|History has shown that Popes can and have sinned. After all, they are mere humans like the rest
of us. So what does the Church mean by the term infallible?
The disciples of Jesus who were sinful men (LK 5:8), after receiving the gifts of the Holy Spirit (JN 20:22) were then able to preach and teach others in an infallible way (MK 16:15). That is, they were given the graces necessary to pass on the teaching of Jesus without error. Jesus said " And I tell you , you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it..." (MT 16:18). Catholics believe that this church that Jesus founded is the Catholic Church and that the charism of infallibility has been passed on through the centuries by virtue of apostolic succession. (Holy Orders CCC 1536):
1536 Holy Orders is the sacrament through which the mission entrusted by Christ to his apostles continues to be exercised in the Church until the end of time: thus it is the sacrament of apostolic ministry. It includes three degrees: episcopate, presbyterate, and diaconate.In a special way, the Pope (Bishop of Rome and successor to Saint Peter) exercises a charism of infallibility when he proclaims the Church's teaching on faith and morals:
891 "The Roman Pontiff, head of the college of bishops, enjoys this infallibility in virtue of his office, when, as supreme pastor and teacher of all the faithful - who confirms his brethren in the faith - he proclaims by a definitive act a doctrine pertaining to faith or morals. . . . The infallibility promised to the Church is also present in the body of bishops when, together with Peter's successor, they exercise the supreme Magisterium," above all in an Ecumenical Council. When the Church through its supreme Magisterium proposes a doctrine "for belief as being divinely revealed," and as the teaching of Christ, the definitions "must be adhered to with the obedience of faith." This infallibility extends as far as the deposit of divine Revelation itself.But what if a Catholic Bishop or priest does try to teach the Gospel and his teaching is in error? Such a person is labeled a heretic and is given the opportunity to reconcile himself with the Church. If he doesn't recant? There have been many over the centuries such as Martin Luther.
2089 Incredulity is the neglect of revealed truth or the willful refusal to assent to it. "Heresy is the obstinate post-baptismal denial of some truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith, or it is likewise an obstinate doubt concerning the same; apostasy is the total repudiation of the Christian faith; schism is the refusal of submission to the Roman Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him."
|Click here for more questions|
HOME - GENEALOGY - TRANSPORTATION - COMMUNICATIONS - RECIPES - CATHOLIC FAITH - MISC