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Author Topic: Consequences of leaving the RCC for Orthodoxy and visa versa  (Read 8483 times) Average Rating: 0
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lubeltri
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« Reply #45 on: December 09, 2007, 06:32:31 PM »

Well, things develop. Seeds become mature trees.

The current EO ecclesiastical structure developed in the early modern period.
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« Reply #46 on: December 09, 2007, 07:14:20 PM »

Well, things develop. Seeds become mature trees.

The current EO ecclesiastical structure developed in the early modern period.

They yet to fully develop as the Macedonian, Estonian and diaspora situations demonstrate.  Regardless, I can be a perfectly faithful communicant of an Orthodox parish and disagree with the exact development of the modern autocephalous synods.  And other than Ukraine and Macedonian there haven't been long term suspensions of communion over these matters.  Whereas, if I were reject Vatican I, I could not in fact be a faithful Roman Catholic.   
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« Reply #47 on: December 09, 2007, 08:21:24 PM »

Νεκτάριος, I guess to would put to you the same question I asked Father Ambrose:
Quote
P.S. Let me put it to you this way: suppose you were the pope and a Catholic said to you "I believe that what Pope Boniface said in Unam Sanctum is true (when properly understood), but I don't believe that he was 'exercising of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians', so I don't regard Unam Sanctum as an ex cathedra statement."

Would you, as pope, then respond "Sorry you can't be Catholic anymore"?
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My answer would be, Yes.  If words mean anything then the answer would have to be Yes.  But the modern answer is obviously not Yes.  Roman Catholics have become adroit at reinterpreting the parts of older teachings which do not chime with post Vatican II teachings.

For example, every one of the papal statements quoted by Navigator has been stood on its head and, basically, reduced to meaninglessness.
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« Reply #48 on: December 09, 2007, 08:34:45 PM »

Well, the 1960s-1970s were the time to change it, and it didn't happen. (As a Catholic I know why, because the consistent teaching of the Church for almost two millennia on that moral issue is true.)
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Actually the opposite is true.  Pope Paul VI went against the teaching of the Church for the previous two millennia.  From the amount of evidence we have from the teachings of the early Church and the Church Fathers we know that they considered as sinful any sexual act in marriage where the couple do not have the intention of conceiving a child.

It was because the patristic witness contradicted him that this, one of the major Encylicals. has not a single patristic quote.  Instead Paul VI's mode of presentation is forced to bypass Tradition and the Church Fathers and rely on human reason and the argument from Natural Law.   Bringing in the Tradition and the Church Fathers would have shown that he was at odds with Tradtion and opened a whole can of worms for him.

Papa Gregorio did a masterful job on CAF of presenting the patristic evidence.  He covered it in 4-5 posts.  This would take this thread too far off track.  I could, if you are interested, open a new thread and reproduce his posts.
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« Reply #49 on: December 09, 2007, 08:37:59 PM »

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My answer would be, Yes.  If words mean anything then the answer would have to be Yes.  But the modern answer is obviously not Yes>  Roman Catholics have become adroit at reinterpreting the parts of older teachings which do not chime with post Vatican II teachings.

Exactly, which is why I referred (several times) to the difficulty of reconciling the new ecclesiology with all that has gone before.

For example, every one of the papal statements quoted by Navigator have been stood on its head and, basically, reduced to meaninglessness.

Because to avoid the unpleasantness of the prior decrees they fall back on "prove to me that it's infallible" which, ultimately comes down to setting up a straw man.  I maintain that (according to Roman Catholic lights) Florence was a dogmatic, infallible statement but for the sake of argument I'll stipulate that it was not.

In which case, the teaching still has to be adhered to because of the operation of the Ordinary Magisterium - which even the post Vatican II catechism defines as:

2034 The Roman Pontiff and the bishops are "authentic teachers, that is, teachers endowed with the authority of Christ, who preach the faith to the people entrusted to them, the faith to be believed and put into practice." The ordinary and universal Magisterium of the Pope and the bishops in communion with him teach the faithful the truth to believe, the charity to practice, the beatitude to hope for.

So even if every single citation I listed was fallible, no Roman Catholic could deny that decrees of an ecumenical council (in union with the pope) lack the weight of the ORDINARY Magisterium (at the very least...)
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« Reply #50 on: December 09, 2007, 08:47:00 PM »

Basically, the doctrine of papal infallibility says that the Holy Spirit will prevent the Pope from ever injecting heresy into official Catholic dogma and forcing the faithful to believe it. In other words, the gates of Hell shall not prevail.
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Lubeltri,

There are a couple of mistakes there.

1.  Papal infallibility is not a doctrine.  It is a dogma.

2.  Although modern Catholics like to present it a little apologetically (as you have here) as some sort of negative protection this is contrary to the Definition which presents it as something positive.

Here is the Definition which is in itself infallible:

"We teach and define that it is a dogma Divinely revealed that the Roman pontiff when he speaks ex cathedra, that is when in discharge of the office of pastor and doctor of all Christians, by virtue of his supreme Apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine regarding faith or morals to be held by the universal Church, by the Divine assistance promised to him in Blessed Peter, is possessed of that infallibility with which the Divine Redeemer willed that his Church should be endowed in defining doctrine regarding faith or morals, and that therefore such definitions of the Roman pontiff are of themselves and not from the consent of the Church irreformable.
"So then, should anyone, which God forbid, have the temerity to reject this definition of ours: let him be anathema."

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« Reply #51 on: December 09, 2007, 10:17:47 PM »

It's the difference between dogma (e.g. the Assumption of the BVM) and theological speculation (e.g. limbo).   Dogmatic (infallible) decrees (whether conciliar or papal) are, by their very essence, "definitions" (We declare, define, etc"). The theological speculation ends.

When Pius XII ruled dogmatically on the Assumption in 1950 didn't didn't say "Mary was bodily assumed into heaven unless, of course, the following mitigating factors came into play." Dogma cannot be "mitigated"

none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics, can have a share in life eternal; but that they will go into the eternal fire ‘which was prepared for the devil and his angels,’ unless before death they are joined to Her

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I guess I can forget about packing my winter clothes then.   Grin Cheesy Grin Cheesy Grin
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« Reply #52 on: December 09, 2007, 10:52:47 PM »

Father Ambrose,

I read your posts, and I'll try and write a response soon.

Νεκτάριος,

It is an impossible question to answer since I don't view the Papacy in a manner that you do. 

Fair enough. Maybe that's more of a question to ask my fellow Catholics.

Let me ask you this instead (you too, Father Ambrose). Suppose that a Catholic approaches you about converting to Orthodoxy. Suppose further that he/she still believes that the pope speaks infallibly whenever he makes an ex cathedra statement ("that is, when, in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church" cf. Vatican I), but he/she does not believe that there have ever been any ex cathedra statements (outside of 1 Peter and 2 Peter). Would you say that such a person could become Orthodox anyways?

Or better yet, suppose someone wanting to convert to Orthodoxy believes that the statement Vatican I made about infallibility is true of every bishop, not just the pope. That is, that any bishop speaks infallibly if/when in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church. Would that be an obstacle to conversion to Orthodoxy (keeping in mind Act 15:28)?

God bless,
Peter.
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« Reply #53 on: December 09, 2007, 11:35:55 PM »

Because to avoid the unpleasantness of the prior decrees they fall back on "prove to me that it's infallible" which, ultimately comes down to setting up a straw man. 

Navigator,

I think I owe you an apology, because I brought up Papal Infallibility in a way which seems to have confused you.

I certainly never meant to suggest that the question of whether or not Unam Sanctum is an ex cathedra statement has any bearing on the original question. (In fact, I think I've made it pretty clear that I agree with Unam Sanctum.)

Rather, I brought up Papal Infallibility because there are interesting similarities:

I think that Unam Sanctam is highly relevant to any discussion of papal infallibility, but for a reason that may not be obvious: namely, because both dogmas are if-then statements that are, I believe, framed in a way that leads to frequent misunderstanding. ... In both cases, people tend to focus on the "then" part (the "infallible" or "going to hell" portion of the statement) to the point of neglecting the "if" part (the "ex cathedra" or "not subject to the pope" portion of the statement).

I hope that clears that up. God bless,
Peter.
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« Reply #54 on: December 09, 2007, 11:47:27 PM »

Let me ask you this instead (you too, Father Ambrose). Suppose that Catholic approaches you about converting to Orthodoxy. Suppose further that he/she still believes that the pope speaks infallibly whenever he makes an ex cathedra statement ("that is, when, in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church" cf. Vatican I), but he/she does not believe that there have ever been any ex cathedra statements (outside of 1 Peter and 2 Peter). Would you say that such a person could become Orthodox anyways?
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No.  If a person believes in principle that the power of making infallible statements has been given by God to a person who resides on the Hill of Sorcerors (Mons Vaticanus) then obviously that person cannot be Orthodox since the Church denies such a notion.

A person converting to Orthodoxy is asked to make a set of formal renunciations and one of them is a renunciation of belief in the infallibility of the Pope.
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« Reply #55 on: December 09, 2007, 11:54:55 PM »

Or better yet, suppose someone wanting to convert to Orthodoxy believes that the statement Vatican I made about infallibility is true of every bishop, not just the pope. That is, that any bishop speaks infallibly if/when in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church. Would that be an obstacle to conversion to Orthodoxy (keeping in mind Act 15:28)?
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Peter,

The scenario is unworkable.  The Church does not expect that any single bishop would ever define doctrine for the whole Church.
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« Reply #56 on: December 09, 2007, 11:55:15 PM »

Suppose that a Catholic approaches you about converting to Orthodoxy.
Suppose further that he/she still believes that the pope speaks infallibly whenever he makes an ex cathedra statement
but he/she does not believe that there have ever been any ex cathedra statements
Would you say that such a person could become Orthodox anyways?

No problem - All such a person needs do is repent from holding any individual or office as infallible...

Quote
Suppose someone wanting to convert to Orthodoxy believes that the statement Vatican I made about infallibility is true of every bishop, not just the pope....Would that be an obstacle to conversion to Orthodoxy (keeping in mind Act 15:28)?

No obstacle at all - They simply need to repent of this error, and there is no obstacle...

And the easy way to illuminate the error as innovative wishful thinking is to simply ask the person to show ANY doctrine of infallibility in the undivided Church of the first thousand years of the Christian Faith...  Christ is infallible, and man is fallible - Every man except Christ, Who is also God, is fallible...

Look - The early Church Fathers were SO concerned about human fallibility that even the Ecumenical Council rulings were not regarded as infallible, but had to be re-affirmed at each new Council...  And this when there was unanimous consent...  And this because even unanimous consent is HUMAN unanimous consent...  Of a LOT of Bishops and Saints...

So you will simply be unable to find a doctrine of the Councils of the Church of the first thousand years that endorses ANY human infallibility AT ALL...

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« Reply #57 on: December 10, 2007, 12:26:27 AM »

Let me ask you this instead (you too, Father Ambrose). Suppose that a Catholic approaches you about converting to Orthodoxy. Suppose further that he/she still believes that the pope speaks infallibly whenever he makes an ex cathedra statement ("that is, when, in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church" cf. Vatican I), but he/she does not believe that there have ever been any ex cathedra statements (outside of 1 Peter and 2 Peter). Would you say that such a person could become Orthodox anyways?

Or better yet, suppose someone wanting to convert to Orthodoxy believes that the statement Vatican I made about infallibility is true of every bishop, not just the pope. That is, that any bishop speaks infallibly if/when in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church. Would that be an obstacle to conversion to Orthodoxy (keeping in mind Act 15:28)?

Such a question makes no sense to an Orthodox person.  That is simply not we see the Church operating. 

I think a major reason there is such a disconnect is that matters of church organization and government are largely not matters of faith in Orthodoxy.  As I mentioned earlier to lubeltri, the Orthodox Church has still not entirely resolved how to administer itself at the breakup of the old empires, the Ottoman and the Russian / Soviet.  Whereas the the Papal claims ipso facto make such administrative concerns de fide.  It is not so neat of a matter that Orthodoxy and Catholicism can simply use the same equation with different variables, rather they use two entirely different systems of mathematics. 
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« Reply #58 on: December 10, 2007, 12:55:08 AM »

Navigator,

I think I owe you an apology, because I brought up Papal Infallibility in a way which seems to have confused you.

I certainly never meant to suggest that the question of whether or not Unam Sanctum is an ex cathedra statement has any bearing on the original question. (In fact, I think I've made it pretty clear that I agree with Unam Sanctum.)

Peter, thanks for your concern, it's very much appreciated.

Unfortunately, I think you may be confused by the turn in the thread.  The responses to the numerous citations I posted tended to question the "infallibility" of the papal and conciliar decrees.

It was with that in mind that I addressed the issue.

But thanks again!

Stephen
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« Reply #59 on: December 10, 2007, 03:19:47 PM »

A person converting to Orthodoxy is asked to make a set of formal renunciations and one of them is a renunciation of belief in the infallibility of the Pope.

I don't find that surprising or shocking. (Actually, if you had said that converts were allowed to believe whatever they wanted concerning infallibility, I would have been tempted to reply with "What are you, Anglicans or something? Wink") I just wasn't sure how far that renunciation extended, or what form it took (which you've largely cleared up by saying, "The Church does not expect that any single bishop would ever define doctrine for the whole Church.")

On the other hand, if converts to Orthodoxy were required to say that no person can ever exercise infallibility, I would find that rather shocking. Why? Because I believe that St. Paul exercised infallibility when he wrote Romans, Galatians, etc., as did St. Peter when he wrote 1 Peter and 2 Peter, as did St. James etc. (I note that GIC posted recently that most Orthodox believe that the bible isn't infallible; but there's a world of difference between "most Orthodox believe" and "all Orthodox are required to believe".)

God bless,
Peter.
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« Reply #60 on: December 10, 2007, 04:39:15 PM »

but there's a world of difference between "most Orthodox believe" and "all Orthodox are required to believe".)
I have to admit that that does not compute for me.

I cannot think of any doctrines which "most Orthodox believe" and others don't believe.

Admittedly we can use that sort of language about the tollhouse notion which most Orthodox do not believe, but I am not aware of any Orthodox doctrines which are optional.  Orthodoxy is very much maximalist in its faith.

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« Reply #61 on: December 10, 2007, 05:08:38 PM »

I have to admit that that does not compute for me.

I cannot think of any doctrines which "most Orthodox believe" and others don't believe.

A sinless Mary seems to be one of those, judging from recent discussions.
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« Reply #62 on: December 10, 2007, 05:14:37 PM »

A sinless Mary seems to be one of those, judging from recent discussions.

Eh, not exactly - not everyone believes it because of our language concerning Christ's sinlessness, but Father was alluding to the implication that many Orthodox don't believe in something they must - we seemingly have a lower number of dogmas than others, but our people generally believe them.
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« Reply #63 on: December 10, 2007, 05:36:48 PM »

Cleveland and Father Ambrose,

So ... do you agree with GiC's assertion that "most Orthodox believe that the bible isn't infallible", or not?
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« Reply #64 on: December 10, 2007, 05:45:52 PM »

A sinless Mary seems to be one of those, judging from recent discussions.
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Dear Lubeltri,

A really small minority (one or two) of the early Fathers (who are also your own Doctors of the Church) wrote that the Mother of God committed personal sin.  The only example I can actually think of is Saint John Chrysostom saying that she sinned at Canna by presuming her Son would work the miracle she requested.

However this is not the consensus of the Church Fathers and it has not been transmitted to us in the Church Tradition.  It is merely an interesting footnote in patristic history.  Very few Orthodox would even be aware of it - apart from us clever clogs who write in Internet Forums.  Grin

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« Reply #65 on: December 10, 2007, 05:52:26 PM »

Cleveland and Father Ambrose,

So ... do you agree with GiC's assertion that "most Orthodox believe that the bible isn't infallible", or not?
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As I always pointed out on CAF the word "infallible" is unknown in Greek patristics and in Eastern theology.  The closest the Russians come is "nepogreshimost" which since it derives from grekh - sin helps explain the confusion between the Pope's infallibility and his sinlessness. Smiley

So, I suppose the first thing is to define what you mean by "infallibility."  Otherwise we would probably offer an answer which is not true to ourselves and which gives the wrong impression to you.
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« Reply #66 on: December 10, 2007, 06:15:14 PM »

Cleveland and Father Ambrose,

So ... do you agree with GiC's assertion that "most Orthodox believe that the bible isn't infallible", or not?

Well, we'd have to start with a fairly complete definition of "infallible" - exactly how you mean it, with no room for guesswork.  Once we've got that, then it will be possible to investigate our patristic writings for a similar concept.  I'm going to echo Father on this one: I've never seen the word "infallible" used by Orthodox writing about Orthodoxy except when trying to address Catholicism.  It seems to be completely absent from Patristic writing of the pre-modern era.
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« Reply #67 on: December 10, 2007, 06:51:21 PM »

Well, we'd have to start with a fairly complete definition of "infallible" - exactly how you mean it, with no room for guesswork.

I think even that is missing the point.  When was the last time you heard a cradle or long-time convert use the word "infallible" to describe anything in the Orthodox world?  I get the sense that many Catholic apologists have never tried to see the world from an Orthodox worldview, have never read our great writers, theologians, ascetics, haven't learned our languages etc.  So while it may be technically correct to say that the Orthodox Church views council X and scriptures Y as infallible, I simply never hear that on a day to day basis. 
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« Reply #68 on: December 10, 2007, 07:33:20 PM »

I think even that is missing the point.  When was the last time you heard a cradle or long-time convert use the word "infallible" to describe anything in the Orthodox world?  I get the sense that many Catholic apologists have never tried to see the world from an Orthodox worldview, have never read our great writers, theologians, ascetics, haven't learned our languages etc.  So while it may be technically correct to say that the Orthodox Church views council X and scriptures Y as infallible, I simply never hear that on a day to day basis. 

True.  Of course, if there is some obscure word in Greek or Slavonic that means essentially the same thing, then it would be nice to find out what word that is, that way we can see if it's ever used theologically or not.

This is an academic exercise to its fullest - I see no place for it outside the realm of the theoretical (a point on which we seem to agree on here).
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« Reply #69 on: December 10, 2007, 08:56:54 PM »

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As I always pointed out on CAF the word "infallible" is unknown in Greek patristics and in Eastern theology. 

Good point. (I guess I never realized what I was missing by not being a CAF participant. Smiley)

Perhaps one of these days we should have a thread about the idea of the bible being infallible, and about the origins of the concept of infallibility.

God bless,
Peter.
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« Reply #70 on: December 11, 2007, 12:01:15 AM »

Good point. (I guess I never realized what I was missing by not being a CAF participant. Smiley)

Perhaps one of these days we should have a thread about the idea of the bible being infallible, and about the origins of the concept of infallibility.
Do you mean infallible in the same way the Pope is said to be - when the authors of the sacred books wrote on matters of faith and morals the Bible is infallible? 

It's clearly not infallible when it comes to biology - bats is the frequently given example.  The Bible wrongly call them birds.  And there are other examples when the Bible is in error about some things.
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« Reply #71 on: December 11, 2007, 01:13:32 AM »

Father Bless ; Bring up were some of the popes claimed they were God on earth ,,,,like in place of Christ ..it's so creepy to read ,,i need a refresher course if you bring up the documents that is .. stashko.....<a href="http://plugin.smileycentral.com/http%253A%252F%252Fwww.smileycentral.com%252F%253Fpartner%253DZSzeb008%255FZS%2526i%253D10%252F10%255F1%255F133%2526feat%253Dprof/page.html" target="_blank">SmileyCentral.com" border="0<img border="0" src="http://plugin.smileycentral.com/http%253A%252F%252Fimgfarm%252Ecom%252Fimages%252Fnocache%252Ftr%252Ffw%252Fsmiley%252Fsocial%252Egif%253Fi%253D10%252F10_1_133/image.gif">[/url]
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« Reply #72 on: December 11, 2007, 10:34:07 AM »

Do you mean infallible in the same way the Pope is said to be - when the authors of the sacred books wrote on matters of faith and morals the Bible is infallible? 

The pope is fallible, not infallible. But to answer your question, yes I would certainly say the infallibility of the bible is limited to matters of faith and morals.
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« Reply #73 on: December 11, 2007, 11:38:05 AM »

The pope is fallible, not infallible....

Here we go again.... Roll Eyes
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« Reply #74 on: December 11, 2007, 12:58:46 PM »

The pope is fallible, not infallible.
Here we go again.... Roll Eyes

Yes.  I mentioned in a previous post "keep in mind that popes can make mistakes, just like anyone else", but apparently it needed repeating.
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