[extropy-chat] RE: In defense of moral relativism

John-C-Wright at sff.net John-C-Wright at sff.net
Wed May 4 19:41:57 UTC 2005

Adrian Tymes writes: "But even the Pope is imperfect - it has been demonstrated
beyond reasonable doubt that previous Popes have been in error at times, and
even the Catholic Church has acknowledged this by apologizing for said errors -
therefore the Catholic doctrine of papal infallibility is itself immoral: it
allows mistakes and misjudgements to be hardened into unyielding evils merely
because a certain person made them."

This statement is not quite accurate. 

The doctrine of Papal infallability is not that Popes do not err: the doctrine
says that in matters of faith and morals, the Pope has the last word in
resolving legitimate disputes within the Church. Those within the Church believe
that the Church, and the Pope when he acts on her behalf, are guided by the Holy

So far, no Pope has apologized for any doctrine that falls within this scope.
Such doctrines are considered (by the faithful) to be part of the "deposit of
faith" of the apostolic revelation, or logical implications of that deposit. 


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