Question for Catholics on Papal Infallability?

According to Dictatus papae which is a compilation of 27 statements of powers arrogated to the Pope that was included in Pope Gregory VII’s register under the year 1075 #22 states: That the Roman church has never erred: nor will it err to all eternity, the Scripture bearing witness.

However Pope John-Paul II apologised to almost every group who had suffered at the hands of the Catholic Church through the years. As Pope, he officially made public apologies for over 100 wrongdoings, including:
&amp:gt:Catholics’ involvement with the African slave trade (9 August 1993).
&amp:gt:The Church Hierarchy’s role in burnings at the stake and the religious wars that followed the Protestant Reformation (May 1995, in the Czech Republic).
&amp:gt:The injustices committed against women, the violation of women’s rights and the historical denigration of women (10 July 1995, in a letter to every woman).
&amp:gt:The inactivity and silence of many Catholics during the Holocaust (see the article Religion in Nazi Germany) (16 March 1998).

If (1) All Popes are infallible, how come one can state that the Roman Catholic Church can never err, yet (2) his successor apologize for over 100 apparent errors of the Roman Catholic Church?

The Church cannot err in matters of faith and morals. These are defined teachings of the Church which come from God, and therefore cannot be wrong.

However, individual Catholics and popes can err in other matters, and have.

My personal opinion is that JPII was anxious to foster ecumenicism and so he apologized for &quot:perceived&quot: wrongs rather than try to defend or explain. I think he saw some of those things as ancient prejudices, that it was better to just say we were sorry so we could get on with important dialog.

Your 2nd comment FIRST..
&lt:&lt:For those mentioning ex-Cathedra statements, are you saying Dictatus papae was not made Ex-Cathedra or that the Pope John-Paul’s apologies might not have been sincere?&gt:&gt:

YES to the first, and then NO to the second

YES, Dicatus Papae was not &quot:ex-cathedra&quot: as it is merely a compilation of statements. Compilations do not bear the seal of St. Peter. They are merely what they appear to be – compilations.

NO, Pope John Paul’s apologies WERE sincere. GOLLY! – do you really think that a statement must be made ‘ex-cathedra’ for it to be sincere?? — that is impossibly absurd to assume that simply because his apologies were not ‘infallibly stated’ that they were therefore insincere.

What? – If I ask my wife for forgiveness.. unless what I say is infallible, my wife shouldn’t consider my apology sincere?

You are trying a bit TOO hard to find fault, and thus tip your hand. Which shows a certain level of dishonesty or bigotry. — I think.

Honestly.. this sounds like the type of misrepresentation that is common among Jehovah’s Witnesses. The Dictatus Papae is a non-authoritarian document of disputed origin. JWs seem to love to try and misrepresent Catholic documents. Sadly, this tactic works on many gullible and uneducated Catholics. For instance.. trying to assert to Catholics that the Dictatus Papae is not only an authoritative document, but infallible: is a gross misrepresentation.

&lt:&lt:If (1) All Popes are infallible, how come one can state that the Roman Catholic Church can never err, yet (2) his successor apologize for over 100 apparent errors of the Roman Catholic Church?&gt:&gt:

You misunderstand Papal Infallibility…

CORRECTION: All Popes CAN speak infallibly under CERTAIN and very RARE circumstances when a need arises regarding issues of morals and faiths. There is a lot of other criteria that comes into play.
The ability is part of the position NOT the man. The man, himself, is fallible. But papal infallibility is about a promise from the Holy Spirit regarding the office/role NOT about the man, himself.

Secondly.. the document clearly is very brief and not meant to really expound upon any one topic in detail. Therefore it must be interpreted in regard to overall Catholic teaching.

Thirdly.. Pope John Paul the 2nd’s apologies were not regarding faith or morals, but were regarding past deeds of the church. Historical events and apologizing that the church often times did not do MORE then it already did OR mishandled a situation. NOT that the church made a theological error or believed something in error.

In addendum to Ficus and David’s comments, it is worth noting that no Pope has been recorded as speaking ex cathedra. The Pope must state that what he said is to be considered ex cathedra. And then, it only applies to Catholicism.

JP2 is the world’s most popular Pope for a reason. He was very down to Earth and was able to recognize that many thing the church has done through the years were wrong, and in an attempt to progress the Catholic Church forward made many statements along those lines.

The pope is only infallible when speaking ex cathedra, defining a doctrine concerning faith of morals that must be held by the whole church. The pope is NOT infallible at all times. So popes are allowed to contradict each other or disagree about somethings.

Excellent question.

The Pope is ONLY infallabile on matters of faith and morals. He is a human being subject to mistakes in every other respect. Any Pope who had anything to do with abuse, violence, murder, etc. is subject to grave judgment from God and the human courts.

If the Pope speaks ex cathedra (Latin for &quot:from the chair&quot:), that means he is making a statement or ruling on matters pertaining to doctrine and dogma. In such a case, the Pope is infallible and what he says is God’s truth.

However, if the Pope comes out and says oranges taste better than apples or that Kobe Bryant is a better basketball player than LeBron James, this has nothing to do with faith or morals and is his own fallible, imperfect opinion.

Likewise, the Pope’s behavior is not infallible. He sins and this is why the Pope himself must go to Confession.

Papal infallibility only applies to statements made ex cathedra.

Actually, anyone who knows about the freedom of speech can claim that he/she is always right, and even that is a wrong thing to say. But it seems to me you are thinking too much, instead of looking at all the great things to see, things like trees, clouds, sky, raindrops, lightning, children, birds, roses, grass, supermarkets, sidewalks (especially the cracks), poetry (!), leaves, weeds, smiles, faces, hands, pretty girls, handsome boys, small dogs, siamese cats, old houses, empty lots, hydrants, fences, and much much more. Beats thinking anytime. In fact there are great philosophers who advised &quot:Stop thinking and look!&quot:

The pope, for years, forbid the use of condoms, and in doing so directly caused the deaths of millions of people.

Immoral. Illegal. Unforgivable.

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