Feast of the Chair of St. Peter
Humbly submit your will to God (Thy Will be done) and consecrate yourself to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through Mary and Joseph.
When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi
he asked his disciples,
“Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”
They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah,
still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Simon Peter said in reply,
“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah.
For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter,
and upon this rock I will build my Church,
and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.
I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven.
Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven;
and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” MT 16:13-19
The revealed teachings of Jesus (who is God) vs. Human Opinion
I know which one I am going to pick. Many people inside and outside the Catholic Church misunderstand papal infallibility. This is what Catholic Answers.com found from early Church Father’s writings, Vatican Council II, Scripture, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
“Infallibility is not the absence of sin. Nor is it a charism that belongs only to the pope. Indeed, infallibility also belongs to the body of bishops as a whole, when, in doctrinal unity with the pope, they solemnly teach a doctrine as true. We have this from Jesus himself, who promised the apostles and their successors the bishops, the magisterium of the Church: “He who hears you hears me” (Luke 10:16), and “Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven” (Matt. 18:18).
Vatican II explained the doctrine of infallibility as follows: “Although the individual bishops do not enjoy the prerogative of infallibility, they can nevertheless proclaim Christ’s doctrine infallibly. This is so, even when they are dispersed around the world, provided that while maintaining the bond of unity among themselves and with Peter’s successor, and while teaching authentically on a matter of faith or morals, they concur in a single viewpoint as the one which must be held conclusively. This authority is even more clearly verified when, gathered together in an ecumenical council, they are teachers and judges of faith and morals for the universal Church. Their definitions must then be adhered to with the submission of faith” (Lumen Gentium 25).
Christ instructed the Church to preach everything he taught (Matt. 28:19–20) and promised the protection of the Holy Spirit to “guide you into all the truth” (John 16:13). That mandate and that promise guarantee the Church will never fall away from his teachings (Matt. 16:18, 1 Tim. 3:15), even if individual Catholics might.
As Christians began to more clearly understand the teaching authority of the Church and of the primacy of the pope, they developed a clearer understanding of the pope’s infallibility. This development of the faithful’s understanding has its clear beginnings in the early Church. For example, Cyprian of Carthage, writing about 256, put the question this way, “Would the heretics dare to come to the very seat of Peter whence apostolic faith is derived and whither no errors can come?” (Letters 59 , 14). In the fifth century, Augustine succinctly captured the ancient attitude when he remarked, “Rome has spoken; the case is concluded” (Sermons 131, 10).
An infallible pronouncement—whether made by the pope alone or by an ecumenical council—usually is made only when some doctrine has been called into question. Most doctrines have never been doubted by the large majority of Catholics.
Pick up a catechism and look at the great number of doctrines, most of which have never been formally defined. But many points have been defined, and not just by the pope alone. There are, in fact, many major topics on which it would be impossible for a pope to make an infallible definition without duplicating one or more infallible pronouncements from ecumenical councils or the ordinary magisterium (teaching authority) of the Church.”
NIHIL OBSTAT: I have concluded that the materials
presented in this work are free of doctrinal or moral errors.
Bernadeane Carr, STL, Censor Librorum, August 10, 2004
IMPRIMATUR: In accord with 1983 CIC 827
permission to publish this work is hereby granted.
+Robert H. Brom, Bishop of San Diego, August 10, 2004
The Catholic Church began with the blood and water that flowed from Jesus’s side and was established through Peter, the Apostles, and Mary. It is guided by the Holy Spirit and has always remained true to the teachings of Jesus Christ. All through it’s history their have been good popes and bad popes, but the Holy Spirit has guided the Church and many Catholics have fought to defend the doctrines founded by Jesus Christ. There have been false teachings or heresies inside the Church and outside the Church. The Holy Spirit has guided the pope and bishops at many different councils including Peter, Paul, and the apostles at the first Church Council, the Council of Jerusalem.
Truth cannot contradict itself and Jesus Christ said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” Jesus set up a Church with a leader and bishops to lead the flock guided by His Holy Spirit because He knew His teachings would constantly be under attack. The Devil, our fallen human nature, and the culture of the world (human opinion) will attack Truth (absolute Truth-what is-reality-God). So, human opinion or divinely revealed Truth, you get to choose, choose wisely!
Today’s challenge: Pray for our popes and bishops. Do not bad mouth priests because they are poor homilists. Priests do a lot more for our soul then speak a homily. Pray for our pope, bishops and priests to be held accountable when abuses happen in the Church.
Be a servant, become a saint!