On Infallibility

Dr. Mike Liccione of Sacramentum Vitae has a great essay on the infallibility of the ordinary and universal magisterium. I highly recommend it: he argues, first of all, that there really is such a thing as the infallibility of the ordinary and universal magisterium and, second, that the normative criteria for determining which teachings of the ordinary and universal magisterium are "clear enough in magisterial documents themselves to be authoritatively extended to particular teachings." At the end of the essay there is promissory note for another essay that will examine the status of the licitness of ordaining women and the use of artificial contraception vis-a-vis these considerations.

I won't say much more about Mike's essay here because that might tempt some readers to rest content with the Readers' Digest version on offer here, when in fact the essay ought to be read in its entirety, as I suspect will also be the case with its sequel.

Comments

Mike L said…
Scott:

Thanks for the blurb. Just a small correction though.

My next essay, the one for which I've issued a promissory note, is the one in which I propose to establish that the normative criteria for determining whether a given teaching is IOUM are "clear enough in magisterial documents themselves to be authoritatively extended to particular teachings." The teaching on women's ordination is the example I plan to use to illustrate that. Only in a third and final essay will I extend the point to the contraception issue, which was the initial motivation for the series.

Best,
Mike
Eeeeek - thinking about infallibility systematically makes my head want to explode. Luckily, I still believe in the infallibility of the OUM in a cheerfully naive way.

Funny - I can think about issues like this HISTORICALLY pretty easily - talk to me about the Assumption or the Immaculate Conception in the 4th or the 14th century and I have no problem explaining why enough people always preached them (though not necessarily under the modern name) that I have no trouble understanding the development of doctrine.

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