In my recent conversation with Brian McCall, Editor-in-Chief of Catholic Family News, (available in three parts on the CFN Youtube channel), he made a statement that went something like this:
If a pope ever attempted to teach a grave and obvious error infallibly, then we will know for certain that he isn’t a true pope.
That’s not an exact quote, but you get the point. Brian – a man that I’ve known for some years now and very much respect – certainly isn’t the first, nor will he be the last, to take such a position. In fact, I’m certain that you’ve heard it invoked many times by many others.
The implication of that statement is that a true pope, apart from teaching in an infallible manner, has tremendous leeway regarding the possibility that he may just propose and promulgate a false and dangerous doctrine, and authoritatively so, to the Universal Church.
In cases such as these, our tradservative friends insist, the faithful have every right to reject it.
This, as you will discover in this episode of the akaCatholic Podcast, is untrue (on several levels), not according to me but according to the unanimous witness of the pre-conciliar theologians.
More importantly, you will also discover in this podcast that a man claiming to be pope – in the context of confirming the teaching of an allegedly valid ecumenical council, no less – has indeed proposed a grave and obvious doctrinal error in an infallible manner!
At this, let’s jump into the podcast. As always, I look forward to your comments and questions. Again, please don’t be offended if I don’t follow up with a private response. The volume of emails that I receive (and for which I’m truly grateful!) prohibits as much. I do, however, read them all.