WARNING: Before you read this post, if you are a Christian or a believer of any deity, before you react violently or criticize, please read the post with an open-mind and broad understanding. And then try to analyze the writing.
Pastor Aeternus is an incipient of the Dogmatic Constitution made by the Vatican Council I in July 18,1870, which defines and justifies as follows:
- Apostolic Primacy conferred to Peter.
- Perpetuity of the Petrine Primacy in the Roman Pontiff.
- Gives meaning and power of Papal Primacy.
- Defines and declares Infallible Teaching authority of the Roman Pontiff.
De Romani Pontificis Infallibili Magisterio
Papal infallibility, is a centuries issue within and outside the Catholic Church, where in, through the power of the Holy Spirit, a Pope is preserved from even a possibility of error. As a conclusion of the 4th chapter of Dogmatic Constitution in Pastor Aeternus, which declare the infallibility of the Pope by Bishop Edward Fritzgerald and Bishop Aloisio Riccio:
“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 the Pastor and Doctor of all Christians, by virtue of his Supreme Apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine regarding faith and morals to be held by the Universal Church, by the divine assistance promise to him in blessed Peter, is possessed of the infallibility with which the Divine Redeemer willed that his Church should be endowed in defining doctrines regarding faith and 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.” – Vatican Council I, sess. IV, const. De Ecclesia Christi, ch. IV
And due to the dogmatic definition of a truth about this Papal Magisterium, all Papal teachings from 1870 proclamation can, if meet the criteria set out in dogmatic definition, will be considered infallible. Yet, the tradition of Papal Infallibility goes farther before was officially codified, as what Pope Gregory VIII states regarding the powers of the Papacy in Dictatus Papae, circa 1075: “22. That the Roman Church has never erred; nor will it err to all eternity, the Scripture bearing the witness.“. And in 1917 manual of Code of Cannon Law, distributed to all Catholic Bishops and Clergy around the world, there is an additional line where in “Papal Letters to the faithful would be regarded as infallible in practice if not in principle“.
The main objective why Papal Infallibility was defined and codified is to; 1. silent the minorities of the Church and those who opposes the Papal teachings and 2. to assert the Bishop of Rome as the head of the College of Cardinals.
But as factual truths are emerging by the works of Science, the infallible teachings of the Church had now been challenged. One such example is the Galileo Affair, around 1610 – 1633, where in Galileo Galilei came into conflict with the Church. Because the Church believed that our world is the center of the universe and rather the Earth revolves around the sun, it is the sun that revolves around the Earth, as what the Scriptures propose. And because of that, Galileo Galilei was convicted of heresy. But in October 31, 1992, the then pope, John Paul II expressed regrets on how the Galileo Affair was handled, then he issued a declaration acknowledging the errors committed by the Church that judged the scientific position of Galileo. And in year 2000, 367 years after the Catholic Church convicted Galileo of heresy, Pope John Paul II, issued a formal apology for the mistakes committed by the Church in the trial of Galileo. Then in December 2008, during the event to mark the 400th anniversary of Galileo’s earliest telescopic observation, Pope Benedict XVI, applaud Galileo’s contribution to science as an Astronomer.
And there are more teachings considered ancients due to its time origin, mostly taught by the Church Fathers and Doctors of the Church which we’re either considered as official or un-official infallible that are now challenged by Science and the modern society such as: The Assumption of Mary, The Creation of the World, the First Parents, Bible Infallibility and also moral teachings like the controversial Reproductive health, euthanasia and death penalty.
And in the course of time, we now see that the infallibility of the Pope is now questioned, and this Papal Infallibility is just another hoax, truly made out of desperation of the church leaders to assert its power and control to the world especially to the advancing scientific thought, claiming falsely that the Pope cannot be erred. But as we see, they erred… So, where is there infallibility then?
- The Dislike of Catholicism: Understanding the Holy in the Catholic Tradition, 3 – Theological reasons (epages.wordpress.com)
- Pope Benedict XVI convenes special meeting of cardinals to discuss leaked Vatican documents – @AP (foxnews.com)