Some folks seem to find relying on councils a comfort. For these folks, there are some inconvenient facts that they must face. This post is the sixth in what has become a multi-part series.
Council of the Vatican I (began December 8, 1869) - Contradicts Earlier Ecumenical Council
Vatican I declared (in Chapter 3. On the power and character of the primacy of the Roman pontiff):
8. Since the Roman pontiff, by the divine right of the apostolic primacy, governs the whole church, we likewise teach and declare that
- he is the supreme judge of the faithful, and that
- in all cases which fall under ecclesiastical jurisdiction recourse may be had to his judgment.
- The sentence of the apostolic see (than which there is no higher authority) is not subject to revision by anyone,
- nor may anyone lawfully pass judgment thereupon. And so
- they stray from the genuine path of truth who maintain that it is lawful to appeal from the judgments of the Roman pontiffs to an ecumenical council as if this were an authority superior to the Roman pontiff.
The teaching of the council of Constance (which was the mechanism for resolving the problem of multiple competing popes) is directly contrary to this teaching of the Council of the Vatican (I), as we saw in part 05 of this series.
The fact that council of Constance declared "that everyone of whatever state or dignity, even papal, is bound to obey [an ecumenical council] in those matters which pertain to the faith," whereas Vatican I declared "they stray from the genuine path of truth who maintain that it is lawful to appeal from the judgments of the Roman pontiffs to an ecumenical council as if this were an authority superior to the Roman pontiff," demonstrates that - in fact - ecumenical councils do err (assuming, for now, that both Constance and Vatican I are ecumenical councils).
Usual modern advocates of Catholicism identify Constance as the 16th Ecumenical council and Vatican I as the 20th Ecumenical council.