I'm still confused

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James15

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I still don’t understand the infalliability of the Pope…

Is his infalliability limited only, when he exercises his office or not?
 
Quoting from Lumen Gentium via Catholicism and Fundementalism:
(the Pope) enjoys in virtue of his office, when, as the supreme shepherd and teacher of all the faithful, who confirms his brethren in their faith, he proclaims by a definitive act some doctrine of faith or morals. Therefore his definitions, of themselves, and not from the consent of the Church, are justly held irreformaable, for they are pronounced with the assistance of the Holy Spirit, an assistance promised to him in blessed Peter.
Two major points here are that it must be a definitive act and it is an issue on faith and morals.
 
James

Infallibility means the Holy Spirit prevents the Pope, or the bishops united and in agreement with the Pope, from teaching as truth something that isn’t. They may publish moral guidelines, or advocate positions as the head of the Church, but those aren’t infallible. For example, our current Pope is opposed to married priests, but another could change that.

Infallibility doesn’t make him better morally, or make his opinions or decisions always correct.

(Note to mob: I think this is a most excellent Pope, very holy and usually dead on)

So here’s a puzzle: how many questions could the Pope get wrong on a 20 question theology test? The answer is 20; infallibility doesn’t tell the Pope anything, or provide him insight he wouldn’t have otherwise. But he couldn’t teach his errors as true doctine of the Church.

Looking back at the history of the Church, it seems pretty obvious the Holy Spirit was protecting the Church from wandering off into heresy. Holy Cow, there were some really scummy Popes that would have profited from announcing as truth something self-serving but untrue. They didn’t though.
 
When the Pope speaks ex-cathedra, is it still possible, that he can commit mistakes?
 
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James15:
I still don’t understand the infalliability of the Pope…

Is his infalliability limited only, when he exercises his office or not?
It limited, that is, not everything the Pope say’s or does is protected by the Holy Ghost from error. Vatican Council One defined infallibility by stating the following,
…when the Roman pontiff speaks EX CATHEDRA,
that is, when,
  1. in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians,
2)in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority,
  1. he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole church,
he possesses, by the divine assistance promised to him in blessed Peter, that infallibility which the divine Redeemer willed his church to enjoy in defining doctrine concerning faith or morals. Therefore, such definitions of the Roman pontiff are of themselves, and not by the consent of the church, irriformable
So then, should anyone, which God forbid, have the temerity to reject this definition of ours: let him be anathema.
The Church is also infallible when she teaches something that has constantly been held (like her stance on contraception) and taught by the Bishops in union with the Roman Pontiff. This is also known as the “Ordinary Magisterium”.

All official teachings, even if they are not ex-cathedra, are binding on Catholics and demand the assent of the intellect and will assuming of course that it doesn’t contradict already defined doctrine.

Miguel.
 
when the pope speaks in conjunction with the majestirum (bishops from around the world come together) and when speaking on matters of faith and morals he is protected by the power of the holy spirit and cannot be in error… don’t confuse infalliblility with impecibility… 👍
 
Does papal infallibility include discernment of heresy? It seems that it would, as heresy is the antithesis of the Church’s position on faith and morals. Yet the pope erroneously condemned and imprisoned Galileo Galilei for promoting the Copernican theory. How can this be explained?
 
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petra:
Does papal infallibility include discernment of heresy? It seems that it would, as heresy is the antithesis of the Church’s position on faith and morals. Yet the pope erroneously condemned and imprisoned Galileo Galilei for promoting the Copernican theory. How can this be explained?
Read this article on the Galileo Contreversy…
catholic.com/library/galileo_controversy.asp
…from…you guessed it! Catholic Answers. Man these guys have some great stuff.

Anyway, they answer your question pretty definitively, and explain why this did NOT fall under the purview of infallibility.

Hope that helps.

Steve
 
Another question . . . our present pope said that the war to free Iraq is immoral. What is the basis for his saying it is immoral? Regardless of whether it will ultimately be effective to free the Iraqis, it seems extremely moral to free them of the bloodiest dictator the world has known for many decades. I think it is very moral to give them a chance to create a free society (and perhaps immoral to look the other way). Again, whether or not it actually works matters not to the issue of morality. Sometimes it is more important to do the right thing, even if it doesn’t seem effective. (Fortunately, the vast majority of Iraqis are very grateful for the opportunity to create a free society.)

I believe that God is miraculously able to guide His Church through the ages and I believe that the gates of Hell will not prevail against her. But I have reservations that the pope is always infallible on issues of faith and morality. Nevertheless, God’s sovereignty is greater than human failings.

I would be most grateful for (name removed by moderator)ut on this.
 
Thanks, Steve, for the link for my previous question. I’ll go check it out right now! 🙂
 
Steve, in reading the article you linked, I understand papal infallibility better. It also seems that the 3rd criteria for infallability was not met in the pope’s declaration of the immorality of the war to free the Iraqis.
 
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petra:
Another question . . . our present pope said that the war to free Iraq is immoral.
Because the war did not meet the requirements of just-war doctrine.
I think it is very moral to give them a chance to create a free society (and perhaps immoral to look the other way).
But the Iraqis had a relatively free society. Now Christian liquor-store owners are having their property destroyed and in some areas women are being forced to wear the veil. Is that freedom?

Nevertheless, the Pope’s infallibility does not pertain to his prudential judgment about the war in Iraq, any more than it pertains to his prudential judgment about the death penalty or his beliefs about the ‘mutual subjection’ of spouses.
 
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petra:
Another question . . . our present pope said that the war to free Iraq is immoral. What is the basis for his saying it is immoral? Regardless of whether it will ultimately be effective to free the Iraqis, it seems extremely moral to free them of the bloodiest dictator the world has known for many decades. I think it is very moral to give them a chance to create a free society (and perhaps immoral to look the other way). Again, whether or not it actually works matters not to the issue of morality. Sometimes it is more important to do the right thing, even if it doesn’t seem effective. (Fortunately, the vast majority of Iraqis are very grateful for the opportunity to create a free society.)

I believe that God is miraculously able to guide His Church through the ages and I believe that the gates of Hell will not prevail against her. But I have reservations that the pope is always infallible on issues of faith and morality. Nevertheless, God’s sovereignty is greater than human failings.

I would be most grateful for (name removed by moderator)ut on this.
Another article from Catholic Answers that answers this far better than I could…
catholic.com/library/Just_war_Doctrine_1.asp
…Sorry to be such a cheat, but why recreate the wheel?

BTW, I don’t recall that JPII ever EXPLICITELY said that the war was immoral. I followed this pretty closely and he warned rather that the US better make sure and will be accountable to ensure that the war is not immoral. I think almost all his commentary was cautionary in nature, rather than ever taking an ‘official’ position on it. For the record, I was and still am a full support of the War in Iraq.
Steve
 
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dcs:
Because the war did not meet the requirements of just-war doctrine.

But the Iraqis had a relatively free society. Now Christian liquor-store owners are having their property destroyed and in some areas women are being forced to wear the veil. Is that freedom?

Yeah, but if they somehow got on Saddam’s bad side (very easy to do apparently-the man was extremely paranoid, kinda like Hitler), they or their family would “disappear.” Saddam also employed “Official violators of women”-men whose sole job it was to kidnap and rape women as some sort of punishment. “Relatively free” depends on who you ask.

I think the thing about the just war theory is that the Pope feels that Iraq doesn’t meet the criteria, but other theologians think it does, it’s really a matter of how you read it. My daughter’s religion teacher claims there has never been a just war-not even WWII-even though we were attacked by the Japanese on our own soil, and we were trying to stop Hitler from slaughtering millions of innocent people. That’s obviously ridiculous. The death penalty, despite what some anti-life politicians like to claim, is also not a matter of infallibility-the Pope just believes that in today’s society it’s rarely, if ever, needed to protect society. But you can be a Catholic in good standing and still support it, as well as the war in Iraq.

Ellen
 
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petra:
Steve, in reading the article you linked, I understand papal infallibility better. It also seems that the 3rd criteria for infallability was not met in the pope’s declaration of the immorality of the war to free the Iraqis.
I’d go even a step further than that and say that by definition, a pope can NOT speak infallibly on the prudential judgement regarding application of Just War Doctrine. Just War Doctrine is the ‘faith and morals’ area (and he can speak infallibly on that topic), the particular applications of Just War Doctrine are not (and he can only offer one of many opinions).
 
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dcs:
But the Iraqis had a relatively free society.
You MUST be kidding right? You show incredible ignorance of the life the Iraqi’s led under Saddam Hussein if you really believe that.

Sorry to be harsh, but that is truly one of the silliest statements I have heard on the subject of the Iraq war.:confused:

Steve
 
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dcs:
Because the war did not meet the requirements of just-war doctrine.
I read the Just War Doctrine last night, and the War in Iraq meets the requirements.
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dcs:
But the Iraqis had a relatively free society. Now Christian liquor-store owners are having their property destroyed and in some areas women are being forced to wear the veil. Is that freedom?
:eek: I don’t understand how you can say that. This was previously one of the most closed, opressive societies on earth.
 
Silmarillion:
You MUST be kidding right? You show incredible ignorance of the life the Iraqi’s led under Saddam Hussein if you really believe that.

Sorry to be harsh, but that is truly one of the silliest statements I have heard on the subject of the Iraq war.:confused:
Easier to say it than it is to show it.
 
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