Where can Non-Catholics go to find an official document listing all Infallible excathedra states made by various Popes?

Where can Non-Catholics go to find an official document listing all Infallible excathedra states made by various Popes?

The following is a link to what Pope John Paul II taught on the matter of Papal Infallibility:

The Successor of Peter Teaches Infallibly

And here’s what I found on EWTN’s website about it:


Father John Trigilio

Any dogma is an infallible doctrine, divinely & formally revealed by God as a necessary truth for salvation.

Extraordinary Magisterium is an ex cathedra pronouncement of the Roman Pontiff (Immaculate Conception by Pope Pius IX) or a de fide statement of an Ecumenical Council (Justification, by the Council of Trent).

Ordinary Magisterium is the perennial teaching of the Pope and the Bishops in union with him around the world. To capriciously say that only extraordinary Magisterium dogmas are infallible is false and heretical. Lumen Gentium n.25, Humani Generis n.21, both solemnly teach on the supreme teaching authority of the Ordinary Magisterium.

Some Catholics wrongly believe that only “ex cathedra” Papal Statements are infallible. This would limit infallible dogma to two, the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption. Obviously, only 2 infallible dogmas in 2,000 years sounds very sparse. Some theologians incorrectly proliferate a notion that only the Extraordinary Magisterium is infallible. Even Raymond Brown has abandoned this notion. Ergo, propositions like “the doctrine of the perpetual virginity of the B.V.M. is not infallible,” are ridiculous. If in doubt, the best resource is Denziger’s Enchiridion Symbolorum. Next, is Ludwig Ott’s monumental work, The Fundamentals of Dogma. There, one can find the theological distinctions made between divinely revealed truths (De Fide) and those which are only theologically certain.

DE FIDE is the highest level of theological/doctrinal truth. They are INFALLIBLE statements by their very nature, like the Holy Trinity, The Real Presence, etc.

Next, are VERITATES CATHOLICAE (catholic truths) like the existence of God which can be known through reason alone.

Finally, there are four types of THEOLOGICAL OPINIONS:

  1. SENTENTIA FIDEI PROXIMA (proximate to the Faith) like the Trinity can be known only through Revelation.

  2. SENTENTIA CERTA (theologically certain) like Monogenism, i.e., that the human race came from one set of parents.

  3. SENTENTIA COMMUNIA (common teaching) like the Church’s prohibition & proscription of artificial contraception.

  4. SENTENTIA PROBABILIS (probable teaching) like the premise that the Virgin Mary died before being Assumed into Heaven.

According to Pope Pius XII in Humani Generis & Vatican II in Lumen Gentium n.25, even non-infallible teachings are to receive the submission of mind and will of the faithful. While not requiring the assent of faith, they cannot be disputed nor rejected publicly, and the benefit of the doubt must be given to the one possessing the fullness of teaching authority. The heterodox concept of a dual magisteria, i.e., (the pope & bishops plus) the theologians, is not based on scriptural nor traditional grounds. Some have gone as far as to propose a triple magisteria, (adding) the body of believers. While it is true that as a whole, the body of believers is infallible in that SENSUS FIDEI is that the Church as the Mystical Body cannot be in error on matters of faith and morals, the TEACHING AUTHORITY (Magisterium) resides solely with the Roman Pontiff and the College of Bishops in union with him. Source

[Two Instances Of Papal Infallibility?
Papal infallibility continues to be widely used. In fact, the current pontiff has used it more than any of his predecessors. The reason is that papal canonizations of saints are infallible. In the course of performing a canonization, the pope states “we declare and define that Blessed N., is a saint” (example). This triggers the Church’s gift of infallibility, which Vatican I teaches “the divine Redeemer willed his Church to enjoy in defining doctrine concerning faith or morals” (source). Consequently, the verb “define” has come to be used as a trigger word for infallible papal statements. If you see a pope say “we define” or “I define,” it is a signal that he is making a definition and thus exercising the Church’s gift of infallibility. (This is not the only way in which he can do this, but it is the standard way.)

The Immaculate Conception and the Assumption thus are not the only two exercises of papal infallibilty in history. They are arguably the only two dogmatic definitions (i.e., definitions of dogmas; saint canonizations being definitions of what are known as dogmatic facts rather than dogmas per se) in the last hundred and fifty years, but they are far from the only two in history.


I thank you for your response, but I’m not asking ‘about’ Infallibility, but I want to know:

Where Non-Catholics or Catholics for that matter can go to read/learn exactly what Infallible Statements have been made excathedra, when & which Pope made those statements?

Where is the list the Catholics count as all of the official excathedral Infallible Papal statements on morals and faith?

If no one can figure out which statements made are officially considered Infallible, then there’s really no point to Infallibility so there must be a list somewhere. Where is it found?

I don’t know if there’s a list, but it’s easy to tell when the Pope is making an infallible statement if it has certain types of “buzz words” or phrases that meet the criteria for an infallible statement as follows:

  • The Pope makes clear he is acting in his role as the successor to Peter (Vicar of Christ)

  • He makes a solemn declaration by saying something like “I declare” or “we declare”

  • It’s a matter of faith and/or morals

  • It’ an official letter from the Pope promulgated to either all the bishops of the Church or to all of the Church

  • He makes it clear that it is binding on all

A model example of a Papal encyclical which meets all of these conditions is Pope John Paul II’s Ordinatio Sacerdotalis. It’s of interest to note how Pope John Paul II came out with this encyclical which meets all the criteria for Papal infallibility only a little more than a year after he had just taught on the subject (see The Successor of Peter Teaches Infallibly). It seems apparent that he gave his instruction on Papal infallibility to prepare people for the document which he had planned to be released shortly after. The following paragraph from this encyclical contains all of the above criteria and can give you a good idea of the kind of strong language to look for:

Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which pertains to the Church’s divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32) I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful. (Ordinatio Sacerdotalis)

I just commented on another thread that the need to declare the infallibility of the Holy Father followed the fragmentation of Christianity. It is most necessary that we have one head to represent the faith shared by all of us.

And the Holy Father is drawing on the fullness of the deposit of faith revealed in Christ, drawing on 2,000 years of tradition of faith.

The Holy Father speaks in the Living Tradition in Christ to the world today…and the world listens. This is not the position or person, but the work of Christ in Peter.

I think that the reason why the Vatican doesn’t come out with an official list is because it would create confusion when the next statement is made that is infallible and people are still using the outdated list. It’s the same reason why we don’t have just the Bible alone. The Church, by necessity, needs to have a living Magisterium to deal with new issues and questions as they pop up. A good example is how fast so-called “same-sex marriage” popped up.

hmmm you don’t think it could be updated with the latest Infallible Statements as a Pope makes them?

there wouldn’t be any confusion unless:

  1. No one has a list of Papal statements that are to be considered Infallible. This would not only be confusing, but would also make the ‘gift’ of Papal Infallibility completely pointless since no one could ever know for sure what was or wasn’t actually Infallible and leaves all Papal comments on morals and faith up to individual personal interpretation as to whether or not the comments was a matter of moral/faith and whether or not it was infallible
  2. There is a detailed list of Papal Infallible statements and there is one or more statements that conflict or contradict another
    other than that I can’t imagine what would create confusion

Faith and morals are found in our catechism and the Holy Father cannot err and teach against the catechism.

The only new addition to faith and morals that has been the condemnation of contraception in the discipline of faith and morals. Actually, the Church has always condemned contraception, but the indiscriminate use of The Pill has had tremendous negative impact on people’s faith, morals, liveliness, and health. Pope Paul VI correctly foresaw what would happen to society and the breakdown of morals and the decrease of numbers of human existence, if it used contraception.

Likewise, contraception in pill form is carcinogenic, and the health culture covers it up. The Pill in conjunction with a woman’s hormones is carcinogenic. There is a most brief small statement saying The Pill is carcinogenic but the health culture covers it up. Natural Family Planning is in use by some who themselves are secular, as well as its use promoted by Catholic circles.

The presence of God works in the Catholic Church when it affirms truth about the sanctity of life to a hostile world. Somebody has to speak out or truth is hidden and the culture of faith dies.

There is no such document. That I am aware of.

Why do we need one? :confused: You guys have one? :smiley:

I think you need one because Catholic’s claim their Pope to be Infallible in some, but not all, statements he makes. That leaves tremendous confusion if there is no way to know what statements are or are not infallible. It then becomes a matter of each individual Catholic’s interpretation to make the determination similar to how the Protestants discern the Bible. This is could very welll explain why the majority of weekly attending/Eucharist receiving Catholic couples use contraception for instance, because they don’t believe the papal statements re: contraception to be infallible, they don’t see it as a moral or faith issue. Leads to much confusion without a document or up-to-date list of those statements made by Popes that the Catholic Church officially acknowledges as infallible.

And no, the Orthodox Church doesn’t have one as you know there is no single office or person who makes a claim to have Infallibility. :smiley:

Oh dear, 2nd time this weekend that I’ve unwittingly responded to someone on my ignore list. I won’t be responding to GaryTaylor again.

You will not find such a list…because it is an impossible undertaking.

If you want to…you can certainly start.

But you can get a sense of these by looking at what the Catholic Church has taught, has lived out these teachings…by how it has worshipped…it is found in its common teaching, common life and common worship for 2000 yrs.

Where’s yours which coincides with ours till 1054?

For example this would be similar to ours. But no list, did you guys keep one?

An Eastern Orthodox bishop has expressed this doctrine as follows:

Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus. All the categorical strength and point of this aphorism lies in its tautology. Outside the Church there is no salvation, because salvation is the Church" (G. Florovsky, “Sobornost: the Catholicity of the Church”, in The Church of God, p. 53). Does it therefore follow that anyone who is not visibly within the Church is necessarily damned? Of course not; still less does it follow that everyone who is visibly within the Church is necessarily saved. As Augustine wisely remarked: “How many sheep there are without, how many wolves within!” (Homilies on John, 45, 12) While there is no division between a “visible” and an “invisible Church”, yet there may be members of the Church who are not visibly such, but whose membership is known to God alone. If anyone is saved, he must in some sense be a member of the Church; in what sense, we cannot always say.


1Tim215Mommy are you saying no forgiving ever? :shrug:

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.