Papal infallibility, KellyG proposes. This has the scent of a winner.
Let us review the doctrine. I, the former eighth-grade winner of the Salina Diocese catechism contest (eat your heart out, Louis,) shall be your Virgil as we wander these theologic formations. Precocious, certainly, but I don’t claim to be infallible.
The pope is infallible when he speaks on matters of faith and morals. That means, depending on, wait, I’m already confused. Ex cathedra is the appropriate term. From the seat, literally, if that helps, which is not the same as pulling something out of your ass, except, as they say, when it is. That business with Galileo and those few minor heretical popes don’t matter because none of that was ex cathedra. Moving the goalposts, in other words. What dicta have made the score? Only 2, both having to do with Mary. her Immaculate Conception and her Bodily Ascension into heaven. That virgin. A woman who knows her place.
So, reason tells me, if the Holy Father né Ratzinger’s cranky opinions about gay people, birth control, the role of women in the Church, and all the rest are actually not ex cathedra, a devout Catholic, if there are any left, can in good faith, ignore every jot and tittle and still not fry, though the Pope would have you believe otherwise.
Still confused? This will clear things up. Canon 749 of the Roman Catholic Church: Infallibiliter definita nulla intellegitur doctrina, nisi id manifesto constiterit. (No doctrine is made to be understood as infallibly defined unless this is manifestly demonstrated.)
I bet you didn’t know that, Louis.