Q&A on Papal Heresy

Are there any questions from my readers on papal heresy or specifically on the implications of the Vatican One Teaching that each Pope has the charism of truth and of never failing faith, which implies that no Pope can teach or commit heresy.

Some reading on this topic:
* The Roman Pontiff: Immunity from Error and Never-failing Faith
* Posts on Bellarmine and the Popes

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11 Responses to Q&A on Papal Heresy

  1. JESUS AGUILAR says:

    A protestant pastor said to me that the Pope´s inmmunity from error has no support, because in the book of Galatas Chapter 2, says that Peterhimself was behaving incorrrectly and even had a kind of fight with Paul. So that is is not compatible with christian doctrine. So saying the Pope as Peter was the first one, cannot make mistake is not truth and lacks of basis. . What could I anwer to this? Is there biblica support? Thanks in advanced for you anser. Sincerely Mr,Aguilar.

    • Ron Conte says:

      Peter’s error was a personal sin, so this means that Popes can sin. However, Peter’s error was not a teaching error, but only an error in his behavior. So the immunity from error refers to the Pope’s official teaching: his infallible teachings have no error on faith or morals; his non-infallible teachings have no grave error. See Matthew 16:18 and Luke 22:32. Also, as Catholics, we believe not only what Scripture says, but what the Popes and the Bishops say.

  2. Sunimal Fernando says:

    What Moses told was changed by Jesus.
    Pharisees and lawyers theory also completely rejected by Jesus. Peter and Paul also have disagreements. Today also same. Our conscience tells us what to do and not to do. That’s according to 10 commandments given by God. So holy spirit tells everyone, irrespective of their religion to conscience. Everyone is experiencing this. But when you ignore this advice, conscience gradually die.or deactivated. After repenting, one can activate it. I think, the advice given by holy spirit and our disobedient action is written in the book of life. One day Jesus will judge us according to this.

  3. Thomas Mazanec says:

    In the Galileo affair, the Popes held to Geocentrism. I see that this is not a moral question, but wouldn’t it come under Faith?

    • Ron Conte says:

      My post on Galileo. It is not asserted in Tradition or Scripture that the earth is the center of the universe or solar system. So it is not a matter of faith.

    • Thomas Mazanec says:

      If it was not a matter of Faith, then what business did the Church have in ruling on it? Your article says (correctly) that that was scientific opinion at the time, but I don’t understand from it why the Church had a dog in that fight.

    • Ron Conte says:

      It was a question of whether certain Bible verses should be interpreted literally or figuratively. If literally, then the earth would be the center of the known world at that time. Bellarmine was involved in the dispute, and he said that the verses could be interpreted figuratively instead, but since scientists mostly thought that Galileo was wrong, there would be no reason to interpret it that way. It was a time when the Church was very involved in politics and in societal views. Many people were upset by this change in the world view, and so they opposed these ideas. It was different from today when people ignore the Church and take great interest in any new scientific ideas.

  4. Thomas Mazanec says:

    What about Summis desiderantes affectibus by Innocent VIII, unleashing the witch trials that killed thousands of innocents?

    • Ron Conte says:

      The Pope did not approve of, nor command murdering witches. Even the Wikipedia article on this subject admits this. Also, there were and there are persons who practice black magic. In past centuries, this included killing infants after birth, or while still in the womb, calling upon the help of literal devils, making poisons to use against enemies (which is murder), blaspheming against God to please devils and obtain their help, renouncing one’s baptism in an act of actual mortal sin, to obtain the help of devils. In this way, some persons obtained seemingly magical assistance which was from fallen angels. This type of black magic involves extreme sins and very severe crimes and can deserve the death penalty.

      And this is quite different from falsely accusing persons of being witches because some natural disaster occurred and they wished to blame someone. It’s not the same as the Salem witch trials. And the Pope is not responsible for secular authorities who kill innocents.

    • Thomas Mazanec says:

      So it was not what we call Wicca either, right?

    • Ron Conte says:

      No, I don’t think it is the same as modern-day Wicca

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