Skip to comments.Papal Infallibility: A Symbolic, Yet Problematic, Term
Posted on 04/29/2012 3:06:06 PM PDT by NYer
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The same can pretty much be said of all true doctrine, especially in a world where things like the New York Times and MTV live.
An “infallible” teaching of the Pope, of which there has been exactly one since Vatican I, is Christ speaking directly through the Pope as heir to Peter's grant of the Earthly keys to the Kingdom.
IOW, an infallible teaching isn't really the Pope's. It is His. And as stated, it is beyond very rare.
Seen in that light, much of the to do about the Pope being “infallible” is wasted breath.
“Infallible” is not a difficult to understand word, it means not subject to failure or error.
The “problematic” part seems to be in redefining the word to make it rubbery enough to find an example of any Pope making an “infallible” statement.
There’s is where you err — **on any statement.**
A Pope is not impeccable — he is human and makes personal mistakes.
The infalibility only comes into play on announcements of faith and morals, either alone or with the Magisterium.
You’re right, it is greatly misunderstood.
Only on matters of faith and morals — OK?
Another term used here is “ex cathedra”
from the chair of Peter
“Infallibility” is not limited to the pope, but extends to ecumenical councils when fulfilling the criteria for such, with papal infallibility being able to provide assurance that such were infallible (though RCs cannot know how many infallible decrees there are, which should be necessary to give the required assent of faith, and must seek to make sure they understand them rightly).
What Rome has done is “infallibly” declare that she is and will be perpetually infallible whenever she speaks in accordance with her infallibly defined (scope and subject-based) formula, which renders her declaration that she is infallible, to be infallible, as well as all else she accordingly declares.
She may invoke Scriptures to support this, but assurance of the veracity of her doctrines is not dependent upon the exegetical weight of Scriptural warrant, and interpretations only have weight if she sanctions them, but it rests upon the premise of her self-proclaimed assured infallibility.
And no one can argue with that.
Docility (on Catholic dogma and infallibility)
Beginning Catholic: Infallibility: Keeping the Faith [Ecumenical]
Papal Infallibility [Ecumenical]
Peter & Succession (Understanding the Church Today)
Pope: may all Christians recognize true meaning of Peters primacy
THE PRIMACY OF THE SUCCESSOR OF PETER IN THE MYSTERY OF THE CHURCH
Pope St. Leo the Great and the Petrine Primacy
The Epiphany of the Roman Primacy
THE PRIMACY OF THE SUCCESSOR OF PETER IN THE MYSTERY OF THE CHURCH [Ratzinger]
“faith and morals”, a sufficiently flexible term to cover anything, everything and nothing.
“Infallibility”, For all the definitions no one seems to be able to recognize it if or when they hear it unless the one making the statement deems it so.
But unless the one making said statement is making an infallible statement then what they deem infallible may not be so.
Hard to understand? Since the whole idea makes no sense that’s true enough.
In that which the faithful hold in common to be the TRUE CATHOLIC FAITH, THEY ARE INFALLIBLE and "CANNOT ERR IN MATTERS OF BELIEF". -Second Vatican Council, "Dogmatic Constitution on the Church", no. 12.
Just HOW are the "faithful" able to "infallibly recognize truth"? I can tell you this: THIS is how so many of the "faithful" cannot debate honestly and openly with the Scriptures and non-Catholics. They, in their own minds, are infallible and simply CANNOT be wrong.
Are you trying to be infallible?
I’ll have to check with “She who does not take contradiction gracefully”.
Understandability, by you or any person, is not a criteria for defining truth. At some point human capabilities must give way to faith.
Actually Ordinatio Sacerdotalis on the question of women and priesthood was clearly irreformable. The libs asked the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in a “dubium,” whether John Paul had intended that it be understood as infallible and the dubium was answered with “Yes.” Then the libs complained that the CDF lacked competence to rule on infallibility, only the pope does—so why did you doofuses send in a dubium? Only when you didn’t get the answer you hoped for do you decide the CDF lacked competence.
In Evangelium Vitae (1995) John Paul II made three clearly, beyond any doubt, infallible statements:
1. that taking of innocent human life is always wrong and no good intention can make it good. Look at par. 52 or 57 or somewhere in there. He clearly invokes the authority of Peter, acts in communion with all the bishops, points out that Scripture, unbroken teaching, and natural law all confirm this truth, then explicitly claims that he is making a definitive ruling. He had to claim the highest level of authority here because some people, for the first time in history, were arguing that sometimes taking of innocent life is okay. Always before, people justified taking of life by first declaring the one(s) being killed guilty. War and capital punishment are not exceptions to no. 1 because they take guilty life. They should be avoided as much as possible but if ever justified, they are cases of taking of guilty life. So there are no exceptions to taking innocent human life.
2. that abortion is a case of taking of innocent human life. Again, some people argue that it’s not human or not innocent and he’s saying, yes it is. Period.
3. that euthanasia also is a case of taking innocent human life (euthanasia defined as deliberately, not accidentally or double-effect, taking the life of a born person. Again, some argue that compassion or some other good intent (mercy killing) makes taking of innocent human life okay. He said, “No.”
and each of the three was as clear an example of an irreformable teaching as you will ever want to see. I use these three to try to clarify for students just what an infallible statement looks like.
The early church fathers only recognized one thing as infallible and that was the scriptures-and not the ones the Church has today. While they were busy creating the creeds of the church, the fathers never put those creeds to the same level as scripture although most would agree with them.
The term “infallibility” like many other convoluted doctrines of Rome is undefinable. They don’t know what it means but they’ll tell you when they see it. I wouldn’t hold your breathe for a list of “infallible” teachings.