Start Dating of papal infalibility

Dating of papal infalibility

St Augustine is particularly clear, and seems to have had no conception whatever of the doctrine. Who will dare to say that the Apostles and their successors received nothing in these words?

We are simply concerned to show the process by which a very considerable section of Bishops, priests, and laity in the Roman Church were constrained to pass from one belief to its opposite. The conse- quences of a definition would be bad and dangerous.

The literature of the subject is, of course, immense. It was therefore to be hoped that the Pope will, of his own accord, set this cause of discord aside.

Another Bishop insisted emphatically that no con- sideration ought to move men to create an article of faith, except only a clear knowledge that God has revealed it, and that it is certainly contained in Scripture or Tradition.

And hitherto in the Church of God it had never been the custom, nor is it lawful, to establish new dogmatic definitions without moral unanimity among the Bishops assembled in Council.

The materials for a history of the opposition to the doctrine have of recent years largely increased. This statement was entered in the Parliamentary Acts.

All vi PREFACE the principal actors in the Vatican disputes have, by this time, passed away ; and a large series of biographies have placed at our disposal private letters never pub- lished while they lived. On the strength of these 246 THE VATICAN DECISION [CHAP.

Another, who protests his abhorrence of all endeavours to detract from the primacy of the Pope, was yet con- strained to plead that nothing should be said in this xvn.] EPISCOPAL CRITICISMS 243 Council either concerning the pre-eminence of the Roman Pontiff over the entire Church and General Council, or concerning his Infallibility. I will pray the Father, and He will send you another Comforter . Now, since the Bishops are successors of the Apostles, and receive direct from Christ a definite share in the government of the Church, it is impossible to allow that the entire and absolute authority and power to rule and teach, coupled with the privilege of Infallibility, belong to the Pope alone.

Bossuet's Exposition could not possibly have been approved when the doctrine prevailed, for he only mentions the primacy. Who does not see that all power was directly bestowed upon them all ?

No attempt is here made to write a complete account of the Vatican Council. Sixteen other Bishops joyfully accept the doctrine, and declare it supported by the entire Dominican Order. Infallibility was a prerogative of the entire body of the Church.

Indeed, many subjects discussed in that Assembly are entirely omitted. What is attempted is, simply to sketch the inner history of Roman opposition to the dogma in different countries and several centuries, until and after the memorable Decree of i8th July 1870. The difficulties which the doctrine of Papal Infallibility create were endless and almost insoluble.

independent of the consent of the Episcopate personal, that is to say, uttered at will is neither opportune nor lawful : not opportune, for it will involve souls and religion in innumerable difficulties ; not law- ful, because founded on no certain argument either of Scripture, or Tradition, or Councils ; and because it would revolutionise the constitution which Christ has imposed upon His Church. This Bishop said that although during the last thirty-one years before the Council assembled the doctrine of the Infalli- bility of the Roman Pontiff had been taught in the Irish schools, and he himself during fifteen years had inculcated it upon the young ecclesiastics entrusted to his care ; yet for two hundred years it had always been taught in the schools that the decrees of the Roman Pontiff were not irreformable, except with the consent, either expressed or tacit, of the Episcopate. "Feed My sheep ") could not possibly prove that the authority to teach and the privilege of Infallibility were given exclusively to St Peter, for another series of texts exists in which the Apostles collectively with St Peter are made recipients of the same authority (" Go ye therefore . If the Pope possesses a principal portion of authority, yet it is essentially limited by the rights of the Episcopate, which are equally Divine. We hold it for certain, this Bishop continued, that by no argument from the first five centuries of the Church can the Infallibility of the Pope be established.