Eleison Comments – CCCLVIII (358)
Posted: 23 May 2014 07:24 PM PDT
To Cardinal Newman is attributed a wise comment on the 1870 definition of the Pope’s infallibility: “It left him as it found him.” Indeed that definition will have changed nothing in the Pope’s power to teach infallibly, because it belongs to the unchanging nature of God’s true Church that God will protect it from error, at least when its supreme teaching authority is engaged. All such engagement is now called the Church’s “Extraordinary Magisterium”, but only the name can have been new in 1870, just like the name of the “Ordinary Universal Magisterium”. If Vatican I declared the latter also to be infallible, it must also have been so from the beginning of the Church. To discern the realities behind the two names, let us go back to that beginning.
By the time Our…
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