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John Henry NewmanA Biography$
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Ian Ker

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199569106

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199569106.001.0001

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Papal Infallibility

Papal Infallibility

Chapter:
(p.651) 17 Papal Infallibility
Source:
John Henry Newman
Author(s):

Ian Ker

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199569106.003.0017

While writing the last stages of the Grammar, John Henry Newman was distracted by the drama unfolding at Rome. There was an attempt to define the Pope as infallible in matters of faith. Newman had always believed in papal infallibility, but opposed the church's declaration of it. He warned that the church was not ready for the Pope's infallibility. Newman continued to explain and interpret the dogma to the people who wrote to him for advice and information. For Newman, the only infallibility the Pope possessed was the infallibility of the Roman Catholic Church. Unlike the Apostles, it was a negative gift. The Popes were not inspired but merely protected from error. He also stated that definitions involving infallibility did not come from divine revelation “but of human means, research, and consulting theologians”.

Keywords:   John Henry Newman, Grammar, Pope, infallibility, Catholic Church, faith, Apostles, negative gift, divine revelation

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