Is The Pope Infallible?
Updated: Mar 30
I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.
-- Matthew 16:18 --
Before addressing the Roman Catholic dogma of Papal Infallibility, I need to start with Peter, who the Roman Catholic Church claims is the first Pope - the rock who Jesus said He will build His church upon. This all hinges on one verse: Matthew 16:18.
On Peter being the first Pope, the "Decrees of the Vatican Council" states the following:
WHEREFORE, resting on plain testimonies of the Sacred Writings, and adhering to the plain and express decrees both of Our predecessors the Roman Pontiffs, and of the General Councils, We renew the definition of the Ecumenical Council of Florence, by which all the faithful of CHRIST must believe that the Holy Apostolic See and the Roman Pontiff possesses the primacy over the whole world; and that the Roman Pontiff is the successor of Blessed Peter, Prince of the Apostles, and is true Vicar of CHRIST (i.e. the Pope), and Head of the whole Church, and Father and teacher of all Christians; and that full power was given to him in Blessed Peter, by JESUS CHRIST our LORD, to rule, feed and govern the universal Church: as is also contained in the Acts of the Ecumenical Councils and in the Sacred Canons .
Does scripture teach that the Roman Pontiff is the successor of Blessed Peter, Prince of the Apostles? In other words, is Apostolic Succession taught in the Bible?
In a general sense the title 'apostle' means messenger, one who is sent out. You can say that any messenger of the gospel would be an apostle today. However, the apostles we see in the New Testament were disciples of Christ directly chosen by Him to hold this unique first century church office.
Luke 6:13-16 - And when day came, He called His disciples to Him and chose twelve of them, whom He also named as apostles: Simon, whom He also named Peter, and Andrew his brother; and James and John; and Philip and Bartholomew; and Matthew and Thomas; James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot; Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.
Acts 9:15 - But the Lord said to him (Ananias), “Go, for he (Saul of Tarsus/Paul) is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel.
Romans 1:1 - Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God.
In addition to being directly chosen by Christ, they had to be eye witnesses of His resurrection (Acts 1:22; Acts 9:17; 1st Corinthians 9:1).
Acts 1:22 - beginning with the baptism of John until the day that He was taken up from us—one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection.
Acts 9:17 - So Ananias departed and entered the house, and after laying his hands on him said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road by which you were coming, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”
1st Corinthians 9:1 - Am I (Paul) not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord?
With the exception of Matthias being chosen by lot to replace Judas Iscariot as the twelfth apostle (Acts 1:21-26), there is no record anywhere in the scriptures that teaches apostolic succession beyond the twelve apostles and Paul. Jesus told the angel of the church in Ephesus, ‘I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false (Revelation 2:1-2). Those who claim today to have the same apostolic authority that was given to the twelve apostles and Paul are false apostles.
The future New Jerusalem, which will be coming down out of heaven from God (Revelation 21:10), will have the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb engraved on the twelve foundation stones on the wall of the city (Revelation 21:14). You would expect to see the names of every Pope written on these stones if they were truly apostolic successors to Peter!
The scriptures teach that elders, deacons, and other church leaders were commissioned according to decisions made by human beings, whether by an apostle or by others in the churches.
Acts 6:2-4 - So the twelve (the apostles) summoned the congregation of the disciples and said, “It is not desirable for us to neglect the word of God in order to serve tables (the first deacons). “Therefore, brethren, select from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task. “But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”
Acts 14:23 - When they (Paul and Barnabas) had appointed elders for them in every church, having prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.
Acts 15:22 - Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with the whole church, to choose men from among them to send to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas—Judas called Barsabbas, and Silas, leading men among the brethren.
Does scripture teach that Peter and each of his papal successors is the "Head of the Whole Church?"
The following passages clearly teach that Christ, not Peter, is the head of the church. As such, each of Peters' papal successors cannot be the head of the whole church. There is not a single scriptural passage that teaches otherwise.
Ephesians 1:22-23 - And He (the Father) put all things in subjection under His (the Son) feet, and gave Him (the Son) as head over all things to the church...
Ephesians 5:23-24 - For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.
Colossians 1:18 - He (the Son) is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.
Colossians 1:24 - Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body, which is the church, in filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions.
Did Jesus give full power to Peter to rule, feed, and govern the universal church?
Roman Catholics would cite two passages to back this up: Matthew 16:19 and John 21:15-17.
Matthew 16:19 - I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.
Jesus gave Peter the authority to admit entry (the keys) to the kingdom of heaven through preaching the gospel of Christ, an authority that is subsequently granted to all who are to go out into the world to proclaim the gospel (Matthew 28:19, Mark 16:15). Peter was the first of the apostles to preach the gospel to the Jews at Pentecost (Acts 2:14-36) and to the Gentiles at the household of Cornelius (Acts 10:34-48). Peter was also given the authority to exercise discipline (binding and loosing on earth). We see a great example of this with the fate of Ananias and Sapphira who not only lied to men but also to God (Acts 5:1-10). This authority was not exclusive to Peter. Jesus delegated this authority to the church as a whole:
Matthew 18:15-20 - “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother.“ But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that BY THE MOUTH OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES EVERY FACT MAY BE CONFIRMED. “If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. “Truly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven. “Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. “For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.”
John 21:15-17 - So when they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Tend My lambs.” He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Shepherd My sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love (phileō) Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Tend My sheep."
Peter was a fisherman by occupation. Jesus told Peter and his brother Andrew to follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men (Matthew 4:18-19). After seeing the resurrected Christ (John 20:19-29), Peter returned to the occupation that he loved - he went fishing (John 21:3). Jesus was going to complete what he set out to do with Peter - make him a fisher of men. Jesus called Peter to shepherding His flock rather than fishing. His occupation would now involve ministering to people.
The varied ministries of apostleship and later eldership would include spiritual feeding and care of the flock .
Acts 20:28 - Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.
1st Peter 5:1-2 - Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed, shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness.
Peter did not consider himself to have full power to rule, feed, and govern the universal church! He told his fellow elders to shepherd the flock of God that was under their oversight.
The Roman Catholic tract titled "Peter and the Papacy" states the following:
Now take a closer look at the key verse: “You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church” (Matt. 16:18). Disputes about this passage have always been related to the meaning of the term “rock.” To whom, or to what, does it refer? Since Simon’s new name of Peter itself means rock, the sentence could be rewritten as: “You are Rock and upon this rock I will build my Church.” The play on words seems obvious, but commentators wishing to avoid what follows from this—namely the establishment of the papacy—have suggested that the word rock could not refer to Peter but must refer to his profession of faith or to Christ .
Matthew 16:18 - I also say to you that you are Peter (petros), and upon this rock (petra) I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.
petros - a stone
petra - large rock, bed-rock
The above tract is using the same word 'rock' in reference to Peter and 'this rock,' thus reinterpreting the statement from Jesus that Peter is the large rock or bed-rock that He will build His church upon, thus the establishment of the papacy. However the Greek rendering of each word completely refutes this. Using the proper Greek rendering as defined above, this sentence could be rewritten as: "I also say to you that you are 'a stone,' and upon this 'bed-rock' I will build My church." Thus, Jesus is not building His church on a stone (Peter).
The same Greek word for rock is used in Matthew 7:24-25 - Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. It's also used in Luke 6:48 - he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.
What is meant by "this rock?"
When Jesus asked his disciples "But who do you say that I am?", Peter answered - "You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God" (Matthew 16:15-16). Paul tells us in 1st Corinthians 10:4 who the rock is - and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ.
1st Corinthians 3:11 - For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 2:19-20 - So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone.
Jesus built (and is still building) His church (God's household) on the foundation of the apostles (not just Peter) and prophets, with Christ Jesus being the corner stone. The corner stone of a building is the medium by which all of the walls are united. Pulling out the corner stone causes the walls to fall down. Likewise, without Christ Jesus being the corner stone of God's household, the walls of the church fall down.
On the dogma of Papal Infallibility, the "Decrees of the Vatican Council" states the following:
Therefore, faithfully adhering to the tradition received from the beginning of the Christian faith, for the glory of GOD our SAVIOUR, the exaltation of the Catholic religion, and the salvation of Christian people, with the approval of the Sacred Council, We teach and define that it is a dogma divinely revealed: that the Roman Pontiff, when he speaks ex cathedra, that is, when in discharge of the office of Pastor and Teacher of all Christians, by virtue of his supreme Apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine regarding faith or morals to be held by the universal Church, is, by the divine assistance promised to him in Blessed Peter, possessed of that infallibility with which the divine Redeemer willed that His Church should be endowed in defining doctrine regarding faith or morals; and that, therefore, such definitions of the Roman Pontiff are of themselves, and not from the consent of the Church, irreformable .
The word infallible means being incapable of making mistakes or being wrong. When applying this definition to the stated dogma of above, we can define Papal Infallibility as follows: being incapable of making mistakes or being wrong when defining doctrine regarding faith or morals. This statement is further verified as follows: The doctrine of papal infallibility, the Latin phrase ex cathedra (literally, "from the chair"), was proclaimed by Pius IX in 1870 as meaning "when, in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, [the Bishop of Rome] defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church .
Do we need the Pope to define doctrine for us, thus guiding the church in matters of faith and morals?
This implies that we cannot understand the scriptures on our own. We would need a Roman Catholic priest to do this for us. God has given us various resources to know and understand His word including:
The Infallible and Inerrant Scriptures
Isaiah 8:20 - To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn.
Isaiah 40:8 - The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever.
Matthew 5:18 - “For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.
John 10:35 - “If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken).
Acts 17:10-12 - The brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so. Therefore many of them believed, along with a number of prominent Greek women and men.
Acts 20:32 - “And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.
2nd Timothy 3:15-17 - and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.
Christ’s Eternal Priesthood
Hebrews 7:24-26 - but Jesus, on the other hand, because He continues forever, holds His priesthood permanently. Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens.
The Holy Spirit
John 16:13-14 - But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you.
Acts 10:44 - While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message.
Ephesians 6:17 - And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
1st Thessalonians 1:5 - for our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake.
2nd Timothy 1:13-14 - Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you.
1st Peter 1:12 - It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things into which angels long to look.
2nd Peter 1:19-21 - So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.
The Bible tells us in 2nd Peter 2:1 that there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. They will distort the scriptures to their own destruction (2nd Peter 3:16). Paul warned the elders at the church of Ephesus (Acts 20:17), I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them (Acts 20:29-30). In order to not be deceived by these savage wolves, we are to turn to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified (Acts 20:32). Like the followers of Christ in Berea, we are to receive the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so (Acts 17:11). We are warned to not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world (1st John 4:1).
What are some of the Roman Catholic dogmas that contradict and/or are not taught in the scriptures?
This dogma teaches that the bread and cup taken at the Lord's Supper are miraculously transformed into the actual body and blood of Christ. This was convoked by Pope Innocent III during the Fourth Council of the Lateran in April 1213. Cannon 1 was recorded as follows: Infallibly defined the teaching of the Catholic Church on transubstantiation, the doctrine which describes in precise scholastic language the transformation by which the bread and wine offered in the sacrament of the Eucharist becomes the actual blood and body of Christ .
Mary is the Mother of God
The Blessed Virgin Mary, as Mother of God, ranks high above all other creatures; in fact she is in a category all her own, inasmuch as she embodies the most perfect type of created personality, just as the manhood of our Lord Jesus Christ represents the most perfect type of human nature... Mary is the mother of the Divine Logos, the daughter of God the Father, and the spouse of the Holy Ghost .
The Immaculate Conception of Mary
This dogma teaches that Mary was free from Original Sin from the very moment of her conception in the womb of her mother, Saint Anne. Pope Pius IX, on December 8, 1854, would declare it a dogma—that is, a doctrine that the Church teaches was revealed by God Himself. In the Apostolic Constitution Ineffabilis Deus, Pope Pius IX wrote that "We declare, pronounce, and define that the doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin, is a doctrine revealed by God and therefore to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful" .
The Perpetual Virginity of Mary
This dogma teaches that Mary remained a virgin after she gave birth to Jesus Christ. The essential elements of the dogma of Mary’s perpetual virginity are severally emphasized by the Lateran Council of 649, which says: “If any one refuse to confess, in accordance with the holy Fathers, that Mary was properly speaking and of a truth the holy mother of God and always an immaculate virgin… that she conceived of the Holy Ghost without seed and gave birth without corruption, her virginity remaining inviolate also after parturition, let him be anathema.” The Sixth Ecumenical Council of Constantinople (A. D. 680) expresses this truth more tersely as follows: “The virginity of Mary… remained before, during, and after parturition . This dogma was confirmed by the Second Vatican Council presided over by Pope John XXIII in October 1962.
The Bodily Assumption of Mary into Heaven
Pope Pius XII defined this dogma on 1 November 1950 in his apostolic constitution Munificentissimus Deus as follows: We proclaim and define it to be a dogma revealed by God that the immaculate Mother of God, Mary ever virgin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into the glory of heaven. It is uncertain whether Mary died or was raised to life without bodily death .
From the incorruptibility of our Lady’s body to its early resurrection, i.e., her bodily Assumption into Heaven, is but one remove. It is impossible to assume that Christ should wait for the day when all men will rise from the dead, to re-unite the virginal body of His Mother with her pure soul .
Mary is our Mediatrix
This dogma teaches that Christ, who is our sole and natural Mediator, obtained the power of mediation for His Blessed Mother by His death on the Cross. Since Mary is the Mother of God, her mediatorship transcends that of all the angels and saints and consequently constitutes an altogether unique privilege. The Blessed Virgin Mary deserves to be called by the ancient traditional title of mediatrix for two reasons. First, because she co-operated in a unique manner in the Redemption, and secondly, because she is our powerful intercessor in Heaven .
Mediatrix of all graces is a title that the Catholic Church gives to the Blessed Virgin Mary; as the Mother of God, it includes the understanding that she mediates the Divine Grace. In addition to Mediatrix, other titles are given to her in the Church: Advocate, Helper, Benefactress. In a papal encyclical of 8 September 1894, Pope Leo XIII said: "The recourse we have to Mary in prayer follows upon the office she continuously fills by the side of the throne of God as Mediatrix of Divine grace." The Second Vatican Council referred in its document Lumen gentium to Mary as "Advocate, Auxiliatrix, Adjutrix and Mediatrix" .
Veneration of the Saints
The Saints in Heaven are entitled to the cultus duliae, and we may, with profit to ourselves, beg them to intercede for us with God. The Council of Trent defines: “The honor which is given to images (of saints) is referred to the originals which they represent; in such wise that, by the images which we kiss, and before which we uncover our heads, or kneel, we adore Christ and venerate His Saints, whose likeness they bear.” If it is permitted to venerate the images of the Saints, then, a fortiori, it must be permitted to venerate the Saints themselves. The Council of Trent declares the invocation of the Saints to be a “good and useful” practice: “It is good and useful to invoke them supplicatingly and to take refuge to their prayers, power, and help to obtain benefits from God through His Son Jesus Christ, our Lord, who is the sole Redeemer and Saviour .
Pope Francis' Controversial Statements
Since becoming Pope in 2013, Pope Francis made two controversial statements that shook the Roman Catholic Church.
The following is from a BBC News article by Mark Lowen, Rome Correspondent, titled "Pope Francis indicates support for same-sex civil unions" (Published 21 October 2020):
Pope Francis has said that he thinks same-sex couples should be allowed to have "civil unions". He made the comments, which observers say are his clearest remarks yet on gay relationships, in a documentary directed by Evgeny Afineevsky. "Homosexual people have a right to be in a family," he said in the film, which premiered on Wednesday. "They are children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out or made miserable over it. "What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered." He added that he "stood up for that", apparently referring to his time as Archbishop of Buenos Aires when, although opposing same-sex marriages in law, he supported some legal protections for same-sex couples. In 2014 it was reported that Pope Francis had expressed support for civil unions for same-sex partners in an interview, but the Holy See's press office denied this. Then in 2018, Pope Francis said he was "worried" about homosexuality in the clergy, and that it was "a serious matter" .
The Associated Press reported the following on 2 November 2020:
The Vatican says Pope Francis’ comments on gay civil unions were taken out of context in a documentary that spliced together parts of an old interview, but still confirmed Francis’ belief that gay couples should enjoy legal protections .
Hell is not a place - it's a state of the heart
The following is from a LifeSite article by Michael Haynes titled "Pope Francis denies that Hell is ‘a place,’ says it is ‘a posture towards life’" (Published 16 March 2023):
In an interview to mark his 10-year anniversary, Pope Francis appeared to deny the existence of Hell, saying that “is not a place” but is instead simply “a state of the heart” and “a posture towards life.” As part of the in-depth discussion, Francis was asked, “What is your own interpretation of Hell and paradise, and what happens to people who go to Hell, and what happens to those who go to paradise?” Giving a trademark lengthy, convoluted, and somewhat evasive answer, Francis appeared to deny the existence of Hell as an actual place. “Hell is not a place,” he said. “If one goes to attend the Last Judgment, and sees the faces of those who go to Hell, one gets scared. If you read Dante, you get scared. But these are media representations.” Expanding on his answer, Francis described Hell simply as “a state” — a description which appeared to refer to a state of mind. “Hell is a state, there are people who live in Hell continuously.” He clarified that he was not referring to suffering generally, but to “those who make a world of bad or sick self-referentiality, and end up living in Hell.” "Hell is a state, it is a state of the heart, of the soul, of a posture towards life, towards values, towards the family, towards everything. There are people who live in Hell because they seek it, there are others who do not, who are suffering. And who goes to Hell, to that Hell, to that state? They are already living from here." The Vatican subsequently issued a process of damage control following Scalfari’s publication of the interview. At the time, Fr. Thomas Rosica, English-language assistant to the Holy See Press Office, told LifeSiteNews: “All official, final texts of the Holy Father are found on the Vatican website,” and since they were never published by the Holy See Press Office they “should not be considered official texts.” They were, said Fr. Rosica, “private discussions that took place and were never recorded by the journalist. ”
If you are a Roman Catholic, ask yourself this question: can I trust the infallible statements made by Pope Francis regarding faith or morals?
 Vincent McNabb, ed., The Decrees of the Vatican Council (New York: Benziger Brothers, 1907), 39–40.
 Kenneth O. Gangel, John, vol. 4, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2000), 388.
 The Decrees of the Vatican Council, 46–47.
 Joseph Pohle and Arthur Preuss, Mariology: A Dogmatic Treatise on the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God with an Appendix on the Worship of the Saints, Relics and Images, Dogmatic Theology (St. Louis, MO: B. Herder, 1919), 16,19.
 Mariology: A Dogmatic Treatise on the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God with an Appendix on the Worship of the Saints, Relics and Images, Dogmatic Theology, 97.
 Mariology: A Dogmatic Treatise on the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God with an Appendix on the Worship of the Saints, Relics and Images, Dogmatic Theology, 111.
 ibid, 121-123
 Mariology: A Dogmatic Treatise on the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God with an Appendix on the Worship of the Saints, Relics and Images, Dogmatic Theology, 142, 146.
Unless otherwise noted, all scripture cited in this post is taken from the New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update.