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Vatican II infallible?

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 Contents - Aug 2007AD2000 August 2007 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: Census 2006: 'No religion' up, Christians down
Lex orandi: Benedict XVI's liturgical armistice: 'Summorum Pontificum' - Fr Glen Tattersall
Events: LATIN MASS CELEBRATIONS - Melbourne and Sydney
University: Australian Catholic students' conference: 'an inspiring experience' - Br Barry Coldrey
News: The Church Around the World
World Congress of Families: grass roots ecumenism at work - Babette Francis
Society: Defending faith and reason in public life - Eamonn Keane
Catholics and the pornography epidemic - Bishop Robert Finn
Why Catholic parents choose home-schooling - Leslie Sammut
Obituary: Death of distinguished Australian philosopher John Ziegler - John Young
Catholic students' joyful encounter with the Church's sacred music treasury - Gabrielle Walsh
Letters: Vatican II infallible? - Frank Mobbs
Letters: Stem cell 'debate' - Chris Hilder
Letters: Breath of hope - Terry and Rosemary McDonnell
Letters: Catholic politicians - Patricia Halligan
Letters: Truth and courage - Errol P. Duke
Letters: 'Staunch' Catholics? - Frank Bellet
Letters: Study leave - Eamonn Keane
Poetry: Shrapnel - Bruce Dawe
Letters: Combating AIDS - Franklin J. Wood
Letters: Education campaign - Henry Erftemeyer
Letters: Fixing the schools - G. Brian Bibby
Books: Jesus of Nazareth: Baptism to Transfiguration, by Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI - Tim Cannon (reviewer)
Books: The World's First Love, by Fulton J. Sheen - Michael Daniel (reviewer)
Books: Mother Angelica's Little Book of Life Lessons and Everyday Spirituality - Michael E. Daniel (reviewer)
Books: AD2000 Books
Reflection: The Assumption: how the Christian arts honour the Virgin Mary

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.

Gosford NSW

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 20 No 7 (August 2007), p. 14

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