ASK ME

Answers given by Father Carl Pulvermacher

Q. "Dear Sir: . . .I remember being taught in the first grade (before the Mass was changed) that the Holy Father is infallible in matters of faith and morals. What you are saying is that the Pope is not infallible in matters of faith and morals! Where are you coming from? And, I say, No one can convince me to disobey the Holy Father, or to deny his supremacy." Ms. J. C., Reserve, La.

A. I certainly do believe the Holy Father is infallible in matters of faith and morals! This is defined dogma! Must we say that he is infallible, however, when he says other things like calling the Church a democracy, like saying the United Nations is the best hope of mankind, like placing Jews, Moslems and Protestants at the side of Holy Mother Church, like saying the Church's authority is below the state's power, like permitting Anglicans to concelebrate in the Vatican, like having an Anglican bless a gathering of Catholics, like changing the Canon of the Mass and the words of Consecration, like permitting every other Sacrament to be radically changed! If Pope Paul VI can change things infallibly, as you say, what about Pope Saint Pius V who said this Mass was never to be changed BY ANYBODY, in perpetuity, and if anybody did so, he would incur the anger of Almighty God and His Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul. Was Saint Pius V infallible? He was certainly a true Pope!

Q. "Father Carl, what argument would you consider the strongest, to at least make people think, in one's attempt to get them to return to tradition? Mr. B.V., Pocahontas, Ark.

A. Tradition is of the same level of authority as Holy Scripture. Together they make up Divine Revelation. What was declared Tradition at one time may not be undeclared. It is revealed. The teaching authority of the Church (Magisterium) "was not instituted to receive new truth but to guard, transmit, propagate and preserve revealed truth from every admixture of error, and cause it to prevail." (Catholic Encyclopedia) "Traditional truth was confided to the Church as a deposit which it would guard and faithfully transmit as it had received it, without adding to it or taking anything away." (Catholic Encyclopedia)