Monday, April 4, 2016

Infallibility - A Challenge?

Recently, on Triablogue, John Bugay posted a query using Hans Küng as his primary source for challenging infallibility - as if a dissident "theologian" is a good place to start from.  I guess from a Protestant perspective, a dissident Catholic is "better" than an orthodox one, but even Bugay refers to Küng as a "renegade Roman Catholic theologian."

According to Bugay,
"Küng says he is not writing to destroy, but if ever there was a need for destruction, it is here. Wrong-headed from the start, both “papal infallibility” and “the papacy” both need to be headed toward “the ash-heap of history”. If anyone can muddy the waters right now (further than they have been muddied), it will be “Pope Francis”."
In short, Küng is writing to destroy.  The link there takes you to another Triablogue article on Papal Infallibility, also written by Bugay and while using another source, Küng wrote the introduction to that source - already opening it to the question of its orthodoxy.  That article opens with a discussion of the "Johannine Comma" and goes into a discussion about later popes overturning decisions by earlier popes.

It is apparent that Bugay (and perhaps his sources) is oblivious to the fact that not EVERYTHING decreed by a pope is infallible!  The fact of the matter is, VERY FEW decrees are actually considered to be infallible.  Yes, such a decree is binding upon all faithful Catholics - but again, a non-infallible decree can be (and several have been) overturned.

My response to the first article I cited is quite simple and straightforward:
Something which is bound in heaven, by its very nature, is then infallible - for nothing fallible could be "bound" in heaven.  If Peter, and thus his successors, has this authority, then Bugay's point is moot.  If Peter has not this authority, then Matthew 16:18-19 is a lie.  You can't have it both ways.
That response, if it is approved, was also posted to the original article on Triablogue (slightly paraphrased here because I did not copy it before I submitted it).  The bottom line is, if the Bible is the true and final authority for Bugay, then his objections to infallibility are pure folly and even scandalous in opposing the Word of God.

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