Does papal infallibility mean the pope is perfect or inerrant?


Full Question

In what sense is the pope infallible? Does that mean that he is perfect or inerrant?

Answer

Papal infallibility means that the pope is protected from error when he "proclaims by a definitive act a doctrine pertaining to faith or morals" (CCC 891). This does not mean that he is impeccable (incapable of sin) or inerrant (incapable of error).


Jim Blackburn