Understanding Roman Catholicism

The Pope: Infallible

According to Catholic doctrine, the Pope is infallible in matters of doctrine, faith and morals.

"In order to preserve the Church in the purity of the faith handed on by the apostles, Christ who is Truth willed to confer on her a share in his own infallibility. By a supernatural sense of faith the People of God, under the guidance of the Church's living magisterium, unfailingly adheres to this faith." Pg. 235, #889

The Catechism restates the same belief this way:

"The Roman Pontiff... enjoys this infallibility in virtue of his office, when, as supreme pastor and teacher of all the faithful - who confirms his brethren in the faith - he proclaims by a definitive act a doctrine pertaining to faith or morals... This infallibility extends as far as the deposit of divine Revelation itself." Pg. 235, #891

Sadly, this doctrine is but another tradition of men that contradicts Scripture. The Bible declares that all people are sinners. No one is perfect or infallible in anything:

"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" Romans 3:23

"As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:" Romans 3:10

Notice, you didn't read, " no one, except the pope." Jesus is the only infallible person who ever lived:

"For he (God) hath made him (Jesus) to be sin for us, who knew no sin..." 2 Corinthians 5:21

Are other Catholics infallible too?

The Catechism further alleges that other Catholic leaders have also somehow achieved this state of infallibility:

"The pastoral duty of the Magisterium is aimed at seeing to it that the People of God abides in the truth that liberates. To fulfill this service, Christ endowed the Church' s shepherds with the charism of infallibility in matters of faith and morals." Pg. 235, #890

"The infallibility of the Magisterium of the Pastors extends to all the elements of doctrine, including moral doctrine, without which the saving truths of the faith cannot be preserved, expounded, or observed." Pg. 495, #2051

It is important to understand that God did not declare these people to be infallible, other sinful men did.

Scriptures overflow with stories of sinful people. Even those whom God used the most were sinners. God referred to King David as "a man after mine own heart" (Acts 13:22), yet David was a murderer and an adulterer, among other things.

The Apostle Paul and all the other apostles were sinners. Paul said of himself:

"Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;" Ephesians 3:8

Nobody in Scripture, except Jesus, was infallible.

More questions

Aside from being unscriptural, this far reaching doctrine raises other important questions which you must answer for yourself:


Here is another tradition of men that raises more questions than it answers.

Please don't blindly accept this Catholic doctrine as truth. Look to God's Word for answers to these questions, then settle this issue in your own heart:

"And being made perfect, he (Jesus) became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;" Hebrews 5:9

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Understanding Roman Catholicism 1995 by Rick Jones

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