Is Rosemary Radford Ruether right when she says the idea of papal infallibility is untenable?


Full Question

According to theologian Rosemary Radford Ruether, infallibility of the pope is untenable because no human perception of truth can be stated in a manner that lacks error or inadequacy. All ideas must be open to revision. Besides, the Church has erred repeatedly. Example: slavery. (By the way, is this woman Catholic?)

Answer

No, she is not Catholic, but she still carries the label because it gives her legitimacy. She is about as extreme a feminist fanatic as I have ever heard about. (Other professors at Boston College note that she won't allow men to enroll in her classes.) Her first point really is silly. Ask any mathematician whether the truth of an equation contains ""error or inadequacy."" A correct equation is completely true, with no admixture of error. And if such truth is possible in math, it must be possible in other things. As to her ""example,"" infallibility applies only to formal teachings on matters of faith and morals. The Church never taught that slavery was good, only, as Paul noted, that, in a society in which slavery is accepted, the slave should be obedient to his master.


Karl Keating