What degrees of assent do we have to give to Papal teaching and Councils? I was reading in my catechism (My Catholic Faith from the 40’s of 50’s) that Papal Encyclicals demand our respect and piety due to the Popes wisdom, but not necessarily strict adherence being a divine or Catholic Faith (that’s roughly what it said).
And if the pope's wisdom is non-existent, as is the case today, and if the encyclicals say things contrary to what the Church has always taught, as is the case today, then aside from us possibly being scandalized and horrified, we owe no ascent to those encyclicals whatsoever. There is absolutely nothing complicated about it. It actually does not even begin get complicated until the whole idea of sedeism enters the picture. Those faithful trads who kept the faith in the 60s and 70s when the NO was being forced upon us knew this - and did not go along with the V2 revolution.
Anyway, despite levels of assent, the quotes above are indicative of invoking Papal infallibility (matters of Faith and morals, descriptive language: approve decree declare, speaking to the universal Church?)
On it's most basic, easy to understand level, the pope is only infallible when he defines a doctrine. Just keeping it basic......
To expand, the pope is only infallible when he speaks ex cathedra. That means he is only infallible when he defines a doctrine to be held by the whole Church. The doctrine must concern either faith or morals. Outside of that, he is as capable of committing every sin, including the sin of public heresy, as you and I and everyone else.
Concerning faith, means that the doctrine he defines to be held by the whole Church must preserve that which the Church has always taught, teach that which the Church has always taught, or defend what the Church has always taught in regards to the faith.
Concerning morals, means that the doctrine he defines to be held by the whole Church is regarding morality, i.e sin. Using Trent as an example: "If any one saith, that baptism is optional, that is, not necessary unto salvation; let him be anathema
This Canon is dogma. It is telling the whole Church in clear and apodictic terms that we sin if we say that baptism is optional, which is why those who say such things are, per the judgement of the Church, anathema. IOW, if the pope speaking ex cathedra declares something to be a sin, that's infallible.
Here is the dogma that defines papal infallibility from the First Vatican Council. This definition is wholly complete:...We teach and define as a divinely revealed dogma that when the Roman pontiff speaks ex cathedra, that is, when, in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole church, he possesses, by the divine assistance promised to him in blessed Peter, that infallibility which the divine Redeemer willed his church to enjoy in defining doctrine concerning faith or morals.Therefore, such definitions of the Roman pontiff are of themselves, and not by the consent of the church, irreformable.