For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. ---Ephesians 6:12


"The age of casual Catholicism is over; the age of heroic Catholicism has begun. We can no longer be Catholics by accident, but instead must be Catholics by CONVICTION." ---Fr. Terrence Henry TOR, Franciscan University of Steubenville

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Some Clarification On Papal Infallibility


Many people have trouble with the concept of Papal Infallibility simply because they don't understand what it means, or they assume it means something it doesn't. Although Fr. Baron explains it fully in the video above from the Word On Fire's Catholicism series, I'd like to touch on a few points.

First, it's necessary to know what Infallibility (Pope-wise) doesn't mean. It doesn't mean he never sins. To never sin would be impeccability, which no Pope could claim. In fact some Popes in the Catholic Church's rich past sinned an awful lot, eg., Pope Alexander VI (Borgia), who led a rather immoral and lascivious lifestyle, and is considered by many to be the most corrupt man ever to hold the office.

What Infallibility means is that the Pope is never wrong when defining doctrine regarding faith and morals (when speaking ex cathedra). You can read a much longer definition by clicking HERE, where you will also find biblical scripture to back up the concept.

But what I do is simply look more closely at Alexander VI for proof. Because a man living such an evil life in a position of enormous power (much more so in those days) would seek to validate such lasciviousness by perverting Catholic dogma to his own selfish ends so he could live out his twisted desires openly and without scorn. So why didn't he do that? Because by virtue of his position, though God allowed him (and other Popes) free will to act badly, The Holy Spirit would not allow him to pervert doctrinal teaching on faith and morals, any more than the Pope could claim 2 + 2 = 5.

Visit the Word On Fire website by clicking HERE to stay updated on when the DVD's of this excellent series will be released.

4 comments:

T. Paine said...

Matt, that is an excellent observation in regards to Pope Alexander VI and the question of papal infallibility. I had not really considered that from such and angle. Thanks for the insight!

Matt@stblogustine said...

Thanks, T. And it's nice to know someone still reads this blog.

T. Paine said...

You have great things to say and pictures to show. My only complaint is that you don't do postings more often, my friend!

Cmom said...

Great blog and easily and concisely stated!