What Evidence for Sacred Tradition and Infallibility of the Pope?

scrollsQ. What evidence do you have to support the traditions ? What document whatsoever in antiquity do you have to attest them?

A. There exist early Christian writings from the 1st-8th centuries. We call these the writings of the Fathers. They document the beliefs and practices of Christians at the dawn of Christianity. We do not consider them 100% inerrant but as historical documents they contain, in writing, what Christians believed. Here is a link to all of them.


When I was trying to stay Protestant I decided that i would read Church Fathers of the first 3 centuries since the Bible was canonized at the beginning of the 5th century, and if I found that they were Protestant then I could stay Protestant. However,  I found them to be very Catholic. Therefore, I realized that Ancient Christianity was Catholic. The Church Jesus founded was Catholic, so I had to be Catholic. For specific Catholic doctrines you can start here under “Disputed Questions”

–>Catholic Answers

or look through tracts that address specific issues. Click under “Category”

–>Catholic Tracts

Q. please quote the scripture for “And the Pope is empowered by Christ to never teach anything to the church that is in error, thereby protecting us from false traditions of men.” i reject the traditions because they are not even remotely pointed to by the scriptures. Even Paul praised the Bereans for checking even what he said against scripture (Acts 17:11)

Peter & the KeysA. Regarding Scripture about the Pope and infallibility, of course there is nothing that explicit. However, that is how the doctrine of the infallibility of the Pope is defined by the Church. Papal infallibility.

You reject anything that is not found in scripture because that is what you have been taught to do. Searching the Scriptures IS to be praised and Catholic have studied and prayed the scriptures for 2000 years. But people can love and meditate and treasure Sacred Scripture while at the same time realize as St. John said, everything is not written down.

But there are also many other things which Jesus did; were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.

please see, : Infallible?

Where Did Peter Ever Claim to be the First Pope?

How Can a Sinner be Infallible?

Why is there a Pope?

Historical Evidence for Pope?

Popes and Bishops in the Early Church

Where are the Pope and Bishops is in Scripture?

Rock? Peter Rebuked! Priestshood. Papal Infallibility!

Pope Peter? That should get you started, if you are actually interested…..

Protestants Do Not Think They are Infallible….

ARNE:  No one that I know of from any serious denomination purports in any way to ” know infallibly ” what is true, or claims any exclusive authority to understand the scriptures except the pope.  What people is trying to, is to understand the scriptures. And I think any serious person will never suggest that he or his denomination holds the whole truth exclusively to all others.

BFHU: Jesus promised to be with His Church to the end of time. He gave Peter the Keys to the Kingdom and told him that whatever he bound on earth is/would be bound in Heaven and whatever he loosed on Earth it would be loosed in Heaven. This does not mean that God was bound or loosed by Peter’s decision but that Peter’s decisions were already bound or loosed in Heaven.

We know that Peter made astounding decisions at the dawn of Christianity by doing away with circumcision, the dietary laws, and choosing a successor to Judas. How did Peter know a successor to Judas was to be found? Jesus must have told him and the rest of the apostles about succession. How did Peter know that the ancient practice of circumcision and the dietary laws, which sound like permanent ordinances in the OT, could be abolished? Jesus must have instructed him before His death. The Pope is the final authority but when he acts or teaches in union with the bishops he is also infallible.

In fact, when you or I teach the truths of the Catholic Church, we are teaching infallibly. But we do not have the gift of infallibility. And this does not mean that the Pope is therefore able to just pronounce oracles. No. This is not what infallibility means. I merely means that God will prevent the pope and/or the pope and the bishops, from ever teaching error about faith and morals to the whole Church.  You might find this post of interest in order to properly understand infallibility.—->If the Pope Is Infallible…

Look Arne, I know that Protestants would never openly claim to be able to infallibly interpret scripture. But, this is exactly what they do when they act on what they think scripture means and leave a denomination because it doesn’t agree with their  interpretation. Or, they start a new Church based on their interpretation of Scripture. Or they condemn other Christians for believing something that does not agree with their ninterpretation of scripture. They are convinced that  their interpretation of Scripture is the TRUE one and that everyone else is wrong. If this is not thinking that their  interpretation is infallible I don’t know what that would be then. They don’t claim infallibility because they KNOW Jesus did not promise every believer infallibility.

Therefore, they reason, the Holy Spirit is  infallible and they just know that the Holy Spirit is leading them and therefore it is safe to act on what they are sure is the Holy Spirit’s infallible interpretation. Now, many stop there and never second guess or wonder more deeply the implication of this belief regarding other seemingly sincere Christians. And these people manifest a pride and arrogance that does not comport with a Christian character. And it is pretty obvious that they deem themselves pretty darn infallible despite the FACT that they would never claim to be infallible. Yet they teach, act, criticize, and condemn as if they KNOW their interpretation is infallible.

But, most Protestants are troubled by the fact that many of the people in the church they left because it didn’t agree with their interpretation, or other Christians who disagree with their interpretation of scripture, or Christians who believe things that they disagree with are very loving and seemingly very sincere Christians. This gives them a lot of cognitive dissonance. Therefore, they will then in humility realize they could be wrong. Some will just try not to think about it and go on as if they were correct anyway. Some, and this is what I did as a Protestant, will conclude thus:

When I read the Scripture I understand it to mean such and such. When Joe reads the very same scripture he reads it to mean something quite different. Joe really seems to love the Lord. I don’t know of any great sin in his life. Why doesn’t the Holy Spirit cause him to understand this scripture to mean such and such, the same as me? I KNOW I love the Lord. I know I am seeking the Truth in sincerity. Yes, I sin but nothing terrible and I am always asking for forgiveness. What is causing Joe to think that the Scripture means something different than what I think it means? Why doesn’t the Holy Spirit lead us to both understand this scripture to mean such and such? I know my heart and it is as it should be. I don’t know Joe’s heart though. It must NOT be as it should be and therefore the Holy Spirit is not REALLY leading Joe’s interpretation of Scripture even though he thinks He is leading him. Therefore Joe’s interpretation is not correct, but mine must be. So, I will trust my interpretation and reject Joe’s interpretation.

This was the only way to understand this problem that made any sense. But it made me uncomfortable so I tried not to think about it. But, when my interpretation caused such a surprising uproar in the church I was in I found it very hard to ignore or find a reasonable explanation. I begged God to show me the Truth, even if I was wrong. I just wanted to KNOW THE TRUTH. And next thing I knew I found the Catholic Church. Do you want to know the Truth no matter where it leads? Do you want to know the Truth, even if it means you are wrong?

Did the Catholic Church Rely on Forged Documents for Dogmas?

Travis: You are assuming that the Catholic Church is true and wouldn’t ever lie about their doctrines or dogmas. Yet, papal infallibility first arises in the Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals. I will gladly take God-Breathed Scripture over a Catholic Church that has, many times, used fake documents to “prove” their teachings.

Bread From Heaven: I am providing an article written by Steven O’Reilly originally published in This Rock magazine by Catholic Answers. Your contention is yet another less well-known Protestant Tradition.

The False Decretals

 by Steven O’Reilly

Anti-Catholic apologists often charge that Catholic doctrines regarding the primacy and infallibility of the bishop of Rome are founded upon a set of documents forged in the ninth century, known as the “False Decretals” or the “Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals,” which purport to be written by early popes. It is alleged that Roman bishops relied on these forgeries to establish their authority and that without these forgeries popes never could have “become” infallible.

Dave Hunt devotes a whole chapter of A Woman Rides the Beast to Rome’s “Fraud and Fabricated History.” According to Hunt, the popes “labored mightily to satisfy their lust for power and pleasure and wealth.” Not being able to find justification for these powers in Scripture or the Church Fathers, rewrite history by manufacturing allegedly historical documents.” Another anti-Catholic apologist, William Webster, says in The Church of Rome and the Bar of History that Rome was the “first to use” the False Decretals and that they “completely revolutionized the primitive government of the Church.” Similar claims regarding the False Decretals are made by former Catholic and ex-priest Peter de Rosa in Vicars of Christ.

Anti-Catholic apologists argue that the False Decretals provided the scriptural and historical precedents upon which papal doctrines are founded. Examples from the False Decretals suffice to illustrate how they appear to support the anti-Catholic argument. The so-called First Epistle of Zephyrinus applies the words “Whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Matt. 16:19) to Peter and to his successors in the See of Rome. Bishops are said to be judged by the pope “and by no other.” The equally fraudulent First Epistle of Pope Callistus calls the Roman Church the “mother of all Churches” and “head” of the Church and declares that anything done contrary to the Roman Church “cannot on any account be permitted to be held valid.”

J. H. Ignaz von Dollinger, the nineteenth-century historian who defected from the Church after the promulgation of the dogma of papal infallibility, says it is “with perfect consistency that Pseudo-Isidore makes his early popes say: ‘The Roman Church remains to the end free from the stain of heresy.”‘ Dollinger claims that prior to the False Decretals “no serious attempt was made anywhere to introduce the neo-Roman theory of infallibility” and that “the popes did not dream of laying claim to such a privilege.” Upon such forged letters, or so the anti-Catholic alleges, the papacy is built.

That the False Decretals contain material that supports papal claims does not prove that the bishops of Rome played any part in their manufacture. Forgers often mix actual events, widely-known facts, and personalities into their work in order to improve a document’s credibility. One cannot presume the subject matter of a forged document easily or necessarily reveals the identity or the agenda of its true author. The spurious “Arabic Canons” of Nicaea, which call the pope the “head and prince of all patriarchs,” are more explicitly pro-primacy than are the genuine canons of the council of Nicaea. These spurious canons were written not in the West but in the East. If this fact had not been known widely, anti-Catholic apologists might have added the Arabic Canons to their list of alleged Roman forgeries.

By Webster’s reckoning, the False Decretals were written in 845. Pope Nicholas I (858-867), the first pope to quote them, did not begin his reign until thirteen years and three pontificates later. These facts suggest the False Decretals had been in circulation and had obtained credibility before Nicholas I used them. If they had been intended to advance Roman claims of authority, one would expect that they would have made their Roman debut centuries earlier than they did. Regardless, the long-held opinion of scholars, including Dollinger—who is the main source for Hunt, Webster, and De Rosa on this matter—is that the False Decretals were written in France, not Rome.

More devastating to the anti-Catholic apologist’s argument is that Dollinger admits that the goal of the forger was not the extension of papal authority. Rather, he says, “The immediate object of the compiler of this forgery was to protect bishops against their metropolitans and other authorities, so as to secure absolute impunity and the exclusion of all influence of the secular power.” Dollinger asserts this object was to be gained through “an immense extension of the papal power.”

In essence, he argues that Roman primacy and infallibility were created by the forger to be the means by which his real goal—the protection of local bishops—could be achieved. But this argument is unreasonable. The concocting of such a grand, elaborate, and “new” theory of papal powers to achieve the relatively modest end of protecting local bishops would create more difficulties for a forged document’s credibility than it could hope to solve. What seems more probable is that the forger appealed to an authority his audience already knew and accepted and by means of this acceptance hoped to advance his agenda. Such an appeal would not be the first time a forger had attempted to use the prestige and authority of the Roman see to his advantage. For example, the sixth ecumenical council, Constantinople III (680), examined heretical letters said to have been written by Pope Vigilius, but it rejected them as frauds. The more serious accusation is that the forgeries brought about a “revolution” in the government of the Church. While the anti-Catholic charge appears damning at first glance, it must be remembered the Roman claims were well-established before the False Decretals were penned in the ninth century. Roman bishops long had applied verses of Scripture to their office. For example, papal legates at the Council of Ephesus (431) refer to the pope as the successor of Peter and as having the powers to bind and loose (Matt. 16:19), while Pope Hormisdas, in 517, applies Matthew 16:18—where Peter is declared “rock”—to the Apostolic See. Although the False Decretals describe the Roman Church as “head,” numerous genuine documents that predate these forgeries explicitly declare as much. The records of the ecumenical councils of Ephesus, Chalcedon (451), Constantinople III, and Nicaea II (787) contain many references to the pope or the Apostolic See as “father,” “head of all Churches,” “archbishop of all the Churches,” “spiritual mother,” “sacred head,” and so forth.

It was no ninth-century innovation to claim that anything done against the will of the Apostolic See was invalid. Fifth-century historians Sozomen and Socrates, in separate histories of the fourth-century Church, record in similar words that “an ecclesiastical canon commands that the Churches shall not make any ordinances against the opinion of the bishop of Rome.” Peter Chrysologus, bishop of Ravenna, declares in his Letter to Eutyches (449) that cases of faith cannot be tried “without the consent of the bishop of Rome.” At the Council of Chalcedon, papal legates—without opposition—declare the holding of a council without the pope’s authority to be a “thing which had never taken place nor can take place.” The Council of Ephesus declares itself “compelled” by the canons and by the decision of Pope Celestine to depose the heretic Nestorius, Patriarch of Constantinople. The pope was recognized in both East and West as having the authority to hear appeals from bishops, to depose them, and to restore them to their sees, as proved by the course of history and by the canons of the Council of Sardica (343).

While infallibility may be inferred from some of the genuine documents cited, more explicit affirmations of it may be found in other places. For example, in 517 the Eastern bishops assented to and signed the formula of Pope Hormisdas, which states in part: “The first condition of salvation is to keep the norm of the true faith and in no way to deviate from the established doctrine of the Fathers. For it is impossible that the words of our Lord Jesus Christ who said, ‘Thou are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church’ [Matt 16:18], should not be verified. And their truth has been proved by the course of history, for in the Apostolic See the Catholic religion has always been kept unsullied.”

In a letter from Pope Agatho, accepted by Constantinople III, the Pope says the Roman Church “has never erred,” has never yielded to “heretical innovations,” and “remains undefiled unto the end.” Agatho links this claim directly to the “divine promise” found in Luke 22:32, where the Lord prays that Peter’s faith would never fail. Declarations that the Apostolic See “has been kept unsullied” are claims of papal infallibility.

In short, there is no reason to suspect the papacy to be the forgery factory conjured up in the minds of anti-Catholic apologists. If many, including popes, presumed the veracity of the False Decretals for a time, it was because the documents in many respects corresponded to the already long-accepted reality of the primacy and infallibility of the popes. Furthermore, no doctrinal error may be inferred from the fact that False Decretals were quoted by popes, since papal infallibility applies to definitions on faith and morals, not to judgments about the authenticity of documents. The important point is that none of the forgeries served as the basis for a single doctrine regarding the papacy. The doctrines came first, the forgeries long centuries later.

• Steven O’Reilly freelances from Snellville, Georgia.

© This Rock, Catholic Answers, P.O. Box 17490, San Diego, CA 92177, (619) 541-1131.

Whats the Difference between Dogma, Doctrine, and Discipline?

If you would rather read about the difference Click –>Dogma

What is the Difference Between Dogma and Doctrine?

A Few Questions and Answers about Dogma, doctrine, teaching. If you would rather watch a 10 minute youtube click–>Mark Miravalle From EWTN:Question : You recently expressed a distinction between dogma and doctrine in an answer regarding the infallibility of the Catechism. Could you define both of these terms and explain how I can distinguish between them? The Catechism seems to use them interchangeably. Thank you and God bless you. Answer by Fr. Robert J. Levis on 11/18/2002: Mary, Dogma is doctrine that has been taught by the Pope infallibly, or by an Ecumenical Council in extraordinary fashion, or by the Ordinary Magisterium of the Church. When Pope and Council defines a doctrine it is dogma from then on. The teaching office of the hierarchy under the Pope, thru the usual channels of communication, whether written, spoken, or practical, is also infallible when collectively intended for all the faithful.E.g. The Immaculate Conception and the Assumption of Mary are dogmas. Any truth taught by the Church as necessary for acceptance by the Faithful is doctrine. The truth that artificial contraception is sinful is doctrine. In July 1998, the Motu Proprio of the Pope stated that all the teaching of the authentic Magisterium of the Church must be accepted even when not presented as dogma, even when they are not defined. These must be accepted by all. Consequently, all the teaching found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which is not formally defined as dogma, must still be accepted by all believers. God bless you. Fr. Bob Levis Question: Mr. Donovan. I have been following these forums for several years and am still confused over the difference between a doctrine, a dogma and an infallible statement. It seems that there is the mistaken belief by many that ONLY an infallible statement need be followed be a Catholic. And even then, there’s often confusion over what’s an infallible statement from the Magisterium. I would greatly appreciate explanations of these three. Thank you. Answer by Colin B. Donovan, STL on 3/10/2009: These are terms that are easily confusing. Doctrine. The word doctrine comes, by way of the Latin doctrina, from the Greek word doxa, meaning belief. The doctrine(s) of the Church, therefore, are those teachings which must be believed by the faithful. These include 1) dogmas, teachings which the Church has solemnly defined as formally revealed by God, and, 2) other teachings definitively proposed by the Church because they are connected to solemnly defined teachings. The first (dogmas) can be called doctrines of divine faith, the second doctrines of catholic faith. Together they are said to be “of divine and catholic faith.” Both kinds of doctrine require the assent of faith. Both are infallibly taught by the Church. Dogmas require it because they are formally revealed by God. Doctrines definitively proposed by the Church require it, because the infallibility of the Church in matters of faith and morals is itself divinely revealed. A side note, doctrine shares the same root as orthodox, meaning correct belief. Those who hold the Church’s doctrines faithfully are thus orthodox. Dogma. Dogmas, therefore, are those doctrines solemnly proposed by the Church as formally revealed in Scripture or Tradition. This may have been done by papal pronouncement (Pius IX: Immaculate Conception), by a General Council (Chalcedon: Christ is two natures in one Divine Person), or by the ordinary and universal Magisterium (killing an innocent human being is gravely immoral). Definitively Proposed. Doctrines that are definitively proposed are no less certain, even though they are not proposed as formally revealed by God. They are connected to dogmas, however, by either historical or logical connection. An example of logical necessity would be the reservation of priesthood to men in the witness of Scripture and Tradition. The Church has not yet taught that it was formally revealed by God, but such dogmatization is possible. Papal infallibility was similarly infallibly taught by the Church before it was proposed as formally revealed by God. An example of historical necessity would be the election of a Pope or the celebration of a General Council. While a portion of the Church could elect an antipope, or hold a false council, the Church as a whole could not err in this way without compromising Christ’s revealed promise to be with the Church until the end of time. Infallible. As noted above, all that the Church teaches as being of “divine and catholic faith” is taught infallibly. Infallibility is not limited, therefore, to extraordinary acts of proposing dogmas, whether by popes or councils. Those looking to believe only such “infallible” statements deceive themselves. In both the category of divinely revealed and definitively proposed doctrines there are many which are taught only by the ordinary and universal Magisterium of the Church. This means that the Church has “always and everywhere” taught it as true, and, therefore, that the contrary position has never been taught. Perhaps, the most debated example is contraception. At no time in history has the Church taught that contraception is morally licit. Whenever in the Fathers, Doctors or the Magisterium it has been discussed it has always been as an evil. There is no formal declaration, no extraordinary act, but it is certainly infallibly taught from the beginning of the Church, to Paul VI, to today. Authoritative. Finally, the Church teaches things which are neither proposed as formally revealed or definitively proposed. This is the category of authoritative teaching. Anything in the Catechism or a pope’s writings and addresses that is not “of divine and catholic faith” if clearly meant to take a position, without deciding it by proposing it as revealed or as definitive, is authoritatively taught. It should receive “religious obedience of intellect and will,” as opposed to the assent of faith. Such obedience is an act of justice. It shows the respect Catholics owe the Pope, and it humbly acknowledges that by charism and grace of vocation the Pope is more likely to be right than those who disagree with him. As Vatican II noted, the weight to be given such teaching is “according to the mind and the will manifested; this is shown especially by the nature of the documents, by the frequent repetition of the same doctrine, or by the tenor of the verbal expression.” Thus, more weight would have to be given to something taught many times by successive popes than to something taught once by one pope.

Who is Infallible? The Catholic Pope or Protestants?

BFHU: “Protestants must decide whether God has protected His Church (through the infallibility of the Pope and Bishops). If they decide He has not then they must believe that they, themselves are infallible.

Actually that has not been my experience nor is it my belief.

BFHU: I know that you would never proclaim yourself infallible. And neither would I have done this either. But,as a Protestant, I did think that I was led by the Holy Spirit to understand scripture correctly. I didn’t know why others who seemed devoted to Christ could come to a different conclusion.

Because I also knew that God is not a God of confusion, I knew that it wasn’t the Holy Spirit who led people to different conclusions, so my only option was to believe that those who differed must have some sort of problem, either secret sin, insincerity, rationalization or something…I was charitable, but I did not trust them. I only trusted myself. I could see but they were somewhat blinded. Unless….I was the one with the problem….but I didn’t really want to think about that.

I do believe that God has caused men during very specific periods in history and during very specific points in their lives to provide men with his teachings (generally accepted as Scripture). All other men, whether Rabbi’s before Christ or Pastor/Teachers (assuming legitimate gifting by the Spirit), have been so gifted to illuminate what has already been given to men, Scripturally.

BFHU: OK, so of course God can do this and has done it. Which do you think is most likely for God to do? Guide His Church through the leaders of His Church so that the TRUTH is protected from error or allow a confusion and multiplication of contradictory doctrines to flourish? Which one would Our Enemy prefer?

I know the argument for the Catholic church is that other extraneous writings are equal to Scripture but that places all of us on shakey ground.

BFHU: It is not so much that other writings are equal to scripture.But, there are writings and sermons written in the first four centuries, that show us how these earliest Christians did interpret scripture. And these interpretations are Catholic and not Protestant. That is why Protestants are NEVER encouraged to read the writings of the Early Church Fathers. These contain the teachings of the Faith that were left unwritten in the first few decades, from which scripture comes. I double dog dare you to read them. 🙂

The doctrine of Papal infallibility provides the Catholic church with a form of self-indulgent credibility when arguing this point but it is a dangerous stance.

BFHU: And, John, is the Protestant idea of individual interpretation not also a form of self-indulgence or pride? Is it not a dangerous stance? Especially when scripture says,

2 Peter 1:20 But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation

The point we are discussing is in fact to recognize or not to recognize the legitimacy of Salvation through Jesus Christ and the several Scriptures that declare desire that all be saved as in John 3:16. Defining a specific court of membership as a prerequisite to Salvation, misunderstands the precept and the Sovereign decrees of God in his relation to the individual. Again; Salvation begets, membership – not the other way around.

BFHU: The Catholic Church does not believe or teach that Salvation is by membership in the Catholic Church. Some have taught this but it is a heresy. God may save anyone He wants to save through the death of His Son. But all those who are saved are saved through Jesus Christ. And this salvation emanates from and is proclaimed and safeguarded by His Church.

All that Protestantism has in its possession, of Christian Faith, came to it through the Catholic Church who safeguarded it for 1500 years until Martin Luther and John Calvin etc. first became Cafeteria Catholics and then broke away and started their own churches.

When I listen to whomever is the Pastor of my specific church at the time, I recognize that God, through the Holy Spirit has placed him in that position. As such he has declared him to be gifted to teach Biblical truth to me.

BFHU: You are trusting but cannot KNOW.

Infallibility is a term that should never be attributed to men – regardless of their station.

BFHU: That is only your opinion. There is no scripture to support it. Infallibility merely means that God will protect his leader from teaching ERROR to the whole Church regardless of whether that Pope is a Saint or Evil or somewhere in between.

The Catholic Church is NOT Infallible

There are things the Catholic church teaches I am not likely to ever believe because they run counter to what I know Scripture says about them,

BFHU: This is because you are convinced that you, aided by the Holy Spirit, are able to infallibly interpret these scriptures but the Church founded by Jesus Christ, His apostles and their successors are not able to infallible interpret scripture aided by the Holy Spirit. Now why is that?

but there are those well seasoned teachers within Protestant denominations with whom I have specific issues as well.

BFHU: Why do you think this is? Which of you have the infallible/correct interpretation of Scripture? You or them and how do you KNOW???

There are many things I would not agree with if I came back to the Catholic church

BFHU: How can you KNOW that the Church is wrong and you are right?

the church would expect or require me to submit to the teachings of the Catechism even if it ran counter to conscience. That would be tragic and unbiblical.

BFHU: If your conscience is well-formed and informed you would not be required to go against conscience. But you would have to be responsible to actually understand why the Church teaches what she teaches. After doing my own investigation I found very solid intellectual and sublime reasons and beauty beyond anything in Protestantism. I was able to say, “I will trust the Church Jesus founded rather than my own mind.”

The reality is that thee are those things in Scripture that cause divisions through lack of clarity

BFHU: That is very true, but it is not Scripture that causes division but men who trust their own interpretation of scripture rather than the interpretations that are 2000 years old and come directly from Christ and His apostles. Scripture was never written or meant to be the sole rule of faith as the doctrine of Luther, Sola Scriptura, dictates, since Scripture nowhere proclaims this foundational doctrine of Protest-antism.

I do not believe a person is saved through membership – Catholic or Protestant but I do believe we are members of his ‘Church’.

BFHU: We are saved through baptism as Peter says. I do not believe we are saved by membership in a Church either. But I would much rather be in the Church that has taught the Faith always and everywhere for 2000 years than Protestant churches which have only been around for 500 years, and that is the oldest of them. Calvary Chapel is only about 50 years old.

Rock? Peter Rebuked! Priestshood. Papal Infallibility!

Leroy made many comments about several issues on the post (click)–>Peter/Petra Controversy.

He contended that the Church was built on Christ’s confession not Peter, that Peter was rebuked by Paul and therefore disqualified in some way from being pope, dismissed infallibility of the Pope, and proclaimed the priesthood of all believers. You can read his whole comment by clicking on the link above.

Dear Leroy,
What you say is true of course but it isn’t the whole truth. Please see this post about Peter:

Rock: Peter or his confession?

Jesus did not say that the gates of Hell will not prevail over Peter but they would not prevail over His Church. And the Catholic Church is the only Church founded by Jesus Christ Himself over 2000 years ago and over which the Gates of Hell have not yet prevailed against. Damaged? Yes but not conquered.

All men are silenced by death eventually, but that does NOT mean that Hell has prevailed over them. You have veered into heresy here.

As for Paul and Peter please read:

Paul Rebuked Peter

All believers belong to the priesthood but so did all the Jews in the OT. And just like the Jews, the Catholic Church has both a priesthood of all believers and a ministerial priesthood. Please see this post:
Priesthood of All Believers

Regarding Infallibility. You believe the writers of the the books of the Bible were infallible in their writings so if God could make them infallible why not the leader of the Church He founded? Please see this post: Infallible??

The Catholic Church is Indefectible

The following is taken from ProtestantErrors.com with permission.

To those who say the true Church can err:

The Protestant reformers such as Calvin and Beza claim the Catholic Church to have been the True Church during the early centuries of Christianity (before they claim it fell into error). During those five hundred years the Church had fought and condemned the same doctrines that the Protestant reformers were resurrecting. Yet now Calvin and Beza have the audacity to offer the same doctrines again as medicine and holy reformations? If when the True Church in the early centuries of Christianity declared those Protestant beliefs to be error, how can the Protestant reformers now claim them to be truth and to base their new churches on them?

If the Church can err, to whom shall we have recourse in our difficulties? Protestants will say Scripture. We do not doubt that we must believe in and consult Scripture, but what if our difficulty pertains to Scripture itself? How can we find an answer? I cannot go to Luther or Calvin for they have opposing opinions. Do you really think Our Lord went to the trouble to establish His Church just to leave us in anarchy with no recourse on matters which could lead us into darkeness?

All denominations shout their claims with equal assurance that their interpretation of Scripture is accurate, which would leave all others inaccurate. To say Our Lord has not left us any guides to help us choose the good from the bad in an environment that He knew contained much error, is to say that He wishes us to be confused, which we know He does not.

Our Lord said, “And if he will not hear them: tell the church. And if he will not hear the church, let him be to thee as the heathen and publican” (Matt 18:17). How else can this be understood than Our Lord sends us to the Church in our differences? (If not the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, which Protestant one?)

If the Church can err, and God commands us to go to the Church, then this means God wishes to deceive us. Does it make sense that God would send all of His lambs to the slaughter by commanding them to consult a Church that can contain error?

When St. Paul says, “But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15), why would he call the Church the “pillar and ground of truth” if it could contain error? (Why didn’t He call the Bible the pillar and ground of Truth?)

If the Church did err and the Protestant reformers started churches of their own, as they did, then how can we explain this verse from Scripture: “And he hath subjected all things under his feet, and hath made him head over all the church” (Ephesians 1:22). This verse refers to Jesus being head of ONE church, not multiple churches such as those started by Lutheran, Calvin and subsequent Protestants.

It must be made clear here that when we refer to the Church not erring, we are referring to the Church not misguiding the faithful with respect to faith and morals, which we are required to hear and know for our salvation. The Church at the same time is also a human society because it consists of human members. This is why scandals, heresies, schisms and sins among its members also arise. These sins are expected with human beings and do not indicate a failure of a divinely founded Church that Our Lord promised would never fail! Did the mission of all the Apostles fail or cease to be because Judas turned to betrayal? Of course not. Christ Himself foretold of these type of problems in Scripture when He spoke parables in Matthew 13 regarding the wheat and tares and the net containing good fish and bad fish. Consider the verses,

“Again the kingdom of heaven is like to a net cast into the sea, and gathering together of all kind of fishes. Which, when it was filled, they drew out, and sitting by the shore, they chose out the good into vessels, but the bad they cast forth. So shall it be at the end of the world. The angels shall go out, and shall separate the wicked from among the just.” Matthew 13:47-49.

In summary, Our Lord said His Church would never fail, yet we clearly see members of His Church making mistakes due to their human natures. These mistakes clearly do not indicate failure of the Church. Again, the Church is equivalent to an army with good and bad soldiers, many of which stray or are killed, but this does not affect the army as a whole. The same applies to the true Church of Christ; it continues unscathed over the gates of hell despite the downfalls of its members.

How Can a Sinner be Infallible?

Q. How can the words or decrees of any man (or woman) be judged to be infallible?

A. Who wrote the Scriptures? Men. How can they, sinners, be judged to be infallible? Only by the inspiration and power of the Holy Spirit. Only God can make a fallen man infallible in his words or decrees. Our Pope is not infallible in every utterance or writing. Only when teaching on faith or morals to the whole church. This is how God protects His Church from error.
Infallible does not mean he is sinless. No, he goes to confession every week. See my post Infallible?

Q. God’s Word alone is Infallible.

A. Is this a Protestant oral tradition? Where does it say, Gods’ Word alone is infallible,  in Scripture?

Q. I have a question: Why (since this goes against scripture) is the pope referred to as “The Holy Father?”

Words of Jesus: “And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.”

A. Your interpretation of this verse contradicts Christian practice and the New Testament. To find out why see my post Scripture vs The Catholic Church.

Q. As for the term “Holy Father” – to the best of my knowledge this is only used once in the Bible, in John 17v11 and refers to God Himself. To address any man on this earth as “Holy Father” is nothing short of blasphemy. The term refers to God – and God alone.

A. Again we come to the cultural difference between Protestantism (either/or) and Catholicism (both/and). The title of Holy Father is a title of honor. Of course it can be used to address God. But we use it to address our Pope, to honor him as the Prime Minister of Christ on Earth. We honor those who are honored by Christ to shepherd His Church. It is not blasphemy. Where in scripture does it say:
“The term (Holy Father) refers to God – and God alone.”

Protestants believe many things not found in Scripture but rather in their tradition of scripture interpretation, and/or their oral tradition. But, being comfortable with these traditions they never recognize that they cannot actually be supported in the scriptures alone any more than some of the Catholic beliefs for which they are always demanding, “WHERE IS THAT IS SCRIPTURE?” This is the pot calling the kettle black.