils, saints and scholars have encouraged Bible reading. Until some years after the printing press was invented, Bibles were scarce and expensive because copied by hand - so often there could be only one book in a town but, nearly everyone who could read could read Latin. Catholic monks faithfully copied the texts, and the production and use of translations, corrupted to support false teachings, was condemned.

Without Christ’s Supreme Vicar, the Pope, Protestants had only the Bible for spiritual growth and came to see it as the only way to God, missing out on many essential truths, and splitting into some 50,000 differing denominations. Also, the Scriptures privately interpreted cannot always guide us on contraception, on remarriage, on capital punishment, IVF, cloning and many other modern problems - this results in uncertainty and lack of unified Christian action at times. [See *What Catholics Really Believe, by Karl Keating].

Johann Gutenberg, a Catholic, produced the first printed Bible, with the Church’s approval, in 1455. Luther was not born until 1483. There were 18 German editions of the whole Bible before the Catholic monk Luther posted his 95 theses in 1517, and there were German, Flemish, Italian, Spanish, and Polish editions before Luther left the Church. The first English edition appeared in 1525. James I in England authorised the “King James” version only in 1604.

Christ’s Church has declared that the Sacred Scriptures are without error as they are inspired by the Holy Spirit, while individual opinions and interpretations are not without error. Error is incompatible with truth.

The “Bible” was given to the world by the Catholic Church. The New Testament was written by Catholics; the Gospels before the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.
The books that actually are declared the inspired Word of God was decided by Pope Damasus at a Council of Rome in 382, confirmed at the Councils of Hippo, 393, Carthage III 397, Carthage IV in 419 and canonised at the Council of Trent (1545-1563) – 46 books in the Old Testament, 27 books in the New Testament.

Papal primacy is not the same as papal infallibility. You are not even responding to the issue. The Pope’s confirmation is required because of his PRIMACY (he is the head bishop), according to the ancient Apostolic Canon 34, NOT because the Pope’s confirmation grants a Council its infallibility. Only God can grant infallibility. The Pope does NOT have the prerogative to do so. The Absolutist Petrine view is hopelessly confused on this matter.

Dr. Warren Carroll of Christendom College explains: “The Church and popes, subsequent to the Council of Trent, have all upheld the doctrine that the pope is superior over councils, and must approve the decrees of a council to make them binding. This position is firmly maintained by the great nineteenth-century German historian of the councils, Karl Joseph Hefele, and the great Austrian historian of the papacy, Ludwig von Pastor. It is denied by many twentieth-century scholars. The general case for the supreme authority of the pope over the last two thousand years is exceedingly strong beginning all the way back with the letter of Pope St. Clement I to the Corinthians in approximately 95 A.D.”

That’s news to me. Don’t know who Warren Carroll is. I know YOU think the Pope is not a member of the Ecumenical Council but is separate from and above it. But I don’t see Mr. Carroll claiming what you are claiming. He says that the Pope is above councils, but he doesn’t say that the Pope is above ECUMENICAL councils.

“The Council of Constance, 1415-18, followed a difficult time of schism. Fearing to reignite the schism, Martin V ratified the work of the council regarding heresy, but withheld approval of Frequens and Sacrosancta, which declared the Council superior to the Pope.”

Sorry, all this quote says is that the Council is not superior to the Pope. I don’t see it say anywhere that the Pope is superior to an Ecumenical Council. Maybe you forgot to quote the entire text?:shrug:


About what?

Vatican Council II and the post-conciliar Magisterium have explicitly affirmed that both ecclesial and papal infallibility extend to the secondary doctrinal truths necessary for guarding and expounding revelation. Thus *Humanae Vitae *(Encyclical) against contraception, and *Ordinatio Sacerdotalis *(Apostolic Epistle) on male-only priests, contain infallible definitions of the ordinary Magisterium, to remove all doubt.

What in the world are you going on about?:rolleyes: What does whether something is a “secondary” or “primary” truth have to do with the fact that the Extraordinary Magisterium is used to DEFINE something?


About what?

In fact, the 1983 revision of Canon Law had replaced in #749.3 “dogmatically declared or defined” with “infallibly defined”, thus NOT expressing a limitation of infallibility to dogmas.

Yup. That’s what I said.

So both the dogmas and the infallible (definitive) doctrines that are secondary truths, require an assent of faith, though there is a distinction between theological faith and ecclesial faith. The category 3 truths are non-definitive (non-infallible) and require intellectual assent (“loyal submission of the will and intellect”, *Lumen Gentium 25), not an assent of faith. [See the Explanatory Note on ATF by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith]

Yup. This is a more concise categorization of what I said.


mardukm #23
Don’t know who Warren Carroll is. But I don’t see Mr. Carroll claiming what you are claiming. He says that the Pope is above councils, but he doesn’t say that the Pope is above ECUMENICAL councils.

If you had taken the trouble to read the article you would have seen that Ecumenical Councils are the subject – any decrees have no authority unless confirmed/accepted by the Pope.

For those who may be misled, Dr Warren Carroll was a renowned Catholic historian, author and founder of Christendom College in Front Royal, Virginia, U.S.A., who produced a thoughtful, insightful and truthful portrayal of the history of Catholicism. A History of Christendom, a series of volumes chronicling Christendom, beginning at the dawn of time and working its way through the centuries, is among his many notable achievements. He died in 2011.

Vatican II, Lumen Gentium #22:
“The order of bishops, which succeeds to the college of apostles and gives this apostolic body continued existence, is also the subject of supreme and full power over the universal Church, provided we understand this body together with its head the Roman Pontiff and never without this head.(27*) This power can be exercised only with the consent of the Roman Pontiff.

“A council is never ecumenical unless it is confirmed or at least accepted as such by the successor of Peter; and it is prerogative of the Roman Pontiff to convoke these councils, to preside over them and to confirm them.(29*)”
27 Cf. Is. 40:11; Ex. 34:11ff
29 Cf. Jn. 10:11-15.

The Code of Canon Law is also quite clear.
Can. 338 ß1 It is the prerogative of the Roman Pontiff alone to summon an Ecumenical Council, to preside over it personally or through others, to transfer, suspend or dissolve the Council, and to approve its decrees.
ß2 It is also the prerogative of the Roman Pontiff to determine the matters to be dealt with in the Council, and to establish the order to be observed. The Fathers of the Council may add other matters to those proposed by the Roman Pontiff, but these must be approved by the Roman Pontiff.”
Can. 341 ß1 The decrees of an Ecumenical Council do not oblige unless they are approved by the Roman Pontiff as well as by the Fathers of the Council, confirmed by the Roman Pontiff and promulgated by his direction.”
ß2 If they are to have binding force, the same confirmation and promulgation is required for decrees which the College of Bishops issues by truly collegial actions in another manner introduced or freely accepted by the Roman Pontiff.”

Is it an either or argument??

Can the bible be misunderstood yet tradition never wrong.

couponfit #10
In Vatican ii infallible? If not why?
How does a catholic know which documents of faith are infallible (is there like a word next to the document)?

The doctrine of Papal infallibility is found in Scripture (Mt 16:17-19; Jn 21: 15-17; Mt 28:19-20; 1 Tim 3:15).

Vatican I (1870) in Pastor Aeternus proclaimed the dogma on papal infallibility and this was reiterated in Vatican II (Lumen Gentium 25).
From Vatican I (Pastor Aeternus), for infallibility to be exercised the Pope must teach
(a) ex cathedra (from the Chair of Peter), that is as Shepherd and Teacher of all Christians,
(b) speaking with Peter’s apostolic authority to the whole Church,
© defining a doctrine of faith and morals.

Therefore only dogmas or definitive doctrinal teaching are infallible, not “documents”, nor arguments nor any other declarations outside of definitive statements, so that it is incorrect to call “a Council” infallible.

There are infallible papal dogmas (The Immaculate Conception, The Assumption) and papal infallible doctrine (as in Humanae Vitae, Ordinatio Sacerdotalis).

The Scriptures privately interpreted cannot always guide us – on contraception, on remarriage, on capital punishment, IVF, cloning, adult stem cell research, and many other modern problems. This results in uncertainty and lack of unified Christian action at times. Which other religion or ecclesial community can declare authoritatively on such aspects? None of themselves.

TraditonRules #25
Is it an either or argument??
Can the bible be misunderstood yet tradition never wrong.

Can you explain your query in more detail with examples?

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