You have heard that it was said, the papacy is basically somehow just like you know kind of like an “office”, a “function”, stuff to do or not more or less than any other bishop, but just a bishop with another mandate that he can ignore or put into action, but it’s no big deal unless he’s wrong, we think, because we’re all more infallible than him, and then we just say that his “office” has been taken away, you know, like Judas, so that he continues to be a bishop, but just removed to say, some island, like, I don’t know, Corsica or something.
But Peter is not Judas. The papacy is not a mere office. Infallibility resides not in an “office”, but in the very person of the successor of Peter. In all of this, he is expendable according to the decision of the one who has already established in the heavens what Peter had better agree to on earth. It’s not our decision. It’s all quite glorious, or quite violent. Witness the death of Sixtus V. Yikes!
Infallibility only comes into play in restricted conditions, that is, when the Bishop of Rome precisely as the Successor of Peter teaches on faith or morals to the universal Church especially deciding a controversy. It does NOT come into play with throw-away baitings of what is expressly defined by the Holy Father as being mere DIALOGUE. Why is that so difficult, except for hatred? Has Pope Francis ever said anything in infallible mode up to the time of this writing? No, he has not. So, as I’ve always said and now repeat:
We are to stand in solidarity with the Holy Father. We are to pray for him. We are to defend the papacy in the very person of the Pope, for this is where the papacy resides, in the person of Peter, not just some loosely defined “office” of Peter. Get it?
A preliminary heresy that must be stated is shared by ideologists on the left and right who mimic each other, always. Neither are of Tradition but rather push their own agendas. They both dismiss the availability of Sacred Scripture as a viable source of Revelation. The filthy left says that it is out of date because we’re nice and we live today. The right, who I nickname the ultra-tradition-al-ism-ists, blaspheme the Holy Spirit to say that Sacred Scripture is utterly useless, that we can use Saint Thomas Aquinas and Sacred Tradition with already established solemn interventions of the Sacred Magisterium, things that have been believed everywhere and by all, while meanwhile ignoring Sacred Scripture as idiocy. The problem for both is that when the Holy Spirit is blasphemed and the Sacred Scriptures thrown out, there can be no understanding of the Living Truth. Mind you, I’ve heard some of the very best theologians (you know, the orthodox crowd at the top of their game) openly blaspheme in this way. No, really. For a really pedantic examination of what is in Sacred Scripture, which I’ve never seen anyone else do, see my article:
Papal Infallibility: The Gospel Truth (Matthew 16:19 and Matthew 18:18)
That article is the basis for which I state that the following are some of the heresies over against papal infallibility:
- The Pope, when speaking not as a merely private individual but in fact as the Bishop of Rome, the Successor of Peter, pronounces and declares upon faith or morality to the universal Church especially in deciding a controversy, can fail in his infallibility. The “right” thinks he has done this with Amoris laetitia even though it is said in the very document to be a mere dialogue and not any kind of teaching. The left thinks he can can fail in infallibility on contraception, abortion, homosexuality, women’s ordination, and so on. That infallibility can fail is a heresy. Neither the Pope nor God can change the truth. God is truth. The pope is the servant of Truth. To think and do otherwise, making up the truth as one goes along (ignoring the word “dialogue” etc), so as to effectively make oneself pope, is rather self-referentially congratulatory.
- The Church is “indefectable” over against the Pope who can fail in his infallibility, and that makes it all good in the long run, because, you know, Jesus is nice. This is the heresy of disgraced “Catholic” “Theologian Father Hans Küng. Mind you, his thoughts on this were taken up explicitely by an ultra-tradition-al-ist crowd in Winona, Minnesota, years ago, with their publishing of a super-fancy, super-clever, fold-up poster providing apologetics for their place in the Church. Hey! they said, We’re with Hans!” That the Church is “indefectable” over against the Pope who can fail in his infallibility is a heresy. The arrogance, the mockery is stunning.
- It is actually the not the Pope, but a council against the Pope, which is infallible even while it excludes the Pope, so that the members of that council can take the Pope to task and simply declare him to be an anti-Pope after he fails in his infallibility. This is to ignore that Jesus chose Peter alone over against the other Apostles to bear the burden of infallibility. This is to reject Jesus. That the successors of the Apostles can take over the infallibility which falls only to the successor of Peter is a heresy. The right falls into this heresy continuously as does the left. Examples of both are rife. The ignorance and rejection of Jesus is stunning.
The list could continue. The examples are innumerable and jaw dropping, and scandalous.