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Catholic Church Infallibility Analysis Essay

In the very beginning God created the first man and the first woman, Adam and Eve. The result of them turning their back on God presented us with original sin, including the pope. How is it possible for the Pope to be considered infallible? The Catholic teaching on papal infallibility is very misunderstood by those who participate in other faiths and even Catholics as well. The definition of infallibility is the inability to be wrong. Infallibility is not the absence of sin, nor does it only belong to the Pope.

Infallibility belongs to the Bishops in communion with the Pope as well. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that it “is he perpetual and visible source and foundation of the unity both of the bishops and of the whole company of the faithful. For the Roman Pontiff, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, and as pastor of the entire Church has full, supreme, and universal power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise unhindered” (Catechism). Jesus promised Peter, his apostles, and their successors, the Bishops, the magisterium of the church. If l am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15).

This quote shows us that if the Pope and Bishops are not presented with the charism of infallibility as one body, then we will be unable to find the whole truth. The people of God need the truth in order to truly live out the Catholic faith. The Church appointed a head of the church so that we would have a teacher and leader who can teach us the truth that God intended for us to know and understand. This truth has been perfectly revealed in Christ, for He is the Word who became flesh” (John 1:14). The Catholic Church all over the world believes in an absolute, indisputable truth that is rooted in God. God sent us his only son Jesus to preach the good news and serve those less fortunate. Jesus then passed on his knowledge to Peter and his successors, the Bishops who then formed the Magisterium of the Church. The Church teaches us that Jesus put his faith in Peter because he knew that Peter would receive help from the apostles, who would then help him discover the whole truth.

Anglicans reject a development of doctrine that Roman Catholics believe in. Roman Catholics believe that the papacy infallibly guides the development of a doctrine. Another argument that the Anglican Church makes is that there should e no rank between the bishops and the Pope. Anglicans believe that there should be equal power between the two; therefore they could never constitute an infallible doctrine. “Bishop is superior to bishop in rank; not in real power. the head of the Catholic world is not the centre of unity, except as having a primacy of order” (Misner 28).

This quote illustrates that Anglicans interpret the Pope in communion with the Bishops as a council that is superior in rank, but not in power. In believing in this concept, Anglicans have a very hard time grasping the concept of Papal infallibility. The church states hat “Papal infallibility is not a personal prerogative” (Glazier 124). This means that the pope is enabled the charism of infallibility only when he is in the act of defining a doctrine of faith or morals on the universal Church’s behalf. The pope is not above the church, he is rather a moral guide to the truth.

Vatican I declared that papal definitions are “irreformable. ” Irreformability does not mean that infallible teachings are perfect when they are announced, and are also allowed to be changed if need be (Tierney 37). infallibility is impossible because deciding whether the Pope is ssentially telling the truth compared to what scripture or tradition is stating cannot be proven. Anglicans take advantage of the fact that Catholics believe that the private or ordinary teaching of the Pope can be wrong, but the magisterium in Anglicans state that papal communion with the Pope can be right.

They see this belief as an opportunity to point out that the so called “magisterium” is rarely ever used. Anglicans rely on the fact that when the magisterium actually is used the product that comes out of it is questionable. They believe that all doctrines that come out of the magisterium cannot be supported by Scripture. Anglicans believe that “… neither Scripture nor the Fathers support modern papal claims to infallible teaching authority even apart from the rest of the Church or the other bishops, to superiority of papacy over Ecumenical Councils, or to universal… (Schatz 221). This quote describes the view that Anglicans have towards comparing scripture to the pope’s infallible word. The Second Vatican Council stated in the “Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation” that “The task of authentically interpreting the Word of God, whether in its written form or in that of tradition, has been entrusted only to those charged with the Church’s living magisterium, whose authorities is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ” (No. 10).

The purpose of Jesus being presented to us was to pass on the charism of infallibility that He was presented with and pass it on to the next predecessors to come after him. In order to change and adapt the morals and traditions of the church the Pope needs to be infallible in communion with the Bishops to find the whole truth that God The Anglican Church has a very different understanding of authority compared to the Catholic faith. Anglicans have no problem declaring the Pope the Bishop of Rome and the Patriarch of the West.

Anglicans respect and believe in naming the Pope the Vicar of Christ. ‘ They have respect for the idea of a Pope and strongly believe that we should have one. Anglicans start to veer off from the Roman Catholic point of view at the topic of our first pope Peter and his successors the bishops. According to Anglicans, Peter was not only the first Bishop of Rome, but the first Bishop of Antioch as well. Anglicans believe that Saint Gregory the Great shares the Petrine office with Peter. Saint Gregory the Great saw the intended for us to live out.

Petrine office as something shared and therefore, they believe hat there can be more than one head (Brom 182). The church teaches infallibility as a limited notion, but a valuable one that needs to be given to the Pope and bishops in order for us to have correct and true beliefs on faith and morals. It is stated that infallibility “affirms the fundamental faithfulness to the gospel of the church and its teaching authority” (Hanson 220). This quote is one stance the Catholic Church takes on the definition of infallibility.

Without the Pope’s ability to be infallible Catholics are unable to have trust in God and live out the morals and faith of the religion. The Church believes that infallibility tresses the infallible teaching of the pope and bishops which occur within the context of the whole Catholic Church’s views. Vatican I states that papal authority may be implemented separately from any and all other bishops. Anglicans oppose this view because they think that it can be extremely dangerous that the Pope is able to act entirely alone. They do not trust that he can truly make a correct decision on faith and morals when acting alone.

Anglicans believe that the part is not greater than the whole. Anglicans see fault when it comes to the Pope acting alone. A majority of Anglicans even pronounce that there is no eed for a Pope. “Not all Anglicans are yet convinced that the Church needs any sort of pope or that the gospel even allows for one” (Miller 35). This quote shows that Anglicans have doubt of even the thought of a having a pope. understand the Church’s teaching on Papal infallibility. It is clear that scripture, tradition, and the Magisterium of the Church are all one.

Under the action of the Holy Spirit the Pope is able to infallibly guide the Church to spiritual light and the will of God. Pope John Paul wrote, “. in the church’s deeper understanding of some truth concerning faith or morals. The truths definitively tated and the truths revealed are intimately linked either for historical reasons or through logical connection” (Glazier 135). Pope John Paul explicitly explains in this quote that the truths that the pope and bishops find are linked for a reason, and it It is essential to would not be possible without the charism of infallibility.

Anglicans have made their argument by stating the pope’s doctrines can in no way be considered infallible on the basis that scripture and tradition do not provide support for the pope’s claims, that the Pope is unable to work entirely alone, and that there is no limiting power between the pope in ommunion with the bishops. The Anglican Church has made it very clear in their point of view and beliefs on the matter of the papacy, but who is to say that all of these claims can be justified and supported? strong, faith based teachings and morals.

The Church is constantly contradicted. Catholics trust that everything God does is out of love for us. He has made a clear path for centuries and we are his loyal disciples that He has called on us to follow him. With that calling, comes the responsibility of defending the Catholic faith in any circumstances that might come up. God sent us his only son to save us so that we then would have a hance to spread the Gospel and to live our lives for the greater glory of God. views on the subject of Papal Infallibility.

But, as Catholics of the faith we are responsible for defending what we truly believe in, and for fighting for Jesus. God has a reason for everything. He sent us Jesus, who then appointed the people a leader who would be capable of carrying out the faith in the place of Jesus Christ. He gave the people Peter, a fierce leader who knew what the people of Christ needed and expected. Without, a head of the Roman Catholic Church, our teachings and morals of the faith would be lost. Without a Pope the Church would not have had a foundation to build its Church on.

The Pope, in communion with the bishops, were given the gift of infallibility so that they would not fail Jesus or the body of the Church. The charism of infallibility can only come from the Holy Spirit, and with that Spirit a church, a Catholic nation, and communities of The Catholic Church holds very It is clear that the Anglican Church has different faith were built. God has trusted us to follow Him and to live out what he has intended for us. We must also trust in him that He has guided us to the truth through the gift of papal infallibility.

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