According to the present official teaching of the Roman Catholic Church, is a Papal Bull infallible?

Discussion in 'Cults & World Religions' started by SebastianClinciuJJ, Dec 17, 2018.

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  1. SebastianClinciuJJ

    SebastianClinciuJJ Puritan Board Freshman

    Greetings in the Lord!

    Does the RCC consider a Papal Bull to be infallible in all that it teaches, pronounces etc.?

    Please document your responses with citations from official Roman Catholic sources.

    God bless!

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  2. Alan D. Strange

    Alan D. Strange Puritan Board Senior

    No. Only in defining an article of faith (or ethics).

    The RCC reckons this only to have happened in one clear instance since the doctrine of papal infallibility was promulgated at Vatican I (in 1870, under Pius IX): the 1950 definition of the Assumption of Mary by Pius XII.

  3. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritanboard Amanuensis

    What Prof Strange said. A papal bull can't simply be dismissed, but it isn't "the Law of the Medes and Persians." If you can show that previous papal bulls were contradictory, that doesn't necessarily threaten the foundation of the Roman system.
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  4. Edward

    Edward Puritanboard Commissioner

    From the Catholic Encyclopedia

    "As for the binding force of these documents it is generally admitted that the mere fact that the pope should have given to any of his utterances the form of an encyclical does not necessarily constitute it an ex-cathedra pronouncement and invest it with infallible authority. The degree in which the infallible magisterium of the Holy See is committed must be judged from the circumstances, and from the language used in the particular case."
  5. greenbaggins

    greenbaggins Administrator Staff Member

    Before papal infallibility was officially declared, the dogma of the immaculate conception of Mary was promulgated in 1854 with the papal bull Ineffabilis Deus. Isn't this generally considered an ex cathedra infallible statement as well? Did they kind of grandfather in this bull after papal infallibility was declared?
  6. Joshua

    Joshua Administrator Staff Member

    It certainly ain't infallible, and it's usually full of bull.
  7. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Doctor

    Does the Pope pronounce his verdict on things of doctrine and practice, and is thus infallible, or is it their Cardinals and him together do this?
  8. Alan D. Strange

    Alan D. Strange Puritan Board Senior

    Note, Lane, that I said explicitly "since [after] the doctrine of papal infallibility was promulgated at Vatican I." There may be any number of papal and/or conciliar declarations before then that the RCC would consider to be an infallible declaration of the faith.

    It is my understanding that the RCC would regard Pio Nono's 1854 decree in re: Mary's Immaculate Conception along such lines. Again, other statements made previously might also be so regarded (and not just this one).

  9. greenbaggins

    greenbaggins Administrator Staff Member

    Alan, yes, I understood you to be saying that. I was only wondering if papal infallibility in the case of the 1854 document had to be grandfathered back in somehow. Did Vatican I, in other words, back-validate certain papal bulls, or were the previous bulls already assumed to be infallible?
  10. Alan D. Strange

    Alan D. Strange Puritan Board Senior

    Not explicitly. I've just looked over the whole of the results of Vatican I and find no such "back-validating" of papal bulls, per se, but a good deal of validating, on the part of Pius IX, of previously worked-out doctrine, deriving from various sources (especially the Council of Trent).

    What I found about Mary ("the ever virgin mother of God") does not explicitly address her supposed Immaculate Conception, though likely assumes it, since Pius himself had promulgated it less than twenty years previously.

    There is a lot that was reaffirmed at Vatican I (as there usually is at such a council) that had been previously worked out in the history of the RCC.

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