Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Where is your infallible list of infallible pronouncements?

Often Protestants will ask, "Where is your infallible list of infallible pronouncements?"

The problem is they view our Church as if it was like theirs. It isn't.

Protestant scholars have referred to Scripture as a "fallible list of infallible books." It's quite absurd, but that's how some Protestants see it. They often charge that we are not much different, asserting the view that Catholicism rests upon a "fallible list of infallible dogmas." What they do not understand is, unlike their situation where they don't have anyone to ask that can answer authoritatively to remove all doubt, we do. We have a living magisterium. We have the benefit of two-way communication.

If theologians wonder whether a teaching is infallible, they just send a dubium to the Roman Pontiff. The Pope then sends a Resondsum ad dubium removing any doubt. Here's an example regarding the ordination of women: http://www.cin.org/users/james/files/w-ordination.htm

We do not define what the Bible says, or what the Church teaches based upon the opinions of the Taught Church. We have a living Teaching Church. We don't need to rely solely upon our clever exegesis of ancient Scriptural and magisterial texts to determine what the Teaching Church is teaching. We can simply ask.

So, whether a dogma is infallibly defined, or merely a certain doctrine (yet less-than-absolute certain), we owe our religious submission of mind and will. Whether a dogma is understood as infallible or not is irrelevent, except for dogmatic theologians (and Protestants, appearantly). Faithful Catholics are to submit to their superiors whether they speak infallibly or not. Nonetheless, if we want to know if a doctrine is infallible, just ask the Pope.

Hebrews 13:17 "Obey your leaders and defer to them, for they keep watch over you and will have to give an account, that they may fulfill their task with joy and not with sorrow, for that would be of no advantage to you."


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