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Author Topic: Why Not "Open Communion"?  (Read 19381 times) Average Rating: 5
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Peter J
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« Reply #135 on: May 28, 2011, 06:15:25 PM »

Christus resurrexit!
P.S. Ah, so your looking for an official list of ex cathedra statements, eh?
Given the nature of the claim, that shouldn't be too much to ask.  I don't recall Pastor Aeternus reverting to gnosticism and saying such pronouncements were secrets.

I don't know about "secrets". The way I see the, the number of ex cathedra statements (assuming there have been any) is something that Catholics can have different opinions about.

Or have you forgotten that for the first couple centuries Christians differed regarding how many books the New Testament had?
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« Reply #136 on: May 28, 2011, 06:27:30 PM »

I thought that ex cathedra simply means that the teaching is made with the intention of invoking infallibllity.

Absolutely not!

If so, that would basically make the pope infallible whenever he wanted to be infallible.

What Vatican I actually said was:

"When the Roman Pontiff speaks ex cathedra, that is, when in exercising his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians he defines with his supreme apostolic authority that a doctrine on faith and morals is to be held by the whole Church, through the divine assistance promised him in the person of St. Peter, he enjoys that infallibility with which the divine Redeemer wished to endow his Church in defining a doctrine on faith and morals."
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« Reply #137 on: May 28, 2011, 07:21:38 PM »

Christus resurrexit!
P.S. Ah, so your looking for an official list of ex cathedra statements, eh?
Given the nature of the claim, that shouldn't be too much to ask.  I don't recall Pastor Aeternus reverting to gnosticism and saying such pronouncements were secrets.

I don't know about "secrets". The way I see the, the number of ex cathedra statements (assuming there have been any) is something that Catholics can have different opinions about.
The claim is made that "infallibility" settles the differences.  Supposedly that is why it is needed, or so we are told.  If they "can have different opinions" it pretty much defeats the purpose.

Or have you forgotten that for the first couple centuries Christians differed regarding how many books the New Testament had?
but then they didn't have a bishop who claimed that he had all the answers, now, did they?
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« Reply #138 on: May 28, 2011, 08:33:06 PM »

Christus resurrexit!
P.S. Ah, so your looking for an official list of ex cathedra statements, eh?
Given the nature of the claim, that shouldn't be too much to ask.  I don't recall Pastor Aeternus reverting to gnosticism and saying such pronouncements were secrets.

I don't know about "secrets". The way I see the, the number of ex cathedra statements (assuming there have been any) is something that Catholics can have different opinions about.
The claim is made that "infallibility" settles the differences.  Supposedly that is why it is needed, or so we are told.

Maybe you shouldn't believe everything you've been told.
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« Reply #139 on: May 28, 2011, 11:16:31 PM »

I thought that ex cathedra simply means that the teaching is made with the intention of invoking infallibllity.

Absolutely not!

If so, that would basically make the pope infallible whenever he wanted to be infallible.

What Vatican I actually said was:

"When the Roman Pontiff speaks ex cathedra, that is, when in exercising his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians he defines with his supreme apostolic authority that a doctrine on faith and morals is to be held by the whole Church, through the divine assistance promised him in the person of St. Peter, he enjoys that infallibility with which the divine Redeemer wished to endow his Church in defining a doctrine on faith and morals."
I don’t see where there is agreement among Catholics about what is declared infallibly or not, or what was declared ex cathedra or not.
Do you agree that there are Catholics in good standing who say that Ordinatio Sacerdotalis was not infallible.
And there are Catholics in good standing  who say it was infallible but not ex cathedra.
And there are Catholics in good standing who say it was both infallible and ex cathedra?
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« Reply #140 on: May 29, 2011, 09:30:28 AM »

I thought that ex cathedra simply means that the teaching is made with the intention of invoking infallibllity.

Absolutely not!

If so, that would basically make the pope infallible whenever he wanted to be infallible.

What Vatican I actually said was:

"When the Roman Pontiff speaks ex cathedra, that is, when in exercising his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians he defines with his supreme apostolic authority that a doctrine on faith and morals is to be held by the whole Church, through the divine assistance promised him in the person of St. Peter, he enjoys that infallibility with which the divine Redeemer wished to endow his Church in defining a doctrine on faith and morals."
I don’t see where there is agreement among Catholics about what is declared infallibly or not, or what was declared ex cathedra or not.
Do you agree that there are Catholics in good standing who say that Ordinatio Sacerdotalis was not infallible.
And there are Catholics in good standing  who say it was infallible but not ex cathedra.
And there are Catholics in good standing who say it was both infallible and ex cathedra?

Yes, I suppose so; although I think Unam Sanctam is a better example of Catholics disagreeing about whether it's ex cathedra or not. (I mean whether it contains an ex cathedra statement or not. Obviously nobody thinks that the whole document is ex cathedra.)
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« Reply #141 on: May 29, 2011, 12:13:47 PM »

The way I have understood the claim of Papal Infallibility is something like as follows:

A.) The Church is infallible

B.) There have been times in the history of the Church when the Pope has settled matters of doctrine once and for all.

C.) When he has done so, the infallibility of the Church has been exercised through him.

Not that there is an "infallibility mechanism" where the Pope can say "X is so, and I'm saying it infallibly".

Klaus Schatz made a study that was published in 1985 which suggests the following as the historical instances of what would be understood as exercises of the Papal infallibility:

Pope Leo I's Tome to Flavian
Pope Agatho's letter to the Third Council of Constantinople
Pope Benedict XII's Benedictus Deus
Pope Innocent X's Cum Occasione
Pope Pius VI's Auctorem fidei
Pope Pius IX's Ineffabilis Deus
Pope Pius XII's Munificentissimus Deus

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has also taught that John Paul II's Ordinatio Sacerdotalis was such an example.
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« Reply #142 on: May 29, 2011, 12:51:05 PM »

The way I have understood the claim of Papal Infallibility is something like as follows:

A.) The Church is infallible

B.) There have been times in the history of the Church when the Pope has settled matters of doctrine once and for all.

C.) When he has done so, the infallibility of the Church has been exercised through him.

Not that there is an "infallibility mechanism" where the Pope can say "X is so, and I'm saying it infallibly".

Klaus Schatz made a study that was published in 1985 which suggests the following as the historical instances of what would be understood as exercises of the Papal infallibility:

Pope Leo I's Tome to Flavian
Pope Agatho's letter to the Third Council of Constantinople
Pope Benedict XII's Benedictus Deus
Pope Innocent X's Cum Occasione
Pope Pius VI's Auctorem fidei
Pope Pius IX's Ineffabilis Deus
Pope Pius XII's Munificentissimus Deus

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has also taught that John Paul II's Ordinatio Sacerdotalis was such an example.

I'm so happy to see that you have read the Schatz book.  Yes.  There are eight instances, recognized by the Catholic Church, as exercises of papal infallibility.

The list is available in several locations.  I even believe Wiki publishes the list...for those who have not been able to find it...

M.
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« Reply #143 on: May 29, 2011, 03:37:21 PM »

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has also taught that John Paul II's Ordinatio Sacerdotalis was such an example.
Father  Francis A. Sullivan, who was dean of the faculty of theology at Gregorian University disagrees. BTW,  Father Sullivan is in good standing with the Catholic Church, and in fact, William Cardinal Levada, the current Prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, received his doctorate under Sullivan in 1971.
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« Reply #144 on: May 29, 2011, 03:38:57 PM »

Klaus Schatz made a study that was published in 1985 which suggests the following as the historical instances of what would be understood as exercises of the Papal infallibility:

Pope Leo I's Tome to Flavian
Pope Agatho's letter to the Third Council of Constantinople
Pope Benedict XII's Benedictus Deus
Pope Innocent X's Cum Occasione
Pope Pius VI's Auctorem fidei
Pope Pius IX's Ineffabilis Deus
Pope Pius XII's Munificentissimus Deus

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has also taught that John Paul II's Ordinatio Sacerdotalis was such an example.
Are any of these considered to be ex cathedra?
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« Reply #145 on: May 29, 2011, 04:08:53 PM »

They were all definitions of dogma for the whole Church (or in the case of Cum Occasione and Auctorem Fidei rejections of certain propositions as wholly unacceptable), so if they're all regarded to have been infallible they'd all be regarded to be ex cathedra in that dimension.

Leo I's Tome to Flavian - Confirmed the two natures of Christ
Agatho's Letter to the Third Council of Constantinople - Confirmed the two wills of Christ
Benedict XII's Benedictus Deus - Confirmed the beatific vision of the blessed between their deaths and the final judgment
Innocent X's Cum Occasione - Condemned certain Jansenist propositions
Pius VI's Auctorem Fidei - Condemned further Jansenist propositions
Pius IX's Ineffabilis Deus - Confirmed the Immaculate Conception of Mary
Pius XII's Municifentissimus Deus - Confirmed the bodily assumption of Mary
John Paul II's Ordinatio Sacerdotalis - Confirmed the reservation of the priesthood to males

In the dimension of having been explicitly issued by the extraordinary magisterium of the Papacy, only Ineffabilis Deus and Municifentissimus Deus.
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« Reply #146 on: May 29, 2011, 09:32:21 PM »

They were all definitions of dogma for the whole Church (or in the case of Cum Occasione and Auctorem Fidei rejections of certain propositions as wholly unacceptable), so if they're all regarded to have been infallible they'd all be regarded to be ex cathedra in that dimension.

Leo I's Tome to Flavian - Confirmed the two natures of Christ
Agatho's Letter to the Third Council of Constantinople - Confirmed the two wills of Christ
Benedict XII's Benedictus Deus - Confirmed the beatific vision of the blessed between their deaths and the final judgment
Innocent X's Cum Occasione - Condemned certain Jansenist propositions
Pius VI's Auctorem Fidei - Condemned further Jansenist propositions
Pius IX's Ineffabilis Deus - Confirmed the Immaculate Conception of Mary
Pius XII's Municifentissimus Deus - Confirmed the bodily assumption of Mary
John Paul II's Ordinatio Sacerdotalis - Confirmed the reservation of the priesthood to males

In the dimension of having been explicitly issued by the extraordinary magisterium of the Papacy, only Ineffabilis Deus and Municifentissimus Deus.

Well, I think that this could be what some people mean when they say that it is not known exactly which declarations are infallible but not ex cathedra, or which declarations are both infallible and ex cathedra. Ordinatio Sacerdotalis is perhaps a good example.
Father Sullivan says it is not infallible.
Posters on this thread say it is infallible but not ex cathedra.
You (and you are not the only one on this) say it is both infallible and ex cathedra.
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« Reply #147 on: May 30, 2011, 01:27:14 AM »

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith says that it is infallible but is not ex cathedra. I am not sure I understand what that means, precisely. It seems to me like any infallible statement would be ex cathedra, but I may be missing something.

Anyways, the list I provided is neither official nor complete, just a proposed list as a result of one scholar's study.
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« Reply #148 on: May 30, 2011, 10:29:18 AM »

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith says that it is infallible but is not ex cathedra.

:thumbsup:

I am not sure I understand what that means, precisely. It seems to me like any infallible statement would be ex cathedra,

I don't see that. Remember that Vatican I said "defines":

"When the Roman Pontiff speaks ex cathedra, that is, when in exercising his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians he defines with his supreme apostolic authority that a doctrine on faith and morals is to be held by the whole Church, through the divine assistance promised him in the person of St. Peter, he enjoys that infallibility with which the divine Redeemer wished to endow his Church in defining a doctrine on faith and morals."

I don't see why there couldn't be an infallible statement that doesn't define a doctrine to be held by the whole Church.
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« Reply #149 on: May 30, 2011, 04:54:04 PM »

What about "Exsurge Domine"?

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,33045.0.html
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« Reply #150 on: May 30, 2011, 05:16:37 PM »


I haven't read that entirely; but I'd like to repeat my earlier point: Vatican I did not say that the pope is infallible whenever he wants to be infallible.
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« Reply #151 on: May 30, 2011, 06:04:49 PM »


I haven't read that entirely; but I'd like to repeat my earlier point: Vatican I did not say that the pope is infallible whenever he wants to be infallible.

Take a look at the thread. It's about how Exsurge Domine meets the criteria set out by V1.
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« Reply #152 on: May 30, 2011, 07:29:08 PM »


I haven't read that entirely; but I'd like to repeat my earlier point: Vatican I did not say that the pope is infallible whenever he wants to be infallible.

Take a look at the thread. It's about how Exsurge Domine meets the criteria set out by V1.

Oh, I've looked at it (I just haven't read the whole thing). That's why I made the point about the pope not being infallible whenever he wants to be infallible.

Also, as I've mentioned before, Vatican I does not even say whether there have been any ex cathedra statements.
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« Reply #153 on: May 30, 2011, 09:35:02 PM »


I haven't read that entirely; but I'd like to repeat my earlier point: Vatican I did not say that the pope is infallible whenever he wants to be infallible.

Take a look at the thread. It's about how Exsurge Domine meets the criteria set out by V1.

Oh, I've looked at it (I just haven't read the whole thing). That's why I made the point about the pope not being infallible whenever he wants to be infallible.

Also, as I've mentioned before, Vatican I does not even say whether there have been any ex cathedra statements.

Actually, in a way, it does. To support my point, Fr. Brian W. Harrison wrote a thesis called "Infallibility of Humanae Vitae - Ex Cathedra Status of the encyclical 'Humanae Vitae'" on the interpretation of V1 and HV. He states:

Quote
Having considered the official magisterial texts of both Vatican Councils in regard to the secondary object of infallibility, we should take into account another official document which sheds further light on the interpretation of the 1870 dogma. On July 11, 1870, just a week before the solemn proclamation of the dogma of papal infallibility by Vatican I, Bishop Vincent Gasser, spokesman for the deputation "de fide" (the committee of Conciliar Fathers charged with drafting the solemn definition), delivered a four-hour speech explaining and defending the third (and, as it turned out, final) draft which was submitted to the assembled Fathers for their vote. The importance of this learned, historic dissertation lies in the fact that (apart from the subsequent Vatican II and post-Vatican II magisterial statements discussed above) it is the only "official" commentary on the 1870 definition. This speech informed the conciliar Fathers beforehand "what they were to understand" by the formula which was being presented for their vote. Therefore, if it should turn out that the dogmatic definition, taken in isolation, is open to more than one interpretation, that of Gasser must be seen as far more authoritative than that of any subsequent theologians, since it has to be presumed that the Council Fathers who were the formal authors of the definition intended it to mean what Gasser told them it meant. Vatican II itself recognizes the vital importance of Gasser's "relatio" by actually making the substance of some of his comments part of the Dogmatic constitution "Lumen Gentium" itself: he is quoted no less than four times in the official footnotes to "Lumen Gentium" 25, which treats of infallibility.
Quote
In replying to some Fathers who urged that the procedures or form to be used by the Pope in arriving at an infallible decision (i.e., his grave moral duty to pray for guidance, diligently consult the existing teaching of the Church, etc.) be included in the definition, Gasser replied:

But, most eminent and reverend fathers, this proposal simply cannot be accepted because we are not dealing with something new here. "Already thousands and thousands of dogmatic judgments have gone forth from the Apostolic See;" where is the law which prescribed the form to be observed in such judgments?[47]

(The context makes it clear that, by the expression "dogmatic judgment," Gasser here means any infallible definition "having to do" with dogma, not only with dogmas in the strict sense, because he notes in the same paragraph that the Council is proposing to define that "the dogmatic judgments of the Roman Pontiff are infallible"; and as we have seen, a central point of the whole "relatio" is that the new formula being presented to the Fathers does not limit papal infallibility to dogmas in the strict sense, i.e., points of revealed truth.) In other words, Gasser was able to assert "in passing"--that is, as something which did not need arguing and would be taken for granted by his audience-- that there had already been "thousands and thousands" of infallible definitions issued by former Popes! Even allowing for the fact that he doubtless did not intend to be taken quite literally here, and meant only to make the point that "a great many" such definitions were "ex cathedra," it is obvious that he cannot have had in mind "only" solemn definitions of revealed truth, such as Pius IX's definition of the Immaculate Conception a few years previously. There have in fact been only a few such definitions. So Gasser obviously meant to include the many papal definitions of secondary truths, including censures less than heresy, as genuine "ex cathedra," infallible definitions. In line with this, the noted dogmatic theologian J. M. Herve, in his standard work, specifies all eighty of Pope St. Pius V's censures against the errors of Du Bay (DS 1901-1980) as infallible definitions, as well as all the errors condemned by Pius IX in the 1864 encyclical "Quanta Cura."[48] The conventional modern view that "ex cathedra" definitions are "extremely rare"[49] is thus at variance with the Vatican I "relator's" view of the matter, and is evidently based on the falsely restrictive presupposition which Gasser and the entire deputation "de fide" went to such pains to exclude.
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/2043321/posts

You see, it is quite clear, and at the time of the council, ex cathedra statements are to be believed to have been pronounce the entire time of the RCC. So there is certainly cause for stating what does and does not meet that criteria.
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« Reply #154 on: May 30, 2011, 10:18:57 PM »

This article concludes that Exsurge Domine would not qualify for infallible teaching because, for a variety of reasons, the author feels the condemnations do not fit the qualifications of an explicit definition.

http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/2001/0109bt.asp
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« Reply #155 on: May 30, 2011, 10:42:55 PM »


I haven't read that entirely; but I'd like to repeat my earlier point: Vatican I did not say that the pope is infallible whenever he wants to be infallible.

Take a look at the thread. It's about how Exsurge Domine meets the criteria set out by V1.

Oh, I've looked at it (I just haven't read the whole thing). That's why I made the point about the pope not being infallible whenever he wants to be infallible.

Also, as I've mentioned before, Vatican I does not even say whether there have been any ex cathedra statements.

Actually, in a way, it does. To support my point, Fr. Brian W. Harrison wrote a thesis called "Infallibility of Humanae Vitae - Ex Cathedra Status of the encyclical 'Humanae Vitae'" on the interpretation of V1 and HV. He states:

Quote
Having considered the official magisterial texts of both Vatican Councils in regard to the secondary object of infallibility, we should take into account another official document which sheds further light on the interpretation of the 1870 dogma. On July 11, 1870, just a week before the solemn proclamation of the dogma of papal infallibility by Vatican I, Bishop Vincent Gasser, spokesman for the deputation "de fide" (the committee of Conciliar Fathers charged with drafting the solemn definition), delivered a four-hour speech explaining and defending the third (and, as it turned out, final) draft which was submitted to the assembled Fathers for their vote. The importance of this learned, historic dissertation lies in the fact that (apart from the subsequent Vatican II and post-Vatican II magisterial statements discussed above) it is the only "official" commentary on the 1870 definition. This speech informed the conciliar Fathers beforehand "what they were to understand" by the formula which was being presented for their vote. Therefore, if it should turn out that the dogmatic definition, taken in isolation, is open to more than one interpretation, that of Gasser must be seen as far more authoritative than that of any subsequent theologians, since it has to be presumed that the Council Fathers who were the formal authors of the definition intended it to mean what Gasser told them it meant. Vatican II itself recognizes the vital importance of Gasser's "relatio" by actually making the substance of some of his comments part of the Dogmatic constitution "Lumen Gentium" itself: he is quoted no less than four times in the official footnotes to "Lumen Gentium" 25, which treats of infallibility.
Quote
In replying to some Fathers who urged that the procedures or form to be used by the Pope in arriving at an infallible decision (i.e., his grave moral duty to pray for guidance, diligently consult the existing teaching of the Church, etc.) be included in the definition, Gasser replied:

But, most eminent and reverend fathers, this proposal simply cannot be accepted because we are not dealing with something new here. "Already thousands and thousands of dogmatic judgments have gone forth from the Apostolic See;" where is the law which prescribed the form to be observed in such judgments?[47]

(The context makes it clear that, by the expression "dogmatic judgment," Gasser here means any infallible definition "having to do" with dogma, not only with dogmas in the strict sense, because he notes in the same paragraph that the Council is proposing to define that "the dogmatic judgments of the Roman Pontiff are infallible"; and as we have seen, a central point of the whole "relatio" is that the new formula being presented to the Fathers does not limit papal infallibility to dogmas in the strict sense, i.e., points of revealed truth.) In other words, Gasser was able to assert "in passing"--that is, as something which did not need arguing and would be taken for granted by his audience-- that there had already been "thousands and thousands" of infallible definitions issued by former Popes! Even allowing for the fact that he doubtless did not intend to be taken quite literally here, and meant only to make the point that "a great many" such definitions were "ex cathedra," it is obvious that he cannot have had in mind "only" solemn definitions of revealed truth, such as Pius IX's definition of the Immaculate Conception a few years previously. There have in fact been only a few such definitions. So Gasser obviously meant to include the many papal definitions of secondary truths, including censures less than heresy, as genuine "ex cathedra," infallible definitions. In line with this, the noted dogmatic theologian J. M. Herve, in his standard work, specifies all eighty of Pope St. Pius V's censures against the errors of Du Bay (DS 1901-1980) as infallible definitions, as well as all the errors condemned by Pius IX in the 1864 encyclical "Quanta Cura."[48] The conventional modern view that "ex cathedra" definitions are "extremely rare"[49] is thus at variance with the Vatican I "relator's" view of the matter, and is evidently based on the falsely restrictive presupposition which Gasser and the entire deputation "de fide" went to such pains to exclude.
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/2043321/posts

You see, it is quite clear, and at the time of the council, ex cathedra statements are to be believed to have been pronounce the entire time of the RCC.

I've seen that sort of argument before. But the thing is, those statements by Bishop Gasser, while they might have influenced the councils decisions, cannot be counted as statements made by the council. Ultimately we are left with the simple truth that Vatican I did not say whether there have been any ex cathedra statements.

So there is certainly cause for stating what does and does not meet that criteria.

Yes, if you're up to the challenge. (Bear in mind that it took centuries for Christians to decide how many books are in the New Testament.)
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« Reply #156 on: May 30, 2011, 10:44:37 PM »

This article concludes that Exsurge Domine would not qualify for infallible teaching because, for a variety of reasons, the author feels the condemnations do not fit the qualifications of an explicit definition.

http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/2001/0109bt.asp

Thanks for the reply.

I read the article, however, since I have broken the encyclical down myself, I would have some trouble agreeing to his points. I would find accepting 'the burning of heretics' more comparable over all. Though harsh, it keeps from backpedaling the issue (if infallibility is to be accepted), and in a certain frame of though it might be acceptable. That is, we believe that God would not desire death on anyone, but is this true? Certainly someone who tries to destroy the Apostolic faith is more dangerous than any serial killer.

 Just thoughts.
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« Reply #157 on: May 30, 2011, 10:46:10 PM »

So there is certainly cause for stating what does and does not meet that criteria.

Yes, if you're up to the challenge.

I don't understand. Do you mean besides the other thread, as in other documents?
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« Reply #158 on: May 30, 2011, 11:46:33 PM »

This article concludes that Exsurge Domine would not qualify for infallible teaching because, for a variety of reasons, the author feels the condemnations do not fit the qualifications of an explicit definition.

http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/2001/0109bt.asp

Thanks for the reply.

I read the article, however, since I have broken the encyclical down myself, I would have some trouble agreeing to his points. I would find accepting 'the burning of heretics' more comparable over all. Though harsh, it keeps from backpedaling the issue (if infallibility is to be accepted), and in a certain frame of though it might be acceptable. That is, we believe that God would not desire death on anyone, but is this true? Certainly someone who tries to destroy the Apostolic faith is more dangerous than any serial killer.

 Just thoughts.

I think the fact that Leo X says that the propositions are rejected as heretical or scandalous or false or offensive to pious ears or seductive of simple minds or in opposition to Catholic truth is important. It offers ambiguity in to the nature of the condemnation of each proposition, and I do think that makes it fuzzy as far as defining dogma goes.

Perhaps we could contrast it to the two documents suggested as infallible which, like Exsurge Domine, are condemnations of propositions: Innocent X's Cum Occasione and Pius VI's Auctorem Fidei:

http://www.rosarychurch.net/history/1653_Innocent_X.html

http://www.catholicresearch.org/Decrees/AuctoremFidei.html

In these two terms, each condemned proposition is listed specifically, with the specific reasons for its condemnation also listed. That seems to make Cum Occasione and Auctorem Fidei better candidates than Exsurge Domine for infallibility to me.

But as I said before, my understanding of Papal infallibility is merely that it is in recognition of the fact that in the history of the Church, matters of dogma have sometimes been definitively settled by Popes, and if the Church is infallible, the Popes must have been infallible when doing so. Absent a "infallibility mechanism" the Popes can call upon (which I don't think there is) it will be difficult to assemble any authoritative list of the times it has happened.
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« Reply #159 on: May 30, 2011, 11:58:22 PM »

So there is certainly cause for stating what does and does not meet that criteria.

Yes, if you're up to the challenge. (Bear in mind that it took centuries for Christians to decide how many books are in the New Testament.)

I don't understand. Do you mean besides the other thread, as in other documents?

I mean that I don't think you realize the difficulty of proving what you're trying to prove.
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« Reply #160 on: May 31, 2011, 12:01:11 AM »

Oddly enough, I'm less bothered by statements about "thousands and thousands" then I am by Catholics who say that there have been exactly 2 ex cathedra statements and then talk to you like a 5-year-old if you ask them how they know that.
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