It is currently Tue Nov 19, 2019 1:26 pm




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 15 posts ] 
 papal infallibility 
Author Message

Joined: Tue May 23, 2006 11:13 pm
Posts: 40
Location: Mississippi
New post papal infallibility
I'm looking for a particular papal document (an encyclical I believe), that defines papal infallibility. It states clearly that infallibility encompasses all areas of faith and morals, that is it apllies not only to doctrine, but to laws and disciplines as well. This particular writing summarizes the above succinctly, I believe in one paragraph. Any help would be appreciated.

Thank you,

Alex

_________________
Alex Keene


Fri Jun 23, 2006 12:54 am
Profile

Joined: Wed May 31, 2006 8:51 pm
Posts: 8
New post Re: papal infallibility
Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

mississippi wrote:
I'm looking for a particular papal document (an encyclical I believe), that defines papal infallibility. It states clearly that infallibility encompasses all areas of faith and morals, that is it apllies not only to doctrine, but to laws and disciplines as well. This particular writing summarizes the above succinctly, I believe in one paragraph. Any help would be appreciated.

Thank you,

Alex


I don’t think you are going to find such a document. The definition of Papal Infallibility is given in the documents of Vatican I, Session IV, Chapter 4. http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Vall ... Ecum20.htm The core of the definition is
Vatican I, Session IV wrote:
9. Therefore, faithfully adhering to the tradition received from the beginning of the Christian faith, to the glory of God our savior, for the exaltation of the Catholic religion and for the salvation of the Christian people, with the approval of the Sacred Council, we teach and define as a divinely revealed dogma that when the Roman Pontiff speaks EX CATHEDRA, that is, when, in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church, he possesses, by the divine assistance promised to him in blessed Peter, that infallibility which the divine Redeemer willed his Church to enjoy in defining doctrine concerning faith or morals. Therefore, such definitions of the Roman Pontiff are of themselves, and not by the consent of the Church, irreformable.
So then, should anyone, which God forbid, have the temerity to reject this definition of ours: let him be anathema.
Given at Rome in public session, solemnly held in the Vatican Basilica in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventy, on the eighteenth day of July, in the twenty-fifth year of Our Pontificate.

A truth of faith or morals is “irreformable” because truth does not change. There will, for example, never be a fourth person of the Trinity (truth of faith), nor will there ever come the day when it is meritorious to worship false gods (truth of morality). Such truths are, so to speak, “in the mind of God” who is “without change or shadow of alteration.” The infallible pronouncement of a Pope or Council is not a manufacture of doctrine or morality, but rather a statement of a doctrine or moral truth revealed by God.

A hallmark of an infallible pronouncement is that it applies to everyone without exception. God’s truth is not different for different nations or different periods in time.

Laws and disciplines, no matter how wise and praiseworthy, are the work of human authority. Of themselves they do not deal directly with God’s truths, but with the way men will comport themselves relative to God. Such laws and disciplines may oblige compliance under pain of sin, but the sin is essentially the defiance of the human authority -- indirectly a defiance of God, but only while the law is in force. The successor of the lawgiver, possessing the same authority as the original lawgiver, has the ability to maintain, modify, or abolish the law.

Rarely, if ever, do laws and disciplines apply to everyone. They may differ from diocese to diocese, from rite to rite, between clergy and laity, men and women, and so forth. They may be subject to dispensation.

In my humble opinion, the confusion about this matter arises when part of a discipline or law calls for the expression of some truth or the rejection of a falsehood. For example, the Roman Mass contains a number of prayers which express the sacrificial nature of the Mass. (e.g. Unde et mémores, Placeat, etc.) These were placed there by legitimate authority, but are not dogmatically or morally necessary to the celebration of Mass (they don’t exist in the Eastern Liturgies) - removing them might be a terrible act of folly, but in itself would not void the infallible pronouncement that the Mass is sacrificial. The pronouncement itself, (made in this case by Trent) remains perpetually valid, regardless of whether or not the legitimate authorities of the Church choose to continue vocalizing the belief in the doctrine at the usual point in the Mass.

Yet, people perceive such modifications and deletions as though they were statements of the Faith. And, on the human level, perception may as well be reality. In the past forty years we have seen any number of disciplinary changes that give the false impression (particularly to those familiar with the older forms) that many points of Catholic doctrine are no longer important or believed. Catholics certainly may and should refuse to accept modifications of law and discipline which detract from the truths of the Faith, but we do so because the truths are “irreformable” even though their expressions are not. We refuse the new disciplines because they will cause people to misunderstand or even deny the doctrine or morality they no longer contain.

Obviously, disciplines which positively express heresy or demand immorality are unquestionably to be refused. The mistranslation of ”pro multis,” or the directives on “ecumenism,” for example. In such cases the discipline directly expresses a heresy, or commands immoral behavior.

in XTO
M_Eulogius


Fri Jun 23, 2006 7:59 pm
Profile

Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2006 6:07 am
Posts: 32
Location: Spokane WA.
New post Re: papal infallibility
mississippi wrote:
I'm looking for a particular papal document (an encyclical I believe), that defines papal infallibility. It states clearly that infallibility encompasses all areas of faith and morals, that is it apllies not only to doctrine, but to laws and disciplines as well. This particular writing summarizes the above succinctly, I believe in one paragraph. Any help would be appreciated.

Thank you,

Alex


Encyclical of Pope Pius XII Humani Generis August 12, 1950: #20
Quote:
"Nor must it be thought that what is expounded in Encyclical Letters does not of itself demand consent, since in writing such Letters the Popes do not exercise the supreme power of their Teaching Authority. For these matters are taught with the ordinary teaching authority, of which it is true to say: "He who heareth you, heareth me"; and generally what is expounded and inculcated in Encyclical Letters already for other reasons appertains to Catholic doctrine. But if the Supreme Pontiffs in their official documents purposely pass judgment on a matter up to that time under dispute, it is obvious that matter, according to the mind and will of the same Pontiffs, cannot be any longer considered a question open to discussion among theologians."


Fri Jun 23, 2006 9:53 pm
Profile

Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2006 6:07 am
Posts: 32
Location: Spokane WA.
New post Re: papal infallibility
Quote:
Syllabus of Errors, Pius IX, 22. “The obligation by which Catholic teachers and authors are strictly bound is confined to those things only which are proposed to universal belief as dogmas of faith by the infallible judgment of the Church.” Condemned Proposition -- Letter to the Archbishop of Munich, "Tuas libenter," Dec. 21, 1863.


Fri Jun 23, 2006 9:55 pm
Profile

Joined: Wed May 31, 2006 8:51 pm
Posts: 8
New post 
Nativity of Saint John the Baptist

Crusader wrote:
mississippi wrote:
I'm looking for a particular papal document (an encyclical I believe), that defines papal infallibility. It states clearly that infallibility encompasses all areas of faith and morals, that is it apllies not only to doctrine, but to laws and disciplines as well. This particular writing summarizes the above succinctly, I believe in one paragraph. Any help would be appreciated.

Thank you,

Alex


Encyclical of Pope Pius XII Humani Generis August 12, 1950: #20
Quote:
"Nor must it be thought that what is expounded in Encyclical Letters does not of itself demand consent, since in writing such Letters the Popes do not exercise the supreme power of their Teaching Authority. For these matters are taught with the ordinary teaching authority, of which it is true to say: "He who heareth you, heareth me"; and generally what is expounded and inculcated in Encyclical Letters already for other reasons appertains to Catholic doctrine. But if the Supreme Pontiffs in their official documents purposely pass judgment on a matter up to that time under dispute, it is obvious that matter, according to the mind and will of the same Pontiffs, cannot be any longer considered a question open to discussion among theologians."

Crusader wrote:
Quote:
Syllabus of Errors, Pius IX, 22. “The obligation by which Catholic teachers and authors are strictly bound is confined to those things only which are proposed to universal belief as dogmas of faith by the infallible judgment of the Church.” Condemned Proposition -- Letter to the Archbishop of Munich, "Tuas libenter," Dec. 21, 1863.


Neither of these two quotes deals with the claim that Church disciplines are infallible.

In Humani generis, #20 Pope Pius XII distinguished between the extraordinary magisterium and the ordinary magisterium. With both modes of authority the Church teaches faith and morals, with both the teaching is infallible, but the teaching is done in different ways. With the extraordinary magisterium a Pope (or an ecumenical council) teaches by means of a solemn pronouncement according to the norms described by Vatican I. The ordinary magisterium is the authority of the universal teaching of the Fathers, Doctors, Bishops, Popes, etc., consistent in all times and places. All Catholics are obliged to believe the teachings of the Church, whether they come to us through the extraordinary or the ordinary magisterium.

The Catholic Encyclopedia has a useful article explaining the two exercises of the Magisterium, s.v. “Infallibility” (Section V: What teaching is Infallible?) http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07790a.htm, and why the Ordinary exercise is “liable to be somewhat indefinite” (which is why it is sometimes reiterated in papal pronouncements). It observes that “only doctrines of faith and morals, and facts so intimately connected with these as to require infallible determination, fall under the scope of infallible ecclesiastical teaching.”

As Crusader notes, Syllabus of Errors, #22, is an extract from Pope Pius IX’s letter to the Archbishop of Munich, "Tuas libenter," of 21 December 1863. In that letter the Pope observes that the authority of the Church extends beyond “those matters which have been defined by the expressed decrees of the ecumenical Councils or of the Roman Pontiffs and of this See ... extend[ing] also to those matters which are handed down as divinely revealed by the ordinary teaching power of the whole Church spread throughout the world, and therefore, by universal and common consent are held by Catholic theologians to belong to the faith” (Denzinger 1683). Here again, the Pope is saying that the Church teaches the faith (and morals) both through its extraordinary and its ordinary authority. Pope Pius would certainly uphold the right of the Church to make laws binding Its people, but his Syllabus does not claim those laws to be infallible.

Church disciplines are not the infallible pronouncements of the Church, neither of the extraordinary or the ordinary Magisterium, because they do not directly define a doctrinal or moral truth, and because they vary with time and place. If the disciplines of the Church were infallible, expressing some irreformable truth, they would never change. But in fact, the Church has frequently enough modified its discipline as It thought best to adapt to the circumstances It faced. Take, for example, the rules for abstinence from meat—at one time they required abstinence on Saturdays and all of the days of Lent—this may have been a wonderful idea (or not) and the Church may (or may not) have been imprudent to change the practice, but I don’t think we will find too many people who will insist that it was an “infallible” requirement by which we are all still bound!

in XTO
M_Eulogius


Sat Jun 24, 2006 11:25 pm
Profile
Site Admin

Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 2:30 pm
Posts: 4333
New post 
M_Eulogius wrote:
Church disciplines are not the infallible pronouncements of the Church, neither of the extraordinary or the ordinary Magisterium, because they do not directly define a doctrinal or moral truth, and because they vary with time and place. If the disciplines of the Church were infallible, expressing some irreformable truth, they would never change. But in fact, the Church has frequently enough modified its discipline as It thought best to adapt to the circumstances It faced.


Actually, I believe that if you look up a theologian you will discover you are quite wrong, and your argument leads to a different conclusion than you think. Disciplinary provisions are issued infallibly insofar as they have doctrinal implications, whcih they almost always do. When I get more time I'll paste in a large chunk of text from Van Noort dealing with this. In the mean time could I remind writers to get a theology manual and quote it, rather than work things out for themselves?

Dylan Byrne seems to have disappeared. He has Van Noort and I was hoping that he would quote it on this point, proving himself wrong in claiming that this point is de fide, but proving himself right that this point is true and certain. :)

_________________
In Christ our King.


Sun Jun 25, 2006 12:40 am
Profile E-mail

Joined: Wed May 31, 2006 8:51 pm
Posts: 8
New post Re: papal infallibility
Sunday within the Octave of the Sacred Heart

John Lane wrote:
M_Eulogius wrote:
Church disciplines are not the infallible pronouncements of the Church, neither of the extraordinary or the ordinary Magisterium, because they do not directly define a doctrinal or moral truth, and because they vary with time and place. If the disciplines of the Church were infallible, expressing some irreformable truth, they would never change. But in fact, the Church has frequently enough modified its discipline as It thought best to adapt to the circumstances It faced.


Actually, I believe that if you look up a theologian you will discover you are quite wrong, and your argument leads to a different conclusion than you think. Disciplinary provisions are issued infallibly insofar as they have doctrinal implications, which they almost always do. When I get more time I'll paste in a large chunk of text from Van Noort dealing with this. In the mean time could I remind writers to get a theology manual and quote it, rather than work things out for themselves?

Dylan Byrne seems to have disappeared. He has Van Noort and I was hoping that he would quote it on this point, proving himself wrong in claiming that this point is de fide, but proving himself right that this point is true and certain.


I don’t know your theologians—Dylan Byrne or Van Noort—but in any event the original post asked for an authoritative statement of the Church; “a particular papal document (an encyclical I believe),” and not the opinion of a theologian.

Perhaps we are employing different meanings for the word “infallible.” In my lexicon, an infallible pronouncement teaches that a certain truth was revealed by God to be believed by everyone—something that was true from eternity or whenever it first happened, and which will always be true—something from which there can be no deviation by anyone—something immutable. Are you suggesting that “disciplinary provisions ... almost always do [this],” that they are almost always applicable to everyone, and almost always unchangeable? Given the enormous volume of Church law, about a great variety of non-dogmatic things, that is very difficult to accept. Can someone give a citation for a specific discipline or law—i.e not a truth of faith or morals—which the authorities of the Church have advanced as binding on everyone, infallible, and therefore unchangeable? The closest I can come to such a thing is the requirement to receive Holy Communion each year--it is rooted in the requirement for the living to "Eat and drink [Christ's] flesh to have eternal life"—but even at that, the Church could change "once a year" to "twice" or "quarterly"; it might be dispensed for those incapable of receiving—it is a pronouncement that orders Catholics' response to an infallible truth, not a pronouncement that directly proclaims one.

in XTO
M_Eulogius


Sun Jun 25, 2006 2:11 am
Profile

Joined: Sat May 20, 2006 11:46 pm
Posts: 728
Location: Western Washington, USA
New post 
Pax Christi !

Quote:
In my lexicon, an infallible pronouncement teaches that a certain truth was revealed by God to be believed by everyone—something that was true from eternity or whenever it first happened, and which will always be true—something from which there can be no deviation by anyone—something immutable


Mr. M_Eulogius, are you saying we are only bound to those matters which are proposed by the infallible judgement of the Chruch to be believed by all as dogmas of the faith?

In Xto,
Vincent


Sun Jun 25, 2006 9:28 am
Profile
Site Admin

Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 2:30 pm
Posts: 4333
New post Re: papal infallibility
M_Eulogius wrote:
I don’t know your theologians—Dylan Byrne or Van Noort—but in any event the original post asked for an authoritative statement of the Church; “a particular papal document (an encyclical I believe),” and not the opinion of a theologian.

Perhaps we are employing different meanings for the word “infallible.” In my lexicon, an infallible pronouncement teaches that a certain truth was revealed by God to be believed by everyone—something that was true from eternity or whenever it first happened, and which will always be true—something from which there can be no deviation by anyone—something immutable.


Dear Sir,

You are missing the point, or in fact two points. The first is that you can't reason your way to Catholic doctrine with any security - you have to learn it from authorities. That is why you have to look at a theology manual instead of doing what you are doing here. The second is that "infallible" is predicated of an actor, not a text, so that it means that the actor, in certain classes of acts, cannot err. There is no possibility of erring, in those acts in which he is protected by the Holy Ghost from erring. Universal disciplinary provisions are in the class of acts which are protected from the possibility of error. Further, you are unaware that if something is binding on the Latin Rite, it is considered to be "universal" in the sense meant by "universal disciplinary provisions." This is explained by the theologians, and you would be aware of it if you would look at one instead of trying to work all this stuff out on your own.

There is a site ABEBOOKS.com on which you can purchase second-hand books cheaply. You could probably obtain the volumes of translated works of Monsignor G. Van Noort, for example, for US$10 per volume or perhaps less.

After you have read them you will realise with gratitude that my intransigence on this point is to your eternal benefit. Please believe me. I have nothing to gain by this.

_________________
In Christ our King.


Sun Jun 25, 2006 10:50 am
Profile E-mail

Joined: Wed May 31, 2006 8:51 pm
Posts: 8
New post 
Feast of Ss. John and Paul, Martyrs
Vince Sheridan wrote:
Pax Christi !

Quote:
In my lexicon, an infallible pronouncement teaches that a certain truth was revealed by God to be believed by everyone—something that was true from eternity or whenever it first happened, and which will always be true—something from which there can be no deviation by anyone—something immutable


Mr. M_Eulogius, are you saying we are only bound to those matters which are proposed by the infallible judgement of the Chruch to be believed by all as dogmas of the faith?

In Xto,
Vincent


Absolutely not – that proposition is condemned in the “Syllabus of Errors” #22

I am in full agreement with what Pope Pius IX said in his letter to the Archbishop of Munich, "Tuas libenter," of 21 December 1863. In that letter the Pope observes that the authority of the Church extends beyond “those matters which have been defined by the expressed decrees of the ecumenical Councils or of the Roman Pontiffs and of this See ... extend[ing] also to those matters which are handed down as divinely revealed by the ordinary teaching power of the whole Church spread throughout the world, and therefore, by universal and common consent are held by Catholic theologians to belong to the faith” (Denzinger 1683). This is the source for the condemnation of proposition 22.

My statement was that, in accord with the teaching of Vatican I, such teachings—whether they are taught through the ordinary or the extraordinary magisterium are “irreformable,” and not subject to change with the passage of time or difference of circumstances.

in XTO,
M_Eulogius


Mon Jun 26, 2006 5:22 pm
Profile

Joined: Wed May 31, 2006 8:51 pm
Posts: 8
New post 
Feast of Ss. John and Paul, Martyrs


John Lane wrote:
M_Eulogius wrote:
I don’t know your theologians—Dylan Byrne or Van Noort—but in any event the original post asked for an authoritative statement of the Church; “a particular papal document (an encyclical I believe),” and not the opinion of a theologian.

Perhaps we are employing different meanings for the word “infallible.” In my lexicon, an infallible pronouncement teaches that a certain truth was revealed by God to be believed by everyone—something that was true from eternity or whenever it first happened, and which will always be true—something from which there can be no deviation by anyone—something immutable.


Dear Sir,

You are missing the point, or in fact two points. The first is that you can't reason your way to Catholic doctrine with any security - you have to learn it from authorities. That is why you have to look at a theology manual instead of doing what you are doing here. The second is that "infallible" is predicated of an actor, not a text, so that it means that the actor, in certain classes of acts, cannot err. There is no possibility of erring, in those acts in which he is protected by the Holy Ghost from erring. Universal disciplinary provisions are in the class of acts which are protected from the possibility of error. Further, you are unaware that if something is binding on the Latin Rite, it is considered to be "universal" in the sense meant by "universal disciplinary provisions." This is explained by the theologians, and you would be aware of it if you would look at one instead of trying to work all this stuff out on your own.

There is a site ABEBOOKS.com on which you can purchase second-hand books cheaply. You could probably obtain the volumes of translated works of Monsignor G. Van Noort, for example, for US$10 per volume or perhaps less.

After you have read them you will realise with gratitude that my intransigence on this point is to your eternal benefit. Please believe me. I have nothing to gain by this.


Sunday evening I had the time to review the dogmatic theology manuals in my collection (Hervé, Ott, and Tanquerey). The closest that they came to the concept of an “infallible discipline” is in their discussions of the indirect or secondary objects of infallibility. While the direct or primary objects of infallibility are the formally revealed truths of faith and morals, those who teach infallibly are uniquely qualified to pronounce on the matters which are closely associated with those revealed truths, the indirect or secondary objects. The teaching authorities may judge human knowledge and experience in the light of revealed truth. They may make laws prescribing certain actions or prohibiting others. This concept is also found in the Catholic Encyclopedia article which I cited earlier (s.v. Infallibility, Sec. IV “Scope and Object of Infallibility,” http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07790a.htm.

The secondary objects are generally said to include things like deduction from revealed truths by employing human reason, canonization, the censure of theological writings, the making and enforcing of universal laws which are protected from being dangerous or harmful or immoral, and the solemn approval of religious orders. There is not exact agreement as to the exact scope of the secondary objects, how certain we are that they are objects, or to what degree the human judgment of the Church enters in. For example, a small minority question canonization as an infallible act, others question the degree of human investigation required before a pronouncement can be made. Some of the secondary objects are impermanent; laws change and religious orders do get suppressed.

Are the human laws and religious foundations “infallible” in the same way that pronouncements on faith and morals are infallible? Putting aside any dispute as to whether or not laws and foundations are proper indirect objects of infallibility, it is clear that they are not direct objects. We do in fact say (“predicate”) that the defined propositions of faith and morals are “infallible” once they have been made, for then they are unfailing and unchanging truths upon which we can rely without hesitation. Laws and religious foundations are a different sort of thing. They keep us from error but unless the law or religious rule is just the restatement of a moral truth it is changeable—we might be commanded to do the opposite in the future, or have no command to follow at all. It may have been the product of someone with infallible authority, but it lacks the dimension of intrinsic truth enjoyed by infallible pronouncements of faith and morals.

Individual theologians may be well respected, but the ultimate teaching authority of the Church lies with those who exercise the ordinary and extraordinary magisterium. Yes, one has to learn the Faith, but one does that primarily from those who speak with authority. That was what “mississippi” asked for at the beginning of this exchange.

I am not sure how the “Latin Rite” got into this. Perhaps you mean the “Latin Church.” Canon 1 of the 1917 Code excludes Orientals from the Code “except when it treats of things which by nature apply to” them (i.e. universal things). You have no argument from me on that. But the idea that the Latin Rite is the Universal Rite sounds like an idea out of one of the late Michael Davies’ lectures on why the Pope can do no wrong.

I genuinely appreciate your reminder that the theologians are important. You posted something by Van Noort (who is cited by Hervé, by the way). I will read it at the first opportunity, and consider obtaining his book.

in XTO
M_Eulogius


Mon Jun 26, 2006 5:29 pm
Profile

Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2006 6:07 am
Posts: 32
Location: Spokane WA.
New post Re: papal infallibility
John Lane wrote:
Universal disciplinary provisions are in the class of acts which are protected from the possibility of error.


First I would like to say that I could not agree more with this statement of Mr. John Lane

If the Church could error in its laws how could it be trusted? A well intentioned person who looks to the authority of the church to guide him to the truth could very well find himself being led into error. Perhaps the smarter among us would be able to discern the truth but what about those who are of lesser intellect. Is the truth the exclusive property of those who possess a gifted intellect?

The consequences of a Church that could error in its laws is a church with no authority. Consider the position of the SSPX.
Quote:
SSPX FAQ QUESTION 8, SHOULDN'T WE ACCEPT THE 1983 CODE OF CANON LAW ? “…We must, therefore, suspect the new legislation of codifying the same errors [ of V2] and so be ready not to accept all its “laws,” [PRINCIPLE 9] but only those which do not evidently compromise Catholic teaching on faith or morals…”
http://www.sspx.org/SSPX_FAQs/q8_canonlaw.htm

If the Church could error in its laws the next logical question would be who would judge which laws were true and which ones were errors? Who decides which of the canons of the 1983 Code compromise Catholic teaching on faith or morals and which ones don’t?

You, Me, Lefebvre, everyone for himself?

When the SSPX judges one law to be good and another to be bad I must ask by what authority do they make such a discernment?


Mon Jun 26, 2006 8:44 pm
Profile
Site Admin

Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 2:30 pm
Posts: 4333
New post Van Noort on the infallibility of disciplinary provisions
Here is Van Noort on the infallibility of disciplinary provisions:

Assertion 3: The Church's infallibility extends to the general discipline of the Church. This proposition is theologically certain.

By the term “general discipline of the Church” are meant those ecclesiastical laws passed for the universal Church for the direction of Christian worship and Christian living. Note the italicized words: ecclesiastical laws, passed for the universal Church.

The imposing of commands belongs not directly to the teaching office but to the ruling office; disciplinary laws are only indirectly an object of infallibility, i.e., only by reason of the doctrinal decision implicit in them. When the Church's rulers sanction a law, they implicitly make a twofold judgment: 1. “This law squares with the Church's doctrine of faith and morals”; that is, it imposes nothing that is at odds with sound belief and good morals. (15) This amounts to a doctrinal decree. 2. “This law, considering all the circumstances, is most opportune.” This is a decree of practical judgment.

Although it would he rash to cast aspersions on the timeliness of a law, especially at the very moment when the Church imposes or expressly reaffirms it, still the Church does not claim to he infallible in issuing a decree of practical judgment. For the Church's rulers were never promised the highest degree of prudence for the conduct of affairs. But the Church is infallible in issuing a doctrinal decree as intimated above — and to such an extent that it can never sanction a universal law which would be at odds with faith or morality or would be by its very nature conducive to the injury of souls.

The Church's infallibility in disciplinary matters, when understood in this way, harmonizes beautifully with the mutability of even universal laws. For a law, even though it be thoroughly consonant with revealed truth, can, given a change in circumstances, become less timely or even useless, so that prudence may dictate its abrogation or modification.

Proof:

1. From the purpose of infallibility. The Church was endowed with infallibility that it might safeguard the whole of Christ's doctrine and be for all men a trustworthy teacher of the Christian way of life. But if the Church could make a mistake in the manner alleged when it legislated for the general discipline, it would no longer be either a loyal guardian of revealed doctrine or a trustworthy teacher of the Christian way of life. It would not be a guardian of revealed doctrine, for the imposition of a vicious law would be, for all practical purposes, tantamount to an erroneous definition of doctrine; everyone would naturally conclude that what the Church had commanded squared with sound doctrine. It would not be a teacher of the Christian way of life, for by its laws it would induce corruption into the practice of religious life.

2. From the official statement of the Church, which stigmatized as “at least erroneous” the hypothesis “that the Church could establish discipline which would be dangerous, harmful, and conducive to superstition and materialism. (16)

Corollary

The well-known axiom, Lex orandi est lex credendi (The law of prayer is the law of belief), is a special application of the doctrine of the Church's infallibility in disciplinary matters. This axiom says in effect that formulae of prayer approved for public use in the universal Church cannot contain errors against faith or morals. But it would be quite wrong to conclude from this that all the historical facts which are recorded here and there in the lessons of the Roman Breviary, or all the explanations of scriptural passages which are used in the homilies of the Breviary must be taken as infallibly true.(17) As far as the former are concerned, those particular facts are not an object of infallibility since they have no necessary connection with revelation. As for the latter, the Church orders their recitation not because they are certainly true, but because they are edifying.

_________________
In Christ our King.


Tue Jun 27, 2006 3:27 am
Profile E-mail
Site Admin

Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 2:30 pm
Posts: 4333
New post 
M_Eulogius wrote:
Sunday evening I had the time to review the dogmatic theology manuals in my collection (Hervé, Ott, and Tanquerey).


My apology, you don't need Van Noort if you have Herve or Tanquerey, and both is better than either alone. :)

I have Herve here also, and I have just been reviewing it to see how he might differ with Van Noort (not that I expect any real difference), and I see nothing significant. But since my Latin is extremely poor, to say the best that can be said of it, if you have a good grasp of Latin you might like to read the Van Noort text and do a comparison with Herve, and let us know if you can identify any real differences of opinion. Herve appears almost to be perfectly parallel to Van Noort, so that one almost could be a translation of the other. Not, I repeat, that this is surprising. All the manuals contain the same doctrine, since sacred theology is a science, that is, a body of true and certain knowledge, so that differences of opinion are minor and on the periphery. The vast bulk of it is common to all theologians.

M_Eulogius wrote:
The closest that they came to the concept of an “infallible discipline” is in their discussions of the indirect or secondary objects of infallibility.


I don't know why you say "the closest that they come" to it when in fact they all directly teach it, and as "theologically certain" also. See above where I have quoted Van Noort in toto on this question.

M_Eulogius wrote:
There is not exact agreement as to the exact scope of the secondary objects, how certain we are that they are objects, or to what degree the human judgment of the Church enters in. For example, a small minority question canonization as an infallible act, others question the degree of human investigation required before a pronouncement can be made.


Actually, that is the only example of a "secondary object of infallibility" on which there remains any debate, as far as I know. And the one theologian whom I have been able to find who differs with the common opinion was a chap whose work was placed on the Index of Forbidden Books by St. Pius X, so I think we can see where that kind of thinking goes. :) On the infallibility of disciplinary provisions please cite anybody you can find who does not teach the same thing as Herve and Van Noort. (I don't have the relevent volume of Tanquerey here, but I expect his doctrine is identical also).

M_Eulogius wrote:
Are the human laws and religious foundations “infallible” in the same way that pronouncements on faith and morals are infallible? Putting aside any dispute as to whether or not laws and foundations are proper indirect objects of infallibility, it is clear that they are not direct objects. We do in fact say (“predicate”) that the defined propositions of faith and morals are “infallible” once they have been made, for then they are unfailing and unchanging truths upon which we can rely without hesitation.


No, we do not properly predicate in that way. If you think a theologian does, please quote him. We do by a kind of analogous use of the term "infallible" refer to an "infallible text" or "infallible doctrine" but that use of the term is a kind of shorthand for "infallibly decreed text" or "infallibily defined doctrine," and is therefore an informal use of the term. It certainly would not be used to indicate permanence or stability, as you suggest, and therefore there is no distinction on that score between laws and doctrinal decrees. Please read the explanation carefully of how laws are said to be infallibly issued, and you will see that your distinction is unnecessary and is not made by Van Noort or by Herve.

M_Eulogius wrote:
Individual theologians may be well respected, but the ultimate teaching authority of the Church lies with those who exercise the ordinary and extraordinary magisterium. Yes, one has to learn the Faith, but one does that primarily from those who speak with authority. That was what “mississippi” asked for at the beginning of this exchange.


Yes, but the theologians explain to us what the authorities mean - particularly the encyclical letters of popes, which can be extremely difficult in some aspects. Consider all the various interpretations we have seen from non-experts (i.e. laymen) of that one passage from Humani Generis concerning the authority of non-infallible papal doctrinal pronouncements. The theologians all understood it perfectly clearly, and if we could get everybody to do what you have done, and look up the relevant section of a manual, we would avoid most of the confusion.

Here is Ven. Pius IX explaining that in fact we are bound by the common doctrine of theologians, not just Roman decisions:

“But, since it is a matter of that subjection by which in conscience all those Catholics are bound who work in the speculative sciences, in order that they may bring new advantage to the Church by their writings, on that account, then, the men of that same convention should realize that it is not sufficient for learned Catholics to accept and revere the aforesaid dogmas of the Church, but that it is also necessary to subject themselves to the decisions pertaining to doctrine which are issued by the Pontifical Congregations, and also to those forms of doctrine which are held by the common and constant consent of Catholics as theological truths and conclusions, so certain that opinions opposed to these same forms of doctrine, although they cannot be called heretical, nevertheless deserve some theological censure.” Tuas Libenter (1863), DZ 1684.

Please note, the infallibility of universal disciplinary provisions is an example of a doctrine which is "theologically certain," and therefore it is obligatory on laymen, and on most theologians. The censure that a denial of it would attarct would be "Temerarious." The sin? Mortal. These are not matters for any levity or carelessness.

M_Eulogius wrote:
But the idea that the Latin Rite is the Universal Rite sounds like an idea out of one of the late Michael Davies’ lectures on why the Pope can do no wrong.


Read the theologians. If liturgical laws qualify, then by definition "universal" means at least "for the Latin Church." Also, consider these examples from Van Noort (in footnotes #15): "An example may help to clarify the matter. If the whole Christ were not present under the appearances of bread alone, the law forbidding lay people to drink from the chalice would offend against the faith. Or if the words increase and multiply ( Gen. 1:28 ) constituted an ordinance binding every individual man, then the law of celibacy would be opposed to right morals. The same conclusion would hold if virginal purity were morally impossible for men."

Neither law is totally universal by location or persons. But Van Noort gives them as examples of "universal disciplinary provisions."

M_Eulogius wrote:
I genuinely appreciate your reminder that the theologians are important. You posted something by Van Noort (who is cited by Hervé, by the way). I will read it at the first opportunity, and consider obtaining his book.


I am edified by your Catholic sentiments. Thank you.

And, isn't this a pleasure? :)

_________________
In Christ our King.


Tue Jun 27, 2006 4:02 am
Profile E-mail

Joined: Wed May 31, 2006 8:51 pm
Posts: 8
New post re: Papal Infallibility
Feast of the Precious Blood of Our Lord

John Lane wrote:
M_Eulogius wrote:
Sunday evening I had the time to review the dogmatic theology manuals in my collection (Hervé, Ott, and Tanquerey).


My apology, you don't need Van Noort if you have Herve or Tanquerey, and both is better than either alone. :)

I have Herve here also, and I have just been reviewing it to see how he might differ with Van Noort (not that I expect any real difference), and I see nothing significant. But since my Latin is extremely poor, to say the best that can be said of it, if you have a good grasp of Latin you might like to read the Van Noort text and do a comparison with Herve, and let us know if you can identify any real differences of opinion. Herve appears almost to be perfectly parallel to Van Noort, so that one almost could be a translation of the other. Not, I repeat, that this is surprising. All the manuals contain the same doctrine, since sacred theology is a science, that is, a body of true and certain knowledge, so that differences of opinion are minor and on the periphery. The vast bulk of it is common to all theologians.

M_Eulogius wrote:
The closest that they came to the concept of an “infallible discipline” is in their discussions of the indirect or secondary objects of infallibility.


I don't know why you say "the closest that they come" to it when in fact they all directly teach it, and as "theologically certain" also. See above where I have quoted Van Noort in toto on this question.

M_Eulogius wrote:
There is not exact agreement as to the exact scope of the secondary objects, how certain we are that they are objects, or to what degree the human judgment of the Church enters in. For example, a small minority question canonization as an infallible act, others question the degree of human investigation required before a pronouncement can be made.


Actually, that is the only example of a "secondary object of infallibility" on which there remains any debate, as far as I know. And the one theologian whom I have been able to find who differs with the common opinion was a chap whose work was placed on the Index of Forbidden Books by St. Pius X, so I think we can see where that kind of thinking goes. :) On the infallibility of disciplinary provisions please cite anybody you can find who does not teach the same thing as Herve and Van Noort. (I don't have the relevent volume of Tanquerey here, but I expect his doctrine is identical also).

M_Eulogius wrote:
Are the human laws and religious foundations “infallible” in the same way that pronouncements on faith and morals are infallible? Putting aside any dispute as to whether or not laws and foundations are proper indirect objects of infallibility, it is clear that they are not direct objects. We do in fact say (“predicate”) that the defined propositions of faith and morals are “infallible” once they have been made, for then they are unfailing and unchanging truths upon which we can rely without hesitation.


No, we do not properly predicate in that way. If you think a theologian does, please quote him. We do by a kind of analogous use of the term "infallible" refer to an "infallible text" or "infallible doctrine" but that use of the term is a kind of shorthand for "infallibly decreed text" or "infallibily defined doctrine," and is therefore an informal use of the term. It certainly would not be used to indicate permanence or stability, as you suggest, and therefore there is no distinction on that score between laws and doctrinal decrees. Please read the explanation carefully of how laws are said to be infallibly issued, and you will see that your distinction is unnecessary and is not made by Van Noort or by Herve.

M_Eulogius wrote:
Individual theologians may be well respected, but the ultimate teaching authority of the Church lies with those who exercise the ordinary and extraordinary magisterium. Yes, one has to learn the Faith, but one does that primarily from those who speak with authority. That was what “mississippi” asked for at the beginning of this exchange.


Yes, but the theologians explain to us what the authorities mean - particularly the encyclical letters of popes, which can be extremely difficult in some aspects. Consider all the various interpretations we have seen from non-experts (i.e. laymen) of that one passage from Humani Generis concerning the authority of non-infallible papal doctrinal pronouncements. The theologians all understood it perfectly clearly, and if we could get everybody to do what you have done, and look up the relevant section of a manual, we would avoid most of the confusion.

Here is Ven. Pius IX explaining that in fact we are bound by the common doctrine of theologians, not just Roman decisions:

“But, since it is a matter of that subjection by which in conscience all those Catholics are bound who work in the speculative sciences, in order that they may bring new advantage to the Church by their writings, on that account, then, the men of that same convention should realize that it is not sufficient for learned Catholics to accept and revere the aforesaid dogmas of the Church, but that it is also necessary to subject themselves to the decisions pertaining to doctrine which are issued by the Pontifical Congregations, and also to those forms of doctrine which are held by the common and constant consent of Catholics as theological truths and conclusions, so certain that opinions opposed to these same forms of doctrine, although they cannot be called heretical, nevertheless deserve some theological censure.” Tuas Libenter (1863), DZ 1684.

Please note, the infallibility of universal disciplinary provisions is an example of a doctrine which is "theologically certain," and therefore it is obligatory on laymen, and on most theologians. The censure that a denial of it would attarct would be "Temerarious." The sin? Mortal. These are not matters for any levity or carelessness.

M_Eulogius wrote:
But the idea that the Latin Rite is the Universal Rite sounds like an idea out of one of the late Michael Davies’ lectures on why the Pope can do no wrong.


Read the theologians. If liturgical laws qualify, then by definition "universal" means at least "for the Latin Church." Also, consider these examples from Van Noort (in footnotes #15): "An example may help to clarify the matter. If the whole Christ were not present under the appearances of bread alone, the law forbidding lay people to drink from the chalice would offend against the faith. Or if the words increase and multiply ( Gen. 1:28 ) constituted an ordinance binding every individual man, then the law of celibacy would be opposed to right morals. The same conclusion would hold if virginal purity were morally impossible for men."

Neither law is totally universal by location or persons. But Van Noort gives them as examples of "universal disciplinary provisions."

M_Eulogius wrote:
I genuinely appreciate your reminder that the theologians are important. You posted something by Van Noort (who is cited by Hervé, by the way). I will read it at the first opportunity, and consider obtaining his book.


I am edified by your Catholic sentiments. Thank you.

And, isn't this a pleasure? :)



Very good! Sorry to be so slow in this but that was a long homework assignment.

For some time now, I have been “chewing people out” for using the word “magisterium” ambiguously. Correctly or not, it is used to refer to (1) the Church’s authority to teach, (2) to the people who do the teaching, and (3) to the documents which they issue to teach—roughly speaking, (1) the power, (2) the person, and (3) the product. That wouldn’t be too bad if it were clear how the word was being used in each particular case, but I have read material where the writer confused all three and arrived at strange conclusions.

Perhaps I have fallen into the same error by using the word “infallible” in the colloquial sense that we use in American English: “incapable of error, unerring, sure, certain.” But I am not alone in doing so. Of course, if we consider that the Immaculate Conception “is a doctrine revealed by God and therefore to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful,” and that the Assumption was “pronounce[d], declare[d], and define[d] ... to be a divinely revealed dogma,” it is difficult to believe that the pronouncement is anything other than “incapable of error, unerring, sure, and certain.” It would take a bold man indeed to suggest that “doctrines revealed by God” are fallible.

If “infallibility” is to be reserved to the one(s) making the pronouncement on faith or morals, then perhaps “truth” is the right word to describe “divinely revealed dogmas” and propositions inescapably derived from them.

According to the posted material by Msgr. Van Noort, “disciplinary laws are only indirectly an object of infallibility, i.e., only by reason of the doctrinal decision implicit in them.” In some cases that would mean that the law expresses a doctrinal truth (e.g. the prescribed Glória Patri at the end of each Psalm implies the existence of God in Trinity), while in other cases the doctrinal decision involved in formulating the law is negative (e.g. forbidding the Chalice to the laity involves no doctrinal contradiction). And, “the Church does not claim to be infallible in issuing a decree of practical judgment”—e.g. we must continue to abstain on Fridays but not on Saturdays. But in any of these cases, the law could cease to be without any aspersion being cast on the truth that was implicit in it—apart, of course, from the human tendency to ask “why did they change that?”—which, as we have seen in recent years is a good reason for changing very little.

At least in the colloquial sense the indirect objects are “incapable of error, unerring, sure, certain” but, with the exception of canonization, it is hard to say they are “truth” (With regard to canonization Van Noort acknowledges that not all theologians hold the “common opinion today”—Tanquerey and Hervé say it is “common and true.”) To use Van Noort’s words, the universal laws are “consonant with revealed truth.”
Quote:
The Church's infallibility in disciplinary matters, when understood in this way, harmonizes beautifully with the mutability of even universal laws. For a law, even though it be thoroughly consonant with revealed truth, can, given a change in circumstances, become less timely or even useless, so that prudence may dictate its abrogation or modification.


Making a side by side comparison of the sources I have would be difficult in that they are not organized in the same manner. Hervé and Van Noort seem identical. Ott’s list of secondary objects includes historical facts associated with revelation, but says nothing about laws and the statutes of religious orders; censures are implied in the lead in paragraph and the introduction of the book, but are not on the list. He attributes the same degree of certainty to all of the secondary objects (including canonization). Tanquerey is similar to Hervé, but lists things in a different order and makes much briefer work of universal laws and religious rules, which he puts together under a single head with no claimed degree of certainty. The Catholic Encyclopedia treats disciple from the standpoint of morality, i.e. infallibility keeps the Church from making immoral laws; there is no mention of religious rules, and disciplinary laws are excluded. It holds that the Church is “commonly and rightly held” to be infallible “when canonization takes place according to the solemn process that has been followed since the ninth century.”

That last idea—that canonization depends on the process—raises an issue that doesn’t seem to be treated (apart from this one instance) by any of the sources I have mentioned: To what degree are the Church authorities held to due diligence when making a pronouncement about one of the secondary objects? For canonization, just how much process is required, is there some minimum below which there is no guarantee that the decision is made with infallible authority—could six miracles be reduced to four? to two? to one? or to reduce the question to absurdity, could saints be selected out of a century old telephone phone book? For the censure of books, how well does the censor have to understand the topic at hand? how well does he have to know the language in which it was written? All of the secondary objects involve human reasoning, knowledge, and perhaps experience as part of the decision—to what degree does the Holy Ghost protect those who approach the task with less then a hundred percent effort. That may not have been a question that needed to have been asked when any of the sources above were written—indeed it would probably have been considered indiscreet before 1958—but it is germane today.

I think you meant to quote Denzinger 1683 instead of 1684 (the date, 1863, makes it easy to get “turned around”!). But the two paragraphs taken together indicate that the truths of the faith come from an extremely wide source, not the work of a theologian or two. Pope Pius included the “Roman Congregations” and the “common and constant consent of Catholics.” I strongly suspect that, if pressed, he would have added bishops, fathers, and doctors of the Church.

I am still having difficulty with the idea that the Roman Rite is identical with the Universal Church. At least on some occasions the liturgical legislation for the Roman Rite positively excludes Eastern and even other Latin Rites. Van Noort’s footnote 15 happens to address practices which many people identify with the Roman Rite; Holy Communion under one species, and celibacy. In fact there are occasions when the Eastern Churches distribute Communion under one form; and certainly not all Eastern priests are married. Neither of these two Roman Rite laws imposes anything that “is at odds with sound belief and good morals,” but at the same time, neither is imposed on the entire Church. If the two laws mentioned were universal, no non-celebrant of Mass would receive from the chalice, and no married man could be ordained.

Perhaps you are saying that Pope as an infallible legislator, when making rules for the Roman Rite, acts with the same sort of authority as he does when he solemnly defines a rule for a religious order? One rule for the Dominicans and one for the Franciscans might both be the indirect object of the Pope’s infallibility, and still be quite different, even though the same Pope is defining the rule. By this thinking the people of the Roman Rite (as well as the Dominicans and Franciscans) are protected from laws “at odds with sound belief and good morals,” even though these laws don’t apply to non-Romans (or other religious orders.

I think that would have worked against Mr. Davies rather then for him, for a lot of what we have seen in recent years has been “at odds with sound belief and good morals.” Perhaps he would have raised the “due diligence” question.

Quote:
And, isn't this a pleasure? :)

Of course it is—when man stops thinking and learning he is very close to death.

in XTO
M_Eulogius


Sat Jul 01, 2006 1:51 pm
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 15 posts ] 


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 7 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group.
Designed by Vjacheslav Trushkin for Free Forums/DivisionCore.