What does it mean for the church to not err on morals?

sorry for another question guys. i’m really thick skulled apparently and am just not getting this.

anyways, question is in the title.

can someone help explain it? and how it ties in to some of the not so great things certain people in the church have done? thanks.

note: i’m not trying to bash the church in any way, it’s just i’m not really sure what to say when people say that she’s changed her teachings.

main examples are things like the albigensian crusade and turture during the inquisition. both which the catechism condemns now but seem to have been justified at the time.

It means her teachings-on faith and morals-are without error. It doesn’t mean that her members, whether clergy or laity, will necessarily follow those teachings. There’s a related principle in Matt 23:1-4:

Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: 2 “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3 So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach

A third thread about the same topic??

You been given the same answers in the other two threads you opened on the same subject.

Christ gave the Church authority in matters of faith and morals. The Church therefore cannot be in error in such matters as the the teachings have the authority of God behind them.

Let us be clear for the last time.


so are the examples i put above instances where members didn’t follow teaching? because such actions were sanctioned by the church at the time.

and a lot of people think it was justifiable.

but the catechism clearly condemns such things now.

how is that not considered a change in moral teaching?

Because the things you mentioned we’re never part of church doctrine. IOW, they never involved articles of faith or de fide dogma which one must believe in order to be Catholic. They were simply practices of members of the church which were inconsistent with her own gospel.

The examples of wrongdoing that you gave are rather tame (and old) compared to the priest child abuse scandals. But the answer is still the same. The Church has never taught that it is OK to rape children (and has emphatically taught against any such thing). Nobody can say that raping kids is or ever was Church doctrine, but, sadly, it happened. It did not happen because of the Church, but in spite of the Church.

In the Nicene Creed, we say, “I believe in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church.” The word “holy” refers to the doctrine of the Church, not to the people of the Church (who are ALL sinners, each and every one, but some are much worse than others).

We are a Church filled with sinners. We always have been, and always will be. Are there ANY other faiths that can’t say the same thing?

The fact that members of the Church have done bad things does not mean that Church teachings are wrong or have been changed. It simply means people have sinned.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.