Papal infallibility is the machinery that puts truth into place within the Church. Catholics believe in apostolic succession- that is, Peter was the first head of the Church, given this authority by Jesus, and his authority has been passed down to each successive head, who we call popes today. The other piece of this is that bishops, when in union with the pope, also have authority and infallibility, like modern-day apostles. This authority comes from Jesus, not any special power of their own. Jesus clearly granted Peter authority in Matt. 16:14-19...
Here Peter is singled out among the disciples - he alone is shown a truth by God the Father (that Jesus is the Christ), and is given the 'keys of the kingdom of heaven' and some pretty hefty authority.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Salute to Amy Welborn at Historical Christian for tipping me to Jogger Mom. In this post, she reflects on doctrinal infallibility and how it helped lead her to cross the Tiber. The crux of the argument she makes for infallibility is here: