Thursday, April 22, 2010
Some might argue that this is offensive inasmuch as it makes light of an important Catholic dogma. Indeed, The Onion does go too far at times — but I don't think this is one of them. As is typical of my reaction to most of the content therein, I couldn't help but laugh.
Regardless, it illustrates the widespread popular misunderstanding of what the Church really teaches about papal infallibility.
The American Papist comments, "Of course, no one besides Catholics ever seems to understand what infallibility really means when it is applied to the pope."
I disagree. While it is, of course, very common for non-Catholics to misunderstand of the doctrine of papal infallibility, I would say that many Catholics themselves — due primarily to poor catechesis, and to no fault of their own — don't understand it either.
For them that don't know, here's a concise explanation of what it means (and what it doesn't mean).