How can you ever know for certain the truth from the false if you accept no infallible authority?
The Catholic Encyclopedia explains infallibility as follows:
As Orthodox, we do not believe in the infallibility of any pope. This is a doctrine introduced in the Vatican council of the Catholic Church. It was not present in the early church and if you say you rely on the Scriptures, tradition and teaching of the church, none of those actually back up this doctrine.
- Infallibility means more than exemption from actual error; it means exemption from the possibility of error;
- It does not require holiness of life, much less imply impeccability in its organs; sinful and wicked men may be God's agents in defining infallibly;
- And finally that the validity of the Divine guarantee is independent of the fallible arguments upon which a definitive decision may be based, and of the possibly unworthy human motives that in cases of strife may appear to have influenced the result. It is the definitive result itself, and it alone, that is guaranteed to be infallible, not the preliminary stages by which it is reached.
If the pope is infallible what is the position of the Catholic Church regarding these popes. Which one is infallible?
- Pope Honorius I was pronounced a heretic after his death by the Sixth Council in 680 AD and confirmed by his successor, Pope Leo II.
- Pope Sixtus V had a version of the Bible declared as authentic. Two years later Pope Clement VII denounced the same version as erroneous.
- Pope Eugene IV (1431-1447) condemned Joan of Arc as a witch and had her burn alive. Later, Pope Benedict IV declared her a saint in 1919.