MOSAIC Spring 2015 - Page 8

THE SOURCES OF REVELATION The charism of infallibility is a divine gift, so we can confidently respond to—and declare—the saving truth of Christ. Most Rev. Allen H. Vigneron from the original interaction between the “Word made flesh” (Jn 1:14) and his apostles. How can we confidently identify what the Church teaches today with what Jesus said and did centuries ago? In my remarks here about the charism of infallibility, I want to respond to this question. Christ gives the “keys of the kingdom” to Peter (Mt 16:18-20), meaning he passes his authority onto the apostle, who represents the Church and the papacy. (A stained glass image from Sacred Heart’s chapel.) F ifty-five years ago, when I was preparing for Confirmation, I had to demonstrate to Sister Frances’s satisfaction that I had memorized my prayers, including the “Act of Faith.” I have never forgotten how it ends: “I believe . . . all the truths which the Holy Catholic Church teaches, because Thou [God] hast revealed them, who canst neither deceive nor be deceived.” This firm conviction about God’s unfailing truthfulness is the foundation for placing our unconditional confidence in his revelation of himself and his message. 6 As the Second Vatican Council says, Sacred Revelation, especially Sacred Scripture, is without error.1 Yet, many generations separate us Sacred Heart Major Seminary | Mosaic | Spring 2015 Christ’s Promise to Peter After Peter’s confession of faith that Jesus is “the Messiah, the Son of the Living God,” Christ replies to him: “You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Mt 16:18-19). Our Lord promises that Hell and the Evil One will not defeat the Church. Peter and his successors, in union with their brothers in the Apostolic College, have a special role to play in Christ’s fulfilling his pledge. To them in various ways is giv