17 November, 2009

Papal infallibility and authority discussed with "Bourn Again".

(Bourn Again) So basically, my claims of support from second Peter, is that it is saying that the will of man is not infallible, but the Word of God is. It also supports that the writer, in this case Peter who you claim was the first pontif, taught that he was not infallible. He taught that people should not follow the will of man but the Word of God. Surely if there was an infallible teacher of scriptures the Bible would have mentioned it.


2Pe 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

2Pe 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

I am assuming that the preceding verses are those you are using as support for your opinion. Let us examine what is being said here and compare it to the infallible teaching of the Pope. The only way I can see that you are using this verse to argue against Papal infallibility is by assuming a different understanding of what Papal infallibility consists of in Catholic teaching than what is the true teaching.
The Church assumes a certain and special charism with the authority as the leader of the disciples and of the Church. This charism assumes that the Pope may be moved by the Holy Spirit which seems not only theologically possible but likely. Why would Jesus give the authority of leadership unless this authority could be used. Further it states in the book of Acts that the Paraclete came upon the Church, including St. Peter at Pentecost. Certainly a measure of the Spirit was given before this when Jesus breathed on the disciples and gave them the authority to forgive or retain sins. Certainly it is reasonable and theologically supported that the Pope based on His commission by Jesus as the leader would be considered in this context as a holy man, not based on the holiness of himself but by the holiness of His office based on the veracity of Jesus' appointment and His authority given to the Pope. Furthermore, according to Scripture in accordance to 2Pe 1:21, the Pope under specific circumstances, being the prompting of the Holy Spirit, can teach infallibly. One must remember, of course, that the Pope can only exercise this charism when speaking on matters of faith and morals and even then only when the teaching is in accordance with the ongoing teaching of the Church. Since the exercise of this charism has been so rare, only a few of times in the 2000 year history of the Papacy such and assumption by the Church would be in accordance with 2Pe 1:21.

(Bourn Again) Does 1 Corinthians 2:13 say that Paul spoke, "not in words taught to us by human wisdom except of that of the Supreme Pontif and in words taught by the Spirit"?

1Co 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

1Co 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

1Co 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

1Co 2:15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.

1Co 2:16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

As in the preceding commentary we see that the Pope indeed speaks infallibly when moved by the Holy Spirit in certain circumstance by the charism given by Christ. Certainly by the authority given by Jesus the Church has the teaching authority of the Holy Spirit which was given to the Church to lead it to truth and not each man to teach himself. The Holy Spirit prepares the soul to receive the Word of God and the Word of God comes from the Church whether it be the written Word or the oral teaching of the Church.

(Bourn Again) No! Does Mark 7:8 or Collosians 2:8 declare that tradition is infallible? No! When Jesus battled with Satan, did He talk to Satan about what tradition had taugt Him? No! Did Moses or Joshua or Samuel or Isaiah expect their teachings to remain through tradition in Exodus 24:4, Joshua 24:26, 1 Samuel 12:25, or Isaiah 8:1? Surely these books do not contain their life time of teaching verbatim!

Mar 7:8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.

Col 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

These verses are speaking of the traditions of the law and not the Sacred Traditions spoken of by St. Paul when he said to hold fast to the oral and written traditions. Sacred Traditions are not the Pharisaical Traditions of the law but the teaching of Jesus and the disciples. The Church holds that the teaching of Jesus and the disciples is infallible teaching whether protected and maintained as the doctrines of the Church or the Sacred writings of the Bible.

(Bourn Again) Acts 17:11 shows something intresting. The Bereans tested Paul’s claims against scripture, did he condemn them for having a “private interpretation”? NO! He commended them! Paul encouraged people to test what the Bible says AGAINST the Church.


Act 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

St. Paul is not stating here that the Bereans were interpreting the Scriptures but simply comparing Scriptures to his teaching that was received from Christ. The Bereans could find no contradiction between the teaching of Jesus and the disciples with Scriptures. So, you made an error of getting things backwards, they compared the teaching of the Church (St. Paul representing the Church and its authority) against Scriptures. They were found in accordance with each other as Sacred Tradition should be always.

(Bourn Again) So obviously the Bible teaches that there are man-made traditions that should not be exalted above scripture. It encourages people to look for private interpretations and to study for themselves. How can you still disagree? God bless!

(Cristoiglesia) No, it says that the traditions of the law are not above or equal to God's Word. The Bible does not at any time encourage anyone to look for private interpretations but instead to study to understand the truth which is contained in the Sacred Traditions of Christ's Church. That is what the Bereans did; they searched for the truth and found it. That is the same thing I did when I reconciled with the Church as I found the Bible and the teaching of the Church to be in perfect accord. God bless!

In Christ
Fr. Joseph

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