Tuesday, 19 September 2006

From A Certain Point Of View

Weaselling more than Ob-Wan Kenobi in Empire Strikes Back the BBC ask and try to answer "How infallible is the Pope?"
According to the Roman Catholic Church, the Bishop of Rome IS infallible - but only in specific cases. The current furore over remarks made by the pontiff about Islam does not fall into this category.

What intrigues me most about this, though is this bit:
It wasn't until the 19th Century that moves were made for a formal acknowledgement that the Pope was faultless. In 1870, the First Vatican Council proclaimed that the Pope was infallible

Why did they not notice up to that point? Was it something that never needed pointing out in the past and in 1870 they just decided that the public needed a reminder? Maybe they were just checking the records and noticed that every time the pontiff pontificated in a certain manner, well praise be, he was right everytime. Those other times though, not so divinely inspired.


Steve said...

Whether there are limits or not to the Pope's infallibility is actually irrelevant. The truth is that there are millions of people out there who don't know the difference between a papal encyclical or a statement made 'ex cathedra' from the chair of Peter', but are taught that the Pope is infallible. So when he spins his poisonous bigotary against gays, or anyone else he disapproves of, they swallow everything the irrelevant old fool says without a thought to which seat he's sitting in today. That's where the real danger lies.

mickielove said...

I feel that 1870 may have been a political thing (as all such things generally are when the church has to flex its muscle against a perceived threat to its dominance). Having been at the receiving end of a Catholic 'education' I can safely say that it was true indoctrination in that the 'unbending, unchanging and worldwide church' always "taught" us that what we 'learnt' had indeed been like that for centuries and so it was no use in trying to change anything.
Not taught a thing about celibacy not being the norm at first, etc.
Pope Ratpoison is just showing his true colours and I feel that the exremism of all faiths is about to flex their bilious muscles and any semblance of tolerance will be out the window. Richard Dawkins new book will probably make the atheist argument a lot clearer and stronger than I. We have to keep pressing on against all the faith botherers.
I'm waiting for the time when we can have a politician stand up and question why faiths get such special treatment and actually remove the funding from all faith schools, chuck the bishops out of the upper chamber and tell em to get on with it funding themselves and let the rest of us get on with our lives without the lot of them.
Oh me head's a shed after afternoon boozing so will stop rambling now.