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Dear catholic.com visitors: This website from Catholic Answers, with all its many resources, is the world's largest source of explanations for Catholic beliefs and practices. A fully independent, lay-run, 501(c)(3) ministry that receives no funding from the institutional Church, we rely entirely on the generosity of everyday people like you to keep this website going with trustworthy , fresh, and relevant content. If everyone visiting this month gave just $1, catholic.com would be fully funded for an entire year. Do you find catholic.com helpful? Please make a gift today. Thank you. Wishing you a blessed Lenten season.

Explaining Papal Infallibility

Audio only:

Questions Covered: 

  • 18:40 - Since Papal infallibility wasn’t defined till Vatican 1, how was a Catholic supposed to know when he was speaking infallibly? 
  • 21:36 - How can we explain the infallibility of the pope in a context that avoids seeing the limits as an excuse to ignore that which is not infallible? 
  • 32:25 - My cousin and her husband have started attending an independent Catholic Church (Society of Christ the King). Can I attend church with them even though they don’t accept papal infallibility? 
  • 36:58 - What declarations can a pope overrule from a previous pope? 
  • 46:00 - Why not just believe everything the pope says if it’s not really going to affect my life? 
  • 50:20 - I know the teachings on contraception were clarified by Pope John Paul II, I was told that Pope Francis overturned that teaching. Can he do that and is that true? 
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