Bringing you the "Good News" of Jesus Christ and His Church While PROMOTING CATHOLIC Apologetic Support groups loyal to the Holy Father and Church's magisterium
Home About
What's New? Resources The Church Family Life Mass and
Ask A Catholic
Knowledge base
AskACatholic Disclaimer
Search the
AskACatholic Database
Donate and
Support our work
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
New Questions
Cool Catholic Videos
About Saints
Disciplines & Practices for distinct Church seasons
Purgatory and Indulgences
About the Holy Mass
About Mary
Searching and Confused
Contemplating becoming a Catholic or Coming home
Homosexual and Gender Issues
Life and Family
No Salvation Outside the Church
Sacred Scripture
non-Catholic Cults
Justification and Salvation
The Pope and Papacy
The Sacraments
Relationships and Marriage situations
Specific people, organizations and events
Doctrine and Teachings
Specific Practices
Church Internals
Church History

Kay wrote:

Hi, guys —

I am studying the Magisterium of the Church and I have some questions that I just can't seem to find an answer for or do not understand.

  • What are the five Church doctrines that are classified as infallible?
  • And, how is the authority of the Pope and bishops limited today?

Thank you.


  { What are the five doctrines that are infallible and how is the Pope and bishop's authority limited? }

Eric replied:

Hi, Kay —

There are many, many more than five infallible doctrines in the Church. For help I'd consult the book Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma by Ludwig Ott. (TAN Books)

[Hard cover from TAN|Used Soft cover|On Amazon]

The authority of bishops, including the Pope, is limited in that they cannot define anything which contradicts what has been infallibly defined before, or is inconsistent with Apostolic Tradition.

Bishops, individually, cannot define anything new as infallible, but in council and in union in the Pope and each other, they can. Also, they cannot define anything that is not a matter of faith or morals.

The job of the Pope and bishops is to guard and clarify the teaching of the Apostles. They cannot go beyond that deposit of faith entrusted to the Apostles, but they do have the authority, through the Holy Spirit, to interpret the deposit of faith and set boundaries on our understanding of it.

Of course, all are bound by God's law, but no human power can judge the Pope.


Please report any and all typos or grammatical errors.
Suggestions for this web page and the web site can be sent to Mike Humphrey
© 2012 Panoramic Sites
The Early Church Fathers Church Fathers on the Primacy of Peter. The Early Church Fathers on the Catholic Church and the term Catholic. The Early Church Fathers on the importance of the Roman Catholic Church centered in Rome.