Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Pat Robertson and the Charism of Infallibility

Once again, the Rev. Pat Robertson shows the world that he indeed does not share in the charism of infallibility reserved only for the successors of St. Peter. I don't wish to disparage Mr. Robertson here, but I use this recent controversy to illustrate why the body of Christ needs a living breathing authoritative teaching voice to prevent any error in faith and morals. Pat claims the bible as his sole authority and this is his conclusion when presented with a moral/ethical dilemma:

Pat Robertson:  "I know it sounds cruel. But if he’s going to do something, he should divorce her and start all over again, but to make sure she has custodial care, somebody looking after her."  (His advice to a man on how to deal with his wife who has Alzheimer's disease)

What is the charism of infallibility? It is Jesus authority given to His Church to prevent it from teaching error in he areas of faith and morals.

From Catholic Answers:
It is the Holy Spirit who prevents the pope from officially teaching error, and this charism follows necessarily from the existence of the Church itself. If, as Christ promised, the gates of hell will not prevail against the Church then it must be protected from fundamentally falling into error and thus away from Christ. It must prove itself to be a perfectly steady guide in matters pertaining to salvation.

Of course, infallibility does not include a guarantee that any particular pope won’t "neglect" to teach the truth, or that he will be sinless, or that mere disciplinary decisions will be intelligently made. It would be nice if he were omniscient or impeccable, but his not being so will fail to bring about the destruction of the Church.

But he must be able to teach rightly, since instruction for the sake of salvation is a primary function of the Church. For men to be saved, they must know what is to be believed. They must have a perfectly steady rock to build upon and to trust as the source of solemn Christian teaching. And that’s why papal infallibility exists.

Since Christ said the gates of hell would not prevail against his Church (Matt. 16:18b), this means that his Church can never pass out of existence. But if the Church ever apostasized by teaching heresy, then it would cease to exist; because it would cease to be Jesus’ Church. Thus the Church cannot teach heresy, meaning that anything it solemnly defines for the faithful to believe is true. This same reality is reflected in the Apostle Paul’s statement that the Church is "the pillar and foundation of the truth" (1 Tim. 3:15). If the Church is the foundation of religious truth in this world, then it is God’s own spokesman. As Christ told his disciples: "He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me" (Luke 10:16).


Blogger kkollwitz said...

"he should divorce her and start all over again, but to make sure she has custodial care, somebody looking after her."

Simply amazing.

September 16, 2011 9:31 PM  
Blogger Russ Rentler, M.D. said...

"Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers..or sisters."

September 16, 2011 11:57 PM  

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