Infallibility of the Pope 「⋯⋯ 羅馬教宗⋯⋯享有⋯⋯ 不能錯誤的神恩」 (天主教教理 891) | jy.catholic.org.hk

 

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Infallibility of the Pope 「⋯⋯ 羅馬教宗⋯⋯享有⋯⋯ 不能錯誤的神恩」 (天主教教理 891)

刊登日期: 2013.06.23
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 “Simon, Simon, behold Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, but I have prayed that your own faith may not fail; and once you have turned back, you must strengthen your brothers.” ( Lk. 22:31-32.) 

Jesus said these words to Peter after the washing of the feet. It is with this backdrop that we should look at the topic of Papal Infallibility as service. 

If we truly believe that Jesus, the Way, the Truth and the Life, came to reveal to us the Truth about God the Father, His Love and Mercy, then we must also believe that He will guarantee that what He wants us to believe must be true, “…teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” (Mt. 28:20) 

How does He do that? Didn’t the apostles turn their back on Jesus? 

This is the misunderstanding of most non- Catholics. Papal infallibility is not about the pope and the bishops not sinning or making mistakes. It is about Jesus making sure that the Church will not be misled or harmed by human errors. In other words, papal infallibility is not about the pope and the bishops. It is about us the believers. He prayed for us at the Last Supper (Jn. 17:20-26). He is the Good Shepherd. He has sent us the Holy Spirit (Jn. 16:13). 

Since the early times, the Church have believed that Jesus makes sure that when the pope and the bishops teach officially what is believed to be the teachings of Jesus, the Holy Spirit will “prevent” them from teaching in error. This gift is for the Church. We are the recipients of the gift so that we can be sure that: 

1. What we receive is the Truth. 

2. In time of confusions, the Church clarifies them for our good. 

We can see that even as early as Acts 15 where “since we have heard that some of our number [who went out] without any mandate from us have upset you with their teachings and disturbed your peace of mind…” (15:24) 

It is in this circumstance that we exercise the gift of Counsel, one of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit we receive at Confirmation. This gift tells us that, after we have diligently acquired Knowledge, Wisdom and Understand, and still find ourselves not sure of the subject, we can turn to the Church for insight and clarity. How many Catholics turn to the Church these days in any issues we face daily? They act as if they are on their own and Jesus has abandoned them. 

It troubles me that in our time when there are so many conflicting voices regarding many issues, we do not trust the popes and the bishops. If we only take the time to read the official writings of the Church, granted some of them are not so easy to grasp, we would be amazed at how clear and wise these teachings are. One of the most prophetic teachings of the Church in the modern times can be found in Pope Paul VI’s “On Human Life (Humanae Vitae)” regarding the confusion we would face and experience in the area of artificial birth control. He taught that it will lead to sexual promiscuity, abortion, government control of human reproduction (as in China’s one child policy) and break down of families. This is evidenced worldwide and the countries that used to be Christian are leading the way to chaos. 

Blessed Pope John Paul, pray for us. 

Pope Benedict Emeritus, Pope Francis, lead us. 

Mary, our Lady of Good Counsel, pray for us. 

 

Jesus, Good Shepherd, save us. 

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