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Where does the infallibility of the papacy come from?
02-04-2010, 10:07 PM (This post was last modified: 02-04-2010 10:13 PM by Ahmadi.)
Post: #1
Where does the infallibility of the papacy come from?
I just learnt from my Christian history teacher, Prof. William R Cook that Pope Alexander VI not only had illegitimate children but also openly provided for them. My history teacher is not like Bart Ehrman, he seems quite a devout Catholic, he also just said on my lecture number 22, that not only Alexander VI, but several other popes had mistresses while they were popes.

So I quickly pulled out some details about Alexander VI from wikipedia:

Pope Alexander VI (1 January 1431 – 18 August 1503) (Spanish: Alejandro VI, Catalan: Alexandre VI), born Roderic Llançol, later Roderic de Borja i Borja (Italian: Rodrigo Borgia) was Pope from 1492 to 1503. He is one of the most controversial of the Renaissance popes, and his surname (Italianized as Borgia) became a byword for the debased standards of the papacy of that era.

Roderic de Borja studied law at Bologna and after his uncle's election as pope, was created successively bishop, cardinal and vice-chancellor of the church, nepotistic appointments characteristic of the age. He served in the Roman Curia under five popes (Calixtus III (his uncle), Pius II, Paul II, Sixtus IV and Innocent VIII) and acquired much administrative experience, influence and wealth, though not great power.

On the death of Pope Innocent VIII on July 25, 1492, the three likely candidates for the Papacy were cardinals Borja, Ascanio Sforza and Giuliano della Rovere. While there was never substantive proof of simony, the rumour was that Borja, by his great wealth, succeeded in buying the largest number of votes, including that of Sforza, whom, popular rumor had it, he bribed with four mule-loads of silver.
At first, Alexander's reign was marked by a strict administration of justice and an orderly method of government, in contrast to the mismanagement of the previous pontificate, as well as by great outward splendor. But it was not long before his passion for endowing his relatives at the church's and his neighbours' expense became manifest. Alexander VI had four children by his long time mistress Vannozza dei Cattani a countess of the House of Candia, three sons and a daughter: Giovanni, Cesare, Goffredo (or Gioffre or, in Catalan, Jofré) and Lucrezia. Cesare, while a youth of seventeen and a student at Pisa, was made Archbishop of Valencia (hence the nickname of Valentino), and Giovanni received the dukedom of Gandia, the Borgias' ancestral home in Spain. For the Duke of Gandia and for Giuffrè/Goffredo the Pope proposed to carve fiefs out of the papal states and the Kingdom of Naples. Among the fiefs destined for the duke of Gandia were Cerveteri and Anguillara, lately acquired by Virginio Orsini, head of that powerful house. This policy brought Ferdinand I, King of Naples, into conflict with Alexander, who was also opposed by Cardinal della Rovere, whose candidature for the papacy had been backed by Ferdinand. Della Rovere fortified himself in his bishopric of Ostia at the Tiber's mouth as Alexander formed a league against Naples (25 April 1493) and prepared for war. ...

I am second coming of Thomas Paine. If you are a Christian, have you read Age of Reason?
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02-04-2010, 11:36 PM
Post: #2
RE: Where does the infallibility of the papacy come from?
Yes indeed, there have been some strange Popes.

But about the much misunderstood idea of Papal Infallibility:

Quote:Papal infallibility is the dogma in Catholic theology that, by action of the Holy Spirit, the Pope is preserved from even the possibility of error when he solemnly declares or promulgates to the universal Church a dogmatic teaching on faith or morals as being contained in divine revelation, or at least being intimately connected to divine revelation. It is also taught that the Holy Spirit works in the body of the Church, as sensus fidelium, to ensure that dogmatic teachings proclaimed to be infallible will be received by all Catholics. This dogma, however, does not state either that the Pope cannot commit sin in his own personal life or that he is necessarily free of error, even when speaking in his official capacity, outside the specific contexts in which the dogma applies.

This doctrine was defined dogmatically in the First Vatican Council of 1870. According to Catholic theology, there are several concepts important to the understanding of infallible, divine revelation: Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and the Sacred Magisterium. The infallible teachings of the Pope are part of the Sacred Magisterium, which also consists of ecumenical councils and the "ordinary and universal magisterium". In Catholic theology, papal infallibility is one of the channels of the infallibility of the Church. The infallible teachings of the Pope must be based on, or at least not contradict, Sacred Tradition or Sacred Scripture. Papal infallibility does not signify that the Pope is impeccable, i.e., that he is specially exempt from liability to sin.

In practice, popes seldom use their power of infallibility, but rely on the notion that the Church allows the office of the pope to be the ruling agent in deciding what will be accepted as formal beliefs in the Church. Since the solemn declaration of Papal Infallibility by Vatican I on July 18, 1870, this power has been used only once ex cathedra: in 1950 when Pope Pius XII defined the Assumption of Mary as being an article of faith for Roman Catholics. Prior to the solemn definition of 1870, Pope Pius IX, with the support of the overwhelming majority of Roman Catholic bishops, had proclaimed Immaculate Conception an ex cathedra dogma in December 1854.

So if you are looking for the infallible Super Bowl point spread, don't ask Bennie. Big Grin
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04-29-2010, 09:45 PM
Post: #3
RE: Where does the infallibility of the papacy come from?
After recent scandals do Catholics still believe that the Pope is infallible?

I am second coming of Thomas Paine. If you are a Christian, have you read Age of Reason?
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04-30-2010, 06:01 PM
Post: #4
RE: Where does the infallibility of the papacy come from?
(04-29-2010 09:45 PM)Ahmadi Wrote:  After recent scandals do Catholics still believe that the Pope is infallible?

Most likely
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05-01-2010, 10:43 AM
Post: #5
RE: Where does the infallibility of the papacy come from?
Papal infallibility is not a constant virtue possessed by a pope just because he is pope. As Parousia's wiki quote indicates, papal infallibility does not mean the pope is a perfect being. It merely reinforces the pope's position as an authority over matters of interpretation or theology, and even then, it must be invoked. Again, as the article indicates, it has only been invoked once.

Papal infallibility cannot be invoked regarding the day to day administrations of the Church as an organization. Therefore, the pope is not free from error in matters of proper handling of the sex abuse scandal as clearly he has a lot to own up to.

Just thought I'd stress that.

If truth is one, it is not possible for something to be scientifically false and religiously true.

-Baha'u'llah
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05-01-2010, 12:07 PM
Post: #6
RE: Where does the infallibility of the papacy come from?
If truth is one, it is not possible for something to be scientifically false and religiously true.

This is a good signature. Pope John Paul II also stressed this in the words, 'Truth cannot contradict the truth,' implying that the word of God cannot contradict act of God, namely nature. The catch, however, is that this claim cannot apply to the Bible. The Bible not only contradicts science but contradicts itself.

Those who want to seek rhetoric can argue the point with me but the seekers of truth should begin to read books of Bart Ehrman to know the reality about the Bible.

May God guide all of us to the Truth!

I am second coming of Thomas Paine. If you are a Christian, have you read Age of Reason?
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