Monday, March 4, 2019

Sunday Sermon, February 24th -- What Catholics Believe About the Pope (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi Parish)

In honor of the Feast of the Chair of St Peter (Friday, February 22nd), we consider the authority of the Pope and his role in the life of the Church. Many are confused about what we truly believe about Papal infallibility and how the Pope is chosen.

Papal infallibility refers to how God preserves the Pope from error in very specific moments when he invokes his supreme teaching authority -- however, it does not mean that he will necessarily say things in the clearest way, or that he will say everything he should say, but only that what he does say will not be incorrect.  The Pope isn't able to teach anything new, but only to hand on the faith.

God doesn't choose the Pope, and the cardinals are not directly inspired by the Holy Spirit in whom they chose. Neither do we believe that the Pope is necessarily "the best man for the job" -  but only that, whoever is chosen as Pope and whatever politics may have been involved in his election, God will preserve his Church through the papal office.

God didn't give us the Pope to change things, but to keep things the same - namely, to preserve the Catholic faith unchanged and entire. Even if there were a Pope that caused lots of confusion, or who did not teach the faith clearly, or who was involved in corruption; we would remain obedient to him but without defending or promoting the confusion. In this regard, we would imitate David who opposed wicked Saul but remained perfectly respectful and obedient.

Listen online [here]!


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