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Vatican II infallible?
Did Vatican II teach infallibly? Briefly I argued that the Council did not (April AD2000).
Francis Vrijmoed recently criticised my argument for reasons that are unclear (June AD2000).
Referring to Dei Verbum(Constitution on Divine Revelation), he writes: 'Here it is clear that the Constitution did not want to give a new definition of faith.' Thus he answered the question accurately. Despite this, he concludes ' ... there cannot be any doubt that this constitution ... has to be regarded as infallible teaching of the living Magisterium of the Catholic Church who, in this case, spoke through the ecumenical council of Vatican II'.
A Council teaches infallibly by defining (Latin definitive) a doctrine (Lumen Gentium, 25). As Mr Vrijmoed says, the Council did not define anything. His conclusion contradicts this.
Vatican II cited doctrines which had already been defined by the magisterium. They are infallible teaching, but not in virtue of any decision made by the Council. Alas, I do not teach infallibly when I teach that the Lord Jesus is of the same substance as the Father, a doctrine infallibly defined by the Council of Nicea in 325 AD.
FRANK MOBBS (DR)
Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 20 No 7 (August 2007), p. 14
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