To the last Lavalle was a Catholic of the old school, accepting--he who had looked into the very heart of the lightnings--the dogmas of papal infallibility
, of absolution, of confession--of relics great and small.
| 1870: The Dogma of Papal Infallibility
in matters of faith and morals was proclaimed by the Vatican Council.
But he was right in writing that the debate on papal infallibility
was already in the church before the convocation of Vatican I.
This is not the first time that Kung has sought to encourage open and frank discussion of the doctrine of papal infallibility
. He did so in a famous 1971 book and, in large part due to this book, was eventually deprived of his license to teach as a Catholic theologian by the Vatican.
At Vatican I, the opponents, not the proponents, of the doctrine of papal infallibility
, were truly Tridentine.
The account pivots on the 1870 definition of papal infallibility
at the First Vatican Council.
Acton the man was also shaped by interaction with many others, and this book includes plenty of insights into Acton's relationships with people such as the British Prime Minister William Gladstone; Acton's professor and mentor, the German theologian and historian Ignaz von Dollinger (who separated from the Vatican over the doctrine of papal infallibility
); the British theologian and convert to Catholicism John Henry Newman; and the German Romantic poet and novelist Joseph von Eichendorff.
But the Vatican did not widely publicize his assertion, perhaps because it so directly contradicted Pius, who was the first to declare the doctrine of papal infallibility
Dollinger became perhaps the best known symbol of opposition to the modern claim for papal infallibility
"It's odd that when popes have in recent years declared their concerns about, for example, war in Iraq, Third World poverty, or the death penalty--all impossible to be matters of faith and morals and ex cathedra--the tired old argument about papal infallibility
is not heard at all.
It could be revelatory to those readers who feel uncomfortable with the notion of papal infallibility
As I've exclaimed elsewhere, "Frankie, sweetheart, you're the Pope for heaven's sake: if you can't judge, who can?" Suddenly, the myth of papal infallibility
is no more.