"The work of priestly formation these days must involve a strong catechetical component since so many of our people have been deficiently formed. The resources you provide are allowing the Church to do a better job in preparing Catholics to know and defend their faith more effectively."
~ Fr. James, Director of Priestly Formation, Pittsburgh
The Catholic Church’s teaching on papal infallibility is one which is generally misunderstood by those outside the Church. In particular, Fundamentalists and other "Bible Christians" often confuse the charism of papal "infallibility" with "impeccability." They imagine Catholics believe the pope cannot sin. Others, who avoid this elementary blunder, think the pope relies on some sort of amulet or magical incantation when an infallible definition is due.
The first Christians had no doubts about how to determine which was the true Church and which doctrines the true teachings of Christ. The test was simple: Just trace the apostolic succession of the claimants.
Apostolic succession is the line of bishops stretching back to the apostles. All over the world, all Catholic bishops are part of a lineage that goes back to the time of the apostles, something that is impossible in Protestant denominations (most of which do not even claim to have bishops).
The Catholic Church bases her teaching upon one source: The word of God. This divine revelation is transmitted in two ways: through Scripture and apostolic tradition. Many assume that only the writings of the apostles are the word of God. However, their oral transmission of the faith is also considered the word of God (1 Thess. 2:13). Few Protestant groups today accept the validity, let alone the authority, of tradition. In fact, many believe that Scripture is the only definitive source of divine truth.
At Catholic Answers we are often asked which Bible version a person should choose. This is an important question about which Catholics need to be informed. Some have been given very little help about how to pick a Bible translation, but keeping in mind a few tips will make the decision much easier.
"Let us then not be ashamed to confess the Crucified. Be the cross our seal, made with boldness by our fingers on our brow and in everything; over the bread we eat and the cups we drink, in our comings and in goings out; before our sleep, when we lie down and when we awake; when we are travelling, and when we are at rest."
~ St. Cyril of Jerusalem in his "Catecheses" (xiii, 36), on the sign of the cross, a practice familiar to Christians in the second century and which had passed into a gesture of benediction by the fourth century, as many quotations from the Fathers show