Mathieu Ronayne

 

Staff Writer 

Mathieu is a freshman studying Political Science. He is an avid baseball fan and unabashed defender of all things associated with Boston. 

Wed

26

Sep

2018

The Finer Points of Papal Infallibility

by Mathieu Ronayne

 

Few elements of Catholicism are as broadly misunderstood by Catholics and non-Catholics alike as the doctrine of papal infallibility. This teaching refers to the inability of the Church to formally teach error—a gift owing to divine guidance. Within specific contexts, infallibility encompasses the college of bishops. The Second Vatican Council states in Lumen Gentium that “although the individual bishops do not enjoy the prerogative of infallibility, they can nevertheless proclaim Christ’s doctrine infallibly.” Furthermore, the bishops’ authority is even clearer when they are all “gathered together in an ecumenical council.” Uniquely, however, as the head of the college of bishops and the Vicar of Christ, the pope maintains individual infallibility, as granted by Christ.

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