February 04, 2009

Infallibility Of Pope Questioned By Cardinal

A part of the dogma of Catholicism is the infallibility of the pope, The idea that the pope is preserved from even the possibility of error.

So when the pope decide to end the excommunication of Bishop Richard Williamson, The Holocaust denying Bishop, One would expect catholics to accept it. After all, The pope is "infallible", Isn't he? But what actually happened is they were almost unified in their condemnation (which is nice of them).

Even within the ranks there was descent with Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, The leader of the roman catholic church in England, Sending a letter to Dr Jonathan Sacks, the Chief Rabbi, saying the pope had done "great damage" with his "imprudent" remarks.

The Cardinal, in his letter, went on to say: "I am writing to express my dismay at the effect of the Vatican decree... Specifically I naturally deplore the comments made by the Englishman, Rev Williamson, in his denial of the full horror of the Holocaust. His statement and views have absolutely no place in the Catholic Church and its teaching."

So are catholics starting to question the authority of the pope? And does the pope harbour views he may been taught whilst he was in the Hitler youth.


  1. Even the most basic research into the Catholic doctrine of infallibility would reveal that this very common criticism totally misinterprets its scope. This error is counterproductive because it communicates the fact that you don't know what you're talking about, making any valid claims you make easier to dismiss by believers. As an ex-Catholic atheist, let me tell you that this sort of thing made me ignore everything else you wrote. There are PLENTY of good critiques of infallibility, but this is a bad one.

  2. for a so called "ex-catholic" they certainly still have you towing the party line like a bitch, Zantarra.

    The fact is, the pope is losing his authority if even cardinals are disagreeing with him and writing letters to jews apologizing for the popes horrific, insensitive and frankly nazi-like actions.

  3. Kazoomi, it's not "toeing the part line", it's an appreciation that an argument without a basis in fact is going to fail. Any person with even the slightest bit of knowledge about Catholicism will immediately see that the author hasn't done his research and thus not listen to anything else he says.

    Your immediate descent into expletives on encountering legitimate criticism really demonstrates your ability to argue rationally, with intellectual honesty. Well done. Clearly it is you who is a credit to atheism, and not Zatarra.

    Even the Wiki page linked to in the article says that the Pope rarely speaks infallibly these days. This fact greatly lessens the impact of O'Connor's dissent reducing it from going against basic Catholic dogma to simply disagreeing with a political (*not* theological) action that the Pope has taken.

  4. The original post is indeed uninformed. The (admittedly ridiculous) doctrine of papal infallibility states that the pope is infallible when speaking ex cathedra, (that is, officially, as in a papal bull or encyclical--not in ordinary sermons or converstions), and only when speaking on maters of faith and morals.

    Score this Zatarra 1, Kazoomi 0, with a yellow card to Kazoomi for unnecessary rudeness.

  5. i agree with Kazoomi, the pope is obviously losing his authority and zatarra is obviously still towing the party line. Like all religious people he is full of excuses.

  6. ... by the way, codswallop, the idea that the pope is not speaking "officially" when he is lifting a ban from the church is laughable.

  7. Properly representing your opponent's position is not "towing party line." It's intellectual honesty. And it's far more effective than straw man arguments. This blog post was the anti-theist equivalent of saying evolution isn't true because monkeys still exist.

    "Full of excuses"? There's no "excuse" in my comment and how can I be "full" based on one comment? Read my blog. No one posts more critically of Catholicism than I do. I hate the church more than anyone I know. You're attacking me for pointing out that you're firing blanks against the enemy. Think about it.

  8. Oh, my profile is inactive. My blog is www.secularplanet.org

  9. Yep, Popes are infallible alright...that's why they change their minds so much!

  10. Hi, I'd like to comment on the posted photo of the young Joseph Ratzinger with this link to my blog


  11. The author didn't do his homework. I went to a Catholic college and asked about this.

    Not everything the pope says is infallible. Not even everything he says as "official" is infallible.

    From Wikipedia: It is incorrect to hold that doctrine teaches that the Pope is infallible in everything he says. In reality, the invocation of papal infallibility is extremely rare.


    The truth is that this was not one of those times.

    I argue against this not because I'm "toeing the line" but because I'm an avowed atheist. I support finding the TRUTH. Not some prejudice of a religion hating person. A true atheist will look for the truth and accept it where ever it leads, not blind himself with bad arguments and beliefs about some parroted propaganda. That's for creationists.

  12. One might add that there is nothing very honest in reproducing a picture of Joseph Ratzinger giving a blessing (two arms) as if he were actually giving the Nazi salute (one arm).

  13. Science + Rational Thought > Primitive Myths. Yes. But you fail to prove that religion is only primitive myth. You thus fail to use the very thing you claim to be promoting - science and rational thought.