Saturday, April 09, 2005

Speaking ill of the dead

If, like me, you'd appreciate a little more perspective on the death of John Paul II than you've seen in the local or national media, check out Hitchens' latest invective against the late pope, and this other Slate essay about who really defeated communism. Andrew Sullivan also has been doing a good job of providing a balanced yet respectful view. (Full disclosure: I'm Protestant, so my views on this pope or any pope are a bit skewed. The idea that any man could claim to be the infalliable interpreter of God's laws is unfathomable to me. After all, if popes were infalliable, why should John Paul have had to do all the apologizing that he's been lauded for?)


Blogger Shar said...
and I used to be Catholic... or is it like the Hotel California? you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave...

8:45 PM

Blogger Maria said...

"According to the definition promulgated in 1870 by the First Vatican Council the pope exercises an infallible teaching office only when

(1) he speaks ex cathedra, that is, in his official capacity as pastor and teacher;
(2) he speaks with the manifest intention of binding the entire church to acceptance; and
(3) the matter pertains to faith or morals taught as a part of divine revelation handed down from apostolic times.

The pope is never considered infallible in his personal or private views. Since the middle of the 19th century, only two ex cathedra pronouncements have been made in the Roman Catholic church: the definition of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception in 1854 by Pope Pius IX, and the definition of the Assumption of the Virgin in 1950 by Pope Pius XII."

So, you see, it's OK. All those bad things the Pope apologized for weren't done under the cover of infallibility. But those Catholics who ate meat on Fridays when I was a kid; they're burning in hell for all eternity.


2:14 AM

Blogger Jonathan Potts said...

I actually appreciate the clarification.

8:48 AM


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