Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?


Infallible? the excellent book by Hans Kung puts the final nail in the coffin for the Catholic notion of an infallible Church led by an infallible pope.

The view that the pope and the councils of the Church can make infallible statements on dogma but not on morality is dubious for you when dogmas are made to make the Church more moral and devoted to God they cannot be separated from morality (page 33). Catholic morals are based on dogma. For example, the Church says that murder is wrong not because it takes a life but because it is doing what only God has the right to do.

There are many teachings which are regarded to be official infallible teachings of the Church which have never been infallibly defined (page 47). For example, the Church has never defined that murdering the innocent is immoral. The Church then teaches that teachings can be infallible without being proclaimed infallible. This is understandable because dogmas are not made infallible dogmas until it is necessary to counteract those who foment large-scale opposition to the dogmas. This leads Kung to conclude that the ban on contraception must be infallible doctrine (page 59) for never ever until the 1960ís did any Catholic theologian or priest or teacher or pope support it (page 48, 53 and 54). The papacy always condemned it and this was the constant teaching of the Church (page 54). He rejects the ban as ridiculous which is why he does not believe the Church is really infallible.
Christian Order VOL 35 Issue 12 reminds us that the Vatican II Document Lumen Gentium 25 says that the Church must submit to the decisions and teachings of the Roman Pontiff even when he is not speaking ex cathedra or as infallible. Canon 752 of the new code of Canon Law says this as well. The Church teaches that doctrines are only made infallible when it is clear that the Church believes them already. Because the Church universally believed and taught until the sixties that contraception was gravely sinful it is certain the teaching is infallible and if the pope declares it to be infallible all he is doing is recognising that the teaching is the teaching of God. The pope can issue an encyclical that he doesnít declare infallible but which can contain infallible doctrine because he uses infallible sources. The Church teaches that all its teaching is right and it only declares a doctrine infallible when it is being questioned by dissidents in the Church. Pope Paul VI wrote Humanae Vitae which condemned artificial contraception and it was infallible even though it didnít invoke this charism and it was infallible because it reiterated the constant teaching and belief of the Church in a serious matter. A few weeks before he published the encyclical he declared in his Credo of the People of God that the Church believes all that the Church proposes for belief even if it comes from the ordinary magisterium meaning when the Church gives teaching that is not explicitly declared to be infallible (page 610).

Because Pius IX was able to infallibly declare that the Virgin Mary was conceived immaculate before the Church declared him infallible in 1870, it is obvious that the pope was indicating that the ordinary teaching of the pope and the Church is without error as well as teachings he explicitly declares to be infallible. How else could he claim to be infallible without having the Church decide that he was infallible and officially declare it first? This means then that papal teaching banning birth control is infallible. But popes have contradicted each other.
Hans Kung wonders if the pope could create a dogma out of a teaching that the Church entirely or mostly rejects (Infallible? page 88). In other words, if the pope decided to make a dogma of contraception being totally immoral which nobody in the Church believes and the Church goes against him which side do we take? The Catholic answer would have to be the pope for he is the rock the Church is built on and at one time Peter stood alone and was the true Church with Jesus against a world that rejected their gospel.

Kung observed that the Council of Trent attacked the Protestant doctrine of salvation by faith alone it never defined what it meant exactly and did not understand that the Protestants meant complete trust by faith and repentance on the saviour (page 141). Even Rome agrees with that in principle Ė its problem is that Protestantism thinks trusting the once is enough. But nevertheless the Church made a blunder and proved it could not be infallible.

Kung then denies that the Bible is revelation and sees it not as revelation but as a manís interpretation of revelation. This view is totally unbiblical. He makes an issue out of the fact that the Bible did not come out of heaven but books donít have to come that way to be revelations. He then says that it is a mistake to teach the infallible Bible that reveals Christ instead of Christ (page 173). But how can you preach Christ without the written word of God? Without the word of God you are trusting in what men said about Christ instead of what Christ as God said about himself. The Church itself uses this argument against Protestant Bible-believers.