Thursday, July 10, 2008

What am I reading?

Since returning from my graduate school residency I have been busily engaged doing research for my thesis and a major paper in eccelesiology as well as additional research for my thesis, the working version of which I posted previously. My ecclesiology paper is an examination of the dogma of papal infallibility as defined Vatican I in light of St. Vincent of Lérins' two rules, which state:

1) Any ecclesial doctrine can only "validated by the criteriological norm of what has been attested semper, ubique, et ab omnibus (the warrants of antiquity, ubiquity, and universality)" (Guarino, Thomas. "Tradition and Doctrinal Development: Can Vincent of Lérins Still Teach the Church." Theological Studies, March 2006: 35). Put simply, the articulation of doctrine must be what has been believed in the church always, everywhere, and by all.
Nonetheless, we can arrive at better and deeper understandings of what is contained in the so-called depositum fidei. Hence, rule two
2)Any advancement in our understanding of the faith "must be an advance [profectus] in the proper sense of the word and not an alteration [permutatio] in faith" (Guarino 36).

So, to give Fred and others some insight into what I am discovering with regards to this most problematic of dogmas, which seems to prima facia violate the first and, hence, the second of St. Vincent's two rules, here is a kind of bibliography:

-Guarino, Thomas G. "Tradition and Doctrinal Development: Can Vincent of Lérins Still Teach the Church." Theological Studies, March 2006: 34-72.
- Hasler, August Bernhard. How the Pope Became Infallible: Pius IX and the Politics of Persuasion. Garden City: Doubleday, 1981.
- Küng, Hans. Infallible?: An Inquiry. Garden City: Doubleday, 1983.
- John Paul II. Ut Unum Sint (That They Be One).
- O’Malley, John W., S.J. “The Millennium and the Papalization of Catholicism.” America, 8 April 2000
- Pottmeyer, Hermann. Towards a Papacy of Communion: Perspectives from Vatican
Councils I & II
. New York: Herder, 1998.

Also Vatican I's Pastor Aeternus, from Jacques DuPuis' incredible anthology The Christian Faith: In the Doctrinal Documents of the Catholic Church, along with a re-reading Vatican II's Lumen Gentium, Dei Verbum, and Gaudium et Spes

Still to come:
- Quinn, John Raphael. The Reform of the Papacy: The Costly Call to Christian Unity. New York: Crossroad, 2007.
- Newman, John Henry. Conscience, Consensus, and the Development of Doctrine. New York: Image, 1992.


  1. I remember (some) folks clamoring to see another exercise of papal infallibility on the ordination of men only, but JP2 and Ratzinger held the line with the ordinary magisterium. They did it for a reason...

  2. Ratzinger insisted that, since it is scriptural and the constant tradition, there was no need for an infallible declaration.

    The new Code of Canon Law, especially 749, went some distance toward a correction.