Is the definition of Papal Infallibility fallible?

Question:

Posted by Raymond St Cyr Sr on June 8, 2011 at 8:33 pm

The Pope is human and all humans are fallible. It wasn’t until the First Vatican Council held in 1870 that the Pope was declared by proclamation to be infallible in matters of Church teaching and morality. The fact that the Vatican Council made this decree does not make it so, or make it true. To claim that the Holy Spirit directed a group of fallible men to have the power to bestow infallibility upon another man is not a matter of faith but a decree to amplify the pope’s authority in matters of the faith in the eye’s of the faithful.

Response:

Posted by Quirino M. Sugon Jr on June 9, 2011 at 5:06 pm

Raymond St. Cyr Sr,

All humans are fallible. Christ is true man. Is Christ fallible? Of course not, because Christ is also true God. Every rule always has an exception. Now, Christ promised Peter: “Simon, Simon, behold Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat,32 but I have prayed that your own faith may not fail; and once you have turned back, you must strengthen your brothers” (Lk 2:31-32). Apostleship is an office. When Judas died, Matthias took his place (c.f. Acts 1:25). Now,since the Pope is the Successor of Peter, then the Pope is guaranteed by Christ that his faith may not also fail. So in matters of faith and morals, we are assured by Christ that the Pope’s faith may not fail. That is, he cannot teach error. This is the essence of Papal Infallibility. Vatican I’s definition of Papal Infallibility by the college of bishops is only an affirmation of what Christ promised to Peter.

Since you are also human, I guess your critique of papal infallibility is fallible.

About Quirino M. Sugon Jr
Theoretical Physicist in Manila Observatory

3 Responses to Is the definition of Papal Infallibility fallible?

  1. Raymond St Cyr Sr says:

    I agree, I am fallible because I am human. As Christians two thousand years later we still feel the aftershocks from St. Paul forcefully hitting the ground. Jesus needed a plan B and St Paul was plan B. Jesus’ eleven apostles and St Peter gained Jewish converts mostly from around the Mediterranean Sea to Jesus’ teachings. But it was Paul of Tarsus himself a Jew that was responsible for converting non-Jews to Christianity. If St. Peter was the rock the foundation upon which Christ built His Church then St Paul was the master architect and General contractor that built the structure of the Church. If not for St. Paul, St. Peter would have been the first and only pope. Without St. Paul in the equation God’s Christian mark on Western civilization and Jesus’ message and movement as we know it today may have not established itself as a separate religion. Did Jesus then have two foundation rocks or stones upon which he built his Church? History tells us that Paul was the major influencer in establishing the Church at Rome a decade or more before Peter joined him. However the Catholic (Universal) Church as we know it today actually got is jump-start from the Emperor Constantine.

  2. Slick says:

    Actually, as a rule, man is created not only infallible but also impeccable (blameless, faultless, sinless). Adam and Eve were created impeccable even if they were humans. But since our first parents sinned, all humans come to be as sinners (with the exception of our Lord and our Lady, of course). So, in a sense, if we admit that much about Adam and Eve before the Fall, the impeccability of our Lady and the infallibility of the pope don’t seem to be that special, that privileged anymore.

  3. Quirino M. Sugon Jr says:

    Raymond St. Cyr Sr,

    You yourself said:

    “If St. Peter was the rock the foundation upon which Christ built His Church then St Paul was the master architect and General contractor that built the structure of the Church.”

    So there are no two foundations but one. The task of confirming the faith of other apostles belongs to Peter alone, and to his successors, the Bishops of Rome. Whenever there are controversies, the bishops turns to the pope to settle the dispute. Thus, in Council of Chalcedon, for example, after the bishops heard Leo’s Tome read out regarding the natures of Christ, they exclaimed, “Peter has spoken thus through Leo.”

    A tree can have many branches but only one main trunk. St. Paul may have established many churches, but they would be devoid of life if they are not connected to the main trunk who is Peter.

    It is true that the Catholic Church got its jump start from Emperor Constantine in order for the Church to freely live its Faith. But the original jump start came three centuries ago when Christ chose Peter and the apostles to build the Kingdom of God, the Church. The Church survived the bloodiest persecution even before Constantine came. And the Church continued to survive even after Constantine transferred his seat from Rome to Constantinople.

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