When someone in the Church does something against Church teaching, you can’t attribute that thing to the Church. Sometimes, even bishops and priests do something that is against Church teaching, but the Church is still opposed to it even if some of its bishops do evil. Because of this, I don’t think it’s fair to say that the Church has done evil, because our doctrines never change, and our doctrines are opposed to every evil action.
also, i’m still having a little trouble understanding papal infability, the pope cannot err on faith and morals?
Not quite. Papal infallibility means the pope cannot teach errors about matters of faith and morals if he is speaking to the whole Church as head of the Church. If he is speaking about his own private opinions, or if he is only speaking to Spain and Portugal, that does not qualify for the protection of papal infallibility.
but let’s say for example the transatlantic slave trade, which was not condemned at first, but appears to be sanctioned
It depends on what pope you are talking about. The Renaissance saw some popes who condemned slavery as something opposed to natural law, and there were some popes who accepted slavery because of corrupt political interests.
The African slave trade began when Spain and Portugal began colonizing West Africa in the 1400s and enslaved the inhabitants of the Canary Islands. In 1435 this enslavement was condemned by Pope Eugene IV. In the bull Sicut Dudum, he commanded: “All and each of the faithful of each sex, within the space of fifteen days of the publication of these letters in the place where they live, [must] restore to their earlier liberty all and each person of either sex who were once residents of the Canary Islands…who have been made subject to slavery. These people are to be totally and perpetually free and are to be let go without the exaction or reception of any money…"
As Rodney Stark argues in his book “The Victory of Reason”: “…Pope Pius II (1458 to 1464) and Pope Sixtus IV (1471 to 1484) followed with additional bulls condemning enslavement of the Canary Islanders, which, obviously, had continued. What this episode displays is the weakness of papal authority at this time, not the indifference of the Church to the sin of slavery…”
Spain and Portugal continued to enslave the West Africans, but the Church showed that she believed in their equality by ordaining them and establishing a Church in West Africa. In 1491, King Afonso the Good of the Kongo was converted to the Catholic faith and started the process of establishing the black Church. In 1518, Pope Leo X consecrated the king’s son, Henrique, Titular Bishop of Utica. Bishop Henrique was the first native bishop of West Africa. But as Spain and Portugal continued to enslave these populations, the Church there crumbled, and it has been hard to restore it since.
"We grant you [Kings of Spain and Portugal] by these present documents, with our Apostolic Authority, full and free permission to invade, search out, capture, and subjugate the Saracens and pagans and any other unbelievers and enemies of Christ wherever they may be, as well as their kingdoms, duchies, counties, principalities, and other property …] and to reduce their persons into perpetual slavery.
there is also another document, romanus pontificus, which confirms this.
Although these documents are sometimes interpreted as authorizing Spain and Portugal to start the racial slave trade, there are several lines of evidence against this, and which lead me to believe that the form of “slavery” mentioned in these bulls was a form of forced labor for prisoners of war, not the same thing as racial slavery.
First of all, racial slavery had already been condemned. Second of all, notice the emphasis of this document on “Saracens” (Muslims) and “enemies of Christ.” Spain was at war with the Muslim empire at this time, and it was standard practice at the time to enslave prisoners of war instead of kill them.
Because of this, in my judgment, the most you could glean from this document is that unfree prison labor can be justified and can be called slavery. That is far different from racial slavery – racial slavery assumes the inequality of blacks, and because of that, it was condemned by the popes of the time.
also certain crusades, like conquering the nordic countries and the albigensian, directly issued and sanctioned by the pope. not talking about the defenseive ones
Non-defensive crusades are not justifiable because a just war requires that violent actions be taken only when necessary for the defense of your nation. This was part of the doctrine of the Church at the time. It was encoded into Canon Law as part of Gratian’s Decrees, it appears in St. Thomas Aquinas’ Summa, it appears in the directives of popes and Doctors of the Church from the early medieval period (before 1000 A.D.), and it is part of the heritage of the Church from the Patristic era – not to mention the fact that the New Testament permits only defensive warfare.
Because aggressive warfare was against Church doctrine, it is unfair to count it as “the worst thing the Church has done” – the Church, in fact, taught that it must not be done.
they used the papal authority in these cases, therefor proving they were moral, now the church has apologized and said they were immoral. how does this get explained exactly?
As I said, papal infallibility does not protect a pope’s actions, but only his teachings, and only under certain conditions. It has to be a teaching declared to the whole Church, and he has to be speaking as pope. None of the examples you provided fit all those criteria, and some of them are based on a misunderstanding. Therefore, they do not disprove papal infallibility.