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The Consensus of the Church and Papal Infallibility

a study in the background of Vatican I

Richard F. Costigan, S.J.

Publication Year: 2012

After a concise introduction that defines the two schools of theology, Richard Costigan examines the thought of nine major theologians on the subject: Bossuet, Tournely, Orsi, Ballerini, Bailly, Bergier, La Luzerne, Muzzarelli, and Perrone.

Published by: The Catholic University of America Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-7


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pp. vii-9

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pp. ix-x

I wish to thank the editors of Theological Studies for permission to use here two articles that appeared in their pages, “The Consensus of the Church: Differing Classic Views,” 51 (March 1990), which became the chapters on Honoré Tournely and Pietro Ballerini, and “Bossuet and the Consensus of the Church,”...


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pp. xi-15

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1. Introduction

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pp. 1-34

On Friday, July 15, 1870, in the tension-filled final days of the First Vatican Council, the council minority sent a delegation to Pope Pius IX to plead for the insertion into the draft of the Pastor Aeternus of even one phrase mentioning the role of the episcopate in formulating an important statement of the...

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2. Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

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pp. 35-62

The study of the primary sources in the background of the First Vatican Council’s proclamation of papal infallibility is as illuminating as the need for it is evident. For example, Hans Urs von Balthasar, surveying some people in the history of the Church who had expressed even slight reservations about...

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3. Honoré Tournely

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pp. 63-77

Honoré Tournely rose from humble beginnings to become one of the outstanding theologians of his day.1 As a young boy in Provence he tended pigs for his farmer parents, but a priest uncle arranged for him to pursue studies in Paris, where he proved to be an excellent student. He earned his doctorate...

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4. Giuseppe-Agostino Orsi, O.P.1692-1761

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pp. 78-93

A major comprehensive reply to Bossuet was offered in 1739 by Giuseppe-Agostino Orsi, O.P., a learned and prolific theologian and author of books on a number of theological subjects. Orsi, a native of Florence, had studied literature at a Jesuit school there, as well as law in Pisa, before joining the Dominicans...

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5. Pietro Ballerini

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pp. 94-108

Pietro Ballerini, a priest of the diocese of Verona, produced many works of erudition, particularly in collaboration with his brother Girolamo.1 Their father was a professor of surgery at the University of Verona. Very little is recorded of their youth other than they attended a local Jesuit school and then...

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6. Louis Bailly and Nicolas-Sylvestre Bergier

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pp. 109-128

Louis Bailly and Nicolas-Sylvestre Bergier were admired in their own time as dedicated apologists for the Roman Catholic Church. Both defended papal primacy against the criticisms of Protestant and secular writers, but both also earnestly maintained the mainstream Gallicanism of the Declaration of 1682.Their books were for many years among the most...

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7. César-Guillaume La Luzerne

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pp. 129-144

One of the few greatly admired bishops of France in his time, César-Guillaume La Luzerne had a distinguished career in the Church before the Revolution, was for a while a leader in the Revolution before going into exile, and wrote several books on religious and political topics, including a closely reasoned...

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8. Alfonso Muzzarelli

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pp. 145-164

Born of an aristocratic family in Ferrara,Alfonso Muzzarelli attended a Jesuit school in Prato and entered the Society of Jesus in Bologna in 1768.1 His professors there included several fine scholars, such as Giambattista Roberti in literature and Ferdinando Calini in Church history. When the Jesuit order...

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9. Giovanni Perrone, S.J.

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pp. 165-185

A native of Chieri, near Turin, Giovanni Perrone studied in the major seminary of Turin and earned his doctorate in theology there.1 He joined the Society of Jesus soon after it was restored in 1814 by Pius VII, and when Leo XII returned the Collegio Romano (today the Gregorian University) to the society in...

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10. Conclusion

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pp. 186-204

It is clear that the Gallican and papalist ecclesiologies, as we find them expressed in the authors studied here, entail radically different views of the consensus of the Church, as what is naturally included in the former is naturally excluded from the latter.The basic difference can be stated briefly. In the papalist....


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pp. 205-214


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pp. 215-218

E-ISBN-13: 9780813215969
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813214139

Page Count: 232
Publication Year: 2012

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Popes -- Infallibility -- History of doctrines.
  • Catholic Church -- Doctrines.
  • Vatican Council -- (1st : -- 1869-1870).
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