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Author Jeffrey Mirus, EWTN

Jeffrey A. Mirus holds a Ph.D. in History of Theology


Infallibility is the protection given by the Holy Spirit to the pope so that he will never teach error in matters of faith and morals. The First Vatican Council, which defined papal infallibility in 1870, was acting in response to a challenge to the doctrine which has always been true and was accepted and practiced from the earliest times. The evidence for papal infallibility comes from three sources: Scripture, history and logic.

First, Scripture clearly shows that Christ intended a special role for Peter in the establishment of the Church, and special divine protection for Peter in the exercise of his authority. This is evidenced in passages such as: “Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church and the powers of hell will not prevail against it…to you I give the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven and whatever you bind on earth is bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth is loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 16:17-19); “Do you love me, Peter… Feed my sheep.” (John 21:15-17); and “I have prayed for you, Peter, that your faith may not fail. You in turn must confirm your brethren.” (Luke 22:31-32) …

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