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Papal infallibility

Brent Heilman

Premium Member
It seems to me that it would. If so then it could be seen as a paradox of the Catholic Church. They claim that the Holy Bible is the word of God and is therefore infallible in itself, but if they claim Papal Infallibility then that would make some statements in the Bible false which would would have the effect of making the Bible anything but infallible. Now if they claim that the Pope is not just any man then wouldn't that elevate him to position a little higher than what man could give?


Registered User
It does "elevate" him to a certain degree over the normal clergy and Cardinals, however, the Catholic Pope is God's representative on earth. Not a saint, not a deity. -The leader of the Catholic Church.

Brent Heilman

Premium Member
It does "elevate" him to a certain degree over the normal clergy and Cardinals, however, the Catholic Pope is God's representative on earth. Not a saint, not a deity. -The leader of the Catholic Church.

So what it is stating is that he can't make a mistake but can still sin? I have to admit I am not real clear on some Catholic dogmas. It is that reading Bro. Blake's post it sounds a bit more like mistake=sin kind of thing to me.


Registered User
IMHO!!--Catholicism is one of the oldest religions, branched off of Judaism; along with the Islamic faith. Any religion claiming that their beliefs are "the one and only" is completely rediculous. Religious success is based on the faith of it's followers, if there are no followers--there won't be that particular faith. I really cant stand debates on religion simply because everybody has different beliefs. As you can probably tell, I am a Catholic. But, I definitely DO NOT believe everything that is force-fed to me, which makes me a free-thinker. With that being said, here is what i found--your believe is your own. As is mine and this does not represent my beliefs! ;

Papal infallibility is one of the great differences between Catholicism and Protestantism. Very few seem to be aware of the awesome implications of this Catholic dogma. Hopefully, this brief summary will illuminate them. Regarding papal infallibility the present-day Roman Catholic Church says:

"The Roman Pontiff, head of the college of bishops, enjoys this infallibility in virtue of his office, when, as supreme pastor and teacher of all the faithful -- who confirms his brethren in the faith -- he proclaims by a definitive act a doctrine pertaining to faith or morals" (Catechism of the Catholic Church (Liguori, MO: Liguori Publications), 1994, p.235).
Likewise, Vatican Council II declared the following about papal infallibility (all bold emphasis is our own):

"The infallibility, however, with which the divine redeemer wished to endow his Church in defining doctrine pertaining to faith and morals, is co-extensive with the deposit of revelation, which must be religiously guarded and loyally and courageously expounded. The Roman Pontiff, head of the college of bishops, enjoys this infallibility in virtue of his office, when, as supreme pastor and teacher of all the faithful -- who confirms his brethren in the faith (cf. Lk. 22:32) -- he proclaims in an absolute decision a doctrine pertaining to faith and morals" (Vol. 1, p.380).
"We believe in the infallibility enjoyed by the Successor of Peter when he speaks ex cathedra as shepherd and teacher of all the faithful, an infallibility which the whole Episcopate also enjoys when it exercises with him the supreme magisterium" (Vol. 2, p.392).
"This loyal submission of the will and intellect must be given, in a special way, to the authentic teaching authority of the Roman Pontiff, even when he does not speak ex cathedra in such wise, indeed, that his supreme teaching authority be acknowledged with respect, and that one sincerely adhere to decisions made by him conformably with his manifest mind and intention ..." (Vol. 1, p.379).
Infallibility Of The Pope

To the Roman Catholic, "ex cathedra" (Latin for from the seat) statements are as infallible as the Bible. Though they are rare, the following are three "ex cathedra" statements or "infallible" declarations of Roman Catholicism, which they place alongside the authority of the Bible. (All emphasis is our own):
"There is but one universal Church of the faithful, outside of which no one at all can be saved" (Pope Innocent III, Fourth Lateran Council, 1215.)
"We declare, say, define, and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff" (Pope Boniface VIII, the Bull Unam Sanctam, 1302.)
"[The Holy Roman Church] firmly believes, professes and teaches that none of those who are not within the Catholic Church, not only Pagans, but Jews, heretics and schismatics, can ever be partakers of eternal life, but are to go into the eternal fire 'prepared for the devil, and his angels' (Mt. xxv. 41), unless before the close of their lives they shall have entered into that Church; also that the unity of the Ecclesiastical body is such that the Church's Sacraments avail only those abiding in that Church, and that fasts, almsdeeds, and other works of piety which play their part in the Christian combat are in her alone productive of eternal rewards; moreover, that no one, no matter what alms he may have given, not even if he were to shed his blood for Christ's sake, can be saved unless he abide in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church." (Mansi, Concilia, xxxi, 1739.) (Pope Eugene IV, The Bull Cantate Domino, 1441).
To believe in papal infallibility is to believe ONLY Roman Catholics can be saved, for they alone are in submission to the Pope. It is, therefore, impossible for an informed Catholic to get saved or to stay saved if he knows of these aforementioned Roman Catholic declarations and still continues to believe in papal infallibility! This is so because salvation centers around exclusive trust in the person and redemptive work of Jesus Christ and in Him alone. In other words, all 100% of our trust for our soul's salvation MUST be in Jesus Christ alone apart from trusting in a denomination or submission to any spiritual leader, including the Pope! Since this is the Biblical message and Catholic "ex cathedra" statements contradict this, then belief in papal infallibility must be rejected for the sake of salvation! In fact, the three ex cathedra declarations just cited are clearly "another gospel" (Gal. 1:8,9).

Throughout the Scriptures, we are often warned of false prophets and false spiritual leaders (Mt. 7:15; 24:11; Rom. 16:18; 2 Cor. 11:13; Eph. 4:14; 1 Tim. 4:2; 2 Tim. 3:13; 4:3; Tit. 1:10, 2 Jn. 7; 1 Jn. 4:1; etc.). What can one conclude except that what these past popes have said regarding salvation is on a par with what the founders of Mormonism, Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventism and what other proven false prophets have declared. All need to be flatly rejected, not only as error, but deadly error -- even "damnable heresy" (2 Pet. 2:1, KJV)!

Furthermore, in direct contrast to these "infallible" declarations, the Roman Catholic church is now saying the following regarding Muslims. Their contradiction is:

"The Church's relationship with the Muslims. 'The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind's judge on the last day' " (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1994, p.223).
QUESTION: If Muslims can be saved on the basis of professing to hold to the faith of Abraham, why can't the Jews? (See aforementioned ex cathedra statement from 1441.) Did God change His mind sometime after 1441?


Premium Member

Something that I found that was interesting, the Pope is often called the "Vicar of Christ". Few people remember what the word "vicar" means. It mean stand in, substitute, or place holder. That means that the Pope is merely a stand in, a place holder for the one they call Christ. Sheds a lot of light on the office when you learn that I think. Along with Christ meaning "Oil-anointed with" it means "stand in for the one anointed with oil". Many people of the ancient world were anointed in such a way.


Premium Member
I was under the impression that Papal Infallibility only applied to matters of spirituality. Establishing doctrine and dogma would be applicable but other factors of life would remain fallible.


Premium Member
Pope John XXII denounced the doctrine of papal infallibility as essentially demonic (Quis Quorundam, 1324). It was not formally accepted by the Roman Catholics until 1870. Any "infallible" statement made before 1870 must be retroactively deemed "infallible".


Premium Member
I too, grew up Roman Catholic, but shortly after I married at 35, in a Catholic wedding of course, my Wife and I both came to the conclusion that there was too much dependence on ritualism, dogma, and tradition in the Catholic Church. We weren't being fed as we felt we should. You have to be very DISCIPLINED as a member of the Catholic faith, so that you don't lose focus on GOD's word. For a child, it is a good religion to assist a child develop discipline in faith in GOD, with the repitition via the missalette, CCD, and focus on ritual. My Wife and I, in OUR walk, have found a Church Home at a bible teaching Baptist Church. Most of the dogma associated with the Catholic Church was written and established during the period when Papal Government was very powerful, (1100-1400's), and not many dared to speak out against or oppose the views of the Catholic Church. In Europe, Mathemeticians and Scientists were among the first to be persecuted by the Church, because their research and study challenged long held thoughts and beliefs controlled by the Church. Some of these scientists later evolved from a study group into the Illuminati (Illuminated Ones) in Austria.......many of these theories and hypotheses were later adopted as major contributions to Math and Science. Sir Francis Bacon and Christopher Wren were two of the more noteworthy scientists of the 1700-1800's. Many of these FREE thinkers challenged conventional dogma and belief, and many of these mathemeticians and scientists were also FREEMASONS. Bro. Jones


Registered User
I find this discussion very irritating for a masonic forum.
1st: Freemasons should respect ALL faiths, as far as I know.
2nd: Such discussions always (!) develop into disrespectful postings and sometimes even church bashing at some point. Just because you cannot control who is writing and those with critical points of view are more eager to post.

For example, the quote of bro. K.S. "Any religion claiming that their beliefs are "the one and only" is completely rediculous" ist one of the most unmasonic statements I have heard in a long time. For one, because almost all religions believe, they have the one and only truth. Because it is a religion, not a suggestion.
So what? All roman-catholic people have a rediculous faith? Or even more, all people believing in one God? Or even more, all people who believe? Is that the masonic way of respecting a faith?

I think, it is a very good thing, our masonic forefathers did by banishing religious discussions from masonry.


Premium Member
I am fairly certain that any religion, mainstream or otherwise, has its failings and its blessing. Not entirely sure any single church or denomination has the 100% solutions.
As a lifelong Catholic I can vouch that my church does NOT possess all the answers. I am strong enough in my faith that I can worship my God and attend mass to recognize the beauty in the sacraments but I tend to stop short of bashing any other religion.

Having spent a cumulative 30 months in Iraq I can personally attest to what religious zealotry looks like. Blowing up, shooting, and condemning in the name of your religion (any religion) is not the answer.

One of the best things about Freemasonry is that I can sit in lodge with brothers that use differing names for their deity and we can enjoy the commonality of trying to be good men in very trying circumstances. That is what appeals to me and thats what I attend for.