Thursday, May 10, 2007

Is The Pope Infallible?

There are plenty of people who would either say “no,” or just start laughing at the idea of someone who is infallible. Especially since one of them said, basically, “I declare, infallibly, that I am infallible.” In the musical “1776,” Ben Franklin said, “I invented myself.”

In daily life, the boss isn’t always right but he’s always the boss. For Catholics, the boss is always right. Goes with the religion. At least we can go to the theater and play cards.

Someone once described alcohol as “that which makes us infallible.” One of these days, when I run into a person who has tossed back a few and is at the point where he cannot be persuaded there might be another side, I will ask him what his feelings are about papal infallibility. Hey, if you get a little drunk and are convinced you are right, to the point of starting a fight, why can’t the leader of a major religion make that claim (and, anyway, rarely use it)?

We all know people who, cold sober, hear “yes” when you say “no.” They are so sure of what they are saying that apparently they just can’t comprehend how anyone could possibly consider any other viewpoint than theirs. I know a person like that. “No” just does not make it through his personal Infallibility Blocker. Either it’s stopped cold, or it somehow changes into “yes.”

I like being right and I rather think we all do. But to hold an opinion and being incapable of changing it because we can’t be wrong . . . well, that’s something else again.


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