I do sometimes wonder what sort of catechesis some people have had. The questions raised here sound like the questions a Protestant might ask. A catechumen should be taught the meaning of that article in the Creed which says, 'One, Holy Catholic, and Apostolic Church'.
Some contemporary Orthodox sources (eg the GOARCH web site) employ the word 'infallible' because it has a resonance with the western mind, but St Paul's saying 'pillar and ground of truth' is preferable, and a Greek book of catechesis such as that by Frangopoulos does not use the word 'infallible'. I doubt any Ecumenical Council or early Church Father uses the word and I wonder what Greek word of the first centuries might be equivalent to 'infallible' which has only a medieval Latin etymology. We may say that the Church has formulated the truth. The truth is self-evidently perfect. God led the Church into all truth and His truth is self-evidently holy. Incidentally, everything I have posted is taken from sources: I make no assertions of my own.
If "holy" and "infallible are synonyms, as you suggest, then this thread is indeed superfluous, the questions asked herein are ignorant and perhaps "Protestant" in nature, and there is a profound need for better catechesis in the Orthodox Church. Since the Church has been called "holy" from antiquity, if "holy" meant "infallible", than the Church was considered "infallible" from antiquity. Therefore, the Synod of Jerusalem's use of the word "infallible" was unremarkable. That is, the Church has always been considered "infallible", since she has always been considered "holy".
However, in contemporary English, "holy" and "infallible" are not synonyms. Websters defines "holy" as "exalted or worthy of complete devotion as one perfect in goodness and righteousness". Synonyms for "holy" include "devout, godly, pious, religious, sainted, saintly". Infallible, by contrast, means "incapable of error in defining doctrines touching faith or morals". Given the clearly different meanings of these two words in contemporary use, the burden of proof is on you to show that the Fathers and Councils considered "holy" and "infallible" to be synonyms, especially when speaking of "one Holy...Church" in the Nicene Creed.
Several requests for you to provide such evidence from the Fathers have gone unanswered and you youself admit "I doubt any Ecumenical Council or early Church Father uses the word (infallible)". Thus, I can only conclude that the Early Church's understanding of these two words was similar to ours and the Early Church did not consider "holy" to be a synonym for "infallible". Therefore, this thread is not superfluous and "Protestant" in nature. Moreover, we cannot conclude from this thread, as you did, that there is a great need for better Orthodox catechesis, for even you, a frequent poster here, are unable to provide evidence that "holy" is equal to "infallible".
So your ridiculing this discussion is unwarranted.
Edited by Eric Todd, 03 March 2013 - 03:42 PM.