What is a Catholic required to believe?


In the chaos that has followed the Second Vatican Council, it is necessary that the faithful have a correct understanding Papal Infallibility, as well as its limitations, lest the understandably confused or scandalized Catholic be led into error in one direction or the other.

The Charism:

Infallibility is a negative charism (gratia gratis data) that prevents the possibility of error.  It is not to be confused withinspiration, which is a positive divine influence that moves and controls a human agent in what he says or writes; nor is it to be confused with Revelation, which is the communication of some truth by God through means which are beyond the ordinary course of nature.  Infallibility pertains to the safeguarding and explanation of truths already revealed by God.  Since infallibility is only a negative charism, it does not inspire a pope to teach what is true or even defend revealed truths, nor does it “make the pope’s will the ultimate standard of truth and goodness” (2), but simply prevents him from teaching error under certain limited conditions.  During an address given at the First Vatican Council, Bishop Grasser, who was referred to as “the most prominent theologian at the Council”, said the following:

“In no sense is pontifical infallibility absolute, because absolute infallibility belongs to God alone, Who is the first and essential truth and Who is never able to deceive or be deceived. All other infallibility, as communicated for a specific purpose, has its limits and its conditions under which it is considered to be present. The same is valid in reference to the infallibility of the Roman Pontiff. For this infallibility is bound by certain limits and conditions…”

The conditions for Papal Infallibility were subsequently defined by the First Vatican Council as follows:

“We teach and define as a divinely revealed dogma that when the Roman pontiff speaks ex cathedra, that is, when, in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church, he possesses, by the divine assistance promised to him in blessed Peter, that infallibility which the divine Redeemer willed his Church to enjoy in defining doctrine concerning faith or morals”.

Here we see that the divine assistance is present only when a pope, (a) using his supreme apostolic authority (b) defines a doctrine, (c) concerning faith and morals, (d) to be held by the universal Church.  If any of these conditions are lacking, infallibility is not engaged and error is possible.

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Editor’s note: The first Vatican Council was never officially brought to a close, so technically, Vatican II was merely an extension of Vatican I. Yet those who ratified Vatican II never even mentioned the still open and unfinished Vatican I. If that sounds confusing to you, you have plenty of company.

We know that God is not the author of confusion. That leaves only two other choices: Man and/or the devil!

More details about Father Corapi’s relationship with his religious order

The Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity is in the spotlight, following the allegations of misconduct against one of its members, Father John Corapi. The Register spoke with Father Gerard Sheehan, regional priest servant, based in the Diocese of Corpus Christi, Texas, to learn more about the charism of the order and its rules for members.

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More on this from the National Catholic Register

“Little” Miracles: Totally Unexpected, Supernatural Healing.

By Doug Lawrence

A number of years ago, a sick friend asked me to go along with her and her husband to a charismatic Catholic healing Mass. I figured that any Mass is a good Mass, and it also occurred to me that I could provide at least some additional spiritual support for her particular cause … so I agreed.

Our priest, who was well known for his healing charism, had reached the end of his homily. Looking up and out, he began firmly and repeatedly pounding his fist, while powerfully proclaiming, “If you believe in Jesus Christ, and that Jesus Christ is God, I tell you the truth. You are healed!

At that very moment, my knee felt as though it had been hit with a hammer … and hard! For the next ten or fifteen seconds, it hurt, it burned, and it throbbed.

We stood for the creed. The knee now felt fine. Kneeling proved to be no problem. Nor was going up for communion. It wasn’t until Mass was over that I began to suspect what might have happened.

I had walked into Mass with an old injury … damaged knee cartilage. My knee almost always hurt, but the injury was so old, that I had pretty much learned to accept it and work around it, without even thinking. I knew that it would eventually have to be surgically repaired, but I planned to put that surgery off for as long as possible.

I can honestly say that I hadn’t even thought of my old knee problem, that day … at least … before experiencing the “hammer blow”.

Now, walking out of church, I suddenly realized that my “bad” knee was actually feeling better than my “good” one. Standing outside for some twenty minutes, visiting with friends, there was not even a hint of any pain or stiffness. That was unusual!

But the real test would come the next morning, when I had to drop off my car for some repairs. Since the shop was some three and a half miles from home, I would usually have someone pick me up and drive me back. This time though, I decided to walk!

An hour and a half later (much of it up hill) I was home, with both knees fully intact. No pain. No problems!

It has been three years now, and my “bad” knee is still doing just fine. In fact, I had to do some serious thinking just to remember which one used to be “bad”. Praise God!

Unfortunately, my friend is still sick. Please pray for her.