Pontific Arrogance

May 11, 2021

I do not like conjecture; throughout the course of these articles, I have tried to faithfully report the truth, a truth that to many is blasphemous. Indeed, before the pandemic, I have had people very rudely get up and walk away from me as if I were the devil himself as we discussed different aspects of the Grail. There are of course many diverse topics here to get bent out of shape about, we’ve got space aliens, evolution instead of creationism, and most frighteningly, Jesus Christ as a mortal married man who had, yup you guessed it, sex.

One of the many things that Christians do that drives me bugshit is their close mindedness. They have this limitless capacity to close their eyes to the very fact that their church holds out hope to them, propping the whole thing up on a bed of sand, and then they withhold the keys of true understanding from them.

During the Satya Yuga, men and the “gods” too were obsessed with clean spiritual behavior. During the following three yugas, especially during the Kali Yuga (now), those behaviors would fall off markedly in favour of secularism. I find it incredibly ironic that the church, the very vehicle that espouses holiness and that we should live in love with the Holy Spirit of Christ, is too very much a product of our time. The church during its short 1,700 year history has lied, cheated, and committed genocide to maintain its power over us; all the while telling us to believe in a schizophrenic god with multiple personality disorder. The unfortunate part about this is, they want us to believe in a man, a real human being who they deified, and who would not recognize his teachings because he taught hermetics, not the drivel that the church hands out. Pope Leo X (December 11, 1475 – December 1, 1521) is quoted saying, “this myth of Christ has served us well”. Papal infallibility is a dogma of the Catholic Church , which states that, in virtue of the promise of Jesus to Peter, the Pope when appealing to his highest authority is preserved from the possibility of error on doctrine “ initially given to the apostolic Church and handed down in  scripture and tradition. This doctrine was defined dogmatically at the first Vatican council of 1869–1870 in the document Pastor Aeternus but had been defended before that, existing already in medieval theology and being the majority opinion at the time of the Counter Reformation.  

Conditions for teachings being declared infallible

According to the teaching of the First Vatican Council and Catholic tradition, the conditions required for ex cathedra papal teaching are as follows:

  1. the Roman Pontiff (the Pope alone or with the collage of bishops)
  2. speaks ex cathedra, that is, when, (in the discharge of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, and by virtue of his supreme apostolic authority he defines a doctrine
    1. concerning faith or morals
    1. To be held by the whole Church.

The terminology of a definitive decree, usually makes clear that this last condition is fulfilled, as through a formula such as, “By the authority of Our Lord Jesus Christ and of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul. And by Our own authority, We declare, pronounce, and define the doctrine . . . to be revealed by God and as such to be firmly and immutably held by all the faithful,” or through an accompanying anathema stating that anyone who deliberately dissents is outside the Catholic Church.

For example, in 1950, with Munificentissimus Deus, Pope Pius XII’s infallible definition regarding the Assumption of Mary, there are attached these words: “Hence if anyone, which God forbid, should dare willfully to deny or to call into doubt that which we have defined, let him know that he has fallen away completely from the divine and Catholic Faith.

As with all charisms, the church teaches that the charism of papal infallibility must be properly discerned, though only by the Church’s leaders. The way to know if something a pope says is infallible or not is to discern if they are ex cathedra teachings. Also considered infallible are the teachings of the whole body of bishops of the Church, especially but not only in an ecumenical manner.

Limits

Pastor Aeternus does not allow any infallibility for the Church or Pope for new doctrines. Any doctrines defined must be “conformable with Sacred Scripture and Apostolic Traditions”:

For the Holy Spirit was not promised to the successors of Peter that by His revelation they might make known new doctrine, but that by His assistance they might inviolably keep and faithfully expound the Revelation, the Deposit of Faith, delivered through the Apostles.

It gives examples of the kinds of consultations that are appropriate include assembling Ecumenical Councils, asking for the mind of the church scattered around the world, Synods, and so on.

Not all-Catholic teaching is infallible. The congregation for the doctrine of the faith differentiates three kinds of doctrine

  • to be believed as divinely revealed
  • to be held definitely
    • following a solemn defining act by a Pope or Ecumenical council
    • following a non-defining act by a Pope, confirming or re-affirming a thing taught by the ordinary and universal teaching authority of bishops worldwide
  • otherwise, to be respected or submitted to (in the case of priests and religious) as part of the ordinary teaching authority of bishops, but without any claim of infallibility.

Examples of doctrines to be believed as divinely revealed, include the sayings of Jesus in the Gospels. Since the Gospels are part of the Bible, which is part of the deposit of divine revelation, as well as the Immaculate conception of Mary and the Assumption of Mary, since the documents defining these doctrines state clearly that they are part of the divinely revealed truths. Examples of doctrines to be held definitively include transubstantiation, the Sacramental  Seal, women not being allowed to be ordained as priests, and papal infallibility itself.

In July 2005 Pope Benedict XVI stated during an impromptu address to priests in Aosta that: “The Pope is not an oracle; he is infallible in very rare situations, as we know, Pope John XXIII once remarked: “I am only infallible if I speak infallibly but I shall never do that, so I am not infallible. A doctrine proposed by a pope, as his own opinion, not solemnly proclaimed as a doctrine of the Church, may be rejected as false, even if it is on a matter of faith and morals. In addition, even more any view he expresses on other matters. A well-known example of a personal opinion on a matter of faith and morals as taught by a pope, but rejected by the Church. This is the view that Pope John XXII expressed on when the dead can reach the beatific vision. The limitation on the pope’s infallibility “on other matters” is frequently illustrated by Cardinal James Gibbon’s recounting how the pope mistakenly called him Jibbons

Brian Tierney argued that the 13th-century Franciscan priest Peter Olivi was the first person to attribute infallibility to the pope Tierney’s idea was accepted by August Bernhard Hasler, and by Gregory Lee Jackson, It was rejected by James Heft] and by John V. Kruse.] Klaus Schatz says Olivi by no means, played the key role assigned to him by Tierney, who failed to acknowledge the work of earlier canonists and theologians. The crucial advance in the teaching came only in the 15th century, two centuries after Olivi. He declares that, “It is impossible to fix a single author or era as the starting point Ulrich Horst criticized the Tierney view for the same reasons In his Protestant evaluation of the ecumenical issue of papal infallibility”. Mark E. Powell rejects Tierney’s theory about 13th-century Olivi, saying that the doctrine of papal infallibility defined at Vatican I had its origins in the 14th century – he refers in particular to Bishop Guido Terreni – and was itself part of a long development of papal claims

Schatz points to “… the special esteem given to the Roman church community [that] was always associated with fidelity in the faith and preservation of the paradosis (the faith as handed down).” Schatz differentiates between the later doctrine of “infallibility of the papal magisterium” and the Hormisdas formula in 519, which asserted that, “The Roman church has never erred (and will never err).” He emphasizes that Hormisdas formula was not meant to apply so much to “… individual dogmatic definitions but to the whole of the faith as handed down and the tradition of Peter preserved intact by the Roman Church.” Specifically, Schatz argues that the Hormisdas formula does not exclude the possibility that individual popes become heretics because the formula refers “… primarily to the Roman tradition as such and not exclusively to the person of the pope

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