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« on: October 11, 2011, 12:24:40 PM »

Can some Catholics help me with this??

Do you have to believe in papal infallibility to be a good, practicing Catholic?  Or is this something that people have different opinions on?

Also, is it as simple as "whatever the pope says goes"?  What exactly does it mean?

This is something that has troubled me for a while, but I want to make sure I understand it correctly.
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« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2011, 12:38:46 PM »

Can some Catholics help me with this??

Do you have to believe in papal infallibility to be a good, practicing Catholic?  Or is this something that people have different opinions on?

Also, is it as simple as "whatever the pope says goes"?  What exactly does it mean?

This is something that has troubled me for a while, but I want to make sure I understand it correctly.

Perhaps you could state what your understanding of "papal infallibility" is.  And, if you are not clear about it, *this* is *not* the best place to ask.  You'd be far better off consulting your Catholic priest and the CCC.

"Whatever the pope says goes?"  No.
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« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2011, 12:43:04 PM »

Not a Roman, but here it is.

Papal infallibility means the Pope has divine protection on teachings of dogma and faith. Not everything he says is infallible. He is just guaranteed that the Church will have a certain harbour in times of doubt or trouble, specially in terms of doctrine and faith. For a statement to be infallible it has to be within that scope (doctrine or moral) and must be "ex cathedra", that is, "from the throne". That is not related to the physical throne, but to the more abstract concept of the "throne" being the dignity inherited from Peter, which includes stating in a clear way the faith believed by all Christians in all places and in all times. An ex cathedra statement of the Pope over matters of doctrine and/or moral will be infallibly right, even if the rest of the members of the Church disagree. That means that even if an entire generation adopts a heresy, the Church as whole will be protected in its sojourney on Earth by the promise of Christ to Peter through the Pope. Also it means the Pope may express with more clarity that which was just expressed in implicit ways before.

Romans must believe it to be in good stand with the Church. It is an intrisic aspect of their understanding of Ecclesiology, therefore on the very nature of the Body of Christ and how salvation is operated through it.

Most Romans I know though don't care about it, or think it is just an odd arrogant idea that history will sweep away any time. I too believe that sooner or later a generation of hierarchs will come in the Roman Church who will not think that the Church would be in trouble for being able to say "we got that wrong" even in matters of doctrine or faith. That will be a new dawn for Western Christianity, possibly for *all* Christianity, for Rome *was* given some proeminence throught Peter's and Paul's martyrdom and it's a sad thing they are hostages of such mistakes. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that many of the tears of the Theotokos we seen in miraculous icons, are for this, hopefully temporary, detachment of Rome from the rest of the Church.
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« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2011, 12:56:54 PM »

Can some Catholics help me with this??

Do you have to believe in papal infallibility to be a good, practicing Catholic?  Or is this something that people have different opinions on?

Also, is it as simple as "whatever the pope says goes"?  What exactly does it mean?

This is something that has troubled me for a while, but I want to make sure I understand it correctly.


Perhaps you could state what your understanding of "papal infallibility" is.  And, if you are not clear about it, *this* is *not* the best place to ask.  You'd be far better off consulting your Catholic priest and the CCC.

"Whatever the pope says goes?"  No.

Whats wrong with asking people here?  I read articles online, but I also like to get the opinion of regular people who are practicing Catholics.  Ive heard different things about the subject, so im just curious as to what people like yourself would say about it.

My current understanding was that the popes teachings are infallible.  I took this to mean that he could basically make up whatever he wanted and it would have to become a teaching of the Church.  I figured its more complex than that, so I asked.  I dont just have a RC priest on speed dial, so I figured until I get the chance to talk to one, I could ask here.
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« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2011, 01:00:29 PM »

The reason I ask is because I just had a discussion with one of my buddies the other day about this.  We both grew up in the same protestant church, but have both moved away from it.  I lean Orthodox, and he leans RC.  He was the one who told me that papal infallibility isnt as simple as I thought it was.  I just wanted to get more opinions on it.

He also doesnt view the schism as the west branching off from the east.  He sees it more as both churches branching off, going two different ways.  He doesnt see the Orthodox as being the continual straight line, like we see in those church history diagrams.

Since our discussion, I just want to educate myself more on the western church.  This is the topic im starting with.
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« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2011, 01:11:32 PM »

Most Romans today and most Orthodox too for that matter, seem to think of the Schism as your friend mentioned just two different ways of being the same Church. I started thinking that way too, but a deeper study of theology and history doesn't support that rosy picture, IMO.

Either the infallibility of the Church manifests *exclusively* through the ex cathedra statements of the Pope (cata papic) or through all the Church (cat' holic).

Either the Spirit proceeds exclusively from the Father (as Jesus said and is in the Creed) or from the Father and of the Son (as the Franks thought and imposed on the West). There is a catch there, that in a broad sense, we can say the Spirit proceed from the Father and of the Son, but it is not this broad sense that the context of the text of the Creed would give.

Either Mary was conceived immaculately or not.

Either Mary is Co-Mediatrix or not.

Either it is idolatry to worship parts of Christ (heart or name, doesn't matter) or it is not.

Of these four issues, the first two are the most urgent and really the decisive ones.
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« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2011, 01:16:23 PM »

The Pope is protected from teaching error when proclaims that a particular dogma concerning faith and morals must be believed by all of the faithful. When he does so, he acts as the head and representative of the magesterium. Because this can only happen in very limited circumstances, it is probably inaccurate to use the blanket statement, "the Pope is infallible". Such a statement must be severely limited and qualified.

And, yes, all Catholics must believe this.
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« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2011, 01:16:23 PM »

Well, first off it depends on what you mean by "Catholic." If you are talking about the RCC then yes, belief in the dogma of papal infallibility is required. If you are talking about Anglo-Catholic, Orthodox Catholic, Old Catholic, Polish National Catholic, etc. then no. As has been stated, there are limits to the dogma of papal infallibility. The Pope cannot just stroll outside one day and declare the sky green and we are all bound to believe our eyes must be deficient since we see only blue. He must be speaking on faith and morals, he must be speaking via his office as Successor to St. Peter, which is called ex cathedra (e.g. he must be speaking as Pope Benedict XVI, not as Joseph Ratzinger), and he cannot contradict anything that is already official doctrine or dogma of the Church.
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« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2011, 01:19:13 PM »

Most Romans today and most Orthodox too for that matter, seem to think of the Schism as your friend mentioned just two different ways of being the same Church. I started thinking that way too, but a deeper study of theology and history doesn't support that rosy picture, IMO.

Either the infallibility of the Church manifests *exclusively* through the ex cathedra statements of the Pope (cata papic) or through all the Church (cat' holic).

Either the Spirit proceeds exclusively from the Father (as Jesus said and is in the Creed) or from the Father and of the Son (as the Franks thought and imposed on the West). There is a catch there, that in a broad sense, we can say the Spirit proceed from the Father and of the Son, but it is not this broad sense that the context of the text of the Creed would give.

Either Mary was conceived immaculately or not.

Either Mary is Co-Mediatrix or not.

Either it is idolatry to worship parts of Christ (heart or name, doesn't matter) or it is not.

Of these four issues, the first two are the most urgent and really the decisive ones.

Could you give me the scripture for where Jesus says the spirit proceeds from the Father?  Im not trying to challenge you, Im really asking.  We talked about that issue too, but thats one that I have a hard time wrapping my head around.  


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« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2011, 01:23:03 PM »

Quote
and he cannot contradict anything that is already official doctrine or dogma of the Church.

is this why it is ok for him to make something like the immaculate conception a dogma??  since there was no official teaching on it before, it didnt contradict anything... right??

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« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2011, 01:29:25 PM »

Most Romans today and most Orthodox too for that matter, seem to think of the Schism as your friend mentioned just two different ways of being the same Church. I started thinking that way too, but a deeper study of theology and history doesn't support that rosy picture, IMO.

Either the infallibility of the Church manifests *exclusively* through the ex cathedra statements of the Pope (cata papic) or through all the Church (cat' holic).

Either the Spirit proceeds exclusively from the Father (as Jesus said and is in the Creed) or from the Father and of the Son (as the Franks thought and imposed on the West). There is a catch there, that in a broad sense, we can say the Spirit proceed from the Father and of the Son, but it is not this broad sense that the context of the text of the Creed would give.

Either Mary was conceived immaculately or not.

Either Mary is Co-Mediatrix or not.

Either it is idolatry to worship parts of Christ (heart or name, doesn't matter) or it is not.

Of these four issues, the first two are the most urgent and really the decisive ones.

Could you give me the scripture for where Jesus says the spirit proceeds from the Father?  Im not trying to challenge you, Im really asking.  We talked about that issue too, but thats one that I have a hard time wrapping my head around.  




No problem at all.

Here it is:

St. John 15
Quote
26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me.

Romans would say that the "and from the Son" actually refers to the "I will send unto you from the Father", which *is* a meaning with which the word "filioque" was used in the West. The tragedy of the thing is that the popular use and the technical theological use have different meanings. The Franks adopted it into the Creed from the proto-Spanish, completely oblivious to the subtleties of the Creed, particularly paralelism and the fact that it was quoting Jesus directly. Even the Pope of the time opposed it. But then, a couple of centuries later, during the coronation of a German king, the new pope recited the Filioque according to the non-Catholic Frank-Germanic tradition. Put on top of that the fact that archeology and history were not as systematic as today in late Antiquity and Medieval times, and we have the Franks and later popes honestly believing that the Greeks had actually dropped the Filioque from the Creed. They, like us, believed that it would be heresy to change the Creed. Only that they didn't have the means to know that the finger they were pointing accused only themselves.
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« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2011, 01:31:30 PM »

Most Romans today and most Orthodox too for that matter, seem to think of the Schism as your friend mentioned just two different ways of being the same Church. I started thinking that way too, but a deeper study of theology and history doesn't support that rosy picture, IMO.
While I agree that we are not the same faith, I do think that there are far more similarities between our Churches than what many polemicists would like us to believe.

Either the infallibility of the Church manifests *exclusively* through the ex cathedra statements of the Pope (cata papic) or through all the Church (cat' holic).
You see, you don't like us "Romans" to accuse you guys of lying or misunderstanding our teachings, and say we have a martyrdom complex, but right here is proof that you do not understand our beliefs. We do not believe that infallibility comes ONLY through ex cathedra statements by the Pope. What would make you think that?

Either the Spirit proceeds exclusively from the Father (as Jesus said and is in the Creed) or from the Father and of the Son (as the Franks thought and imposed on the West). There is a catch there, that in a broad sense, we can say the Spirit proceed from the Father and of the Son, but it is not this broad sense that the context of the text of the Creed would give.
The Creed does not say "from the Father alone" no do I believe the Fathers of the Church believed such a thing. The fact that many Eastern Orthodox now take this view is just proof that you all will do whatever it takes to distance yourself from Rome.

Either Mary was conceived immaculately or not.
I agree.

Either Mary is Co-Mediatrix or not.
True, though that is irrelevant since that is not a dogma of any Church or Christian sect.

Either it is idolatry to worship parts of Christ (heart or name, doesn't matter) or it is not.
Yes...and you never got back to me on my post in the Sacred Heart thread. I see it is more convenient for you to just ignore us and continue to believe what you want to believe about our Church.

Of these four issues, the first two are the most urgent and really the decisive ones.
Can't argue with that.
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« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2011, 01:31:30 PM »

Quote
and he cannot contradict anything that is already official doctrine or dogma of the Church.

is this why it is ok for him to make something like the immaculate conception a dogma??  since there was no official teaching on it before, it didnt contradict anything... right??
Yes...I would say so. There were many who believed in the Immaculate Conception of Mary prior to it being made a dogma. Before that it was still in the realm of theological opinion since the Church had not taught definitively on it yet.
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« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2011, 01:40:30 PM »

Quote
and he cannot contradict anything that is already official doctrine or dogma of the Church.

is this why it is ok for him to make something like the immaculate conception a dogma??  since there was no official teaching on it before, it didnt contradict anything... right??
Yes...I would say so. There were many who believed in the Immaculate Conception of Mary prior to it being made a dogma. Before that it was still in the realm of theological opinion since the Church had not taught definitively on it yet.

Not to derail the thread, but I dont understand why it has to be made a dogma.  Why do you have to believe that?  I dont get what it ultimately has to do with salvation.  I realize it comes down to the different views of original sin, so we dont need to get into that here.

Why cant Catholics still have different opinions on it?  I dont like the idea of being forced to believe something that 1) doesnt ultimately matter and 2) isnt really documented anywhere (to my knowledge anyway...)

And please understand that I am asking these questions with complete respect.  I do not have rome-a-phobia like many people do.  If I am still missing something, help me out!  Thanks!
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« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2011, 01:45:40 PM »

Can some Catholics help me with this??

Do you have to believe in papal infallibility to be a good, practicing Catholic?  Or is this something that people have different opinions on?

Also, is it as simple as "whatever the pope says goes"?  What exactly does it mean?

This is something that has troubled me for a while, but I want to make sure I understand it correctly.


Perhaps you could state what your understanding of "papal infallibility" is.  And, if you are not clear about it, *this* is *not* the best place to ask.  You'd be far better off consulting your Catholic priest and the CCC.

"Whatever the pope says goes?"  No.

Whats wrong with asking people here?  I read articles online, but I also like to get the opinion of regular people who are practicing Catholics.  Ive heard different things about the subject, so im just curious as to what people like yourself would say about it.

My current understanding was that the popes teachings are infallible.  I took this to mean that he could basically make up whatever he wanted and it would have to become a teaching of the Church.  I figured its more complex than that, so I asked.  I dont just have a RC priest on speed dial, so I figured until I get the chance to talk to one, I could ask here.

Given that you listed yourself as Anglo-Catholic, it just seemed far more appropriate to me that you ask a reliable, official Catholic source rather than to solicit opinions on an Orthodox website about a Catholic teaching.  What is important is what the Church teaches, and that can be learned from reliable Catholic sources (such as the Catechism of the Catholic Church), rather than what people's opinions of that teaching are.  I guess I misunderstood you in thinking that you wanted to know what the Church teaches rather than wanting others' opinions about it.  Sorry  Sad.
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« Reply #15 on: October 11, 2011, 01:57:10 PM »

*sigh*

Most Romans today and most Orthodox too for that matter, seem to think of the Schism as your friend mentioned just two different ways of being the same Church. I started thinking that way too, but a deeper study of theology and history doesn't support that rosy picture, IMO.
While I agree that we are not the same faith, I do think that there are far more similarities between our Churches than what many polemicists would like us to believe.

Of course there are. My stand is that the quantity of similarities is not enough to be more important than the few qualitative differences over ecclesiology. But this is *not* a thread for that. If you want to discuss that, please, open a new thread.

Quote
Either the infallibility of the Church manifests *exclusively* through the ex cathedra statements of the Pope (cata papic) or through all the Church (cat' holic).
You see, you don't like us "Romans" to accuse you guys of lying or misunderstanding our teachings, and say we have a martyrdom complex, but right here is proof that you do not understand our beliefs. We do not believe that infallibility comes ONLY through ex cathedra statements by the Pope. What would make you think that?
I never made this claim for all Romans. Just for you and Elijamariah. Again, this is not the thread for it.

Quote
Either the Spirit proceeds exclusively from the Father (as Jesus said and is in the Creed) or from the Father and of the Son (as the Franks thought and imposed on the West). There is a catch there, that in a broad sense, we can say the Spirit proceed from the Father and of the Son, but it is not this broad sense that the context of the text of the Creed would give.
The Creed does not say "from the Father alone" no do I believe the Fathers of the Church believed such a thing. The fact that many Eastern Orthodox now take this view is just proof that you all will do whatever it takes to distance yourself from Rome.

The Creed, in this part, is a quotation from Jesus, who, in the quoted text, made a difference between the sending of the Spirit by Him(the Son) and the procession from the Father. Please, dial 111 to talk to the Trinity's Customer Service and complain with Him. Either God did not know how to express Himself, or a group of illiterate North-European barbaric tribes didn't.

Quote
Either it is idolatry to worship parts of Christ (heart or name, doesn't matter) or it is not.
Yes...and you never got back to me on my post in the Sacred Heart thread. I see it is more convenient for you to just ignore us and continue to believe what you want to believe about our Church.

I'm not an internet discussion addict. The discussion ceased to be civilized and profitable. There was no reason to continue on it. The evidence of primary sources of Popes' epistles and academic research of Roman theologians is decisive for me. For you and Elihamariah, the decisive evidence is not primary sources but non-official interpretations by sources which you personally admire, together with the fact that you both selfrighteously think that you have the last word on interpreting Roman texts. Pretty much like being born in England were a requirement for understanding Shakespeare. The sheer absurdity of it makes me bored. We obviously have different criteria to assess this kind of research. I stick to what seems to me to be more scientific and accurate. You stick to whatever you believe. We won't agree. I can live with that.


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« Reply #16 on: October 11, 2011, 02:39:11 PM »

*sigh*

Most Romans today and most Orthodox too for that matter, seem to think of the Schism as your friend mentioned just two different ways of being the same Church. I started thinking that way too, but a deeper study of theology and history doesn't support that rosy picture, IMO.
While I agree that we are not the same faith, I do think that there are far more similarities between our Churches than what many polemicists would like us to believe.

Of course there are. My stand is that the quantity of similarities is not enough to be more important than the few qualitative differences over ecclesiology. But this is *not* a thread for that. If you want to discuss that, please, open a new thread.

Quote
Either the infallibility of the Church manifests *exclusively* through the ex cathedra statements of the Pope (cata papic) or through all the Church (cat' holic).
You see, you don't like us "Romans" to accuse you guys of lying or misunderstanding our teachings, and say we have a martyrdom complex, but right here is proof that you do not understand our beliefs. We do not believe that infallibility comes ONLY through ex cathedra statements by the Pope. What would make you think that?
I never made this claim for all Romans. Just for you and Elijamariah. Again, this is not the thread for it.

Quote
Either the Spirit proceeds exclusively from the Father (as Jesus said and is in the Creed) or from the Father and of the Son (as the Franks thought and imposed on the West). There is a catch there, that in a broad sense, we can say the Spirit proceed from the Father and of the Son, but it is not this broad sense that the context of the text of the Creed would give.
The Creed does not say "from the Father alone" no do I believe the Fathers of the Church believed such a thing. The fact that many Eastern Orthodox now take this view is just proof that you all will do whatever it takes to distance yourself from Rome.

The Creed, in this part, is a quotation from Jesus, who, in the quoted text, made a difference between the sending of the Spirit by Him(the Son) and the procession from the Father. Please, dial 111 to talk to the Trinity's Customer Service and complain with Him. Either God did not know how to express Himself, or a group of illiterate North-European barbaric tribes didn't.

Quote
Either it is idolatry to worship parts of Christ (heart or name, doesn't matter) or it is not.
Yes...and you never got back to me on my post in the Sacred Heart thread. I see it is more convenient for you to just ignore us and continue to believe what you want to believe about our Church.

I'm not an internet discussion addict. The discussion ceased to be civilized and profitable. There was no reason to continue on it. The evidence of primary sources of Popes' epistles and academic research of Roman theologians is decisive for me. For you and Elihamariah, the decisive evidence is not primary sources but non-official interpretations by sources which you personally admire, together with the fact that you both selfrighteously think that you have the last word on interpreting Roman texts. Pretty much like being born in England were a requirement for understanding Shakespeare. The sheer absurdity of it makes me bored. We obviously have different criteria to assess this kind of research. I stick to what seems to me to be more scientific and accurate. You stick to whatever you believe. We won't agree. I can live with that.




Big sigh  Sad Sad.  Here we go.  Again.

There are at least 5 other threads on papal infallibility and who knows how many in which the filioque has been thrown back and forth between Catholics and Orthodox like a live hand grenade.  And it almost always ends up getting personal.
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