Is it true that Catholics believe the Pope is infallible?
The Roman Catholic Church teaches that the Pope is infallible when he speaks from his position of authority on a particular issue or doctrine (speaking ex cathedra). Many misunderstand “papal infallibility” as indicating that everything the Pope says is infallible. This is not what the Roman Catholic Church means by “papal infallibility.” According to the Roman Catholic Church, this infallibility of the Pope, only when speaking ex cathedra, is part of the Roman Catholic Church’s Magisterium, or the “Teaching authority of the Church” which God gave to the “mother Church” to guide her infallibly. This “Teaching authority of the Church” is made up of the Pope’s infallible teaching ability, the infallible teaching ability of church councils assembled under the authority of the Pope, and the “ordinary” Magisterium of the bishops. This “ordinary” Magisterium involves, among other things, bishops in various places beginning to teach the same particular doctrine (for instance the teaching that