Writing in a Catholic Truth Society pamphlet just published, Bishop Clark, Auxiliary of Northampton, says the doctrine of infallibility is still central to the Catholic Church.
Coming shortly after the Agreement on the Ministry by Catholic and Anglican scholars, Bishop Clark's statement is taken as an affirmation of last year's Papal Declaration Mysterium Ecclesiae, which is printed in full in the C.T.S. pamphlet, "What We Believe."
The Declaration says infallibility arises "when the pastors of the Church enjoy the assistance of the Holy Spirit; this assistance reaches its highest point when they teach the People of God in such a manner that, through the promises of Christ made to Peter and the other Apostles, the doctrine they
propose is necessarily immune from errors."
This infallibility occurs even more clearly when "the Roman Pontiff speaks ex cathedra: that is, when exercising the office of Pastor and Teacher of all Christians, through his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the t Iniversal Church."
Bishop Clark says that this restatement of the Catholic Church's claim to be "unequivocally the Church of Christ in no way denies the Christian heritage of other communions."
He continues: "In fact it introduces clarifications of what is meant by Catholic teaching on infallibility, and offers a serious contribution to the resolution of sincerely held objections to this doctrine by other Christian Churches."