Do You Have to Believe Everything the Pope Says?

Keep your eyes on Jesus! That is what the papacy — and all of Catholicism — is about.

Peter Paul Rubens, “Christ Giving the Keys to St. Peter” (c. 1614)
Peter Paul Rubens, “Christ Giving the Keys to St. Peter” (c. 1614) (photo: Public Domain)

This video originally appeared at RealLifeCatholic.com and is used here with permission.

I’ve been getting a lot of questions about the Pope’s recent, personal letter to James Martin. This presents a great opportunity to discuss what papal infallibility is — and what it isn’t.

I’ve been around for three popes now, and during each of their papacies I’ve experienced my fellow Catholics misinterpret the Church’s teaching about infallibility. The papacy is a great gift from Jesus. A poor understanding of it is a great burden that Jesus (and the pope) never intended for you to carry!

In short: If you’re a Catholic you should treat the pope with respect. You have to believe in infallible church teaching. You don’t have to believe, agree with, or even pay attention to everything a pope says.

I hope this four minutes brings some clarity. As you’ll see, it’s actually not about Martin, who I respectfully disagree with on many things. (That’s for a future video.) And, I love Pope Francis.

Enjoy. Share. And keep your eyes on Jesus! That is what the papacy — and all of Catholicism — is about.

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