Did Vatican II Teach Infallibly?
The Ordinary and Universal Magisterium
Album / Alamy Stock Photo
by John S. Daly
Most traditional Catholics know that the Second Vatican Council taught heresies and other errors. They rightly refuse to accept this false teaching. But when asked how it can be right to reject the teaching of a General Council of the Catholic Church, they reply that Vatican II was a special kind of council; it was non-dogmatic and non-infallible. As such it could err, and did err, and Catholics may reject its errors without doubting the legitimacy of the authority that promulgated those errors. They will often add that the promulgating authority – Paul VI – himself explicitly declared that his council was non-infallible and non-dogmatic.
This popular explanation rides rough-shod over Catholic doctrine and plain reality. The truth is that Vatican II so plainly fulfils the conditions required for infallibility that not even Paul VI ever dared to deny this. Hence if its teaching contains egregious errors against the faith, this fact necessarily calls into question the papal status of Paul VI himself…
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