What would you do? impossible dilema

I am usually pretty good at answering my evangelical friends, but one arrived today with a hypothetical question that got me stumped…

What if the Pope declared Ex Cathedra that God does not exist. Saying this would not happen doesn’t satisfy for an answer… yes, got stumped on this one… What would I do? I have to think about it… what about you?

We would all quickly realize that there was something wrong with the Pope, such as mental illness.
We would pray for him and the cardinals would take appropriate action.

There have been past cases of Popes who were likely mentally ill or otherwise seriously awry.
The Church didn’t crumble because of it.

By the way, it’s highly likely that any statement made by the Pope along these lines would be challenged as not being truly ex cathedra.


Don’t worry. The proposition is contradictory because ex cathedra declaration, or the Pope’s infallibility, is only possible if God exists. It is not a magic spell, a procedure to be carried out, or a form to be followed, but rather a charism, that is, a grace bestowed by God. The Pope does not create truth and certainly cannot change truth, but by the grace of God may recognize truth.

Looking at it the other way around, if God did not exist, the Pope would be just a man and just as fallible as you or me. In that case, he may still make a true statement, but not because he was led by the Spirit.


Can God make a boulder so heavy he can’t lift it?
Same question.

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