What if Pope Francis uses Papal Infallibility?

The usefulness of Papal Infallibility is found in the fact you can know that the teaching is true, without having to rely on your own reasoning and understanding to evaluate the assertion. If a teaching meets the conditions for Papal Infallibility, then it is certainly true. None of those conditions include an evaluation by ANYONE as to whether the teaching under Papal Infallibility is true. As long as it meets all 5 conditions, it is certainly true.

1. “the Roman Pontiff”
2. “speaks ex cathedra” (“that is, when in the discharge of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, and by virtue of his supreme apostolic authority….”)
3. “he defines”
4. “that a doctrine concerning faith or morals”
5. “must be held by the whole Church” [First Vatican Council, Pastor Aeternus, chap. 4.]

How can we know that an assertion is true, without evaluating that assertion? By faith.

[John]
{6:36} But I say to you, that even though you have seen me, you do not believe.
{6:37} All that the Father gives to me shall come to me. And whoever comes to me, I will not cast out.
{6:38} For I descended from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me.
{6:39} Yet this is the will of the Father who sent me: that I should lose nothing out of all that he has given to me, but that I should raise them up on the last day.
{6:40} So then, this is the will of my Father who sent me: that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”

Many Catholics, including some prominent teachers and leaders do not have faith at all. They believe only what their own minds understand, only in what their own hearts wish to believe.

What will happen if Pope Francis uses Papal Infallibility to define a new definition of doctrine, on a matter of faith or morals, which must be held by the whole Church?

I think that many of these self-exalting faithless Catholics will reject his teaching and accuse him of heresy, essentially for teaching something not found in their hearts and minds. For they have long ago departed from the true faith. They do not put their faith in Jesus or His Church, but only in themselves.

by
Ronald L. Conte Jr.
Roman Catholic theologian and translator of the Catholic Public Domain Version of the Bible.

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