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“Is the pope infallible in issuing a decree of canonization? Most theologians answer in the affirmative. It is the opinion of St. Antoninus, Melchior Cano, Suarez, Bellarmine, Bañez, Vasquez, and, among the canonists, of Gonzales Tellez, Fagnanus, Schmalzgrüber, Barbosa, Reiffenstül, Covarruvias (Variar. resol., I, x, no 13), Albitius (De Inconstantiâ in fide, xi, no 205), Petra (Comm. in Const. Apost., I, in notes to Const. I, Alex., III, no 17 sqq.), Joannes a S. Thomâ (on II-II, Q. I, disp. 9, a. 2), Silvester (Summa, s. v. Canonizatio), Del Bene (De Officio Inquisit. II, dub. 253), and many others. In Quodlib. IX, a. 16, St. Thomas says: ‘Since the honour we pay the saints is in a certain sense a profession of faith, i.e., a belief in the glory of the Saints [quâ sanctorum gloriam credimus] we must piously believe that in this matter also the judgment of the Church is not liable to error.’ These words of St. Thomas, as is evident from the authorities just cited, all favouring a positive infallibility, have been interpreted by his school in favour of papal infallibility in the matter of canonization, and this interpretation is supported by several other passages in the same Quodlibet.”  (For the complete text see:  “The Catholic Encyclopedia”, Volume II, Beatification and Canonization, pages 364-369).  It is also on the internet at:
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02364b.htm

For Roman Catholics, in virtue of the Infallible Roman Catholic Council Vatican I and Pope Pius IX, Papal Infallibility is exercized in two ways: 1) extra-ordinary magisterium (Ex Cathedra);  2) ordinary magisterium (this includes every sermon, encyclical, motu proprio, decree, act of beatification, act of canonization, etc., not only on doctrinal matters, but also in regard to ethics and moral matters, e.g. condemnation of pedophilia, homosexuality, usury, invasions, euthanasia, abortion, etc.).

Of course it should be self-evident that this is limited to Roman Catholics.  Therefore, this has nothing to do with all of the non-catholic religions, e.g. those “churches” which, in virtue of  “Legem Credendi Lex Statuit Supplicandi” a.k.a. “Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi”** are non-Catholic, e.g. Protestant, Vatican 2, etc.

Hence, the impending canonization of Pope JP-2 is irrelevant for Roman Catholics because it will take place in a non-Catholic “church” called the “Vatican 2 church”!

** Pope Celestine I set a precedent by teaching this principle/axiom: “Legem Credendi Lex Statuit Supplicandi” which is sometimes shortened to “Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi”:  The Law of Praying is the Law of Believing - you declare, by a public, exterior liturgical act of worship, both your own personal interior beliefs of your faith and your own personal interior worship of God, externally expressed in public worship ceremonies, so that you pray what you believe and you believe what you pray.:  The Law of Praying is the Law of Believing - you declare, by a public, exterior liturgical act of worship, both your own personal interior beliefs of your faith and your own personal interior worship of God, externally expressed in public worship ceremonies, so that you pray what you believe and you believe what you pray.

A Catholic Catholic
The cannonozation is taking place in the Catholic Church
So a bunch of fallible theologians are going to infallibly declare what is infallible? 

Infallibility was defined at Vatican I as a negative charism.  It prevents error.

It is not a source of revelation.  Public revelation closed with the death of John the Apostle.

For a post-Apostolic canonization to be infallible it would de facto be a new revelation. 

Contrast that with the fact that the Assumption of Our Lady was a part of the revealed Revelation of the Church.  The infallible declaration was to preserve that revelation. 



Interesting input, Gerard.

Your services are needed everywhere, not just in catholic news. I find it odd, and somewhat endearing, how you never venture out of this sub-forum.

Keep up the good input.
My Response to:  Gerard

Gerard writes:

“So a bunch of fallible theologians are going to infallibly declare what is infallible?

Comment:

It is true that theologians are per se “fallible” in and of themselves.  However, I would respectfully point out that ONLY the Holy Bible and the “Summa Theologica” were placed upon the Holy Altar as authentic and approved works of reference for the Council Fathers attending the Council of Trent.

In addition, exercising their Papal Powers of “Ordinary Magisterium”, a number of Infallible Roman Catholic Popes have approved the works of Saint Thomas Aquinas, especially his “Summa Theologica”.

For example, His Holiness, Pope Leo XIII writes in part:  “To these judgments of great Pontiffs on Thomas Aquinas comes the crowning testimony of Innocent VI: ‘His teaching above that of others, the canonical writings alone excepted, enjoys such a precision of language, an order of matters, a Truth of conclusions, that those who hold to it are never found swerving from the path of Truth, and he who dare assail it will always be suspected of error’.[footnote: 36.  Sermo de S. Thoma].”  (Pope Leo XIII, Encyclical AETERNI PATRIS, On the Restoration of Christian Philosophy, August 4, 1879, paragraph # 21).

Please note how the Holy Father, exercising his Infallible Ordinary Magisterium, in this Infallible Encyclical, quotes from the Infallible Sermon of His Holiness, Pope Innocent VI: “His teaching above that of others, the canonical writings alone excepted, enjoys such a precision of language, an order of matters, a Truth of conclusions, that those who hold to it are never found swerving from the path of Truth, and he who dare assail it will always be suspected of error.”

N.B.  “He who dare assail it will always be suspected of error.”  Therefore, when Saint Thomas wrote in part: “Since the honour we pay the saints is in a certain sense a profession of faith, i.e., a belief in the glory of the Saints [quâ sanctorum gloriam credimus] we must piously believe that in this matter also the judgment of the Church is not liable to error”, according to the teaching of His Holiness, Pope Innocent VI and His Holiness, Pope Leo XIII, one is bound to hold for certain that this teaching has been “elevated” to the dignity of “infallibility”, having been placed there by two Infallible Roman Catholic Popes in the lawful and valid exercise of their Infallible Ordinary Magisterium as clearly taught by Vatican I.

Furthermore, to claim that:  “Infallibility was defined at Vatican I as a negative charism.  It prevents error.” applies only to the extra-ordinary Magisterium of the Pope via "ex cathedra".  It has no relevance in regard to the Infallible teaching of Vatican I in regard to the exercise of the Infallible Ordinary Magisterium of the Pope.

To wit:

“2. Wherefore we teach and declare that, by divine ordinance, the Roman church possesses a pre-eminence of ordinary power over every other church, and that THIS jurisdictional power of the Roman pontiff is both episcopal and immediate. Both clergy and faithful, of whatever rite and dignity, both singly and collectively, are bound to submit to this power by the duty of hierarchical subordination and true obedience, and this not only in matters concerning faith and morals, but also in those which regard the discipline and government of the church throughout the world.”  (Synod Vatican 1 [Wednesday, December 8, 1869 A.D. - Monday, July 18, 1870 A.D.], Session 4, Monday, July 18, 1870, First Dogmatic Constitution on the Church of Christ, Chapter 3. On the Power and Character of the Primacy of the Roman Pontiff, ¶ 2).

This “ordinary... jurisdictional power of the Roman pontiff is both episcopal and immediate”.  This is why it is called the “Ordinary Magisterium” of the Holy Father, the Pope, the Roman pontiff.

When the document says “the Roman church possesses a pre-eminence of ordinary power” and then explains that this “ordinary power” is “jurisdictional power of the Roman pontiff”, the document is really saying in effect that it is “the Roman pontiff” who is the one who “possesses a pre-eminence of ordinary power”.

The importance of this “ordinary power” is that this refers to the “Ordinary Magisterium” of the Office of the Papacy.  The “ordinary power” of the “Ordinary Magisterium” simply means that this refers to the “ordinary” activities and acts of the Pope as the Pope which includes everything except the personal activities of the Pope, e.g. taking a shower, shaving, listening to the radio, watching TV, eating, etc.

That this is the correct meaning of this document is verified by what the same sources have declared in the following document:

“9. So, then, if anyone says that the Roman pontiff has merely an office of supervision and guidance, and not the full and supreme power of jurisdiction over the whole church, and this not only in matters of faith and morals, but also in those which concern the discipline and government of the church dispersed throughout the whole world; or that he has only the principal part, but not the absolute fullness, of this supreme power; or that this power of his is not ordinary and immediate both over all and each of the churches and over all and each of the pastors and faithful: let him be anathema.”  (Synod Vatican 1 [Wednesday, December 8, 1869 A.D. - Monday, July 18, 1870 A.D.], Session 4, Monday, July 18, 1870, First Dogmatic Constitution on the Church of Christ, Chapter 3. On the Power and Character of the Primacy of the Roman pontiff, ¶ 9).

This Ordinary Magisterium is therefore not limited to “only matters of faith and morals, but also in those which concern the discipline and government of the church”. 

Based upon Session 4, Monday, July 18, 1870, First Dogmatic Constitution on the Church of Christ, Chapter 3. On the Power and Character of the Primacy of the Roman pontiff, ¶ 9, it should be very clear that the Infallible Ordinary Magisterium is not “a negative charism.  It prevents error.”  This is true ONLY of the extra-ordinary Magisterium which is declared by “ex cathedra”. 

On the contrary, the Ordinary Magisterium of the Holy Father, the Roman Pontiff, is something very positive which concerns not “only matters of faith and morals, but also in those which concern the discipline and government of the church”.

Therefore, to claim that  “It is not a source of revelation.  Public revelation closed with the death of John the Apostle.”  Of course “Public revelation closed with the death of John the Apostle.” But this is not the issue.  Rather, the Infallible Ordinary Magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, insofar as dogmatic doctrine is concerned, is not to add anything new to the Deposit of Faith, rather it can only be used to state the same Truth, but with greater clarity, as the Angelic Doctor observes concerning the teachings of General Councils.

To claim that “For a post-Apostolic canonization to be infallible it would de facto be a new revelation” is to misunderstand the Ordinary Magisterium of the Holy Father as the Roman Pontiff.  Canonization per se does not declare a new dogma of any kind.  Instead, as the Angelic Doctor clearly teaches in part that “the honour we pay the saints is in a certain sense a profession of faith, i.e., a belief in the glory of the Saints [quâ sanctorum gloriam credimus]”. 

Part of the Deposit of Faith, Dogmatic Doctrines, is the teaching of the Communion of Saints: the Church Militant (those of us in this life); the Church Suffering (Poor Souls in Purgatory); the Church Triumphant (the saints in heaven).  All that Canonization does is to make a distinction that a certain person is a saint in heaven.  This is not a “new revelation” but this distinction is not a “revelation” per se, but merely a “clarification” of who some of the members of the Church Triumphant happen to be.

To claim: “Contrast that with the fact that the Assumption of Our Lady was a part of the revealed Revelation of the Church.  The infallible declaration was to preserve that revelation.”

This is misleading because Sacred Scripture does NOT explicitly testify to “the Assumption of Our Lady” and therefore the Assumption was technically never “a part of the revealed Revelation of the Church”.

Hence to claim: “The infallible declaration was to preserve that revelation” is misleading at best because it merely preserved a common opinion and possibly a local tradition which spread, over time, to various parts of the Catholic Church.

Thus, Vatican I’s Infallible decree with great emphasis on the ORDINARY MAGISTERIUM of the Pope, the Roman Pontiff, the Holy Father:

“9. So, then, if anyone says that the Roman pontiff has merely an office of supervision and guidance, and not the full and SUPREME POWER OF JURISDICTION over the whole church, and this NOT ONLY in matters of faith and morals, BUT ALSO in those which concern the discipline and government of the church dispersed throughout the whole world; or that he has only the principal part, but not the absolute fullness, of this supreme power; OR THAT THIS [SUPREME] POWER of his is not ORDINARY and IMMEDIATE both over all and each of the churches and over all and each of the pastors and faithful: LET HIM BE ANATHEMA.”  (Synod Vatican 1 [Wednesday, December 8, 1869 A.D. - Monday, July 18, 1870 A.D.], Session 4, Monday, July 18, 1870, First Dogmatic Constitution on the Church of Christ, Chapter 3. On the Power and Character of the Primacy of the Roman pontiff, ¶ 9).

A Catholic Catholic
The writings of the Saints have NEVER been considered infallible, they can be mistaken , so don't expect them to use this against JP2's Beatification.
(04-25-2011, 09:06 AM)A-Catholic-Catholic Wrote: [ -> ]It is true that theologians are per se “fallible” in and of themselves.  However, I would respectfully point out that ONLY the Holy Bible and the “Summa Theologica” were placed upon the Holy Altar as authentic and approved works of reference for the Council Fathers attending the Council of Trent.

Look at the quote you gave of St. Thomas:

“Since the honour we pay the saints is in a certain sense a profession of faith, i.e., a belief in the glory of the Saints [quâ sanctorum gloriam credimus] we must piously believe that in this matter also the judgment of the Church is not liable to error”,

We must piously believe (ie. give the benefit of the doubt, not dogmatically believe..) that the judgement of the Church is not liable (not likely ) to err.

St. Thomas in no way indicates that it is dogmatically certain that canonizations are infallible. 

Had Vatican I wanted to declare canonizations infallible, it would have.  It did not. 

You are also conflating the ordinary authentic magisterium with the ordinary infallible magisterium and you are confusing the magisterium with the jurisdictional power of the Pope in governance of the Church. 

Quote: “9. So, then, if anyone says that the Roman pontiff has merely an office of supervision and guidance, and not the full and supreme power of jurisdiction over the whole church, and this not only in matters of faith and morals, but also in those which concern the discipline and government of the church dispersed throughout the whole world; or that he has only the principal part, but not the absolute fullness, of this supreme power; or that this power of his is not ordinary and immediate both over all and each of the churches and over all and each of the pastors and faithful: let him be anathema.”  (Synod Vatican 1 [Wednesday, December 8, 1869 A.D. - Monday, July 18, 1870 A.D.], Session 4, Monday, July 18, 1870, First Dogmatic Constitution on the Church of Christ, Chapter 3. On the Power and Character of the Primacy of the Roman pontiff, ¶ 9).

None of that addresses the fact that while a Pope may canonize whomever he pleases legally, it is in no way protected from error by the Holy Ghost. 

Quote: This Ordinary Magisterium is therefore not limited to “only matters of faith and morals, but also in those which concern the discipline and government of the church”.

Correct, this is the authentic ordinary magisterium of the Church, not the ordinary infallible magisterium of the Church.  This is why Popes Stephen and his successors went back and forth declaring the ordinations of Pope Formosus invalid and valid alternating in their decrees.  This is also why one can have confidence that JPII's declarations of the excommunications of LeFebvre and DeCastro Mayer and the four bishops was intrinsically invalid. 


Quote: On the contrary, the Ordinary Magisterium of the Holy Father, the Roman Pontiff, is something very positive which concerns not “only matters of faith and morals, but also in those which concern the discipline and government of the church”.

Therefore, to claim that  “It is not a source of revelation.  Public revelation closed with the death of John the Apostle.”  Of course “Public revelation closed with the death of John the Apostle.”

No. It is self-evident that this or that particular person is definitely in Heaven would be necessarily a new revelation.  The fact that we know people are in Heaven is dogmatically a fact since that was known prior to the close of Revelation and and post-Ascension. 

Quote: But this is not the issue.  Rather, the Infallible Ordinary Magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, insofar as dogmatic doctrine is concerned, is not to add anything new to the Deposit of Faith, rather it can only be used to state the same Truth, but with greater clarity, as the Angelic Doctor observes concerning the teachings of General Councils.

The fact that this or that person is in Heaven does not declare with any greater clarity the doctrine of the communion of Saints. 

Quote: To claim that “For a post-Apostolic canonization to be infallible it would de facto be a new revelation” is to misunderstand the Ordinary Magisterium of the Holy Father as the Roman Pontiff.

The Ordinary Magisterium belongs to the Church, not the Pope.  The Pope has the power to invoke it, or not invoke it as part of the Church office he occupies.  He is bound by the Magisterium, as much as he has the ability to invoke it. 


Quote: Canonization per se does not declare a new dogma of any kind.

Not dogma, specific information that cannot be known except by Divine communication, ie. revelation.


Quote:Instead, as the Angelic Doctor clearly teaches in part that “the honour we pay the saints is in a certain sense a profession of faith, i.e., a belief in the glory of the Saints [quâ sanctorum gloriam credimus]”.

None of that addresses the issue at hand. 


Quote: Part of the Deposit of Faith, Dogmatic Doctrines, is the teaching of the Communion of Saints: the Church Militant (those of us in this life); the Church Suffering (Poor Souls in Purgatory); the Church Triumphant (the saints in heaven).  All that Canonization does is to make a distinction that a certain person is a saint in heaven.  This is not a “new revelation” but this distinction is not a “revelation” per se, but merely a “clarification” of who some of the members of the Church Triumphant happen to be.

That is not a distinction, that is a revelation. We make a distinction between leavened and unleavened bread for Holy Communion according to the various rites of the Church.  But leavened and unleavened are both known. We cannot know who is in Heaven and Hell with absolute certitude on our own, we would need a revealing of the final destination since we can't distinguish beyond who is physically dead. 


Quote: To claim: “Contrast that with the fact that the Assumption of Our Lady was a part of the revealed Revelation of the Church.  The infallible declaration was to preserve that revelation.”

This is misleading because Sacred Scripture does NOT explicitly testify to “the Assumption of Our Lady” and therefore the Assumption was technically never “a part of the revealed Revelation of the Church”.

The Assumption is a part of Sacred Tradition in the Church, it was communicated by the Apostles to their successors and the event occurred before the death of John. Protestants are wrong to depend solely on the Scriptures for Revelation. 


Quote: Hence to claim: “The infallible declaration was to preserve that revelation” is misleading at best because it merely preserved a common opinion and possibly a local tradition which spread, over time, to various parts of the Catholic Church.

All of revelation was a local tradition at one time. But it was all knowledge that existed before the close of revelation. 

Well His Grace Bishop Williamson recently said:

[Image: richardWilliamson.jpg]

Quote: On May 1, in a few weeks'  time, John-Paul II is due to be declared "Blessed" by Benedict XVI amidst great celebration in St. Peter's Square in Rome. But Catholics clinging to Tradition know that John-Paul II, while being a great promoter of the Conciliar Church, was an effective destroyer of the Catholic Church. How then can he be called "Blessed", the last step before being canonized, when Church canonizations are infallible ?  The swift answer is that John-Paul II will not be beatified as a Catholic Blessed by a Catholic beatification in the Catholic Church, but as a Newblessed by a Newbeatification in the Newchurch. And Newchurchmen are the first to claim novelty, the last to claim infallibility, for what they do

Let us illustrate the nature of the Newchurch by a comparison drawn from modern life. Pure gasoline (petrol) smells, tastes and acts like gasoline. On it a car can run. Pure water smells, tastes and acts like water. On it a car cannot run. Gasoline mixed with surprisingly little water may still smell and taste like gasoline, but it no longer acts like gasoline ---- on it a car cannot run. The water has taken away its combustibility.

Pure gasoline is comparable to pure Catholicism - highly combustible !  Pure water in our comparison is like pure secular humanism, or the religion of globalism, with not a trace of Catholicism left in it. Now Catholicism and secular humanism were mixed together in the Second Vatican Council and in its 16 documents. So Conciliarism, or Newcatholicism, may still smell and taste like Catholicism, enough to make "good Catholics" expect  Conciliar beatifications to be on their way to infallibility, as were beatifications in the pre-Conciliar Church, but in reality a small admixture of secular humanism has been enough to stop the Catholicism from functioning, just as it takes not too much water to stop gasoline from combusting.

Thus Newbeatifications may taste and smell to unwary Catholic nostrils like Catholic beatifications, but on closer examination it is clear that Newbeatifications are not at all the same reality. Famous example: a Catholic beatification used to require two distinct miracles, while a Newbeatification requires only one. And the rules for a Newbeatification are significantly relaxed in other ways as well. Therefore no Catholic should expect anything other than a Newblessed to emerge from a Newbeatification. John-Paul II was indeed a Conciliar "Blessed".

What deceives Catholics is the elements of Catholicism that still remain in the Conciliar Church. But just as Vatican II was designed to replace Catholicism (pure gasoline) with Conciliarism (gasoline-water), so Conciliarism is designed to give way to - let us call it - the Global Religion (pure water). The procession is from God to Newgod to Nongod. Right now we still have Newrome pushing the Newgod of Vatican II with Newblesseds to match, but before long sheer criminals will be the "Blesseds" of the Nongod.

However, the true God will let no sheep be deceived that does not want to be deceived. Nor will he abandon any soul that has not first abandoned him, says St. Augustine. Marvellous quote ! 
Gerard, the infallibility of the Church certainly extends beyond dogmas strictly speaking.  For instance, it extends to dogmatic facts, i.e., facts that, while not dogmas strictly speaking, are connected with them.  For instance, we know that the Council of Trent was an ecumenical council because the Church has judged it to be one, both by the papal ratification of its decrees and its subsequent use by the magisterium.  The Church has even had to define which decrees of a council are infallible and which are not–the decree Haec Sancta Synodus of the Council of Constance, for instance, is not considered as part of the Council's magisterium.

Also, the translation of St. Thomas' statement as "not liable to err" does not mean "not likely to err"; rather it means "not able to err."  This is clear from the Latin:

Quia tamen honor quem sanctis exhibemus, quaedam professio fidei est, qua sanctorum gloriam credimus, pie credendum est, quod nec etiam in his iudicium Ecclesiae errare possit.
Gerard:

I respectfully and prayerfully request that you please re-read what Vatican I actually taught. 

I have discovered that even Doctors of Theology and Doctors of Canon Law have either misread parts of it and/or misinterpreted parts of it, and this by their own admission!

One Doctor of Theology actually stated that one part of the actual text was not worded correctly so that those who read it assume that it says something that it does not say (the opposite also being true)!

Sorry, I do not remember off-hand which exact text that was: this was something I was told about 40 years ago, or maybe longer than that?

Bottom line:  historically, as you well know, there were two political parties.  One for, and one against, Papal Infallibility.  An obvious "compromise" was worked out between the two parties which is why the text is somewhat convoluted insofar as each party can "correctly" interpret at least those texts according to their own particular view. 

This is basically about what the above-mentioned Doctor of Theology was complaining: certain texts can be interpreted correctly in opposite ways!!!! 

While the "compromise" satisfied both opposite political parties at the time, the "compromise", as found in several texts, became a subject (not of any real debate since this was never the purpose anyway after Vatican I) but historically a subject of honest and sincere confusion so that each "side" quotes the same texts which mean the opposite!

God Bless You!

A Catholic Catholic
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