Skip to comments.Francis, Pope. More Infallible Than He There Is None
Posted on 05/08/2016 7:31:11 PM PDT by ebb tide
He displays a willingness to reconsider the dogma of infallibility. But in reality he is vesting full power in himself much more than his immediate predecessors did. And he is acting as an absolute monarch
by Sandro Magister
ROME, May 9, 2016 There was an uproar in recent days over the announcement by the theologian Hans Küng that Pope Francis has given an effective green light to an unrestricted discussion of the dogma of infallibility:
> Fr. Hans Küng says Francis responded to request for free discussion on infallibility dogma
But curiously, to the contrary of what one might have expected, Küng did not make public the letter that the pope wrote to him in response to one of his previous appeals. He only described it. Perhaps because the letter was not as affirmative as he would like to have believed.
Francis, in fact, turns out to be anything but a pushover when he asserts his papal authority as supreme, full, immediate, and universal, both in governing and in teaching.
On the contrary, he is certainly the pontiff who over the past half century has exalted more than any other this supreme authority, not only over the Catholic Church but over all of Christendom, citing in support of this none other than the 1870 dogmatic constitution Pastor Aeternus of Vatican Council I, which proclaimed the popes infallibility ex cathedra.
But first things first.
Küngs appeal to Pope Francis came out simultaneously in multiple languages last March 9 in various newspapers around the world, for example in Italy in la Repubblica, the countrys most important secular and progressive newspaper, ultra-Bergoglian:
> Aboliamo l'infallibilità del papa
No surprise there. Küng has spent a lifetime trying to demolish the dogma of papal infallibility. The process that concluded in 1979 with the revocation of his license to teach Catholic theology was prompted by two of his books from about ten years before, entitled: The Church and Infallible? A Question.
And it was the whole body of essays that he has written on the topic, collected in the fifth volume of his complete works being published this year in Germany, which provided the cue for him to ask Pope Francis publicly for the opening of a free, unprejudiced and open-ended discussion in our church of the all the unresolved and suppressed questions connected with the infallibility dogma.
Küng sent the appeal personally to the pope by letter, in Spanish. And shortly after Easter he received at his home in Tübingen, through the nunciature in Berlin, the letter in reply, dated March 20.
The popes letter began with a friendly Lieber Mitbruder, dear brother, and was written by hand. But these remain the only words cited by Küng in quotation marks in reporting the content of the missive. It is unclear to what extent the rest of it might correspond to the narrative presented by the theologian.
Because it is true that Pope Francis can be relied on to issue exhortations to discuss everything, even the most delicate topics. But it is also his established habit to alternate these openings of his with reaffirmations of traditional doctrine, with that continual and never definitive stop and go which characterizes his magisterium.
On the dogma of infallibility, however, there is no comparison between his feeble and hesitant support for the reconsideration of the dogma on the one hand and on the other the powerful, thundering proclamation of his own supreme authority that he has made more than once, and always on occasions of great significance.
The key occasions have been two in particular.
The first was the closing speech for the turbulent first session of the synod on the family, October 14, 2014:
> "With a heart "
Visibly irritated over the development of the synod, far below his reformist expectations, Pope Francis made it clear to the bishops and cardinals that in any case the last word would rest with him, as supreme pastor and teacher of the faithful, endowed with supreme, full, immediate, and universal authority. Both of these formulations are taken from the code of canon law, precisely that juridical structure of the Church which he doesnt like but which this time he found it convenient to lean on.
To avoid any misunderstanding, Francis also reiterated to the synod fathers that the synod takes place cum Petro et sub Petro, not only with but also under the successor of Peter.
The second key occasion was one year later, halfway through the second session of the synod on the family, this too a disappointment for him:
> "As the Ordinary General Assembly "
It was October 17, 2015, the fiftieth anniversary of the institution of the synod of bishops, and the commemoration gave the pope his cue to describe the dynamics of a synod this way:
The Synod process begins by listening to the people of God. [. . .] It then continues by listening to the pastors. [. . .] The Synod process culminates in listening to the Bishop of Rome, who is called to speak as pastor and teacher of all Christians.
Attention. Here Francis did not cite again, as he did a year before, canon 749 of the code of canon law, which proclaims the authority of the pope over the christifideles, meaning the faithful belonging to the Catholic Church.
This time he took the citation from the dogmatic constitution Pastor Aeternus of Vatican Council I, in which the authority of the pope is extended to all Christians, meaning in theory also to Protestants, Orthodox, Evangelicals, to the whole sphere of the baptized called to make their way back to the one Church.
And that of the pope is an authority as pastor and also as teacher which, in the same paragraph of Pastor Aeternus, is proclaimed as infallible, specifying in what sense and within what limits. Immediately followed by the anathema sit typical of every dogmatic definition:
If anyone therefore may have the presumption to oppose, God forbid, this definition of ours: let him be anathema.
It must be noted that Vatican Council II as well, in the dogmatic constitution Lumen Gentium, at no. 25, in reaffirming the popes supreme and full power over the universal Church and his infallibility . . . as the supreme shepherd and teacher of all the faithful, also cites Pastor Aeternus of Vatican Council I, the bane of Küng and his ilk:
> Lumen gentium
But it stops one step short of what Francis has instead done, extending the popes infallible magisterium not only to the Catholic faithful but to all Christians.
In his speech of October 17, 2015 Francis then continued by insisting on the sub Petro with even more vigor than he did the year before:
The fact that the Synod always acts cum Petro et sub Petro indeed, not only cum Petro, but also sub Petro is not a limitation of freedom, but a guarantee of unity.
And it can be presumed that he already had in mind what he would write in the post-synodal exhortation Amoris Lætitia, availing himself of his own supreme authority in order to proceed well beyond where the synod was prepared to go.
In the Latin text of Pastor Aeternus as presented in Denzinger, the citation made by Pope Francis in the speech of October 17, 2015 is taken from paragraph 3074, the one in which the popes infallibility ex cathedra is defined:
> Constitutio dogmatica "Pastor aeternus" de Ecclesia Christi
The February 15, 1975 declaration of the congregation for the doctrine of the faith concerning the books by Hans Küng The Church and Infallible? A Question:
The previous declaration of June 24, 1973 in defense of the dogma of infallibility brought into question by Küng, who however is not named in it:
> Mysterium Ecclesiae
And the declaration of December 15, 1979 in which Küngs license to teach as a Catholic theologian is revoked:
In presenting last May 3 in Madrid, at the Universidad Francisco de Victoria, his latest book Informe sobre la esperanza, Cardinal Gerhard L. Müller, prefect of the congregation for the doctrine of the faith, forcefully criticized Küngs attacks against the dogma of infallibility:
> El prefecto de doctrina de la fe niega la posibilidad de comulgar a los divorciados recasados
Infallibility, Müller said, is the treasure and essence of Catholic ecclesiology. So Küng cannot say that he feels justified by the pope.
Neither his Christology nor his ecclesiology is Catholic, the cardinal added. Küng does not believe in the divinity of Christ and in the Most Holy Trinity.
English translation by Matthew Sherry, Ballwin, Missouri, U.S.A.
Threats were made, of that there can be no doubt.
In obeisance to the "god of surprises" (aka Beezlebub)?
Pope: It can no longer be said that all those in irregular situations are living in sin.
Does he imagine that he possesses supreme authority to edit the Decalogue?
If not demonic.
I find this extremely ominous. It appears that Francis is systematically eliminating the aspects of our faith that are unpalatable to other religions and the secular world at large. Though in this case it begs the question of whether or not a decision in "reconsideration" of Papal infallibility could ever be defined ex cathedra.
An attempt at listing all of Bergoglio’s heresies and transgressions:
Not a Catholic, and thus not a pope.
I have some info on that in the following post. Also a link to an Italian newspaper story. The ‘cardinal’ who was shooting off his mouth in China, also said, quoted elsewhere, that if not the successor he specified, then “one with Italian roots”, which can mean only one person, Bergoglio, Italian heritage but living in Argentina.
I agree. I think about B XVI’s departure daily and trust his brilliance. My guess: he took the cross and is living his authentic teachings. Pope Francis is a lightweight and represents a dying version of modernism. The Blessed Mother will keep us focused on the Eucharist.
Sounds like Suni Islam, the new Pope claiming he is infallible while his predecessors are not.
Narcissism of the times. Instead of seeing himself as Pope part of the inheriting lineage of great prophets, Popes and achrist Himself, Francis wants to change things and sees himself as the only one and infallible one, mocking or bellitling the work of his “naive” unprogressist predecessors.
This is really a tinge of Suni islam where the caliph views himself as infallible compared to Mohammed , but also a tinge of Marxist narcissism.
This has been going on since Vatican II. Francis is just a more emboldened Modernist than Benedict and JPII.
Oh there is doubt. I happen to believe that Benedict isn’t at all what he’s cracked up to be.
Just before a lightning bolt strikes the one who dares to try it.
Nah, I think he felt old age and senility catching up fast and decided to step down...Ronald Reagan had the same situation, but a limited term.
So you’re saying Pope Benedict had no faith?
Oh, please....he has changed nothing and he does not have the authority to change MANY things.
The answer is no.
He did no such thing....nor could he.
He has absolute faith as a Catholic, and a sense of responsibility as a human.While he is infallible as a Pope, he is indeed fallible as a human man.