Sunday, November 07, 2010

Sungenis: Most of what Catholics believe and practice today has never been stated infallibly

Robert Sungenis: In fact, most of what Catholics believe and practice today has never been stated infallibly. Most of our faith and morals comes from the Ordinary Magisterium, and the Ordinary Magisterium is rarely singled out as infallible dogma. There have been only two definite instances of the exercise of papal infallibility. The first was in 1870 when the doctrine of papal infallibility was decreed as a doctrine in itself, and the second was in 1950 when the doctrine of the Assumption of Mary was decreed. Every other teaching by the popes, past and present, has never been officially defined as an excathedra, infallible, and irreformable teaching. Of course, the Church could go back and analyze various teachings of past popes in order to decide whether one or the other was teaching infallibly on a given issue, but she has never done so, and thus there is no list of infallible papal teachings. [Source, pdf alert]

11 comments:

The 27th Comrade said...

It is interesting that I have been debating on this same issue over here. My interlocutor said that the RCC declares something, then it has to be acceded to (otherwise “anarchy, and 30,000 denominations”). But I was trying to figure out what has been declared, and I could find nothing, other than the Assumption.
But later, to resolve a conundrum (probably something like “How do we know to accede to the Pope’s decree about, say, the Assumption of Mary?”), my interlocutor says that the decrees only codify what is already believed.
Ah, so we do not need the decrees? It goes on and on and on like that. Unfortunately.

James Swan said...

The fact is, as odd as Robert Sungenis is, he typically is right about stuff like this.

zipper778 said...

This really does nail it on the head. What has been declared infallible by the pope? Well, papal infallibility of course. What is the evidence of this infallibility? Well, the pope declared himself infallible, there ya go! He's turned the church into a two headed monster just as Martin Luther declared (I think it was in 1521). The church cannot have two heads, if Christ is our Head, then we don't need a Vicar.

The fact that Roman Catholics have to believe whatever the current Church believes is evidence enough for me that it's not the "true church" that Christ founded. Truth doesn't change. All we need is Jesus. We don't need a group of men in order to be saved. Praise God for that.

steelikat said...

I think they were talking about papal infallibility, per se. In addition to that, I think the canons of "ecumenical councils" are considered infallible by Roman Catholics. The problem with that is that most of them weren't really ecumenical, they didn't include representation from the whole catholic church.

Now if the RCC was willing to scale back its claim, and just insist the first seven imperial councils are to be treated as infallible, it might make some real ecumenical headway.

CathApol said...

This really does nail it on the head. What has been declared infallible by the pope? Well, papal infallibility of course.

Actually, papal infallibility was declared by Jesus Christ in Matthew 16:18-19. That declaration was defined as such by Vatican I. The decree was not by the pope.

AMDG,
Scott<<<

James Swan said...

CathApol said...
Actually, papal infallibility was declared by Jesus Christ in Matthew 16:18-19. That declaration was defined as such by Vatican I. The decree was not by the pope


Scott- is your certainty in the text of Scripture, or in the doctrines infallibly declared by the Roman Catholic Church? My understanding is that the Roman Catholic Church says that a doctrine can be defined, but the scriptural proofs used to support it utilized by the Church’s theologians might not actually support it. In other words, one can have certainty for a doctrine, but not have certainty in the scriptural proof texts for that doctrine. The infallibleness is in the decree, not in the reasoning to that decree.

The Catholic Encyclopedia states,

“…the validity of the Divine guarantee is independent of the fallible arguments upon which a definitive decision may be based, and of the possibly unworthy human motives that in cases of strife may appear to have influenced the result. It is the definitive result itself, and it alone, that is guaranteed to be infallible, not the preliminary stages by which it is reached.”

Also note this statement from Roman Catholic theologian, Johann Mohler:

“Catholic theologians teach with general concurrence, and quite in the spirit of the Church, that even a Scriptural proof in favour of a decree held to be infallible, is not itself infallible, but only the dogma as defined.” [Source: Johann Adam Mohler, Symbolism: Exposition of the doctrinal Differences between Catholics and Protestants as evidenced by their Symbolic Writings, trans James Burton Robertson (New York: Crossroad Publishing, 1997), p.296].

James Swan said...

my interlocutor says that the decrees only codify what is already believed

LOL. Apply that one to the early church and Matthew 16.

One has to assume modern-day Romanism is true in order for "the decrees only codify what is already believed" to be true.

John Bugay said...

Actually, papal infallibility was declared by Jesus Christ in Matthew 16:18-19. That declaration was defined as such by Vatican I. The decree was not by the pope.

I would like to see some exegesis as to precisely how that message (papal infallibility) might be found in those passages.

James Swan said...

I would like to see some exegesis as to precisely how that message (papal infallibility) might be found in those passages.

What???? Just saying it's the truth isn't enough? Now you want proof? You're just being unreasonable.

zipper778 said...

CathApol, if that passage had said specifically "papal" or "infallibility" or something along those lines, I might be okay with that statement. But it's obvious that you haven't read the verse or else you wouldn't have said that papal infallibility was declared there. That is a ridiculous claim and you know that verse doesn't prove anything. Like James Swan has already stated, you don't need proof, only the declaration is enough for you. Plus, Matthew 16 doesn't help papal infallibility if you want to believe that Peter was the first pope, especially since Jesus called Peter Satan right after the passage that CathApol posted (see Matt. 16:23).

So please CathApol, just do yourself (and us) a favor and admit that there is no evidence for your church's claims, and that you simply take it at it's word. That's all you can do as a Roman Catholic.

The "Church" isn't the way to God, Jesus Christ is the way to God. He is our only Savior.

Constantine said...

I would like to see some exegesis as to precisely how that message (papal infallibility) might be found in those passages.

It's been posted here before but suffice it to say that 19th century Roman Catholic scholarship precluded the use of Matthew 16 as a basis for the papacy, let alone its infallibility. So I, too, will be very interested how one can bypass the papacy's legitimacy while affirming its infallibility.

Peace.