Pope Benedict has written a book, to be published this spring, on Jesus of Nazareth.  The Pope says the book is not a work of Catholic doctrine and « consequently, everyone is free to contradict me. »  This admission has shocked a number of theologians.  Professor Giuseppe Alberigo of Bologna University writes « what this means is that the Pope is not totally infallible. »  He added that John Paul 11 qwould never have made a distinction between « official » Pope and « ordinary » Pope.

        Professor Luigi Vallauri of Florence University says « this is the attitude of someone who wants to have his cake and eat it, to be both Pontiff and an independent theologian. »  Can the Pope be infallible on Tuesday and a speculative theologian on Wednesday?



  1. 1
    Barbara Says:

    I was always taught there are strict limitations to this papal infallibility — it applies to the solemn declarations of dogma (such as the Assumption of the BVM), encyclicals, and the pronouncements of Councils. He is speaking, in those cases, ex cathedra, in a solemn and deliberate fashion. There may be a few other examples, but these come immediately to mind.
    Benedict XVI may be writing a more devotional type of book.
    I am pleased he is not expanding infallibility where it was never meant to be applied. No Pope is infallible in all circumstances.
    An impertinent question — were Popes infallible BEFORE declared to be so in an encyclical? Before the Immaculate Conception was declared dogma, people believed it but were not obliged to assent to it — only thereafter.

  2. 2
    jim Says:

    Wait a minute – Have they done away with the Ordinary Magisterium,part of which includes non-infallable teachings of the Pope. Maybe the Pope wrote his book under this loophole.

  3. 3
    SUZANNE Says:

    The pope is writing a biography. A biography is not Magisterial teaching. If he means to be a personal reflection, that’s what it is.

  4. 4
    Vladimir Says:

    Very respectful comments so far I must say.

    Maybe the reformation hasn’t reached Canada yet?

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