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But just because it happened before Papal Infallibility was solemnly defined doesn't mean it wasn't an exercise of that same certainty of faith that's existed since Pentecost.

Alexis

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I wasn't saying that. Saying that anything that happened before 1870 wasn't infallible would negate the entire Catholic Faith. Just that that argument needed to be ammended...

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Originally Posted by Fr J Steele CSC
While I fully ascent to Humanae Vitae, I would be surprised if there was near universal accord among the church's episcopate at the time of its release, or perhaps 10 years after its release. Most bishops simple avoid the topic, at least in the US, even today almost 30 since the first assignments of JPII.

Not everything that a pope teaches can be infallible--or else ex cathedra would not be necessary as a special class of teaching.


Father,

Do you think that probably most bishops in 1967-8 were thinking that the Pope would agree with the conclusions of the Papal Commission which decided to allow birth control under very restricted circumstances?

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Originally Posted by Byzantophile
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I ask this because while it seems to be the majority opinion that only two papal decrees are infallible according to the teaching of Vatican I, it is also the case that Catholic theology teaches that the ordinary magisterium is infallible.

Make that one--the Proclamation of the Immaculate Conception, in INEFFABILIS DEUS (1854), happened before the solemn declaration of Papal Infallibility in 1870.


Byzantophile,

You are right that only once has the Church defined a doctrine infallible through the ministry of the pope since Vatican I. However, Ineffabilis Deus is understood as the only papal teaching prior to Vatican I to meet the criteria necessary for infallibility. So, there are two instances of papal infallibility, one of which is understood so retroactively.

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Originally Posted by Brian
Originally Posted by Fr J Steele CSC
While I fully ascent to Humanae Vitae, I would be surprised if there was near universal accord among the church's episcopate at the time of its release, or perhaps 10 years after its release. Most bishops simple avoid the topic, at least in the US, even today almost 30 since the first assignments of JPII.

Not everything that a pope teaches can be infallible--or else ex cathedra would not be necessary as a special class of teaching.


Father,

Do you think that probably most bishops in 1967-8 were thinking that the Pope would agree with the conclusions of the Papal Commission which decided to allow birth control under very restricted circumstances?


Good question, Brian. I was actually trying to dodge that issue a bit. Who knows what the episcopate in 67-68 was thinking? It does seem that the episcopate by 1978 was in less agreement. By then it was clear that the pastoral practice in North America among most of the presbyterate was to either de-emphasize or counter Humanae Vitae and there does not appear to be a voice of discipline from among the bishops. I dont know the European scene at the time, but presume it was much the same. JPII, it must be remembered, was disliked by many, many American and other Catholics in the late 70's through the early 90's for his regular repetition of Humanae Vitae's teaching at public appearances around the world. Majority American Catholic (and non Catholic) opinion of JPII did not really turn positive until WYD Denver. It took JPII about 15 years to appoint a majority of sitting US bishops as Paul VI had left behind the youngest episcopate in centuries.

Anyway, I think there is considerable room for doubt that a majority of US/Canadian bishops were in agreement with Humanae Vitae in the 1970's and 80's, though we will never know.




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